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Friday, March 28, 2014

Have you ever felt like your life was hacked in some way?

I feel a little like I'm being a little disrespectful by posting a new entry today.  I have a lovely guest blog ready to run, which was supposed to run last week, but I was hacked.

This post may read out more like a journal entry than a blog post, but I'm me and I put it all out there.

Have you ever felt like your life was hacked in some way?

I often feel that way on here - on the internet, that is.

I'm an open book. I always have been. If I think it, I speak it. I don't pretend and I don't put it here if I won't give it to you directly. It's not always popular, but at least people know (or should know) where I stand. Even if it's with my foot in my mouth.

My dad taught me to be me. All of me. The good, the bad and the ugly. Being fake is a mask that you can't wear for very long. The truth always has a way of surfacing. As long as you're YOU people will love you for who you ARE, not for who they think you might be or who you pretend to be. Be true to yourself. Be true to others. Be honest. Be loyal.

The hack to my blog page was a good chance for me to lay low for a few days. To sit back and think about the direction I was heading with all of this.

When I started doing Mental Health March last year (or the year before, I forget) in honor of my dad, I did so with the best intentions. To take the crap that I'd lived through and turn it around to help someone else. What I didn't take into consideration is that whenever I posted something, when ever I dug deep to pour my soul out into the blog - I was also reliving the things I'd healed from.

Healing from this crap is no easy feat - it's always there.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

It is always my intention to do good. To help. Some days I receive feedback that brings tears of joy to my eyes. Other days things I've posted have harpooned me in some way, or brought me to a place I don't want to be.

I am LUCKY to not be a depressed human. If I'm sad, I'm sad for a reason. If I'm anxious, I'm anxious for a reason. For that, I'm incredibly thankful every single day. It is in that I am able to realize that I need to pull back a little from Mental Health March. It's not because I no longer want to help others, but because I need to remain healthy in my own mind.

I am older now than my dad was when he died 30 years ago today.

That day will live forever in the back of my mind.
You don't forget when one of the people who loved you most 
leaves this planet.

It has always been my goal to help those who are depressed and / or suicidal but letting them know how the person left behind processes it all. I wish there were more I could say or do.

For now, all I can tell you is that my dad left 30 years ago with no explanation. As one of the people left behind, I felt like my life was hacked.

Though time has healed most of the pain, it will always be there in some way. I will always be a little extra emotional when I hear of a suicide. I will always be a little sadder when a little girl loses her daddy, a sister loses a brother, a young person leaves because they didn't feel (or were made to feel) like they were enough, or even when a rich, beautiful woman dating one of the most famous rockers in the world can't go on another day - because it doesn't need to happen.

Suicide knows no gender, no race, no religion, no financial status.

I am GRATEFUL and THANKFUL to be lucky enough that God gave me the strength to deal with what I have in my life. I know that not everyone feels strong. Let someone be strong for you.

If you are someone confused or suffering in some way, please know that you are loved, whether you believe it or not - someone, somewhere loves you. ALL OF YOU. You have a purpose. You have worth. You make a difference and you will be missed. Don't suffer in silence. Reach out.

I was only 18 when my dad died (yes, go ahead add it up, I never said I was a young chippie.)  I may not have been someone who could have helped him if he reached out to me at 18 years of age. I may not have understood, but if he even once looked at me and said, "Please help me."
I would have done everything in my power to find someone to help him.

My dad was well loved by many. He didn't have to leave.
Neither does anyone else.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255

If you are in pain, PLEASE do NOT suffer in silence!  PLEASE reach out.

Thank you for reading my blog!

Much love to you all!


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When you don't see suicide coming....or do you?

It was me, several times, that took my brother to the hospital bleeding from his wrists, or pulling a gun out of his mouth when he was younger.

Most people didn't know. Others push it back to the dark recesses of their memory. Some, like my "baby brother", wouldn't remember the specifics, the why's of my brother being in the hospital. He may not remember at all. Then, it was taboo. We hid it. It was a secret.

