I Had to Dance With Suicide to Save My Daughter's Life
Editor’s note: If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
Suicide entered my life kind of the way spring enters with the change of seasons — in like a lion out like a lamb. Its grip caught hold of someone I love and used all its power and might to try and take them from me. I did not let it win. I risked everything I am and everything I had to keep my child from utter destruction.
The inner workings of her brain told her she wasn’t good enough and that things would never get better. Throughout her years of programs and hospitalizations, we never made it down the road of complete self-destruction until one night when I heard the screams of a soul in turmoil. I sprang from my bed when I heard the wales of her grief. I arrived at her bedroom door in horror as I saw her lying on the floor screaming for me to let her die.
There is nothing more gut-wrenching than hearing your child beg you to let her take her own life. The pain ran so deep within her, she was unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It touched me in a place down deep in my being I fear to ever go to again. A place so dark and filled with despair that even thinking about it makes my skin crawl.
At that very moment my heart had been ripped out of my body and I was operating on adrenalin alone. I grabbed her and attended to her wounds as I tried to calm her inner spirit. She was inconsolable. I whisked her to safety. That was the first time her cries for help pierced through me in her attempts to release some type of pain that to me was unimaginable. I could not fix this, I could not help her, but what I was planning on doing was saving her. I was her mother, but it felt like this was someone I did not recognize. It was someone I had never met before and at that moment, it felt like I was saving a stranger.
I had now gone to bed with suicide or the attempt of it, the flirting per say of this dance we would do together over the next few weeks/months/years. We weaved in and out of each other’s life like a bad relationship that just never ends. Getting back together every few months and never knowing the next time we would see each other. The anticipation of meeting again, when we would have our last dance together, wondering when it would really be over. Would it ever really be over? Would we always lurk just outside the line for each other? Would we forever be in each other’s life, torn between this world and the one it was so desperately trying to get us to go to? I couldn’t have it, and it couldn’t take her.
After way too long, the dance finally ended. We had been to every group therapy, individual therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist and hospital dealing with suicidal ideology on the East Coast. I refused to give up, I refused to take any answer other than, “We will help you.” I was fortunate enough to find an organization that would not let her down, that stood by her side alongside me in the most alienating time in both of our lives.
After what seemed like an eternity, my time together with suicide was over, and its grip was released from the soul it came to take. It was the day I stood and starred death in the face and said, “Not today, not today.”
If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.