Note: In order to understand someone, you have to be in their shoes. Thus, I am recounting my suicidal story in a hope to raise awareness of this issue. I believe that suicide can happen anywhere, anytime, and, sometimes, without warning. I also believe some people are the survivors, but they just are not open about it. So, here I am stepping out of my comfort zone recounting my high school secret. It was a long and terrible experience, honestly.
Fact: The majority of Cambodian parents think, “If my child is physically healthy, then they must be healthy.” Sadly, my parents are in the majority.
When I was 14, I studied 3 schools and other extra classes. So, every day, I had to study since 6am to 8pm with only lunch and dinner breaks. I was stressed, but I didn’t complain much because I knew my parents want the best for me. Some children couldn’t have the privilege to learn, so why should I complain?
Since studying 3 schools was stressful, I tended to be alone in my room listening to music and watching YouTube. It was my only comfort from this dull world. A week had passed, seeking shelter in my dark room was my daily habit. I didn’t know it was serious; all I know was that I was sad. However, no one ever knew I was sad because I was smiling and full of life. When I told my best friend I was blue, she laughed and asked, “You know how to be sad too?” So, since then I didn’t go to her whenever I was down.
A few weeks passed, nothing had changed. All I knew was that I slept a lot and I felt tired all the time. I’d been complaining about school and I didn’t want to go to school. One time, I was crying because I didn’t want to go to school: I wanted to stay home and sleep. I was scolded by my parents for being “lazy”, which really shook my self-esteem.
It was about a month. I was fighting trying to find the positivity in life that I just couldn’t see. It started when my brother was sick so often, and my parents were worried and annoyed with my brother and their business. At the same time, I didn’t want to bother with anything as I had lost interest in everything: I was depressed. My parents didn’t see me as a depressed person but as a “lazy” and “useless” person. Almost every day, they were not happy due to my brother’s illness, so I usually got scolded when doing something wrong. I remembered my mom said, “I regret giving a birth to you.” Trust me: being called useless every day will eventually convinces you that you’re useless even if you have high self-esteem.
Every time, I would go to my room to cry. At this stage, crying was my daily routine. May I note: no one knew I was depressed and sad. Every time I got scolded, I would smile and go to my room. So, everything was behind the closed doors. At night when it’s peaceful, I would think how to commit suicide and I actually planned it. Why did I want to commit suicide? It was because there was no point in living, because I was useless, because I was a burden, because my death would bring everyone happiness especially my parents, because I didn’t deserve to live.
I planned and tried to commit suicide a few times, but every time, I gave up. I was weak. I was afraid of the unknown afterlife. It took courage to do it, and I couldn’t find mine. I hate that I couldn’t do it. I hate the people who think committing suicide is weak, coward, selfish, and attention-seeking. People who think suicide is selfish is so selfish themselves: they want me to be alive because they need me, but what about me? I have suffered enough to actually end MY own life not theirs. Until it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels.
It’s been 4 years now. I am glad that I didn’t succeed it because life gets better. I don’t know how I got over it. Still, I sometimes have suicidal thoughts from time to time, but I, this time, know how to deal with it: talk to my friends rather than being alone. After all this, I daresay I am stronger than I was back then.
For all suicidal teens: Please seek help such as talking to someone you trust about it. NEVER let yourself be alone because it is dangerous: your thoughts kill.
For all people: Please understand that the suicide victims’ cutting themselves is not for attention, but a cry for help; they are just too ashamed to admit it. Take action when someone mentions about it, even if they’re joking, or seems depressed. Lastly, NEVER joke around (“do kill yourself”) to the suicidal because your joke kills.