It all started when I was just four years old. I had this small pain in my chest that wouldn’t go away. I don’t know when it started but it would never stop. It was a hurting that started out small then it kept getting bigger and bigger. It was a pain that felt like I had an open wound that was ugly and nasty and no one could see it. I thought someone would notice but no one ever said anything about it. No one would help it or try to make me feel better. So I thought if I could just die, the pain would go away. I needed a way to stop the pain. I wasn’t sure how, it just needed to stop.
I was out in the yard with my sister. We were running when we ran by the water meter plate and spotted some mushrooms growing. My sister thought we could eat them, but went inside to ask our mother if we could. I just stood there looking at them while she was gone. I didn’t really like mushrooms so it wasn’t important to me. She came running back and said, “Mom said don’t touch them they are very poisonous.” The minute I heard that I shouldn’t eat them because they were poisonous, I knew I had found a way out of my suffering. I sat down in front of them and deliberately ate about five of the Death Angel mushrooms. You see, even at that young age I had made up my mind that dying was better than living. In my very young mind I could only feel the pain and felt I had no one to help. The way I got to that point was my father. I don’t believe to this day he could be my real father, because I didn’t believe someone who was related to you could do that to a four year old. I had no way of reasoning as to why or how to escape it. To this day I cannot figure out how a small child being rushed to the emergency room because they deliberately tried to kill themselves could be an accident. That’s what my mother said. The doctor didn’t even say a word. No one ever looked into it. They just pumped my stomach, kept me overnight for observation, and then sent me home. I remember my mother saying when she got the bill, that I didn’t need to be costing them any more money. She also told me that I should feel very bad about making them have to pay for it. That really stuck with me.
I continued on in my life shrinking farther and farther into the abyss. I became very introverted and mute. I wouldn’t speak to anyone unless I absolutely had to. I had become one of the invisible people. I hid in crowds and no one saw me. I lived my life this way and fought the pain that was getting bigger and bigger. I was ill a lot and had a lot of fainting spells. Soon we moved to a new state closer to my father’s relatives. To my dismay it soon became apparent that I was going to be the topic of a lot of discussions, whether I wanted to or not. It ended up opening the door to what was to come.
Many years later at the age of ten I tried it again. One of my relatives came over to get some wild poke weed that was growing in our yard. Up until that moment I had never heard of it. Maybe my parents didn’t want me to know there was something lethal growing just a few yards from my house. Anyway, I had not been paying attention to this until my first episode had come up in conversation after they arrived. I listened very carefully to what was being said about it. The relative asked if it would be OK to get it even though I was there. Then it dawned on me again. Another way out of my misery. Mind you nothing had happened to improve my situation. I was still living in hell and didn’t know how to change it. I asked what it was and they reluctantly told me if you didn’t cook it first it was very poisonous. I asked if I could help and they said yes, (not very smart of them), that I could help in picking it. I went outside with them and helped to pull the leaves off the plant. Of course, when their backs were turned I hid the largest leaf I could find. It was 12 inches long. As they went back into the house I hung outside and waited for them to get busy cooking it. Then I washed the leaf in the hose to get rid of the dirt (why I cared about this I will never know), and started eating the leaf. It was bitter if I remember right and didn’t go down smoothly. I was able to finish the whole leaf and go into the house and into my room. I laid down on the bed and don’t remember much from there. The only thing I remember is throwing up on the bed and my mother running in and moving me to the bathroom. She asked me if I had eaten any poke weed at dinner, I said no, but she new something had happened by how sick I was. Then she began to pour large quantities of water down my throat and make me vomit. This went on for several hours and I remember passing out, then coming to several times. It is my guess that my parents didn’t want to take me to the hospital again to raise suspicion that there had to be something going on. I don’t remember how long exactly it took for me to get on my feet again after that, but I just know it was long. Then, I had to live with the fact that I failed and had every one in the immediate and extended family called me “the crazy one.” The pain just got bigger. I can’t understand why they couldn’t see that I was in pain. Or they couldn’t see the gaping wound. Not one person, not teachers, not relatives, or anyone ever bothered to find out what was wrong. That just furthered my belief that I was only going to sink into oblivion, never to be seen again. I started to try to push the pain down to try to stamp it out myself. I did my best to be dead inside, to try to run from the pain…(excerpt from my book, The Silent Suicide)
I will continue to post more on my blog each day. I hope this will help someone to know they are not alone and there is someone willing to help. Please visit my website for more information.