June is an interesting time of the year for me, it’s an anniversary of sorts, but not one that I will ever find a Hallmark card for. See it was June of 2013, exactly 5 years ago, when I walked away from my family, from my own blood. I did this to save my life, I did this so I wouldn’t take my own life.
It’s not coincidence to me that there has been a lot talk about suicide this week. It’s an uncomfortable subject, but we are forced to look at it when a celebrity takes their own life. But when two highly respected and well known people make this decision within the same week, we are really forced to look at it, even if but for a moment.
We have to check on those that we claim to love, but we must also take care of our own hearts and minds. We are most responsible in doing so. We must know our limitations, our boundaries, and when and how to walk away from toxicity. I’m an expert on this, not because of something I’ve read from a book, but this is right out of a chapter from my own life.
I was smack in the middle of a terrible divorce, before the ink was dry on the decree, and the one who I’d built my life with made himself my enemy, I was bleeding, figuratively and literally. I was ailing and had to figure out how to support my son completely solo. The life I’d known had come to an end, even though I knew that it had to. I had to protect my child from abuse, and in doing so, protect myself also. It was at that time that I reached out to my own family, having no other place to go. I was immediately met with hostility, judgment, false accusation and snears.
My heart broke everyday, but not just for me, but from the judgment that then began to fall upon my son. He was made fun of because of a neurological disorder, not from children, but by the eldest among us, by his own great grandmother. He in his 18 months of living could not have been responsible for this treatment any more than I could have been, but yet this curse of contempt that I was raised in was attempting to reach him also.
As I wiped tears off of my pillow daily I could not have imagined that things could get any worse. That was until the same violence that I’d removed my child from in my marriage, appeared before him again in the form of his own aunt. Physically attacking me right in front of my child, as he screamed and cried out, not understanding what was taking place. I saw a replay of why I’d left my marriage. I could not believe this was taking place after all that we’d already been through. But it didn’t end there, the storm grew yet again.
Even after physical attack, and after dodging months of emotional attack, the very people who caused this chaos for us, initiated yet another onslaught by drawing crowds around them. They cursed us, and assaulted us with false words. They made calls to family members and dear friends to tell of tale of falsehoods against me as a way to cover their own actions and reputation. This was my family who did this, this was my blood.
And then there I was, suddenly alone. I’d been alone emotionally, but this, a new level. I could not have imagined that the people that I’d loved would not only attack me, but would then twist each account and place blame on me by conniving stories and spreading lies. That was the point when I was wiped out, no one can hurt you like your kin, no one can hurt you like your friend. I was abandoned. The truest betrayal was the reality of all of this happening through deceit, through the deceit of those I loved the most. There were times when I could barely breath.
How did this happened? How did I get here? I thought my life was over. I had my moment with Joseph, in the pit created by my own sibling. I experienced that loss right next to Job, that my own decisions did not create. I loved God and served Him and wondered why this tsunami had hit my life. The enemy would whisper, see you’ve never really fit in anywhere, you’ve never really been loved. Everyone you’ve ever helped has turned away, you have no worth at all. No one cares about what you’ve given, or what you’ve done, or how you seek God. No one is interested in how big your heart is, no one cares about how selfless you are, or how Godly you are. Not even God cares. If He did, why would you be going through all of this? Why would you lose your marriage and everything you own if you are such as a Christian? And now your child has Autism! Ha! Your life is hilarious! No one cares that you’re dying inside, why are you even here? No one ever calls and even checks on you or your son. Clearly no one loves you, isn’t that obvious? These were the regular tapes that were playing in my head. It was in those moments, those dark and low moments, when I wanted to die. I wanted to truly die.
I know what suicidal thoughts are, all too well. The level of hopelessness that you can feel when you reach what you feel is the end of your rope. In my case I didn’t want to take my own life, but I would pray that somehow God would be merciful enough to take both me and my son together. Maybe by some type of accident where we both could be with the Lord, and I could see my mother again. If there was some way for this bitter, unwarranted cup to pass from me, let it be so. That was my petition, that was my regular request. But God…
It was then that He reminded me that I belonged to Him. He told me that I would not be buried by this, but I was only being planted for a harvest that no one could take credit for but Him. He reminded me that vengeance belonged to Him, and that there was nothing that had taken place that He did not see. He lifted my head and right before I’d go into the deepest sunken place, he reminded me that His love hadn’t changed. That even when people changed, that He never did, and never would. He told me that He would expose what they’d done in the dark, and would show His truth while fighting for me. He showed me that the table being created for me had to be setup before them who set out to hurt me. He reminded me that He knows their deception and would rise me from these ashes. He gave me a new voice and began to change how I see myself. I will no longer be self loathing! He gave me the will to live again. He lifted my head and dried my eyes, and told me to get up from my bed of depression. He made me see myself in my future. I am alive only because of Jesus, and only because of Him.
Today I barely recognize myself. I have this strength and this tenacity that I didn’t have before. It was that strength that caused me to call my grandmother and tell her directly that I loved her, but couldn’t be in relationship with her. I told her that when I was connected to her, that I didn’t want to live. That her harsh words and treatment were not conducive to what God wanted to do with my life, that I had to continue living so that I could raise my son. So I wished her well and chose to live. I have had to forgive her and others all while still removing myself from how they allowed the enemy to use them to attempt to destroy me. Now I am no longer paralyzed by fear. I am rewriting my mental scripts and changing how I view myself. I am telling my story and my testimony in effort to set captives free. I’m knocking down limitations piled on by years of neglect and tear down. Now what others say about me, know matter how numerous the lies are that they tell, their words are no longer my business.
When you are pulled down so low, it is only because you will be catapulted so high. Walk away from what is causing you to die. Remove yourself from all circumstances that make you feel worthless. You have more worth than you will ever know, even if you only have the Lord to tell you so. Today, celebrate because you are alive. Your future will be bright if you are here to live it.
#BeQuietTiffany #Suicide #SuicidePrevention