Jessica Miller 

"On April 1, 2010, I was 35-years-old and I'd had enough of this thing called 'life.' I struggled with suicidal thoughts prior to that time, and still do today.

But this date was very different because everything for those years finally had the say. This day, I did things without realizing I was doing them, such as driving, shopping, and cleaning, and I was not fixed on the plan at-hand. My mind and body just naturally went through the motions. In fact, I experienced a very peaceful, calming, and knowing 'the end was now' type of euphoria.

At the time, I had been receiving treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, Chronic Anxiety Disorder, Clinical Depression, and marriage dynamic issues with a wonderful therapist and psychiatrist. But I woke up that morning miserable unlike nothing I had ever experienced. So, I did all of my OCD work for the day to ensure that my husband and children were provided a nice home.

After my shower, I decided all things were in order, they were all comfortable, and matters were few.
So, I cried looking in the mirror and opened the medicine cabinet to get out a 30-day supply of Darvocet. I then walked to the kitchen and grabbed a fifth of Everclear and went to our theater room, where I consumed every last drop as I washed down each pill.

Then, I proceeded to email my therapist about my not being alive come Monday when she would receive my message, and why I had done it. I made a grocery list a mile long with everything imaginable on it. I left with my purse and completed the entire list. When I got home, I got the kids and we went clothes shopping, to dinner, and to the Family Fun Center for them to have fun and for me to watch one last time.

But not once did I get a 'buzz' or become unconscious. So, we returned home, I proceeded to drink an entire bottle of Jack Daniel’s. Within the hour, I was transported--unconscious--to the local hospital where I took up residence for 21 days in the Mental Health Unit.

I slept for the first week and didn't participate in anything on the unit. However, I learned of a new treatment in the area of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). So, I participated and honestly never expected to get anything from it. Contrary to my assumptions, I gained a tremendous amount of coping skills and still use them today, share them, and teach them to others.

Through my learning, it was the unraveling that I share now because I buried it for so many years. I buried it because I thought I had to and figured my experience didn’t matter to anyone if it didn’t, in fact, matter to my parents.

I learned that I had every reason to be mad as hell! Those who should have protected me did not and more painful is that they provided the measures for my harm. For example: for years, my uncle molested me at family gatherings with no adult doing anything about it. My own mother had a drug habit and drinking issue where she would allow strange people around my brother and me. In doing so, they would touch me and told me not to tell. My mother would also verbally yell at me in outrageous anger, as well as smack me around out of hatred for my father.

Our roles were dysfunctional and reversed; as a result, I had no childhood.

Because of my mother's mental illness, I was the mother, daughter, homemaker, cook, cleaner, etc. and on few occasions, I had to handle law enforcement because she was mentally checked out. The worst was after she and my father divorced. I remember her calling him and telling him she was going to drown us in the pool and herself after that. While we were at the apartment pool, police came from everywhere and I was the one that provided birth dates, phone numbers, and names at nine-years-old.

I formulated a statement that I share today with others: 'Just because you have a title doesn’t mean you are entitled to harm me!' I always knew I was different in my heart and mind.

My mother (titled) dated many men and they would verbally abuse us, physically hurt us, and she would have sex with them openly with us in the home and aware of what was going on. There was also lots of drugs and alcohol. That time created in me a strong hatred toward drugs, men, and women.

As a result, I have struggled with toxic, destructive relationships with males over the years. When my mother remarried, I became even more of a target of her hate and anger. This caused me to get angry, and I then turned it inward on myself. I was abandoned by my biological father while so much was going on--he should have been available to protect me...but he didn't. My stepfather was so mentally abusive that even today, I still hear the tracks in my head even after years of therapy and DBT trainings.

I have always said that I would rather have the physical abuse than the mental abuse, as it will heal and very few long-term reminders would remain. It’s the mental that--regardless of therapy--cannot be removed from the confines of our minds which, sadly, seem to never heal.
I was suicidal as early as 11-years-old and it has been a part of my life.

I fear regularly what will be the ultimate trigger. Now, I am self-aware, so when my stress level gets to a certain point, I know that all my disorders collide, old messages replay from hurtful parents, and all lead to my suicide attempts.

I also have discovered that my passion to work with youth similar to my experiences--and acquiring my PsyD/PhD in Clinical Psychology in Adolescence--can also be a trigger. But after an attempt, I reflect and really just want the noise to go away. But it is the drive that gives me life again and I feel, somehow, that this is all so that I can love, understand, help, and guide others to their personal freedoms from mental entrapments.

Though I have endured my first husband committing suicide on our first wedding anniversary, 12 deaths in 14 months, many other personal losses, foreclosure, repossession, rape leading to the birth of my daughter, I have persevered. I have conquered sexual abuse, physical abuse, cervical/uterine/vaginal (x2) and breast cancer (x2), but it is the mental abuse that keeps suicide alive for me.

Suicide is just another disease, but so many clearly do not understand it! I believe each life is touched by it. Suicide is only 'selfish' because the one committing it is needing relief that medication, psychotherapy, or other methods cannot fix.

Suicide is not the sign of a weak person. It leaves many unanswered questions and heavy hearts maddened with guilt and shame.

But it is a reality we cannot ignore."