For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide and Not A Damn Soul Knows

I speak on behalf of all the colored girls who have considered suicide and had to keep it to themselves. Cuz, nobody understands. Nobody wants to. One way or another though, we’re gonna face this truth. So on behalf of us, you all who fall apart every day and have that “strong” friend you love so much: You’re exhausting.

At best, you’re selfish. You’ve gotten so used to the little routine of them saying they’re good so that when you look yourself in the mirror you can say to yourself, At least I asked, right? Is that why some people cry so hard when that person they “never expected” commits suicide?

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Here’s something you don’t know about me because you’re too busy waiting your turn to talk about the confused debacle that is your daily life.

I’ve wanted to be dead.

Not kill myself, just be dead. I’ve always thought I was way to religious for suicide. But I’ve wished that Jesus could grant me a favor and just take me with him. I figured being suicidal was not the same as wanting to be dead. I was wrong.  

The first time I can truly remember was at 16. I gave a brief overview of this story in my post mentioned this in my post about The Church, Black Women, and Forgiveness Indoctrination. What I didn’t mention is that I lost my virginity to this person.  Before him, I was saving myself for marriage.  The man I gave my body to was a young minister in the church, had been having an inappropriate relationship with someone younger than I, and everybody knew about it for a while but me. For a long time. And even when I knew, I didn’t know the truth.

He Used “God” to destroy me

During our relationship, he used fake suicide contemplations to control me. He lied to me about literally everything. By the time my 1.68 GPA came through after that first semester in college, I was in over my head. He finally told me Jesus said he could no longer talk to me on any level and was angry with him. Terrified 17 year old me. His so-called directive from above started to sound even funkier when he suggested that he wanted to “close the chapter” and sleep with me one last time. I came home after that year of college broken, empty, and confused. He was parading around with a whole other girl. I sat in that same church, watching him in the pulpit, contemplating real-life murder. I didn’t feel safe talking about it to anyone. And I just wanted God to end my misery and take me home.

I remember again feeling this way when I got back rejection after rejection for Ph.D. programs.

All things considered, I just wasn’t a good fit because I didn’t cast my eggs in the right baskets and I didn’t know the politics behind the process. I didn’t know how to play my cards. But I didn’t know that at the time. I didn’t want to understand this at the time. My whole life I was told that I was brilliant and should embody that at all times. My whole identity was God and school. I prayed to God about school, wanted God to help me be good at school, wanted To get this PhD because that’s what brilliant people do. And then these schools tell me they don’t want me.

For the first time in my life, I realized that I didn’t have an identity outside of this career trajectory. My understanding of self was defined by my pursuit of the professorship and I didn’t have a Plan B. Didn’t believe I needed a Plan B. I trusted God to take me through the journey so I didn’t consider anything else. I was supposed to be good at things the first time. My parents, lol, they didn’t understand nor adequately support me through those rejections. I couldn’t see the point in my living, yet I couldn’t bring myself to do anything about it.

Parents just don’t understand

I remember crying my face off to my parents regarding the lack of support and involvement in my school life. The look of shock on my dad’s face was incredible. The cold look of annoyance on my mother’s face was repulsive. I remember begging my mom to understand that I needed to consider the school in Atlanta because I needed this thing to work out. And in short… she turned her back on me. She didn’t want to have to respect my decisions. And she didn’t appreciate me calling her out on this lack of support. She felt attacked. I wanted to die.

Atlanta itself was a year of wishing I was dead and feeling trapped in knowing I couldn’t do anything about that. And ion wanna talk about it anymore. But you’re more than welcome to review my early posts about the experience, here.

I live two lives.

My family actually has no idea who I really am. The ratchet I am on my blog and some forms of social media don’t exist when I’m sleeping in Canarsie. They’ve depended on me to have it all together and plow through accomplishments and that’s how it’s always been. I was in Gifted and Talented programs in school. They don’t know what it looked like for me not to achieve. They don’t ever expect it nor accept it when I don’t.

My dad, God Bless his heart. He can be real surface level sometimes in ways that don’t shock me anymore. Skipped home with my 98 (out of 100) on my English Regents final exam in high school. His response to my score? Where are the other two points?? Me just genuinely not knowing the answer to a two-point question didn’t make sense to him.

Dealing In Spite of

I’m owed a lot of apologies I don’t ever expect to get:

For ignoring my needs because I produced good grades, expecting me to pull weight without additional support, and putting their parenting of me on autopilot just because I could still zombie my way through life. They know what they haven’t done. They know what they need to do. I catch the guilt in the attempts to reach out that just don’t reach far enough. But I let them have it. Because I get limitations. I get human nature. I get learning as you go along. But I’m 23. And I live with the effects of these shortcomings every day. And they still benefit from my strength when I’m called upon for the advice and the listening ear I never got. I love them. But I’m resentful. So I drink. Because the liquor understands how I prefer to feel.

Someday, I want to have the courage to confront the people in my life with my demons.

A therapist once told me that I “expect too much” from the people around me; how I desired to be understood is a laborious task that few had patience for. I started to believe her too. 

But I deserve to be understood and appreciated for all the life I pour into other people who don’t pour into me. While a couple posts ago I shaded a particular young man heavily, he’s the first person I ever dealt with on a romantic or personal level who invested time and energy into understanding me and what I need and want. He’s always said I’m worth breaking through the walls and dealing with my difficulty because what I offer is priceless. And now I’m sure about not accepting anything less.

I share these feelings because people are conveniently surface level with their “strong” friends, family member, partner.

