I survived suicide attempts

Posted by Jim, Alumni Mentor @jimhd, Oct 6, 2016

I haven’t attempted lately, though the idea lingers. I’ve taken overdoses a number of times, and spent time in a nice facility twice. At this point, I mostly don’t want to end my life, primarily because of concern for my wife. Sometimes, when I’m in a lot of physical and emotional pain, I wish I had died.

@colleenyoung

Thank you Jim for starting this frank and honest discussion about suicidal thoughts. I’m inviting @overwhelmed @johnjames @bbams and @safetyshield to join you here.
It is reassuring to hear that you don’t want to end your life and that you have a solid reason (your wife) for not doing it. When the physical and emotional pain becomes unbearable, how do you keep yourself from the brink?

Jump to this post

Colleen- how can one send you an e-mail ? in order to run something by you- thanks JJames

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Thank you Jim for starting this frank and honest discussion about suicidal thoughts. I’m inviting @overwhelmed @johnjames @bbams and @safetyshield to join you here.
It is reassuring to hear that you don’t want to end your life and that you have a solid reason (your wife) for not doing it. When the physical and emotional pain becomes unbearable, how do you keep yourself from the brink?

Jump to this post

@johnjames You can send me a private message. Here’s how:
1. Click the member’s @username.
2. Click the envelope icon in their profile.
3. Write a subject and your message.
4. Click Send Message.

Or write to me using the contact form found in the footer https://connect.mayoclinic.org/contact-a-community-moderator/

REPLY

I’ve been watching and reading this thread, since it started. Until now, I have only thought about replying or adding to it. I suppose in part because I’ve never “attempted suicide”. Suicidal Ideation however has been a very large part of my thoughts, throughout the years. (Presently, as I write this, I have not had such thoughts in quite some time.) I would consider myself, as having “Passive Suicidal Ideation”- a desire to die, without a specific plan to carry it out. Suicide, at some point in my life, became an “option”, if I could not withstand the battles of my life… I work hard to remain a survivor.
At the age of 27, I had a beautiful, curly red headed baby girl. Joy, renewal, and a vow… to raise her without abuse, harm, or as an outlet for my anger. She is 20 years old now, and I’m SO very proud, to be her Mom. (My vow to my daughter will make more sense, if you choose to read on.)
I have shared, in another post, that I journal. I have since I was very young. Looking back through some of those journals, I see a dark side in my words, helplessness, in my writing… and I recall writing those words and feelings, from those times. Pleading, and begging to have it ALL go away. I DO see a therapist presently. I’ve been to many over the years, as I seek “help” when I KNOW my thought patterns are again, shifting.
My paternal grandmother died when I was 13yrs old. She was literally my “lifeline”, as only she gave me the support, and compassion that I unknowingly sought, the years before she passed. Her passing was like the end of the world, for me. I vividly recall the middle of the night phone call, my father received… letting him know, she had died. Seeing my father cry. To this day, I am deathly afraid, of middle of the night phone calls.
After her passing, I lost a lot of weight (diagnosed as anorexic) I started “cutting” and graduated to burning. (From the MAYO clinic; ~Cutting- Nonsuicidal self-injury, often simply called self-injury, is the act of deliberately harming the surface of your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, this type of self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger, and frustration. ~) (I have been in “cutting” sobriety, for many years. IT has NOT always been easy.) Depression, chronic anxiety/panic attacks… PTSD. These diagnoses did NOT just come about because of my Grandma’s passing. Her passing, and the sudden realization that my lifeline was gone, exacerbated my feelings of being empty, totally alone, unlovable and lost, and brought to the surface, the deep emotional pain, I had endured since before I was 5yrs old.
I was SO young, my relationship with my mother was very “strained’, I realized we were NOT close before I was 5. She was not afraid to shout the words, “I wish you had never been born!” My father, so much like my grandma, (his Mom) was my rock. Never was I unsure if he loved me, or was proud that I was his daughter. (I was an only child for 5 yrs before my middle sibling was born.) I felt I lived in a war zone, when my parents were together. My mother is/was very insecure, jealous, and hateful. Especially toward the relationship between my dad, and myself. She was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive. (Accusations of extra-marital affairs, against my Dad, were a nightly “dinner topic”) EVERY day, I lived this. I witnessed Domestic Violence, ALL night arguing, and dysfunction, in all of its horrifying grandeur. My mother was my enemy, and I was one of her targets. * I will leave gaps of my story, as some parts; induce great panic attacks/anxiety, for me, to this day. As an example, when my Mother became enraged she would grab my hair, wrap it around her fist, clench it tightly, and RIP it out of my head. My scalp would bleed. She would laugh, and “promise” I would “get” it again. *
I was introduced to the concept of “suicide’, at the age of 4. Of course I didn’t understand it, or what it meant but my mother, used the words, “I will kill myself, and then you’ll be sorry”, to my Dad, several times during their daily/nightly arguments. My mother would make phone calls to my Dad’s work, EVERY day, tell ME what to say when the receptionist answered, and when my Dad would pick up the call, I was coached to tell him; “Daddy, you need to come home. Mommy is going to kill herself”. At first, he would. He would leave work, and come home. They would fight. I would hide.
As time went on, and my mother continued this behavior, my Dad would NO longer take the calls I was forced to make. I TOOK the brunt of those “NO longer taken phone calls”, and I feared my mother and being alone with her. This was in the early 70’s, and I was only 4/5. (I was threatened, by my mother, when I became school aged, threatened with agonizing physical repercussions, IF I ever said a word about MY home life. I never did.) My parents had 2 more daughters. My mother targeted neither of them, as I became their protector.
At 47, I am still haunted by everything I endured. (MY PTSD diagnosis) Memories get easier, but do not go away.
My mother attempted suicide, one time, which I know of. My Dad, spoke to professional’s re: my mother’s chronically abusive behaviors, and she was put on medication, evaluated, and mandated to work with a therapist. If she did not, she would’ve been placed in an “institution”. She “played” along, and NEVER was seen, as who she truly was/is. My mother continued her “targeting” of me, until I graduated HS, and moved out, 2 months later. Her behaviors toward my Dad NEVER ceased. She will be 69 in a few short weeks. 50 yrs of marriage. (My birthday candle wish, every year was; “I wish that Mom and Dad will get divorced.” It never came true.)
My Dad…, who I have spoken of proudly, IS chronically sick. He is in the hospital, with Stage 4 kidney failure, survived 3 open heart surgeries, served in Vietnam, ALWAYS saying, ” I am a soldier”… and HE endured my mother’s abuse his entire adult life. He has also been one of my strongest lifelines, and he IS going to die. He recently made his “end of life” choices. DNR is in place.
He CAN return home, to live what time he has left. He CHOSE NOT to. His reason; “I can NO longer live with your mother, or her abusive ways. I do love her BUT I am tired, and I am done”. His 3 daughters, my 2 younger sisters, and I support and accept his difficult decision. Yet, OUR hearts are broken.
Yet, I know that even the strongest soldier, one-day finds, that it’s his time to rest.
My Dad has been in Palliative Care, for just under 1 month now. I am proud of my Dad. It is the first choice he has made for himself, OVER my mother’s blatant disregard FOR his needs/wants. After 50 yrs, of “unknowingly enabling and ‘giving in’ to my mother, out of his love for her, ( and his concrete explanation of, ” Your mother is sick, I can’t leave her.”) My Dad has stood up to her.
She has told him he is selfish, abusive and has never loved her, for the choice he has now made. She has stated she will commit suicide, when he dies. *By my young adult years, I knew just how very conniving, and manipulative my mother was/ and still is. And, YES… how VERY mentally sick she’s been her entire life.*
My “wish” has now become, that MY dad lives his last days, weeks, or months, the way he chooses. He has limited the amount of visits my mother is allowed, to see him. A difficult, yet necessary decision.
AS I read your post’s @overwhelmed, and @jimhd ‘s, regarding suicide, my heart heard your feelings, thoughts, and worries. Very loudly. My OWN memories, emotions, and deepest fears surfaced. BUT I didn’t panic. I felt NOT so alone. I know, being told, “You are NOT alone” and “Feeling totally and hopelessly alone, during those times… are a battle fought, in a troubled, fragile mind. I know. I get “it”. I “hear” you. I have “felt” it.
And @johnjames, you have a truly incredible and compassionate knowledge base, filled with empathy and genuine concern. NOT only because you have studied such areas of life, but because you have lived through, witnessed, and experienced so much, as a man. A human being, beyond all else that you have become, throughout your life’s journey, thus far. Your very first post, in which you shared some very deep experiences from your military career, and as a Chaplain, drew me in, more than you may realize. Maybe, I was directed to your posts and words by something larger than myself. (I have copied and saved, many of your replies to others, and to myself, so that I can look at them, read them, and draw strength from them.) They have given me a “new” perspective, on many subjects, and for that, I’m grateful.
I seem to post in Connect when certain posts just draw me in because I truly “feel” them. Almost like, I am meant to read them. Not just in this thread but in several others, as well. And as I read them, I “feel” them because the “emotions” that they display are similar to my experiences, or I feel a need to reach out, and offer some light, in a dark moment. Because I HAVE been there, and I am sure, I will be again. Yet, I live to be as positive as I can be, see the big picture, in the smallest things, or see the simple things in the big picture, and realize that I DO have a purpose here, in this world. Even if I don’t always see it. Sometimes I feel that we don’t always see our own purpose at times because it is meant for others to see.
Dealing with suicide, suicidal ideation, cutting, etc… It is not easy. Especially, when the demons you wish to escape, come from within your darkest experiences, or thoughts. We are NOT our demons. We DO have a purpose here in life, and we ARE survivors. We must be extra gentle, yet sometimes stern, with ourselves. Nurture ourselves, yet urge ourselves to get back up.
We are the ONLY person that will be with US, every day, all of our life.
What I have shared isn’t even a quarter of my experiences. But I AM HERE. I’ve ridden the terrifying roller coaster, and I am STILL here. And no, journaling doesn’t always get rid of those feelings. Sometimes, I just want to rip the pages out… and I have.
The fall down a ladder, is easier than the climb up a ladder. YET, we have re-climbed our ladder, one rung at a time. Many times, for WE are here. We don’t have to get back to the top of OUR ladder, in one day; we just need to hang on to ONE rung, of OUR ladder, at a time. Even when, the “hanging on” part is the MOST difficult thing in the world. Sit on the rung of the ladder, even if it’s at the bottom sometimes. When you’re able, start the climb, to the next rung, don’t look all the way to the top of your ladder… just concentrate on that very next rung… getting back up is a process, NOT a race.
I see “your” purpose, in your posts…. With genuine appreciation, ~ KIM

