I knew that this Post was going to be very difficult to write because it would be necessary to withhold significant information, and yet project circumstances that resulted in my demise. Here goes…
Our lives in 1972 were challenging for many reasons. We had a 4 year old and a 1 year old to care for which dictated very little life outside of the home. Our financial situation was very “tight” which allowed for no “fun” spending. We lived just a few minutes away from my mother-in-law which created its own set of stresses, and our relationship was in trouble (See Dear Diary – Page 89)
My life consisted of going to work and paying bills, and we had extremely limited opportunities to take a break from “life”. This presented me with a perspective which translated into being totally responsible for our finances and all that entailed. There was no “light at the end of the tunnel”, and none of the benefits of a supportive spouse. I felt completely trapped. I felt totally enslaved to my circumstances. Our relationship deteriorated further as frustrations (on both sides) came to the surface. However, while feeling totally shackled to my responsibilities; isolated from the world, and with no change in sight, there were always the 2 children which had to be cared for. To this day, I am convinced that if it were not for those 2, our respective futures would have been very different.
My frustrations culminated one evening to a point of simply not coping. We all have inherent coping skills to deal with life’s challenges but, when those coping skills break down, there are potentially serious ramifications.
In my case, my only escape one evening was to go for a walk. I walked for probably an hour or more and eventually came to a rural bus shelter. I sat down in there, in semi-darkness, and my mind was in high speed as it processed all the events, situations, options, frustrations… and the future. It did not seem to me that I had a future, so I prayed that God would take me.
To understand the significance of that, it must be realized that I was raised in an anti-religious family. Religion was simply “a load of rubbish.” Reflecting back to that point in time, I can understand how desperate I must have been to call on “a load of rubbish” to help me out.
Needless to say, my prayers were not answered … but perhaps they were? A few days later, after another stressful situation, I went next door and asked if I could use their phone. They agreed, and I called Samaritans and soon met Philip*.
*See “Just a Man” – September 23, 2015