Let’s have a conversation… about suicide
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STORY TOLD NOT BY US HERE AT HEY! MOM, BUT BY A MOM WHO WANTED TO SHARE HER STORY ANONYMOUSLY. I URGE YOU TO READ THE ENTIRE THING.
It was raining that afternoon; my husband and kids were upstairs. I kept thinking my kids don’t need me; they have so many people who love them. I went down stairs, went in the kitchen and took the first knife I could find. My husband came down first and I could hear my son coming downstairs, so I ran to the washroom. My husband called the ambulance and they took me to the hospital.
The first time I did it was in 4th grade. Kids are mean. In 6th grade I cut too deep, and my secret was out. So when you find yourself back in the hospital at the age of 24, with 2 kids the age of 1 and 5 you know this is not postpartum. This is something else; this is a secret I can never let out.
I had just finished high school when my son was born. I was 19 years old and had zero knowledge of how to be a mom; heck I didn’t even really know how to fully take care of myself yet. Weeks before he was born I had already started to put pressure on myself and doubted my abilities to be a mom. I remember obsessively thinking what if I don’t cry when I first hold him? The thought consumed me so much that when he was first handed to me, I didn’t cry. Then, my first thought was “what if he doesn’t love me”, and that’s where the guilt started.
My husband, who was still my boyfriend at the time, was the one who worked and I was a stay at home mom. We stayed at my parents’ house on weekdays and went to my in laws on the weekends. My son had an instant bond with my mother-in-law and that was the first time I felt like my own son didn’t need me. It was like all I was good for was to feed him; I was a walking, talking vending machine. But my son was a good baby, he never cried unless he was hungry and he was always such a happy boy. So who was I to complain about anything? I had it all, my life, to the world was perfect. Except, I hated myself so much, I hated what kind of mom I was, I hated all the guilt, I hated feeling like my son didn’t love me. As a first time mother I felt worthless.
Eventually when he turned 6 months I started college. The more I was away from him the more my mind agreed that he definitely didn’t need me. This led me to believe maybe I was a bad mom; maybe I didn’t love him as much as I thought I did; he definitely doesn’t love me. The stress from school and the guilt of being a bad mom overwhelmed me. This was when I first started to self injure myself again. I just needed my mind to shut up for a few minutes so I did this whenever I felt overwhelmed.
Three years flew by without seeking help, without telling anyone how I felt. Of course I didn’t tell anyone, how could I? On instagram and facebook my friends and family knew me as a great mom, about to finish nursing school, newly engaged, just bought a home. Everything was perfect…but being picture perfect was when it was the worst.
My daughter was born on the day of my college graduation. She is the complete opposite of her brother. Fierce and strong-willed from the moment she was born. She didn’t have problems breastfeeding but she did have problems with everything else. This is when I started to stay at home more. I couldn’t go anywhere because she cried all the time. Anytime I went out I felt like eyes were constantly on me, like everyone thought I was the worst mom ever, like I didn’t know what I was doing. For the first time as a mom, I felt complete hopelessness.
It was raining that afternoon; my husband and kids were upstairs. I kept thinking my kids don’t need me; they have so many people who love them. I went down stairs, went in the kitchen and took the first knife I could find. My husband came down first and I could hear my son coming downstairs, so I ran to the washroom. My husband called the ambulance and they took me to the hospital. During all the chaos the only thing I felt was guilt and content. Guilt, because how can I do this to my kids? Will this traumatize them for the rest of their lives? Content because I felt like if I didn’t survive they had people who loved them, they didn’t need me.
The psychiatrist diagnosed me with general anxiety disorder. He says it came from being a mom, “momxiety” in the flesh. From there I decided to get help and learn how to cope with being overwhelmed differently, for my kids. I wanted to watch them grow and become amazing humans. I talked to other moms about my struggles and realized I am not alone. Yes, everyone’s problems are different no one is going to be in the same exact situation as you. But, it’s good to know that other people recognize that being a mom is hard. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, a single mom, a working mom, a mom to one or a mom to multiples. Being a mom consumes your life; it becomes the main focus in your life. Anything you do is for your child, and it’s ok if you don’t have everything figured out.
Moms with mental health exist out there, I’m one. It’s a constant battle and it’s hard to explain to other people. How can I possibly feel like my life is worthless if I have it all? My problems seem so small compared to other moms, and maybe that’s why it’s hard to tell the world. I’m sure so many mothers struggle with a wide range of mental health. But we are too ashamed to share our experience. Whether it’s from pride or denial or embarrassment, we are afraid to let the world see our true struggles. Mothers are put up on the highest pedestal so we feel like we’ve failed the moment life throws us a curve ball.
Let’s continue this conversation, because everyone has struggles. No matter how big or small, it matters. It matters to your kids who look up to you and see you in a completely different way you see yourself. It matters to other moms who need the reassurance. It doesn’t get better in the blink of an eye, we need the support. I have 3 amazing kids now and yes I still needs days in advanced to plan a trip to the grocery store, yes I still choose to get take out and eat it in the van instead of the restaurant. But, I’m finally able to give myself a pat on the back every once in a while.
A mom who survived