My Almost Love Affair with Death **trigger for SI**

I don’t remember the first time I had suicidal ideation but I remember the first and only time I made an attempt to end my life. It was the morning of December 5th of 2016. It’s hard to remember the exact events of that day but I do remember the triggers before that day which led me down that dark path. Some people might think that by writing about this I’m sharing too much of my personal life but I stopped caring about other people’s opinions this year. While it is hard for me to revisit that day and tell my story; it is important for me to share my story in hopes that someone somewhere struggling doesn’t feel so alone or that loved ones look for signs if someone near them is in trouble. Talking about suicide and its possible causes is an important conversation to have that should be normalize. 

To friends, family, and coworkers, I’ve always tried to maintain this image of having an almost perfect life of suburban bliss. Relatives from Peru, the country I immigrated from have told me that I’m the American Dream. Looking at my social media, this image is perfectly crafted with pictures of me with my family and friends.I specialize in posting those candid family shots at some event in town #momlife, me  with friends downtown #girlsnightout,  and me at work #bestjobever. You get the point. I’ve crafted this image of being this perfectly put together woman who has it all and does great at balancing all of the expectations and responsibilities thrusted upon her by society. People close to me call me strong, amazing, and awesome. They see this confident woman that manages to handle life and almost every obstacle thrown at her with grace. I remember being 17 after announcing my unplanned pregnancy to friends and one of them telling me, “ I can’t believe how calm you are and how well you’re handling it, I would be freaking out”.I smiled at her and told her, “Well, it’s done now. I just have to deal with it the best way I can”. Even at the tender age of 17, it was ingrained in me to suppress my emotions and show others this facade of being a strong woman. Needless to say, there’s always been a lot of pressure on me to maintain this image. This pressure almost killed me. 

#girlsnight
#family time
#momlife
#worklife

In the winter of 2016, my life looked perfect from the outside. I worked from home as a Bilingual Child Support Agent making more money than ever, I’m married to a doting husband, I have 3 wonderful and amazing sons. I even lived in a quaint but nice 3 bedroom house on a street named Candy Ct in a relatively quiet neighborhood. And don’t forget, I still had time to have the occasional girls night. So hashtag perfect life right? What people didn’t know at the time was the following:

My oldest son, who was a senior in high school at the time and an excellent student, was struggling with one of his classes and I was starting to get calls and emails from the school about it.#failingasmom

I realized my marriage was unsalvageable and there was nothing either of us could do to save it. #mymarriageisafailure

-I was gaining weight because I was stress eating. #lowselfesteem

I hated my job as a Child Support Agent and it was taking a major toll on my mental health. I did not handle being yelled at all day with clients well.#Ifuckinghatemyjob

Also, the political climate was changing for the worst for immigrants and people of color after Trump was elected. #fuckAmerica

And, I was binge drinking at night with my prescribed xanax to deal with all of it. I was also taking Lexapro in the mornings. #selfmedicatingtocope

In November of that year, I was starting to fall into the pit of despair that is depression and while I knew it was happening; I was in denial. I had been here before having PPD with all four of my pregnancies. I kept telling myself that I could keep a handle on it, I didn’t have the time or the luxury of having a mental breakdown. Even though I was making more at my new job, we were still a low income family since I was the only main provider. I had no family to call on or fall back at all if I was to go to a psychiatric institution. Plus, my children needed their mother to be there for them. So I tried to bury any feelings of despair deep within me with the help of alcohol and Xanax.

