Painful Memory

Yesterday I heard of Robin Williams passing through a friend’s Facebook status. I instantly clicked on the link and read he committed suicide. I was heartbroken; I did not know him, but he was talented, and he seemed very genuine. I admittedly said a prayer for his family, and then I thought of my own.

When I was five years old, my brothers and I was playing in the living room of our house. I am not sure what happened, but I remember seeing a rope in the shape of a loop and my mother standing on a chair. My mom did not see us, but we saw her standing with her head held low, tears falling from her and she placed her head in the loop. She looked up and saw her four children watching her-she got down from the chair ran over and gave us a hug. I can’t believe I remember that day like it was yesterday. I cannot believe my mom almost took her life. Robin’s death brought the painful memory of my mother’s attempted suicide.

I could not sleep last night-the still shot of my mother kept playing over and over in my head.  I called my mom this morning for the first time I was able to ask her about her suicide attempt (I received the ok from her post it here). 

Me: “Mom, every time I hear about someone committing suicide, I think about the time I saw you almost take your life.”

Mom: “Yes, I know.”

Me: “Mom, I am glad you did not kill yourself. I am thankful you did not. If you do not mind me asking, why did you almost take your life.”

Mom: “I went through a bad divorce, my childhood and everything else just kind of hit me at once. I was in a dark place.”

Me: “Did you hit rock bottom? You felt like you could not go on?”

Mom: “Yes, I was tired. I was tired of being walked on and being used; I was depressed. I was in a dark place.”

Me: “Why didn’t you kill yourself? Did you have a conversation with God?”

Mom: “No, my kids saved my life.”

Me: “I am glad we walked in on you. I do not remember you getting help. How did you get passed the dark place?”

Mom: “My kids and faith. I stopped thinking about what others were saying. I blocked it out. I roll with the punches. I have never had the feeling or thought to kill myself since then.”

Me: “Mom, I am at work. I have to go. I am glad you’re still here. I love you.”


7 thoughts on “Painful Memory

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I too have been teetering on that edge. It’s not something that I talk about often, like diabetes, mental illness is stigmatized as well. You truly don’t see any way out, and then fate takes a turn for the better and as you’re taking that step off the cliff, someone grabs you and pulls you back up. So often it takes hitting rock bottom, sitting at the end of the fall, sobbing in the dirt for you to realise that you indeed have fallen as far as you can go, and the only place to go is up. And that’s the time when you begin to see the hands reaching out for you to grab on to, whether it’s a deity or family or pets or who or whatever. God bless your mama and you and your siblings.


  2. Wow. Cherise, I’m so glad you shared this. Just knowing that this is something your mom was able to talk about helps us all realize that if you can get past it, you can really get past it. Sometimes we forget that. Love, love, love! And hugs to you and your mom. Thank you for posting this.


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