Liked by safetyshield, Iman

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Thank you Jim for starting this frank and honest discussion about suicidal thoughts. I’m inviting @overwhelmed @johnjames @bbams and @safetyshield to join you here.
It is reassuring to hear that you don’t want to end your life and that you have a solid reason (your wife) for not doing it. When the physical and emotional pain becomes unbearable, how do you keep yourself from the brink?

Jump to this post

johnjames I am always interested in different approaches to mental health issues. I know that there are different types of depression and different kinds of treatment. Some do overlap. Thanks for sharing your approach. It enhanced my base of knowledge both as a person and a therapist

REPLY

I was born with a disability and still have it today. While I was growing up I was bullied in school for 7 years without a let up. I knew since I was disabled that the school itself did not want me there because of my disability and feel that they allowed me to be bullied without doing anything. I spent almost every other year in the hospital upto my senior year in school. I had counselors talking to me and psychological tests from what I know now were all BS. It wasn’t until my 7th grade that the same bully took to the brink of emotional fedupness. I went to the football coach and told him about my being bullied and he had the football team talk to the bully. To no avail. Than the gym teacher that was teaching me gymnastics had me demonstrate on the parallel bars for the class. From the time I got off the bars the bulling from this one child ended. Just like that. A couple of other students tried to bully me again. But once I tasted the feeling of self worth I stood up to these guys and it stopped. Through out my life I always meet an adult mostly at work and where I live who bullies me. But not wanting to go through this BS again. I just stand up to them. Not through threats but action that is good for me. I do on and off having feelings of depression. That is normal. But I will go to a friend neighbor or even go for counseling when I feel that way. No one should feel less of a person for needing help or going for help. I have not really contemplated suicide. But that is just me. I just feel that suicide for me would make those who care about me sad and the others maybe empowered. Just hanging on to there will be a tomorrow and doing what empowers me (like these conversations) and doing activities that I like to do keeps me satisfied happy and moving forward.

