I am 61 now and feeling peaceful and happy. I am writing because I am hoping my story will help others become peaceful and happy.
If you knew my life….you’d know that it’s a miracle that I’m still a live and not an alcoholic or in a mental hospital somewhere.
I was an unwanted child. My mother hated my father, understandably so. She divorced him while she was pregnant with me. She was desperate to have me aborted. She tried twice to abort me, and twice Krishna foiled her.
I was sent away to boarding school in a foreign country (England) at the age of 4. Often times I’d be alone in the school during Easter or Christmas holidays when all the other children had gone home to their families.
The school authorities took my school ties and dressing gown belt off me, because I used to try and strangle myself with them.
When I was 11, my older brother tried to commit suicide by slitting his wrists. My mother decided to give us the choice of staying in boarding school or going to live with her and her new husband. I chose to go home.
I had dreamt of being reunited with my mother from the age of 4 to 11. But going home had its own pains. She would daily tell me of the two occasions when she tried to abort me. She never ended the story by saying, ‘I’m so glad I didn’t manage it, because I love you.’ In fact, she never told me she loved me until I was 45…by which time those words no longer meant anything to me.
I was in most ways a disappointment to my mother. She was elegant, charming, socially very adept, beautiful, a good homemaker, an excellent cook…..I was the opposite…. an embarrassment to her….and in so many ways she let me know it.
I often contemplated suicide…the only thing that held me back was the fear of the pain involved. Thankfully, I couldn’t think of pain-free ways of finishing myself off.
As I became a young adult I was daunted by the idea of getting through life…but I’d act full of bravado so as not to seem a looser to other people.
When I was 25, the suicidal thoughts were becoming very strong. I thought about what lay ahead of me: a job I hated, marrying someone I didn’t love, having children I never wanted, growing old, diseased and dead. I thought why go through all the suffering in between. Let me just get to the end: death. For some unknown reason, as I was thinking like this, a prayer escaped my lips: “Oh God! What is the point of my life? Why am I here?” Then I took the prayer back: “I don’t even believe in God! I don’t know why I’m praying to you! I take it back!”
Too late! He had heard me. That evening after work, I found a Back to Godhead magazine. As I read it I felt there were fireworks going off in my head. So many of my questions were being answered…even questions I hadn’t yet asked but should have.
On my first day off from work, I rushed to the temple in Soho Sq. Three weeks later I had joined the bhaktin program.
Forward wind by ten years and I was married with three small children. My sadhana had become extremely weak, almost non-existent. The old pains, plus new ones I had picked up over the years in the movement came back to haunt me….along with even stronger suicidal tendencies. Only now I knew that suicide was not an answer. Now I knew I would become stuck in a ghost body for a long long time….I knew suicide was jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. No! It was not an answer.
But I faced bigger problems than just depression and suicidal tendencies. My husband and I had boldly pursued the life of preachers by opening a center in Manchester. At the time of life most people are developing a career and buying a house…we put our energy into opening and running a preaching center. But having three children really took its toll on both of our sadhana, and we both felt spiritually inadequate to face the challenges of being full-on preachers. But we were trapped.
We had no home, no career, and £20,000 of debt we accrued in paying the mortgage on the temple, and other Iskcon taxes. Plus we had 3 young children. God had we messed up!
Daily I used to curl up in a ball on the floor, in total anxiety. I used to visualize my life like a rocket ship making a rapid nose dive towards a resounding crash! I couldn’t see any way to avert the crash.
It was out of a sense of helplessness….of not having any other answers….that I just took complete shelter of discussing Gita and Bhagavatam, and doing my best to chant my 16 rounds…Although my faith was weak…I just hoped Krishna existed and He would honor His promise to protect me if I took shelter of Him.
20 years later and I am astounded at the miracles the Lord worked in my life. We now live in a beautiful house, my husband has a dream job, we are working on a project that we love, and my kids are all grown up and are well adjusted, and suicidal thoughts are history…..all things I could barely have hoped for 20 years ago.
Was I a very capable person who figured it all out? Not at all! I am one of the least materially capable people I know! I think maybe that’s why Krishna chose to work His miracle in my life! He knew there was no way I could conceivably take credit for the happy ending! I would have to admit that it was His constant merciful intervention that changed what could have ended up as a tragic ending into a happy tale.
Now my heart goes out to young people who face similar challenges to the ones I faced. Too many of our young people succumb to suicide or some sort of addiction. I get it! I was in that place when suicide or addiction seemed the only way to end the pain!
BUT PLEASE LISTEN…..SUICIDE AND ADDICTION DO NOT END THE PAIN…THEY INCREASE AND PROLONG IT MANY FOLD.
THE ANSWER IS: BEGIN HEARING SRILA PRABHUPADA. LISTEN TO HIS LECTURES, READ HIS BOOKS, CHANT THE HOLY NAMES, AND BEG AND PRAY TO KRISHNA FOR HELP!
Because I’ve been there I feel a very deep empathy for people who feel daunted by what lies ahead. If I can be of any service to you, if you just need to feel heard, understood, encouraged and there’s no one else to give you those things, I will do my best. But I know that is not the real solution since I am a fallible soldier there is a good chance I will disappoint you. Krishna, however, is infallible. If you are in need of a friend, of shelter, I urge you, please open your heart to Him, call to Him, and hear Him as He speaks to you through Srila Prabhupada or through your own guru, and through the Gita.
I am 100% confident that since the Lord heard and helped me….He will hear and help you.
Om tat sat