Melina Says She Considered Suicide While Working with WWE
During the latest Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia, Melina discussed her struggles with depression during her time in WWE, which were worsened by sexual assault and led to thoughts of suicide. Melina focused less on the details of her assault or near-suicide attempt and discussed what her mindset was at the time and how it was a series of events and mindsets that led her down a downward spiral of thinking there was something wrong with her and that what was happening to her was her fault.
You can see highlights from the discussion below, as well as the full podcast:
On when her depression began: “I’ve heard stories of people, their traumas and depression started when they were younger because they’ve been either abused or bullied and gone through stuff in life as children. For me, what happened is, even though I went through hardships and our family went through struggles, it never affected me because I had my family. And because emotionally I thought I was strong. I felt strong, I felt confident, I felt I knew what I wanted and how to act, because of what my family taught me. But my traumas came later on in life, because going from my family who I trusted, I thought in wrestling everybody was my family and I trusted [them]. It kind of made me naive and vulnerable in a sense, where sometimes you don’t realize you trust the wrong people. And that’s everyone across the board. It’s not just me, but sometimes you trust the wrong people and you think they have your best interests at heart. And then really, they just abuse that and take advantage of your trust or their position. So for me, when it came to my form of bullying or my form of, ‘Let’s shut her out’ and all this stuff, it was harder for me because I kept thinking, ‘I’m an adult, this shouldn’t be happening. We’re adults and this is our job, and why are all these things happening?’”
On people thinking she should be happy because she has money and fame: “I was reading some stuff when it came to depression of how people see people in television. And it’s like, ‘Why, you have money? You’re on TV. You have friends, you have everything that you could want.’ And I remember having my brother tell me that. He was never mean about it, but he would tell me, ‘You have everything. Why would you ever have your mind think about wanting to commit suicide?’ I said, ‘That’s the problem right there. Everything thinks I have everything, and I don’t.’ You don’t have great relationships. You have relationships that fail, and not just fail, you get cheated on or whatnot. You think there’s something wrong with you. And me, I also experienced sexual assault. So that plays a part, and you think, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ People don’t see that you’re suffering, and they just dismiss it because apparently money and being in the public eye means that you have support and you don’t. You don’t know who to trust, because sometimes people just want to be your friend because you’re a name. And then it’s like, you’re seen by everyone but no one sees you and no one listens to you. You could openly say, ‘I’m hurting,’ and people would be like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ And then that’s even more lonely. Because I just said I’m hurting, and you just dismissed it. So then you seclude yourself and then you put up a bigger wall. And you meet people who you think they’re acting in your own best interests and they hurt you, so you build another wall. You’re even lonelier because you don’t know who to trust. No matter how much money you’ve got, or how many people are following you on Instagram or Twitter.”
On her near-suicide attempt: “To me, the assault and the depression and suicide are two different things to touch base on, and how to deal with it. What happened for me was more somebody caught me before anything happened in me. So when that happened, it was like the grace of God where somebody I cared about walked in and found me … I don’t really open up and talk about [the whole story] because one, I don’t people to imitate it and recreate it. I don’t want people to do that action. It was during [WWE]. I think it was during my injury, my leg injury where all this stuff was going on, and I’m not wrestling. And all of a sudden I hated life. When it comes to the depression, when it comes to thinking about suicide, it’s a series of events. It’s not something that just happens. It’s a series of not just events, but also things you tell yourself. And you don’t think — everyone’s like, ‘Why can’t people think of who they’re affecting, they’re affecting everyone around them.’ And they get so angry about that. You think about the people around you, and you tell yourself they’re better off without you. A lot of times, the people who care and have the biggest heart are the ones that say, ‘Everybody’s lives would be better if I wasn’t here.’ And you not only have your emotional suffering, you’re living in your own personal hell in your mind. You don’t know how to get out of it, but when you think about your family, you think, ‘They’ll be fine.’ And so it’s all this emotional breakdown until you think in your mind, ‘It’s time. I can’t do this anymore.’”
On her reaction after being found: “And when I got found, it was more like, ‘What’s going on?’ than ‘Why?’ And I was like, ‘I’m f**king everything up. I even f**ked this up, this couldn’t even happen to me.’ So I was so upset, but then at the same time, it’s like, ‘Okay, after all these years why am I still here?’ It’s like a bit of survivor’s guilt, where it’s like, ‘Why am I still here when there are other people not here that should be here with us?’ So I was just trying to find purpose of ‘Why do I exist?’ And I keep thinking that either part of it’s my soul thinking it’s part in me to not give up, or that I have a purpose here, I need to do something to help other people.”
On her sexual assaults: “I now have gone through things that, if I didn’t go through it, I wouldn’t understand anybody else. When it came to the rape too, I admit I was a horrible person in the sense of, I heard stories of this one girl that I met, I remember meeting her and she was raped multiple times. And I was like, ‘How the hell does that happen?’ A person who doesn’t understand, being ignorant. I’m like, I can’t relate. I couldn’t relate, like, ‘How does that happen?’ My brain couldn’t wrap my head around that. So for me, it’s happened to me more than once. And then when it happened, it just put me in a deeper depression, because it’s like, how does that happen? Now it’s like, I’m looking at myself like, ‘How did that happen? How did you let that happen?’ But now I understand what she went through. And if that didn’t happen to me, then I wouldn’t be able to help others who that has happened to. Because they need somebody to relate to them.”