It was late in the afternoon when I felt that strange sickening sensation invade my senses. I didn’t pay much attention to it as I hung up the phone. My mother had sounded peculiar as we spoke, but I didn’t push her for any explanations. Mum was always going through something in her life. I was used to it after 19 years of strange behavior. There was however, one glaring different about this conversation that I COULD put my finger on. She asked me if I loved her. I laughed at the ridiculous nature of her question and replied, “OF COURSE I LOVE YOU”. Then she said to me, “You know I love you don’t you?” Again I giggled at the silliness of the conversation and said “Of course! Where’s all this coming from?”. Her voice sounded a little odd but she managed to steer me off course with some excuse about being tired and for me not to worry. So we finished our conversation and I carried on with my day, but I couldn’t get rid of this persistent niggling feeling that something wasn’t right and so I dialled her number determined to find out what was wrong. I got the answering machine. At 3am the next morning my family came to deliver the bad news. My instincts had been right. There was something wrong. Something terribly wrong. But nothing would prepare me for what I was about to be told. “Rebecca, Kathy’s dead. I’m so sorry darling. She’s gone.” My grandmother broke down as I stared dumbfounded at my family all standing around me with broken expressions on their face. I knew in my heart that what I was hearing was serious but I couldn’t swallow the words. I knew from the moment I woke that Mum was no longer with me. Or should I say, my spirit knew, but my mind could not even begin to conceive. “What…..What do you mean? How….?” “I’m sorry Rebecca, your Mum took her own life. She committed suicide”. At that point my legs gave way. Thankfully the couch broke my fall as I sat there shaking my head while tears erupted all around me. My face remained stone cold and dry. All I could think of was that damn answering machine.
I decided to share that small part of my story because it reveals another side to the subject of suicide: The story behind suicide. The reality that accompanies it. The truth is, behind every suicide there are real people left drowning in the aftermath. Real lives that are forever changed and often destroyed. Unfortunately this is a reality not many people can fully understand. But this encouragement is not really for the people who don't have a clue, its for the ones who know exactly what I'm talking about. So if that's you......keep reading...
Who was this woman and why did she decide death was the only answer? That woman was my mother, a wonderful, passionate, life-loving woman who had 39 years worth of problems that in the end, suffocated her will to live. In her defence, those problems weren't minor. If I were to summarise, it would look something like this; rebellious childhood, promiscuous early years, molested at a young age, solo motherhood, institutionalised in a mental hospital, physically abused, cheated on (many times), countless partners, her only son was taken and hidden from her, inability to have more children, hysterectomy at a young age, raped, raped again, then gang raped by a rugby team, married a man who sexually abused her only daughter for 7 years (that would be me - and yet again another story), run out of town by the entire town, permanently injured and unable to work, poverty stricken.....actually the list just keeps going on and on. On top of all that she suffered from undiagnosed bi-polar disorder. What tipped her over the edge? Another failed relationship on top of dozens of others. So yes, she had quite a hard life, that much is clear. And whatever she went through, to some degree I went through too. We were a team, albeit a dysfunctional one. At the end of the day she was my everything. My entire life. I didn't tell you all this to make you feel sorry for us, or to encourage any kind of internal justification for what she did. At the end of the day my mother had a choice just like the rest of us, and she made her choice.
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“I’m sorry Rebecca, your Mum took her own life. She committed suicide”. At that point my legs gave way. Thankfully the couch broke my fall as I sat there shaking my head while tears erupted all around me. My face remained stone cold and dry. All I could think of was that damn answering machine."
"There is a reason why the word of God clearly tells us to honor our fathers and mothers – minus any conditions attached. It may not be easy but God requires it of us. We don't have to agree with what they have done or how they may have treated us. Honour and Forgiveness are principles that bring YOU into a position of freedom. Its not a fluffy feel good exercise, although this can be a bi-product of activating truth."
"I would hear Him stating rather matter of factly, that appreciation was required in order for me to make sense of things. I left that place with a God gifted answer, painstakingly bubble wrapped with divine sticky tape, so that no attack could possibly harm my new found revelation."