This post talks a bit about my emotional struggle at a time in my life when I considered suicide. If you are depressed or could be in any way adversely triggered by this topic, please don’t read further and instead talk with someone who will give you life-affirming support. Remember, there’s always a listening ear at:
(National Suicide Hotline)
Fear of my powerful emotions & whether or not I have the capacity to control them.
After I began to be sexually (and psychologically) abused, I began to have intense emotions that were so powerful I found it hard to control them. That’s one of the reasons I eventually attempted suicide. That feeling of “just wanting to die” was a desire to be free from the hell I was in: not only contextually, but also in my own mind, heart, Self. I’m pretty sure I was born with the capacity for an extensive range of emotions and depth of feeling them, being aware of them. And I’m even more sure I experienced intense feelings before I was ever abused. It might be fair to say that I was (genetically and socially) predisposed to being vulnerable to emotional turbulence and especially at risk to others’ provocation or manipulation of my vulnerabilities.
I was an easy target for bullies, predators, pedophiles. I can identify characteristics in my family dynamics that contributed to all of this. I can also identify (nearly? or outright?) institutionalized dysfunction in societal elements that definitely cultivated all types of bullies, predators, pedophiles, while offering nearly no protection for their targets. However that’s not the primary topic for this post.
My focus here is on what I have personally experienced within myself, and how I manage my emotions now. I mentioned a suicide attempt. There were actually several times I thought seriously of how I might end my life and made partial attempts, but there was only one time I made a serious attempt. Again, more on that some other time. But it’s important that I talk a bit about that here because, for me, it reveals how STRONG was the battle within myself. It wasn’t “simply” a spiritual battle.
There are some, I would say naive, Christians who think turbulent emotions or any kind of psychological struggle happens and can be resolved strictly in the arena of the soul. They don’t recognize the physical, psychological, medical, and/or societal factors and causes involved. Thus, they don’t recognize the legitimacy and necessity of addressing those factors accordingly.
My view regarding the role of my faith at the time is that my soul, my spirit, my faith in Christ was SO STRONG that it kept my will to live dominant within myself! But the abuse, and my silence about it, was unbearable. I think the stress of the dichotomy (my abused self vs my healthy self) was so profound that, had I not been fundamentally mentally healthy and spiritually strong, I might have developed a split personality or something like that. [I really can’t say that in clinical terms because I don’t know what causes split or multiple personality syndromes.] But this is my way of saying there was a war (a life vs death battle) going on for my mind, my psyche, my Self between all that would keep me a Victim versus my capacity to be a Survivor.
I have to continue this in a next post. Thinking again about that time in my life and the details of it is really exhausting.
To be continued…!