Liked by Kim

REPLY

@joy, u r a very brave woman and should be very much proud of urself for how strong u r and have been all through ur life. One of the very effective ways to get away of our real hard times and the stresses that we face in life is to focus on the good aspects we have in life. In ur stroy i can see a great dad holding his family and next to his daughter and wife, regardless how difficult life was. That is a hero to love a respect and u need to prove to him how his sacrifice has resulted. Also ur beautiful Joy is another very positive side of ur life. being a mom is a gift not all women have though it requires hard work but it will stay always being a gift.

Liked by Kim

REPLY
@kimsworld

I’ve been watching and reading this thread, since it started. Until now, I have only thought about replying or adding to it. I suppose in part because I’ve never “attempted suicide”. Suicidal Ideation however has been a very large part of my thoughts, throughout the years. (Presently, as I write this, I have not had such thoughts in quite some time.) I would consider myself, as having “Passive Suicidal Ideation”- a desire to die, without a specific plan to carry it out. Suicide, at some point in my life, became an “option”, if I could not withstand the battles of my life… I work hard to remain a survivor.
At the age of 27, I had a beautiful, curly red headed baby girl. Joy, renewal, and a vow… to raise her without abuse, harm, or as an outlet for my anger. She is 20 years old now, and I’m SO very proud, to be her Mom. (My vow to my daughter will make more sense, if you choose to read on.)
I have shared, in another post, that I journal. I have since I was very young. Looking back through some of those journals, I see a dark side in my words, helplessness, in my writing… and I recall writing those words and feelings, from those times. Pleading, and begging to have it ALL go away. I DO see a therapist presently. I’ve been to many over the years, as I seek “help” when I KNOW my thought patterns are again, shifting.
My paternal grandmother died when I was 13yrs old. She was literally my “lifeline”, as only she gave me the support, and compassion that I unknowingly sought, the years before she passed. Her passing was like the end of the world, for me. I vividly recall the middle of the night phone call, my father received… letting him know, she had died. Seeing my father cry. To this day, I am deathly afraid, of middle of the night phone calls.
After her passing, I lost a lot of weight (diagnosed as anorexic) I started “cutting” and graduated to burning. (From the MAYO clinic; ~Cutting- Nonsuicidal self-injury, often simply called self-injury, is the act of deliberately harming the surface of your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, this type of self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger, and frustration. ~) (I have been in “cutting” sobriety, for many years. IT has NOT always been easy.) Depression, chronic anxiety/panic attacks… PTSD. These diagnoses did NOT just come about because of my Grandma’s passing. Her passing, and the sudden realization that my lifeline was gone, exacerbated my feelings of being empty, totally alone, unlovable and lost, and brought to the surface, the deep emotional pain, I had endured since before I was 5yrs old.
I was SO young, my relationship with my mother was very “strained’, I realized we were NOT close before I was 5. She was not afraid to shout the words, “I wish you had never been born!” My father, so much like my grandma, (his Mom) was my rock. Never was I unsure if he loved me, or was proud that I was his daughter. (I was an only child for 5 yrs before my middle sibling was born.) I felt I lived in a war zone, when my parents were together. My mother is/was very insecure, jealous, and hateful. Especially toward the relationship between my dad, and myself. She was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive. (Accusations of extra-marital affairs, against my Dad, were a nightly “dinner topic”) EVERY day, I lived this. I witnessed Domestic Violence, ALL night arguing, and dysfunction, in all of its horrifying grandeur. My mother was my enemy, and I was one of her targets. * I will leave gaps of my story, as some parts; induce great panic attacks/anxiety, for me, to this day. As an example, when my Mother became enraged she would grab my hair, wrap it around her fist, clench it tightly, and RIP it out of my head. My scalp would bleed. She would laugh, and “promise” I would “get” it again. *
I was introduced to the concept of “suicide’, at the age of 4. Of course I didn’t understand it, or what it meant but my mother, used the words, “I will kill myself, and then you’ll be sorry”, to my Dad, several times during their daily/nightly arguments. My mother would make phone calls to my Dad’s work, EVERY day, tell ME what to say when the receptionist answered, and when my Dad would pick up the call, I was coached to tell him; “Daddy, you need to come home. Mommy is going to kill herself”. At first, he would. He would leave work, and come home. They would fight. I would hide.
As time went on, and my mother continued this behavior, my Dad would NO longer take the calls I was forced to make. I TOOK the brunt of those “NO longer taken phone calls”, and I feared my mother and being alone with her. This was in the early 70’s, and I was only 4/5. (I was threatened, by my mother, when I became school aged, threatened with agonizing physical repercussions, IF I ever said a word about MY home life. I never did.) My parents had 2 more daughters. My mother targeted neither of them, as I became their protector.
At 47, I am still haunted by everything I endured. (MY PTSD diagnosis) Memories get easier, but do not go away.
My mother attempted suicide, one time, which I know of. My Dad, spoke to professional’s re: my mother’s chronically abusive behaviors, and she was put on medication, evaluated, and mandated to work with a therapist. If she did not, she would’ve been placed in an “institution”. She “played” along, and NEVER was seen, as who she truly was/is. My mother continued her “targeting” of me, until I graduated HS, and moved out, 2 months later. Her behaviors toward my Dad NEVER ceased. She will be 69 in a few short weeks. 50 yrs of marriage. (My birthday candle wish, every year was; “I wish that Mom and Dad will get divorced.” It never came true.)
My Dad…, who I have spoken of proudly, IS chronically sick. He is in the hospital, with Stage 4 kidney failure, survived 3 open heart surgeries, served in Vietnam, ALWAYS saying, ” I am a soldier”… and HE endured my mother’s abuse his entire adult life. He has also been one of my strongest lifelines, and he IS going to die. He recently made his “end of life” choices. DNR is in place.
He CAN return home, to live what time he has left. He CHOSE NOT to. His reason; “I can NO longer live with your mother, or her abusive ways. I do love her BUT I am tired, and I am done”. His 3 daughters, my 2 younger sisters, and I support and accept his difficult decision. Yet, OUR hearts are broken.
Yet, I know that even the strongest soldier, one-day finds, that it’s his time to rest.
My Dad has been in Palliative Care, for just under 1 month now. I am proud of my Dad. It is the first choice he has made for himself, OVER my mother’s blatant disregard FOR his needs/wants. After 50 yrs, of “unknowingly enabling and ‘giving in’ to my mother, out of his love for her, ( and his concrete explanation of, ” Your mother is sick, I can’t leave her.”) My Dad has stood up to her.
She has told him he is selfish, abusive and has never loved her, for the choice he has now made. She has stated she will commit suicide, when he dies. *By my young adult years, I knew just how very conniving, and manipulative my mother was/ and still is. And, YES… how VERY mentally sick she’s been her entire life.*
My “wish” has now become, that MY dad lives his last days, weeks, or months, the way he chooses. He has limited the amount of visits my mother is allowed, to see him. A difficult, yet necessary decision.
AS I read your post’s @overwhelmed, and @jimhd ‘s, regarding suicide, my heart heard your feelings, thoughts, and worries. Very loudly. My OWN memories, emotions, and deepest fears surfaced. BUT I didn’t panic. I felt NOT so alone. I know, being told, “You are NOT alone” and “Feeling totally and hopelessly alone, during those times… are a battle fought, in a troubled, fragile mind. I know. I get “it”. I “hear” you. I have “felt” it.
And @johnjames, you have a truly incredible and compassionate knowledge base, filled with empathy and genuine concern. NOT only because you have studied such areas of life, but because you have lived through, witnessed, and experienced so much, as a man. A human being, beyond all else that you have become, throughout your life’s journey, thus far. Your very first post, in which you shared some very deep experiences from your military career, and as a Chaplain, drew me in, more than you may realize. Maybe, I was directed to your posts and words by something larger than myself. (I have copied and saved, many of your replies to others, and to myself, so that I can look at them, read them, and draw strength from them.) They have given me a “new” perspective, on many subjects, and for that, I’m grateful.
I seem to post in Connect when certain posts just draw me in because I truly “feel” them. Almost like, I am meant to read them. Not just in this thread but in several others, as well. And as I read them, I “feel” them because the “emotions” that they display are similar to my experiences, or I feel a need to reach out, and offer some light, in a dark moment. Because I HAVE been there, and I am sure, I will be again. Yet, I live to be as positive as I can be, see the big picture, in the smallest things, or see the simple things in the big picture, and realize that I DO have a purpose here, in this world. Even if I don’t always see it. Sometimes I feel that we don’t always see our own purpose at times because it is meant for others to see.
Dealing with suicide, suicidal ideation, cutting, etc… It is not easy. Especially, when the demons you wish to escape, come from within your darkest experiences, or thoughts. We are NOT our demons. We DO have a purpose here in life, and we ARE survivors. We must be extra gentle, yet sometimes stern, with ourselves. Nurture ourselves, yet urge ourselves to get back up.
We are the ONLY person that will be with US, every day, all of our life.
What I have shared isn’t even a quarter of my experiences. But I AM HERE. I’ve ridden the terrifying roller coaster, and I am STILL here. And no, journaling doesn’t always get rid of those feelings. Sometimes, I just want to rip the pages out… and I have.
The fall down a ladder, is easier than the climb up a ladder. YET, we have re-climbed our ladder, one rung at a time. Many times, for WE are here. We don’t have to get back to the top of OUR ladder, in one day; we just need to hang on to ONE rung, of OUR ladder, at a time. Even when, the “hanging on” part is the MOST difficult thing in the world. Sit on the rung of the ladder, even if it’s at the bottom sometimes. When you’re able, start the climb, to the next rung, don’t look all the way to the top of your ladder… just concentrate on that very next rung… getting back up is a process, NOT a race.
I see “your” purpose, in your posts…. With genuine appreciation, ~ KIM

