Suicide: A personal account of life on the edge

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‘Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I wish I could make that a motto for a world void of compassion and love’

Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a victim of suicide? Do you know anyone who is considering suicide? Have you ever been suicidal? What even causes someone to become suicidal?

The questions are like a marathon not like a sprint. They seem endless to those who’ve never been on this track. But consider questions for those whose life unfortunately run on this track. The days are like laps on a track of doom. 

As someone who had spent years on that road, I wanted to just weigh in on the issue of suicide. My desire to share my story was spawned from negative comments I read online after reading the sad tale of Alana Michael’s passing.

I felt compelled to share my story, praying that so many others battling this scourge would find hope. But above this I pray that individuals having a hard time understanding may get insight into how they may be able to help those who are on this road.

I am no trained expert in dealing with suicide or suicidal thoughts, nor people dealing with suicidal thoughts. I am however, as sad it may be, very experienced in attempted suicide!

My abridged narrative of my story, I pray, inspires those individuals in this battle to seek support. The shame is a heavy burden, and I know it may feel like you have no options.

It’s important to talk about what you are going through, your feelings do matter and need to be addressed. I learned the hard way that feelings are the devil’s playground and it’s why you need “adult-supervision” to borrow the phrase!

For many years I have been suicidal and have even been a patient at Clarevue Hospital. There may still be a note on my file there detailing the abuse I suffered and what started me on the marathon. I suffered years of narcissistic spousal abuse. I was constantly belittled and disrespected and treated like I was not important unless I gave in to whatever my wife wanted. 

I was always threatened with divorce or leaving and taking the kids. I could not disagree with anything she wanted or it would be a verbal assault! Her favourite phase was always that I never supported her. I never help with anything and she has to do everything by herself. I was jealous of her and always competing against her.

It did not matter how many hours I worked, it would always come down to me preferring work over the family. If I played golf, or watched football or went fishing, I was accused of caring only about those things. All my charity work became me caring about other people more than my family. Constantly being told that I used my family as a status symbol.

If I tried to talk about the things she said, it was a constant shut down and the silent treatment. She would hang up the phone if she did not like a point I made. I was told ‘intimacy’ begins in the morning, so if I missed a step during the day I am punished by night.

Always made to feel as though I see her only for ‘intimacy’. Intimacy for me became like a reward if I did good or a curse of guilt for a wrong word during the day.

Throughout the years I put the best face forward and lived in shame on the inside. The biggest challenge was the impressions she gave others that I was the one with psychological and personality issues.

She portrayed me as a controlling manipulative husband who tried to hold her back. Yet somehow managing to always speak publicly of me as though she worshipped me?

But it became worse when she declared that she was called by God to preach. I was literally called by her and her apostle, a servant of the devil and even the devil’s son sent to stop her from fulfilling God’s will.

Her apostle became, “the man God put in her life”. Sadly, I became more like a dog. She would do private sessions at his house, and my protest became me trying to stop God’s will for her life.

The situation got even worse as I no longer had any say in my own house. Her apostle boasted to my face in the presence of another pastor and his wife that ‘my job was to fulfill the plans of he and my wife,’ all the while watching my children’s college fund disappear.

My wife would be on WhatsApp with another “work friend” and have discussions about moving to Trinidad where there are plenty of restaurants to keep me busy so they (she and her friend) could have time together. 

Trying to talk about these things would bring wrath from my own wife. Her apostle even prayed curses against me and my finances and prayed that I must suffer “in Jesus’ name”.

Yet her response is always the same, “I don’t care, I was not there and it has nothing to do with me”. She mocks me with her “friend” and welcomes his advances to join on her work trip, and on her return he informed her that he prefers that next time she gets a room with a pool, to which she replied, my next trip is in Trinidad so no pool for him, with a sad face emoji.

When I spoke about the messages, she deleted them and called me a liar, as though deleting them meant it never happened? I suppose the eyes of God does not see deleted messages or what happened.

The scripture says, you can’t love the God you cannot see yet hate the brethren you can see. Yet somehow my wife does not understand that disrespecting and disregarding the husband she can see means she is doing the same to the husband (Christ) she cannot see.

The Bible admonishes us to meditate upon God’s precepts, does it not? Lying lips is an abomination unto the Lord. In other words, you call God a liar when you lie, because God sees all, whether deleted or not.

Being in the Caribbean it is very difficult for a man to speak about spousal abuse. I carried the hurt and pain for so many years. I suffered the depressions and the isolation. I know the feeling of shame.