After weeks of feeling this way, on Sunday, December 4th, I felt a new low that night. I don’t know why  I  didn’t reach out to friends. I had isolated myself from everyone in a lot of ways. I kept in contact with people close to me but it’s easy to keep a facade of being “okay” when I’m not. I’ve been doing it since I can remember. Gotta love that Quiet BPD. I remember feeling like a complete failure because I was raised by my mother to always be strong or at least keep that façade of strength on the surface to show everyone that you’re not weak or crazy. There had been a couple of “weak women” with mental illness in my mother’s family who were looked down upon because of this. I grew up with this stigma that those with mental illness were “weak” or “not right in the head”. Also, I felt very privileged compared to my mother and aunts who came to this country and had way more hardships than I ever did. I remember thinking that night how nice it would be nice to fall asleep and never wake up. Waking up meant facing my reality that I was a failure at everything in my life that defined me: a mother, a wife, and a worker. The next morning, I woke up around 6:30 am and I felt numb and dead inside. I didn’t want to face my depressing and horrible reality and I made a decision. There was no point in living if I was a failure at everything. Feeling like a failure is worse than death to me.  I texted my supervisor and told her I was sick and couldn’t sign in to work, I wrote love letters to my sons, my husband, my parents, and my closest friends trying to explain what I was doing, and I got the coffee from the kitchen counter that my husband had prepared for me and took the xanax bottle that was on the kitchen table to my son’s bedroom where I had been working at. I sat down on the recliner in that room and swallowed each of the 15 pills one at a time. I remember that right after, I got a call from my oldest son’s counselor concerned about him. I vaguely remember the conversation. Right after, something in me made me send a text to my friend Janet from college that lived 10 minutes from me. I honestly don’t remember what I texted her, all I know is that I finally fell asleep. I was woken up from my sleep as my husband shook my shoulders, he  was telling me something and I vaguely remember that it had to do with my friend calling him. He wanted me to go to the living room but my legs felt like lead. So he half carried me to the couch in the living room and forced me to drink coffee. I fell asleep shortly after. I remember waking up and talking to my husband but I can’t remember what I said, all I know is that we both made a decision that I needed to quit my job and that afternoon, I emailed my two weeks notice letter to my supervisor. And my friend Janet came in the afternoon and took me to a Mexican restaurant to eat tacos, my favorite comfort food and we talked for a long time about what had happened. I also remember my friend Janet talking to my husband about me. Since I was a legal resident permanent alien at the time, going to a psychiatric hospital was not an option for me. The application for citizenship specifically asks about whether you have been in a psychiatric hospital. Me, my friend, and husband knew that I couldn’t take a chance on my future petition of naturalization being denied. You see, that famous poem on the Statue of Liberty by  Emma Lazarus “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” is really a lie in this case. What America really wants are these almost perfect and model immigrants but that’s another blog post

 After this happened, I fell into a deep depression. It didn’t help that I had also withdrawn from my mental health meds without the advice of my doctor. If it wasn’t for the fact that I kept a journal after this event, I wouldn’t know half of what happened during  what happened during that time. I call this time period of my life, “The Great Depression” of 2016 and 2017 that lasted until November of 2017. During “the Great Depression”, I kept my journal religiously, and I gave myself a month before looking for another job, and reached out to a former coworker and friend who referred me to her ex husband for marriage counseling. I also completed and filed my paperwork for naturalization. I also eventually found a job with the school district as a parapro. I even got a tattoo of semi-colon in February to remind myself that my story isn’t over.  Even during the great depression, I still tried to be as productive as possible. I also kept this list with me-It was a list of important events (birthday, anniversaries, graduation) that I needed to be alive for. I also kept a list of reasons why I needed to be alive (my kids, parents, husband, friends).  I kept these lists with me at all times because that’s how bad my depression was at the time. It was a really dark period of my life.

I reflect on this 5 years later and I feel like this was a lifetime ago. Since that time, I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Borderline Personality Disorder.  I’m also on three different kinds of mental health meds and am going to therapy. Depression still visits me from time to time, especially when life gets overwhelming or something drastic happens in my life but I have way better skills to cope with it now and not let it get to an extremely bad place again. I would never tell anyone that I’m cured of depression because that would be a lie but I will say I’m much, much better at not letting it take over my life like it has in the past. Writing my story and sharing it with world may seem excessive to some but I’m sharing my story in the hopes that someone reading this comes to an understanding that people that die by suicide or attempt it are not selfish or cowards; we are people that feel this immense and excruciating pain and we want to escape from it by any means necessary. I also write my story in hopes that if there is someone out there struggling with suicidal ideation and depression; I want them to know that they are not alone and it is possible to get to a better place  #youareworthit. 

me in November of 2021 with another fighter, Frida Kahlo

Here are a few helpful links related to this story:

Suicide Prevention:

Therapist locator: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

Depression and Suicidal Ideation:

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide

Bipolar 2: 

https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-2-disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237

Quiet BPD: 

https://www.healthline.com/health/quiet-bpd

Poetry: Letter to My Former Lover

I wrote this in January of 2003 about Lucas. I was doing what I normally do, obsessing over past love because I was lonely. At least I wrote this poem instead of trying to track him down.

damn…a hard truth

My dear Luke
I Still miss you
Even after your unexpected departure
My heart feels a terrible torture
Of not having you by my side
I wonder if for me, you ever cried
Why couldn’t you stay?
Instead of leaving on that dreary day
Why did you have to go?
Nobody else could’ve loved you more
I know my letter may seem strange to you
But my heart finds it hard to replace you
I have tried so hard to move on
But it’s impossible to go on
I guess I should say goodbye
Before I start to cry
But before I do this
I gotta tell you my wish
that you find what you need
Even if it’s without me
And if you ever find yourself in love
Understand that you’re enough
and that you fight for it
Don’t run away from it
So now I say goodbye my friend
Maybe one day I’ll see you again

Poetry: Pathetic Games

I wrote this in January of 2003 about John. Maybe he tried to come back to be an FWB and I got mad and that’s what inspired this poem.

