I was a little girl from Saint Louis MO, born in the mid 80’s, born to an alcohol and drug-addicted mother. When living in a world when laying on the floor becomes the norm to avoid gun shots flying thorough your home, you would think, “Wow, she never had a chance!” You are almost right. Don’t get me wrong, at that time, I loved my family, but I didn’t love myself. I didn’t know who I was.
I was also the fat sister, friend, cousin, aunt and what I thought most: the inconvenience. It seems like no matter what I did or how well I did it, I was still fat. On top of dealing with the world outside of home, being the fat kid, I was the dirty kid. I couldn’t take showers or bath because of my home situation. I sometimes couldn’t take care of myself because sometimes my family did not have lights, gas or running water. I had a mother and sister who always looked down on me because I was fat. This is what triggered for me I was never good enough or that I was unacceptable. These are 5% of the many reasons of why I started to hate myself and at the age of 12, I wanted to kill myself.
Now being older, it’s a shame that we have a community of people, including children, who want to kill themselves. Some of these feelings can be brought on by their surroundings, being teased, not seeing a way out of their current situation or the lack of knowledge to change it! Feelings of shame, regret and feeling hopeless play a part as well. We in the black community, don’t allow black children to be vulnerable enough to speak about what’s going on in the depths of their souls. We don’t allow black children the freedom of expression and openness needed to look beyond the surface of what is going on so we as those whom love them have the understanding of the essence of who they are. We get caught up in our own lives and issues that we mismanage our children! Although this may not be intentional as it was in my case, however It is vital that we make the black children in our lives a priority. We should never have a situation where a black child feels left behind, ignored, unloved or abandoned!
If parents don’t become involved at an early age, or at that onset of a possible problem, you run the risk of missing the signs the child may have for suicidal ideation or a possible attempt on their own lives.
If asked about my past history with suicide or attempts, I can honestly say I did contemplate suicide at age 12. I had my first attempt to kill myself at age 16, then again at age 24. In retrospect, I am so thankful that I am alive, but I still battle with those old feelings of worthlessness, abandonment, shame, anger, voiceless and feeling unloved.
I know who I am at 34. But I still have bouts of depression which lead to these dark thoughts of what the world would look like without me in it. However, the takeaway from my story is that you can make it out, your circumstances will and do change if you decide to change them. I was fortunate to have other people outside my family love me, speak life into me and show me there was a better way for my life to change outside of attempting to end it.
I am glad that I am alive to see what the rest of my life holds for me. I am excited to plan, try new things, and explore the world around and beyond me. Take heart. You can make it out of the dark places. Asking for help does not make your weak, soft or unworthy. You have every right to ask for what you need from the people that love you. If they can’t help you don’t feel comfortable asking, their are teachers and the other counseling options that will help you without judgment.
You write this story. Don’t quit in the middle. You will never see how it ends if you do that.