During those times the burdens of the belief that my life was transparent and everyone knew what was happening weighed me down. My character being shredded in private and confidence being stripped took its toll.

I descended to a paltry and sickly state, and even found my work performance declining. It was like self-destruction, except it was my own wife who was destroying me. “Wise woman builds her house, but the foolish woman plucks it down with her own hands.” A true proverb of Solomon is still timeless and accurate.

I know what it is to be lost in thought and no answer to the plethora of questions running through my mind. During those times I became a zombie and did not feel like a part of my own family. I know what it feels like to sit in the same place every day and watch the time pass cluelessly, as if it were a second.

I know the feeling of thinking you’re going crazy because you can’t talk to anyone, out of fear of facing the wrath of your own spouse.

Physical pain became a source of avoidance of the emotional and mental pain. I sadly preferred the headaches and the agony of knee pain, to the point people wondered if I was pretending how bad the pain was.

If only they truly knew the soothing effects of the determinate nature of physical pain over the indeterminate scourge and drudgery of emotional and psychological hurt! This tells of the strength it requires to take one’s own life; not weakness, not confusion, but clarity.

But worse, I know what it feels like trying to portray strength and toughness as a man while feeling like you’re dying inside. I wanted to be stronger so I faked strength. I wanted to not show weakness so I tried to blend in to everything with everyone.

I did all of this in hopes of maintaining dignity and sanity and the hope of avoiding the bottomless septic doldrums of depression. Depression is a never ending void of self-loathing and confusion wrestling with the demons for your life.

I lived a life which appeared as lies while my love, my partner, my wife robbed me of every ounce of dignity as a man, all behind closed doors. Even as I write my confidence is shattered, while she still pretends and mocks with her “friend”.

So many years, over 14 years now, since it started to turn this way. Numerous attempts at suicide, yet so many failures.

Literally I begged God to let me die, yet I am still here thank God. The abuse has not stopped, but I’m no longer wallowing in the stagnant morass of depression and despair. My confidence will grow back as God gives me his strength to walk in Christ.

It was and still is like a never-ending battle. But knowing the work of God’s hand in me to deliver me, I keep faith in Him and encourage belief in deliverance for others. 

It is my prayer that my story helps others to find strength and to recognise they are not alone. Your station in life does not make you weak nor make your life less valuable. I myself had a respectable career until the abuse reached it heights, but eventually the strength waned without support.

It is my belief that it is not weak people who are suicidal. Yes, some people use suicide to escape punishment and some do have mental issues. I do however, based on experience, believe most suicidal people are passionate, loving, caring people. I personally believe it is our passion (which is one of our greatest strengths) that makes us vulnerable. 

I do not hold to the belief that people who are suicidal are weak, feckless people incapable of love for others. Rather I stand on the grounds that suicidal people are in fact the opposite; people who struggle to accept the lack of love and compassion that surround us.

In today’s selfish world where human and family interactions have become subservient to personal achievements and positions of power and fame, suicide becomes an unfortunate outlet.

As an introspective person I find rationality and logic to be a place of solace. Precepts upon precept. A precept can only be true if it applies in all situations.

This dilemma for the suicidal makes for an almost endless life of depression without help. Introspection without perspective can be a dangerous battlefield for an unsuspecting victim with no battle plan.

It is a dereliction of duty to not seek help. In other words, we keep rationalising all the actions of people and it makes no sense, and it sinks us even more! It would help if we could just talk about it! Acknowledge our feelings and how the actions of others impact us. Don’t lie, let’s talk and move forward, kind of approach.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, says my cousin. I like that, and wish I could make that a motto for a world void of compassion and love.

The scripture says, the greatest love is self-sacrifice. That’s right, giving up what you have, even your own life, for the benefit of others.

Sometimes suicidal people desire the end of pain and suffering which abound in this world of greed and selfishness. No they don’t believe they are Christ, nor are they trying to replace the work of the Lord. But sometimes it is a way to avoid acting on the hurt. I reached the place of being like a balloon at full stretch and about to explode to avoid hurting anyone.

I encourage everyone today to take time to notice the people around you. Don’t look at when they are mindful, but when they are alone. Notice the person with his head down, the person without a friend, or even the person lost and looking like they have found the end.

Greet that person with a smile, try and talk for a while. Just remember, maybe, just maybe, the end could somehow justify the means. God bless.

 Name withheld

Thoughts and views expressed in Observations do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Observer NewsCo, its management or staff.

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