Suicidal At Seven?
The first time I thought about killing myself, I was somewhere between seven and nine years old. I will be 56 this month (Sep 2020), but I still remember it vividly. It was late at night, and I walked into the kitchen. The street and traffic lights made what looked like a lion’s mane on the window. On the counter of the kitchen sink, I saw a butcher knife, and all I remember thinking was that I should kill myself. I remember the incredible sadness associated with that house.
So many bad things happened in that house, so many terrible memories, some of my most traumatic. I believe it is why I cannot remember a lot of things from my childhood. I believe for my own protection that many of my childhood memories have been blocked out.
I know the question for the reader may be what happened to him? What happened is not the issue. Suffice it to say that the things that happened were terrible for me. Many people have experienced greater trauma and loss and have not had thoughts of suicide or lingering depression. In my own life experience, I have seen that people can have similar traumatic experiences, even in the same household, without producing the same kind of negative effects. I believe the reason for the different effects is due to differences in temperament and personality.
I am a very sensitive person. I guess I always have been. I believe this personality trait, combined with the terrible things that happened during my childhood and the influence of the demonic, brought me to the point of considering taking my own life in the third or fourth grade.
When I say demonic, I mean that as a child, I distinctly remember seeing black images, dark shadows flitting through the house. I remember one terrifying encounter with what I believe was a demonic entity. Though I had many terrible nightmares involving demons, I believe that many of these instances happened while I was awake and at home alone.
In Psalm 18, verse five, David says, “The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.” This Scripture captures the feeling that I am trying to express when I describe the depression that I have gone through. When I am depressed it’s as if “the sorrows of hell” have surrounded me and I feel trapped to the point where it seems that there is no escape. I have had those feelings off and on my entire life.
When I looked up the phrase “the sorrows of hell,” I saw it three times in Scripture, 2 Sam 22:6, Psalm 18:5, and Psalm 116:3. It appears that David encountered this type of sadness on several occasions. That was encouraging to me. If one of God’s greatest warriors experienced this kind of attack on more than one occasion, then I guess it’s ok for me too.
I say attack because I believe that often it is a demonic attack—more on that in a moment. Yes, I do believe that there may be a genetic component to my experience that predisposes me to depression and panic attacks. My father struggled with severe depression and suicidal thoughts. I also know from digging into the family history on my father’s side that there is some history of depression and mental illness. And, as I have described above, I believe that the effects of childhood trauma also contributed to my mental and emotional condition. However, there is a spiritual component that, if missed, could prove deadly.
The Bible in John 10:10 says that the devil comes “to steal, kill, and to destroy.” That’s his mission. That’s his aim with everything he comes in contact with, including you and I. He wants to take us out. The devil knows that we are made in the likeness, the image of God. He knows how much God cares for us. And since he can’t destroy or harm God, he attacks us. The good news, though, is that in that same verse, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Make no mistake, Jesus’ plan for your life is for you to live, to be happy, to overcome sorrow, to find a way out of what seems to be surrounding you. The devil is a liar, and the Bible calls him the father of lies. If you are looking at what he’s showing you and listening to what he says, you will not see or hear a way out. Everything will be overwhelming, helpless. Your imagination at that moment is only being influenced by sorrow, in fact, the very sorrows of hell.
If you miss the fact that you are in a spiritual battle, some of the other helpful things that I will mention may not help. I have heard many people say, “I’m a very spiritual person.” That’s not really biblically correct. The Bible says that God is “the father of spirits.” (Heb 12:9)
You are a spirit, you live in a body, and you possess a soul. You are a three-part being. To be effective in what could be a battle for your life, you have to realize that some of the help you need will be spiritual.
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