Excerpt for Suicide by , available in its entirety at Smashwords





SUICIDE
Jenny Vorster


Copyright [2018] Jenny Vorster



Smashwords Edition





About the Cover

I found this face amongst my Mothers personal items. I don't know when she drew it, but there was a time in her life when she was in deep physical pain. Her by-pass operation was not going well. She slept a lot. It was in 2008. To me this picture speaks of deep unhappiness, even deep despair. I cannot think of another emblem that would depict the feeling of even one's soul pain.

My Mother passed away from septicemia in March 2009.

Writer - Jenny Vorster

Illustrations - Jenny Vorster

Book edited by - Yolande Marais

Email - yl.va@hotmail.com

All scriptures are taken from The Good News Bible, Today's English Version.





TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Background

Chapter 3 - The Beginnings

Chapter 4 - Mother

Chapter 5 - The Year 2014 - 2015

Chapter 6 - The Year 2016

Chapter 7 - Something More

Chapter 8 - Poetry

Chapter 9 - Testimonial

Chapter 10 - Practical Solutions

Chapter 11 - Suffering

Chapter 12 - Dave Pedersen (Dad's missing)

Chapter 13 Conclusion

My address

Jenny Vorster • P O Box 13005 • Noordstad • South Africa 9302 • E-mail - jenny58.vorster@gmail.com





CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

In 1975 my first attempted suicide was in boarding school in standard 9. I had seen on television how actors had cut their wrists and bled and died. So I got hold of a blade and at 2 am in the morning, proceeded to cut my wrists. The pain while cutting, was excruciating. But no blood came, so I went back to my room and had my first mental breakdown the next morning. All I can say is that the doctor who treated me had said that, had I cut a mm deeper, I would have lost both my hands. Can you imagine not even, ever, tying a button or unable to pick up a spoon to stir your tea. In fact, having no use in your hands at all.

I was only diagnosed with Schizo- Affective Disorder in 1988. By then I had already attempted suicide a few times. The problem with this disorder is that you have moods of deep depression and oppositely, extreme elation, both of which can cause suicide attempts. I also struggled with hearing voices and losing touch with reality. Yes, my moods could be controlled to a certain degree, by medication. But what about you, out there, who are stuck in deep black holes? Who have no way out. Who feel that death seems such an easy option. But something is saying to you, must you do it? Will the pain perhaps go away. But your heart tells you that it is not going away. You sometimes drop hints to your friends about thinking of suicide, but it seems they can't hear you. Every time you attempt suicide, you get braver and more aggressive. Suicide is an absolute hate against yourself and even against humanity. The option of suicide remains so real. So painless. Even kind to yourself.

So where does it leave us? Us who feel so deeply about our unfathomable pain. About trying to make pain less or just go away. Yes, it is 2015 and after all these years of trying to take my life, I have found a way where I don't want to do it anymore. I am free from the bondage of hating life. This year I was attacked and severely bitten by a dog. On my shoulder and my leg. Never had I gone through such physical and emotional pain. But not for one minute did I think it was too much to end my life. I think that in a moment of insanity, of being completely irrational and utterly confused, we resort to suicide – and it remains just that, Bizarre! How could one not, in one fleeting moment, remember that life has ups and downs with a moment of happiness, even so small, here and there. You may say to me that I cannot possibly understand, but I can only give you the pathway I have taken.

All of us had either too heavy a burden to carry or we were caught up in the ways of the world, which made us feel like the worst ever and with no escape. I don't know what drove us over the edge, but I will tell you of how my life was darkened by despair and also how my life was given back to me. How I can actually laugh from my belly again. How people make me enjoy them. How I talk, now, to my closest friends, if I feel hard done by or cannot cope alone. Let me just add, quickly, that it has not been easy. In fact, it has been a road of only uphills.

Remember there is always someone out there who wants to listen, who wants to try and help. I know that at times we have felt beyond help. That even if someone talks to us, we don't even hear a word they say. I have a lot of data of deep cries of despair. This I will share with you, but believe me that the way I found that helped me, is the only way according to me. Nothing else worked. Pain and suffering are synonymous. The one hand feeds the other, but there is a greater hand that is over us and never let's go. Let me begin now to guide you.

Subsequent to this writing and the dog bite that I mentioned earlier, I would like to say the following

The pain that still haunts me from not having suicide as an option remains so very real. No dog biting me can ever beat it. The pain makes you despair so deeply. The damage of people that do not follow and help you leave you bitter and hateful. No, we are not normal. We are different. We need special understanding. Soft and gentle caring. But this world is cruel. No-one can truly understand us. We are actually so alone. Oh, we cry. We talk but the pain does not go away. I really believe that not having suicide as an option leaves us, at times, with unbearable pain. Sometimes we are caught up in a heartless world where we are prisoners of our own despair.

Where am I going with this? What am I trying to say? The only hope that I have found, to ease this pain, is in Jesus Christ. When, in unimaginable situations, He comes out tops for me. In the ensuing pages I will share this hope with you. Then you must decide, if this is the hope you, like me, have been yearning for.