Jump to this post

Kim, it’s hard to understand the irrational behavior of so many parents. I was blessed with wonderful, loving parents, though I know they had some faults – who doesn’t? Having an abusive or unloving parent can make it very difficult to get used to the idea of a loving heavenly Father. Mine was the giver of punishment, usually spanking, but never in anger or in a mean way.

Having been in Christian ministry for 45 years, I’ve seen some sad examples of how not to treat spouses and children. In my own family, I know now that mom and dad did their best, and vowed early on to raise their children differently than they were raised. I, in turn, vowed to do things better than my parents, and it may be that our kids will want to do a better job than we did. Too often, though, we tend to pass on the inappropriate way we were raised to the next generation. i.e. – children of alcoholic parents become alcoholics themselves, and the same addiction is found in their children. At some point, the behavior has to be challenged in order to break the generational tradition.

You’ve been a survivor, rather than a victim of a litany of issues which would destroy many of us. I commend your ability to recognize the dysfunctional relationships around you, and to have the love and courage to support and care for your father. He’s a blessed man. I pray that you’ll have the wisdom and understanding to walk the final days with your father, be a comfort to him, and to help him face death without fear of it. If he’s made the arrangements for the next, eternal stage of his life, he will die in peace, looking forward to the true goal in this brief earthly life, that being an eternity of peace with no suffering or pain or unhealthy relationships. I pray that for him.

