Yesterday evening I saw a woman climb onto the edge of a multi-storey carpark, considering jumping.
It was a crazy five minutes, by which I mean, a few minutes either way and we would never have known the incident had taken place.
We were meeting the in-laws for dinner for my brother-in-laws birthday, and arrived to the carpark a few minutes early. We knew they were on their way so we waited just outside it but moved to the other side of the street which was bathed in the evening sunlight.
I could hear a woman shouting into her mobile from the roof of the car park, at that moment we were more surprised that her voice carried that well. Then I heard her shout ‘Just leave me alone! Leave me alone!’ But honestly, at that point, we didn’t think anything of it.
At that same moment a Police van passed by us and I saw one of the officers glance up to the roof. I turned to Dan and said, “She’s going to jump.”
‘No, she’s not,’ he said. I instantly knew my imagination was running away with itself and I was waiting for Dan to say just that.
But then she began jumping up, looking over the edge. Then she lifted herself up onto the edge and sat down, her legs dangling above the dangerous drop.
“Oh my god!” was all I could say.
“Don’t look.” was Dan’s reply.
“Please don’t!” came a desperate plea from a Police officer, running past us. “Please don’t jump!”
“I don’t care anymore! I don’t fucking care!” she screamed.
“Please, just tell me your name.”
“I don’t fucking care!”
This exchange continued, the officer pleading for her to reconsider, the woman struggling with her own demons. All we could do was watch, helpless in the situation.
We were asked to move along. It sounds ridiculous but it’s not something that I even considered until it happened, and of course we moved. This was a woman’s life in turmoil and we were stood open-mouthed watching as it unfolded.
As we walked away, I turned one last time to see two officers grab her from behind, dragging her off the roof.
Adrenaline was coursing through my body, god knows what was going on inside the woman’s.
By the time my in-laws turned up, just a minute or so later, there was no sign of anything having gone on. The small crowd was gone, the police were still inside the building with the woman, life was moving on just as it had ten minutes before.
I couldn’t get this incident out of my head for the rest of the evening. And I know it’ll still keep popping up from time to time for a little while to come too. But I won’t tell anyone when it does, they wouldn’t understand. These types of situations stay with me for a long time, popping up when I least suspect them.
The main thing that will go round my head will be the fact, I did nothing. If it wasn’t for that Police officer trying to talk her down, god knows what would have happened. Would I have called up to her if he hadn’t have come along that split second later? Who knows, but it obviously wasn’t my natural instinct. And that saddens me.
What would have made that woman think that jumping from that roof was the only option she had left? Was it real? Was it a cry for help? Was it a spur of the moment idea that got out of hand? I’ll never know, but I hope she knows there are other ways out now, I hope she’s found the help she needs.
To anyone that believes giving up their life is the only way out, there is always someone out there who can help you get out of any situation you may be in. If you think you are in danger of letting go, call someone. Anyone. Someone you know – who you love and trust – they will want to help you; or if you can’t, call a professional service who will be able to help you. On this site is a list of suicide hotlines for many different countries.
Don’t give up without a fight!
Until next time. x
Photo by Joshua K.Jackson via Unsplash