But what do you do in a negative environment? All I can say is, that as bad as it is, there is no other option. You have to stay in it. It drives you crazy. It often even repulses you. It is terrible. You have no hope. You are filled with loneliness. But there are times when good things happen. Hold onto them. Feed off them. Once you understand Jesus Christ, you will have it so much easier. You will tolerate all people. You will get peace inside yourself for them, that you never had. Suicide will not force you to give up. But you must try and make time for yourself. A walk. Reading in your room. Sitting outside. Visiting a friend. Listening to music. (Don't become bitter. It, too, is a cancer).

One more insight that I would like to mention. Christian people are as different as us. They care. They give so much of their time. They are able to listen. If we use up all their tissues, they will get more. They are worth more than money and ou will find them. You may not always remember the advice but you will remember their compassion. Sometimes they will just hold your hand. They give you hope. It is so good and freeing because they show you that Jesus has no favorites. And they teach you about the Christian Bible, so that when you have to grow on your own again, this book will enable you to do so. If you know such a Christian Bible, just look up Psalm 142 and 143. The Bible has an index in front. Realize, then, that this Jesus Christ in the Bible does understand. We call this love, and the whole outlook is based on HOPE which you and I as suicides yearn for. The Bible does not tell lies. It's promises are true and real. It fills you with a calmness beyond belief.

My sister, Zita, said of Psalm 142 and 143

"A strange 2 psalms of a very lost soul who isn't sure, as I am, that God is with me even if I am alone... in the form of an animal, a stranger, an irritating fly... a breeze... the call of a bird... the ring of a phone... something... somehow.”

Finally, to those who never made it.

I believe that God would have put you on his lap and shown you a beautiful life here on earth if you had endured for another hour, week or month, as He always provides a way out. Always. The older translations of the Bible says of Isaiah 40 verse 31 that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not grow faint..

And to those of us that are still here.

Join a church. Join a fellowship group. Don't be afraid to talk and tell your story. Don't be afraid of being rejected. If you keep quiet, it is only you and your feelings. And loneliness, despair and self hate will be the end of you. Jesus endured so that you can also endure. He will never forsake you and at the end of the day it is not about people only but about this man Jesus who is willing to walk beside you, be you friend and help you. Find a church or fellowship group that can demonstrate these promises and believe me there are such places. I am in one and I am still alive.





CHAPTER 2 BACKGROUND

21 July 2010

Ever since I can remember I felt different. My first suicide attempt was in Standard 9 in boarding school and I went home to recuperate. I managed to pass standard 9 and my Dad helped me restart my athletic career again. I often cried myself to sleep, thinking about my Mom and Dad and wanting them to accept Jesus as their Saviour. (Just to add that they both became Christians before they passed away.) My parents confiscated my Bible, which in retrospect was a very good thing. Fortunately, in sport I needed the energy to perform, so I never got tired of the physical needs it demanded. No- one detected that I was actually suffering from a mental disorder. I would have an hour of netball practice, go to athletics for an hour and a half and then go to swimming for an hour.

On some weekends, I would run on our mountain, Longhill, feeling like the deer and perfect the whistle that the buck made. They would actually listen to me. When it became dusk, I would run home. After school, I would sometimes run the 12 kilometers mountain pass with my Dad.

At this time, I was at the peak of my athletic career. During the time when the sport was closed to the outside world, I received my Coastal colors for Cross Country. Equivalent to Springbok colors. I won many 3000 meters’ races and Cross Country events. I was also a very good swimmer and also received provincial colors. I played for the 1 netball team in standard 9 and 10. I loved springboard diving but never pursued it after school. I excelled at athletics and was the South African champion at Biathlon in 1977.

After 1977 things started to take a dive. I vacillated between immense jubilation and deep depressions. Sometimes losing touch with reality.

It was only in 1988 that they diagnosed me with Schizo- Affective Disorder. I could never hold down a job and due to my suicide attempts, no one wanted to keep me employed.

I did manage to complete 2 periods of 5 and 6 consecutive years working as a dental chair side assistant, while on medication, but they were clouded by suicide attempts.

In 1996 I received a certificate of merit for my poetry by Bertram's VO, the most coveted literary award in Africa. In 2002 I went through deliverance which is having demons cast out of me. For 2 and a half hours they commanded the demon to leave me and named itself as the other Jenny. I immediately went off my medication and for 2 years I was impossible to live with. By 2004 I was taking my medication again. My medication was Leponex 400mg and Camcolit 1000mg at night. Clopixol Depot 100mg injection every week. I also took Eltroxin 0.15mg for hypothyroidism.

Despite my setbacks I became the Southern Free State Bowls singles champion in 2007. I also played bowls for the Southern Free State "B" side. My bowls career started in 1983 when I played in the Inter Provincial Mixed pairs tournament.

We moved to Kimberley where I joined a gym and tried to shake off my weight that I had put on after my Mom's death in 2009. I went to church every Sunday night and went to a course on Christian counseling every Tuesday for a year. I passed well.

