HA notes: The author’s name has been changed to ensure anonymity. “Trista” is a pseudonym.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes/Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies/Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee/In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
I sat between two graves, softly singing this verse over and over. Going home was terrifying and death was an appealing thought.
As a child I was told I was “defective” and “half-aborted”.
When my mom would become upset with me, she would become psychotic and scream about how I was, “brainwashed at youth. It is surprising you can even think at all.” When I ‘rebelled’ again, I was told I could not think for myself because I was “half-aborted.” This was why I had to be protected by my father, who was the portal through which God and God’s will came to me.
As soon as my dad got home and I was released from school, I would lie to my parents, telling them I was going to the back of our five acre lot to the creek. I was still not allowed off the property alone, but they didn’t mind if I roamed through the backyard. Sometimes, I would go back to the creek, but usually I would walk back to the nearest trees and then cut through the neighbor’s yard and ran as fast as I could to the cemetery near our house.
The cemetery was only a half mile away and it offered me an outlet for the dark emotions I felt. I would sit between two graves and sing “Abide with Me” over and over. In between singing I would pray for God to kill me, begging with him to strike me dead.
Imagination was my only solace.
Because I was monitored daily by my parents, it was impossible to self-harm. But I thought about death, pain and torture daily. I wanted to hurt myself, but was terrified that if my parents found out they would refuse to send me to college, leaving me a victim in their house till the day I died.
With the fear of discovery always present, I used my imagination as an outlet. I would imagine various scenarios where I was in extreme pain. I would chew my nails until they bled as a form of pain because no one suspected I was doing this to hurt myself. The things I would dream about always involved death and pain. I imagined being beaten, shot, strangled, and stabbed to death. I contemplated different ways of committing suicide. There was a pond near the cemetery, and I would imagine drowning myself.
I loved the cemetery because it made me feel closer to death, closer to home. I hated my earthly home. It was full of pain and darkness. I was always alone, told I was stupid and useless. My father would mock women. In my home, being a woman made you worse than men. I wanted so bad to be a man, but I could not change my gender. 18 years of being in the cage of patriarchy made me hopeless. Happiness was not possible. I wanted death.
My daily prayer was “Jesus, take me home. I want to go home and be with you.” This was my way of pleading for death. I was trapped in a world and life that I had no control over. I was an object upon which my parents acted. I had no rights, and my desires did not matter.
The world I lived in told me I had no power.
The only power I had was in prayer, and I prayed for rescue, which for me meant death because I saw no other alternative to the pain in my life.
When I left for college two years later, I thought my preoccupation with suicide, pain and death were over, but I was very wrong.
Wow, this story is heartbreaking. I personally have gone suffered abuse at the hands of my parents and spent eighteen years living in survival. Now, in my mid twenties, I’m finally getting help and going through counseling. I also am apart of a safe community where I can share my story honestly. I don’t know how the author is currently doing but I hope if you see this that you too are finding healing! There are safe communities and great counselors out there and I hope you find freedom from the pain you feel. I’m sorry you went through what you did and I appreciate your willingness to share your story 🙂