I remember growing up and holding my sister when she was scared of my dad yelling. Afraid of his temper. Now that time is over. No more do I have to listen to my dad yell at my mom. I have to listen to my husband yell at me. I have to listen to him yell at the kids. And I have to hold scared crying kids who are afraid of his outbursts. 

J kept hitting W this morning. E grabbed j and held him, with him crying hysterically. For much of the time he was crying for me to help him. And I couldn’t. I ended up leaving the room hoping that if I wasn’t in view he would forget about me. He didn’t. And I listened to him cry for me more.  More than ten minutes he had him there. And I abandoned him. I didn’t argue. I didn’t ask e to stop. I just was quiet, hoping that e would figure out he wasn’t helping. He kept asking him if he was going to stop hitting and J kept responding no. He didn’t know what he was answering I don’t believe because he was so upset. 

I am such a bad parent for not helping him. 

Here’s the thing. Everyone keeps telling me I should live to help the kids. But I’m not helping. I’m just watching, too scared to help. If I died, I wouldn’t have to watch anymore. I wouldn’t have to see their pain. 

Afraid and alone

Afraid and alone

The last counseling appointment I was supposed to have got cancelled. She was sick. I was supposed to call the front desk to reschedule. I didn’t. 
I wanted so much for them to drop me. I wanted so much for them to terminate me. For me to be counselor-less. I took too long In between sessions. Now I’m no longer a client. If that happened, I would have permission to go through with killing myself. I can’t go through with it while I’m seeing a counselor. And well, if they told me I didn’t have a counselor, then I would be free. 
But they didn’t drop me. I called today. I have an appointment in a couple of weeks. I’ve already asked to talk about suicide. I’ve let her know that I’m safe, but significantly struggling.  
She will make sure I talk about suicide, but I don’t know how brave I can be. I don’t know how much I will be able to tell her. I don’t know if I will be able to look at her and tell her how afraid I am. I am considering writing the Samaritan’s again. To tell them everything. All I know is I’m extremely down. I’m afraid. Alone. And honestly, I don’t feel like fighting anymore. 
That person who I lived for that day at the creek is no longer in my life. That person who told me that they would be very sad if I killed myself. That person is no longer in my life. And I regret not going through with it then. I regret making the decision to come back. 
I feel trapped. I can’t kill myself. Yet I don’t want to live. I don’t know what I should do next. I don’t know how to fight this. I don’t know if I want to fight this. 

Three years ago on September 8th, I nearly took my life.
I had just gotten back from a work trip the day before. I was going to take the kids over to my parents for a day since he didn’t want to go. I would be back Saturday night or Sunday morning. I was ripping the family apart. Everything worked better when I wasn’t there. I just need to leave and not come back. I’ve struggled with suicidal thinking the majority of my life. This was exactly the permission I needed.
I gave the kids a hug. I told them how much I loved them. I grabbed my phone and a pocket knife. I had no intention of coming back that day. I didn’t want to come back. I couldn’t deal with his yelling. With his words. With his condemning everything I did. I wanted this to be the end. I had no strength. Nothing to keep going.
I walked down a creek near our house and sat on a rock and cried for several hours. Ultimately I came back, but I didn’t want to survive. I wanted to be brave and take my life, but I couldn’t. I got back up and continued living.
It’s still one of my biggest regrets. I was so close that day and wanted to be done. I wish so much that I would have had the guts to go through with it. I have to live with that mistake every day. I doubt now whether I will ever be able to go through with it.
Getting through Sept 8 will be hard. No, I likely won’t kill myself. However, that doesn’t take away the grief and regret from getting up and surviving that day. The fact that I’ll survive that day (again) doesn’t make getting through that day any easier. I mourn what could have been – an end to my story.
I’ll go to my next counseling appointment and talk about this. I’ll sit in near tears while I tell her how much I wish I could have gone through with it. I’ll tell her that I would write an online suicide support email because I could tell them exactly how close I was and talk through it without them sending someone to hospitalize me. I needed not to be talked out of it, but to not be alone with the feelings.