In 2012 I was playing bowls again and played twice a week. My Mom would have been proud of me. I had also started to swim and did 1km each day. I drank Vitamin B complex pills and it gave me quite a bit of energy. I did housework like making food, washing clothes and ironing them. I also helped my dad with the business, like typing letters and doing uncomplicated invoices. I read in my spare time.

It is now July 2016... My father passed away from a brain tumor in 2013. I nursed him for 4 months. Sleeping with him. Being with him for 24 hours Afterwards I went to live with my sister in Ballito. She sent me on a 6 week Home Carers Course. With my 2 years of nursing experience, I am now working at an Agency, doing Caring work, in Bloemfontein, settling here after being away for 9 years. My family are very supportive. My one sister and husband set me up to live in a self-contained room on a farm outside Bloemfontein. With my Caring pay, my Disability grant and finances for unseen expenses from my family, I am content.

I am currently taking revised medication of Largactil, Epilim, Eltroxin and some side-effect pills. I have to admit that I have never felt more controlled on my medication and am able to make good decisions and try to make wholesome ones.

I have three friends at the moment. Douglas. He visits me once a week on the farm. He has proved to truly care about me. I know him since 1994. I also see Sonia every 10 days. She is 88 years old. Sonia and I met at the farm owner, Paddy's 80th birthday party in 2015 and have been such good friends ever since. Riana I see every second month. She has been very supportive and knows me since 1988. Petrol is an issue. My work is 25 minutes away. My sister and family try and see me every 2nd weekend. We have great times together. I have Sunday lunch with my brother and his wife, every second Sunday. Paddy, the farm owner, is very good to me. I have promised to be her Carer one day.

Sometimes when I come back from work, I walk in circles in my small room as I have to prepare food for the next day, eat, bath, and fit in a time to take the dogs for a walk.

I whatsapp my Pastoral Carer, Elaine, in Ballito, KwaZulu Natal, quite often. She has become my best friend. (My Mother used to fill this role.) I was at the Umhlali Methodist Church for the duration of my stay in Ballito from 2014 to 2016. Elaine is the Pastoral Carer there. I was under her care. When challenged by me, about her ministry to me, she said that she was completely led by the Holy Spirit. I believe her. Had she helped me in any other way, I would not be where I am today. My sister, in Ballito, also played a vital role in my transition, although, at the time, I did not see it. If it was not for her thoughtfulness to send me on a Carers Course, I would be a nobody today. (And have no work.)

I love the old hymns. Hymn 448 is so applicable.

"O love that wilt not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in Thee

I give Thee back the life I owe,

That in Thine ocean depths its flow

May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,

I yield my flickering torch to

Thee

My heart restores its borrowed

ray,

That in Thy sunshine's blaze its

day

May brighter, fairer be.

O joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to Thee

I trace the rainbow through the rain

And feel the promise is not in vain,

That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,

I dare not ask to fly from Thee

I lay in dust life's glory dead,

And from the ground there

blossoms red

Life that shall endless be.

George Matheson, 1842-1906





CHAPTER 3 THE BEGINNING

I sharpened my fingers and dug into myself. I pulled out the strand of intestines that were bound in my guts and I broke them into pieces. I grabbed hold of my kidneys and crushed them under my heavy feet. I ripped open my uterus and smiled at its barrenness. I laughed at the pain that emanated from my body. Tangible pain. Pain I could understand. I hacked out my liver and marveled at its color, extremely healthy. But my happiness was beyond words when I put my bloody cruel hands around my pulsating heart that had kept me alive in such a senseless and hopeless world. But my mind shot cries of anguish to my soul to not destroy this organ. But nothing was going to stop this honor! So, I drilled my sharp finger into my ear and punctured my brain, which had been the seat of my reason. Then I felt myself fading away, because my brain, in essence, was me. My grip loosened around my heart and I felt myself floating away.

Sprawled before me was my dying body somehow still alive. Bandages nursed my brokenness. Ointment and threads held my detached organs in place. Ropes tied my hands to my sides and slowly I came down to reality again, while I had been wandering indifferently and uncaring. My brain sent messages to my soul of injustice and unfairness and my mouth uttered screams of despair as my eyes perceived the ugliness of reality. A sharp prick and I would drift away again and again and again. But I would always return, to reality. My echoing screams would always send me into dullness. Then slowly I realized that aggression was a dead end and precisely at this moment I climbed into myself and started to walk the passageways of my soul.

At first the darkness frightened me, but soon my smoldering eyes lit my endless search. I became quiet and withdrawn and became vaguely conscious of little round objects infiltrating me with gasps of water and so I began to peep into reality every now and again as I kept walking my soul's roads. But realizing I was going in circles. Never ending circles. Questions answered in circles. I tried to make myself break circles and cover them with squares of reason, or rectangles of hope, or triangles of laughter, but somehow it was like being in a spider's web. Also always a circle. And I could not get away.

Then I spoke to myself and I said, "If you want to go to the land of the dead, then do it gracefully and pretend that you are happy. Pretend that all your circles are changed and don't dwell in your soul. Don't dwell around yourself. Just pretend. Pretend. Pretend. And then when everyone believes that you are happy, according to so many standards, then do what you must do and become dead." I wanted to shout at myself and the ease of such an answer to my dilemma, but again I remembered Jesus and wondered why I was alive at all and I threw my brokenness in front of him and Jesus just told me to "hang in there."

