Hands Of Love

Song written by Linda Perry

Sung By Miley Cyrus

Dedicated to Maria Samantha

 

When the white flags sails, covered in streaks of blood

There’ll be and endless sea, of us rising up

And the preacher man, and the preacher’s son

Will stand arm in arm, just like everyone

 

Me longing to be free, I wont let you fade away

We shade so many dreams, Ill let them fade away

 

In the hands of love, we carry on

Stronger than we started

Be ashamed of the trials behind us

Wicked is the blinded

Who we are comes to life,yeah

Who we are comes to life

 

When the water spills, the glass will break

It drips like tears, running up your face

And the hounds will cry, for the dance of war

But the sons of joy, their victory will soar

Me longing to be free, I wont let you fade away

We shed so many dreams, I’ll let them fade away

 

In the hands of love, we carry on

Stronger than we started

Be ashamed of the trails behind us

Wicked is the blinded

Who we are comes to life, yeah

Who we are comes to life

 

Me longing to be free, I wont let you fade away

 

In the hands of love, we carry on

Stronger than we started

Be ashamed of the trails behind us

Wicked is the blinded

Who we are comes to life, yeah

Who we are comes to life

 

We come alive

We come alive

We come alive

We come alive

We come alive

In My Darkest Of Days

To look at me with the naked eye, there were no signs of my suffering. But on the inside there was so much going on. Dr. Adams questioned how I was able to last as long as I did emotionally.

For a number of years, a total of ten, I wasn’t able to deal with Maria’s suicide. It is now eleven years without her. It wasn’t until five years ago when I decided I needed help. It was after I suffered a nervous breakdown. Dr. Adams told me after years of pain I never let myself experience I only made myself worse off. I have learned to stop holding it in and let myself feel.

I can still remember the first time I cried. It was in Dr. Adams office during a really emotionally hard session. I was letting myself experience feelings like I never had before. I cried like never before. I was crying from the pain I kept inside. I found empathy and learned to trust Dr. Adams because as a psychiatrist she understood.

I didn’t have to apologize for my silly continued grief about having lost Maria. There was no having to apologize to her for missing Maria so much to where I would become physically sick. She told me I was grieving for what I missed and for what I will never have with Maria.

In therapy Dr. Adams would and does purposely TRIGGER me. Sometimes I would have both an emotional and physical reaction. I would vomit. Or I would start crying and wouldn’t be able to stop. There were times where she had to stop the session. I was worried about what was happening to me. She explained it was part of my letting go process. She has termed it emotional garbage coming up and she encouraged me to let it happen.

 

 

How I Stayed Sane Inside My Nervous Breakdown

               

It was four years after Maria’s suicide and a deep sound sleep still eluded me.  I can remember one night in particular, several times that night I had anxious fantasies about her being alive with terrible nightmares of her being dead. They wouldn’t stop. Just when I was able to calm myself down the fantasies would rise again, and I would become lost inside my head. It seemed to be going back and forth. It was like being strapped into an emotional roller-coaster. I HATE ROLLER-COASTERS! It kept going back and fourth between a beautiful fantasy and a scary nightmare. The nightmare was always the same. It was that same fucking noise. The gurgling noise. It had been four years and I still wasn’t able to get the sound of Maria choking on her own blood out of my head. It was like being strapped into an emotional roller-coaster. I HATE ROLLER-COATERS!!

In the mist of my delirium suddenly, I had an idea, maybe even a self revelation. I. Was. Crazy. Even possibly insane! Things were so bad I decided I needed the help of a professional. I attempted to admit myself into the psychiatric ward at Bellevue hospital that night. The only reason I didn’t was because I was in too bad of shape to make it there. No cab would stop to pick me up. Three different cabs and three different times I was asked if I was drunk or high on something. I’m sure it had to do with my appearance. I was a mess. My hair (it was longer then) was disheveled, my clothes were wrinkled from having been slept in. I was perspiring from the nightmares and the heat. It was a hot summer night.

