i want to die
Statement Followed by Poem
by jennifer kiley
When I wrote this poem and created this collage and the art work and video, I did want to die. I was in an extremely dark place. Something happened that made me feel so isolated and i felt like no one else existed in the entire universe. The intensity of my suicidal thoughts were triggered by fear and a sense of abandonment, triggered from the feelings I experienced starting from when I was a child. Losing my grandmother when I was a kid. She was the only one that I felt who totally loved me and I was safe with and close to. My only connection to another human being. All the other people were abusers or didn’t notice I was alive or they treated me like I wasn’t worth the time. I was extremely introverted and didn’t have any idea how to talk to anyone but my grandmother. My mother was a tyrant and severely abused me. The only time she could relate to me was when I was sick and weak. Otherwise, I was the scapegoat and her punching bag. Literally, she was a physical and emotional abuser, what else might have happened is buried inside the dark places of my mind. The end game was that I had to apologize to her for making her angry enough to want to beat me. I would crumble onto my knees outside her locked bedroom door and beg for her to forgive me. It was silent and there was no acknowledgement and no words ever exchanged. It would only happen again that over and over again. The extent of the abuse is so well buried but it is time to dig it all up and to feel and piece together what exactly happened. To take the hugeness out of the abuse and make it small and then blow it away.
This has not been easy for me to do. I am too afraid of the feelings it will awaken from the deep. I was beaten when I would cry and not be able to stop crying. For some reason tears and the sound of crying drove my mother into an insane state of sadism. So feeling something is very scary for me. Today, when I feel good feelings toward someone I am close to, it triggers feelings of guilt and a fear that I have done something wrong. That somehow, I have angered them and they have stopped loving me or wanting me in their life. It is an insanity that I have to fight with in myself to remind myself that it is all in my imagination. My psychotherapist has to keep reminding me why I go to that place and have those feelings. It isn’t about now, it is about what has happened to me in the past.
I am writing this to preface this poem to state that I need to write myself through what feelings come up inside me. It is my way of working through the abuse inside of my mind. To get past the feelings of wanting to harm myself or wanting to die. To want to commit suicide is not an uncommon feeling to have when you have had to endure abuse and abandonment. It is important to open the door, not just for myself, but to let others who are going through similar experiences inside of their minds and bodies and emotions. It is better to talk to someone or to write or paint or do something that helps you to release the punishing feelings. I use art as a means to work through the depth of my feelings of hopelessness and despair. I go so deep into the darkness and have such a difficult time turning to anyone to talk about what I am going through, that I need to find a release in other ways where I do not harm myself. I don’t want anyone to harm themselves. Find an outlet. I have a great psychotherapist who I am able to really talk to, even though we often find ourselves making each other laugh. That’s part of the therapy. She knows I am having a hard time talking about all of this and also remembering it. But it is harming me and the people in my life that I love. I am not the easiest person in the world to get close to. I have so many defenses that protect me and I am afraid of closeness but I make myself work hard on pushing through those fears.
So I offer this poem as a place that I went to that was scary and I felt so alone and not the good alone which I enjoy. This alone is the dangerous alone where all my thoughts are filled with a deep deep depression filled with thoughts of death and hurting myself. A total obsession with death and harm. It is not a good place at all but that is where the effects of my mother’s abuse and the death and abandonment of so many people I loved has effected me. I am afraid of closeness for fear of something happening to the person or persons I love. That they will die or abandon me. For some reason, this does not stop me from finding people I love and want to love and be close to. I am an extremely intense person so it takes a special person to be able to love me and let me love them.
This is as far as I will go for now. Read the poem and hear from the point of view of a young child who has been hurt quite badly. This is only touching on the surface. Listen to the music video j. kiley made. We are learning how to make films and videos. It will take some time. We have created one short action film we converted to video. It is rather cute of one of new kittens that are now just over two months away from reaching their first year birthday. Well, the film video is of Carter, with the nickname of Sparky b/c every time you pet him you get super-sparks flying between you. Anyway, onto the poem. Be prepared. It is not graphic but to me it is quite painful and depending how you react you may get sad or angry and want to do violence on the abusers. I’ve had my share of extreme fantasies. I will say one more thing. I do not ever plan on forgiving any of them. I will leave that to the higher of powers to decide what to do about that. Forgiveness is giving them something that I just do not ever want to feel. It does not harm me, it empowers me to accept and believe I do not ever have to forgive any of them ever. jk the secret keeper…ps. I almost changed the title b/c I thought I was being too intense. I did edit out the title but then realized why I am stopping myself from stating the truth of what I feel when I wrote this poem. As you can see I stayed with the original. It was difficult to do that but I feel I needed to keep “i want to die.” It is unfortunately a mantra I feel way to often but I accept that I feel this way sometimes and I am not going to feel ashamed of my feelings. I am a survivor but with that comes memories that are haunting me and triggering me and sometimes it is all just too much. j.k
sacrifice—lisa gerrard & pieter bourke
“The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
“Did you really want to die?”
“No one commits suicide because they want to die.”
“Then why do they do it?”
“Because they want to stop the pain.”
― Tiffanie DeBartolo, How to Kill a Rock Star
“Suicide is a form of murder – premeditated murder. It isn’t something you do the first time you think of doing it. It takes getting used to. And you need the means, the opportunity, the motive. A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind.” ― Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted