Alone With Her Guilt

randomlychad  —  June 11, 2012 — 12 Comments

'Suicide prevention notice' photo (c) 2009, Samantha Marx - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/My cheeks are rose-tinted with the hot flush of a smoldering rage. Because it happened.

Again.

A smart, capable, accomplished woman—skilled in the art of healing, possessed of the patience of Job, and the bedside manor of an angel– was taken in her prime.

Not by accident, nor incident, but by the rigors of life.

I did not know her, but I knew her, you know? I know women like her.

My mom, for instance—a woman who: taught elementary age children, worked as a youth probation officer (her handcuffs were real—I know), and ended her career as a youth diversion coordinator, keeping kids out of the justice system. If anyone has suffered through the slings and arrows of life, it’s her. Add to that a troubled marriage, subsequent divorce, and one could safely say that life did its number on her.

She was:

Bowed, yes. Broken, assuredly. But alive.

Not so much this other woman I mention above. As a wife, mom, and
bringer of hope to many, she had none left for herself:

In her mind, the career she loved took the brunt of the blame for a
marriage that was failing. Somehow, it was solely her fault.
Despite a husband declaring his love for another, and a desire to
leave.

So this smart, capable, talented soul–a light to so many–snuffed out
her own light, leaving behind her young children. Soul crushed beneath
the weight of a guilt that wasn’t solely hers to bear.

How did we not see? We who knew, or knew of, her? Why did we not see
past the happy veneer to the hurting soul inside? How did she not keep
any hope for herself alive?

Why did she believe the lie that she was alone–that she alone was to blame?

Why?

Because smart, capable, and accomplished is no match for some lies.
Especially those predicated upon false premises. Falsest of all: that
you are alone.

Because you are not. Women—men, too–please don’t be the woman I here wrote of. We need you. We need your gifts, your talents… We need you. Only you can tell your tale.

Have you ever been there? Known someone who was? How did you come back from the brink?

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • Counseling. Medication. Friends.

    • Yes--amen to all of those. Each are important in talking us down from the ledges of lies we, or our brain chemistries, build to our detriment.

  • I had an uncle who ended his life not 50 yards away from my house when I was 16. I wonder what it was that drove him to that often.

    • Wow, Larry! I can’t imagine what that would be like. That was the impetus behind this post--what drives a person to that extreme?

      • Larry, so sorry to hear that.

  • Last August my nephew, in the height of success in his career, committed suicide. It didn’t make sense, but I don’t think suicide can ever make sense.
    We aren’t alone, but it’s hard for some people to see past that. These can be tough reminders to be proactive as friends, as communities, to watch out for those hurting, especially those that are good at hiding thier pain.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your nephew.

      It’s indeed a mystery why some can’t see past the lie that “alone” whispers to them.

      And I think you’re right: proactive is the way to be. Well said.

      We are to be our “brother’s keeper” in that way.

  • I actually just wrote a post about this. As a survivor of attempted suicide, I can answer your question as to why a person would take that route: Depression is a lying bitch.
    http://www.theworld4realz.com/depression-is-a-lying-bitch-wouldnt-you-say/

    • It sure is, isn’t it? One of the most insidious liars. Thanks for your comment, and your honesty (read your post).

  • I’ve been there and I think many have been there too but are afraid to admit it. I think the key is to focus on the long term, not the short term. No matter what pain you are facing, things will get better. You aren’t alone. EVER. There is ALWAYS hope. ALWAYS!!!!

    • Oh, amen, Jim--the long term view is key. Sometimes we think we can’t live thorough the pain right then and there.

      And you’re right: there is always hope.