Many people didn't see it coming, my brother's suicide. I saw it coming.  I believe that was the biggest reasons my brother pushed me out of his life. He knew I'd stop him - again.

My brother and I weren't speaking when he left this planet. It's one of the things that haunt me most about his death. Yes, it's that and not that he's gone, though I will always miss him. In my heart, I always knew he'd succeed some day. I believe he kept me away because I - even above my mother - was the one he answered to, the one who kicked his ass (physically and metaphorically) for putting me through finding him on a floor with wrists cut in my house. I was the one pulling a gun out of his mouth. I was the one telling the hospital, "PLEASE, don't listen to him. Our dad died by suicide. This is not his first attempt. PLEASE keep him here. PLEASE help him."

Eventually everyone listened to him. I was the crazy one. I was the one trying to "hurt" him by having him locked up in a hospital. I was the one he pushed away.

The others who knew, ignored it or were just fooled by his "I won't do it again. I promise."

A week or so before my brother eventually pulled the trigger for the last time, he threw a huge party. A Luau, I'm told. I wasn't invited. He knew I'd know something was up.

I could never believe that no one knew, besides me. I couldn't believe all of the people who gave the gun back to him - after I'd taken it away. I couldn't believe that the people closest to him didn't know.

I wish he were honest with what he felt.

I clearly remember, at dinner in between wake sessions, having a conversation with my brother's heartbroken fiancée - she had NO CLUE. None. I don't blame her. I'm sure he hid it well. He was a strong, handsome guy who seemed very put together. He had a good job, a nice house and was raising a beautiful son. The picture seemed wonderful. I spoke with her, to try to ease her heart, telling of his previous attempts, telling her that she'd done nothing wrong. It wasn't her. His heart had been full of clouds for years. He was broken his entire life. His best friend, as if a light bulb went off, suddenly realized what I was saying. He didn't know either. It finally made sense. He'd fooled them all.

Just because someone looks / is depressed doesn't mean they're suicidal. Just because they don't doesn't mean they're not. My brother held to his facade for those who didn't know his back story. He didn't display a depressed human. He played the part of the strong, successful man engaged to the woman of his dreams...all happy and care free.  NOT!

His party was a good bye party.
...And no one knew it.

The pain of my brother's loss runs even deeper than the loss of my dad by suicide. Siblings are supposed to run the distance of life with you, not just check out.

Depression / Suicide are hard topics to discuss. It's not a topic anyone wants to hear about. I don't blame them. It sucks! This post, written from my heart, was hard for me to write. It may be hard for you to read. I know that someone somewhere needs to see it. There may be a brother, sister, best friend, parent,  fiancée somewhere who is looking into the hollow eyes of someone with a beautiful facade. Knowing something is wrong, but can't quite put it all together.
Look for the signs.

None of this is about me. It's not about fortune or fame. I'd probably make a fabulous Greta Garbo running toward, yet hiding from the spotlight. This...all of it, is about them or maybe you. The person struggling. If using my pain saves a life, I've accomplished something I've set out to do.

I truly believe God gives us everything, the good and the bad, in order to help another.

Thank you for supporting me in this quest by being faithful to my blog.


Warning signs of suicide (as taken from SAVE)

These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Additional Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional.

In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

If you are a survivor of suicide, meaning someone you love died by suicide, there are places where YOU can vent also.  I am thrilled to have found a page on Facebook called Solos ~ Survivors of Loved Ones to Suicide    This page also has separate groups, (loss of parent, loss of sibling, loss of spouse, loss of friend, etc) since Suicide is not a "one size fits all" topic.  It's good to know you're not alone in this.

Big hugs to you all!!

Thank you for your constant support of me and my blog.  I love you all <3

~Jenn <3

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An Acceptable Human - Part 2 Guest blog from Lizzi R of Considerings

Today, I give you Part 2 from Lizzi's original post Flashbacks to another Me.

