Wednesday was the closest I have come to killing myself since April last year. I have been falling for a while but only recently found myself completely consumed by depression once more. I have been teetering in and out of intensely suicidal thoughts for weeks now, on Tuesday, I did something awful, something I deemed unforgivable, it was the final straw.
We were at my parents house and my kids and their cousins were playing, it was the first time my niece and nephews who live interstate, had seen their grandparents since Christmas and so they were of course given Christmas presents, one of my nephews had been given a $50 note and was waving it around proudly as you do at that age, clearly ecstatic and overwhelmed by the possibilities all that money could bring him.
As inevitably happens when a sugared up 10yr old is given a decent sum of money, he almost immediately lost it.
So the search began for the elusive yellow note, we checked shelves and tables, between couch cushions, the floor, emptied out the recycling bin with all the wrapping paper and finally scoured rooms of the house he hadn’t even been into yet. We turned the whole place completely upside down. Zip, Nothing, nada.
Much to my nephews distress, it seemed like the money was gone.
Now my parents place isn’t that big and it’s pretty tidy, it wasn’t really possible for that money to just vanish into thin air.
My kids had half heartedly joined in the money manhunt and then given up and returned to playing video games. My niece had already headed back to their hotel with her other Aunty and baby cousin at this stage and so my nephew, Mr 10, suggested rather haughtily that his sister (Miss 12) may have taken the money with her as a “joke”, my sister said that really wasn’t the sort of thing Miss 12 would do and I agreed with her, miss12 is known for being extremely responsible, she is highly intelligent and is about to start yr 7 at a highly sort after selective school, certainly not the type of girl to steal money, even her brothers money.
At that moment the reality that the money must have been taken by somebody set in. My sister being a very polite person herself didn’t say anything, she didn’t need to, it was clear that the only other potential culprits were my kids and the saddened/disappointed look on her face gave away exactly what she was thinking.
I’m the black sheep of my family, the mentally ill high school drop out who got knocked up at 17. My sister and her husband had degrees, homes and steady jobs well before deciding to start a family, my niece is highly gifted and both children are extraordinarily polite.
My 8yr old can swear like a trooper but can’t read and my 11yr old watches game of thrones, it’s clear to anyone looking who the better parent is here.
I like to think my husband and I have strong morals, we don’t steal. I am a firm believer in the ‘do unto others’ code and I would like to think that my children have been raised to know right from wrong, yet with no basis other than the fact that I consider myself to be a bad person/parent, I assumed that the only logical conclusion here was that me sucking at motherhood must have in turn led my offspring astray and they had now not only committed a felony but worse still, they stood by and pretended to help search for their distraught cousins missing cash.
What eventuated was I basically did everything except directly accuse my children of stealing the money from their cousin, I went through my kids belongings in front of my sister, made them turn out their pockets and even offered a reward for the safe return of the money while sending them to separate rooms to “have one last quick look” hoping to appeal to their honest sides.
Alas, the $$ still did not turn up.
I was on the verge of tears, feeling awful and guilty I apologised profusely to my sister and offered to give her $50, she refused to take it saying it was a good lesson to her son about looking after his things. I disagreed struggled to hold back the tears and we left.
As we drove it was obvious that Hubby was angry with me, I knew why immediately and he had every right to be. I had, without any reasonable evidence or motive, once again blamed our children for wrongdoing without proof before considering another child may have been responsible, purely because of my own issues.
I’m completely unable to stand up for my own kids and I despise it about myself. I have always assumed blame in all areas of my own life, if a car going the wrong way down a freeway drove into me, I would automatically assume that it must somehow be my fault.
Sadly this habit of self blame has extended into automatically blaming my kids for any problem arising with their friends or at school, despite them never having given me a reason to think badly of them. I guess I’m assuming that my bad parenting has caused them to be terrible people without giving them any credit for having developed their own moral guidelines.
When we were halfway through the very silent 1&1/2 hr trip home I got a text message from my sister saying the money had turned up, my nephew had placed it inside a book he had been given as a bookmark and forgotten about it. Disaster averted.
I replied a simple “oh thank goodness” put on sunglasses to cover my now streaming tears of shame and started for the first time since April last year, stopped thinking about and started seriously planning my suicide.
Why should my kids have to be raised by someone who didn’t believe in them? Any feelings of hope I had had left drained from my body, this was the final straw.
I was pathetic.
My inability to be a half decent person was now starting to affect the people I loved most, they didn’t deserve this bullshit, why should they suffer for the sins of their mother? I disgusted myself and I was done.
I had to take my mother to an important doctors appointment the following morning so I made a plan to crash my car into a truck or a gum tree on the trip home from that. I wasn’t able to look the kids in the eye again, I went into the house without speaking to anybody and headed straight to bed; I managed to apologise to hubby profusely and then cried the entire night.
The next morning my eyes were so swollen and puffy that I looked like I had been in a fist fight, I smothered my face in make up, put on sun glasses, pretended to smile and drove the 1hr &1/2 back into the city. My voice was also really scratchy so I told Mum that I had a cold, we went to her appointment and I dropped her home again refusing the offer of coffee as I had “a lot to do” the whole family was supposed to be coming to visit the farm the next day.
Under the guise of being busy, I flashed a smile and said ‘I can’t wait to see everyone again tomorrow’ then left as quickly as I could. I quickly picked up cat food and made sure to pay with my credit card, if I acted like I was planning to go home and nobody expected it, perhaps they could believe that it was in fact a genuine accident.
I had my ‘funeral playlist’ blearing as I pulled in at a rest stop before the final leg of my journey, the final leg of my life. I deleted the email link to my firstname.lastname@example.org off of my phone, erased any trace of my Twitter account on there and deleted my browser history so there was no link to this site for insurance companies to perhaps find and then refuse to make a payout in the future. I went to delete all of the podcasts that could potentially ‘out’ me too and noticed that my friend JP from Jamoalki.info had just released a brand new “depressed not dead” episode.
Instead of deleting it like the little voice in my head told me to, I pressed play and started driving again, JPs friendly voice overtook my car and I felt my intense desire to die slowly begin to defuse. I was not alone. I rounded the bend that held the large Eucalyptus tree I had picked out, there were no other cars and the timing was perfect, but as JP spoke about reaching out to people and connections, rather than taking my hands off the wheel, pushing down on the accelerator and closing my eyes the way I had planned, I drove around that corner and just kept going, around many more corners, passing many more trees and eventually into my driveway.
I arrived still guilt ridden, still lost, but I arrived. And somehow I felt less alone and slightly less hopeless. My daughter ran up to greet me at the car full of smiles with a “Mummy you’re home!!! I LOVE you!!”
That nearly didn’t happen.
JP, your voice reached me at just the right moment, thank you for giving my daughter another chance to hug me. xx
I’m so glad you made it through.
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Dear friend, Kate. I’m happy you found that voice when you did. My days are brighter knowing there is this spunky woman “down under” whose writing makes me smile, think and appreciate life each time I visit. Just think, I’ve never met you and you’re valuable to me. Now think how valuable you are to those kiddos and hubby.
All the hugs to you.
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Unfortunately, you can’t write this way unless you have lived it. And you can’t truly understand the pain and desperation unless you’ve felt it. I’m glad you are here Miss Kate. You are a guiding voice in this world of confusion. Thank you.