Another Reason I Walk

I was 20 years old when the twins’ mother and I began dating. Up to that point in time I had never been in a long-term relationship. I didn’t know how, didn’t know what one would even look like.

The twins’ mother, whom I shall refer to as Lynn (no, that’s not her real name) from here on, was recently divorced and battling some particularly nasty demons. She was also struggling to pay the bills as a newly single mother. Finding a sitter for the kids so she could work was a daily struggle. There were days when coworkers watched her children in the break room while she worked. It was tough. I felt for her, and want to help as best I could.

Her struggle to pay the bills is the primary reason I moved in with her. I was uncomfortable with the idea from the get go, but her insistence that I do so, along with her perpetual complaints about not being able to pay the bills, guilted me into it. (Yes, in hindsight I realize there were many other ways to help her, but in my defense I was 20 and didn’t know any of that then.)

It didn’t take long to realize that things were dysfunctional. Not only was she emotionally recovering from an abusive relationship, but we were (and still are) completely different people. The first time I brought this up to her she told me she was going to jump off the I-75 overpass, which was less than a mile away. She stormed out the front door, leaving me alone with her sleeping children, who were 6 and 2 at the time. I couldn’t chase her, lest I abandon her children. Being 20 and completely naïve and ignorant, I sat there and waited. I didn’t know what else to do.

This exact scenario played out two more times over the coming weeks. It began to happen a fourth time, but this time we were in our bedroom instead of the living room, and I was between her and the door. She tried to physically force her way past me a handful of times, but I was able to restrain her. I was able to keep her on the bed and safe.

Or so I thought.

When she realized she couldn’t force herself through me, she told me she needed to go to the bathroom. I went out to the hallway and made sure I was between the bathroom and the front door so she couldn’t try to escape again. When she emerged a few minutes later she informed me that it was all over and that when I woke up tomorrow I wouldn’t have to worry about her anymore.

When asked to elaborate, she informed me that she had ingested an entire bottle of Benadryl. I had completely forgotten that we kept all medicine in the bathroom. I was raised in a home where all medicine was kept in the kitchen since, you know, that’s where everything you need to wash the pills down with is located.

I checked the waste basket in the bathroom and sure enough there was an empty Benadryl bottle lying atop the wadded up tissues and empty toiletry packaging. I went into shock. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t react. There are a million things I could have and should have done, but all I could do was curl up into a fetal position on the bed and cry. Dialing 911 never occurred to me. Taking her to the emergency room never occurred to me. I was too completely dumbfounded by her actions for those thoughts to pierce the clusterfuck of confusion enveloping my brain.

Lynn laid on the floor next to the bed and took my hand in an effort to calm me down. There was a single tear creeping down her cheek from her left eye as she soothed me and told me how all my problems would be gone in the morning. I was paralyzed. Tears gushed from my eyes like a fire hydrant run over by a car. Eventually, I cried myself to sleep.

When I woke in the morning, Lynn was peacefully resting on the floor where she had been the night before. I timidly looked toward her belly, and released the biggest sigh of relief in my life when I noticed it rising and falling. Lynn’s suicide attempt had failed, but her goal had been achieved. I became completely submissive to her at that point. I stopped trying to leave her and caved to her every desire from that moment on. When she said she wanted to get married I readily agreed even though it was the last thing on earth I wanted to do. When she said she wanted another child I didn’t put up a fight even though I didn’t want to be anchored to her for the rest of my life by having a child I was not ready to have. When she told me she wanted to leave Detroit because her family was in Cincinnati I terminated our lease and rented a moving truck even though I would be leaving my family behind to do so.

I was her slave.

It took almost 10 years to disentangle myself from the emotional monopoly she’d created over me, but I’d do it all over again to ensure that I get my twins. That being said, I walk because no one should ever be put in a position where they have to give in or watch someone die. I walk so that awareness can be raised, and young men and women will know how to get help for suicidal people instead of caving to their manic demands. I walk because I want to know that when/if the time comes, my children can help a lost soul like their mother without compromising their needs and sacrificing their happiness to do so. I walk because no one should be stuck fighting their demons alone.

I have supported the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for several years now, and participate in their annual Out of the Darkness walks which raise funds for research into mental illness, which afflicts 90% of people who commit suicide. The funds also support programs for survivors left behind by those who have committed suicide in addition to folks who have survived suicide attempt(s). 

Click on the image if you wish to donate.