I am, once again, in complete awe of Lizzi.  She has been through and over come so much. Her emotion so raw you can feel it while you read. She apologized for her post being "so long."  I never noticed. I was caught up in her, as I know you will be.

This post affirms, for me, why I write - to turn my crap around for even one chance at helping a person who may be going through the same, or similar. I am again grateful to Lizzi for this post and for gracing me with her words.

I now give you...

An Acceptable Human
by Lizzi of Considerings

I remember the feeling so clearly: “I’m better!”

I couldn’t tell you where I was, or whom I was with, or what I was wearing or whether it was a sunny day or not, but one day, about ten years ago, this sudden realization took hold.

It was freedom to know it.

Having been in the thrall of Depression for 12 years - having undergone intense trauma at the hands of someone else’s, only to be left with my own - this feeling was a golden, shimmering wonder which unfurled in my heart and mind, quite without expectation of it ever happening.

I’d been taking my meds and going to counselling and Getting On With Life. I was gradually checking the boxes on my way to turning into an Acceptable Human, without ever really being certain that it could happen.

But one day, BOOM! There it was. I was better: a sense of security grew as I gained confidence in my job; mended relationships; the new parameters of my world; and (to an extent) myself.

But Depression did return to me.

While we were dating, before he’d even proposed, Husby got sick with an autoimmune disorder. Once we were married, his dwindling mood dropped into full-blown clinical depression, and the cloud of darkness once more settled on my life.

We were battling for a diagnosis (one eventually being found, damning him to a life with a banjaxed hypothalamus and a global endocrine disorder) and the Depression took deeper root, robbing him not only of his job and his sense of self-worth, but of his quality of life; leaving him scrambling rationally through piles of twisted logic, concluding that he didn’t want to be alive at the end of the day. Or at the end of most days.

Three times Depression tried to make a widow of me – the first two times undisclosed until I sat in the doctor’s office with him, having forced him to attend to seek further help. The doctor was stunned on hearing him calmly and dispassionately relate what he’d done. She looked at me and asked whether I’d known, and I remember laughing hollowly and telling her that I was hearing it for the first time – same as she was.

And the Anger returned as well. This time not directed at me, but at him (and cruelly so, for I knew that it was the Depression I hated. It was the Depression which was sabotaging our marriage; his life; my world (again) – not him). He was so tangled up, he couldn’t dissociate, and my kick-backs at the Depression landed each time on him, and each brought him lower, which made him worse to live with. I tried so hard to separate him from it; to build him up and support him and make him feel better.

But nothing I did worked.

And I got weary of always being the enemy. Of not being wanted. Or desired. Of being cared for in snippets. Of always struggling. Of needing to take charge.

Of not being a good enough wife for him to want to be alive to be married to.

And yet you see how my own shadows – those distant ghosts from childhood - didn’t allow me to dissociate, either.

I was so used to inhabiting my worthlessness that it had become part of me, and even though the Depression was his, I took on the responsibility and somehow made it my fault – if blame could be taken, I alternately took it and fought it.

In spite of this, we were going through the motions of being married, and trying to keep up with the timescale of our expectations, which at this point included children. So we tried.
And failed, losing two babies in the earliest stages of pregnancy.

The Abyss opened up under my feet and tried to swallow me again. Because this, also, I took responsibility for. It wasn’t his illness. It wasn’t happenstance. It wasn’t damn bad luck.

It was because I didn’t deserve to be a mother.

Because ultimately, I didn’t deserve anything.

I’m bad and worthless and need to somehow be better before I earn the right to have something as wonderful as children. Nicer. Kinder. Prettier. Thinner. Cleverer. Usefuller. More capable. More confident. More worthwhile. But never valuable, because valuable is unattainable, and so I shall never have children.

And a diagnosis of primary infertility for Husby, because of his illness, rapidly cemented those thoughts.

But this time I got help. I recognised the patterns and I knew I couldn’t face a resurgence alone. So more counselling ensued, and the Wise Woman helped me massively as I tried to untangle my feelings, fears, desires and sorrows. Eventually the thing which made the most difference was the day she told me that I was allowed to (and should) develop a positive opinion of myself.

