Today my daughter came out of her shell to reach others and offer hope. This from a shy 18 year old that normally is quiet and keeps to herself. Yet, she knows what it is like to struggle. She has tried so hard through the years to be all that she can be to a man that offers very little to her in return in the way of love. Sadly, this man is her biological father. The pain she has felt due to his neglect of her has been enormous but pales to the pain her step mom was allowed to inflict upon her through words of humiliation and belittling all of those tender years she was forced to spend every other weekend with them. As you can imagine, the weeks in the summer and weeks around Christmas were also torture for her, and she began to act out. She did so in a way not to harm others but to secretly harm herself. All because the pain was so great.
What happened in the mist of her pain, she encountered others that felt similar ways. When they latched on to my daughter, it was like a drowning person holding on to her for dear life. With their flaring arms, flapping wildly as she tried to pull them to shore, soon she, too, began to struggle to keep her head above water. She gasped for breath as they pulled her under.
Thankfully God allowed her secret to be revealed one evening. I will never forget stumbling upon pictures and posts on her computer. When I learned of how desperate she felt, my heart shattered into a million pieces as tears flowed like a river out of my eyes and down my cheeks. Every part of me ached to take her pain away. She hurt, and I could not save her from the pain she felt in life.
This hit me so hard because she’s my daughter! It also hit me hard because years ago I lost my only sibling to suicide. I feared that my daughter was contemplating this, although she assured me that she wasn’t. I prayed and begged God to help her … and to help ME help her! I’ll admit that I did not handle the new found information well at all. I cried, prayed, begged, became angry, and then the waves of pain hit all over again. My daughter … my baby!!
With counseling, she was able to become stronger and believe more in herself. She was comforted with bible verses that the Christian counselor equipped her with, along with reassuring hugs from me, her mother.
Not even a month ago, my daughter got a tattoo on her ankle that says “Hope.” It has special meaning to her, to me, to the world. She offered HOPE … when others felt hopeless in their situations before, but she is better equipped now to offer her assistance while having a life preserver alongside her when she tries to rescue them from the deep waters.
Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, my daughter came out of her shell and reached out to others to offer HOPE to them. She posted a very heartfelt message on Facebook, and she shared about this organization that means so much to her: To Write Love On Her Arms. I have supported this organization since she first introduced me to it, and I proudly wear their clothing to offer the message of Hope to the world as well. I have a lime green tank top that says, “Hope is real.” It is in honor of my daughter as lime green is one of her favorite colors, and the message is clear as hope is what kept my daughter holding on. Hope is real, and I am forever grateful that this beautiful young lady was able to escape the darkness and emerge to be a light to those around her. I am thankful for how she has grown, matured, and still offers the utmost care, concern, love, and compassion for those around her.
Today, I celebrate my daughter and how far she has come. I applaud her efforts to reach out to those to offer Hope in any form. Some are against tattoos, but think of the power that her Hope tattoo could have. Think of the impact that it has to reach others. Look at the word itself. HOPE ….
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of harming yourself or thoughts of suicide, please reach out to us or a health care professional. You are not alone, dear one. Help is available. Promise me that you’ll allow someone to come alongside of you to offer you hope even when you’re feeling hopeless. I share my daughter’s story with you tonight to show you where she was and how far she has come. Your story isn’t over yet, and God isn’t finished with you. Please hold on a little longer and a little tighter. Promise that we’ll see you tomorrow … and the next day … and the next. You are loved, and you matter!
Start the conversation: 800-273-TALK
I’ll leave you with my daughter’s message from her Facebook page:
Hold On Pain Ends.
Your story doesn’t stop here. I know times may be tough and it seems like it will never get better, no matter how hard you try, but I promise you it will get better. There are times where the pressure will seem unbearable, but you have to keep your head above the water and learn to swim. Life is never going to be easy but I promise you it will be worth it in the end. Please never feel like suicide is ever the answer. Suicide doesn’t end the pain, it passes it to the ones who love you. Suicide shouldn’t ever be an answer, no matter how hard it gets.
Just this year I lost one of my friends to suicide. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t end the pain. You might feel that no one cares about you or that no one would notice if you were gone, but they do care and will most definitely notice. Emily felt as if no one would care or notice if she was gone, but her passing had haunted us all. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could have stopped her from doing what she did. If I could do anything in this world, I would bring her back. I miss you so much, Em.
Not only is today #nationalsuicideprevention
day but this entire week is#nationalsuicideprevention week. Organizations like @twloha and @hopefortheday are here to spread a positive message of support and love to those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts and actions. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please reach out and ask for help. The suicide hotline ( for the US ) is 18002738255. There are also many text hotlines and chat lines if you are unable to call. Please never lose hope in a better tomorrow. The sky’s are grey now but soon you will have a beautiful sunrise. Hold on to hope. Keep fighting and stay strong. If you ever need anyone to talk to, I am always here to help as best as I can. Your story doesn’t stop here.