This feeling was disconcerting, and I felt I had little or no control over what was happening to me. I had no idea what I could do about it. I went through several attempts to call for help a few times. My hallucinations and disturbances prevented me from being able to complete the call. I would see her standing there holding her bloody neck. She called out to me. Her voice was raspy. It sounded nothing like when she was alive. When she heard her own voice she apologized for sounding unlike herself. She asked me to put the phone down. I did what she wanted without any hesitation or question.

The intensity of feelings from that night continued to rip open the hole already in my heart. I clanged to my memories. In moments of great pain, it has a way of reflecting back certain truths to you. I was still with sifting through all the “I should have” and “If only I”

I was confused. My emotions were raw. How did I stay sane inside my nervous breakdown? I decided to face my emotions. I cried. I laughed. I got frustrated. I felt anger and fear. And all of those feelings seemed to become amplified and very distorted. And suddenly that’s when it hit me. In my distorted state, the guilty terror of my having had abandoned Maria emotionally the night of her suicide went punishingly unnoticed until that moment. I picked up my phone once again to call someone, anyone I knew for help. But I fell to my knees sick to my stomach. I vomited and curled up on the floor feeling so much shame and guilt.

Suddenly, she was there. I looked up and she was standing just a few feet from me. She was crying as she reached out for me.

“Shawnie put down the phone. Please don’t make that call. I need you to talk to me.” She pleaded with me.

Her voice was raspy. It was very unlike how it sounded when she was alive. She heard her voice and softly apologized. She made a gesture toward me to put down the phone. I did what she wanted without hesitation, without question and without thought.

My mind had to be playing games with me. Right? Was she really there? Was I just hallucinating? It all felt so real. With trembling hands I reached out to touch her. I thought for sure she would move away to prevent me from doing it. If anything she leaned forward, into my hand. Her flesh was so warm. Touching her caused my mind to spiral out of control. My emotions were again on that fucking roller-coaster, taking me for a wild ride! I went to speak but she cut me off, speaking softly.

“You finally managed it. You have been so cut off from yourself. It’s been four years Shawnie. You haven’t been sleeping, your not eating right and your being reckless.”

I closed my eyes and shook my head trying to clear it. But she was still there and she kept talking.

“You are either going to do something to help yourself or not. You know if you keep going like this, Shawnie, I think you will be headed to that psychiatric ward but un-voluntarily. Is that what you want?” She asked.

“It’s bound to happen sooner than later. I’m just guessing.” She said.

She turned and walked away from me, heading to my bedroom. She stopped just in the doorway. “Believe me.” She whispered.

I turned angry on her. “Why should I?” I asked

I could feel our connection. Which should have been impossible because she was dead.

“You need help Shawnie.” She told me.

“You need help.” I repeated her words.

I was furious at her and I didn’t even know why. So I turned away and stared at the wall. My eyes filled with tears. I stayed quiet for a while. A few minutes later I say to her, in an angry voice.

“I miss you. I love you even more. But I hurt and betrayed you. I let you go. It was only for a minute but I did and I am so sorry.” I swear I didn’t mean to.” I started to cry.

Maria stayed quiet for a few minutes.  I got scared because she wasn’t talking. She wasn’t looking at me. She just stood there. My crying intensified because she wasn’t responding.

“You didn’t betray me.” She said gently. ” If you really want to know the truth, you saved me. You were there for me from the second I returned home. I know you never stopped loving me. I was cold to you and you never walked out. You stayed with me through all my dark times. You just have to know it too. You didn’t betray me and you didn’t betray our love.” She said.

She walked over and hugged me tightly. Then she kissed my forehead.

“Look at me Shawnie. I want to see you.” She told me.

I opened my eyes as she touched her forehead to mine. We looked into one another’s eyes. We stayed that way for a while. Then she hugged me. She whispered how much she loved me and told me I was going to make it because she was going to see to it. That just made me cry more. I cried even harder.

“I have to go. But I will be with you always. I promise.” She whispered.

