Applying at Lifeline to be a Telephone Crisis Supporter. Its roughly one year training and at least one year working. I really want to do this though.
Today is the day where we should all take the courage to make sure our friends and loved ones are okay. RUOK day is a day of suicide awareness and prevention, by ensuring the little problems don’t make a bigger one by asking the question “Are you okay?”.
Spread the word, be kind hearted and concerned for the ones you love, in Australia alone 65,000 people try to take their life every year, in the UK this number is 170,000.
Help stop self harm and abuse as well as the possibility of Suicide.
A conversation could change someone’s life.
All it takes is three words.
Are you okay?
Spread the word.
“Ok honey… sit up straight, we are just going to ask you a few questions about what happened, we just want precise, straight questions, nothing lengthy, just keep it to the point. Also, if you could, use your arms, gesticulate a lot! Use the emotions that suit the story you’re explaining, don’t be happy when you’re not meant to be. Ok?”
I heard her whisper to the make up artist: “Put some more eye-shadow, make her eyes darker, it makes her look less healthy, and more depressed, perfect for the viewers”
As I sat on the colourful set under the harsh overhead lights, I couldn’t help but notice everyone in front of me, lingering in the dark, behind the safety of the cameras looking at me.
As the person beside the camera stares, he is alerted to his task by his headpiece, beginning the countdown to the horrific retelling of my life, his hands moving; three, two, one.
The cameras lights flick to red, moving inwards towards me and the hostess; the lights behind them dimming further and the lights around us intensify.
The hostess whose name I had already forgotten immediately changed her persona. Originally a sickly nice to me, to a strong, independent like woman. Able to convince you of almost anything. She had an aurora about her enchanting, making you hang off every word.
“So here with us today, we have a woman, telling her story in which you all need to know. Jess here was recently the subject of a horrific abuse, by her alcoholic husband. As you all know domestic violence is on the rise. Jess? Why don’t you tell us your story?”
My mind instantly flashed to the darkened room, only his eyes piercing the darkness. The rise of the whip, and the fall of the cane against me, the chains blistering my wrists and ankles; forming the beginning of the scars I hold today.
So, I told them the story, where and how I met him, his oh-so charming manner, how he touched my arm, only momentarily, yet appealing to me, luring me in.
I spoke directly to the camera, rapidly gaining confidence, there was no turnaround, it was only forward, however, I slowed as I described the events which changed things, where alcohol was the only smell in the air. Where nothing but empty bottles and smashed glass occupied the floor amongst the filth from the night before.
I was no longer loved, I was used. I felt disgusting. Horrible…
Tears now forming, a tissue passed by the hostess, it was all coming out, pouring; tears, words and alls. Amongst the hiccups the hostess asked prompts “And so that everyone is aware of this man, what is his name?” As I awaited her final prompt as I had been told before the show, finally ready, the tears now dripping across my cheeks were not in fear, but relief, determination, allowing my secret to finally be revealed. His name was upon my lips, ready to say those words that would convict him, putting him behind bars, and finding my freedom.
I looked at the hostess as a look of astonishment crossed her face.
“We’ll have to leave it there, I have just been informed that the president has released a statement that he has been cheating on the first lady. We’ll be right back with more.”
The lights faded. I was again, surrounded by darkness.
Screaming as he hit me across the face, a slap of realisation.
Tears pouring from my face, a growing want, a growing need for it to end.
I couldn’t take it any more. I needed peace, i hated this battle, these arguments. All meaning nothing, except for him.
His little ego boost he called it. The killer of happiness i called it.
It was occurring on a regular basis, i thought to myself as he left me on the ground crying.
I was alone.
My friends no longer care about me, they tried warning me, once he found out they could do more.
They abandoned me for fear of their own safety. What about my safety, what about my life?
I could not turn to anyone.
There’s more than empty conversations, that are filled with empty words isn’t there? I hope.
Pleading ignorance, that’s all they ever did.
Time passed, I didn’t move, i couldn’t move. Where would I go? Who could i go to.
Nowhere, no one.
I know he really did love me, I know he didn’t mean to hurt. He was just going through a tough phase, I was helping him through it. Wasn’t I?
A door slammed in the distance. This time louder than usual. This time with more force, more anger. More Hate.
It hurt more than any other time. This time I lost my breath, frozen unable to move in fear that if I did I would fall apart.
He broke down, saying “I’m sorry”, it won’t ever happen again,”
“I promise you”.
I guess promises weren’t made to be kept.