And I am still hanging in there...

But for how long

I do not

know.

J Vorster (7 August 1986)

I walked into the desert of my soul, without any water and I wore no shoes. My feet were too heavy and my soul thirsted after the unfathomable need known as love. The sun's rays shot like daggers into my flesh and cracked open my skin, licking the blood away in the desert dryness. Flies began to irritate me as they delighted in my festering moods. My burdened feet carried me further and further away from any hope. Pools of non-existent water tricked my eyes as my mind gaily played with me. But I knew my thirst would not end. I found myself saying, " I don't care."

The night found me exhausted and sleep carried me into dreamland, but not for long- the desert was relentless. I felt her icy fingers wrap themselves around me. I cried out, but not even as much as an echo responded to my needs.

It dawned again, and I began to walk towards the horizon of emptiness once more.

I cared not about life because life cared not about me. Somehow, somewhere, I must have dropped onto the deserted sand because I remember only the cry of a vulture and my tear-like eyes looking for life's purposes and then I remember no more...

Perhaps I am still lying in the desert sand...

Perhaps the vulture has consumed me...

But I know that I know that there is still some remnant of myself, seeking to give life to that which turned away in rebellion and bitterness, that which I left somewhere in the desert. Perhaps I should not seek wholeness, but just an acceptance of this remnant that now needs me.

This remnant that I must find, took another journey as I became and am still becoming.

" I found myself separated from my conflicting self. I felt the sun pulling me away from the icy touch of despair and frustration. I soared the now rain filled skies with jubilant expectancy. I opened myself as a vagina does when new life is craving to spring forth...

I leap out of myself and as I began to forget my dilemmas, darkness suddenly obliterated the raindrops that danced with me and I felt the antagonism of the sun's fingers pushing me back, back, back as I labored to break free. I recoiled at this form of aggression and like a centipede in danger, I thus remained and still am remaining."

J Vorster (9 August 1986)

As the night began to unfold me in its darkness, I unzipped my body and cast it aside. My soul frolicked in anticipation. I waited for the evening breeze and floated away. What was I without my body? My body that identified me with others, even though I believed not in sincerity. My body which could express the needs of my soul...

It was then that you again entered my life. You touched my ice-cold body and because you were tired of yourself, you climbed into me and left your body for me to find. You waited.

When the sun wanted to peep at me again, I floated towards my body, only to find you there. You laughed at me because you knew that I would never use you. My soul cried out in despair. You left me totally alone and confused because I really believed in you.

I began to question your motives. Why you befriended me. Were you using me. Your insecurity and low self-esteem probably laid the foundation of my believing you needed to be cared for. Why did you give so much of your laughter and concern to me that I felt needed and understood. Why did you listen to my needs and pretend to see the future with hope.

And now you have betrayed me. As I looked around me, I decided to throw your ice-cold body into the fire, which I promptly did. I wondered what would happen now...It was then that my soul began to reason with me.

"There has been no-one else. You have parted yourself into an idealistic image and this image has now become your enemy. The despair and loneliness you feel, are the very emotions that you have tried to push aside. You see them as a weakness and an irritation. You need to come to terms with yourself."

I started to search for my body, which you had stolen. I walked into a desolate sub-way and found you. You looked sad and dejected. My soul longed to touch you, but no expression came. You looked at me, unzipped my body and walked away... I picked myself up and ran towards you- I had to help you understand. I held your hand.

We walked along the seaside, where the lull of the sea calmed us. We sat down. I asked you to tell me about yourself. You were, strangely enough, very much like me. I squeezed your hand and you began to cry. All the years of frustration poured out of the soul I now embraced. Many hours passed and I made space for you to live within me.

You have subsequently become the one who gives up so often and I have become the one who frolics through life. We have kept each other company and I am grateful to you. Now I am no longer alone. Only sometimes you make me confused and I have to leave you awhile. But I always return with new hope and new strength. Thank you for being my "soul"- mate.

Forgive me for the times I do not believe in you.

J Vorster (10 August 1986)

THE LONE RANGER

When I say hallo to you and ask

how you are

my mask is one of concern

When you begin to cry because

you cannot fathom your problems

my mask is one of comfort

When you begin to unravel

your hurts and fears

my mask is one of compassion

When you touch me in need of intimacy

my mask is one of assurance

When you begin to laugh again

my mask is one of joy

And when you begin to travel on my pathway of life and forget your individuality my mask securely hides my annoyance

And when you begin to rely too much on me my mask hides my displeasure

And again when you begin to share yourself totally with me my mask hides my intense fear

But when you can no longer live without me

I slowly remove my many masks and show you my true self which I sometimes experience as

arrogant and foolish

self- centered and disinterested

disloyal and unreliable

aggressive and short tempered

childish and uncaring

and because I am not truthful, my love is false

In these times I am frightened even of myself And when you do leave me

I am relieved but

I feel empty inside

because I have once again failed

in my need to find

a friend.

