Nicholas Hughes, 47, hanged himself last week. Forty-six years ago Hughes’ mother, poet Sylvia Plath, placed her head in an oven and turned the gas on while her 2-year-old daughter and 13-month-old son, Nicholas, slept. Six years later Nicholas’ stepmother killed herself the same way.

Plath’s book, The Bell Jar, had a profound affect on me. I had never before identified with a fictional character and I became enamored with Plath. In a sick way, she was my hero. I was 16. In hindsight I should not have read that book when I did. I was too young and too sick. Her depression made her feel as though she was trapped under a bell jar, unable to breathe. Finally, someone felt just like me.

Suicide is not hereditary Рat least geneticists have not proved it. However, studies have shown that  children whose mothers committed suicide are 7 times more likely to attempt suicide than children whose mothers do not. That statistic is why I am alive. I was suicidal during my last depression. I had tried to kill myself twice before.

My therapist and nurse-practitioner told me that statistic. They asked me to remember it when I had suicidal thoughts. It worked. I could never do that to my daughter. Regardless of how I feel about my own life, I love my daughter more than I imagined I could ever love another person. I would never put her life at risk – ever. Today she is 17. She is happy. She just found a dress for her school’s Junior-Senior Dinner. We are looking at colleges. She framed a picture of us and gave it to me for Christmas.¬†

She is my anchor to life. I am so blessed to be alive. I have a life I never dreamed of and I am finally the mother I always wanted to be. Don’t quit before the miracle.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 11 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

Trackbacks

nhbpda (March 24, 2009)

Me, my daughter and Sylvia Plath « depression introspection (June 5, 2009)






    Last reviewed: 24 Mar 2009

APA Reference
Stapleton, C. (2009). Me, my daughter and Sylvia Plath. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 28, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/depression/2009/03/me-my-daughter-and-sylvia-plath/

 

Hoping for a Happy Ending
Check out Christine's book!
Hope for a Happy Ending: A Journalist's
Story of Depression, Bipolar and Alcoholism
Christine Stapleton

Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • Sabiha Swenson-Sierra: Find a nonprofit charity organization that helps with this. i.e. Catholic Charities.
  • Sabiha Swenson-Sierra: There is a way…get legal guardianship, establish dependency. Most insurance companies...
  • Amanda: Ugh. This is one of the things that annoys me most about dealing with mood issues. People tell me to either...
  • Catherine: Well said! I used to feel I had to deliberately stop functioning (albeit on auto) just to convince such...
  • Christine Stapleton: Hey, I totally get it. I believe my mother suffered from dysthymia. When I look back at her...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!