Liked by Kim

REPLY
@kimsworld

I’ve been watching and reading this thread, since it started. Until now, I have only thought about replying or adding to it. I suppose in part because I’ve never “attempted suicide”. Suicidal Ideation however has been a very large part of my thoughts, throughout the years. (Presently, as I write this, I have not had such thoughts in quite some time.) I would consider myself, as having “Passive Suicidal Ideation”- a desire to die, without a specific plan to carry it out. Suicide, at some point in my life, became an “option”, if I could not withstand the battles of my life… I work hard to remain a survivor.
At the age of 27, I had a beautiful, curly red headed baby girl. Joy, renewal, and a vow… to raise her without abuse, harm, or as an outlet for my anger. She is 20 years old now, and I’m SO very proud, to be her Mom. (My vow to my daughter will make more sense, if you choose to read on.)
I have shared, in another post, that I journal. I have since I was very young. Looking back through some of those journals, I see a dark side in my words, helplessness, in my writing… and I recall writing those words and feelings, from those times. Pleading, and begging to have it ALL go away. I DO see a therapist presently. I’ve been to many over the years, as I seek “help” when I KNOW my thought patterns are again, shifting.
My paternal grandmother died when I was 13yrs old. She was literally my “lifeline”, as only she gave me the support, and compassion that I unknowingly sought, the years before she passed. Her passing was like the end of the world, for me. I vividly recall the middle of the night phone call, my father received… letting him know, she had died. Seeing my father cry. To this day, I am deathly afraid, of middle of the night phone calls.
After her passing, I lost a lot of weight (diagnosed as anorexic) I started “cutting” and graduated to burning. (From the MAYO clinic; ~Cutting- Nonsuicidal self-injury, often simply called self-injury, is the act of deliberately harming the surface of your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, this type of self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger, and frustration. ~) (I have been in “cutting” sobriety, for many years. IT has NOT always been easy.) Depression, chronic anxiety/panic attacks… PTSD. These diagnoses did NOT just come about because of my Grandma’s passing. Her passing, and the sudden realization that my lifeline was gone, exacerbated my feelings of being empty, totally alone, unlovable and lost, and brought to the surface, the deep emotional pain, I had endured since before I was 5yrs old.
I was SO young, my relationship with my mother was very “strained’, I realized we were NOT close before I was 5. She was not afraid to shout the words, “I wish you had never been born!” My father, so much like my grandma, (his Mom) was my rock. Never was I unsure if he loved me, or was proud that I was his daughter. (I was an only child for 5 yrs before my middle sibling was born.) I felt I lived in a war zone, when my parents were together. My mother is/was very insecure, jealous, and hateful. Especially toward the relationship between my dad, and myself. She was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive. (Accusations of extra-marital affairs, against my Dad, were a nightly “dinner topic”) EVERY day, I lived this. I witnessed Domestic Violence, ALL night arguing, and dysfunction, in all of its horrifying grandeur. My mother was my enemy, and I was one of her targets. * I will leave gaps of my story, as some parts; induce great panic attacks/anxiety, for me, to this day. As an example, when my Mother became enraged she would grab my hair, wrap it around her fist, clench it tightly, and RIP it out of my head. My scalp would bleed. She would laugh, and “promise” I would “get” it again. *
I was introduced to the concept of “suicide’, at the age of 4. Of course I didn’t understand it, or what it meant but my mother, used the words, “I will kill myself, and then you’ll be sorry”, to my Dad, several times during their daily/nightly arguments. My mother would make phone calls to my Dad’s work, EVERY day, tell ME what to say when the receptionist answered, and when my Dad would pick up the call, I was coached to tell him; “Daddy, you need to come home. Mommy is going to kill herself”. At first, he would. He would leave work, and come home. They would fight. I would hide.
As time went on, and my mother continued this behavior, my Dad would NO longer take the calls I was forced to make. I TOOK the brunt of those “NO longer taken phone calls”, and I feared my mother and being alone with her. This was in the early 70’s, and I was only 4/5. (I was threatened, by my mother, when I became school aged, threatened with agonizing physical repercussions, IF I ever said a word about MY home life. I never did.) My parents had 2 more daughters. My mother targeted neither of them, as I became their protector.
At 47, I am still haunted by everything I endured. (MY PTSD diagnosis) Memories get easier, but do not go away.
My mother attempted suicide, one time, which I know of. My Dad, spoke to professional’s re: my mother’s chronically abusive behaviors, and she was put on medication, evaluated, and mandated to work with a therapist. If she did not, she would’ve been placed in an “institution”. She “played” along, and NEVER was seen, as who she truly was/is. My mother continued her “targeting” of me, until I graduated HS, and moved out, 2 months later. Her behaviors toward my Dad NEVER ceased. She will be 69 in a few short weeks. 50 yrs of marriage. (My birthday candle wish, every year was; “I wish that Mom and Dad will get divorced.” It never came true.)
My Dad…, who I have spoken of proudly, IS chronically sick. He is in the hospital, with Stage 4 kidney failure, survived 3 open heart surgeries, served in Vietnam, ALWAYS saying, ” I am a soldier”… and HE endured my mother’s abuse his entire adult life. He has also been one of my strongest lifelines, and he IS going to die. He recently made his “end of life” choices. DNR is in place.
He CAN return home, to live what time he has left. He CHOSE NOT to. His reason; “I can NO longer live with your mother, or her abusive ways. I do love her BUT I am tired, and I am done”. His 3 daughters, my 2 younger sisters, and I support and accept his difficult decision. Yet, OUR hearts are broken.
Yet, I know that even the strongest soldier, one-day finds, that it’s his time to rest.
My Dad has been in Palliative Care, for just under 1 month now. I am proud of my Dad. It is the first choice he has made for himself, OVER my mother’s blatant disregard FOR his needs/wants. After 50 yrs, of “unknowingly enabling and ‘giving in’ to my mother, out of his love for her, ( and his concrete explanation of, ” Your mother is sick, I can’t leave her.”) My Dad has stood up to her.
She has told him he is selfish, abusive and has never loved her, for the choice he has now made. She has stated she will commit suicide, when he dies. *By my young adult years, I knew just how very conniving, and manipulative my mother was/ and still is. And, YES… how VERY mentally sick she’s been her entire life.*
My “wish” has now become, that MY dad lives his last days, weeks, or months, the way he chooses. He has limited the amount of visits my mother is allowed, to see him. A difficult, yet necessary decision.
AS I read your post’s @overwhelmed, and @jimhd ‘s, regarding suicide, my heart heard your feelings, thoughts, and worries. Very loudly. My OWN memories, emotions, and deepest fears surfaced. BUT I didn’t panic. I felt NOT so alone. I know, being told, “You are NOT alone” and “Feeling totally and hopelessly alone, during those times… are a battle fought, in a troubled, fragile mind. I know. I get “it”. I “hear” you. I have “felt” it.
And @johnjames, you have a truly incredible and compassionate knowledge base, filled with empathy and genuine concern. NOT only because you have studied such areas of life, but because you have lived through, witnessed, and experienced so much, as a man. A human being, beyond all else that you have become, throughout your life’s journey, thus far. Your very first post, in which you shared some very deep experiences from your military career, and as a Chaplain, drew me in, more than you may realize. Maybe, I was directed to your posts and words by something larger than myself. (I have copied and saved, many of your replies to others, and to myself, so that I can look at them, read them, and draw strength from them.) They have given me a “new” perspective, on many subjects, and for that, I’m grateful.
I seem to post in Connect when certain posts just draw me in because I truly “feel” them. Almost like, I am meant to read them. Not just in this thread but in several others, as well. And as I read them, I “feel” them because the “emotions” that they display are similar to my experiences, or I feel a need to reach out, and offer some light, in a dark moment. Because I HAVE been there, and I am sure, I will be again. Yet, I live to be as positive as I can be, see the big picture, in the smallest things, or see the simple things in the big picture, and realize that I DO have a purpose here, in this world. Even if I don’t always see it. Sometimes I feel that we don’t always see our own purpose at times because it is meant for others to see.
Dealing with suicide, suicidal ideation, cutting, etc… It is not easy. Especially, when the demons you wish to escape, come from within your darkest experiences, or thoughts. We are NOT our demons. We DO have a purpose here in life, and we ARE survivors. We must be extra gentle, yet sometimes stern, with ourselves. Nurture ourselves, yet urge ourselves to get back up.
We are the ONLY person that will be with US, every day, all of our life.
What I have shared isn’t even a quarter of my experiences. But I AM HERE. I’ve ridden the terrifying roller coaster, and I am STILL here. And no, journaling doesn’t always get rid of those feelings. Sometimes, I just want to rip the pages out… and I have.
The fall down a ladder, is easier than the climb up a ladder. YET, we have re-climbed our ladder, one rung at a time. Many times, for WE are here. We don’t have to get back to the top of OUR ladder, in one day; we just need to hang on to ONE rung, of OUR ladder, at a time. Even when, the “hanging on” part is the MOST difficult thing in the world. Sit on the rung of the ladder, even if it’s at the bottom sometimes. When you’re able, start the climb, to the next rung, don’t look all the way to the top of your ladder… just concentrate on that very next rung… getting back up is a process, NOT a race.
I see “your” purpose, in your posts…. With genuine appreciation, ~ KIM

