Sometimes what I write is eloquent and pretty and insightful. Sometimes it’s painful and wrenching and filled with my emotions and pain. Believe it or not though… I do censor what I put out there. I have had many people tell me that I share so openly but the truth is that no one has any idea of the numerous journal entries that will never see the light of day because of their content and because of how what is inside of me is displayed on the page. How sometimes the ugly part of what we went through with Willie is just too much to put out there. That I , many times, decide that something is too loaded and too vulgar to share – even though I know that in order for us all to really grasp what hell mental illness can be – we need to see that ugly side. So with that in mind, here’s where my head is at tonight…you don’t have to understand or agree with me…barely a glimpse into torment
I remember a few thoughts I had when the police officer told me that Willie was dead. The first thought was not so much a thought as it was simply a feeling. No. To this day, that still sits within me. That first guttural reaction of the belief that what I had been told couldn’t be true still rears up every now and then. I know, intellectually, that Willie is dead; but emotionally and instinctively…. That’s another story.
Recently, in a therapy session, while talking about accepting that what Willie did was what he really wanted I said something that was a recall of a thought I had during those first few moments. Unremembered for almost two years and then just there… the words out of my mouth capturing a thought so repellant to me that I didn’t want to think it, never mind voice it.
That thought was relief. Relief that his attempt had been successful. Not in the sense that I was relieved he was dead… but relief that his biggest fear wouldn’t come true. Willie had shared with me that he was so afraid of trying to kill himself and having it not be successful and that he would be left brain-damaged or vegetative… and unable to complete what he had been attempting. While my conscious mind was in shock at hearing that he was dead…. While I wanted more than anything for him to not have done what he did… there was some part of me in that split second that was relieved that he wasn’t going to face what he was scared of by attempting. Also that I wasn’t going to have to face what to do… he had come to me a couple of months earlier with an internet story of a teen that had tried to kill herself and had been saved. As a result, she was unable to move or speak and was mentally damaged from the attempt. Yet, she was somewhat cognitive. Willie showed it to me and he asked me that if that ever happened that I had to promise him that I would end his life for him at that point – that if he wasn’t physically able to, he asked me to. That may sound like an odd conversation but he was very open about being suicidal and as a result, we all were. To allay his fears, I promised him that I would… I also re-iterated that we would get through this all and that suicide was not the answer.
As I stood there and heard the words from that police officer I was flooded with emotions and thoughts and feelings beyond description and at a rate that defied me being able to even connect with it all. I felt what I had heard described as the world stopping or the bottom falling out of everything.
It’s only now, almost 2 years later that those few moments are starting to slow down enough for me to decipher what is in them. With each second uncovered and recalled the pain burns in a new way… grief is raw and sometimes what we need to talk about with regards to suicide is raw too, but this is the only way it comes out of the shadows and gets dealt with.