Full disclosure, I’m very sick, with diagnoses that include MDD, PTSD, Anxiety and Panic Disorder and most recently Medication Resistant. I am 56 years old and by most observers I’ve had an okay life. But it’s time for it to be over. (For more understanding, please read my stories here on Medium “My Life Story In Six Word Sentences” and “The Year Of Living Desperately (My Journey Towards Mental Health Wellness And The Abject Failure Thereon)”.) I do not know or understand why my mental health illness has deteriorated so rapidly in the last few years. There are a number of things that have happened to me that are normal, life changing events, such as menopause, retirement, empty nest, questioning my 25 year marriage to the love of my life……I have everything to live for but I want to die more than ever now. The generally accepted arguments against suicide is tediously repetitive: it’s selfish, it will destroy the lives of your loved ones, (by the way, who, exactly are those people and where are they?), it’s a sign of weakness, it’s illegal (?, that’s just stupid), it’s cowardly, it’s “a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. The list goes on.
So here’s the case FOR suicide: I’m profoundly depressed for over 40 years, I should have never been born, ( factually true), I was abandoned several times in my youth by people who were sicker than me, I’ve done everything I know to do to get help, I’m an intelligent person with many resources available to me. Some things have worked. There was a period of time when I was “well”. I happily married the love of my life, we have three amazingly well-adjusted adult children, I had a successful career. It was all good, managed with medication and therapy. And I did it all by myself. Absolutely no support from anyone until I met my husband.
I left home at 17, unnoticed, and started to live the best life I could based on the lack of any role models, preparation, financial or moral support. And I did an amazing job. I was the exception. I was lucky enough to be smart and attractive. I attended college classes at night, part-time for years, on and off. I currently have an equivalent of about two years of college credits with a 3.69 GPA. I did not get to choose my career; it chose me. It was simply a matter of survival and I found out what I was good at, which was accounting, bookkeeping, administrative and office management.
I worked for 25 years for a CPA with his own practice and it was just the two of us. I made him a lot of money, and he paid me well. I should mention that he sexually harassed me for 15 years until I quit, explaining (lying) that I needed to spend more time with the children I had borne during these years. But he asked me to stay on with him in the form of working from home. Which I did for 10 more years. He never forgave me for denying him the sight of me on a daily basis, and he treated me badly, disrespectfully and when he became ill and retired, he gave me nothing. So yes, I was lucky to earn a good living but basically, I just prostituted myself, although there was never any physical activity, inappropriate touching, (well, maybe some), and I never ever encouraged him but I also never stopped putting up with it and I never told a soul. It was so incredibly damaging to my soul that I suffer from PTSD and have nightmares about it constantly. I actually did confront him with a letter, after I was similarly sexually harassed at another job by a colleague, and when I went straight to my boss, he was clueless, flummoxed, hopelessly out of touch and blamed me. He did speak to the employee and then he fired me, on the phone, at 5:00 am, sobbing hysterically like a little baby. Bottom line, the employee was more valuable to the company than me. I could’ve sued but that’s not who I am and by that time in my life, I was just too exhausted and discouraged. Meanwhile, I have never again heard from my previous boss after I sent the letter and there’s nothing to be done about it. My point is, it was tremendously damaging, when all appeared to be going so well for me after the hideous childhood I endured.
In the past year or so, I’ve begun to realize that due to my childhood experiences of abandonment, several different times I was kicked to the curb, I have unconsciously chosen to buy my way into my family, to somehow validate myself and earn the love, care and respect that every child deserves. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on gifts and handouts to this sorry bunch of fucked up people. I’ve spent my entire adult life being available to them. I’ve flown all over the country to visit them out of obligation, costing me a fortune. And when I say “them”, I’m referring to a ridiculous list of invested relationships as follows: a biological mother, biological father, an adopted father, a step-father, one full sibling, three half siblings, one of whom is in no way blood related to the other two, an ex-stepmother and her husband and his two children (my ex-step-siblings?), two current step-mothers, a step-sister and brother, a host of half-aunts and uncles, and numerous nieces and nephews. I am known to and invested in relationships with all of these people and I am exhausted. I have given and given; I have tried so many things to please these people, I have been the best family member that I can be. But it’s not enough. It’s never been enough. I’ve tried too hard, or not done the right thing, or been selfish in expecting anything from these selfish and damaged people. Many of them suffer from mental illness, addiction, poverty, etc. So I’ve also insulted them by being happy, successful, and “too much”. Too overwhelming, too gregarious, too sympathetic. I’m intimidating, assertive, sometimes aggressive (traits I relied upon to survive), and enviable. There is resentment towards me for making it in this life. For being happily married, for having delightful children, for the material things I earned myself. But there’s no sympathy, no empathy, no fear for my life, no understanding, no support from any of these people. If or when they do check in, it’s clearly a selfish act to assuage their own guilt. They just throw that damn word Love around constantly. I don’t even know what that means. I love 4 people: my husband and my three children. But I don’t love myself. I am loathsome and worthless. My husband and children have suffered the burden of me for so long. I can palpably see and feel their love for me seeping away. I have lost so many friends in the last few years. Me, formerly the social butterfly with BFF’s too numerous to count, all over the country. I’ve been completely ghosted by three longtime close friends. No contact whatsoever, no reply to my request for understanding. I’ve been brutally dumped by other longtime friends who’s bitter words and hateful opinions and misinterpreted actions by me have caused them to lash out at me and accuse me of untruths. But I own all of this because the common denominator is me. I’m not in denial, I am in pain. I am bereft. I trust no one. I’m in serious distress and it takes nothing to send me over the edge.
So at this moment, I’ve isolated myself. I don’t want to do more damage. I want to stop sabotaging myself. I want it all to be over. Is that not a valid case for suicide? Why don’t I deserve peace? Once I’m gone, I’ll never have to suffer the pain that I feel, or the pain I inflict on others. I’ll never have to know. Right now, the guilt I feel overwhelms me almost as much as the depression. So you’re thinking, get help girl! I’ve tried that! I’ve been hospitalized several times. (Once for an impulsive, failed suicide attempt). I’ve taken every medication on the market. I’ve tried ECT. I’ve been in talk therapy for-fucking-ever, I’ve tried self-help methods like meditation, exercise, yoga, books upon books about finding happiness, mindfulness, accepting myself. I’ve talked to my minister. I’ve changed my eating habits, I’ve kept up with my health. I’ve written stories. I’ve volunteered, helping others. What the fuck else am I supposed to do? Even sleep is no escape. I have horrible dreams about all of these things.
Everyone wants to keep me alive. Why? So they don’t have to feel guilty? They certainly don’t want or need me in their lives in the current condition I’m in. So who is the selfish one here? Let me go. Please just let me go. This has gone wrong from the very beginning. Fifty-six years. Just a bad mistake. A selfish, thoughtless act on behalf of young and clueless people. What has been the point? Who cares? I just don’t. Not anymore. I’m conceding ok? Is that ok with you or just another excuse to excoriate me? Leave me alone. Please.
My Epitaph: She Did Her Best