I clutched to her for dear life. I couldn’t let her go but she somehow disappeared from my grasp. Next thing I knew I woke up in my bed startled. I was soaked in sweat having trouble breathing. I was suffocating. I looked around. It was pitch black in the room. I struggled to get out of bed. Once I was up, I made my way to the front door. I snatched it open and stood there letting the cool air hit me. Once I was able to calm myself down I walked back in and headed straight for the living room. I plopped down on the couch. My mind was racing. I suddenly could feel her. I could feel Maria’s presence. I couldn’t see her but I for sure felt her. My heart suddenly was slowing down. I stopped trembling. I felt calmer. I laid back on the couch and fell to sleep.

How did I stay sane inside my nervous breakdown? I. Let. Go.

 

 

Words Can Be Therapeutic; Reflection

 

 

My deciding to see a psychiatrist gave me better perspective concerning Maria’s suicide. I had no idea I was so angry with her. As it turns out I was even more angry and disappointed  with myself for choices I had made that night. One in particular.

Dr. Adams says my anger is what led to my surviving rather than sinking into depression. I didn’t even realize I was so angry with Maria for leaving me. But I had to ask her to explain the whole anger thing saving me.

“Shawnie, there isn’t a human being alive that doesn’t fear abandonment. So you aren’t alone. Its the unspoken anxiety for people.” She assured me.

When she helped me to understand, I was able to own to it. Letting myself feel it then admitting to it was a good sign because it led to my action. That action was asking for her help. Also talking about it and examining my thoughts and feelings. I learned that anger and guilt were my two faithful  companions for years. She also helped me to see that anger can also be energy. She helped me to not only understand my anger but use it in a positive way.

She suggested I start a journal only a short time after I became her patient. I wasn’t really talking during my sessions. At first I was against it. But that was only because as a writer I already understood the power of words, especially once their written down. You  cannot take them back. They will forever be there in print, in black and white. I was scared to open myself up to that. I also know for a fact that one rarely edits his or her thoughts or words when writing. Unlike when spoken verbally. I expressed this to her.

“Shawnie I understand your fears,” she said “but I promise you will feel differently once you start the journal. I know it is a lot easier to want to not face yourself rather than experience a myriad of feelings. But I am asking you to do this for a reason. You will recue someone lost…yourself. It will be very therapeutic for you. It will allow you to listen better while hearing your inner voice. By writing down your most inner thoughts and darkest secrets, you will get a much better understanding of who you are now as you start it. And when we look back at it months from now you will be able to track your personal growth and development. I’ll give you some time to think about it. We’ll take a short break.” She said.

She walked out the office. I was alone with my thoughts. I must have gotten lost in my head. When I opened my eyes Dr. Adams was sitting directly in front of me calling out my name. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and said the words that scared the hell out of me.

“Okay. I’ll do it. I will keep a journal. But I cant guarantee how much I will be able to write , if at all.” I told her.

She shook her head and smiled. She then walked over to her desk drawer, unlocked one of the drawers. She reached in and brought it into  view. She handed it to me. It was the most beautiful leather bounding I had seen in a while. It was a dark burgundy, soft to the touch. It was heavy too. The pages were made from some kind of paper, I cant remember what she said it was. I clearly remember the feel of the pages and the weight of the journal.

“Take it home with you this weekend. Just write whatever it is you feel, but not so much of what you think. One more thing.”

She extended her hand and touched my chest, pressing against my heart.

“I want you to write from here.”

Then she tapped my temple.

“I don’t want it from here. What I am saying is no left-brain thinking.”

 

1 year, 4 months later

“Its time.” She said.

“Time? Time for what?” I asked.

“I think its time you see just how far you have come. I want you to take your journal home to read it. You have the whole weekend. Take your time reading it. I’ve made notes throughout for you to be able to understand the depth of where you were back then. To where you are now. Bring it back with you for your session on Monday. If you decide to read it we can talk about if more depth. If you read it and still feel you don’t want to do a blog then okay. I wont bring it up again.” I promise.

I took it home with me, but didn’t read it right away. I was scared. I have no idea why. But I was really curious to see the kind of person I was back then. I sat there staring at it wanting to open it but scared to death. I took it with me from room to room not reading it. She gave it to me Friday morning as I was leaving session. It took me until Sunday afternoon to read it.

