Every now and then someone has a story they want and need to share, but no outlet for which to present it. Sometimes that story is almost too painful to write, too difficult to share, especially publicly. I am sharing this story on behalf of someone who needed to share, but did not know how. It is a story of the loss of childhood, safety, security.
It wasn’t the slamming door that alerted me. Or the screaming that made me concerned – seemed this was a constant in their never-ending battle. No, what clued me in was the sudden silence… Quickly followed by…
“Mandy! Mandy! Oh my God, Mandy. WAKE UP!!”
I peered through my bedroom door to see my mother running into my sister’s room. There, my father was pulling her out of the closet. Spilling out with her: the medicine bottles of everything she had taken.
My sister was sobbing uncontrollably. “Just let me die! I just want to die!!”
She didn’t look right. She was screaming but she was barely moving.
“God, DAMN it, Mandy!” My father pulled her up close to him, picked her up and began walking to the front door.
My mother nearly ran right passed me, stopped, turned to me and grimaced. “C’mon,” she took my hand, squeezing it hard enough to hurt my little fingers, dropping me off at the neighbor’s with barely a word before running off to the car.
I sat there in silence, staring at the wall of my elderly neighbor’s living room. Happy faces smiled back at me from the pictures that hung there. What had just happened?
My sister later told me they had made her swallow some sort of liquid, making her stomach turn inside out, all the while sobbing that she didn’t want to live; why wouldn’t they just let her die?? The older sister that I loved and admired no longer wanted to be a part of this world.
Already, at the impressionable age of 10, I was learning that life was not worth living. While she comforted me and held me, the both of us crying, I whispered to her in my thoughts, “Please, next time take me with you.”
It has always been difficult for me to understand suicide. As I remember Kevin’s fight against cancer, and his extreme will to live, it is hard for me to wrap my brain around those who do not want their life any longer. But I do know that many people struggle with the want to give up, to find peace in something beyond their physical life.
To Write Love on Her Arms is a great organization dedicated to those facing depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. If you or someone you love is dealing with these issues, please reach out.