A Garden of Delights

Posts Tagged ‘Mental health

A little family story…

World Suicide Day: Preventing Tragic Loss (reblog, but original post removed from the now defunct site: CommuniCATE)

I grew up in a household where suicide was always felt (my great-grandfather had killed himself… it may sound like that should have been distant, but our family was a very extended one with me living with parents, grandparents and my great-grandmother in the same house). In that house, there was a room no one was supposed to go in, the room he shot himself in. The blood hadn’t even been cleaned after his body was removed and buried. They just closed the door and on rare occasions, someone would shove a box of “stuff” to stack in the room through the door… when the door could be reached. Usually stuff was piled in front of it.

The outside door to that room (it was the original kitchen to the house, and yes, after he died, they just made a second kitchen) overgrew with ivies, the small awning was allowed to just fall off the house, pulling some of the clapboard with it. The window broke and the barn cats would go and nest in there.

I used to want to know why that room was closed up so much. No one talked about it. If I tried to peek a look, either I risked poison ivy itches (not so bad for me, since as a kid I never caught the rash, but horrid for my uncle and grand-father since they could catch it from being around me) or being hollered at…. And the brief peeks I did catch never made much sense. What was so special about a dirty old kitchen filled with boxes and the corpses of mice and birds?

It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I’d pieced all the hints together. By then I’d been hospitalized for suicide attempts myself, my uncle had been living on antidepressants, my grand-father had been slowly recovering from alcoholism, …

Suicide does change things.

And for those wondering…   a picture of the house in question.  Of the door, even:

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The Old Farm

A bit of an apology, and some commentary:

First,I need to apologize for not having my guest piece up yesterday (or today).   Between missing some pieces of the post and being sick, I wasn’t up to posting things.  It will go up next Monday.  And thank you all for your patience with me.

And now the commentary…

I try to avoid reblogging, but find myself doing so all too often of late.  Sometimes it is simply because I feel I cannot say anything as potent as what I am reading in another’s words.  Other times, it feels only just to give the original author the accolades.  That very powerful piece by Christine Slaughter from The Dash Between I posted on St. Patrick’s Day, evoked so many memories for me…  I am grateful for the new awareness of my own rights that it gives me: And here, if you missed it, is the link:   http://brilliantlyred.wordpress.com/personal-bill-of-rights/

Institute of Mental Health 7, Nov 06

Institute of Mental Health 7, Nov 06 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This, of course, is not the only Personal Bill of Rights out there in the ether. A quick search helped me find many such pages. Most seem to revolve around people with problems: alcoholism, mental health issues, child and/or domestic abuse victims… It is both heartening and not to think that an affirmation of one’s value as a human being is so necessary among people who have not been able to receive the world’s fill of joy. The strength of will required to assert such self-value is good, and I cheers me to know that many have found that strength in the face of adversity.

But why does the existence of suffering make so many feel unworthy of simple human existence?

Like Christine and so many others, I have had my experiences that have left scars on my psyche. I do not dwell on them, or even analyze them (as I probably should). They helped mold who I am, but I am not defined by them or those who inflicted them. It’s wonderful that we are finding our voices in this world.

Especially when in watching articles such that this one from CNN, we find that too often, it takes an awareness that we are all human to realize that we all deserve the rights of humanity. How many of us do not know that we have rights as well?

Relevant Links:


First Friday Photo

Something to inspire

obligatory “What I Allow”

Short Stuff

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