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Often, there is a much darker side to domestic violence and intimate partner abuse beyond the physical assaults and destruction of property. I’m referring to the destruction of the victim’s ability to find a purpose to go on living.

At my most depressed before escaping the boy, I thought about how easy it would be for me to end the anguish just by dying. I imagined myself dead. I thought about how my death would affect my son and my mother and my sisters. I didn’t like what I was imagining, but I couldn’t help but think about my own relief. I was tired of quietly crying myself to sleep or drinking myself into unconsciousness so I didn’t have to answer his phone calls, respond to his texts, or listen to the boy degrade me with his accusations and words. I didn’t know any other way to make it stop, but realized that dying was a great solution. Dying would end it all.

I remember sitting on the edge of the bed, grabbing my journal, and beginning THE letter. I didn’t get far before I heard my cell phone ringing. It was the special ring tone I chose for my sister Rachael. I answered. She asked me, “Are you Okay? I am worried about you.”

Instead of going into what I was in the midst of writing, I just talked with her. I took this call as a sign that I was being really, really stupid and really, really uncaring to myself and everyone who loved me. We kept talking. I felt better by the time we hung up, and I ripped the beginnings of the letter out of my journal and flushed it down the toilet. (If I had tossed it in the trash, there is no doubt the boy would have found it and had me admitted immediately. I think he was always hoping I’d end up in a mental hospital, because he KNEW, he was convinced, there was something wrong with me. Little did he know that the “something” was him.)

I never told anyone (not even my counselor) about these thoughts I had about dying. I don’t even know how I would have gone about dying. Killing myself seemed so far from anything I could imagine. Stepping out into traffic. Eating spoiled food on purpose. I honestly didn’t get far with thinking about the “how-to” part of the whole event. And to me, that simply meant I wasn’t THAT serious. But was I?

I often wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t received that call. Would I have written the letter and realized I was stupid? Or would I have written the letter and felt more certain dying was the only answer and way out? I don’t know. I have no idea what my next steps would have been. One thing I do know is that my sister did call me, and I picked up.

Thankfully, the thought of dying on purpose, of killing myself, of committing suicide, has not crossed my mind since that day. That day I started writing little notes to myself about why I wanted to live. I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want to miss out on my son’s life. I didn’t want to miss out on my own life, regardless of what setbacks it brought to me. I realized that I was the common denominator in my own life and my own sadness. But I also realized that I had to let go of the people who made my ability to fight for my happiness impossible. I had to escape. I had to surrender.

Walking away and giving up on a futile fight is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. I didn’t know it at the time I escaped. It took me many months to regain my self-trust and self-confidence. I am still growing and learning. But, thankfully, I am growing far, far away from the pain and suffering that once had me doubt myself so completely.

If you are having doubts or if you know someone who is, visit the RU OK? site and learn how to lift the fog. Nothing and no one is worth your life and the guaranteed pain those left behind will suffer.

Be good to yourself. Be good to others. Namaste!

(image source: http://d-e-v-i.deviantart.com/art/Call-me-66015254)

Category:
abuse, Addiction, Alcohol, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Journaling, Lessons, Letter, Love, Mental Health, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Peace, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality, Writing
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Join the conversation! 28 Comments

  1. I don’t usually comment, but I’ve never read of another experience before that closely sounds like how I feel. I started writing a comment, but it got too lengthy. I started a blog just to have a place to write my thoughts, mostly just therapeutic. I decided just to post on my blog since it was way to long to leave as a comment. Thank you for sharing, your experiences, thoughts & insights, it gives me hope.

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  2. I love your point that walking away is not a sign of weakness!! Very well said.

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  3. The thing that made me finally end it with my scumbag sociopath, after 6 years of leaving because of his cheating, lying, and abuse and then returning because I ached for him after a day or two (didn’t know at the time it was addiction, not love, that kept me with him).

    The thing that finally, finally made me end it? One of the(many) women he periodically cheated on me with (although he swore he didn’t), who was a very nice woman who I knew (he would tell her that he and I were broken up when were weren’t, because she would never have been with him otherwise), HUNG HERSELF when she discovered that he and I were still together and that he had lied to her. I had spent the Christmas weekend with him and his kids.

    He had told her we hadn’t spoken in months, and as far as I knew at that time, he hadn’t seen her in months either (he’d been alternating between us though for several weeks, unbeknownst to us). She drove to his house the night after Christmas 2011 and saw my car there; the next day she hung herself. I later learned that he had been telling her for months that he loved her (she had had a crush on him since high school). But he had been telling me and everyone else that she was crazy (the usual smear campaign that he waged on me not long after).

    She left behind 19- and 17-year old daughters and twin 9-year old boys. The whole town turned out for her funeral, and I was told by some friends who went that my (by then ex-) sociopath was trying to act sad but that his “pride” showed through. They knew what an ass he was and saw through him, but most others didn’t and still don’t.

    As soon as I heard about her suicide I knew that he must have felt immense pride (what I now know as narcissistic supply) knowing that he was behind it.

