All I think of is suicide

July 03, 2020

Dear Pastor,

I am a 16-year-old girl and I am writing this to you with tears in my eyes and a heavy pain in my heart.

I was once a happy, sunny little girl with big dreams of becoming a singer, but all of that changed when I was sexually abused at the age of seven.

Even though I was threatened to keep silent, I eventually told my parents. I knew that they believed me, but they, too, silenced me and didn't prosecute him. They did this to protect their reputation.

The years passed and I tried to forget the painful memories. When I turned 10, I hit an all-time low. It got to the point where I couldn't even get out of bed to go to school. I also got very violent and even tried to attack students and teachers.

I did the Grade Six Achievement Test and was awarded a place at a prominent high school. But, Pastor, I was just emotionless. I felt all alone and helpless.

I get migraines often, I am very forgetful, I can't stay focused on things, and I sleep a lot and get tired easily. I lost all interest in the thing I once loved: singing. The only thing I ever really think about is suicide.

As long as I can remember, I have always tried to hurt myself. I drank bleach, I threw myself down the stairs and even stuck my finger in an electrical outlet. My parents thought that I was just looking for attention.


My entire family is cold towards me. I even started self-mutilation as a way to ease the burden of being alive.

I ran away early last year and stayed with a friend before returning home after two days. My family didn't search for me or report me missing.

I have my CSEC examinations to sit next year and I know that I will fail because I can't even retain simple information anymore.

Last Christmas, a boy forced himself on me. I didn't want to engage in sexual intercourse with him but he pinned me down despite my screams and did the deed.

I got a scolding from my cousin that I should stop acting like I'm desperate for attention. I lay in bed that night thinking about what I did to deserve this.

I feel unwanted and unloved by everyone. Sometimes I pray to God and ask him for help. I feel like he has forgotten me.


Dear Suicidal,

After receiving your letter, I wished you had included your telephone number; I would have called you and spent some time on the phone talking to you.

But unfortunately, you did not include your telephone number. I must say that you are a very intelligent girl and I take your complaints seriously.

I do not take your threats lightly either but I must beg you not carry out the temptation you face to hurt yourself and to destroy your life.

You feel suicidal but even when a person commits suicide that is not the end of that person. He or she may end his life but his or her spirit lives on because the real you lives in your body; and the real you does not die.

You did not say who molested you when you were at seven. You said your parents kept it down and never reported the perpetrator. That is unfortunate.

You would be able to deal with the assault easier if you felt that you had received justice. Because the matter was not reported, you feel to this day that you were not loved.

You should have gone through therapy but even now it is not too late. So I will do my best to help you. You need to see a psychologist and I will arrange that. I will see to it that you meet with someone who would listen to you and try to help you.

Now, the incident concerning the young man who sexually abused you last Christmas, you made a mistake by not reporting him to the police. Such an incident has added to you woes.

Life has become meaningless to you. But I beg you not to give up, please. You did not say anything about church.

I know that if you pray and read your Bible and attend church, you may find solace in your soul. I will be praying for you. I repeat, I will see to it that you meet with a professional in whom you will have confidence.


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