The Black Place

IMG_1162Designing life a second time is not easy. Many people Β stay angry and are openly hostile to the person who has attempted suicide. They watch you with different eyes, perhaps not knowing that you still haven’t overcome the sadness that led you toward death.

There is a paralysis that sets in during the long recovery period. Your shields are down. You feel all the energy of others emotions, it is very unpleasant.

In the person you previously thought was kind and sympathetic, you now see through them, just a couple of shades deeper, and find they have a certain smugness about them. People talk down to you, as if they feel you need to be punished for wanting to die. They tell you all the times you have disappointed them, they tell you they’re sick of your shit. They tell you all the times you have made them angry, not allowing you to answer back. There actually is no answer, because you’re so shocked by what you see Β in them. In fact, we are judging each other.

They have declared themselves to be upright citizens, but I see something horribly different. It’s like I came back to the wrong world. People have no integrity, they justify their cruelty towards you. They believe you should have a life sentence of punishment, and enjoy bringing you to that black place in your mind. The black place that you can’t obliterate, it lives in you now, and you never feel safe.


43 thoughts on “The Black Place

  1. I respect you more than the average bear. Not less so.

    Try to move beyond your suffering if you can. You are loved, and your suffering is not pointless. In fact, it is valued. But not much by those here in this life, so focus on the next. Even those of us who also live for the freedom of the next world recognize you and admire you. Be at peace, Friend.

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  2. That was a powerful post. I hope you can try and shake off the judgement of various people – however close they might be to you. Survival is after all about trying to put yourself first and others in the backdrop of life. Cheers.

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  3. I sometimes wonder how much of the cruelty people show others is thinly veiled “there but for the grace of god go I” stuff. It is terrifying to realise how much one can despair, and people respond by trying to believe that those who attempt suicide, or “deviate” in some other way, are flawed (and therefore deserving of punishment). It makes them feel better about themselves and their own fears. I hope you find kinder, more self-aware people to support and nurture you. Kia Kaha nga mihi nui (Stand strong: my best wishes)

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  4. My friend is a shrink in Wash. DC and he said that every human, at some point in their life, contemplates suicide – so you are not ALONE!!! I write about suicide myself and it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.You have to find better friends! Love and light, Mira (check out my blog posts – a link on the right of the Home Page will take you to all my posts).

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  5. When I was first diagnosed with DID some of my friends acted as if I had done something to them. I lost many of them. Death is frightening and those who try to die reveal our own vulnerabilities. The person who says he or she has never, ever thought of suicide is probably lying. Life is a wonderful, unasked for, scary a$$ ride and sometimes it feels like it’s all too much. People who actually do try to commit suicide have gone to and come back from the dark place in each of us.

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  6. When I suddenly lost my daughter in labour a few years ago, I wanted my body to be ripped in half along with my heart. Sometimes the pain of life is almost unbearable. But being truly open to life’s mysteries means accepting both its beauty and its pain, and I’ve found myself more aware of the beauty since her loss. Life is very precious. I pray for you to find kinder people who will gently walk with you in you suffering, as only those with broken hearts can, and help you to find again moments of beauty and consolation. Peace be with you. Xoxo

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  7. Recognizing the black place is perhaps the first step in designing the shield to protect you. I have also experienced a Black place and I will never forget it. I know that is always near but I keep it at bay. It isn’t always easy but it has to be done. I admire your attitude and your strength. Thank you for following my blog.

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  8. Hi Julie, I’m now 69. I was where you are when I was 19. Life improves. Things do change. The people who matter, those who love you, will support you. The others? They don’t matter; ignore them. For a time, life is difficult. But change will occur and bring unexpected joy. I’ve now been happily married for 29 years and have a lovely daughter as well. Stay brave, stay positive, stay safe.

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  9. Thanks for stopping by my Nature blog & following.

    As a chronic pain sufferer myself for some 37 years, I can totally relate to how you feel. I had to quit working 7 years ago and apply for a Government Disability Pension at the age of 56 with no spouse, children or way of supporting myself. I didn’t care if I lived or died. (Schueuemann’s Disease, Bad fall at work and subsequent ankle surgery, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Severe obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Severe disc disease, 2 back surgeries, months of severe migraine-type headaches, 6 bulging lumbar discs making constant hip, back and sciatic pain and 1 neck disc and a whole lot more besides the FM pain – including nervous breakdown and a 2nd one on the way the day I quite my working life). I pulled the sleeping pills out of the cupboard one night thinking to end it all, but have managed to get by with some supporting fellow-sufferers I met online in 2009. A further deterioration this year makes me wonder if living this way is worthwhile, but I get such positive support and feedback from my 7 yr old Photography hobby online, that I always manage to get through each night and another day.

    But the lack of understanding and sympathy from friends, family and work colleagues pre early retirement has to be one of the worst ‘side effects’. Even today, the snide comments from people ‘wishing they could take early retirement and get a government pension while living a life of leisure’ still make my blood boil. But the reality is that it’s THEY who have a problem, not me. At least I have a compassionate caring supporting Doctor, Neurosurgeon, Cardiologist and Endocrinologist (I inherited Diabetes from my Father’s side of the family but have excellent blood sugar control mostly and no meds).

    The important thing is to find people who understand where you’re coming from (and which path you want to follow for the future). This is paramount to living with chronic severe pain and daily exhaustion. At 63 (and after some $175,000 of medical bills leaving me broke and $60,000 out of pocket, despite top private health insurance and Medicare), I accept that I will never get better and I’d better make the most of what I’ve got. I dropped my ‘About’ page on my 2 main photography blogs as every time I read it, my life of pain resurfaced and I became angry at the injustice of it all.

    Letting go of Anger is difficult, but doable.

    It’s all a state of Mind. I choose to live a solitary life for the most as I don’t have the energy for a social life and don’t have the money anyway. With intermittent Brain Fog and poor memory, I lose track of a conversation very quickly so I find it best to keep to myself, just having short conversations with fellow photographers or nature lovers I meet on my walks (or online).

    Living my life Mindfully each day and finding solace in Buddhist Philosophy also helps. I hope you enjoy my Photography and find some way to move on with your own life.

    PS No one understands a life of severe debilitating pain and exhaustion unless they’re a fellow sufferer…..and that’s the truth of it. A friend committed suicide some 20 years ago and we, her work colleagues and friends, couldn’t understand why she wanted to die. Now I understand. K. didn’t want to die, she just didn’t want to live (with her mental suffering and difficult relationships).

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  10. Thank you for your honesty. I can imagine what it feels like if you really want to die, although I’ve never tried to end myself (I found help before I could put my plan into action). But I do know what it’s like to be judged by people around you, making you feel even worse about yourself while all you’re trying to do is climb back up.

    I admire you. It takes strength to go through this and keep trying to give it your best shot while everyone else seems on a mission to shoot you down. Don’t let them get you down, though. They don’t deserve that. And you deserve much better.

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