Jump to this post

I like the picture you present of being on a ladder. It’s true that we can only live one rung at a time.

Liked by Kim

REPLY
@kimsworld

I’ve been watching and reading this thread, since it started. Until now, I have only thought about replying or adding to it. I suppose in part because I’ve never “attempted suicide”. Suicidal Ideation however has been a very large part of my thoughts, throughout the years. (Presently, as I write this, I have not had such thoughts in quite some time.) I would consider myself, as having “Passive Suicidal Ideation”- a desire to die, without a specific plan to carry it out. Suicide, at some point in my life, became an “option”, if I could not withstand the battles of my life… I work hard to remain a survivor.
At the age of 27, I had a beautiful, curly red headed baby girl. Joy, renewal, and a vow… to raise her without abuse, harm, or as an outlet for my anger. She is 20 years old now, and I’m SO very proud, to be her Mom. (My vow to my daughter will make more sense, if you choose to read on.)
I have shared, in another post, that I journal. I have since I was very young. Looking back through some of those journals, I see a dark side in my words, helplessness, in my writing… and I recall writing those words and feelings, from those times. Pleading, and begging to have it ALL go away. I DO see a therapist presently. I’ve been to many over the years, as I seek “help” when I KNOW my thought patterns are again, shifting.
My paternal grandmother died when I was 13yrs old. She was literally my “lifeline”, as only she gave me the support, and compassion that I unknowingly sought, the years before she passed. Her passing was like the end of the world, for me. I vividly recall the middle of the night phone call, my father received… letting him know, she had died. Seeing my father cry. To this day, I am deathly afraid, of middle of the night phone calls.
After her passing, I lost a lot of weight (diagnosed as anorexic) I started “cutting” and graduated to burning. (From the MAYO clinic; ~Cutting- Nonsuicidal self-injury, often simply called self-injury, is the act of deliberately harming the surface of your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, this type of self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger, and frustration. ~) (I have been in “cutting” sobriety, for many years. IT has NOT always been easy.) Depression, chronic anxiety/panic attacks… PTSD. These diagnoses did NOT just come about because of my Grandma’s passing. Her passing, and the sudden realization that my lifeline was gone, exacerbated my feelings of being empty, totally alone, unlovable and lost, and brought to the surface, the deep emotional pain, I had endured since before I was 5yrs old.
I was SO young, my relationship with my mother was very “strained’, I realized we were NOT close before I was 5. She was not afraid to shout the words, “I wish you had never been born!” My father, so much like my grandma, (his Mom) was my rock. Never was I unsure if he loved me, or was proud that I was his daughter. (I was an only child for 5 yrs before my middle sibling was born.) I felt I lived in a war zone, when my parents were together. My mother is/was very insecure, jealous, and hateful. Especially toward the relationship between my dad, and myself. She was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive. (Accusations of extra-marital affairs, against my Dad, were a nightly “dinner topic”) EVERY day, I lived this. I witnessed Domestic Violence, ALL night arguing, and dysfunction, in all of its horrifying grandeur. My mother was my enemy, and I was one of her targets. * I will leave gaps of my story, as some parts; induce great panic attacks/anxiety, for me, to this day. As an example, when my Mother became enraged she would grab my hair, wrap it around her fist, clench it tightly, and RIP it out of my head. My scalp would bleed. She would laugh, and “promise” I would “get” it again. *
I was introduced to the concept of “suicide’, at the age of 4. Of course I didn’t understand it, or what it meant but my mother, used the words, “I will kill myself, and then you’ll be sorry”, to my Dad, several times during their daily/nightly arguments. My mother would make phone calls to my Dad’s work, EVERY day, tell ME what to say when the receptionist answered, and when my Dad would pick up the call, I was coached to tell him; “Daddy, you need to come home. Mommy is going to kill herself”. At first, he would. He would leave work, and come home. They would fight. I would hide.
As time went on, and my mother continued this behavior, my Dad would NO longer take the calls I was forced to make. I TOOK the brunt of those “NO longer taken phone calls”, and I feared my mother and being alone with her. This was in the early 70’s, and I was only 4/5. (I was threatened, by my mother, when I became school aged, threatened with agonizing physical repercussions, IF I ever said a word about MY home life. I never did.) My parents had 2 more daughters. My mother targeted neither of them, as I became their protector.
At 47, I am still haunted by everything I endured. (MY PTSD diagnosis) Memories get easier, but do not go away.
My mother attempted suicide, one time, which I know of. My Dad, spoke to professional’s re: my mother’s chronically abusive behaviors, and she was put on medication, evaluated, and mandated to work with a therapist. If she did not, she would’ve been placed in an “institution”. She “played” along, and NEVER was seen, as who she truly was/is. My mother continued her “targeting” of me, until I graduated HS, and moved out, 2 months later. Her behaviors toward my Dad NEVER ceased. She will be 69 in a few short weeks. 50 yrs of marriage. (My birthday candle wish, every year was; “I wish that Mom and Dad will get divorced.” It never came true.)
My Dad…, who I have spoken of proudly, IS chronically sick. He is in the hospital, with Stage 4 kidney failure, survived 3 open heart surgeries, served in Vietnam, ALWAYS saying, ” I am a soldier”… and HE endured my mother’s abuse his entire adult life. He has also been one of my strongest lifelines, and he IS going to die. He recently made his “end of life” choices. DNR is in place.
He CAN return home, to live what time he has left. He CHOSE NOT to. His reason; “I can NO longer live with your mother, or her abusive ways. I do love her BUT I am tired, and I am done”. His 3 daughters, my 2 younger sisters, and I support and accept his difficult decision. Yet, OUR hearts are broken.
Yet, I know that even the strongest soldier, one-day finds, that it’s his time to rest.
My Dad has been in Palliative Care, for just under 1 month now. I am proud of my Dad. It is the first choice he has made for himself, OVER my mother’s blatant disregard FOR his needs/wants. After 50 yrs, of “unknowingly enabling and ‘giving in’ to my mother, out of his love for her, ( and his concrete explanation of, ” Your mother is sick, I can’t leave her.”) My Dad has stood up to her.
She has told him he is selfish, abusive and has never loved her, for the choice he has now made. She has stated she will commit suicide, when he dies. *By my young adult years, I knew just how very conniving, and manipulative my mother was/ and still is. And, YES… how VERY mentally sick she’s been her entire life.*
My “wish” has now become, that MY dad lives his last days, weeks, or months, the way he chooses. He has limited the amount of visits my mother is allowed, to see him. A difficult, yet necessary decision.
AS I read your post’s @overwhelmed, and @jimhd ‘s, regarding suicide, my heart heard your feelings, thoughts, and worries. Very loudly. My OWN memories, emotions, and deepest fears surfaced. BUT I didn’t panic. I felt NOT so alone. I know, being told, “You are NOT alone” and “Feeling totally and hopelessly alone, during those times… are a battle fought, in a troubled, fragile mind. I know. I get “it”. I “hear” you. I have “felt” it.
And @johnjames, you have a truly incredible and compassionate knowledge base, filled with empathy and genuine concern. NOT only because you have studied such areas of life, but because you have lived through, witnessed, and experienced so much, as a man. A human being, beyond all else that you have become, throughout your life’s journey, thus far. Your very first post, in which you shared some very deep experiences from your military career, and as a Chaplain, drew me in, more than you may realize. Maybe, I was directed to your posts and words by something larger than myself. (I have copied and saved, many of your replies to others, and to myself, so that I can look at them, read them, and draw strength from them.) They have given me a “new” perspective, on many subjects, and for that, I’m grateful.
I seem to post in Connect when certain posts just draw me in because I truly “feel” them. Almost like, I am meant to read them. Not just in this thread but in several others, as well. And as I read them, I “feel” them because the “emotions” that they display are similar to my experiences, or I feel a need to reach out, and offer some light, in a dark moment. Because I HAVE been there, and I am sure, I will be again. Yet, I live to be as positive as I can be, see the big picture, in the smallest things, or see the simple things in the big picture, and realize that I DO have a purpose here, in this world. Even if I don’t always see it. Sometimes I feel that we don’t always see our own purpose at times because it is meant for others to see.
Dealing with suicide, suicidal ideation, cutting, etc… It is not easy. Especially, when the demons you wish to escape, come from within your darkest experiences, or thoughts. We are NOT our demons. We DO have a purpose here in life, and we ARE survivors. We must be extra gentle, yet sometimes stern, with ourselves. Nurture ourselves, yet urge ourselves to get back up.
We are the ONLY person that will be with US, every day, all of our life.
What I have shared isn’t even a quarter of my experiences. But I AM HERE. I’ve ridden the terrifying roller coaster, and I am STILL here. And no, journaling doesn’t always get rid of those feelings. Sometimes, I just want to rip the pages out… and I have.
The fall down a ladder, is easier than the climb up a ladder. YET, we have re-climbed our ladder, one rung at a time. Many times, for WE are here. We don’t have to get back to the top of OUR ladder, in one day; we just need to hang on to ONE rung, of OUR ladder, at a time. Even when, the “hanging on” part is the MOST difficult thing in the world. Sit on the rung of the ladder, even if it’s at the bottom sometimes. When you’re able, start the climb, to the next rung, don’t look all the way to the top of your ladder… just concentrate on that very next rung… getting back up is a process, NOT a race.
I see “your” purpose, in your posts…. With genuine appreciation, ~ KIM