I learned right away from my own words, my unconscious was trying to tell me something, if only I had listened to myself.  It turns out anger and guilt were my companions for years. I read and realized how I missed the chance to connect with myself much sooner. That was then.

Years later…

She presented me with her new idea of starting this blog, like with the journal I was hesitant. But she felt strongly I could help other suicide survivors but on a bigger scale while continuing to help myself. It really didn’t have to take much convincing on her part this time. I was an entirely different person thanks to my journal. The blog was something bigger but if the journal helped me so much I remember thinking to myself, maybe I can do this. Maybe my story can create a healing place, a place of understanding for those who think they have no one who understands their pain.

It was right there and then, in that moment my decision had been made. I’d do it. Dr. Adams was happy. She gave me the hope and the push to want to do it.

“You can take what it is you went through, what you are going through and use it. You will possibly help other survivors. Because of Maria’s suicide you see things through a different set of eyes. Your perspective is much different and it will be heart felt. And because you are such a good writer you will be able to touch so many people. It will be heart felt. And I think not just suicide survivors can benefit from your story. Like those who might be thinking of suicide.” She assured me.

My first post for the blog was on April 23, 2013. Its actually been two years, eight months now. Time has flown by.

 

I have posted 98 times on this the main page. I have 1,967 views and 561 visitors. On the Visual page I have 103 post. 1,132 views and 335 visitors. People from as far away as Canada, Mexico, Ireland, India and Norway have been reading this blog. But the biggest number that I am most proud of is the number 2. I know your thinking two isn’t such a big number. But it really is because its the number of lives this blog has prevented from taking their own life. I am so damn happy with that fact. The new year is coming and I want to be able to increase that number if I can. So please all of you who are reading spread the word about this blog. It may just be the little spark someone needs to help them to hold on a little longer and maybe even reach out for help.

Forgive Me, Father, For I Have Sinned; Thou Shalt Not Love

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”

-Mark Twain.

Dr. Adams P.O.V.

Shawnie was on the couch in a state of distress. She was reliving the time of Maria’s going away. It was important she talked about it. Talking is very important to cleansing process of ones inner turmoil.

“Maria if you deny your evil then you deny your responsibility. You have to face the consequences of your sins, of your imperfection and that of your actions. In the end all you have is your faith and your family, which you have thrown away for her. Your very soul Maria, its corrupted and shall not be allowed into heaven. It will forever burn in hell if you don’t come home. Its God’s will your soul not enter the sacred land if you do not leave her. Your very soul is at risk.”

“That’s…he that’s the message he left for Maria.” She croaked out.

“He?” I asked.

“Yeah. Maria’s farther. That’s the message she got from her father. And it was that night she broke up with me and asked me to leave. I left but I didn’t want to. I did because I didn’t want her to even more pressure. The next night I stopped over and she was…s-she was gone. I could see she packed some clothes. I had no idea where she went. I should have stayed. I-I shouldn’t have…god why didn’t I stay? I shouldn’t have left. I should have stayed and fought for her, for us.” She cried.

“I think it was best you did as she asked. If you had stayed what would have you done?” I asked her.

Dr. Adams P.O.V.

Shawnie didn’t answer. She couldn’t answer. She started to breathe heavily and her hands went into tight fists. She sat trembling with tears running down her face.

“Shawnie if you had stayed against her wishes things might have escalated to a bad situation. You might have argued. Or fought verbally. Where would that have gotten you? No, it was best you gave her what she wanted by you leaving. I am sure she loved you more for not making things harder for her.” I tried to assure her.

She was fighting crying. Instead of telling her to let go, as I normally do, I took another route.

“I know you are not the type of person who finds it difficult to cry in front of people. You consider it not a sign of weakness but a loss of control. Or the opening to you lose control. In here you have learned that isn’t the case. Would you like to hear how many times you have cried?” I asked.

“You keep a record of that?” She asked surprised.

“Yes I do.” I informed her.

“Since you started to open up and let yourself feel, you have cried just twenty-seven times. But that’s okay its  low. I want you to keep in mind that crying helped you to adapt to your loss. It offered a needed release of your pent up emotions. Its also very healthy for you. Crying will keep you from exploding on the inside.”

