Never in harm’s way

Guest Author: Haylee

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

I was 10 and it all started with my brothers and I being taken into child custody – we were fortunate that we got to stay with family.

With that being said we wanted to be with our mother and no one else. We were only allowed supervised visits, no phone calls, emails, no contact unless we were in the CFS office. My mother, although having her struggles was a GOOD MOM and that’s what I couldnt wrap my head around when this was all happening.

Why wouldnt they just let me live with my mom?

I never felt in harm’s way. My mother and I would secretly get a hold of each other and this went on for months. It was the hardest thing to do because when I got caught, my mom was the one to blame but I WANTED to talk with her, tell her how my day was, how this whole situation was making me feel. I remember the last visit I had with her, we were in the office and the worker told my mom well youre gonna have to wait 4 weeks till your next visit. I remember the look on my moms face, I could hear her heart break across the room. That was the last time I saw her before her wake.

On December 12, 2005 my aunty (who was fostering my 1 brother and I) came into our rooms and said no school today, the weather man said its too cold. So we go downstairs to watch cartoons and enjoy the day off. I pick up the phone, dial my best friend’s house and her mom answers. I ask is she home, they said it’s too cold for school today, her mom responds with sweetie, she is at school, school is going on today. At this point I am confused but I say goodbye and hang  up.

My dad comes in moments later, and sits us down and says I am really sorry to have to tell you this, but your mom passed away last night.I remember responding with You mean passed out right?I wanted him to say yes but he said No sweetie she is gone I am so sorry. 

I lived an undoubtedly destructive life.

Fast forward a bit, everyone in my school knows my mom has passed away. One day a girl walks up to me and says, Your mom shot herself, and that was how I found out that my mom committed suicide, the kids in my school never stopped asking or sharing it.

I struggled myself in terms of having depression and anxiety. I was bullied, I constantly felt like I didn’t deserve to live a happy life if my mom chose to take herself out of it. I self-harmed, I made my own attempts at suicide, I lived an undoubtedly destructive life.

I always wondered why people just came and went in my life, and for the ones still here today after all that I’ve been through, THANK YOU. I struggled then and I still do today with my own mental illnesses. It was about 6 years ago I found the therapist I still see today. I didnt believe I could find someone who was going to take our sessions and progress seriously. Ive seen many counsellors before this therapist, and the people Ive seen before just made me feel like I was wasting their time, which is a heavy thing to feel when all you’re trying to do is seek guidance.

There are plenty of resources and just not enough awareness.

Something Ive learned and try to teach others who struggle is to not give up if youve had a bad experience seeking help, to keep trying till you find the one you find comfort in. There are plenty of resources and just not enough awareness. I am one voice and it is my goal to make that voice heard by many. I live in the North where there are many struggles in the small communities and reserves. Countless suicides, and destructive behaviour.

It is my goal, that with what I have experienced, to reach out to these communities and ensure them there are ways out of this cycle. Struggling myself, still today, I know what it takes to be someone another human may need. I also know if I’m not quite what they are looking for I can easily direct them to a resource that works for them.

I have a huge heart for anyone who needs it.

We should not be afraid of what we are feeling, we are all capable of finding the power to overcome it. Thank you for taking the time to hear my story and what I have taken from it. God Bless.



wow breath taking story haylee! You truly are an inspiration for being so brave and strong enough to keep on going and telling your story! props girl for all the determination you have

Once upon a hairdresser

You undoubtedly will help people you are truly amazing , sending strength as always , your mom is still a beautiful person and it was a pleasure to share those times I had with her she truly loved her children


Than you Haylee for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for the pain that you have endured throughout your life.
I just want to tell you how powerful your story is and to let you know that you are helping so many people by speaking out. You are obviously a strong lady and I would like to tell you to hold your head high for helping others by speaking out.
Stay strong haylee.


Haylee, my girl. You are a very strong woman who doesnt hide behind the stigmatizim of Mental Health issues. I for one tried to hide it from lots of ppl, because of what their remarks would be. I am no longer ashamed and still have my demons to battle. But you, even though you have a hard time as well, you are not afraid to educate ppl and i Love you so much for that. Your Mom would be so proud of you. <3


It’s awesome that you share from the heart. I certainly do relate to you. Bless you my friend.


It broke my heart to read your story but you told it so well. I’m sorry you endured this tragedy, no one that young should ever have to deal with being told by another child at school that their mother killed herself. What a horrible way to find out. Those of us who have lived with Mental Illness sure do seem to be the experts at where to go and not to go for help. Thank you for being a source of hope and inspiration to others.

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