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When I was 18, my home life was so horrific that I was actually unaware of how deeply depressed I was because it had become my natural state.
When a man I knew asked me to go for a ride I distinctly had an impression, that relayed “Don’t get into that car.” It took me years to remember that internal message, as at the time, I proceeded. Years later, I believe it was a death wish but the story wasn’t going to proceed that quickly. He raped me and in addition, told me that if I reported him I would lose in court as he would have all his friends testify that I was a loose woman. He said the police wouldn’t believe me; my parents wouldn’t believe me, and I might lose my job. And all those years ago, he was right.
But looking back at that dark period in my life, what was most salient was my limited and undeveloped life view. I didn’t have the capabilities I would develop later in life as a result of therapy and meeting people who would serve as surrogate parents. I didn’t have the developed resilience to meet the challenges that faced me at the time.
So at 19, I took a bottle of pills that could have ended my life — but I survived — I remember that I regretted that I survived and that I was determined to try again.
At 23, I did try again but this time I called a coworker and she came and picked me up, took me to her apartment, stood watch over me that night, and the next day took me to the psychiatrist I had just begun seeing. That doctor cried over me and I recall in my previously cynical 23-year old mind, thinking that if one person could cry over me I would never resort to this again — that’s what ended the pursuit of suicide for me.
But in today’s times, suicide is taking the lives of younger and younger children due to online bullying and issues like feeling that they don’t fit in — anywhere! What are we providing our young people to educate them to the reality that with self-knowledge comes advanced coping skills, a greater awareness of life’s potential, and the fortitude to face life’s challenges and not just overcome them but prevail?
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please hold on and contact: