© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved
54 Suicide And The Suffering By Phil Scovell Author's Note. None of these stories are fictional. Three of them are personal experiences. I could not have written this years ago because I wanted to die. She stuck the barrel of the gun in her mouth. It was heavier than she had anticipated. It was awkward in her trembling hands. She had never handled a gun before. This one she had stolen from her boyfriend's house. The pain and fear and anguish and guilt flooded her mind; filling it to overflowing. She couldn't stop it no matter how hard she tried and she had been trying, too, but nobody believed her. It was more than she could bear. Something felt physically clamped to her head, her brain hurt, and her mind flopped around like a fish out of water. She couldn't stop it. "You aren't worth it. Kill! Kill! Die! You'll never be worth anything to anybody; not even your children." The thoughts slammed around inside her head so violently, they felt as if they were living things; biting and snapping and tearing at the very fiber of her brain. She wanted just some peace of mind. She wanted out. There was no other way now. She pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. The gun wasn't loaded. Her failure made her feel even worse. She had failed yet again. She sat and cried harder than she had ever cried before. I had been awake for days. I heard voices, day and night, in my head but I couldn't tell anybody. "Mr. Scovell," the psychologist said, "I need to ask you some questions but I want you to know something up front. On this form, there are two very important questions. I want you to know about them in advance. If you answer yes to either of these questions, I will have to report this information to the proper authorities so listen very carefully and think before you answer. Ok? Here they are. Are you suicidal or have you recently attempted to take your own life? "No," I lied with absolutely no inflection to my voice. "Ok. I'll write that down. Now, the second question is, do you feel you want to harm someone, including yourself, or have you had any homicidal thoughts, that is, do you feel like you want to kill someone or even hurt someone?" "No," I said most convincingly. "Ok, very good," she said as she wrote. "This next question isn't as critical but it is important so please be careful with your answer. Do you hear voices telling you to harm someone or telling you to do harm to yourself?" "No," I lied woodenly. This woman would never know I had lied because I never went back to see her. She would never know what the voices had been saying in my head and how I had become so frightened of my own thoughts, I took all the medication the doctor had prescribed the day before, and through them away. The voices had been telling me to take them all and they would let me sleep. The depression was something he felt no one understood. He was almost right. Digging around in his desk drawer he found the screw driver. He needed to tighten a screw. He sat holding it in hand. The fear washed over him like a bucket of filthy water had just been dumped on him. He wasn't afraid of killing himself; he was afraid he might use it on someone else; someone he loved. He put it back in the drawer, and he took his pocket knife out and put that into the drawer, too. He couldn't tell anyone; they'd think he was crazy. Maybe they were right. He cried. The man awakened in the middle of the night. He felt the fear immediately but tried to ignore it. Ignoring it never worked but trying to face it made it worse. He made his way into the bathroom. He almost felt he was in a dream when he heard the voice. "Kill your wife and everything will be ok. You might as well do it; you know you are going to anyway." The raw fear in the broken crippled tormented mind screamed silently for the voices to stop. He knew that he did not want to kill anyone but the voices tried convincing him it was real and on top of everything else, he was a preacher, too. Why wouldn't they stop? The woman told me that whenever she entered her kitchen to get something, she stayed away from the silverware drawer as much as possible. She likewise stuck the fingers of both hands into her mouth and bit down hard on them. She was afraid she would go and pull one of the knives out and stab herself. He lay next to his wife listening and waiting for her breathing to slow so he would know she was asleep. His mind just wouldn't let him sleep any longer. He had even gotten lost earlier as he drove through the night streets trying to clear his mind. He finally couldn't remember where he was and had to use his cell phone to call his wife. With her help, he was somehow able to find his way home. Now they had gone to bed, but he couldn't sleep. He had made up his mind and tonight would be the night. It wasn't worth it. Nothing was working for him any more. Holding his breath, he listened. His wife breathing had slowed and she was breathing deeply. He waited for awhile longer and then slid quietly out of bed. Once free of the blankets, he tiptoed downstairs. He closed the garage door from the house behind him. Opening the car door, he climbed behind the wheel and started the engine. He rolled down all the windows. Maybe what he didn't have the courage to do himself, the carbon monoxide could do for him. Reaching into the car, his wife turn the keys and the engine died. "Come on back to bed, honey," she said and opened the car door. "It isn't time for you to die." "I'm going to hang up on you and kill Carla," the voice on the other end of the phone said to me. "Oh, that doesn't sound like a good thing to do," I replied. "Well," the defiant voice said, "you can't stop me. I'm going to do it." "I'm going to make her hang up and then I'm going to kill her." "Are you forgetting something?" I calmly suggested to the alternate personality at the other end of the phone. "No, I don't think so. What's that?" she demanded. "Lord Jesus," I replied, "Would you tell Marsha what it is she is forgetting?" Silence. "Did you hear him?" I asked. "No," she replied as if she were stomping her foot. "Were you listening?" I asked. "No," came the single word answer. "You have to listen. Ok?" "Well, all right. I'll listen," she finally agreed. "Lord Jesus," I repeated, Show Marsha what she is forgetting." "Oh, I forgot about that," the voice said with surprise in her voice. "What did you forget?" I asked. "She said, if I kill Carla, I'll be killing myself. How can that be? That can't be right," the stern voice of the little girl said. "Did you forget who you are?" I ask gently. "Oh, that's right. I forgot that," she said. "I'm part of Carla so if I would kill her, I'd die, too." "That's right," I agreed. "Why don't we find out why the little girl is hurting and why you have to work so hard to protect her and then you won't have to be so angry. How does that sound to you?" "That sounds good. I just don't want Carla to hurt any more. People were so mean to her. I was just trying to help." "I know, and Jesus knows that, so it is ok. Let's just ask Jesus to help us and you stay around and help, too. Ok?" "Ok," she said and her harsh tones began to fade. The man carried his rifle out of the back of his house and up into the hilly ground behind his house. He walked for quite a ways because he wanted to get far enough away from the house so no one would see him. Climbing up to the higher ground, he sat down on a rock and cried. He wanted to die. He had tried for so long to fight off the anxiety attacks and the voices that told him he was a failure and should have never been born. Why had his dad hated him so much. He never did anything to deserve that sort of talk. He was just a little boy. He cried until there were no more tears and then picked up the rifle. He knew with the barrel in his mouth, he could barely reach the trigger but it wouldn't take much. He could even take off his shoe and trigger the rifle with his toe if he had to. He'd do it, though, no matter what. Laying the gun back down, he cried again and prayed. "Lord, there has got to be somebody who knows how I feel and can help me. I am going to go down to the house and do a search on the internet one more time. If that doesn't work, I'm coming back up here and finish what I started. Seated at his computer, he typed in a search string. A website called SafePlaceFellowship.com popped on to the screen. He clicked on it and began to read. Within moments of reading a man's testimony, he picked up the phone and dialed long distance. Suicide isn't something anyone wants to do. "Then why do some do it?" Good question. They are hurting wounded people. "Aren't they mentally ill?" What's that have to do with it? "Well, don't they have something like a chemical imbalance in their brain so that causes it?" Let's say that's true, just because we think we have to have a reason. The medical professionals call the "reason" a diagnosis. Would you not agree that suicidal people have a reason for why they want to die? That one is a no brainer. Of course, they have a reason and it isn't because they are happy. So what is it? It could be any one of a hundred reasons. A divorce, a death of a child, the loss of a best friend, hearing from the doctor you have AIDS, or cancer, or your baby is dead and has to be taken, are but a few examples. It could also be something as basic as the feeling of failure in your life. I know that one from personal experience. It could even be something of which they aren't even aware. The Bible is pretty clear, in fact, Jesus said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly," (John 10:10). If you are suicidal, it isn't you wanting to take your life but the Evil One wants you to think that. Oh, no, he isn't going to take credit for it up front but he will pay for it in the end. Sure, there are hundreds of reasons not to kill yourself. Your family will miss you, your friends will miss you, some who really loves you, and hasn't expressed their true feelings, will be deeply sadden at your death. Yes, I understand that none of these things help you feel any better when the burden is so heavy. Then there is the issue of sin. Some churches teach that you will go to hell if you take your own life because it is murder. Others say that isn't true. For now, let's just put the theology aside concerning the right and wrong of this issue. Jesus wants to bring healing and direction into your life while you are on earth. You are His plan. Read that last sentence again. I'll repeat it. You are His plan. He wants to give you abundant life in place of what the devil wants to destroy. The word "abundance" means something like sitting a glass in your sink under the faucet and then turning on the water. Let the water run until the glass over flows. Allow the water to continue overflowing the glass and that is what Jesus has for you. Yes, I understand it doesn't feel that way right now but that is only because you are believing lies about yourself. Those you can't see either at the moment. If you need help getting to the root of the problem, that is, what is causing the suicidal thoughts and feelings, let's talk.