To leave or not to leave

To leave or not to leave

I had a counseling appointment. She started off – as she normally does- asking how I am doing. And I replied – as I normally do – that I am ok. I’m not ok but it’s hard for me to tell her how I am really doing. Some just because this is how I often answer people. And secondly because I don’t know what I’m feeling. I guess I should tell her that. Instead I just say I’m ok.

I’m not ok though. I’m stuck in so many areas of my life, some that I can’t tell her about. Telling her would take the control away from me. This is one of the few areas I have control. And you know what… I don’t deserve that control. I should have left him a long time ago. If I tell her about these things and lose control it’s because I should have done something about things before. I should have walked away.

When I was a kid, I watched my mom be abused by my dad. I watched him yell at her. I watched him punch holes in the wall because he was so mad (at least he wasn’t punching her) I held my sister and comforted her, while absolutely scared myself. I promised myself that if my husband ever did that to me, I’d walk away. If he yelled at me, I’d leave. If he called me names, I’d leave. If he was mean to the kids, I’d leave. It would be easy to walk away. He would deserve it.

And, yet, here I am. Here I am wondering what I should do when my 8 year old self knows unequivocally what to do. Leave. But I’m afraid.

To leave would mean starting over. Going out on dates again. Taking chances on humanity. Living on my own. Alone.

To leave would mean telling the truth. It would mean telling on someone that I supposedly once loved.

To leave would mean that my whole marriage was a mistake. Sure, some people just outgrow others. That’s not the case here. I don’t think I ever loved him. And I always knew that. I wasn’t even in love with the idea of him. He told me he was diabetic and couldn’t live alone. What would happen if he was on his own and no one was there to catch his low blood sugar. Would he survive? If he didn’t would his death be on my hands for leaving him? Plus, I had this crazy idea of no sex until marriage. And since we didn’t wait (I wanted to), then shouldn’t I marry him (yes, I know that’s messed up thinking).

Now I’m in this marriage, afraid to get out. Getting out will mean telling the truth. It will mean voicing concerns about the kids in his care. It will mean going toe to toe with a guy I don’t win much against.

Grad school counselor

Grad school counselor

It was the last session with her. She gave me a good bye note. She told me things she would remember about me and wrote out a list of things to keep doing for the future.

At the end of every session she used to make me promise to stay alive. Several months before I had asked if she was going to make me promise to stay alive always. If I was going to have to promise that I would never go through it. She hadn’t decided at that time and she said she had spent a lot of time thinking about that question. Ultimately, she didn’t. She made me promise that if I killed myself that I would have tried everything I could to stay alive. That killing my self would be a last stop. That I wouldn’t take the decision to die lightly. I promised.

I asked her if we could keep in touch. She said not for a while. That after ten years I could email and she would decide then. I told her she wouldn’t remember me after ten years. She assured me that she would remember me for a long time. I asked her why (mainly because I couldn’t believe why anyone would want to remember me). She told me she would remember me because of how much I hurt.

I found out she retired from being a counselor a couple weeks ago. It took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that I made the promise to stay alive as best as I could to her as a person and not her as a counselor. That just because she retired doesn’t mean that I can cheat on my promise to her. It hurts though. Having to be accountable to her. I still wonder what if I fail. Heck, would she even know?

She was so pivotal in my time there. Leaving her behind hurt so much.

Her office had two dining room table like chairs. I hated sitting in chairs or sofas or anything for that matter back then. First session I asked if I could sit on the floor. She said sure but she felt bad that I was sitting on the floor and she wasn’t. Next session and every one after she sat on the floor with me. If she had something to do that day that she had to be dressy for, she changed for my session. She was the third counselor that I had that I sat on the floor for. She was the only one that got down with me.

I had a hard time talking. She let me email. But it wasn’t just write down what you want to talk about next time. She answered throughout the week. If it appeared I was doing bad and she had a clear calendar, she would have me come in.

To this day, I still don’t understand how come she didn’t have me hospitalized. I walked a tight wire where it felt like I could fall at any minute. Most nights I had the bottles of pills, the liquor, and the knife all laid out for “use”. She knew. The rule was that as long as I was talking and could promise to stay alive she wouldn’t have me involuntarily committed.