I’d never thought my opinion to be worthwhile, much less understand that I could even hold one about myself. This news was mind-blowing. So in the midst of my hurt, I tried, and I struggled up that steep learning curve and began to allow the positives to drip in and begin filling me up.

I grieved and I drank, and I resisted any efforts to get me to go and get medicated, and I reached out to others, and I WROTE. I decided that this was the most awful thing, and that in my floundering, where I’d reached out and discovered other people’s stories of loss in the Blogosphere, and been so comforted by them, that I, too, would write, and hope that some day, to someone, my agony would be rendered useful, and thereby redeemed.
And as I wrote, wonderful people – friends, family, bloggers – responded; gave me feedback and validation and love and attention and care, and let me know that I mattered to them. This was shattering and healing and confusing and wonderful all at once.

Gradually, the world got lighter again. I found a new job, and not long afterwards, Husby grew well enough to find a new job and began to turn back into the man I fell in love with. I still clung to people, but this time with the knowledge that I would make it back through to the other side.

I have mostly emerged. I still stumble, sometimes, and need to suddenly reach out and grab the waiting hand of one of my friends, but even as I do this, I can do it in a safer manner; secure in the knowledge that they are there.

I’m almost out. I’m almost on the other side, and this time much closer to being that Acceptable Human I always wanted to be.

Healing happens in stages.

Today I watched a video of the much-lauded speech by Lupita Nyong’o, and my soul suddenly plummeted with awful recognition as she spoke of “the seduction of inadequacy”.
This is my next challenge, and my next stage of healing.
And with my people around me, I’ll get there.

Thank you SO MUCH, Lizzi, for sharing your words. I am in absolute awe of your strength and know that even one person reading can be helped by recognizing themselves in your words. Thank you!

If you are someone struggling with depression, please know that you are not alone. You are never alone. Reach out - someone will take your hand.

Please be sure to stop in to see Lizzi. You won't be disappointed.

Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth Teller and Seeker of Good. She works a normal job and has a secret life as the writer at Considerings. Wife to Husby and Mother to two Neverborns, now dealing with the challenge of primary infertility, she is a frequent instigator of silliness and loves to entertain with words.

Thank you all for your support of this page!


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Monday, March 17, 2014

The dream that wrecks your day...

Have you ever woken to dream that somehow wrecked your whole day?

This is my day, so far today. Wrecked & full of anxiety and pain from a dream of something that isn't even real, but brought on by something very real.

My dad's suicide.

My dad will be gone 30 years this month. The pain of his suicide is something that I've carried with me my whole life. I've long gotten over the "embarrassment" of saying my dad died by suicide - especially since my brother also died that way. The stigma attached is now lost on me.  I no longer feel like the victim of a choice made by someone else. I'm just someone left behind. Someone just guessing at the why, but never really knowing.

This morning I awoke with a jolt. Someone from my past, someone I dated briefly contacted me out of the blue to tell me he was going to commit suicide. I don't know why he chose me. It's been many, many years since I'd even thought of him. It wasn't a whirl wind romance. It was just a few dinners and a realization that there was no spark. We've never crossed paths. We've never kept in contact. Yet here he was on the other end of my phone - telling me he was going to end his life. I remember pleading with him to rethink his decision. I reminded him that even though he and I didn't click - there were people who loved him. He again told me his detailed plan. Asked me to visit his parents & family at the first news of his death. To visit the wake briefly and then to see his sisters for something they'd have for me. I didn't understand. Why me? Why would he choose me? Someone he barely knew. Someone basically insignificant in his life. My talking did no good. The line went dead and as foretold, I received my call of his passing. I could feel all the familiar pain, the loss, the confusion. I held family members I'd never met and tried to put pieces together for a puzzle I'd never known. They asked me why. I didn't know. As I looked around and deferred to my husband for comfort, I was handed a journal that listed my name several times. I didn't understand.