The mood was light. I decided to venture into another topic she finds unnerving.

Crying also let people know you need help. You had been so afraid of your crying leading you to getting angry but anger is a natural part of grief. Some people may not acknowledge it but anger is usually there to some degree. It was your anger that saved you from depression. Do you know why?” I asked her.

“No.” She quickly answered.

“Shawnie you know that’s not true. So I will ask you again. Do you know why your anger prevented you from falling into depression?” I asked

Dr. Adams P.O.V.

She flinched. Her eyes closed as her head dropped. She couldn’t look me in the eyes. It took her a while to be able to answer. She had to be honest not just with me but with herself. When she finally answered it was barely a whisper. I had to ask her to repeat it louder.

“You think I didn’t fall into depression because of my being relieved she was gone, because I wasn’t sad right?” She asked upset.

“What do you think?” I asked her, answering her question with my own question.

She shrugged. I could see she was upset by her own answer and my not answering her.

“I believe it was something close to that, yes. You finally had a moments rest from all the years of her possibly breaking up with you. Or going back to her father to be hurt again. That made you become for having those feelings. That led you to feeling guilty and very ashamed. That shame led to even more anger. What it means is you never had time to let yourself be sad. Anger can be a difficult emotion to control.”

“Control had always been essential to you. You controlled it mainly in part to keep the peace between you and Maria’s father. But because you kept a tight lid on it your anger intensified. We usually feel out of control when there is nothing more that can be done. This  happens a lot when no matter what you do, nothing matters. Maria was dead and there was nothing you could do to changed that fact. A big part of you were gone. The woman you loved was no longer alive. She was the one person you relied on and she was gone.”

“But…I-I didn’t mean to! I…it was only for a minute. I didn’t mean to…I swear I didn’t mean to be…that. I loved her.” She yelled. “She was my heart. She was my first love. Its why I had to suffer. Its why I had to be in pain.” She whispered.

“Shawnie I don’t believe you wanted to be in pain. No one wants to be in pain. I believed you allowed it because you felt guilty for her suicide. I want you to know I understand you were full of a considerable amount of anger and aggression. In your attempt to overcome the feeling of having no control over losing Maria, your mind, it asserted whatever power it could find to hide your fear and sense grief.”

“Acute grief leaves you exposed and with raw emotions. You had very little space for anything but fear and anger to attend to. You were flooded. It submerged you. Your anger submerged your sadness you may have experienced. You survived seemingly intact but your anger affected your emotions from well below your level of awareness.” I told her.

“I remember sitting on my couch for hours just staring off into space. Lost. It was two years after her death. I could still hear her choking on her own blood.” She suddenly started crying.

 

Laying Down My Armor part 2/ My Bag of Arsenal

“How long?” She asked.

“It was two years I think.” I lied. I knew exactly how long it was. And Dr. Adams could read me.

“You know that isn’t true. I know you know how long it was. Just tell me. How long after her death were you still with the anguish?” She asked.

“Two. It was two years after her suicide. I was still feeling  very suffocated. I kept seeing her body crumpled on the floor bloody and dead. I couldn’t stop it, the bloody images of her.” I cried.

“It wasn’t  just the trauma you suffered that was the sole cause of your pain but the fact that you became very entangled, as loss often causes, with your pain.” She stated. “And for you to be more at peace we had to rid you of your emotional arsenal.” She said.

“It was scary when I realized I was even carrying an arsenal. I thought I would be beyond it, all the pain.” I sighed.

“The mind is infinitely capable of imprinting conflicting thoughts and warring states of emotions. Lets talk about the full arsenal you had at your disposal that you used.” She said.”

“There was anger, grief, fear, hate, confusion, rage, sadness, sorrow, pain and helplessness.” She read off.

I didn’t know how to respond. So I didn’t. I sat there, quietly taking it all in.

“The love you had for Maria had taken a back seat to the anger and hurt you felt. It was your pathological fear of loss that manifested in your subconscious. People too easily believe the past is past, but the mind has a mind of its own. It follows a spiral projector. It has to repeatedly pass through the past if it is to curve into the future.” She said.