It would have been involuntary. She asked me multiple times to be hospitalized. She told me she would drive me there and literally hold my hand through the process. I couldn’t. My parents would know. They would find out.

One day I was having a rough session and I asked if she would hold me. She said that touching is a touchy subject. Pun intended. So no go. She got me a pillow so I could pretend that someone was holding me. A couple of months later, I sat in her office unable to say anything. If I talked then I would cry. She sat with me. She talked and asked questions and was just there. About half way through the session she asked if I wanted her to hold me. No. I wish I could have said yes. It would have been too intense and I would have been in tears. I didn’t say anything for the entire hour. I couldn’t. I went to the bathroom afterwards and cried for quite a while. I watched her come in and held my breath. She couldn’t know that I was crying.

All these memories still hurt. It’s been 20 years and this still hurts.

Opting Out

Opting Out

My husband’s aunt sent us a YouTube of Andy Stanley talking about relationships. She told me to hear it. She did a Sunday School series of his.

I mentioned to her about how S had said that daddy yelled a lot. She repeated to hear the marriage sermon. That I had opted out of everything else. This burned. I’ve sat through numerous counseling sessions where the counselor has said I’ve done everything I can do. I’ve over analyzed and over thought this. I’ve had friend after friend that has said leave. I’ve stayed, and in the process opted out of quite a few things.

I desperately wanted to move to the country. I wanted a smaller, but decent sized house (2500 or so sq ft). I wanted the kids to have plenty of area to roam on. To be able to explore the outdoors. To be able to run and play. Instead, I got a big house in the city. I opted out of the peace and solitude that the country brings when I married him.

When looking for that house, I wanted a tornado shelter. A safe room. A basement. Somewhere that would be safe when storms hit. Now that we have kids, especially three of them, this is really important to me. We can’t all fit in a little half bath. I opted out of basic safety when I married him.

Countless nights I have made the dinner and cleaned up afterwards. Instead of being able to sit down and eat myself, I’ve made sure everyone has enough food to eat, enough to drink, clean up spills, etc. I don’t have the time or energy to eat myself. In doing so, I’ve opted out of health and taking care of myself.

I remember being curled up in my bedroom, in tears. Him yelling at me. I should be lucky that someone like him has chosen to stay with someone like me. He reminded me (again) that no one would want me if I left. I remember praying that one of the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops on his yelling. I opted out of self esteem. Over and over again.

I’m in tears again. The counseling session was hard. I don’t know where to start with this.

We were talking about the suicidal thoughts. At one point she asked me if I wanted to kill myself. I said no. As I’m laying here in bed I’m not so sure. In reality, I want to kill myself I just am not going to do it. I can’t work out how everything would work. Who would find my body? Would one of the kids? Would they have to walk in on me dead? How would that hurt? That image would be so hurtful. I can’t do that to them.

She asked me at one point how long I was going to keep stringing out the marriage. When am I going to walk away? Honestly I still can’t figure out if I am going to walk away or if I’m going to die. That’s where I am right now. Die or divorce. And more than anything die is what I want.

I’m scared of divorce. I’m scared to be alone without the kids for extended periods of time. I’m scared that I’ll go through with it. The kids won’t be there. If I miss the pickup, then he won’t think anything of it. Someone will eventually call the police to do a checking me. None of the kids will have to see me dead. Maybe this is actually what I need. Maybe this is the answer.

Erik was fussing again at dinner. I decided just not to eat. Samantha was like are you sure. Yup. I wonder how long it would take of not eating to just die. Then I’m just sick. I hadn’t killed myself, I just got really sick and died. I wouldn’t be a failure then. I would still be strong. I would still be a worthy child. I would still be a worthy mom.

I can’t believe I’m going through this right now. I can’t believe I’m actually trying to figure out how to make suicide work.

And yet here I am. Scared. Alone. I just want someone to hold me while I cry. I don’t want to be alone right now.



