On 19th Sept, a day after a very emotionally exhausting day, I decided to treat myself to a day out. After walking around for an hour or so, I went to the loo and heard a girl crying in the cubicle next to me.

I was concerned, so I asked if she was alright. She didn’t answer at first, but after a while, she told me that she had given up hope and was trying to hurt herself.

I knew what she meant by that, as I’ve been there before. So, I knocked softly on her cubicle and told her that she could trust me, and shared my story with her.

She opened the door slowly and I stepped inside. She was sitting on the toilet seat with a razor in her hand ready to cut her wrist(s).

I talked to her, calmed her down and managed to get through to her. She told me that she was sexually abused by her stepfather for years and her alcoholic mother chose to ignore it.

She trusted me enough to let me take her to the hospital and call her father. It was another emotional day for me, but in a good way. Her father and stepmother were the most humble people I’ve come across here in Sydney.

The next couple of days, she and I spoke over the phone about my past experiences. I told her that I’d be there for her when she decided to tell her father about her traumatic experiences.

I was proud and happy to know that she did it all by herself. Her parents called and was very grateful that I was there for her. They filed a police report and she was ready to start a new life with her father and stepmother.

I was happy to know that I had contributed in a positive way. I was rooting for her.

Several days later, I thought about her. I wondered if she were doing okay and what she were up to. The next day, I received a call from her stepmother.

She had committed suicide in her bathroom. I couldn’t hear much after that because my head was trying hard to process what I just heard. To say I was shock would be an understatement.

I could hear her father sobbing in the background and after we said our goodbyes, I felt numb and burst into tears.

What did I learn from this?

I learnt that I need to let go (baggage and such) and breathe. Live. I also learnt that family doesn’t necessarily mean blood relative. I learnt of this years ago but lately, it is very apparent to me. I learnt that no matter how hard or tough life is, I just have to pull through for my own sanity. And those who I love and care for.

I didn’t know this young woman very well but enough to know that she would have made plenty of people happy with her presence.

I know in my heart that she’s in a better place now.

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