Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. – Psalm 139:7-8
This is Amber’s story, shared below in her own words. This is a tragic story of loss of innocence and abuse, leading to a downward spiral and suicide attempts. Her story doesn’t there, as we see the courage and strength beyond it took to write out her story for you. If you’re suffering from suicidal thoughts, enduring abuse or assault, or found yourself in a place where you’ve become numb to the pain like Amber did, read on… There is hope. You are not alone. – Christina
Shared from the Original Source: Letter From a Suicide Survivor
Letter from a Suicide Survivor
I want to start this off by issuing an apology to anyone who is about to read this and be shocked by what you see. Those of you reading this who knew me back then—back before I really met my Savior—you didn’t actually know me.
If I had to describe my old self in one word, I would say “broken.” Unfortunately, nothing in life is ever as simple as a one-word description. There was so much more to me than what met the eye, and all of it was enveloped in layers upon layers of pain and shame. I remember describing my life to myself sometimes and saying that I felt like I was “on the outside looking in” because even though I may have had a friend here and there, those “friends” were just visiting my jail cell without even knowing I was imprisoned. I was in a prison of isolation, trapped by my own shame and inability to tell others how I felt.
After my mother’s death, when I was fourteen years old, depression snuck its way into my life. I say “snuck” because I initially didn’t realize what was happening to me. It happened in small increments at first—so small I didn’t really notice—but then it manifested into something bigger. A few months passed after my mother’s death, and I finally realized the shift in my personality. However, I didn’t understand why my personality changed—why I felt sad for no reason, why I felt like I just wasn’t done grieving, or why I felt disconnected from society. Nothing seemed to make sense anymore, and the family members that knew me passed it off as though I was going through a phase. I did, too, hoping that I would return to feeling happy and that this would all pass.
It didn’t, of course. Depression is like a cancer in two ways (one I will address later in this article). Depression starts off small just like cancer does, but it grows and spreads. It takes its victims like a silent, slow killer, wanting to consume every portion of its victim’s body and life before finally being merciful and ending it.
During my high school years, I tried to open up to people, but I failed every time. Either I felt like I couldn’t relate to them, or I felt like I was making a fool of myself by trying to trust someone who would never understand me. Even at the age of fifteen, all of my energy was spent in trying to make people see an energetic, happy person and not see the broken, misunderstood thing that was growing inside of me. I didn’t understand why I was so different, and I became paranoid that people would think I was crazy because I didn’t fit in—because I forgot what being happy felt like at fifteen years old.
Desperate to feel like I belonged and like I was wanted, I turned to the sex-driven “bad boys” because they seemed to be the only ones who would give me attention and make me think for a moment that someone wanted me. At seventeen, I lost my virginity to a boy I hardly knew and haven’t talked to him very much since then. After that, shame began to exponentially speed up depression’s cancerous growing process. I began thinking about suicide. I felt like an outsider at home and a villain at school. I felt trapped and imprisoned. It looked to me like the only escape was kill to myself.
People say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and that’s a very true and reasonable statement. However, people who contemplate suicide are often so broken and hurt that they’re incapable of seeing reason, and any solution looks better than the weight of the world they feel on their chest—even if it’s a permanent and irreversible solution.
Once suicidal thoughts began creeping into my mind, I felt like I really had gone crazy and that being normal was as impossible as escaping the prison I felt all around me. I fell into bad situation after bad situation, getting myself into circumstances where I was pressured and forced into doing things with boys that I didn’t want to do. This happened twice before I graduated high school, both times with different boys, and once leaving bruises all on my side where they refused to let me leave until I did what they wanted me to do. I want to clarify that I was not raped during those instances, but I was assaulted. Regardless, I was left with more shame and brokenness than I had before. I felt like I couldn’t talk to or tell anyone, so I kept silent for years.
Right after I graduated high school, my step mother died. I was so focused on trying to be the backbone of my family, that I hurt myself even more and retreated to the darkest corner of that prison of isolation, pain, and shame—a corner so dark, I couldn’t find my way out of it. Later, I got into yet another bad situation where this time I actually was pushed to the point of having sex without explicit consent. That was the final straw, and after that I became numb and stopped feeling emotions completely at eighteen years old. Although suicide was something that had crossed my mind on several occasions already, I began thinking about it so much that I would involuntarily visualize my own death multiple times a day.
I actually tried to commit suicide a handful of times, but something would always stop me—whether it was fear or a small sliver of hope, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I didn’t do it but instead found the actual solution to my problems and cure to my pain. On a night in September 2015, I walked into a church and really got touched by the fire of God for the first time.
One touch from God was all it took. Depression left me, suicide left me, and every ounce of pain and shame was unraveled and pulled away from me. They haven’t been back since, and I haven’t been the same. At the age of nineteen, I experienced pure joy and happiness for the first time in nearly five years, and it was better than anything I had ever felt before. Now at twenty, I experience joy on a daily basis and couldn’t imagine life without it. On that night in September, God broke apart that prison I was in and lead me out of it, letting the crumpled remains melt in His all-consuming fire.
I said before that depression is like a cancer in two ways, one I have already stated, but the most important characteristic they share is that they bothdon’t stand a chance against the power of God. They are both curable, and all it takes is one touch from God. Any issue in life can be cured by one touch from the Father, and no one is ever too far gone. My story is one example of many that just serves to show how good God is and how much He loves us all. God is bigger than any pain, than any tragedy, than any sickness, than anything.
There is a solution to the pain you may feel, and it isn’t suicide. When I was broken, God made me whole. When I was ashamed, God showed me I was worthy. When I was dead inside, God revived me. He didn’t just leave once He fixed me, and He didn’t just show up because I was broken. He had been there since the beginning, always wanting more for me but just waiting for me to say yes to all He had in store. He was beside me through all of those years I let depression run and ruin my life, begging me to look at Him and see how much He loves me and that He had the solution I wanted so desperately all along. He sat beside me every time I tried to write out a suicide note or had a knife in my hand, telling me not to do it because the price of my life had already been paid in full by Jesus Christ.
Christ died, so I could live. He died, so you could live. His death wasn’t just for you to have a miserable, mediocre life. It was for a life of blessing, of love, and (although there may be trials and persecution along the way) of purpose and hope. It took me years to realize that I didn’t have to live a broken life, but God changed my life in an instant. He will do the exact same thing for you—regardless of whether you take years, decades, months, or minutes to turn to Him.
You don’t have to be hurting. You don’t have to be depressed. You can be full of joy, hope, and peace. You are already loved so much. Don’t live the lie I did and believe that you’re alone and misunderstood. You are not, and you can be made whole again. You just have to let God show you how much He loves you and fix every broken thing in you piece by piece, leaving nothing broken behind but instead restoring every part of you to the beauty and perfection He always made you to be.
Did you come to know the love of Jesus after going through something hard? Sometimes we have to get to our darkest moment before we cry out in despair. It’s when there’s no hope left that we need a Saviour. Your story can bring hope to someone today.
What is it you’re facing? Nobody goes into battle alone. We can stand with you. Let us know in the comments below how we can pray for you, or by submitting your story. He will fight for you.