13 years old.
I’m not sure how I managed to block this memory but once someone directly asked me if I had ever attempted suicide it all came flooding back.
The tears as I swallowed each one.
The shame I felt when I admitted what I had done to my stepdad.
The disappointment in his face.
The thickness of the charcoal I drank.
The sharpness of the catheter.
But most of all, the sadness.
The overwhelming loneliness I felt, as a child.
They always cornered me in the stairway- called me “mosquito bites” for my underdeveloped breasts, wrote LD (for learning disabled) on my shoes, and taunted me with the word “virgin” when I had no clue what it meant.
When you are in a class with a total of 14 children, nine of which are boys, there are few places to hide.
I was easy prey.
Knowing what I know now, as a mother and a teacher, I no longer feel shame for that little girl.
I feel so sorry for her.
I wish someone had helped her before she felt like dying was better than living.
And if by sharing my story, I prompt anyone reading to look someone in the eye and ask, “Are you ok?”, then the courage to put this into words was worth it, after all.
If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts please reach out for help. You are worth it. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org