Jump to this post

Thank you, so much @jimhd… thank you. This past week has been exceptionally hard, and this morning when I got up, the heaviness that seems to have become my daily norm, awoke with me. I always start the day with my cup of coffee, and I read my emails. Many are from the Connect forums. I read yours, @jimhd and I admit… tears came to my eyes. Not bad tears… cleansing tears. I have cried so many times, every day since this difficult process with my Dad started… yet, those tears were not as cleansing as the ones that came today. Since this difficult situation, with my Dad going from Palliative care, to Hospice care… I have not heard such kind words, from anyone. YOU made me feel so much more, less alone… and I genuinely thank you.
I’ve had the chance to sit with my Dad when he was very much lucid… which was just a few, short weeks ago. We talked. We laughed. We cried. AND as always, my Dad supported me! His words are gifts that I will carry for the rest of my time here, on earth, and although when I hear them in my head now… they make me cry… I believe, one day they will be a source of comfort.
The rest of my family, my Mother and my 2 sisters, are dancing the dysfunctional jig. Somehow, I am either left out of what is going on, or sucked in like a whirlwind. I hold my head up… and I get through each trial.. However, it is definitely NOT easy. I have to gain info regarding my Dad’s status by going to the hospital, or calling the nurses. He is an hour away from me, and with my chronic pain, the drive is somewhat tough. I go as often as I can. I will not give into the rest of my family’s dysfunction, so I am often the brunt of their, not so nice words, or the blame of things gone wrong. I KNOW I am not the source. I do not live my life that way, and never will again. Indirectly though, their dysfunctional circle targets me, and I often feel I’m wearing armor and carrying a shield.
My Dad is under minor to moderate sedation now, and when he is awake, he is still pretty lucid, he recognizes each of us, says our names, tells us he loves us, and drifts back off. I have to laugh, as sick as this man is, he STILL yells at me, if he knows I am at the hospital, after dark. The caretaker. My lifeline. The soldier.
I go during the day, to lessen his worry. I admit I’ve been going less often to visit… not because of my chronic pain and driving but because he said to me one day; ( childhood nickname–>) ” Krimmy, you seeing me this way, deteriorating, is NOT on my list of wishes, for the end of my life. These are NOT the memories I want, for you, to have of me.”
@jimhd your last paragraph is beautiful, warm, and comforting. My Dad is not afraid of this journey ending, and a new one beginning. He has bestowed those words upon me. And they are genuine. I accept his choices, I respect HIS final “wishes”, and I believe he is finding peace.
Holding tightly to my Dad’s words, feelings, and wishes are often the greatest target, of my dysfunctional Mother…, as she believes my Dad has shared everything with her, and only her, during this time. I know he has not. He shared that he has not, with me. That was MY time with my Dad, words spoken to me. Words I will not give my Mother, as leverage or power, over me, or my Dad… now… or ever. Though his passing will leave a huge hole in my heart, I trust that I will one-day use the gifts he is leaving me now, to move forward, as the ache within heals.
Your prayers are so greatly appreciated. Yes, my Dad is a blessed man, and I feel, I am blessed, by the wonderful gift I was given, when he was chosen to be my Dad.
Though my faith has often been tested, and I have been left to feel unsure, lost, and broken, from my dysfunctional childhood through my adulthood. I KNOW I have NOT walked alone.
Your comforting words, @jimhd are what I need. They have inspired me, and have made me feel true comfort, where I have not felt it before. I especially needed that today. I genuinely, and with great appreciation, thank you, for your post to me. ~Kim

