I broke up with my boyfriend early September last year. It wasn’t easy but I had to save myself from the toxic relationship I was in, where he would make all the rules but the rules would not apply to him. He made me feel shit about myself and blame me for all the problems in our relationship.
The first thing I did after that was to seek professional help, he encouraged me to go despite all the bad things that he had done to me. I went to see my doctor and told him about my depression and self-harm. He started me on some anti-depressants and I was so desperate for it to start kicking in but as we all know, it takes up to 6 weeks for them to start working. My doctor also referred me to a psychologist.
Before the 6 weeks came, my father had a mini stroke and had to stay at the hospital for a few days. Due to his lack of English, I voluntarily stayed every day and almost every night with him to interpret. The only time I would go home was when I really needed a shower. He could still eat and walk properly but I felt extra low, I blamed myself for so many reasons when I shouldn’t have. This happened just 2 weeks before my end of year exams (first year at university), so the pressure was hitting me pretty hard. When my father got discharged, he started being difficult. He wouldn’t eat what my mum was cooking for him and when she asked him what he wanted to eat, he said he doesn’t know. However, he would eat what I cook for him. I was supposed to be on my exam leave but I spent every day cooking and cleaning up after my dad even though he was capable of doing that himself, while my mum expected me to work at our family cafe and make the house look spotless.
I was 3 sessions in with my psychologist when I told him that I couldn’t do what I was doing anymore, that I was desperate to die. Hearing this, he knew I couldn’t go back home so he contacted the mental health team and sent me to Respite (a place for me to stay for a few days to get away from everything).
At Respite, we didn’t have to cook or clean. We just had to stay alive. They provide us with 3 meals a day, they had an activity room, a library and so on. I started feeling better so they discharged me. I wasn’t able to do my exams, I completely missed out on everything.
Only a week after I got discharged, my father had another stroke and this time he could not move his left body. Once again, I spent days and nights looking after him. I thought I was going through my worst but things just kept on getting worse. They found out not only that my dad was having a stroke but there were blood clot in his lungs also. I started thinking about life and how I was totally done with it. I just didn’t want to exist anymore.. This was when I decided to take the overdose, it happened at the hospital. No one knew. I took a nap and woke up to the sound of a nurse checking on the patient next to my dad. She saw me and asked if I was okay, drugged up I said “no”, that I took some pills. She quickly got other nurses. Everything happened then was a complete blur to me. I was stuttering, shaking and seeing double.
The next thing I knew, I was in the emergency room. My mum was there and instead of feeling sad, she was feeling annoyed. Completely angry at me and told me that I was a burden by doing what I just did. That all my relatives are now going to laugh at our family. She was embarrassed of me. She was embarrassed of my mental illness.
I had a couple of seizures and stayed in ICU for a night before they got me on 24/7 watch. Once again, I got put into Respite.
When I got discharged from Respite and went home, my sister wasn’t happy about my return. She even mocked my attempt and called me “crazy”.
The only reason I had to stay alive then was for my end of year trip to overseas. Childhood friends reunion. In between I had depressive episodes and anxiety attacks but I had no time to think about them as I had to either stay at the hospital with my dad or spend time working.
I remember my dad called me “useless” compared to my sister, who is a decade older than me. I know he only said it to try and make me work harder but all it did was make me not want to visit him at the hospital anymore. Which was exactly what I did. I spent from seeing him 7 days a week to 2 days a week till my trip arrived, which I didn’t even go visit him that day before flying.
I spent 18 days overseas and when I came back, as I was thinking about how things will only get better from now, my father passed away 2 days later due to his heart beating too fast. For weeks I have begged my family not to consider giving my dad acupuncture as a way to help with his stroke recovery but like always, my sister didn’t listen to me. He died the same day he got his acupuncture done.
I was full of anger. I blamed my father’s death on my sister (which she still has no clue). I was angry that my dad called me “useless” and died weeks later. I was angry that if my attempt worked then, I wouldn’t have to go through all that pain.
I was great at faking it all so people barely see me feeling sad, this lead them to care for my sister but ignore me instead. I was angry at how people were telling me to “stay strong” and look after my mum and sister as if my mum and sister have lose one of their loved ones but I haven’t. My eldest sister yelled at me for how messy my room was (as I didn’t have time to unpack from my trip yet because of dad’s funeral), and told me that I couldn’t live like that. All I could think when she was yelling at me was, “Couldn’t live like that? I don’t even want to live at all!” My elder sister’s room was just as messy as mine but she would not get yelled at because she gets away with everything like always. I felt trapped. Messy room was the least of my worries at a time like that.
These anger lead to me being suicidal once again and once again I was admitted to Respite. I now spend my days not thinking about how things can get better. Paranoid that my mum or sister might die tomorrow because life is a joke and things just keep on getting worse. I feel numb. Either that or I cry out of anger.
I know that when I go home, things won’t change. my mum will still see my mental illness as a burden and feel embarrassed by it while my sister sees it as a joke. But I’ll hang on just a little bit longer, hoping that life can have a little mercy on me.