A survivor's story: "I lived in spite of my mom."

Mental Health
By
Melynn Hagan
Oct 11, 2022
3 min read

I’m a suicide survivor.

It’s a painful story but I’m still here, telling it in spite of my mom.

Two key lessons lie here that could save your kid’s life.

So will you pull up a chair and listen? Will you hear about the people who saved me and the one who didn’t?

My story

I sent the hardest text to my mom, husband, and two friends on a terrible Friday in December of 2018 as I was getting off work: “I’ve been thinking about where I can get a gun all day. I’m in a really dark place. I need help.”

One friend immediately texted me back and asked if I was home. When I told her that I was just leaving work, she called me and talked me through the drive home.

The other responded, “I’m coming over tonight with your favorite food and movies so you and your husband aren’t alone.”

My husband immediately asked me what I needed. I told him to be standing in the garage because even that short walk from the car to the house didn’t feel safe.

True to their word, each person fulfilled their promise exactly. They were calm and strong for me, keeping me alive until I checked myself into a psychiatric hospital for professional help. They saved my life; without them, I wouldn’t be here to tell you my story.

Now, you’ll notice I haven’t yet told you how my mom reacted.

When I reached out, she texted back to ask if I was home with my husband. I told her that I was completely alone. Hours passed with no response. She blew me off. It wasn’t until I was checking into a mental hospital that she cared but by then, it was too little too late.

Here’s why that matters.

Depression told me no one would miss me if I was gone and my mom’s cold response confirmed that thought.

I’m telling you my story today, in spite of her.

As grateful as I am to be alive, there are hardly words to describe the emotional damage her response did to me.

So, parents, what I am asking you to do if your kid confesses suicidal thoughts to you?

1) Recognize the gift you’ve been given.

“What?” you might be asking. “Did she really just say that?”

Yes, I did. Let me tell you why.

Depression sucked the light out of my soul, plunging me into darkness so deep it was impossible to see a way out. Filling my head with lies, it whispered “no one will miss you if you’re gone. You don’t matter. You’re a problem.” I was trapped in hopelessness so intense it hurt my bones.

Crying out for help was the bravest thing I’ve done in my life. I had to lay myself bare in my darkest moment and I could only do this with the people I trusted most.

If your kid seeks your help during suicidal moments, they’re trusting you with their life.

That is the gift.

It’s terrible. Heavy. Scary. A gift you’d never want to receive.

But consider the strength it took for your kid to invite you in like that. This isn’t a burden they can share with just anyone.

Please, I ask you. Recognize the sacredness of this gift, scary as it might feel, before taking the next step.

2) Respond with calm, never panic.

I get it. Panic is a natural response to such a scary revelation from your kid. However, it might be the most unhelpful reaction.

Panic is often a transfer of emotions.

Let me explain.

If you’ve ever reassured a friend in panic, you know the emotional work it requires. You empathize with their fear, entering their situation to help bring them out. You strap those emotions on like a backpack and help that friend carry the weight they can’t.

This exchange is the beauty of relationships. Yet, consider the impact on your suicidal kid.

They’ve hit rock bottom and reached out, begging you to help them because they can’t find an escape. Rather than lifting them up, panic becomes another emotional burden to carry when they’re already struggling with their own.

The roles could easily flip and they might become the one comforting you.

This is a weight they can’t carry in that moment.

When my friends and husband responded calmly to me, they help lift me out of my darkness, empowering me to hang on long enough to get professional help. I literally owe my life to them.

Now, I’m going to clarify.

I’m not asking you ignore the natural reaction of fear. My husband was truly panicked (truthfully, we both needed therapy the year after to cope with the emotional scars of that experience). Yet, in the moment, he was my steady rock. The calm presence I could fall onto when I couldn’t carry the weight of my darkness.

Please. Be this for your kid.

So, parents, here’s what I’m telling you as a survivor.

If your kid tells you they’re suicidal, you have two choices on how to respond.

You can take them seriously or blow them off. It’s your choice to help or hurt them.

Are you going to be the reason your kid says “I’m here because of my parents”?

Or, are you going to repeat my story and be the reason your kid says “I survived in spite of my parents”?

— Melynn Hagan

Elizabeth Smart, Elizabeth Smart Foundation
"It's encouraging to know that, as parents, you do not have to be left in the dark, you can be involved. That's quite a powerful tool."
Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Foundation
Georgann Yaya, AZCentral
"Helping parents prepare for the gamut of situations to which social media opens the door has made [Cyber Dive] venture more valuable than the bottom line."
Georgann Yara
azcentral
Billy Harfosh, iHeartRadio
"If we're concerned about stranger danger... what about a stranger getting into your child's direct messages? It can be just as dangerous, if not more so."
Billy Harfosh
iHeartRadio
Desiree Briggs, Mama Army
"[Aqua One] was just launched and is going to change the way that our children grow up in a technology-driven world."
Desiree Briggs
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb
"As a Lawman and a parent I love seeing solutions for protecting children from the child predators. This Aqua One phone helps parents and even addresses the mental health of the child. Well done Cyber Dive."
Sheriff Mark Lamb
Sheriff of Pinal County Arizona
Dawn Van Camp, Mama Army
"In a society that relies so much on virtual connection, it is necessary that we teach our children how to navigate and use technology responsibly."
Dawn Van Camp
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Phoenix Dream Center CEO Brian Steele
“One of the neatest parts about the tool is that it gives insight into not only the safety of what my child is doing out there but what my child is thinking.”
Brian Steele
CEO of Phoenix Dream Center
Larissa Marulli, Moms.com
“Being informed of your child's social media habits isn't just beneficial from a safety standpoint. You'll get an inside look at what your kid is into and enjoying.”
Larissa Marulli
moms.com
Elizabeth Smart, Elizabeth Smart Foundation
"It's encouraging to know that, as parents, you do not have to be left in the dark, you can be involved. That's quite a powerful tool."
Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Foundation
Georgann Yaya, AZCentral
"Helping parents prepare for the gamut of situations to which social media opens the door has made [Cyber Dive] venture more valuable than the bottom line."
Georgann Yara
azcentral
Billy Harfosh, iHeartRadio
"If we're concerned about stranger danger... what about a stranger getting into your child's direct messages? It can be just as dangerous, if not more so."
Billy Harfosh
iHeartRadio
Dawn Van Camp, Mama Army
"In a society that relies so much on virtual connection, it is necessary that we teach our children how to navigate and use technology responsibly."
Dawn Van Camp
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb
"As a Lawman and a parent I love seeing solutions for protecting children from the child predators. This Aqua One phone helps parents and even addresses the mental health of the child. Well done Cyber Dive."
Sheriff Mark Lamb
Sheriff of Pinal County Arizona
Desiree Briggs, Mama Army
"[Aqua One] was just launched and is going to change the way that our children grow up in a technology-driven world."
Desire Briggs
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Phoenix Dream Center CEO Brian Steele
“One of the neatest parts about the tool is that it gives insight into not only the safety of what my child is doing out there but what my child is thinking.”
Brian Steele
CEO of Phoenix Dream Center
Larissa Marulli, Moms.com
“Being informed of your child's social media habits isn't just beneficial from a safety standpoint. You'll get an inside look at what your kid is into and enjoying.”
Larissa Marulli
moms.com

Technology changed kids; Aqua One will change parenting

Sign up to receive exclusive Aqua One offers, company updates, and additional information about how you can leverage Aqua One as the ultimate parenting tool.
Success! Welcome to the future of modern parenting.
Something went wrong, please try again.