J Vorster





CHAPTER 4 MOTHER

I shared a flat with my best friend for 2 and a half years. In that time I was in hospital with a suicide attempt. I had a white rat as a pet. Here is a letter my mother wrote to me while I was institutionalized, 16 February 1994. She used to visit me every night at the hospital and bring me cooked food and coffee. It was the highlight of my day.

"Hallo Jenny,

I am drinking a quick cup of coffee with Alice. I am also taking note how beautiful your flat is. How beautiful the plants are- so full of life. Everything is so clean. And the rat is peeping at me in his cage, with his pink eyes.

I can't really talk when we are there with you, but I know that things have gone very wrong for you again. I just want you to know that we ALL love you very much because you are someone very special in our family. Those that don't say it or talk about it, is because they cannot. Even I cannot always tell you how I feel, but it is not just towards you, I am like this with everyone. Don't you just want to remember, again, that we are here for you to live for. Your brothers, sisters, Mother and Father. You are and have always been a part of us. And when things happen that confuse you, and make you depressed, it is things that you are just too serious about. Everyone that confuses you. Fight against it and don't listen to them. If you don't like someone, for example, don't feel bad about it. It is natural to feel this way. Or if someone tells you something that you do not agree with, do not worry about it. The whole world exists with people like you and me. Everyone that tells you- this or that is wrong, why are you doing it, what will the people say, etc.

Bang these doors closed in the people's faces and go on your way. Be what you want to be and not what other people want you to be. Live like you want to live.

I love you dearly. Fight against this horrible thing that attacks you. There is so much to live for. Some things you haven't even discovered, because everyone wants to tell you how you must live and what you must and must not do.

I am coming to visit tomorrow night again. And want to see a smile upon my daughter's face.

Lots and Lots of LOVE,

Mommy





CHAPTER 5 THE YEAR 2014 - 2015

I always thought you owed me, world. I was classified as mentally ill by you. You put me in a box. You filled me with pills. You made me choose circumstances that were not correct. You taught me about suicide as the only option out of any problem. I became used to living in the ways of the world. I'm angry with you world and I'm angry with myself for allowing you to bash me around. I look at my life as a complete waste. I felt like I was never given the chance to live. I have felt abused and misunderstood.

Why did it take so long, dear, dear God, to free me from all this? I know, dear God, that this is all training ground. That you have freed me from the world now. That it was not your fault, but that you are using it, now, Father, to let me live the life that you intended for me to live. Father, dear Father, hold my hand, please. Give me your strength. Don't let me be angry. Everything works according to your plan and decision. I do not want to work until this tiredness is sorted out. I need to be ready, Lord. I am so angry that the Psychiatrists won't listen to my confusion. I am trying to be strong. I need you, Father. Once again, I know that you are using my messed up life to somehow reach, even one person, to find peace with you and then let me move on. Father, I am even willing to go back to the work I walked away from. I know that I do not have endless finances. Please don't let me doubt you. Please let me sort out all these physical things going on with me? I want you to be well pleased with me for being free from the choice of suicide. I want you to hold me ever so close to you and comfort me in all my decisions.

Father, your protection has been over me all these years. You never allowed me to be put, permanently, into a mental institution. You believed in me. All these years I have been mysteriously caught in a set of circumstances that made me incapable of being the person you created me to be. I can be so angry with so many people and so many events. I can be angry at the world. I can lash out and blame the church, the Christians, my employers. I can feel hurt and not know how to cope because I am new at the things of life. But right in the center of all this is Jesus. Jesus who never justified himself. Who was perfect while I was not. Whose whole reason why he was on this earth was because you loved the world (people) so much, that he became like us, walked amongst us, healed us, taught us, forgave our sin and suffered shame, anger, rejection, hate, loneliness and misunderstandings, while being completely right. He must have felt so frustrated. Yet he walked a perfect path with you, relinquishing everything. Whatever I cannot change and however alone and hurt I feel and whatever happens to me, I must believe, which strengthens my faith, that you are in control and life has moments of goodness. Suicide cannot ever break this life giving bond.

I am not meant to be a Christian on my own. I am meant to have friends.

Jesus had 12 disciples, 3 of which were close friends.

People in the world think that they have all that they want, so they do not need Jesus. We, as Christians, have to show them, by example, that it is Jesus who is the missing link, in their search for meaning. God put it in each man's heart to seek him. Just look at Nature. Here is man's restlessness to find him.

None of us can ever live in a perfect environment. None of us are perfect. Even spiritually we learn more things about our imperfection, every passing moment. We can diligently pray, have a quiet time, work as best as we can, give as best as we can, but somewhere, somehow, we slip up. We make a mistake, even by just doubting ourselves. Because only Jesus was perfect. We can even try at physical perfection, but the Bible says our bodies are perishable. Prone to let us down.

What must we do in our imperfection? I don't know. I need God to show me how to live. But I know that he is always with me. I don't want to make mistakes. I know that he will always care for me. He made me. I want him to use me to tell people about Jesus, because I found Jesus when my life was clouded by suicide. Suicide being a complete rebellion against the very life that God gave me.

