This post is about suicide linked to SRA and is a bit graphic. If you are a survivor of SRA, please take care in reading this and stop if you feel triggered.
My younger sister took her life on 7 December 2000, three days after her 12th birthday. That day is etched in my memory. It was raining. I’d stopped on my way home from work to collect my mother from her friend’s house. When we got back to the flat, I found my sister dead on the bathroom floor. She had taken a fatal dose of pain killers and cut both of her wrists. No mistaking that she was serious in her actions. She also left me a beautiful poem and a note apologising for having gotten blood on my new jeans. That’s the kind of person my sister was– quirky and creative, but with a dark sense of humour and wisdom well beyond her years. I miss her terribly.
Because of our circumstances, I ended up acting as parent to my sister. I was very young, so she didn’t have the support she needed in a parent. Still, I did my best to make her as safe and happy as possible. Unfortunately, she got caught up in my mother’s abusive behaviour and drawn underground into the cult world as well. I would have given anything to stop that happening. My sister was my friend and my inspiration. It was her who motivated me to survive some of the most difficult sra programming I faced– I *had* to survive in order to get her out.
We did eventually get out, settled in London, and into some semblance of a normal life. My sister attended a special school for ‘troubled’ individuals, and she did well there. She truly seemed to be healing. Her death was such a shock.
She was an amazing person. She was more mature as a young child than many people are as adults. She learnt to speak early, composed little poems from a very young age, and spouted sarcastic jokes at all possible occasions. She liked teddy bears and tea parties, although by the time she was twelve she would never have admitted it. She was frequently my shadow, following me everywhere and quietly observing everything around her. Her social skills were almost nonexistent, which made for some ‘interesting’ visits with her teachers. No one seemed to know quite how to work with her. Academically she excelled so much she probably could have *taught* some of the classes her age group took, but she nearly always failed at group work of any kind. She was much more content to stay in our little flat with me there. As mature and intelligent as she was, she was also incredibly fragile. I guess she just reached a point where she couldn’t cope with life any longer. Twelve years is much too little time, though. She should have had more. She should have had a chance to heal.
Her death started a chain of events that still makes my head spin. Over the next four years, my brother and our parents had died as well. I’m seeing more and more that, in order for me to heal at all, I have to process that initial loss. I thought I’d done that already. A few years ago a dear friend helped me work towards releasing my sister’s spirit. I felt her restlessness and wanted to help her move on to wherever we go after we die. Now it’s my own restlessness I have to deal with. The chorus of a song called ‘My Immortal’ by Evanescence sums up my feelings well:
When you cried, I’d wipe away all of your tears.
When you’d scream, I’d fight away all of your fears.
I held your hand through all of these years.
But you still have all of me.
I need to reclaim the parts of me (in a non-DID sense) that I’d invested in taking care of my sister. I have to let go of her once and for all and break the hold she still has on me. It’s a difficult task, but it’s necessary in order for me to process her death and the events that came after. I need to make myself realise that my sister is no longer here, and that the time has come now for me to concentrate on taking care of myself. Tonight, though, I’m caught up in the pain of losing her and the anger about how she died. I just wish she was here again and that everything could be alright.