Content Warning: Domestic Violence and Suicide
Before you proceed to read this article, we want to provide a content warning. The following content discusses sensitive topics related to domestic violence and suicide. These subjects can be deeply distressing and may evoke strong emotions. We encourage you to prioritise your mental well-being and exercise self-care while engaging with this material.
In this article, the author bravely shares a personal story involving domestic violence and the devastating impact of suicide. Their intention is to raise awareness about these important issues, promote understanding, and advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. While their story is powerful and sheds light on the realities faced by many individuals, it may be triggering for some readers.
If you feel uncomfortable or emotionally overwhelmed while reading, we urge you to pause, seek support from trusted friends, family, or mental health professionals, or consider accessing helpline resources available in your country.
Remember, you are not alone, and there is help available. It is essential to prioritise your well-being and engage with this content only if you feel prepared to do so.
This is Violet’s story
I was born in a small town in Hungary. I grew up in a very stable, loving family setting during my early years. My younger sister and I used to spend lots of time with my grandparents, cousins and other extended family. My childhood was happy, carefree and filled with lots of joyous moments. However, everything changed when I was 11, as my parents got divorced. My Mum was married to another man within 2 years, and pregnant soon after. Sadly, shortly after the birth of my sister, we found out that my stepdad is a con man and a criminal. My Mum didn’t approve of his dirty lifestyle filled with lies, so she filed for divorce. He beat her up really badly and started terrorising my whole family to the point that my mum, my sisters and I ended up fleeing Hungary with the help of my grandfather because my stepdad threatened to kill us. In the meantime, both of my mum’s parents passed away within a very short time. My Mum was the youngest child in her family and being the only girl, she got very spoilt. She was raised in a safe, protective bubble. She wasn’t prepared by her parents for the harsher side of life, so after she lost both of them she was falling apart. As a result, I had to grow up very quickly at the age of 14, take charge of my family and become Mum to even my mother.
After hiding in a foreign country for nearly two years whilst our visas were being organised to Australia, we finally made it here, to our biggest relief. My Mum’s new partner helped us with the process. Shortly after we arrived in Australia, they got married. It was to be the end of our nightmares and hardships and the start of a brand new, happier life. However, it was not to be. My Mum’s third marriage ended up in domestic violence. I got my family out of that situation and into a women’s refugee centre. With their help, we started our new life, without any family here to support us, whilst my mum’s third husband tried to get us kicked out of the country. Luckily, he didn’t succeed. I graduated from high school with an extra scholarship, but I couldn’t continue my education as I had to jump right into working 3 jobs to support my family. At that point, I knew I could never leave my mum’s side as she couldn’t cope alone and I accepted giving up on any idea and hope of a normal life of my own.
But then, I met my beautiful husband Paul, who burst into my life, filled it with fireworks and colour and made it possible for us to have a life and family of our own whilst still having my family in our lives as well. Paul’s curiosity, energy and enthusiasm were contagious, and we had an exhilarating 21 years together. He was my soulmate, everything I could’ve dreamed of and more. We brought the best out in each other. He taught me so much. He helped me realise that I could be stronger than I ever thought I could be. I needed someone strong next to me whom I could always count on, who was looking after me and our two daughters. He protected us from all harm, which was so very important to me after going through my teenage years filled with so many insecurities, fear, and nightmares. Watching my mum go from one failed relationship to the next made me determined to not go down the same path. I was so grateful knowing deep within my soul that Paul and I would never go our separate ways, and we would never get divorced, as we had such an unbreakable connection and a rock-solid relationship.
However, life had other plans for us, sadly. On the 26th of April 2022, my darling Paul took his own life after suffering from severe depression for some time. I knew he was having suicidal thoughts for months and I tried to get him all the help I could. I did everything humanly possible to help him ease his pain. I was with him all the time, holding his hand, talking with him, pouring positivity and hope into him, and I full-heartedly believed that it would be enough to keep him hanging in there and not let go. I begged him to never give up the fight and to stay with us. However, he still believed we would be better off without him. But NO, we are not better off. It is the hardest thing, having to accept that he is gone. We can’t hug him anymore, can’t hear his voice, his laughter. My older daughter has been suffering from severe PTSD. She’s having to deal with constant intrusive, negative thoughts from the trauma of losing her much-loved dad this way. My family is processing but it is still very difficult.
I’m soldering on as much as possible, with the help of my family, close friends and my psychologist whom I see regularly. But even with all this support, I have many struggles in this new reality. I miss my Paul so much. My health has also suffered from the trauma of losing him this way, so I have had to focus on healing myself as well as helping along my daughter’s healing processes. It’s a very difficult and long road that we are on, but my girls give me the power to go on and look forward to the future. I don’t know where I would be without them right now.
So, yet again, I have to stand on my own two feet, and take charge of my little family, only this time, as an adult. As a single parent to two amazing girls, who deserve the very best this life has to offer. I’m determined to be the best mother I can be to them and I will be there to support them throughout their lives until the day I die. I’m also determined to bring more awareness about mental health and suicide, especially for men. I’m ready to share my story and start talking about this very important issue which is still such a taboo in our communities. No one else should have to go through what we’ve had to go through! No one deserves this much pain and heartache. The fact is, every single thing changes in someone’s life when they lose their spouse, especially through suicide. You are handed a new life that you never asked for. It is the hardest, most gut-wrenching, horrific, life-altering of things to live with. The loss of my husband and my daughter’s struggles with PTSD has taught me so much about mental health and the importance of getting help and getting it early. My husband carried with him all of his childhood traumas and never got help for them. If only he did, I wonder if he would still be here with us today.
For the purpose of this story, names have been changed to protect the minors involved.