Never

Why do you continue to be
such an asshole to me?
With your pathetic games
you make yourself look lame
You expect me to sit around and wait for you
whenever it’s fucking convenient for you
but I guess this is my fault
for letting us almost fuck
So now I have to tell you something
I will no longer be your fucking fling
So start to forget
that we ever met
Go on your merry away
and stay away
for i am lot more
than an on call whore

Poetry: No Clue

I wrote this in January of 2003 about John. I’m telling y’all when I get obsessed with someone I’m like the mild version of Joe Goldberg.

You had no clue
How I felt about you
Because you were too hard headed
to put us through the relationship test
because you wanted to be free
Instead of wasting your time on me
It’s really sad
But I’ll have the last laugh
Because one day you’ll realized
I could’ve been your ultimate prize
But now it’s too late
for you have offended your fate

Poetry: Lost Cause

I wrote this in January of 2003 about Lucas. I was still obsessing about him.

Your love was a lost cause
when it was her you chose
but at night I still toss and turn
wondering why it wasn’t me you yearned
Was it the hurtful fact?
You wanted to keep your life intact
Or was it because
I wasn’t good enough
To make the ultimate sacrifice
to leave your perfect and fake life

Poetry: Like Every Other Fool

I wrote this 20 years ago on November 1st right before the great breakup of 2001. I wish I could say that I get over breakups quicker now but that would be a lie. After fights or breakups with partners, I seem to always go back to the girl I was in my teens and 20s. My brain is wired that way and I’ve accepted it. It’s something called age regression that shows up in people with Borderline Personality Disorder. Fear of abandonment is so severe that some of us will feel like we are literally dying after a breakup. Some of us will stop eating, some of us will sleep for days, some of will self harm or have suicidal ideation. With each breakup, I’ve noticed I’ve acquired healthier coping mechanisms. Nowadays, I’ve learned to listen more to what I need in order to heal than what doing what I used to do to escape the pain of heartbreak. My method now is cut off all contact with the ex, exercise, write a LOT and do loads of self care. I’m careful not to fall into any quick escapes from my feelings like going on tinder and trying to find someone new. Do I think I will ever get better at accepting a breakup like a normal person? I don’t know but I hope so. While I’m thankful for all of the inspiration and growth that comes from every breakup ;it’s also very overwhelming, exhausting and draining at times.

❤❤❤

You showed up unexpectedly in my life
Like a pleasant surprise
Calling and seeing me every day
Making me dinner
and leaving me roses on my dashboard
I thought “finally, the one has come”
Suddenly all of those nice things
started becoming scarce
The dinners, the roses, seeing me
became non-existent
Even talking to you on the phone
has become too much of a bother of you
I’m no fool, I know exactly
where this doomed thing is headed
Pretty soon you’ll give me some lame excuse
As to why “we” can no longer be
And my heart will shatter
into pieces yet again
There will be nothing left to say
I’ll just realize once again
You’re just like every other fool

Poetry: Drunk and Blue

I wrote this on January 1st, 2003 about this dude that I hooked up with a week prior. I was upset about John and of course wanted to escape from my feelings of rejection. So I started once again seeking validation from men and ended up hooking up with some guy from the bar.

So true

The night I met you
I was drunk and blue
Because of that impossible love
Who said I wasn’t good enough
So I decided to drink my pain away
and then you came my way
With your charming and smooth manner
I should’ve known you were a player
But you told me everything
That I wanted to believe in
How you had never met anyone like me
And that you wanted us to be
It sound almost too good to be true
But i was feeling lonely too
So i decided to give in to you
Afterwards you promised to call

But instead you went awol
And many days later I sit here
In a river of foolish tears
Wondering why why why
I always fall for the same false lines

Poetry: Crooked Turn

I wrote this in January of 2003 about John. Guess I was still mad at the rejection I felt when he ghosted me.

