Former California Congresswoman Katie Hill opened up about her resignation from Congress — and the depressive aftermath that followed — in a New York Times op-ed published Saturday. In it, she recounts her “toxic” marriage to her husband, her time in Congress and the moment she considered taking her own life.
Following her resignation, Hill explains how she fell into one of the “darkest places” she’s ever been.
Hill recounts sitting in a bath two days after he resignation when, “Suddenly and with total clarity, I just wanted it all to be over.” She says she tried to find a box cutter but couldn’t and had to settle for a paring knife. Hill wrote that she traced the outlines of the veins on her wrist a few times, applying more and more pressure each time, but stopped before she cut herself.
She says thought about her family, supporters and others who would be impacted and decided she “couldn’t do it.”
“I thought about the Girl Scouts whose troops I’d visited who told me they wanted to grow up to be like me, and how their parents would explain this to them, and what it would do to them,” she said. “… I ran the campaign knowing it was bigger than me and what I wanted, and it still is. I don’t get to quit. I have to keep going forward, and be part of the fight to create the change that those young girls are counting on.”
Hill tweeted about the article early Saturday afternoon, providing a trigger warning for readers.
My deeply personal story, out today in the @nytimes. Trigger warning: suicide (they don’t offer one in the paper.) https://t.co/wDTsJVPLTX
— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) December 7, 2019
Hill resigned less than a year after assuming office after nude photos of her were released online and she was accused of having relations with a congressional staffer and a former campaign staffer, which she said was a “double standard.” She maintains her position that her husband released the nude photos, which she did not know were taken, in an incident of “revenge porn” from her “toxic” marriage. Her husband did not respond to the Times for comments, according to the op-ed.
“The fear that my husband would ruin me hung over me every day. I knew the risk when I left, but I thought I didn’t have a choice, and despite the threat, I felt better than I had in years,” she wrote. “The day that my communications director ran into my office and showed me the nudes and private text messages that had been published on a right-wing website called Red State, everything came crashing down. I believe my husband is the source of the images.”
When it was time to give her final speech on the House floor, Hill describes dressing in her “battle uniform,” a red dress suit her mom bought for her, to tell the world she wasn’t done serving people; she was just “moving to another battlefield.”
“I closed my speech, saying … ‘We will rise, and we will make tomorrow better than today. … I yield the balance of my time for now, but not forever.’ I meant that not just for myself, but for all of us,” she wrote.
Hill said she is unsure of what’s next, but is happy knowing that her time is not over.
“I don’t know exactly what’s ahead for me, and I know there’s a lot more pain ahead,” she wrote. “But I’m in the fight, and I’m glad it’s not all over after all.”
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