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About Twindaddy (328 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

50 Comments on Another Reason I Walk

  1. This is so incredibly heart-breaking…. I just can’t understand how one person can manipulate another like this……
    The helplessness and the feeling of being in chains, the pain and hopelessness of it is something I would not even wish to my worst enemy.
    Thank you for walking.

    Like

    • As I said, she was fighting her own demons at the time. Of course, 10 years later when I did finally leave her she became verbally and physically abusive, so she IS quite selfish, but that’s all quite a ways in the past.

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  2. This breaks my heart. I wish I could just hug you.

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    • Honestly, this is how I feel when I read about your past. So I guess we’re even.

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      • Do I need to remind you that I’m an emotional mess right now?! But seriously… Donating this weekend for your walk. It’s hard to think of these sorts of moments. We don’t regret our children, but sometimes the path to having them is one we wish we hadn’t had to walk.

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        • I’ve been an emotional mess for most of the past two years.

          I will never regret my children, but the paths to both pregnancies were broken and hard.

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  3. It’s another good reason.

    This weekend, I googled a close friend of mine so that I could contact him about our upcoming high school reunion. I learned that his 25 year old daughter — a beautiful, brilliant girl about to complete her PhD had recently ended her life.

    Suicide touches everyone. It’s a good cause.

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    • That is so heartbreaking.

      Yes, this is a very worthy cause. I don’t normally join things, but this is one I’ve stuck with for a while. I do so now for my own reasons, rather than someone else’s.

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  4. Explanations, not excuses. LIFE is hard, and I guess in the end we’re all lucky if we can say that we’d still rather be who and where we are today with the stuff we’ve been through and know – all the awful and good and wonderful and broken bits of our past which make us the NOW us…

    I’m glad to know the NOW you. And I’m glad you had your twins. I’m NOT glad for the manner in which they came to be, or the awful things you were subjected to. GOOD FOR YOU for walking.

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  5. I can’t even begin to imagine how psychologically terrorizing those 10 years must have been.

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  6. Lynn was so lucky to have you there, as difficult as it may have made life for you. She needed you and you were there. I think it’s wonderful you support this organization. Suicide can seem like easy way out, but as I read your post, and thinking about Lynn thought about it, it’s never the easy way out, especially for those that are left behind. But I can fathom how one might feel this way when the darkness takes over.

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  7. jeez, this is so sad. i’m so glad you’re untangled. and i hope she’s in a better mind frame.

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  8. Every time I hear (read) your reasons it leaves a mixture of emotions behind. Sadness because your brother in law succeeded, gratitude because your ex did not, confusion because of other reasons, and most of all hope that one day suicide will be 100% prevented because people like you raise awareness. Hugs.

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    • It really, really saddens me about my BIL. I never met him, but I’ve gotten to know him in a sense through other people and from what I can gather he was one hell of a good man.

      My ex, she’s been battling some horrid demons as long as I’ve known her. I understand why she is the way she is, but that doesn’t make it okay.

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  9. I am walking with you in support. You are doing a great thing. 🙂

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  10. 😦 truly shocking what you had to go through….my life seems so sheltered when I here about such stories…can’t imagine how you pulled yourself out of it….

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  11. This is really painful to read. I had to skip over some of it. I can’t imagine what it was like to be inside.

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    • Knowing that you have the power to make someone willingly end their life is a horrible, horrible feeling. At least, it is to me.

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  12. I’m as old as you were when your relationship with Lynn started. That makes me understand even more how confusing and heavy it must have been… I’m sorry you had to go through this. She was a victim in a way, but you no less!

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  13. betternotbroken // September 7, 2014 at 10:19 pm // Reply

    What a story, to get into something so painful while so young. It is not fair to use the threat of suicide constantly against someone, I know this is an unpopular opinion. However, I was someone who had it used against me as well. There is little you can do if the person who is also a “victim” will not receive help or work to become a more ordered individual however. In some cases they do this deliberately when all else has failed to control you, then what? The whole experience is confusing, stressful and life altering. Good luck to you, no wonder it has taken years to heal.

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    • She didn’t seek help. At least, not at that time. She waited until I was physically out of the home almost ten years later. By that time it was WAY too late and years of damage had been done.

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  14. Wow. That’s a tough story. Sorry about all of it but hey…those twins. Right? Something good, my friend. Something very, very good.

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    • Oh, definitely. I don’t regret any of it because it gave me two wonderful gifts. Still, I refuse to ever let myself be manipulated like that again.

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  15. Having recently written about this, on a personal level, I am that much more impressed by your ability to survive and move on… and your wonderful willingness to walk for this cause. Kudos, kind sir.

    Like

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