I have a counseling appointment tomorrow. I have no idea what to say to the counselor. How to express the hurt. How to vocalize what I can’t put into words. I’m struggling. why can’t anyone see that? Why can’t people see how much I’m hurting?

I know the first thing she is going to ask me is how I’m doing. I’m not doing well at all. How do I say that? How do I tell her I want to kill myself without scaring her? Because I’m scaring me. I wish more than anything that I had the courage. I wish that I could go through with it. I wish this was the end for me. I don’t even know how to articulate this to her so she can help me. I don’t know if I want to be helped. If I’m “helped” I live. I don’t want to live. I don’t want to keep postponing the inevitable. I just want this to be over.

I’ve started crying. It’s so hard to see through the tears. Everyone else is asleep so the tears fall quickly. No one will know how weak I am. No one will know how much of a failure I am.

I just want to do this. I want to go through with it. I want someone to hold my hand as I pass on to whatever is next. I can’t do that to anyone. I can’t go through with killing myself with someone else there. That person will get in trouble for being there with me. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of wondering how I’m going to make it through the day. I’m scared.



A few years back, my uncle killed himself.

I remember my mom calling us and telling us that my uncle had died of a self inflicted gun shot wound. I could make the argument that he killed himself because of just being diagnosed with cancer. He took care of my grandparents who died a pretty miserable death from cancer. I could make the argument it was because my parents were buying a house three hours away from him. That his support system was leaving and as much of a hermit as he already was that this would isolate him even more. That he didn’t want to live life without them. I could make the case that it was the combination of the two. We will never know.

At first I blamed myself. Considering how long I’ve fought my own battle with suicidal thoughts, I should have noticed the signs. For the most part I’ve gotten over that. Or at least it’s so numb to me right now that I can’t feel guilt. What I do feel? Anger. Jealousy. I wanted to die. I’ve wanted to kill myself for so long. He did it. He succeeded. That should have been me that died. He had the courage to do something I didn’t. I was mad at myself. Why did he have the courage that I couldn’t? How come he was strong enough and I wasn’t? He’s already killed himself. It’s not like I can put my mom through that pain again by killing myself. And then the guilt of being mad at someone who was hurting enough to end their life.

At the same time living is hard. And honestly I don’t even know where to start to explain this. Most days I’m ok but there’s still quite a few that I’m not. There’s still nights that I cry trying to figure out what my purpose is. It is easier to see my purpose as a mom when the kids are little but what happens when Jacob gets older and I feel like I’m not needed anymore?

A lot of times I feel like I’m not good enough to live. Like it’s my fault that Erik yells. That if I was a better mother I would be able to protect the kids from him yelling. If I was a better wife Erik wouldn’t yell. If I was a stronger mom I would have left already.

I deserve to die. Or at least I don’t deserve to live. I’ve always felt that way. I was never a good enough student. I am never a good enough daughter. I am not pretty enough. Or skinny enough. Not strong enough. Not enough.

I feel like such a loser because I can’t even be happy right. There are a lot more people with much bigger issues than me and I don’t have a right to feel this bad.

I get that the probability that I will go through with killing myself is zero, but the pain of wanting to die is still real and intense. I’m not silently suffering for attention. This hurts and I feel so alone.

The aftermath

The aftermath

So my husband is acting like everything is normal.

And, in a way, this is our normal.

He yells. He had a meltdown. He withdraws. And I take care of the kids.

Why stay with him?

Because I’m afraid of him getting custody of the kids. I’m afraid of him getting mad at them and him leaving them at the house alone. I’m afraid that the kids will have issues with him. I’m afraid of him telling lies about me and I never see my kids again.

What the heck do I do?

my soul is tired.

I have no hope that things will get better. I’m tired of walking on eggshells with him. He needs help. .

But I promised to love him forever. I promised that I would be with him in sickness and in health. And wouldn’t it be me who abandoned him? When he needs me the most to help him get help wouldn’t it be me who left him?

I’m torn. I’m alone. And I want to cry. I want someone to hold me while I cry. I don’t want to be alone in the dark.