    Unfortunately, most people still don’t know the part he played in her suicide, and he is living with a new GF who I know he’s already abusing. Hopefully she won’t be next, and thank god I didn’t succumb to my frequent thoughts about it during our relationship.

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    • Oh, Abbri. That is incredibly sad. These monsters don’t understand respect, care, understanding, or humility. And their victims are stripped of all dignity as a result. I am so glad my thoughts were fleeting thanks in great part to my sister’s call. I never heard a single, “Are you Okay?” from the boy. Instead, I often heard, “What the hell is wrong with you? Someone must have really done something to you to damage you like this.” The only word to describe this lack of empathy and cruelty is “inhumane.” They are inhumane. I’m glad you left and saved yourself. 🙂

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    • Thank you Paula, I realize how lucky I really am, despite the hard work it’s taken to pull myself out of the financial and emotional mess he left me in. And repair the relationships with my kids, parents, and friends as well.

      I had forgotten to mention that one day a few months after all this occurred he just showed up at my house out of the blue and actually GLOATED to me that she had left him a suicide note (which he carried around on his phone and tried to show to me).

      It was the most abhorrent thing I’ve ever seen another human being do.

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  4. There are many bleak moments in one’s life…and many moments that tell us DON’T DO THAT. We have to listen to them ALL. We don’t have to act on every thought, we should listen to them! I had one moment where I was lost, didn’t want to go on, but I listened and knew there was more, much more; that was over 25 years ago.
    Thank you Paula for having courage to speak about this.

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    • I’m glad you listened, too. Getting through these tough momentshas a way of naturally strengthening and empowering us to deal with others that come along. Life would be boring without a few challenges every now and then, huh? Thank you for being here and being my friend, Gert. You have no idea how much it means to me. XOXO

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    • gee…thanks.

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  5. Boy am I glad you’re still here! XXOO

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  6. Hey Paula! I too lived in a domestic violence relationship with my youngest son’s dad for 4 years. I haven’t at this stage done a post about it… not sure if or when I will!
    My son’s now 21. it took me years to recover from those 4! I like you wanted to die most days and just thought it would be only a matter of time anyway. My family begged and pleaded for me to leave. Fear and crazily the fact I love him made me stay! I know I know that was crazy in itself! I’m glad you found a way out and that you chose life and happiness. Your son will lead a much more fulfilled life now as you will!
    Brave courageous you! Hugs Paula xxxx

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  7. I’m so glad you’re here! Of course you had these thoughts!! We think of every single available option to get out of there, even dying. It almost is a necessary part of the equation along with every other drastic and not so drastic thing we can conjure up. Then, we take the most reasonable one that is least hurtful to ourselves and those whose lives we touch, our children, family, and friends who we were not allowed to see or talk to. In a drastic situation, we think up drastic solutions….

    It seems that the right steps are ordered after all because we know we have always been loved by our families and that we too really are capable of love. Especially for ourselves. The Monster forced me to finally know this in so many ways! His belittling horrific degradation of my character and sweet soul didn’t work after all, either! It’s because of the truth of real love. Thank you for sharing this part of your beautiful journey. You are not alone at all!

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  8. I know how it feels to feel so desperate that suicide is imaginable, but now I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of someone else’s decision to carry it out. For your family’s sake, I’m glad your sister called. For my sake, I’m glad your sister called; I’ve learned a lot from your story.

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    • Melanie, the tragic story of your friend prompted me to share my secret. There is so much guilt and shame surrounding suicide. Ultimately, it’s in the hands of the person who decides to end their life. There is never true closure for those left behind. I’ve been thinking about you a lot these past few days. XOXO

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    • Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t know that I’ve ever shared how much I considered it in the months after the kids went to Donkey, but I did. Like you I didn’t have any plans, but I wouldn’t have stopped death if death stopped for me.
      Another blogger I’m connected with, Merbear, also shared her personal experience with suicide today, over at http://knockedoverbyafeather.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/blog-for-mental-health-2013/. I left a similar comment with her.

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  9. I can’t say I ever felt that desperate but I also won’t admit to thinking about his demise either (I plead the fifth!). Either way, we become like trapped animals and the mindset is live or die, whether it be real or figurative. Dying can be becoming a shell of who you once were and going through the motions of life without actually living. You are inspiring so many people to realize that living is the way to go. Living means walking away, giving up on that “futile fight” and choosing yourself and your true loved ones. Thank you for all of your insight. Your real or figurative death would be a great loss to the living world. I am so happy you found you 🙂

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    • XOXO. Hearts. Stars. Smiley faces. 🙂

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    • I also am pleading the fifth!! Won’t tell you all the things I thought of doing!! And you are so right about becoming an empty shell walking around dead. I lived like that for quite awhile before getting out of there and am slowly remembering who I am. Thanks for your response to what Paula has shared with us!

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  10. I know that feeling, of just wanting the pain to stop, and thinking about death with no fear, only the hope of peace. I am so glad your sister called.

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  11. i’m glad you lived! doubt is always a struggle with these people, because they convince you it’s all your fault…guilt goes strongly with that…

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