September’s Suicide Awareness Month is coming to a close. Hopefully this excerpt from my forthcoming book, “The Silent Child,” will enlighten you to the layers and layers of damaging fallout that stem from this tragically devastating disease. I pray one person who might be struggling tonight can pause and gain insight from my story and the profound effect that comes from the “unspeakable” pain that is Suicide Loss.
I am an outcast. I was tossed out by the trash and forced to subsist in solitude.
I have been mocked and terrorized by those who should have cared and loved a child. Petty, small-minded people consumed by jealousy and their hatred of a child. A child.
They hated me because they assumed I thought I was better than they were. They loathed me for being loved after I lost everything that mattered. They recoiled from me for every reason that reinforced our differences. I was not like them. I was not vindictive and vengeful. Their joy was born out of my misery. Every lie they spoke about me fueled them. Every disparaging glance my way gave them purpose. They used their own children as weapons against me. They encouraged their children to hate me because I was unlike them. “She thinks she’s better than you.” Yet, they never spoke to me, none asked me what I truly thought. They concocted all they needed to know and believed their every word.
“Look at the outcast. That disgusting little girl who never speaks to us. She never sits with us. Her daddy abandoned her because he was ashamed of her. He left her all alone in the world and that is exactly what she deserved. It’s her fault he died. He killed himself to be rid of her. She chose this life, this pitiful existence. She chooses not to fit in and hate everyone like we do, and we hate her for it. She needed to be orphaned and instead she stole our parents from us. She took their attention and we cannot allow it. We hate her because they love her. She doesn’t deserve to be loved by anyone. If her father couldn’t love her, no one should. She thinks she’s important. She thinks she is someone. She is nothing. She is no one. She is not one of us and she never will be. She thinks she’s better than us. We will never allow her any peace because she doesn’t deserve it, just like she didn’t deserve it as a child. She is nothing. She is nothing but a bitch and she’s always been a bitch.”
They forced me to be silent and listen. My ears should bleed from the wounds they inflicted on them. My heart should have shattered from the rumors they created about me. Their desire was for the world to abandon me so they could snicker as I failed. Their desire was my death.
Some of them said I should, “be the better person”. “Don’t let them win,” they would say. “You don’t need to worry about them. They’re just jealous of you.”
Talking is easy. Talking is meaningless. Telling someone to stop, won’t make them stop. Standing up for what is right is what is hard. The resolve to do what should be done is not easily found because it must be made. It is hard to go against the crowd. It is hard to stand alone. No one wants to be alone. Solitude can be devastating. I should know, I lived in it.
I lived in isolation during the hardest years. The years that a child should be showered with love, I was bombarded with revulsion. I lived in the corner because I wasn’t allowed to shine, or glimmer, or even look at the light. I wasn’t encouraged to do well because they couldn’t stomach the idea. I lived on nothing. They did everything they could to encourage my death. They did all they could to make the world destroy any possibility for me. I only lived by the grace of God.
Thank you, God.
No one could understand the sad little girl. The lonely little girl who was growing up on hatred and jealousy. The traumatized little girl who had no one to confide in and no one to turn toward. The terrified little girl who had been beaten, abused, and nearly killed by her stepmother. The confused little girl who was abandoned by her father. The uprooted little girl who lost all she had known and was shipped away like a broken toy. The longing little girl who wanted love. Who more than anything wanted truly to be loved. Who needed love more than anything. The little girl who could have loved them, if they would have let her.
Instead I was abandoned to the vultures, the trio of death eating birds who flock to the side of pain and misery to feast upon the carrion. The three who pull in any others who are fake and feeble. Anyone who could triumph when a child is in pain. Those who know nothing of shame. Those who think they are not seen for who they really are inside.
They hated me and in their hate they forced me to become everything they despised. They showed me that I was better. I am better, than you. I would never, never hate a broken child. I would never use my own children to isolate a mourning child. I would never attack a person for all the world to see and then lie. Oh, the lies and lies they have spewed.
This is to you: You are nothing to me. You are sad and pitiful because you cannot, no, you would not ever try to understand me. You lived in bitterness. You lived in spite and it twisted your faces. It made you ugly to reflect what was on the inside. It made you everything you thought I saw. Well, I do see it. I’ve seen it and the rest of the world can see it, too.
You can lie and tell the world who I am, but the world already knows. The world knows because I do not have to lie. I do not hide. I have owned my flaws because they are me.
I hated you as a teenager. You destroyed my ability to form bonds with people. You made me distrustful and fearful. I have been in such terrible gut wrenching pain. I was swallowed by soul shattering torment over what you saw was wrong with me. I questioned myself and tore myself to shreds trying to destroy the broken pieces you created. I have made countless mistakes and missteps. I have done things, horrible things, of which I am not proud. I have tried to die, tried to take myself away from here… to get away from you. I avoid those who I feel do not love me because that was all I learned from you. The only wisdom you ever gave me was that I did not need anyone to pretend to care for me. I was forced to flourish on my own because I had no family. You wouldn’t let me have a family. None of you allowed me what little I could have had. You cut and chipped at me, breaking me into a million pieces. But you made a mistake.
You didn’t realize that I am not like you. I was all I needed to pull myself up. I used the pain you had given me and turned it into my story. I used your hatred to better myself. I transformed what could have been nothing but a sorrowful tale of woe into one that could encourage others like me, outcasts like me. Thank you for giving me the strength to do what you never wanted me to do. Thank you for making sure I never turned into you.
But the saddest part is this, I would have loved you. Oh my, how I would have loved you. I would have been there for you through anything. I could have been the little girl with one hundred parents, but instead I was the little girl with none.
You made it so one less person in this world loved you. And for that I feel sorry for YOU.