Trigger Warning: Anxiety, Suicidal Ideation, Stress, depression
If you’ve been following me for a bit, you might know that Welcome Home Healing (hey, that’s this blog!) is a friendly corner of the internet. We talk about the fact that I have Cerebral Palsy, depression, and all kinds of things. I’m also a volunteer crisis counselor for CrisisTextLine.
In every day life, and in the volunteering I do, I talk about suicide, debt, substance abuse, personality disorders, chronic illnesses, divorce, death, child abuse, and all kinds of sticky topics on a daily basis. By no means do I ever feel desensitized to talking about these things, however, they’re not necessarily shocking or surprising to me, and I’m grateful that I can have honest dialogue about such difficult issues.
Honest and open dialogue has the ability to prevent hurt feelings, relationship difficulties, and the most preventable cause of death: death by suicide.
I’ll explain more about this, and how you can be receptive to someone who is having thoughts of dying in a future post. Right now, I’d like to show you what happened when I told my wife that I wanted to die.
Some of you might know our situation and what we had to leave behind in order to get our lives back together, but if you don’t, here is the condensed version:
I come from a traumatic background, she does too. In 2014, we got married as husband and wife. In November 2017, after finding out I had PCOS, we suffered a miscarriage. Early 2018, she came out to me and told me she wanted to start Hormone Replacement Therapy, as one major source of her distress had been caused by Gender dysphoria. We were in the throes of family issues, and trying for our second child.
In 2017, we entered Marriage Counseling, and we decided that we are better together. We have remained committed, and yes, we still love each other very much.
As you may have already guessed, I’ve sacrificed more than enough to make our marriage work. Do not be mistaken, my wife has as well. We have sacrificed and prioritized each other, and somehow, we realized that it’s a waste of time to resent or be permanently angry at each other.
Sounds stressful, right? It is. So, when stress and the inability to cope decided to come knocking at my proverbial door, I began to truly feel like living was much too hard and that the future would look better without me. In short: I wanted to die. This was only a few nights ago. Tonight, I’m glad to be alive.
I didn’t call a counselor, I didn’t text anyone – I went to the one person I’ve been through a lifetime of events with in just a few short years. I went to my wife after recognizing the signs of suicidal ideation in my head. I went to her, I said:
“I don’t want to scare you, but I really need to talk. I really need someone. This is serious.”
Immediately, she stopped what she was doing, and we went to our bedroom. I sat up, and let her in. I told her that things had gotten out of hand, and that I was really overwhelmed and sad. I told her that I wouldn’t hurt myself but that the thoughts of suicide had gotten too heavy. I told her that I was having trouble handling everything we’d gone through and that I’d felt like a fool for letting things get so messy in my head. I told her, that yes, while I was confused and scared by everything, I had also been upset with her too, but that I still loved her and that it was time for us to really think things through – or put everything to bed, including our marriage.
I thought she’d shut down. I thought she’d minimize the situation, and I’d go to bed feeling sad and unheard. But man, when I tell you she showed up for me, she really showed up.
She listened to me. She validated how stressful things had been on me, and she owned her part in being the creator of a portion of that stress. She sincerely apologized and said she would always be there for me.
In response, I LET MY GUARD DOWN. Holy crap you guys, (and ladies, and humans) I am such a guarded person that sometimes I forget I’m the one who constructed that wall. I forget that she can’t do her job as my spouse, if I don’t sit down, shut the fuck up, and OPEN THE DOOR FOR HER. LET DOWN MY WALLS AND SHE CAN HELP ME. How can she know what my needs are, if I hadn’t asked her for help?
So, I’m sitting there, like, “Wow, yeah I forgot to make room for two, didn’t I?” I also opened up and owned up to my portion of the mess we had created. And hours had gone by. I was talking and talking and crying and she was too. And then I realized, once more, THIS IS WHY WE ARE STILL MARRIED. THIS IS WHY IT DOESNT MATTER IF SHE’S MY WIFE NOW, RATHER THAN MY HUSBAND. BECAUSE WE SHOW UP. CONSISTENTLY, AND WHEN IT MATTERS MOST, WE HANDLE THINGS WELL, TOGETHER. BECAUSE, MORE THAN ANYTHING, SHE’S MY FRIEND.
She’s my friend. She’s my friend. <3
I had just told my wife, my absolute best friend, that my anxiety was getting the best of me, and that the world she exists in would be better off without me.
She listened to me, without interrupting me. She listened to me, and then she validated my feelings. Afterward, we began to talk about our next steps, and then we collaboratively problem-solved. Sometime later, we held each other, like always. We got up the next morning, renewed and looking forward to the new life we are presently making with each other.
Now, 90% of the resentment and frustration we held onto is gone. Simply because now I know that she does love me, and that she does listen to me.
(90% means the major hurdles. 😉 it’s a fake percentage I used for demonstration purposes).
As for my wife, she got to see me, the real me, in my rawest form. She got to see me breathe for the first time in a long time. She got to see me, the me that is unwound, lackadaisical and creative, a fellow gamer, and as always, a sucker for love and happy endings.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, if you feel unheard, invalidated, ashamed, afraid, please know it’s okay to talk about it. I am here.
You can also text HOME to 741741, and you’ll be connected to someone who cares, and someone who will listen and be there for you.
I’ll have my resource page back up soon, if you are in need of other connections.
I love you.
You’re safe here.