Safety checks

I’m someone who is suicidal frequently. The pain of what I’ve had to endure is overwhelming and I often think about suicide. I think this is a more common occurrence then is talked about which is why I’m choosing to post about it now. The first time I mentioned wanting to die, I was 7 or 8. I said if unicorns weren’t real I would rather be dead. Most would think this is a harmless statement of a child except children don’t talk about death and wanting to die unless they’re significant stressed. This was passed off as a ‘cute’ story in my family and is mentioned as something funny to this day. But it’s not funny. Not at all. I was being abused, pretty severely, and had no safe place to go. I did want to be dead and those feelings have stayed with me on and off for most of my life.

The first time I tried to kill myself I was 14. The gang rape I had endured was before christmas and I’m not sure I came out of the fog of disassociation until the spring. When I did, all I could think about was death. I finally decided to kill myself. My parents kept their medication in the back cabinet and I searched for the biggest pills thinking they would do the most damage. I took a whole bottle of them and some tylenol and went to bed feeling glad I wouldn’t have to wake up in the morning. Most people see teenage suicide attempts as attention seeking or a call for help. But I was serious. I had not done my homework, I left a note with how I wanted to be buried and the music I wanted played at my funeral. But. I woke  up. I was fine really, just a stomach ache and I went to school. As the day went on I felt worse and worse and was nauseaus and sweaty. I ended up throwing up in gym class and my dad came to get me.

I had two friends who were very concerned about me and figured out what I did. They went to the school counselor and she called my parents. I remember being called from class and wondering what was going on? I saw my parents pacing in the tiny room and thought ‘oh shit’. They had clearly come from work, my mom in her scrubs and my dad in his work clothes. They listened to the counselor who said I needed therapy and my parents agreed. At home, my parents were more concerned about who was more to blame versus getting me help. My mother told me I took old antibiotics which would not kill me (good thing to tell a suicidal teenager, what won’t kill her). They eventually did take me to see a psychologist who assessed me for OCD since it runs rampant in my family, and that was all. It was never mentioned again.

My second attempt was when I was 37. I had just started trauma therapy with a lovely and well meaning but not qualified therapist. She decided to try EMDR and was not certified. It rocketed me into a psychotic break and I heard a voice telling me to kill myself. I was close. the police and EMS were needed and I went for my second hospitalization. I was there for a little over 2 weeks.

Now I have thoughts again and a plan. I try not to make a plan for carrying these thoughts out. I’ve been hospitalized 4 times and I have to say, I always felt safe in the hospital. The staff, the safety checks, the other pts all made me feel more like I’m not alone. I got better after each admission and felt better too. However, I have no desire to go back because there’s a loss of privacy too and loss of freedom too. I miss my family and am often restless during group sessions. I am having a setback for sure but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. If you’re feeling like you’re in a crisis, please reach out, call the national suicide hotline or text 741741 or go to the emergency room. We’re all a work in progress. We can’t stop.

5 thoughts on “Safety checks

  1. I walk around most days feeling like life is just a movie with no plot. My husband says he doesn’t know what to do for me when I describe how estranged I feel from my environment. Leaving the city helped some, but I fear I may never recover, don’t know…maybe that’s okay…you know like…it is what it is. I went through something similar at 12. I felt I was watching life from inside a tunnel, like my body was withdrawn from itself and I was peering out from my eyes like they were binoculars or something. I experienced this through my 20’s when a therapist who was a veteran suggested I had PTSD. By my 30’s life became more normal. Since my car accident April 25th 2017 things definitely are not the same. I have gone into wild hysteria and then suffered 2 more accidents—one in a cab—I was not driving. This all occurred within a 6 week period. I began having conversations with Gd wanting to know what he was doing with all these accidents.”..just kill me already” I cried after the cab accident. I feel removed and cold sometimes so much that I wonder about my sanity. I went through such psychosis that my neighbors noticed and called the police to take me to the hospital. I have been hospitalized several times since for about 2 weeks plus a couple of times. Pain does not phase me now, I bottomed out emotionally after the first accident in April, the rest did me In psychologically I think as time went on. A friend let me stay at their place in the country, the city sirens and car noise make me worse; so, I appreciate it. I feel, sense, perceive that depression is part of what I experience, but I have no sadness since just after bottoming out emotionally after the 25th April accident. I kind of emotionally went off the scales and then FLATLINED emotionally as the landscape of emotion became a Sahara of sorts. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but in a way of sorts I have to struggle against slipping mentally into psychotic thinking. It seems I am always—these days—a hairs breath away from psychotic—painfully psychotic thoughts concerning what is real or not real. I mentally have to exert myself to steer away from psychotic ideas that pertain to the episodes I previously experienced after 25 April.


  2. Dear SurvivingCPTSD,
    You are a brave warrior and I thank you for your website. I am recently realizing that I have been misdiagnosed by several Psychiatrists and finally getting to an understanding of what is “wrong” with me. Am feeling hopeful and in information gathering mode right now. Thank you for your writings and the resource list and be well.


  3. I see these posts/comments are from last year. But all of this just so resonates with me that I just have to say this anyway. I wish I had seen this earlier but, trauma recovery (whatever that looks like) runs it’s own course in it’s own time frame with each of us I guess. I’ve had to fight my Mother’s husband’s off my entire life! And others too. Suicide attempts 2. Suicide thoughts (it’s always there , my little shadow) Hospitalizations 2, not counting outpatient treatment. It’s 3:07 am and my anxiety won’t let my brain shut up. I’m still so unsettled by the way the last Psychologist that I saw treated me over a month ago! She really set me back big time with her condescending, dismissal of my obvious PTSD. To be fair I’ve had some good therapists/Doctors etc over the years. Talked with some caring folks on hotlines, some therapy groups definitely more helpful than others but how any Mental Health Professional could just negate my trauma like she did and send me reeling, retraumatized right off a cliff!!! Really? Well if this isn’t what PTSD looks like then what?? My 1st step Dad had red hair a mustache and played golf. To this day, almost 50 years later, you guessed it, Don’t like red heads don’t like facial hair at all and Yeah, not a big fan of golf!! And now thanks to her not a big fan of Doctors right now either, in fact not a big fan of people in general. That’s how it effects me. When someone really hurts me I associate everything about that situation and person as negative and it’s just one more thing I have to avoid. And the more traumatized I feel the more avoidant I become till I’m practically shut off from everyone and everything! Just speaking up/telling the truth let alone reaching out for help is so fraught with danger, and if your words don’t land on the ears of an open minded compassionate caring person then you open yourself up to all kinds of torment. Speaking out is risky!!! No wonder people don’t!!!


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