I just found out last week that one of my Facebook friends committed suicide. My heart is hurting. It hurts not only for her death, but for her life. She and I had way too much in common.
I will not say I knew her well. I didn't. But the bond we did share is that we each were abused in domestic violence related attacks, we were each not believed within the court system, we each lost access to the ones we loved the most (our children), we each battled the fear of it happening again, and we each went spiraling into depression and lost identity the day they left.
I loved her because I KNEW the pain she went through. We instantly bonded, as so many other victims of domestic and sexual violence and I have done over the last several years. I knew her fear. I knew her distrust. I knew her hatred for what wouldn't leave her alone and continued to torment her. I knew her heartache and that is what makes me cry even now. I know that place of wanting to die because it feels like the pain is too much to handle. Justice doesn't reign in so many cases of domestic violence or other types of abuse. Losses come and so many people and professionals look to the victim like they are the one at fault.
I know how hard it is to lose your children because of someone's else's hatred and lies. I know how hard it is to feel like everyone is blaming you. From a person who knows the struggle, I know how hard it is to keep going when everything begins to feel like it's your fault. I felt crazy and many people were telling me I was.
My friend lost access to her son a few months ago. She killed herself because of it. I have spent years in therapy and at the footstool of Christ trying to make sense over not being able to see my own children, not being able to hold them and raise them and show them my heart. I spent years wanting and praying to die. My life withstood the pressure and I came out on the other side. I cry because I don't why my friend didn't make it. I cry because I know how hard it is to withstand that kind of pain in losing a child. I cry because I know the injustice that is felt and the disbelief that people can't see the truth. I cry because she's gone and her children will never know her in person on this earth.
If you are in a situation where you feel suicide is your way out, please reconsider. Please call me or contact a suicide hotline. Our children are only children for a time. They grow up and God has showed me in the last several years that life isn't about whether we lose or we win. It is about Him. He stepped into my gap of loss with seeing all four of my children. He stepped in and gave me life despite what the court system and the people of this world took from and said about me. He is the One we need most of all and I give my friends life to Him, even in her death. She was a believer and I know she was loved by Him.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
People that want to hurt other people are everywhere. I expect that some have been hurt themselves, some are just mean and some are probably disabled with mental illness. Some do it intentionally and some do not.
I watch so many people lose focus on their own life because of how others are mistreating them or oftentimes how they think others are mistreating them. They lose their own hopes and dreams and become lost in the drama and chaos of others and how they are treated.
How do you move past this? It isn't always easy, but it is possible. My life changed the day I decided that I wasn't going to focus on what was 'lost' or what I didn't have, but on what I did have. I was going to be positive, not negative. I stopped trying to 'prove' my innocence and decided to live. When bad things came, I dealt with it and moved on. When triggers from my past came, I prayed and learned to let things go. I faced my fears with the help of Jesus Christ and moved on. The Lord changed my heart and my perspective on my own life. Without Him, I don't think I could have ever found myself again. Without Him, I know I couldn't have found life again.
At first glance, I didn't see that I had much to be positive about at that time in my life. I had one suitcase, was living in a hotel room in another city and had little to no access to my children. My parents weren't really talking to me, I didn't believe that any of my friends were still friends and I was wandering around lost and feeling completely alone. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I had bought the lie that those hurtful people were saying about me. I bought the lie and didn't think I had anything to offer to anyone. I bought the lie that my mistakes made me someone awful. Lord help those that really think that about themselves and feel they must put others down to life themselves up.
What I didn't realize at that time, is that others can't hurt me if I don't believe the lie. I had been telling myself this same lie since I was a young girl. I have no idea why. My parents never minimized me in this way. They didn't speak these negative words over me as a child. I still have no idea why I thought so little of myself as a little girl, but I did. The change in my heart began when I stepped back into my childhood and realized that I was loved. I was adored by Christ at that time. Even if I didn't know Him, He knew me. Even if I never felt it from my parents, Jesus did love me and this was most important of all. Once I realized I was loved and that I mattered, things began to change. Once I began speaking life over myself instead of death, I started knowing that I was important. Everything began to change.
I think one of the hardest things in life is to face our past and to face our fears. If we don't know the truth and aren't willing to face it because of fear, I think we live in a life that isn't the fullest we can have. I think it's impossible to live in 'freedom' until we face those things that haunt us. Many can't face these things, I believe, because they don't have an advocate to do it. People in life fail us, and we think there isn't anyone to help. This isn't true. Jesus is our advocate and He is there. It isn't always comfortable and it isn't always fun, but I do believe He works things for our good. It's up to us to seek Him and ask Him what He thinks about our life and the situations in it.
Start today. Move forward regardless of what you have or what you don't have. Move forward regardless of what has happened to you, what others say about you, or even what you believe. Choose to live and be positive. You can't change anyone but yourself, so start today. Ask Christ for help. Live the best life you can live for as long as you are here. The worst thing isn't death to me if you believe in Christ, you have eternity. I believe the worst thing is to waste your life and everything in it because of the fear of what you can't control anyway.
Rachel Everhart RN