“It Could Never Happen To Me”

**Trigger Warning: suicide, abuse, self harm**
I used to think it could never happen to me. I was always the strong one, the normal one, the one who could keep on going and never give up. My family was always really small. My father was an only child and my only aunt on my mother’s side had committed suicide four weeks before my third birthday. Ever since I could remember I had seen the repercussions of mental health problems. My earliest memory consisted of awaking in the middle of the night when I was three or four years old to find my father in his bedroom crying and begging for God to take his life. My sister was born with special needs which put an additional strain on me and the family. Both my parents were diagnosed with manic depression and were prescribed Citalapram. After my parents got divorced there was always a time when one of them was bad. My mother would sit crying, not eating, refusing to get out of bed. My father would cry, exclaim his worthlessness and attempt suicide. At one point he was hospitalised for mental health issues after the death of his mother.
Throughout my childhood I suffered episodes of both emotional and physical abuse from both of my parents. I was always the strong one, the one that held the family together, the one who could not and would not fall apart. Nobody could ever see me as weak. At fifteen I was locked in my bedroom and physically abused by my mother. I decided to jump out the window and run away from home. I left for over a month and felt that no-one was on my side, not the police, not either of my parents, social workers or the school. I was alone, as I always had been.
Five years later I have a semi-functional relationship with my parents. But not having to be strong for other people had left me realising I was just overcompensating. I’ve had suicidal thoughts. I’ve self harmed. I currently have such severe panic attacks that I cannot physically move for up to two hours. I’ve achieved a lot on my own – getting into university and fully funding myself, but this was something that represented failure to me. I’m not meant to be ill. I am meant to be able to cope. Luckily, I have the support of my wonderful boyfriend who supports me and loves me more and more each day no matter how bad I get. Under his advice I finally went to the doctor. They prescribed me the same pills as my parents had been on. I’ve started taking them, however to be truthful I don’t know if they are making me worse or better. They represent my worst fears – becoming my parents. I don’t know what will happen. Sometimes I have good days and sometimes I have bad days. My mental health issues don’t make me like my parents, and having mental health problems doesn’t make me weak. I know this to be true, just somedays I need a little more convincing than others.

Share this article
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Comments are closed.