Then I jolted awake with the familiar emotion that being a suicide survivor has dropped on me....

Guilt for something I had no control over.

I have decided to share this dream, my raw feelings and jumbled emotions with you all today because one person reading may be feeling the same guilt.  One person reading may have decided that today is their last day on this planet.

No matter what side of suicide you are on, it hurts. There is guilt, there is pain.

My brain is a swirl of emotion and questioning what's real, what's not today - even so much as wondering if this random person from my past is OK.  Yes, it's just a dream.  Unfortunately, these are the dreams of those left behind - still looking for the why.

There are resources for all of you. Take 'em. Really! I don't write these blogs for the "poor Jenn's" or the "you go girl's" - I write them to let you know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I am one little blogger here in the wonderful world of Jersey who wants to help.

Before you've made a final decision to leave this place at your own hand - know that all you're doing is taking your pain - and handing it over to someone you love who will carry it forever - along with the guilt of not knowing and the pain of loss.


Thank you for reading my blog!


If you are struggling with life:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

For Survivors, I've found a great page on Facebook that has separate groups for each individual loss:

Solos~Survivors of Loved ones to Suicide

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Flashbacks to Another Me - Guest Post by Lizzi of Considerings

I am so incredibly thrilled to share today's guest blogger for Mental Health March, Lizzi of Considerings.

It has been my goal to touch on as many mental health issues during the month of March as I was able by reaching out to other bloggers.

The gratitude I feel toward Lizzi for this post (and part two coming later this week) is immeasurable.

One of the issues I hadn't considered, while preparing Mental Health March, is how depression embeds itself in the life of a child and grows with them. Lizzi's post has opened my eyes to a place I hadn't previously considered and WOW, what super powerful post!

Flashbacks to Another Me

Overnight, when I was seven, Depression came to take over my world.

It belonged to my father, and it swallowed him whole, tapping into many underlying parts of his story and overwhelming him. But this is my story.

Overnight, when I was seven, I stopped being a cherished daughter. I became a burden (dressed up in the heavy word ‘privilege’, which really meant ‘responsibility’). An irritation. Something to be borne. Dealt with. Put in my place.

Over the ensuing years, I was crushed under the weighty heel of Depression with harsh words and constant undermining; used as an outlet to express some of the pent-up rage with a cruel double-tag of goading into rebellion and sanction for my response. It was permissible that way.

Daily, the idol of an unbroken marriage was taken out, and we were all (in our ways) sacrificed upon its altar, regardless of the fact that this – whatever it was – was the thinnest veneer of ‘How Marriage Should Appear.’ And yet it had others fooled, for we were sufficiently cut off from socialization that very few knew what was going on.

And none of them knew how deep the rot went.

It finally burst its seams and broke; the false-god of marriage finally shown to be the charlatan it was, and it felt like freedom.

But safety played her tricks, and instead of relief, there was space to think – to be my own person – and having never done this before (because victims don’t think – they are mindless automatons of avoidance and self-protection), my mind was found wanting, and Depression took hold there, too.

Standing in the kitchen, anger upwelling within me at his harshness, finally snapping and responding to his jibes with matched (and learned) viciousness, hoping to break him; hoping he’d snap; hoping he’d hit so I could murder him and call it self-defense.

School, wishing I could join in, that someone would talk to me. Hanging out in the same places with the same people from habit, wandering constantly from one circle of closed backs to another, remaining impassive but wincing inwardly each time the backs snugged closer together as I approached. Ignored out loud.

Pain. Anger. Not eating. Anger. Control. Abandonment. Anger. Over-eating. Merry-go-round. New friends. New fakes. Anger. Hurt. Freedom. Inner prison. Anger. Angst. Self-doubt. No worth. Anger. Blackness. Anger. Worthless. Anger. Useless. Anger. Pointless.

