Making hard choices

Photo by Wilson Vitorino

I’m the one responsible for my life and 98% of me wants it just to end.

I just want to stop. Please.

I think the last few months have really battered me. What’s killing me now is pure exhaustion. I haven’t stopped. I’ve moved from job to job to job – taking hit after hit after hit and I’ve kept going. Even when some days it felt like I was crawling through life on my hands and knees, I still kept moving.

Every fibre of my being just wants to lay down. Just for a minute.

The appointment with “George” broke me. Literally broke my heart.

Here’s how I expected it would go:

I’d go into his office with him. We’d take our seats. He’d say “oh wow – you don’t look great” because he takes the time to look at me – to really look at me – and I’d nod. I’d let the tears fall. Finally – someone who’s going to listen to me. Someone I can be completely honest with. Praise the Lord. George would ask what’s wrong, I would tell him about my suicide attempts and how I’m suffering and struggling and he would nod. He would take my side – the way he has many, MANY times before. He would tut and say “Sounds like you’ve been through the ringer” and I’d smile even though tears because he validated my feelings and understood my cry for help “Yes, yes I have”.

We’d talk about how much being stalked by “Amos” scared me, how much it hurt to be turned on by “Tina” and “Bob” at work and how they bullied me. How degrading it was to pack my desk up and walk home with that cardboard box, feeling like everyone was staring at me in pity and accusation because we all know what the card box walk from home is, THAT’S the REAL walk of shame right there. Tina and Bob went on to have Christmas holidays. Somewhere luxurious, surrounded by the ones they love. Laughing. Drinking. Resting. While I went into another job with my head low, feeling ashamed, embarrassed and DISPOSABLE. I’d talk to George about how Alun’s grief is making him into a bitter and miserable version of himself and that even though I’m bending over backwards to clean the house, look after us both and keep working so that I can pay my share of the bills, it doesn’t stop Alun drinking. Or calling me “dickhead” and that’s breaking my heart.

George would nod. He’d agree. He’d console and he’d build me up.

“You need a rest, Janet” He’d say.

Finally. Someone who HEARS me.

I’d nod.

Yes please.

We’d talk about fancy private hospitals and how a few weeks away from everything and everyone would do me the world of good.

We’d banter. I’d laugh more than I cried. I’d leave George’s office with my head held high.

So much better.

Here’s what actually happened:

George greeted me at the door. I had to ring the doorbell again. Looking back on it, maybe that was a sign it wasn’t going to go well.

“Come on in” George smiled but the smile didn’t reach his eyes. I frowned and followed him to his office.

We sat.

“So” George began “What’s been going on?”


“I tried to um…kill myself. I’ve tried twice in the last 4 weeks…I um…I really need some help” I managed to choke out the words past the lump in my throat. My chance to tell the truth FINALLY and I was finding it so hard. It hurt so much.

“Hmm” George frowned “And how did this affect Alun, do you think?”


“It devastated him” I admitted

“I can bet it did. You didn’t think to consider this guy – the one who’s been your rock for the last 8 years?”

I didn’t know how to process this.

Are you…having a go at me, George?

“I wasn’t…I didn’t…”

“You weren’t thinking. You do this all the time, Janet. You don’t try to work through problems, you just think of the fastest exit and for you, that’s suicide. You don’t face up to things”

Excuse me??? 

I was crying hard. I put my arms around myself to ward against this unexpected attack.

“But I thought…”

George shook his head, clearly angry “You thought what? What did you expect from me?”

“Not this!” I screamed.


I was NOT expecting to respond so passionately.

George rolled his eyes.

Is this…ANNOYING you, George??? 

“What do you think you should be doing to move forward?” George asked

What the fuck?


“I don’t understand” I sobbed through great heaving tears. My chest was aching badly.

George “Well I’ll repeat myself, shall I? What actions can you put in place to help yourself through this?”

Well I’m not the best judge of what to do with myself now, am I? Are you seriously putting the responsibility for MY life in the very hands that want to end it?

Who are you right now, George?

