What I Want You to Hear in My Whispered Screams


I’ve screamed at you for the past week. At you, my friends who face similar demons, who have come to me for help, who have held my hand and loved me unconditionally. I have screamed at you and you haven’t heard.

But it’s not your fault my screams come out as whispers.

I scream at you when I send the group text: “Let’s go stargazing.” When I call you and ask if you are doing anything tonight. When you ask what I’m thinking and I tell you “I’m just bored” or “It’s been a long day and I need people I can talk to.”

You don’t question these answers. It’s not in your nature. You have accepted these answers for as long as you’ve known me. They are common answers, even when I’m not screaming.

But tonight I am screaming at you. Because I know I will not go up the stairs and tell my mom I want to hurt myself again. I know I will not call a helpline or find someone online to help me. I am screaming at you because I want your attention, but I don’t know how to get it.

I have never learned how to assert myself and put my needs before the needs of others. I have never learned it is OK to tell you how I am feeling. I have never learned you will not judge me, belittle me or tell me I am wrong. I have never learned I am a whole person with feelings that are valid and real.

Between my former, abusive friendship where my feelings were always wrong and the anxiety that told me I was just overreacting, I never quite learned how to scream louder than a whisper.

So I’m writing this instead. Hoping someone’s friend will realize they are screaming in a whisper, because I can’t be the only one who does this.

In short texts and impulsive, unusual plans, I scream. I need your help during this time because I will never look you in the eye and tell you what’s going on. Because I have never learned to let another person outside of the family I grew up with love me, and allowed them to break down every wall between me and my demons. I have never learned people do not want to hurt me and turn against me when they get close enough.

But still I scream at you because right now, you are the only one I hope will hear my whispered screams.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Interior of St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic

Why Churches Need an Education on Mental Health

My Christian faith has always been a big part of my life starting from when I was young. I was sent to Catholic school and raised in a liberal but faith-filled family. My faith has always been something I turned to during my dark moments with depression and physical illness. I remember a time when [...]
Black and white photo of young man texting

Texts to the Crisis Text Line Double as Election Night Results Come In

Crisis Text Line – a text-based crisis hotline, which pairs those needing support with trained crisis counselors – reports they have received two times the amount of texts they usually receive following the results of the U.S. election early Wednesday morning. According to Liz Eddy, the director of communications for Crisis Text Line, the crisis line has never seen [...]
USA flag in the darkness.

People With Mental Illnesses Matter on This Historic Election Day

Our greatest desire, as humans, is to belong. Every single one of us wants to be seen, accepted, and loved, exactly as we are. As an individual with several mental illnesses I understand this need, and I understand that not everyone can feel like they belong. It has been a struggle, but believe it or not, [...]
woman in shadows crying on black

To the Mental Health Nurse Who Called Me a ‘Burden’

Dear Jane,* As you might remember, a little over three months ago now, I went through a suicide attempt — my second in the course of a few days, in fact. My partner and full-time carer did all he could to ensure my safety, including calling the crisis team, who we were told to call [...]