Trying to get the bus to college and there’s a woman talking to the driver, wearing bright colours with her grating voice and ridiculous hair, and her face is sharp with make-up and scratchy in its expressions and I want to hurt her. I want to make her stop. I want her to shut up, and the world to shut up and everyone to STOPFUCKINGTALKING. I want a knife. I want to cut her. I want her to bleed and plead and gurgle as she realises she’ll never make a noise again. I disembark quietly and the air has turned to glue with rage, and I can hardly move; it’s taking every ounce of effort just to walk forwards towards the next bus stop. And I want to go back and find that bus and drag that woman off and make her pay…

A leaf rolls past me, scudded by the autumn breeze, and I freeze. Panic. Tremble inside. Because it’s found me. They’ve found me. And they’re everywhere. What a fucking time to develop a panic about leaves. Because they’re not just leaves; they’re another species and they’re following me, plotting. They want to swirl around me and take me down. And they follow me everywhere, whispering to one another about how they’re going to do it.

One landed one day, on the windscreen of the car as we were driving, and it was trying to break through the glass to get to me and strangle me, and I asked him to use the wipers to MAKEITGOAWAY *please, please make it go away, Daddy just do this one thing for me…please* And he laughed and left it there, murderous in its intentions, until I cried and the panic started taking hold.

The anger is inside me. The rage is there. Holding me down and making me sluggish. It’s poisoning me. It’s part of me, because I’m poison. I’m bad and worthless and need to somehow be better. Nicer. Kinder. Prettier. Thinner. Cleverer. Usefuller. More capable. More confident. More worthwhile. But never valuable, because valuable is unattainable. And the anger is in me, and it surges and surges and hurts me from the inside. It hurts to carry it. It’s in my blood and it’s killing me. So I let some out. And as it runs, the more it coats, the shinier that beautiful red, the anger settles and my mind shimmers. Safety in Red. Red for danger. Red for roses. Red for love. Red for Anger. I drip. I drip. I calm. I soothe.

Bang – bang – bang – bang – bang – bruise – bang – bang –bang – 100 – bang – bang – bang – bump – bang – bang – bang – 300 – bang – bang – bang – willIbreak? – bang – bang – bang – bang – can I get to 1000? Will it help? Will it need medical attention? Will it just hurt in the morning? Will it matter? – bang – bang – bang…

“Given the things you’ve been doing, and the way you’re feeling, I’m going to recommend a course of anti-depressant medication. You’re already receiving counselling, aren’t you? Keep going with that.”
Anti-depressants? What? You’re not going to diagnose me or lock me away or take me out of this – OUT OF THIS?! – you’re going to leave me in the midst of this maelstrom, drowning, with nothing but a few pills to fix things? Please, please don’t say it’s depression. No-one ever gets taken away for depression. I need to be away. I need to be taken away. I need to be locked up. I need to be made safe. I need not to be left. It can’t be just depression, pleaseohpleaseohplease…

“In my professional opinion, it’s depression.”


“It’s really good that the tablets are helping you so much. And remember, whatever you’re feeling, because of the things in your history, it’s all so completely explainable. All of it. Stop beating yourself up for feeling it.”

Fireworks. Brain spark. Neurones connect; finally – it’s Not. My. Fault.
It’s explainable. The explanation is outside of me not IN me. It’s not me. It’s not me. It’s NOT ME!


Twelve years after Depression first entered my life, and perhaps eight after it entered my soul, it began to leave. I began to heal.

But it was the start of a long road, and Depression wasn’t done yet.


Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth Teller and Seeker of Good. She works a normal job and has a secret life as the writer at Considerings
Wife to Husby and Mother to two Neverborns, now dealing with the challenge of primary infertility, she is a frequent instigator of silliness and loves to entertain with words.


Please go over and see Lizzi!  I am truly thankful to Lizzi for graciously opening herself up and sharing this post on my blog today.

If you believe your child or a child close to you may have fallen victim to depression, please reach out.
For more information on signs and symptoms of childhood depression, please visit:

National Institute of Mental Health:

Thank you for your support of my blog!


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