Lord, what is it about me, that I cannot accept that people love me? I can give love. I can tell them about you and your love. I can earnestly pray for them. I can share with them. I do believe that you have changed my life. That I will never be the same again. I don't have the answer. All I ask of you, Lord, is to show me your love, over and over and to help me accept and believe in you. Right now, I do believe you love me. I do believe you care for me. I believe everything you say in your Word. I believe that if ever I had to be separated, actually, as I am now, that I would manage. That I would not be alone. I know that I need friends to talk to. I know you made me to be with people, but I still don't know why I just cannot accept their love. Maybe, as Rob, Paddy's nephew, told me, I need to forgive myself.

Jesus, you have freed me from the curse of suicide. From its hold on me by my belief that life was too difficult. Give me back my life, Jesus. I wanted to steal it from you. Now I present it to you. As an imperfect physical vessel. Afraid to fail. Afraid to be rejected. Afraid to be misused. Afraid of being treated unkindly.

(I miss my work's responsibility that I ran away from.)

Lord, I am afraid of dying. And afraid of not experiencing the love of fellow believers. And the absolute joy of telling others that you make a difference. Of seeing someone accept you as their Saviour. Of the only one that makes any sense. Lord, make me a part of changing people. Don't let me hide under a bed, where I will become dull and purposeless. But don't let the world and its systems break me. Don't let me do anything without hearing from you. I give you my whole heart. I don't hold back. I am learning to love, without counting the cost, like you did. But I feel so uncared for by the church. But on the other hand, what more can they do for me, than that which they have not already done. Is it not true that they see you as using broken vessels and because they see me as a broken vessel, they think that I am okay? Why am I broken, when you have just set me free? I feel that my body is letting me down. That I cannot fully be a Christian because I am hampered by this intense physical confusion. And I must not expect the church to understand. Actually, only you can. It is so difficult to have time with you, because my physical problems fill my mind continually. I can understand, now, how people with physical problems are unable to concentrate. How they go beyond endurance by only thinking about you and talking to you when they cannot read their Bibles. I understand, Lord, that sometimes my physical symptoms make me suicidal, but because you have given me hope and taken away this option, that I am still learning to make choices that are based on how to live. How to be alive. How to understand what it is that you want from me, because you have given me the choice of life. How to trust you completely, asking you to help me decide what to do, because all my choices were always made by choosing to end my life when anything was too difficult. By anything, I mean, that if I had to, for instance, walk to the shop to buy bread, I would think, "I can't do it. Not today. I'll just end my life, then I won't have to go." Every choice I made, the option of suicide was there, lurking in the shadows. Why? One of the reasons was because I had been unable to understand that to live was to see that not all people were bad. That there were people who loved you that would help me to grow to love you, too. By feeling them love me, I could understand your love.

I don't want to be hurt anymore, Lord. People have hurt me. Now that I have chosen to live, I ask this, but immediately I sense that you help me to understand that I will be hurt, but I must allow you to handle it. I do this by either just giving it to you and weeping about how I really feel and just writing to you and telling you that I can't handle it. Or just sending me someone to talk to.

I was wondering how I would ever cope in this world and the verse just came up, "I can face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me." You make it all possible, Lord. Thank you.

When I chose to be part of this world and not have suicide as an option, I thought that it would be easy. That I would handle everything and get a job and be able to just be happy. Well, all of a sudden I had to make decisions without thinking that if I could not cope, I would take my life. Now when something was tough, I had to decide about what I was going to do. I felt so alone. I did not know if anyone understood what I was going through. All I knew was that you loved me, Jesus. I wasn't sure if anyone out there knew how much I loved you. But I thought I had to be perfect. So I had to make perfect decisions. I was afraid. You are showing me, though, that I am not alone.

You have brought people across my path that are giving me some answers. Mostly by reading my Bible. Some I find by sitting in church. I have so much to learn. I realize that I must expect nothing from the world. That I cannot, really, fully, rely on anyone. That there will be times when I feel alone. Times when I don't know what to do. It is in these times that I believe that you will show me your love and direction to me. That you will be the only one that can help. Sometimes I just sit and weep and then I sense you being with me. I still have to make an effort to get up and leave my bedroom. I still have to do all the things that happen in life. Then when I am unsure of how to live, I think of all the good things that happen to me and then I know it is all worthwhile.

Lord, you know that I feel as if I have done no wrong, but you know my heart and you know that this is all that is helping me cope. I know I am imperfect, by just experiencing all these physical symptoms. I don't want to be sick in any way. But I know that you know that. Lord, you won't give me a job without equipping me. I will be patient and wait for your guidance. I know that dying is not what I want. I want you to use me to make a difference, so that others can feel your love. Your purpose in their lives, despite all the pain and suffering in the world. Use me in whatever way you can, Lord. Whenever. I am ready. (Just get me through tomorrow morning.)

Lord, you know I am worried. You know that I expect you to help me. You know that I am absolutely dependent on you. There is no-one right now that I can turn to, to help me feel better or worry less. You are my Creator. You saw me before I was born. I was no mistake. May I ask you, now, to show me that no matter what, you will help me? No suicide...

