I was 10 years old when my father passed away. That’s what they called it. I knew the truth though I was there when it happened. He shot himself with a gun. That doesn’t sound much like “passing” to me. I think passing sounds easy and pain-free. I can’t imagine that what he did was either of those things.
10 years old. I had never been to a friend’s birthday party. I had never had a boyfriend. I had never been kissed and I had never understood how final death was. What I had experienced was a childhood of abuse from a step-mother who had hated me from the moment she first saw me. I had been dragged screaming and choking on my own tears behind a car, I had been locked in closets for endless time, I had been humiliated more than I had ever smiled, I had been beaten until my flesh became an almost permanent blue, my head struggled to re-grow hair where she had yanked what little I had from it. My world was one of darkness. It seemed like my destiny was not to ever be one of happiness or love.
10 years old and all I had ever wanted was for my father to see the truth that was right in front of him. I cried every night and hid any place that I could find. My solace only came when I went unnoticed. Neglect was much more preferable to the attention I had always received. 10 years old and he made a choice that didn’t include me. He chose to opt out with his “passing” and to leave me in a world that was nothing like the one I had always known. His death ate into my hope and it left me hungry for something that I knew I would never be able to have.
I waded through years of grief and it took so long for me to come out of that grief because no one would talk. No one would say what had happened and no one would acknowledge the life that I had lived. My father left. He died. He passed away, but that wasn’t the whole truth. My father committed suicide. He killed himself. He left his child alone and chose to go. Years after and I still didn’t understand. My memories faded from my mind but I was left with the horror of everything still etched into my soul.
I tried to move forward but I was suffering and no one would say a word. I saw the pity in their faces but I wasn’t allowed to speak about the things that had happened. What had happened? What happened? I was depressed and from there I turned to suicidal. I was walking through his very path and no one could see it. No one noticed because they wouldn’t speak. I was a child in body but I had not been a child for a long time. The child had been beaten out of me and now I wanted to know. I wanted to understand and I wanted to speak myself.
Suicide is a life altering event. It affects all types of people every day. Yet we know so little about it and part of the reason for that is that so many people don’t know how to talk about it. Some people don’t want to talk about it. I wanted to know that it wasn’t my fault. I wanted to find my own peace. It took me 12 years to realize my own value and even today I still suffer with depression. I will never know a life that does not involve depression. Perhaps that would have always been my path, but I want to tell others that there is hope.
I am here today. I am alive. I survived years of abuse as a child. I survived the ultimate form of abandonment. I made it in one piece. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a friend. I am so much more than what I was born into and you are too. You do not have to be alone. You do not have to be afraid. We do not have to let it continue without trying to make a difference.
I will always suffer through days in my life, but I can also find the joy in the small moments. I am grateful that I am alive today because I would have missed so many things that have mended my broken heart.
Thank You for Reading.
Susie Reece find me at my personal blog site http://susiereece.wordpress.com/