Silent Voices (Updated)
Author: G S Walsh-Hill

Chapter 3
What happens Next

It is from my own experience that I have been able to give insight into suicide. My life has been one nightmare after another, with brief interludes of normalcy.  That however does not lead to becoming suicidal.  I know people who have suffered greatly in their lives, and yet have found the courage and tenacity to push past all that could have held them back.   They have belief in themselves, in their family, their values and their own ability to persevere.

What people like myself lack is that knowledge of our own self worth.  We lack the ability to look at an event and see it for what it is... a trial, a set back.  If you take nothing else from this , I hope you will take this knowledge with you.  Suicide has it's origin in self recrimination and self loathing.  The inability for a person to feel they have any value, that they will always struggle because they are not good enough, or smart enough, or worthy enough. 

Teenagers are at a higher risk of suicide because their place in the world is forever shifting, being moulded by hormones, parents, teachers, peers, bullies and by their physical appearance.  What may have been something they were once proud of suddenly changes and they are unable to bring a cohesion of before and now, bringing about a dilemma.  Some teenagers are given vast amounts of freedom, others are held in check by their parents.  Neither stance is right or wrong, but please make sure that at all times you take the time to talk to your teen. 

They may not appear to appreciate this time, and they may even appear to be unwilling participants.  That does not matter, talk about what life was like for you, let them know that there are going to be times where they will have to make a choice.  Tell them about the times you noticed physical changes and how you felt about them.  They may gag, they may even show revulsion, thats fine, but at least they know that you understand somewhat.  Telling your teen that you were a teen once too does not garner respect and interaction.  Telling them your experiences, your moments of shame, your times of crisis will.

When someone is suicidal their life does carry on, on the outside at least.  Inwardly they are shutting down, and little is able to penetrate the fog.  On the outside everyone thinks we are doing okay, a little withdrawn, but can still hold a conversation and laugh at a good joke.  What isnt known is that the responses are automatic; there is no emotional input or output other than the obiligatory smile or grimace.  For myself, I felt dead inside; while others thought I looked okay.

The saddest thing of all is that it is not our lives we are trying to end; it’s the nightmare, the numbness, the isolation.  Unfortunately, ending nightmare also ends life.

The fog is so dense, it is impenetrable.  Some how if you should see the fog around your loved one, try to push through, and get urgent medical attention.  Ignore them if they say they’re ok, or tell you to leave them alone.  They have given up, there is no fight left.   They may hate you for saving them, but once they battle their fear they will be well again.  It takes a long time, and it is hard work but it does happen.

If you could see the fog, but couldn’t break through, or you were too late, or you just didn’t know what was going on, or you couldn’t see the fog at all, and didn’t even know it was there, that’s okay.  It really is okay.  It’s not your fault, please remember that.  No-one who has tried or committed true suicide blames anyone for their being there and they certainly do not blame you for not saving them, or for not knowing.  They don’t blame you, they love you.  They were no longer aware that anyone was there, they thought they were alone, and the darkness feeds on loneliness.  

It doesn’t matter what sort of parent, spouse, sibling, lover, or friend you are or were.  I had a life full of trial, abuse, sickness, and injury, but that is not the reason I attempted suicide and I do not blame any of my victimisers for the attempts I made.  My mother was not a mother at all, yet I still don’t blame her for my suicide attempt, it wasn’t her or anyone else.  It was the complete isolation I felt and that was no ones fault, not even mine.  I just didn’t have the tools to fight it and I didn’t have the energy to try anymore.

If you can reach them, that’s great, but don’t bully them or try to bring them out, just pass them some rope and hold on for dear life.  Let them know that you are there and that they are not alone.  No matter what bogey monster is in there with them, it can’t touch you.  Try to keep things as quiet as possible, just sit with them.  Don’t panic, and don’t let those around you panic.  Get in plenty of support, not just for them, but for you too. 

If things work out well, they will recover and when they have, don’t be waiting for the next bomb to fall.  No matter what you do or say, if that nightmare still exists in some small part of them, and if they don’t have the tools to deal with it, it will take hold again.  So my advice to you, don’t try to fix what you can’t see, but just let them know they are loved, and make sure that the mental health professionals are doing all they can.  Don’t bring up what they did, or hate them for it.  That is your issue and you cannot pass that on to someone else no matter how justified you feel.

There is no quick fix for feeling suicidal, I haven’t felt suicidal in almost two and a half years, but I know that it is up to me to stay that way and it is my view of everyday life that will give me the strength to get through should I ever feel that way again.  Also I am not ashamed of what I did, I’m not proud of it, but nor am I wallowing in regret.  It happened, I coped the best way I could, but now I know of better ways.

So forget all about the light at the end of the tunnel, it is there, but they cant see it, nor can they believe in it, its just another thing they cant get to, so pack your bags and jump into their nightmare with both feet and show them the way out if you can, and if you cant, that is okay, they love you all the same.


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