Lord, you were physically beaten. So badly that you should have died. You, then, did not walk to the Cross. You endured. You must have called on God, for help, just to make it to where the Cross was. You knew that no-one understood. That you were dying on a Cross so that all people could be forgiven for the wrongs they did. That you could help them realize that if they would accept that you wanted to give them a fresh start, putting their wrongs, symbolically, with you when you died, their wrongs would disappear. Rising from the dead to ensure this.

Lord, if I worry like this, I am not going to fall asleep. The verse I recall, "Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." It takes days for me to recover from lack of sleep. But I just have to become quiet before you and always ask the questions, "What are your plans for me? Where do you want to use me?" But I know you take it into consideration that I must not be alone. That I must get some form of fellowship. Let me be patient, dear Lord, Let me wait on you. It's not like you owe me, Lord. It's more like me waiting for you to show me what you want for me. You know that I am capable. A good Carer. A gift from you. I need you to show me that I am not perfect spiritually. That even in my physical problems, please ease me ever so gently and show me that I do not have all the answers to matters that involve you and your world. Lord, I ask for wisdom that says, in the Bible, that we must just ask for it. Give me wisdom in my drawing away from suicide, to new plans. New beginnings. Teach me to keep quiet in my enthusiasm and to listen before giving an answer. I don't know it all, really. I've been "asleep" and am now in a world that I really don't understand and know so little about. Forgive me for trying on my own. Please reassure me that you can take care of me perfectly well, and those who you trust to help me.

Lord, I was wondering, on two occasions, if suicide was, not after all, easier than all these physical symptoms. I used to feel suicidal because of mental problems, but now I don't know anymore. How to not be in control. But the words from my Pastoral Carer, Elaine, keeps coming back to me, "training ground here on earth for the hereafter." Please let me draw from you, Lord. Hold my hand. Just give me the "knowing" that you are with me. That even if there is no-one else to help me, you are there. You make decisions with me. If I find that it is too difficult to face a situation, you will be with me.

You say in your Word that the Holy Spirit will teach me all things, so I do not have to be afraid to be alone. Keep me strong in you, Lord. Lord, you have not put me in your world to forget about me and my struggles. In fact, I thank you for each one because it helps me grasp how much you love me. Nothing is perfect. I can't always justify myself. I won't always make the correct choices. I will make mistakes, but you are always with me as you help me understand exactly how you are training me and what you are trying to say to me. I know that it will never be easy. That being in this world has its demands that no-one can help me with. That there are moments when there are no questions to ask and no answers to give.

That life is sometimes mechanical. But despite this, you give me moments of amazing joy. Moments, too, when I can feel near to you. Moments that belong to just you and me. Moments when I am able to reach out to others because of you. But you will also help me with my inability to help others. I don't need to be scared. You know me "inside out."

Oh, my Lord, it is good to be "on board." To be in this world. Lord, grow your heart in me. Let me be calm and receptive to the places I find others in. Let me be open to their stories and their pain. Let me not complicate the simplicity of your story and your love. Life is not primarily about me. It is about you wanting to give each person the opportunity to know what you have freely given them. I want to thank you, Lord, that it was you who made me who I am now. You believed in me. That it was you who walked the lonely passageways of the mental institutions with me. Who protected me from doing away with the very life that my mother carried in her womb. You "saw" me before I was born.

I recall once sitting on a top of a roof, wanting to jump down onto cement, but I knew you were not in it, so I called on the devil to help me and I did jump! The scripture in the Bible says that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to give you life in all its fullness.

I visited a friend today. My friend has walked a long path with me and admits I should have been dead over and over. Not less than 15 suicide attempts in my life!

I also recall that, once, I drove out of town, on my bicycle, at midnight and went into the mountains and tried to end my life, but a wind came up. An evil wind and I knew that if I took my life then, I would go straight to hell. Hell is a real place. It is a place away from all the goodness you promise us, Jesus, on the earth and in the hereafter.

Another time, I also went into the mountains with a months supply of pills and a bottle of wine, on my bicycle, but I awoke the next morning, got on my bicycle and went back to work. I had a breakdown soon afterwards but Lord, you have been really good to me. Oh, I wanted to live but did not know, then, how to escape my emotional pain. We have no idea what we would do to the people we leave behind. I knew an Indian man who just sat for a whole year because his 18 year old son took his life. I have heard of a woman who wanted to cut off her head with a chainsaw! Of a woman who they continually found sitting on a railway line, waiting for a train to trample her. Of a girl hearing her best friend phone her when it was too late to save herself, saying she did not want to die. We have no idea what we do to those who we frighten with our suicide attempts. Or leave behind when we succeed.

In the world someone commits suicide every 4 minutes. I have been there. I still struggle with despair, at times, but I definitely don't want to become part of a statistic. I want to live. I want to laugh.





