I had become a shell of a person. I was numb – just going through the motions moment by moment. I could no longer do so many things. It felt like my soul had been sucked out of me. I could no longer even walk down the hallway at school and look people in the eye. I struggled to just breathe. My parents didn’t love me, my husband didn’t love me, and God didn’t love me. All the people, who should have cared for, protected, and loved me, didn’t. So what was left? My children.
My children are the ONLY worldly reason I am still here. I thought about killing myself numerous times. I was already depressed because of my failing marriage, but this pushed me into despair. I struggled driving, because it would be so easy to drive off a bridge or cliff or into a tree. I gave my husband my anxiety medicine, because it would be so easy to just swallow all the pills in the bottle. But I couldn’t do that to them – my precious children – my blessings. I knew what it felt like to loose someone who is like your mother to suicide and I couldn’t do that to them. So I searched for another way to harm myself and I found it. If I couldn’t kill myself physically. I’d do it spiritually. I’d do something to send myself to hell – to spend eternity in punishment where I belonged. Something I thought would never hurt my children but only me. I would commit adultery. What I though was the perfect plan… harm myself without harming others. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.
When you have never been deceitful, dishonest, or a liar, you are really bad at it. I was caught within 24 hours by my husband (who now lived in the basement, because we were separated but he wouldn’t leave and he wouldn’t let me leave with the kids until the school year was over.) We may have been separated in a semi-physical sense, but in my heart we weren’t. Unfortunately, he didn’t confront me immediately. Instead he went to his family, who knew nothing of our troubles and told them his suspensions. He gave me enough time to do it again. But this time I was hoping to have physical scars as well… I was hoping to catch a disease.
Before I knew it, my mother-in-law was in town and in our house… to protect him. His family knew and I was confronted. To his shock, I told the truth immediately. Because in my mind, he ended our marriage, he didn’t care and it had nothing to do with him and everything to do with destroying myself and not putting my children through the pain of my death. But to me, I was dead.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light,” – Eph 5:8 (NIV)
Footnote: My parents stopped seeing all of our relatives except my mom’s parents when I was in first or second grade. My aunt, my mom’s sister, still continued to see us even if it meant fighting with my mom to do so. She would sneak me to see my other aunts and uncles when she took me out, because I continued to love my family and longed to see them. With my mom being bipolar and emotionally unavailable to me, my aunt became my mom… a person I could count on and who loved me. However, I lost my aunt to suicide when I was 22 and seven months pregnant with our first child.
It was my uncle’s 50th birthday and my aunt had flown my cousin in from California to see my grandma who had cancer. My cousin and I had gone shopping that afternoon to get a present for my uncle and we talked about how we should have had our aunt come with us, but then realized she had to work that day. She was a nurse.
While at my uncle’s around 9 at night, he received a phone call and he and my cousin left saying they would be right back. After a little time passed, my husband and I went home. Then my world was rocked. We had been home for about a half hour or so went the phone rang. I answered and could not believe my ears. It was my mom and she said your aunt is dead. I began to sob and fell to my knees. Ralph asked me what was wrong but he could not understand what I said, so he took the phone. My mom then told him what she had told me.
My mom came over because Ralph was extremely concerned about me since he could not calm me down, but after a bit I did. We drove to my aunt’s house and arrived as the coroner drove away. I then found out that the phone call was my aunt’s work because she had never shown up that night. My uncle and teenage cousin went to her house and found her dead on the couch in her living room. She had overdosed on several different prescription drugs and was gone.
I miss her. I miss her every day. She was my mom and I was the daughter she never had. My world is forever changed without her presence. I mourn that my children never knew her. I mourn that she isn’t the world’s best godmother to my own daughter. I mourn the comfort and love she provided me when I had none at home. I miss talking to her… especially through all of this. Because as it turns out, my aunt was molested too. She was the victim of a neighbor and a priest. I say victim because she isn’t here to tell her story. But I am and her death and my children are the reason I am a survivor.
Song for my aunt: Everybody Hurts by REM
“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.” – Psalm 25:3