If you don’t feel guilty, I haven’t done my job here. You should feel guilty. My expectation is not that you be tormented with mistakes of overlooking that person in the past. But you should feel guilty enough to change. You just never know what someone is dealing with, and we often don’t know because we do not ask. If you can’t think of who someone would go to if they were falling apart, that go-to person probably does not exist for their them. You have work to do.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Women’, Mental Health help hotline directory
Therapy For Black Girls
For Further Reading:
Suicide Prevention Resource Center – Blacks and African Americans



27 thoughts on “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide and Not A Damn Soul Knows

  1. “I realized for the first time in my life that I didn’t have an identity outside of this career trajectory”
    I have been here many times before. I think starting my blog is what finally rescued me from feeling like that bc regardless of whether or not anyone cares about what I have to say, I feel like it gives me more purpose than simply doing well in school.
    “Where are the other two points?” I think every Black/Asian child can relate to this one!!!
    I could go on. The strong friend is always the one that suffers the most but I am so happy that you know that you deserve more! Knowing your self-worth is how you kick-start the change. It’s difficult when it comes to family because putting yourself first will always come with feelings of guilt and selfishness but I feel it’s just a part of being an adult and it doesn’t mean you love them any less.
    This post is golden as always! A part of me is saddened that I can relate to some of this bc it means that I know a bit about what you’re dealing with and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. but I’m so happy that you have the courage to share- your story is sure to encourage and inspire many!
    Never stop blessing us with these posts! x

    • One of the most striking things from the feedback I’ve gotten about this post is the fact that sooo many people can relate to sooo many parts of this. All this says to me is that as a community, there is so much to be done on our behalf. There’s work to do. And I feel so much more compelled to do it now. I don’t know how, but it’s got to get done.

  2. It sucks ring in that position. Everyone needs love and appreciation and support but take it for granted. I’ve been there. A healthy environment is a NECESSITY to have and removing toxic people is a must. Good read.

  3. Thanks for being honest and sharing so much.That took a lot of courage. I’m trying to be more vulnerable in my social media, so this really hit home for me. I can relate to being the strong friend, and child. It’s a hard position to be in. Just because a person is strong, whatever that statement even means, doesn’t mean a person doesn’t need love, support and whatever else they deserve. Great read

  4. I loved your humbleness and frustration. Parents should see all sides to what they put in their kids heads. Train them to be a child while molding that genius mind. Most parents cannot do that. I didn’t have that familial relationship. I do hope you have a support group to hash out all of those unsaid feelings and emotions.

    • I do now to an extent. Believe it or not, social media has been super helpful. Twitter specifically. It was so easy to find my niche and others who identify with my struggles and educational pursuits. Sometimes we have to appreciate the “strangers” around us.

  5. Thank you so much for this. I’ve been there too many times myself. I did horribly in my first year of college, in the wrong major with the wrong people, living away from home for the first time. It’s hard to find people to turn to who may understand what we’ve been through. I’m always the strong friend, but I need support too.

  6. Whew Lord I needed this! I have been where you are. Just like you said… I didn’t want to kill myself but I wanted to be dead (I can’t believe I typed that). Thank you for this piece, I really hope it goes far. This could change someone’s life.

  7. Sister girl! I wish I would have known this about myself at 23 but I’m figuring it out at 28. Dealing with postpartum depression now, but like you said, I, too, xan pinpoint moments in my young life when I didn’t want to be alive, and it started by VERY EARLY. A line that resonates with me most – “God and school.” That’s where my identity was wrapped up, as well. This post is everything for those of us still trying to figure it out. Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Your post is truth. I’m usually the strong friend, partner, family member… And when you do burn out, people tend to make you feel bad about it, which sucks and makes you reinforce the facade of your strength, but anyway, we’ll overcome this dark cloud 🙂

  9. There is sooo much in this post, I don’t even know where to begin. Being the “strong one” is isolating. No one cares. No one checks on you. You just go thru the motions praying you have a heart attack, fail to survive a car crash, or just fall asleep and never wake up again. You feel like this for years and no one has the faintest idea. So glad you found someone who does care.

  10. I feel so much about this post and I even can relate. I know the feeling of wanting to non existent dead and not want to be the one to take me out. I was genuinely the strong friend that is ALWAYS available to others and when I needed someone to just give a damn there was no one around. I have felt empty and alone and wondering while I feel like I am trying to be great, I keep getting shot in the foot. I also got to the point where I had to depend on me and get my mind and spirit in tact. I found that the laymen counseling was best for me. I found a church that had a counseling ministry with professionals that were still in faith. It was easier for me to deal with people that were not personally invested in me. And it was more than beneficial and it helped me center my peace. I cannot control other people and they will not hold me captive unknowingly. I pray for your peace because it is one of the most priceless attributes a woman can have especially when she has gone through some character building experiences. I believe that your 20s build your character. Keep growing and keep on keepin on sis. Miraceles and Blessings…XO, Freckles

  11. […] The only thing I am still grappling with is the idea that I’m “passive suicidal”. I always thought I escaped a real suicidal designation because I know I’m not capable of harming myself as previously expressed on the blog. But apparently, not caring if you wake up in the morning definitely puts you on a “we gotta keep an eye on her” list. I’ll be honest, this alarmed TF outta me. I was just genuinely confused and hurt that it took this long because I’d been wishing I were (peacefully) dead on and off for a long time. […]

  12. Preach girl! I always feel like I’m always the “OK” one and that no one is ever digging deeper to be there for me or hear my silent cries. Its so exhausting. Thats why my faith in God is so strong, that is legit the only being that listens to it ALL. Its like you invest in everyones problems and yet no one invests in yours.

  13. Your story is deep on so many levels, I wish I could just give you a big hug and let you know you are great in all that you do. I have never been in your shoes, but I have lost a nephew recently to suicide. I did not live close to him, so I had no idea what he was going through, but I do know that he felt rejection and like he could not talk to anyone. Your beautiful, keep sharing your story, because I know it will help someone and this is the path God has laid out for you. .

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