CHAPTER 6 THE YEAR 2016

It is now sixteen months since my tiredness and physical problems started. I traveled 600 km from Ballito to Bloemfontein where I was found by a Psychiatrist at the Pelonomi Hospital, who diagnosed that I had become toxic to my Psychiatric medication. (My mouth burnt like fire. Intense moods of elation and depression at the same time. Spending money unwisely. Hearing voices and thoughts appearing between my thoughts.) Another doctor treated my symptoms for Diabetes Insipid is. Drinking 5 liters of water per day with excessive urination at night. My kidneys were struggling. Blood in my urine. Fixated pupils, hence painful and burning eyes and blurred vision. I was continually tired due to my eyes being affected in this way. I am now controlled and on new medication, for both these disorders. It was a frightening time for me, but I now have a Caring job and am very happy. I still struggle, at times, where it feels all too much for me and it would seem easier to opt for suicide, but then I recall again when I asked my Pastoral Carer, Elaine, to give me one reason not to end my life and her reply was, "Training ground, Jenny, for the world hereafter." Then the thoughts roll in my mind, "training ground, training ground."

Because of my study on suicide, I am having doubts about actually making it to the hereafter, if I end my life. So much is said in the Bible about "he who endures." About being an overcomer and receiving the gift of eternal life. My favorite verse is the one that says that he who endures will receive a white stone with a new name that only he will know. But then again, only God knows the heart of each person. The emotional or physical pain that is so great that to take one's life seems so right. But there is always someone who is able to help us get through this tempting solution. There are so many people taking their lives. So many young people that have lost all hope. I wish I could take each one, before they do it and hold them and tell them that it's okay. That there is a way out of the darkness. The tunnel that has no light. The hopelessness. The anger at times. Suicide is a temptation. Look at what God says in the Bible about temptation, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Corinthians 10 verse 13). In all of suicide, it is only God that says that he can provide a way out. In the secular world it does not work. You eventually give in and take your life.

God is a God of miracles. That moment when you cannot go on, call on this God, this Jesus who died for you to show you that he understands your pain. It says in Matthew chapter 4, when Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, he was tempted in every way we were. He must have felt our agony of suicide. How can we not believe that there is a way out. If you doubt this Jesus, then try Him. Talk to Him. Seek Him with all your heart. Find Him, by reading the Bible, beginning with the 4th chapter of the New Testament, the book of John. Jesus promises that we can sit with Him, on his throne, in the life hereafter, if we endure. What is the life hereafter? It is a life free from any negative pain. A life where all our pets will also be. Where Nature will return in fullness and beauty. But, then, you may reason, why not end life to have a new and better life? Well, in John 10 verse 10 it says, "The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." So, here we see that it is the devil that would want to rob us of our lives, whereas Jesus would want us to live this life he has given us, by saving us on the Cross, to the full. ( The devil is a fallen angel who wanted to be greater than God.) Life is meant to be enjoyed. Life always has moments of goodness. There can be peace. No, suicide can be overcome. It is just like any illness. It can get better. Please don't misunderstand me. Life is not without it's ups and downs, but it is so much easier when you have Jesus who "sticks closer than a brother."

How can this happen, you may ask? It is actually so simple that it seems foolish. We recognize that Jesus died on a Cross to save us from this terrible dilemma and gives us a choice of asking him to become our personal Savior, freeing us from all the wrongs that we did do, coming into our hearts, which is the seat of our emotions, renewing us, freeing us, making us soar like eagles, and that He rose from the dead to prove that all this is not a dream. Listen to your heart. Seek Him with all that is within you. Don't despair. He is the living proof of life in all its fullness!

Why I wanted to be perfect was that it was the only way to get away from my intense grief at all the wrongs I had done in my life. Believe me, I was not just mentally unstable, but could not forgive myself for an insurmountable amount of, as it is called in the Bible - sin. ( Being and doing wrong.) So it was easier just to believe that I was not a sinner and not cope with the guilt of hurting other people. I reckon that's one of the reasons I cannot accept love from others or really love myself, yet.

I once stood on the roof of a house and knew within myself that God was not in this jump, so I called on the devil to help me. I sat there for many hours of the night. I did jump. Onto cement. I was hardly injured, physically. Just microscopic injury to my feet, which causes my feet to give in under me when I am trying to do too much exercise. God was good. I have worked through this episode.

Psalm 116 verses 1-11 is so profound, "I love the Lord, because he hears me; he listens to my prayers. He listens to me every time I call to him. The danger of death was all round me; the horrors of the grave closed in on me; I was filled with fear and anxiety. Then I called to the Lord, "I beg you, Lord, save me!" The Lord is merciful and good; our God is compassionate. The Lord protects the helpless; when I was in danger, he saved me. Be confident, my heart, because the Lord has been good to me. The Lord saved me from death; he stopped my tears and kept me from defeat. And so I walk in the presence of the Lord in the world of the living. I kept on believing, even when I said, "I am completely crushed," even when I was afraid and said, "No one can be trusted."

Every day has problems of its own. Every day is unique. What happens today will never happen again. We can rest assured that Jesus means it, when he says, "Not to worry." I was a bit discouraged today, so I sent a Whatsapp to Elaine - "please encourage me?" She referred me to Psalm 139. The verse that stood out for me was verse 5," You are all round me on every side; you protect me with your power." Jesus has invaluable power to help us overcome suicide.


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