Suicide.

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Suicide.

I read an interesting blog post about this today, from another survivor. I say another survivor which is really a lie. That person is a survivor I am not, I just didn’t die that’s all and there’s the difference.

The blog however was insightful, for the first time I had seen, someone saw it the same as me. She planned her suicide date as her fathers birthday, a bittersweet revenge perhaps? Where as mine would be when my father has not talked to me for a while and I’d hope it took weeks for him to learn of my demise. I’d want him to know that he didn’t have the right to be informed. He wasn’t top of the list and he’ll miss my funeral.

Of course before anyone panics, I’m not going to do it. It’s a mere fantasy. I can thank my children for being here and taking away that option. I’ll admit sometimes I get mad about it. It feels like I’m trapped here when all I want is for it to be over. I come close sometimes, but all I do is imagine their faces. I imagine them alone with no one to be there when things in life get too bad. When they just need their dad.

My father is not taking that from my children. I’ve been there for every moment in their lives and I’m going to keep being there, even when the days are hard, when the pain inside is so bad I’m begging almost for it to be over.

I’ve tried before of course to end it all, clearly with no success. The first time I really recall I was seven. I lay down in the bath and just didn’t move with my head in the water. I think I almost did it too, I floated away inside my mind, the need to breathe had gone, and my saviour, ironically was my father and his belt.

I didn’t really try again until my late teens, but I had no fear of death. I took risks, I didn’t care, if death was going to claim me I was going to tease it. It didn’t work of course. Even when I almost died at sixteen some part of me wanted to live.

I’d got septicaemia. It was a loving parting gift in a way from my fathers actions, that I’d been too ashamed to deal with and I was found with no temperature and hardly a heartbeat, my friend didn’t waste any time in calling an ambulance, he even called my father who refused to show his face, he was simply too busy at work to deal with his son that was being rushed to the emergency room.

I was eighteen the next time I tried. I’d landed myself with my special needs son because his mother couldn’t cope and I’d just lost my second child to the cruel hands of fate. I walked out the hospital completely broken, not hearing anything passed the doctors words that started I’m sorry. I spent two weeks getting drunk until I tried to slit my own wrists. The unfortunate timing of another friends visit soon blew the end to that one, but kicked me onto my downward spiral of illegal drugs.

A year later I tried again to end it. A come down from a concoction of drugs and nothing to live for except a son who I was failing, I necked a bottle of pills. I was sick for days after. Funny really I always thought there was no escape when you tried that way, but seems my body wasn’t playing.

Twenty three was the last time. My life was happy. I’d met a nice girl. My son was doing well. There was a new baby on the way. I’d been clean from drugs. I had a job, was going back to school. I had everything, but the pain inside I’d spent my life running from. That agonising sadness that’s nestled deep within my chest was so consuming that I felt helpless. It was a letter from my daughters mother that stopped me. She didn’t know of my past, but she had read some of my writings and she replied to one. I’m grateful to her, she saved my life in so many ways, she’ll never know.

I haven’t tried for a long time since these. Not even when I lost a second daughter. I think about it. It’s in my mind every day. The sadness is still there, but now it’s nothing more than a pleasant fantasy.

Something I keep on the back burner. It pops into my head at random times. When I’m driving, I think, just a quick flick of the wheel and I’m done, it’s over. When I’m out running, what if I just closed my eyes and ran, would a car hit me? Would it be quick?

Then I think of my children. They are better than any sadness I feel. In selfish ways when it feels too much, I let them make me smile.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.

I have a picture of a man, laid in bed with his baby son sleeping on his chest. He is reading the paper. I look at it, and I wonder what happened to make that man hurt that child.

My abuser – My father.

I hate to call him that. I hate to label him.

He is my dad. The person that helped to create me. The person whose genes I carry. Whose reflection stares out at me whenever I look in the mirror.

Yet he is the one who took from me. The one that beat me. Starved me. Committed countless assaults on me for over a decade. Sold me. The one who broke me. The one that made me a mess and left me with all these shattered pieces to pick up.

I should walk away but I can’t. I think maybe that is hard for people to understand. Perhaps those that are fortunate enough to have real parents. We see child abuse in the paper, on the television. Hear about it on the radio and each time often peoples thoughts and even my own sometimes. Is why didn’t someone take the child away and do something?

Why didn’t the child leave?

Why do I still keep my father in my life?

I was asked once by a teacher if everything was okay. She had put up with me for months coming into the classroom and sitting at my desk and just crying. Of course I tried to hide it, but I could never stop it. It would just happen. I don’t really know why. Maybe it was because I was safe and I could.

I’d cry because I was hungry, because I had a new bruise or it hurt just to move.  I’d cry because I was tired and hadn’t slept or I was sick because my mother had given me more medicine and still I wasn’t good enough. Sometimes I’d cry because I was alone in my world. I was ten.

My teacher saw me crying again one morning and took my hand. She walked me down to the library. Gave me a drink and a tissue and sat with me. She held me when I cried and then she asked me ‘is something bad happening at home?’

I froze. I stared. I stuttered. I had no idea what to say because I realised in that moment I had given it away. I had shown my secrets.

I lied to her. I said no. She asked me why I cried and I lied and told her that I was upset because my brother had more toys than me and didn’t share. It was partly true, but a lame ten year olds reason.

I lied because I didn’t want my mum and dad to get into trouble. I didn’t want them to go to prison. I didn’t want to be taken away. I didn’t want to live somewhere safe. I just wanted my mum and dad to stop what they did to me and love me like they did my brother. It was that simple for me.

After that day I never let what was going on at home show to the outside world. I had to protect my parents. People wouldn’t understand. People would think they were bad. They would think they were evil and they weren’t.  People didn’t know my parents like I did.

I realise that I still hold that same hope. That’s what keeps me from walking away. Nothing has changed. He called me a week ago, and within twenty minutes had sunk me. Not with anything malicious, just the gentle hints of manipulation that remind me I am nothing to him. I am nothing more than the scrapings of a child he helped to make.

Yesterday he called me again. He was happy and excited. He talked to me about his grandchildren like a real father and grandfather. He gave me a glimpse of the dad I wish I had.  I held onto that. I fed it to my guilt. I told myself I was wrong for being upset with him. I was wrong for even having Dear Teddy out. It was saying bad things about him and he doesn’t know of its existence. I felt so guilty for the way I have treated him. The no father’s day card. Everything bad that I had done towards him came crashing down in my mind, because for a few minutes he gave me hope.

A friend of mine whom I talked to. She told me to look at it. See it for what it is, because if he was the father I was wishing for. The one I was waiting for then he would show remorse too. He would apologise. He would feel bad for the things he did.

He doesn’t.

Maybe the wolf dressed as the sheep and I believed it.