I was never suicidal. In fact, when I watch movies and see people commit suicide, I wonder what makes some people take their lives in real life. Exactly one year ago, I was in a bus heading home from an event I went to speak at and was at the bus stop for over an hour because there was no bus for reasons I can’t remember. I finally got into a rickety bus. Upset at the fact that I wasn’t only squashed at the back seat between two men with body odor, I knew I had no money in my account, I had no idea where the next meal would come from and I honestly didn’t want to ask anyone.

I felt my life was slow and everyone was moving so fast and already ahead. I walked into the house and everything I did afterwards was not deliberate.

I remember opening my eyes and the nurse said to me “It’s a shame you tried to kill yourself, what happened to you?” That question couldn’t be answered. The truth is, I was just fed up! The issues were way bigger than I could explain on a hospital bed. I finally got back home and my neighbor looked at me and asked, “Did you think about your brothers at all before you tried to take your own life?” I still couldn’t answer. I just sat there at home and cried. I felt stupid.

Truth is; we all go through a lot and from time to time we need people to listen to us, talk to us and hold us by the hand as we go through that struggle. I was struggling with a lot of things but I only showed people what they needed to see. I only told them what they needed to hear. I showed them strength, told them I was okay. Acted like everything was just perfect! But it wasn’t.

I didn’t tell them that I still heard voices in my head of people having sex because while I was living at a brothel, the commercial sex workers brought their customers to the house and for months, the sound they made flooded my head. I carried it with me everywhere!

I didn’t tell them that I hadn’t forgiven my family for abandoning my brothers and I after my parents died. I couldn’t tell anyone that each time I asked for help to by food or pay rent, I lost a piece of myself. That asking them was a difficult decision that I make each time I open my mouth to ask.

I didn’t tell anyone that raising boys is beyond the stipends they hand to me to buy food. I couldn’t tell anyone that I am afraid to get married because somehow I feel it will separate me from my brothers. I couldn’t tell anyone that I lost faith in Love after my engagement ended. So each time I try to love someone, I give myself a million and one reasons why it shouldn’t work. I didn’t tell anyone!

I stood there wondering what all these meant. Why am I like this? It was in that moment that I decided it was time to fully take charge of my life. No one knew I was hanging on the edge the whole time. I looked perfectly all right, but no perfectly all right person decides to take his or her own life.

It was in that moment I decided to call my Aunts and Uncles and honestly tell them that I forgive them. One of my Aunts cried over the phone and kept saying “thank you”. I felt like the healing had just started, I felt like a heavy burden was lifted off my shoulder.

It hasn't been easy opening up about a past I didn't want people to hear about. But each time I open my mouth to speak, I feel better. Each time I write, I feel liberated.

The journey of healing started a year ago and just like everything else; it takes time.


It only takes a strong woman to look at her situation and say yes i have had enough, but i am going to push foward anyway.

I can identify with some of the emotions you went through and hope to learn more about how you moved past them.

You are one very strong woman! It is not easy to get over what could be a big betrayal, that the people who were supposed to be there for you at your moment of great need are the ones who let you down. I am sorry you had to face this harsh reality that happens to many when they lose their parents. I am however, glad that you came out of that harrowing experience to share your story today. You will make a great advocate for others in similar situation. All the best in your healing journey. Hugs, Arrey


When I see you well your picture radiates a confident, beautiful individual and your site prooves your earnest will to empower not only yourself but humanity. Super props sister!



Dear Raquel,

Thank you for opening up and telling us about a very difficult time in your life.  I am sure many of us have felt similiar emotions of projecting an image of everything is okay on the outside while on the inside we are anything but okay.  I agree with you that from time to time we all need someone who will just listen to us and hear what is going on inside of our head.

I am glad you have found a path to heal and are able feel better as you open up more.  Best wishes on your continuing journey!