“Life has taken its toll on me. I can no longer carry these secrets of being physically and sexually abused by both my parents and many others. Since the nightmares and flashbacks have taken control of my life I can’t function in society. I know no one could understand this shame and pain I carry. The feeling of it being my fault hangs over my head.”
Hi, my name is Malisia McKinney and those are the things that were running through my head the day I decided to kill myself and started a friendship with the author known as Annie O Sullivan of Can You Hear Me Now. I had sat at the computer to write a suicide letter and explain to people how important I felt it was to seek help but I was sorry I had waited too long.
I signed into Facebook to find a reply message from Annie regarding a message I had sent in regards to being sexually abused by my mother and how society didn’t believe mothers sexually abuse and how difficult it was. In Annie’s reply she told me that sometimes just living 15 minutes at a time was ok. It was like a light turned on in my head and a sense a relief come over me knowing I didn’t have to take it all on at once. What Annie didn’t know until much later had I not received that letter I would have been dead in 15 minutes.
I took Annie’s advice and decided to live within that 15 minutes and the next 15 minutes. It’s been almost a year now. During these months Annie listened to my story and gave me guidance from her own experience as a survivor. I have learned some important things from Annie that has saved my life this year.
- It’s never too late
- You are not alone
- Never give up
- It’s ok to just live 15 minutes at a time
- It’s ok to seek help
- You have nothing to be ashamed of
- It’s not your fault
- You are acting normally in an abnormal situation
- Tell your story
- Speak out against child abuse
So today I would like to write my survival letter instead of a suicide letter:
It’s never too late to start a journey to heal. I’m not alone and you aren’t either.
I no longer carry those secrets and I gave back the shame to the abusers. I let the little girl in me tell her story as much as she needs to. It does get better. I have days where I live 15 minutes at a time and that’s ok because I also have days of happiness I never thought possible. I have begun to experience new joys and a peace that was once strange to me. I’m glad I chose life.
If you are struggling know YOU ARE NOT ALONE and it’s OK TO ASK FOR HELP and if you know someone who is struggling please LISTEN to them it will make a world of difference in their life. Encourage them to SEEK HELP as well.
Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or suicidepreventionlifeline.org
RAINN-Rape Abuse & Incest National Network 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or rain.org