Trigger warning: suicide discussed
This post has been difficult to write. This week, especially, I have been very much in a grown up place, very much in the moment, because it is my daughters birthday week. Somehow in session I have been able to dig deeper and let some feelings come up, and while the content of what we have been dealing might not be trauma memories it still isn’t easy at all. Oh, I should probably trigger warning this for mention/discussion of a suicide attempt (I was 16, and I’m not having those feelings in my present day life at all).
Today is Kat’s birthday, but she won’t be up for long before I get home, so I didn’t think I needed to cancel therapy. I walk into Bea’s office right on time.
“Good morning,” I say as I sit down on the sofa.
“Good morning,” Bea says back. She settles down in her chair, too.
We start out by talking about Kat’s birthday and the plans we have for the day. I tell Bea how I made Kat home made Oreo poptarts (whole what flour, no white refined sugar, less sugar over all, no weird chemical ingredients) because Kat really wanted poptarts for breakfast but I won’t buy poptarts. I tell her about the birthday scavenger hunt I planned for Kat and her best friend who is coming over later.
Bea lets me talk until I run out of chatter. She’s interested, and she is chatting, too, but when it is clear I have run out of chatter, she turns to me. “I don’t want to put you in a rough place when you have all this great stuff going on today…….”
“It’s okay. Somehow I’ve been able to hold it all in between…..I don’t know, but I’ve been okay.” And it’s true. I’ve mostly been okay, too much in the moment to really be bothered by the past, and things that come up go into my notebook and then I’m usually okay again.
She nods. “Did you do bring any writing?”
“I just wrote real quick last night, because I wanted to explain why I lost my door the second time, I just couldn’t say it so…….” I hand her the notebook.
Bea flips through it, picks up reading where she had left off before. “This makes sense,” she tells me.
Why I lost my door? Yeah, I know it makes sense. I nod. “Yeah.”
Bea looks as if she is confused for a moment, as if she is thinking and trying to make sense of something. Then she says, “I had just read the blue writing, from last week? About the house and the walls? How some times it keeps stuff in and sometimes keeps stuff out? You were elaborating on our analogy that asking you to stop dissociating was like taking away the walls to your house.”
“Oh! Okay.” I’m surprised, because I had thought I still wasn’t making sense as I was writing that all out.
“It’s really good, it makes a lot of sense.”
I feel…..I don’t know. Pleased? Something good, from having my explanation complimented and understood when I had thought it was crap.
Bea finishes reading. “I have a lot of questions,” she says.
“Okay,” I say, uncertain.
“We’ve never really talked about this, that’s all,” she says.
“Oh, right. Okay.”
“Why was taking your door a consequence? I’m not understanding why it was a consequence of a suicide attempt. Or really that it needed a consequence.” Bea is truly baffled.
“It’s because….Kenny….he had come by….I was sitting in the window…….”
“He kisses you.” She says.
I nod. “And then…..I don’t know….but…well.”
I am far away now. Bea asks something about the Kenny thing. I don’t know. She wants to know if I still wanted to marry Kenny or if I was more into other boys at that point. Did I have crushes or like other boys then or was I still thinking of Kenny as Prince Charming? I didn’t have a crush on anyone. I was just numb when it came to that stuff. I thought something must be wrong with me. So I pretended. I got really good at pretending crushes. I don’t say any of this to her. I can’t get any words out.
Bea realizes I’m far away and hiding and scared. She gets up and grabs my blanket. She hands it to me. “In case this might help.”
I unfold it quickly and hide under the blanket. “I’m sorry.” I whisper. I feel like I’m weak, hiding under a blanket because a conversation scares me.
“You don’t have anything to be sorry for.”
“How long after that did you hurt yourself?” As she is saying that, she shakes her head. “No, let’s call it what it is. How long after that did you attempt suicide?
“That night. It was that night. Late. I dunno.”
“Did you tell your parents? What happened?” Bea asks.
“I….there was so much blood. I was scared. I….I think I just showed them.”
“How did they react?”
“My mom………she was…….mad…..so mad. My dad…..he wrapped my wrists. We went to the ER. I got stitches.” I look down, at my wrists. I have faint scars there, still.
“At the hospital, do you remember anyone nice? Anyone who was kind to you?” She asks me.
I can’t figure out why it matters, but I answer her question, anyway. “A lady, maybe a nurse? I don’t know. It’s foggy.”
Bea says, “Maybe a nurse, maybe a social worker. Hospitals usually have social workers in the ER for things like that.”
“Maybe.” I agree. “I was so thirsty, she got me a lemonade. And I feel like she cared about me, not about what I had done. I don’t know.”
Bea says something about how that is good, it is good there was someone kind there. I wonder if she asked just because she cares and had wanted at least one kind person there for me. She says how even though the parts of me didn’t know about each other or share knowledge about Kenny, clearly what had happened in the present day to teen Alice triggered another part that just needed to get away from the feelings or the memories. She sees a clear link between Kenny and the abuse and that suicide attempt.
I shrug, “People asked me why but I just said I don’t know. But the thing is, I was so separated, Kenny wasn’t part of that. I just….I really don’t think I knew.” (As a matter of fact, I really didn’t know until after Bea and I were working together).
“No, of course you didn’t know! You had no idea. You were overwhelmed and scared and traumatized but had no idea why.”
To be continued……..
We go on to discuss the shrinky shrink, and you can find that in part two of this post.
4 thoughts on “Things we never talked about: teenage suicide attempts ”
It makes so sad that you suffered such tremendous pain that drove you to that. A young girl with no one to go to.
Thank you for this. Lately it’s felt like all that pain is still there and unseen. It means a lot to have it acknowledged and cared about. Xx💟
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Unfortunately others seem to choose not to see or feel it. Wouldn’t it be nice if such terrific traumas magically disappeared. They don’t, not if one wants a full life, at least not in my experience.
I wanted to comment on the next post which is now gone, and just thought I’d suggest going only one day next time. Hope it’s OK to say that.
Thank you….no, things don’t just disappear. I do want a full life. I don’t think I used to, but I really do now. 🙂
You can of course say that. One day at a time is good advice. I’m behind on posts, and didn’t mean to publish that one publicly. I was on the phone app and I hit publish when I wanted to hit draft. It will be back up eventually. 💟
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