After posting a Facebook status about National Suicide Prevention Week, some people have asked about my story. I usually do not like to talk about what happened and why, but I have come to learn that sharing my story has helped a few people begin to resolve their own issues, and sharing has helped to heal the scars I will always bear.
In August 2008, I found out my father would be leaving the Episcopal Church he had been serving for eight years for multiple reasons. This meant we would also be moving out of the rectory (our house). To add insult to injury, I was told we would be moving in with my grandparents to help be caregivers for my grandfather, who was beginning his steady decline due to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The next day, I secretly attempted suicide. I began my freshman year of high school two or three weeks later, and I was an absolute wreck. I met a boy in my Spanish class, and we began dating. He was the epitome of bad boy: skater hair dyed purple and pink, eyebrow piercing, tongue piercing, snake bites, gauges, pot smoker. We began dating, I was sexually assaulted by him, and he broke up with me the next day because “it isn’t working out, and my mom doesn’t like you.” I was dumped because I did not want to have sex with him, and sexual assault was icing on the cake. No, I never pressed charges, because I did not want to have to go to court and possibly have to take the stand. One night after a really horrible day at school, I was contemplating ending my life again, but something told me to reach out. I called someone, she made me take my cell phone down to my parents, and she told them everything I had opened up about. I did not go to school the next day; instead, I went to an emergency counseling session. I told one of my closest friends where I was, and she told one of my other friends, and that friend told an acquaintance of mine, (who just so happened to be the little sister of my ex-boyfriend) and the rumor spread all over. I found out because a friend of mine from middle school texted me and asked if I was okay because she had heard some things about me attempting suicide.
I spent that night in the local emergency room waiting for transportation to a different hospital. The next morning, I was sent over to Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Illinois to be checked into their adolescent psychiatric ward. While there, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, general anxiety disorder, and anorexia nervosa; I had hit rock bottom at age 14. After leaving a week later, I was immediately put into the care of a psychiatrist and therapist back home, and the fight for my life really began. I had to go see a nutritionist, and after two appointments, I refused to ever go again; after two horrible experiences with nutritionists, (one who basically began my eating disorder in 2006 by telling me I needed to eat this, this, and this or else I would die of a heart attack at 21, and the other who told me I should feel guilty that I am the way I am and have the issues I have because it’s all my fault) I will never ever go see another. I had to switch into a different Spanish class because the sight of my ex-boyfriend would cause me to have flashbacks to that night and give me a panic attack. It took me a year to finally realize what he did to me was not my fault.
I was released from the therapist’s care in May 2011 after almost two and a half years of intensive cognitive behavior therapy. I took myself off the anti-depressant this summer. I have not had an anxiety attack in two years. I have not had a bottle of Xanax in my house for over a year. I have been in full remission from anorexia nervosa for almost three years. I am a completely different person than I was four years ago, and I had to fight like Hell to make it happen.
Help is real. Hope is real. I am living proof.
Posted on September 12th, 2012 by Suzie Geisler
Filed under: Suzie Geisler