A few months ago I shared my story with you and the response was overwhelming. I felt free that day. The stigma with suicide and those who are left to pick up the mess is cruel to say the least. Even now, 15 years later, it isn’t any easier. Two days before my surgery I had my pre-op appointment. It began at my doctor’s office with the nurse who assisted in the surgery. She went over everything to expect and answered any questions I had. I then had to drive to the hospital to register and have blood work done. When I finally got called back I had to answer a bazillion questions. They wanted to know my health history, past surgeries, etc. You name it they asked it. I was then asked about my family history. For the record, this has NEVER been an issue regarding my family history, nor has it ever been asked. So I was taken back a bit. This is how the conversation played out:Nurse: “Ok, I need to go over your family history, let’s start with your dad.” Me: “Ok.” Nurse: “Is he still living?” Me: “No.” Nurse: “Ok do you know the reason for his death?” Me: (pausing and wondering why this is even relevant for them to know) “Yes…he committed suicide.”
I swear at that very moment TIME FROZE! It was like watching a movie where the whole cast just freezes for 5 seconds before moving on. *AWKWARD*Nurse: “I’m so sorry, I just didn’t expect that answer at all.” Me: “Totally understand.”
Uncomfortable 30 seconds of silence.
I felt embarrassed somewhat, but managed to forget about it for the rest of the time I was there. After I left I got a little annoyed about it. I can understand if he died from heart disease, diabetes, or something like that, but did they really need to know that? I also didn’t like that it was in MY chart. I don’t know why that bothered me so much. Maybe it was her reaction. Maybe it was how I felt having to tell her. Either way, it’s all because of the stigma attached to suicide. I hate it. That is why I have to write this book. People talk about those who died from car wrecks, cancer, even homicide, but you mention someone died from suicide and you can hear a pin drop. It’s ridiculous and I’m sick of it. Survivors like myself need to be able to talk about it without feeling embarrassment or shame. Regardless of what your thoughts and ideas regarding those who committed suicide are, regardless of whether you believe they are in heaven or hell, regardless if it makes you uncomfortable…the fact is that healing is NOT about the person who committed suicide, it’s about those left behind. Those who died that way can no longer be helped. As hard as we all tried, he couldn’t be saved. It’s about those of us who are left to pick of the pieces and try to sort them all out. My purpose with this book is about my healing, but also about erasing the stigma. What do you think? Do you think it’s time the stigma is erased?
To read My Story click here: http://www.alittlebitsassy.com/my-story/