Abandoned; Shattered Dreams: Thinking About Suicide?

By Liz Cowen Furman:

Recently divorced, I thought it was over. I felt abandoned by the man who had only one year previously  pledged to protect, provide for, and love me into eternity.

 

Bleeding Hearts…that was mine.

Excitement grew for me as our honeymoon plane took off for Hawaii, (the first plane I had ever boarded in my young life). But he shook his head and sighed, “Oh God, what have I done?”

Being a young blushing bride, I replied, “Did you forget something, I’m sure we can find whatever it is at a store in Maui.”

“No. No. It’s nothing.”

The next miserable year was filled with heartache, shattered dreams and a growing fear inside me that my life was over. I wanted children. I had dreamed of growing old with this man who become like Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde. Before the vows, he was kind to all my friends and family. He lavished me with little affirmations that he would love me forever. Promised me over and over to never leave or forsake me.

Post ceremony he was cruel, saying and doing things that made me feel worthless, refusing on most occasions to even have my family or friends around. He refused to attend church. I was confused, betrayed and heartbroken. Then came the day he announced it was time for me to find an apartment. By that time, I would not even do the grocery shopping without him there for fear I would do it wrong and experience his verbal wrath.

After several sessions of marriage counseling, the marriage counselor met with me alone. He told me my husband believed he had made a terrible mistake, and just wanted out. No counseling could help someone who did not want to try. SHATTERED would be an understatement.

Could I be such a miserable person that the one I had pledged to love for the rest of my life couldn’t stand me in his presence after only 12 short months? FEAR had me in its destructive, paralyzing grip.

In the months that followed, I spent a lot of time alone. Spent a lot of time in the Bible, a lot of time grieving my dashed hopes for a happy marriage and family. I was in my early 20s and believed I was facing life alone. It was the first time I had ever lived alone in my life.

The next years, I focused on building a new dream. I got involved in a church, made new friends and kept my old ones. Went back to school and prayed. I asked God to help me find my way. I repented of anything I had done to cause it. I asked for guidance, wisdom and a new mission in life. God is good, and as the next several years unfolded, I grew in my love of Him. He gave me new hopes, new dreams, even a husband and children. I married Dave with the condition that we will not divorce.  I was not leaving. This marriage vow is a covenant, not a contract.

Looking back, I can see several benchmarks that saved me. Reading my Bible became a daily passion. The wisdom I found on the pages there ministered to me like nothing else. I made mistakes along the way but that single activity pulled me back every time. One of the verses that became my mainstay is Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

If your hopes and dreams have been shattered, take courage. Give your next months to studying the love letters God has written to you. You will find them in the Bible. My advice is to start in the Book of John.

Here is a song that encouraged me along the way.

Depression and Suicide Risk in Domestic Abuse Victims

By Laurie Winslow Sargent:

If you are being physically and/or emotionally abused, suicide may seem a way to end your pain and suffering. Instead, reach out for help and LIVE. You are worth it.

 


If you are being abused, instead of giving up on life, accept help. (Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

I was glad to find online an excellent page on depression and suicide risk in domestic abuse victims by Kevin Caruso, titled: Domestic Violence and Suicide. There he states that one out of four women experiencing domestic abuse attempt suicide, a sobering statistic.

He also describes how this can happen:

“The horrible crime of domestic violence often results in a woman isolating herself and becoming clinically depressed. ” He also states on his website:  “Many women feel trapped and powerless, and do not receive treatment for their depression, and thus believe that suicide is the only way out.”

Caruso said this well. In my former volunteer work for eight years with a crisis support network, I counseled women who had been abused and sought safety in our shelters.  I could see how psychological abuse and controlling behavior had stripped many of these women of self-confidence.

They’d been told many times they were worthless, stupid, and couldn’t get along in life without the abuser. Even after leaving violent situations to protect their lives, some had much trouble at first believing they could survive on their own and found it difficult to overcome feelings of helplessness. But with encouragement they felt their self-confidence grow.

if you have been abused and beaten down physically and/or emotionally, there are people willing to help you get back on your feet and help you see that you can LIVE free from abuse. Don’t let an abuser persuade you that there is no hope for you!

For a listening ear and to find local services, including the nearest shelter, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)  TTY:  1-800-787-3224. You can also visit www.thehotline.org ,which includes the  page, Am I Being Abused?

Kevin Caruso, at thinkingaboutsuicide.org (Our site is dot com: thinkingaboutsuicide.com), ends his page about suicide risk for domestic abuse victims with these wise words:

Remember that there is never an excuse for domestic violence. Never.

You deserve a better life.

You are a great person.

Take care of yourself.

Also do remember that children who witness or experience abuse also can feel powerless and depressed and at risk for suicide. Also, children of parents who take their own lives often consider taking their own. If you have children, protect your own life, and protect theirs by getting help.

Instead of choosing death, choose new life, a life free from abuse. There are good people out there, people who won’t beat you down with fists or words. There is hope.

See this excellent and critically important video by Karen McAndless-Davis, author of When Love Hurts, to help understand the domestic violence cycle of abuse, and how abuse escalates. It points out how crazy-making it can be to live with someone who, unpredictably, “one day is kind and affectionate, and the next day cruel and malicious”. This also addresses (around the 12-minute mark) the common question, “Why do women stay?”

Does Abuse Have a Pattern? The Cycle of Abuse: