Who’s Nightmare is it anyway?

Warning

This is a true tale that talks about attempted suicide…

A Living Nightmare

Twenty five years ago.
Before I had kids.
I lived with the man who would father them.
Seb and I rented a house from his dad, Dan.

I had a fabulous relationship with my mother-in-law, Vi.
We went out together regularly.
I think I loved her more than I did Seb.
She treated me like a daughter and friend.

In the middle of the night the phone rang.
It was Seb’s dad.
“Come quickly to the hospital.
Vi has attempted suicide.”

We were there in a flash.
Dan had found her when he returned from work.
Vi argued with him that morning.
He was going to ask Seb and me to leave the house.

He needed more rent.
She became distraught.
Worried for us.
Homeless she thought.

Her stomach was pumped.
She looked pale and frail.
Eyes blank.
Face expressionless.

Looking at her my heart hurt.
How did it get that bad?
Why hadn’t I realised?
I thought we were friends.

A week or so passed.
The doctor said there was no change.
He wanted permission to give ECT.
Dan was unsure.

Armed with my psychology degree
I said “No.”
They started a different medication
Gradually she improved.

Possibly the menopause had not helped.
Low hormones mess with the brain.
Bi-polar was diagnosed –
A living nightmare.

I couldn’t relate to her.
She was different now.
Foreign.
It made me sad.

But this was not about me.
It was about Vi.
My behaviour was at fault.
I questioned myself.

I asked her “what happened?”
She could not see the light.
Darkness had enclosed her.
The pain clouded her mind.

The years have rolled on.
Much water under the bridge.
But the memory still lingers.
Like a bad dream.

And I still wonder why?

A living nightmare #114
#34 Suicide – Living Nightmare

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17 thoughts on “Who’s Nightmare is it anyway?”

  1. Oh, May, this is so sad. You express the feelings that Vi’s attempt elicited so beautifully and with such honesty. Thank you for sharing this experience.

  2. Oh, May. How utterly devastating. It affects everyone in almost irreparable ways when someone tries to take their life. Having been super depressed, I can see how tempting it was, but knew how upset my family would be if I ever did. It was also how I knew I needed help/a change.

    You’re brave to share something to hard. I’m sure it’ll touch others having read it.

  3. you did amazing putting this story down the way you did. It held my attention til the end. simple and to the point. sorry you had to experience this and now that you’ve shared it maybe the memory & hurt will fade. Maybe accepting that there is no answer to why, place no blame and just accept. I do hope that everyone is doing well.

  4. It’s kinda weird/astounding (all in a bad way) how so many people can suicide and afterwards everyone is surprised. “How can that be? S/he seemed fine…”
    We never seem to notice anything while they are alive. And even if you ask “are you okay?” they’ll usually just lie and say they’re fine.

  5. I had to wait for the right time to read this post but I’m glad I did. Your poem works (fun to see you playing with genres!) and your struggle with the change/situation is very touching and relatable.

  6. Oh, May! Very powerful and so sad. Yet so true. We cannot be responsible for others’ choices even though many times we make ourselves feel responsible. xx

  7. I didn’t want to read this post, and yet, here I am.
    I like the style you chose. It makes the messages more…bearable.
    And yeah, there’s nothing you could have done. It’s their choice.

  8. I like how you’ve written this as well. The shock is evident and words just don’t form the way you think they should.

    1. exactly – When the topic came up on sb4mh I thought – well that;s a miss for me. Then it came back – I had not forgotten but thought it was kinda “outside” me – if u know what I mean. It was still there – lingering – and I wrote it as the memory of how I felt came back into my head – it was short and sharp x

  9. Very moving May, I hope she recovered, if you ever do from such an experience. The way you wrote this accentuates the shock well.

  10. Powerful story. I recognise the last line in it. Incidents like this leave us asking questions of ourselves that never entirely go away. It’s hard when someone we think we know well shows that they’ve hidden so much from those around them.

    “What more could or should I have done ?” – being at peace with the answer isn’t callous, it’s how we grow and learn for ourselves.

    Despite the actual story, I did enjoy the format and telling xx

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