I tried to kill myself but decided to live

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hi, I tried to take my life not even a month ago. the reason why i had tried was becasue i got into a fight with my aunt, who is like a second mother to me. she had always been there for me and she was the one person that i felt i could tell everything. And then one day she got really mad at me because i said i didn’t want to do somethng she wanted me to. my aunt got really mad and said some things, but i didn’t say anything.

Ever since i was little i always got scared to say something back to family members, because i was scared to lose them. so everytime things went wrong i just stayed quiet and i never knew how to choose what i wanted. my mom left my dad when i was about 3 yrs old and she took me and my bother with her. she left him becuase he drank alot and he would hit her and verbally abused her, my brother and me. (i dont remember it but growing up you hear people talk)

that all took place in another country. and when I was 5 my mom left me and my brother to move to the USA to give us a better life. A few years later she came back for me and my brother. i dont remember anything from when i was a child but those thing because i get reminded of them. my mom just re-married . and this time she is moving half way around the world to be with this guy that she knows for less then a year. i was in my home country when it happened. it was around the same time i tried to kill myself.

the morning that i tried to kill myself i wasn’t talking to my aunt anymore and my mom called that morning to tell me how i was wrong and that i was going to call my aunt and be sorry for what i did (not wanting to mind her) and that i was going to put a smile on my face and act like it was all good. I hate faking what i feel.

so why am i still alive rith now? well becuase after i took all those pain killers,(i dont know how long after) but i could feel my body, it was so cold. i was so cold, and it was like i woke up and realized what was happening to me. I was dying, i didn’t know what to do i changed my mind. i didn’t care about who was mad at me or wasn’t talking to me or was hating me. I just WANTED to live, not becuase of anyone else but becuase of me. it was MY life i was giving up. so i tried to get help, and thats how im alive today.

this is the first time i’m talking about it. the first thing that my mom said to me when she found out what happened, the first thing she said to me was ” what did i ask you to do? I asked you to fix a problem, right? what did you do, you made an even bigger one!” after hearing her i just wished that i had died. and im not mad at my mom for what she said but i can’t seem to forget. i have bad days that i feel i want to die but its hasn’t been anything that’s as strong as i felt that day… i know i need help but i don’t know where to begom. or what to do. please can you give me some advice.
thhank you,

A: What a hard time! I’m so sorry that you felt desperate enough to want to die. I’m so very glad you figured out in time that the person who had the most to lose by your death is you!

Your relationship with your mother seems very complicated. On the one hand, she left you when you were very young to make a better life for her children and then kept her promise and brought you and your brother to the States. On the other hand, you don’t feel that she is sensitive to your needs. I hope someday the two of you can have a real talk about how things have been from both your perspective and hers. The only thing I know for sure from your letter is that it hasn’t been easy.

For now, though, you need to find a way to stick with the insight you had when you were dying. This is your life. You can make of it what you want. At 18, you are old enough to either get a job or go to school to begin your adult life. Focus on making a group of friends who can be there for each other. Don’t forget to include older people in your life who can offer you support and wisdom. See if you can patch things up with your aunt who, after all, has been like a second mom for you for many years. One fight, even a big one, shouldn’t undo all of that.

You may find that you need some professional help as well. I think you would get some relief if you could talk out some of your problems instead of bottling them up inside. Check into local mental health clinics to see if there are some support groups or therapy options you can afford. In the meantime, if you ever have those “I want to die” feelings again, please call a warmline. The Boys and Girls Town National Hotline is staffed 24/7 with counselors who are there to talk to young people who are feeling alone and desperate. The number there is 800-448-3000. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline works in the same way. Counselors are available 24 hours a day to talk to people and to help them find local resources. Their number is 800-273-8255.

You made an important beginning by deciding to live your life. Now, please, hold onto that conviction and find the support you need to do it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Dec 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). I tried to kill myself but decided to live. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/12/28/i-tried-to-kill-myself-but-decided-to-live/