TW suicide and CSA
I got back from therapy feeling okay. Nina was out and I sat in my study looking through the box of special cards and other things K has given us or we have made together over the years. There’s a lot in there and I felt safe and warm as I looked through it all, a testament to the love and longevity of our relationship and a record of some lovely things we have done together too.
Then I got a text from a colleague telling me she was sorry to tell me but one of the young people I work with had died at the weekend. She is someone who came to see me one evening last year in May and was with me in a psychosis or severely dissociated state for more than 3 hours as she disclosed horrific details of incest as a baby and young child, other awful abuse and multiple rapes, persecution by her peers, suicide attempts, years of not being believed. It was an incredibly difficult evening and left me triggered and unable to sleep or work the next day. It was at the end of an incredibly busy year at work and when things with K were difficult and it really sent me over the edge. Too close to home. Witnessing someone dissociating and completely leaving the room was disturbing, knowing I do it. And I couldn’t help her. It is not my job.
I found out a little while later she was sectioned after I saw her. And I received an incredibly distressed email from her from hospital, saying no one believed what had happened to her. I was advised not to reply and I didn’t. That was a year ago. She has been at home as far as I know and now has coursework to submit which she deferred from last year. Except she has died.
I know she killed herself. She had tried many times before. And to be honest I can’t say I blame her. After I saw her I was scared for her future, scared for all the darkness she would need to face if she was going to have any chance of a stable and worthwhile future. What she disclosed to me resonated with me but it was also so much darker and more disturbing than my own story. And I know in the hospital where she was detained they thought she was psychotic and was making the abuse up. She must have been terrified knowing no one believed her and that she couldn’t get the help she needed.
I wish I had replied to her email. I wish I had told her I believed her. I wish she hadn’t taken her life thinking no one believed what had happened to her.
I feel so shocked that she is gone. She was beautiful and so clever. I knew her for 3 years. I had no idea until that day of all she had been through.
My manager wants to talk to me tomorrow and I don’t want to because it hurts too much and I can’t bear how baffled people are that someone could be in so much pain that they take their own life. I want to scream at them how lucky they are that they’ve never thought of doing this, never tried, never soothed themselves with its possibilities.
It hurts that humans do such terrible things to each other and that babies are broken and their futures destroyed. It hurts because it could have been me. It hurts to think of the pain she endured and all she achieved in spite of it. And it enrages me that victims are not believed and despite the prevalence statistics showing how widespread incest and CSA are when victims come forward their stories are doubted, as if the statistics must be based on someone else.
I text K and she says to text her in the morning and to remember to breathe. We can speak if I need to. But there are no words. And maybe this poor girl made the right choice for her right now, because she had suffered too much already and recovery would have involved unbearable pain too.