Tag Archives: suicide

An Image of Self-Violence

by Darick Taylor

EDITOR’S NOTE: Discretion is advised. Following is a story about self-harm and suicide. 

This piece originally published on Across the Margin.

My therapist had introduced me to another of her clients: a woman in her mid-40s with a history of self-harm. She had a kind of loose-skinned thinness brought about not by her age but by the incessant tanning she hoped would camouflage her scars. Her natural teeth had clearly been replaced by dentures, giving her a look that lay in a place between her actual age and twenty years older.

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Unique, Volume 1

By Stacey Lehrer

Unique always used to talk about writing a book about her life. She worked on it off and on for years, often telling me about a chapter she was working on or what part she planned to write about next. It’s been years since she had a working computer; I don’t know what happened to her writing. But I do know that she wanted people to hear her story. I can’t speak to what happened in Unique’s life in the time before I knew her, although I’ve heard enough about it that I feel like I have a pretty good idea. But I can tell her story as it connects with mine, in the 14 years since we met. I’m leaving out some of the more intensely personal details, to respect her privacy, but hoping to share her story (and, in part, our story) as she wished.

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by Darick  Taylor

Looking back on 30 years, most of them spent in isolation, it often takes my breath away. Time flows in one direction, and I will never be able to recover what has been lost. Living in the microcosm of my mind. Reaching desperately for meaning. If I go outside they will see—in the tension of my face and the perpetual downturn of my eyes. They will know that I am ugly. They will see the poverty and ignorance. A sixth-grade dropout. Agoraphobic. Neglected and fallen through the cracks; raised in trauma.

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I Love Myself and I Love You More

by Sarah Fader and Courtney Keesee

I love myself. But, there is this societal trend of forcing people to love themselves before others. If you can’t love yourself, then you can’t love another person. I don’t believe this to be true. The emotional connection that comes with loving other people escalates my self-confidence: loving other people makes me feel great. Calling attention to wonderful human beings makes me feel good about myself too. It’s not all about me. When I was in a deep dark depression, I would focus on the good in others to get me through. Loving yourself is a process. It’s something to work towards. Let’s honor the appreciation of other people.

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Patience, Her Story

by Neesa Suncheuri

Trigger warning: suicide

Her pillbox hat summarizes the ideas that collect within it.
Feminine residue, a powdery past of dainty tradition.
Soap, flowers and gauzy slips, accidental beauty, hairstyles curled.
Purple, impossible-hued lids, now rendered stunning against blue eyes,
And when she goes to sleep, the boxes close.

To dream of cooking steam, a pot filled with dinner for children.
A recipe, such a puzzle to joyfully engage any woman.
No primary colors at all on the plate,
Just spinach, potatoes and meatloaf from Grandma’s cookbook.
Complaints, whines and rejection are her reward.

The bedroom in morning, husband is gone.
Marriage is a vacant affair, a window opened.
The sheets are pressed flat, the ceiling fan turned on low.
Such wifely duties require no school,
Simply mastery of the unappreciated skill of Patience.

Her face should be blithe and gay,
But instead it is lined.
Her form should be correct and desirable,
But there is a ripple here, a bulge there.
Her aspirations should be short and limited,
But instead they are stifled.
And her love for her child?

Should be tender, but in fact is conflicted.

Baby in arm, she steps out onto the balcony.
And the breeze has a feel that encourages one to stay home.
An infant’s bassinet to the side, in goes Jacob,
A final pat tucks him underneath the down.
Then Patience, that womanly character itself,
Takes three steps towards the sun,

And jumps for her freedom past the iron rail.

Gone is mother,
Gone is wife,
And gone is
From this home.

neesas1Neesa Suncheuri
Staff Writer – Poetry

Neesa Suncheuri works as a mental health peer specialist at a housing agency in Queens, New York.  She is the founder of a Facebook discussion group for peer specialists and other recovery enthusiasts, entitled “What is Wellness?  A Mental Health Discussion Group.”  Much of her creative inspiration is rooted in her now-tamed schizophrenia.  She writes poetry and fiction, and maintains a blog called Unlearning Schizophrenia.  She is also a singer/songwriter, and an enthusiast for the German language and culture.  Follow her on Twitter at @neesasuncheuri.