“I just want it to end” I answered through even more tears.

“Well then you have a few choices, Janet” George said, putting a finger up in the air as he listed my options “You can go to hospital, you can kill yourself or you can be a grown up and put some things in place to help you recover”


“What things?” I asked. I don’t know if I wanted to know the answer, to be honest. I was really, really hurt at this point and wondering why I ever came to see this guy at all.

“You can diet, exercise, cut back on work hours, try to be more present – you know all of this already. This is nothing new to you, Janet”

At this point, I just shook my head. I couldn’t believe how much George was hurting me. Right there. Right in that moment in his office, my heart broke.

“Help yourself” George pointed to the tissue box on the table next to my chair.

Oh great. Thanks. ONE thing you’ve actually been helpful on, pal.
I blew my nose noisily.

“So” George prompted “What is your choice?”

I swallowed painfully.

My choice, George? 

My choice is to leave here and walk in front of the very next bus. You work on a very busy road, it won’t take long.

“I’ll um…I’ll do what it takes to recover” I lied.

George nodded his approval “Good. You’re a good person. You deserve to keep living”

This confused me greatly.

Now you’re just fucking with me, George. Shame on you.

My tears dried. I’d made my mind up.

George had slaughtered me when I came to him with my brokenness.

I felt a calm come over me. I’m going to die today. NO THANKS TO YOU, GEORGE.
I gathered the very last bit of dignity I had left and picked up my handbag.

“Ok then” I held my head up. This is so hard because this is my goodbye to you, George.  I want you to stop me. I want you to reach out and hold my arm “Wait, sorry – we got off to the wrong start – don’t go”

But you didn’t stop me, George. YOU HELD THE FUCKING DOOR OPEN FOR ME.

“Right then. Off you go”

George walked with me down the hallway to the front door: “I think you should make an appointment with the Psych clinic in the city for tomorrow so someone can support you as you move forward”

Is that so? Huh.

“Sure” I smiled brightly.

I will NEVER listen to you or trust you again.

And I left without a glance behind me. Goodbye, George. Thanks for nothing.

I heard his voice behind me as I walked away “See you!”

Nope. Never again.

I cried hard on my walk to the bus station, stepping out into the street and then back onto the curb.

Live or die, JD. They’re your choices.


Step off the curb and hope a bus hits me
Step back onto the curb because I don’t want Alun to have to come and identify my body
Step off the curb and into the street. A car goes by and honks loudly “The fuck you doing?” an angry driver demands.

I honestly don’t know.

My broken heart pounded against my weary chest.

I felt as if my whole world had shattered. I trusted you, George. I TRUSTED YOU!!!

Why did you do that to me? Step into the street and shut my eyes.

Go on, hit me. End it. Please. I can’t take this pain.

Alun’s handsome face flashes into my mind. Even with my eyes shut, his warm brown eyes beseech me “Love you, Gorg“…so I step back onto the curb, safe away from the oncoming and non-stop traffic on this busy Fremantle road.

I don’t want Alun to have to bury me.

But I don’t want to go on. Step back into the street.

Marc will be SO PISSED at me if I quit now. Step back onto the curb.

But I’ll be dead and not have to deal with it.

I believed in Amos and he stalked me.

I believed in Tina and Bob and they ruined me.

I believed in George and he just gunned me down.

Step back into the street.

More cars honking and shouting.

Tears coursing down my face.

Step back onto the curb…for Becci who loves me just as I am.
For Samantha who reads this and checks on me.
For Marc who would definitely be PISSED at me for killing myself but who ultimately loves me and secretly thinks I’m pretty special
For Alun who tries so hard to be there for me, even though he is so broken in himself
For Claudie who needs to know there is good in the world and my death might be the tipping point where she gives up altogether
For everyone who reads my blog
for everyone who encourages me on Facebook

For you.

I wait on the curb.

The bus comes and the doors swing open.

I’m still crying…but I’m still here.

I get onto the bus and I promise myself that I will keep moving forward. Somehow.

For you.

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