I know the darkness

Three posts in less than a week.  I think I am finally feeling the blog love again.  Maybe.  Either way I am going with it while it lasts.  It has been so long since I linked up with a linky party and I must confess that I have missed it.  It’s such an easy way to keep in touch with the blogosphere.

This week Kirsty has posed the prompt ‘What is something you should not have done but did anyway’.

I have written before about the events that lead to me being in prison for 2 months.  The recent tragedy in Port Lincoln has brought up a lot of feelings about that time in my life.  I read article after article and comment sections filled with people imploring us to be mindful of the way we reacted because the father allegedly suffered from a mental illness.

I say allegedly only because he didn’t seek help, so had no formal diagnosis, despite urging from his loved ones.  People were using this tragedy as a way to advocate for lacking mental health services.  I respectfully disagree.  From all accounts this man refused to seek help, this isn’t a failing of the system, it may be a failing of society if stigma was stopping him from seeking help, but the system cannot fail if it is not used.

When I was arrested and subsequently charged with attempted armed robbery, the severely lacking mental health system wasn’t the only thing at play.  I was hell bent on killing myself and it had created a one track train of thinking.  Yet I never contemplated taking anyone with me.  I thought my family and friends would be better off without me in their world, I didn’t want to bring them into the darkness with me.

Someone told me in the comments on my Facebook Page that I couldn’t possibly understand what drove this man to kill his children, as well as himself.  In one part she was right, I look at Mr 6 and I couldn’t fathom hurting him like that.  However on the other hand I know that desperation that comes when you think that the world would be better off without you on it.  I know the things you do, that make you sick to your stomach when you are well.  I know.

Deep down I knew what I was doing was wrong, and that I would be punished.  I don’t even know if I really believed if I would get what I wanted.  I think that I walked into a place where I was known because I knew that they would help.  I just wanted the pain to stop.

22 thoughts on “I know the darkness

  1. Vanessa

    What makes me curious when mental health is in the news, particularly over a tragedy, that I never seem to hear a public health related response. I wonder if that would help the public perceptions and reduce stigmas. I don’t know…it just feels lacking everywhere.

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      You’re right there doesn’t seem to be a response from public health. Sometimes charity organisations will speak out about it but that is as far as it goes.

      Reply
  2. Raychael aka Mystery Case

    I’m back to blogging and over sharing mode myself today, although I’m not sure I’m feeling the blogging love. Just too much else going on I suppose.

    I’m finding the Port Lincoln tragedy a bit hard to take myself and had to stay clear of the comments sections. If he had murdered someone else’s children would we still be having the same conversations.

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      That is what I am finding hardest about the Port Lincoln tragedy and others like it. To me it makes it all the more brutal because he knew those boys, knew their loves and their dreams.

      Reply
    2. Hugzilla

      I agree with this wholeheartedly. We seem to reserve our sympathy and compassion for select people and select crimes. Why is that? I imagine that a lot of criminals suffer from mental health issues yet are mostly held accountable by the court of popular opinion for their decisions to commit their crimes (unless the court decrees otherwise). No answers, just musing….

      Reply
      1. Tegan Post author

        In the prison that I went to there was a section for inmates with a mental illness. It was always full. The public opinion seems to be that if someone has a mental illness they get away with the crime. That’s not the case at all. In my instance it meant that psychiatric care was added as a requirement of first bail, and then probation. Mental illness isn’t an excuse, it’s an explanation.

        Reply
        1. Hugzilla

          Yeah it’s interesting isn’t it… I imagine that a lot of incarcerated people suffer with mental illness but the public don’t seem to have much sympathy for say – someone who committed burglary, or rape or a street assault against a random stranger. But in cases like the Port Lincoln situation it gets brought up all the time as a mitigating factor – and cause for sympathy to the perpetrator. It seems very selective.

          Reply
  3. Lydia C Lee

    This is a big post, and I don’t want to be trite in response. Thank you for sharing and while I agree with you 100%, I think you’ve said it better.

    Reply
  4. Denyse

    I applaud your honesty and your bravery. Please keep blogging. I can understand what drives anyone to want to end their lives…it is a desperate and unheard cry in many cases. I am so very sorry you got to that point and suffered the consequences of your actions ( I read your post about your jail time and why). My husband works as a volunteer for lifeline. He listens and he lets the talk come out from anyone who wants to share. More people need to know they are not alone. Trouble is, we “think” everyone is OK but us. I cannot judge anyone where I have not walked their path. Thank you for keeping on keeping on Tegan. Denyse

    Reply
  5. Toni {Finding Myself Young}

    I didn’t comment on posts on Facebook for fear of being trolled, but I really feel that either he did it as revenge against his wife {e.g if I can’t be with them neither will you} or he truly felt they’d be better off as well, in which case he must’ve been in a truly bad place. My father committed suicide when I was 10 and I used to tell my mum all the time I wish I was with him that night because I could’ve stopped him and her response was he would’ve taken you with him. I had nightmares about it for years because of her response, but now as an adult I see where she was coming from.

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      That must have been hard for you to hear as a young child. I stayed away from commenting on news type Facebook pages too because I didn’t want to get involved in an argument.

      Reply
  6. Janet aka Middle Aged Mama

    Well said Tegan: how can the mental health system fail when it was not accessed in the first place. I know next to nothing about the Pt Lincoln situation but it does sound like the typical male reaction of bottling it up and refusing to seek help …

    Reply
  7. Sarah

    So this isn’t something I go around telling people, and I have overwhelming shame about it, but since we’re sharing… I can, in some ways, understand the idea of taking an innocent with you.

    Trigger warning: suicide

    Years ago, when I was in a very bad place, I decided to end my life. You know how mental health workers ask you if you have a plan when you say you’re suicidal? I had a plan and then some; everything was worked out, suicide letter written and posted to my parents (I lived alone, and I didn’t want them to eventually come by and find me weeks later), method, time, everything… except I had forgotten about my cat. If I’d remembered earlier, I could have given her away, but it was too late. What could I do now? I could let her loose, though she almost certainly wouldn’t survive. I could leave her, and she’d starve to death. Or… I could kill her so she wouldn’t endure prolonged suffering. And, at the time, it seemed like that was the best, most humane idea. It wasn’t until I had my hands around her neck, trying to mentally prepare to break it, that I realised just how unwell I was and that I did not want to do this.

    I realise, of course, that a pet isn’t the same as a child, but it’s something vaguely along the same lines.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Kirsty @ My Home Truths Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.