I find it a funny coincidence that Mental Health Awareness week is this week. Especially since the focus is on suicide prevention.
Not funny “haha” but odd, that the week before the 19th anniversary of my Step Fathers suicide falls this way. Most years I don’t hardly pay any attention to the significance that this once plagued me with. This year feels different. Maybe it’s all the reflecting and soul searching I’ve been doing. Or the heavy set depression that I felt creeping in on me and my Husband earlier this year. It’s likely all of those, and also what I’ve noticed in my friends. Status’s that make me worry, eliciting fear and concern.
I’ve survived suicide attempts. I’ve lived through the suicide of family and of friends (and their attempts). I’ve had many years to think deeply on the matter and to make choices to find better coping strategies for that dark cloud that weighs and waits.
This might not be well understood here, but I am not sure that I have enough love or forgiveness to regret my step father doing what he did. How complicated my life might have been if he’d lived. I’m not sure I’m sorry. While I could understand the pain it left for my step sister, and my closer siblings and even possibly his family, his mother, I’m selfish enough still, to not be sure. There are people in his life that facilitated, covered up, and encouraged the things he did. They would have continued to do that. My life is better for what he did, even if it left empty holes, unanswered questions and confused identity for others. MY self preservation here, knows I am lucky. Even if he only did it to save himself…. it saved me and maybe even my mother.
I roared through my adolescence in to my 20’s quite convinced I wouldn’t make it to thirty. Convinced I wouldn’t want to. I used to openly share my grief, pain and absolute destruction very easily. I used to wear it like a couture garment and I was the walking queen of catwalks. At some point, I shut this down. Reserving my story, and choosing to not relive the burden, shame and guilt. I have many new friends in my life that do not know these dark parts of me. But, I figure we all have dark parts, and not everyone need know how dark they are. For what it is worth, I cope and because I cope and do and survive and smile I silence my mental illness everyday. I pretend it doesn’t even exist. Until it does.
The parts of me that attack me from the inside are flanked by this amazing part of me that is just to fucking stubborn to not be victorious. That is how I am still here. Even if I question that sometimes. I am not scared of my depression and anxiety they way I used to be. I don’t worry about it visiting me and tearing up all progress I have achieved.
I am terrified of it visiting my home, my husband or my kids. By extension, I am shit scared also, of it visiting my dearest friends. That it might come and take them away from me and I won’t have a choice, I won’t be able to change it. or fix it. (Even though, I know you can’t just “fix” it)
How will I know what is in the mind of those I love? Will I know? Will they tell me?
I really was a very flaky, disturbed and despondent teenager with parents couldn’t understand me, help me or pacify my demons. Worse, I wouldn’t even let them. I never sought their embrace, guidance or love. I battered down and waged war on my own. I fear this now in my twins, who are almost 12 years old. Almost teenagers. Though, I have up to this point offered them a much more fluffy childhood to which I experienced. Their exposure to things that I saw, felt or experienced, is none. I hope that environment can help me here. Give me some faith and security, not that that would lessen the guilt…
I am reflecting very much in wonder if this is how my parents feared me. What worry did I give them through those rage filled days. Now I understand a whole new aspect to parenting, one they don’t enlighten you about in those baby books. We can literally provide everything our children need; Food, Shelter, Water, Love. But one day, that might not be enough. What if it’s not enough?