It’s like that sometimes

If I was nothing more
Than another girl
Why couldn’t you have been straight
Instead of acting in an enamored way
And made me really believe
You truly care for me
but I should have known all along
that you’d be the same jerk song
Hopefully one day I’ll learn
to stop taking all you crooked turns

Poetry: Control Myself

I wrote this poem in 2019 when I got into a fight with a friend because he was cruel to one of my friends. After this fight, we didn’t talk for 2 years but we ended up reconnecting in the summer of this year.

random pic of me pissed in 2019

Control myself, he said

As I called out his misogyny

His fragile ego couldn’t handle

hard truths thrown at him

He thinks that he has a license to offend

Because of the organ between his legs

and the pale color of his skin-

He thinks that I’m wrong 

for not sitting still and silent

He thinks that I have no right 

to stand up for myself 

Control myself, he said 

and “fuck off” I reply to him

you won’t even be able 

to control a woman like me-

Poetry: Hard

I wrote this in January of 2003. I’m honestly surprised that after so much disappointment in the dating world, I still had faith. I guess I was still a hopeless romantic at that point.

It’s so hard sometimes to be nice
When you’ve cried so many times
Over so many sorry ass guys
When you are always done wrong
You wonder what’s taking so long
To find a warm hearted guy
Who’ll give you the moon and the sky
To find that special man
that was written for you in the sand
Sometimes you almost want to give up
and just suck it up

And say “I’m so through”
With always being used
But you have to have faith
That one day you’ll find somebody great
And all of these lonely nights
Will finally have an end in sight

Poetry: Nothing More

I wrote this in December of 2002. Towards the end of the year, I was depressed abotu dating and romance. I hated feeling like I was always just used for fun, objectified, and then discarded like trash. .

exactly

Now that I know
That between us
Can me nothing more
Than a story of pure lust
I feel so dumb
And wonder once again
If it’s possible to go numb
From all of the jerks that are so damn lame
You fucking jerks that don’t want to see past
Me being a great piece of ass
And I ask myself these questions
What does it take for someone like me?
To find someone that will make me happy
To find someone who doesn’t use me just for fun
But maybe it’s okay
Maybe this is just my fate

Poem: The Objectification of Eliza

I wrote this in 2019 when I was reflecting about the way men have often objectified in a way that they almost always seem to just want the fun and sexy part of me but seem to often have problems seeing the rest of me. I’ve almost always felt like I’ve been good enough to be their lover but never good enough to be introduced to their mother. Do I still feel this way? I honestly don’t know. I like the attention and validation I get from men because of my looks but sometimes it feels so hollow.

Often men want this girl…the ones that’s always down for a “good” time
BUT run away from this one….the other girl …the vulnerable one that has a realness hard to accept

Tell me I’m pretty, tell me I’m sexy

Tell me I’m beautiful

Objectify me, fuck me, 

Forget about me

And then

Try to come back to me

And when I deny

your lust filled request,

Put me down, threaten me

Try to hurt me-

Your words mean nothing to me

You’re not the first 

But will be the last

Who tries to destroy me

You’re not the first 

But will be the last 

Who treats me like a doll

to fuck at your convenience

You’re not the first

But will be the last

That tells me I’m not good enough

Tell me you miss, tell me you want me

Tell me you’re sorry

Be persistent in your quest

In trying to get me in your bed

with empty promises

about how this time it will be different

Sorry to my past, my present, and

future lovers-

I am pass being the girl

that’s just used for fun-

I am pass being the lover

you never introduce to your mother

I’d rather live in a world 

of solitude and calm

than to once again fall

into the objectification trap 

Poetry: Stupid Game

I wrote this poem in December of 2002 cause well dating sucks and it’s still timely. Haha.

2002 was such a rough year for love

I hate playing this stupid game
Called dating
Trying to decide
Which move to make
So you can have him at checkmate
It’s no longer about falling in love
Or even real feelings
But it’s about winning
So if sit here wanting to hear hisvoice
I don’t dare give in to this yearning
To want to call him
Because then they’ll almost be winning

Poetry: Gone

I wrote this in December of 2002 and it wasn’t inspired by any breakups, it might have been inspired by a movie I watched or a book I read.

it’s like that sometimes

I woke up one day
To see that you had gone away
All you left was a note
You could no longer cope
With our love mess
You had tried your very best
To be the man I wanted you to be
The one who only cared for me
You had only pretended to be true
And now you say the time has come
You’re sorry it took so damn long
All that is left is goodbye
You tell me to not even ask why
You wish me the best in life
One day I’ll make a great wife
And with your signature you sign off
I hope that someday you’ll find true love