She was thirteen years old but she was already tired of living.
Ready to end her life, she stood on a stool, a rope tied on the ceiling, the other end on her neck. One jump and that would be the end of her suffering, her misery and her life. She was just a kid but she already felt worthless, unwanted and unloved. The only way out was to cut short the air she was breathing, and she was determined to do that.
Just as she was taking the jump, her smaller brother walked into the bedroom. He was bubbly, happy and didn’t even notice what was going on. She had to abort the mission because he wanted food and she had to find him something to eat.
You would think her brother saving her life would make her change her mind, but it didn’t. Death still lingered on her mind, beckoning her to the other side of the world.
As she prepared supper; Ugali and Sukumawiki she knew that it would be the last supper. She cooked with a lot of energy, passion and was kinder to her family. They didn’t know that she was saying goodbye.
Absentee father, Sick mum
Her mum was suffering, her dad who worked in Tanzania had walked out on them, so she thought if she took herself out of the picture, things would be better and they would be happy. She also suffered from low self-esteem and felt like an outsider in her own family, like she didn’t belong with them.
She had four brothers, and her mother was struggling to put food on the table, struggling emotionally and physically. Because of the stress, she developed stomach ulcers and her legs swelled because of overworking. Her mum would cry when her father avoided her calls and sometimes, they would sleep hungry..
“I really felt unwanted during these times because I was the only girl in my family, four smart brothers... Handsome and talented then there was me... Ugly, skinny. not smart enough and untalented... I always felt like a mistake, they didn't include me in their stories and mom was always busy” she says.
She left a note telling them to cremate her body, so that they wouldn’t incur a lot of funeral expenses. She was still young, so she didn’t know that cremation was also costly.
Back to her bedroom, she took a whole packet of piriton, she says they must have been about 17 of them. She thought that if one pill could make her sleep, then seventeen would make her sleep forever. So, she took them and waited to die in her sleep.
When she woke up the following morning, she was disappointed. She hated herself. Her dream was to die and the medicine had not done anything. She was mad and disappointed with God because he had not listened to her prayers. Didn’t he say that Knock and the door will be answered? Ask and it shall be given unto you? Seek and you will find it? She had persistently prayed to God to take her life away, but she was still there, breathing.
Still eager to end her life, she locked herself in the bedroom armed with a razor blade in her hand. She knew if she cut her wrists, she would probably bleed to death, if no one found her. She then cut her wrist but didn’t bleed enough to die.
Suicidal thoughts and low self esteem
This is the story of a young Diana Awour, a beautiful young lady who has been battling with low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
Most people think that it’s only grownups who have to deal with such issues but as young as 13, Diana was already going through enough to make her feel as if she didn’t have a purpose in life.
She felt abandoned, worthless, and when her dad left, the burden of rejection became heavier.
“I wanted to kill myself because during that time I was already facing self-esteem issues, I compared myself with everyone, even my brothers and the results weren't positive... then my dad made matters worse when he abandoned us. I was devastated when I found his diary. He said that he couldn't educate me and that broke my heart” says Diana.
The young girl who dreams of being a ballerina someday, lived a life of pain. She couldn’t understand why certain things happened to her or why life seemed difficult. As the battle between living and dying continued in her head, she attempted suicide again. It would be the last time.
“I have tried killing myself a couple of times but failed, the last attempt was when I was an attachee in Kisumu. I drank water guard. But I'm still here... It worsened the ulcers I had but I'm still alive. For now I can say things changed... I haven't thought of suicide but I still feel like I could do better” she says hopefully.
When people look at themselves in the mirror, some love their reflection and others don’t. Diana didn’t. All she saw in the mirror was failure. This made her slap herself, or try to pull out her hair sometimes.
“I did not like my reflection, I always saw a failure. An ugly worthless piece of trash who was a mistake. I’d slap myself for being alive, I did not belong here and yet I was still there I was angry.”
Life hasn’t been easy, but she is trying to keep going and trying to be a better person. Diana, who is in her twenties, dropped out of college for lack of school fee but she is hoping to continue with her studies someday.
She tells me that pain has made her change how she looks at the world. Nowadays, she lives one day at a time, taking life as it comes, because she cannot control life. Despite how her childhood messed her up, she has learnt to appreciate and forgive herself for the things she didn’t know at that time.
“Life taught me that pain will bring you down and life will continue pounding you deeper into the ground unless you get up,” shares Diana on her greatest lesson in life.
She hopes to be a renowned designer in future and take care of sick and homeless animals. During her free time, she loves to give motivational talks to her friends and the young people in her neighborhood.