REPLY
@kimsworld

I’ve been watching and reading this thread, since it started. Until now, I have only thought about replying or adding to it. I suppose in part because I’ve never “attempted suicide”. Suicidal Ideation however has been a very large part of my thoughts, throughout the years. (Presently, as I write this, I have not had such thoughts in quite some time.) I would consider myself, as having “Passive Suicidal Ideation”- a desire to die, without a specific plan to carry it out. Suicide, at some point in my life, became an “option”, if I could not withstand the battles of my life… I work hard to remain a survivor.
At the age of 27, I had a beautiful, curly red headed baby girl. Joy, renewal, and a vow… to raise her without abuse, harm, or as an outlet for my anger. She is 20 years old now, and I’m SO very proud, to be her Mom. (My vow to my daughter will make more sense, if you choose to read on.)
I have shared, in another post, that I journal. I have since I was very young. Looking back through some of those journals, I see a dark side in my words, helplessness, in my writing… and I recall writing those words and feelings, from those times. Pleading, and begging to have it ALL go away. I DO see a therapist presently. I’ve been to many over the years, as I seek “help” when I KNOW my thought patterns are again, shifting.
My paternal grandmother died when I was 13yrs old. She was literally my “lifeline”, as only she gave me the support, and compassion that I unknowingly sought, the years before she passed. Her passing was like the end of the world, for me. I vividly recall the middle of the night phone call, my father received… letting him know, she had died. Seeing my father cry. To this day, I am deathly afraid, of middle of the night phone calls.
After her passing, I lost a lot of weight (diagnosed as anorexic) I started “cutting” and graduated to burning. (From the MAYO clinic; ~Cutting- Nonsuicidal self-injury, often simply called self-injury, is the act of deliberately harming the surface of your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, this type of self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger, and frustration. ~) (I have been in “cutting” sobriety, for many years. IT has NOT always been easy.) Depression, chronic anxiety/panic attacks… PTSD. These diagnoses did NOT just come about because of my Grandma’s passing. Her passing, and the sudden realization that my lifeline was gone, exacerbated my feelings of being empty, totally alone, unlovable and lost, and brought to the surface, the deep emotional pain, I had endured since before I was 5yrs old.
I was SO young, my relationship with my mother was very “strained’, I realized we were NOT close before I was 5. She was not afraid to shout the words, “I wish you had never been born!” My father, so much like my grandma, (his Mom) was my rock. Never was I unsure if he loved me, or was proud that I was his daughter. (I was an only child for 5 yrs before my middle sibling was born.) I felt I lived in a war zone, when my parents were together. My mother is/was very insecure, jealous, and hateful. Especially toward the relationship between my dad, and myself. She was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive. (Accusations of extra-marital affairs, against my Dad, were a nightly “dinner topic”) EVERY day, I lived this. I witnessed Domestic Violence, ALL night arguing, and dysfunction, in all of its horrifying grandeur. My mother was my enemy, and I was one of her targets. * I will leave gaps of my story, as some parts; induce great panic attacks/anxiety, for me, to this day. As an example, when my Mother became enraged she would grab my hair, wrap it around her fist, clench it tightly, and RIP it out of my head. My scalp would bleed. She would laugh, and “promise” I would “get” it again. *
I was introduced to the concept of “suicide’, at the age of 4. Of course I didn’t understand it, or what it meant but my mother, used the words, “I will kill myself, and then you’ll be sorry”, to my Dad, several times during their daily/nightly arguments. My mother would make phone calls to my Dad’s work, EVERY day, tell ME what to say when the receptionist answered, and when my Dad would pick up the call, I was coached to tell him; “Daddy, you need to come home. Mommy is going to kill herself”. At first, he would. He would leave work, and come home. They would fight. I would hide.
As time went on, and my mother continued this behavior, my Dad would NO longer take the calls I was forced to make. I TOOK the brunt of those “NO longer taken phone calls”, and I feared my mother and being alone with her. This was in the early 70’s, and I was only 4/5. (I was threatened, by my mother, when I became school aged, threatened with agonizing physical repercussions, IF I ever said a word about MY home life. I never did.) My parents had 2 more daughters. My mother targeted neither of them, as I became their protector.
At 47, I am still haunted by everything I endured. (MY PTSD diagnosis) Memories get easier, but do not go away.
My mother attempted suicide, one time, which I know of. My Dad, spoke to professional’s re: my mother’s chronically abusive behaviors, and she was put on medication, evaluated, and mandated to work with a therapist. If she did not, she would’ve been placed in an “institution”. She “played” along, and NEVER was seen, as who she truly was/is. My mother continued her “targeting” of me, until I graduated HS, and moved out, 2 months later. Her behaviors toward my Dad NEVER ceased. She will be 69 in a few short weeks. 50 yrs of marriage. (My birthday candle wish, every year was; “I wish that Mom and Dad will get divorced.” It never came true.)
My Dad…, who I have spoken of proudly, IS chronically sick. He is in the hospital, with Stage 4 kidney failure, survived 3 open heart surgeries, served in Vietnam, ALWAYS saying, ” I am a soldier”… and HE endured my mother’s abuse his entire adult life. He has also been one of my strongest lifelines, and he IS going to die. He recently made his “end of life” choices. DNR is in place.
He CAN return home, to live what time he has left. He CHOSE NOT to. His reason; “I can NO longer live with your mother, or her abusive ways. I do love her BUT I am tired, and I am done”. His 3 daughters, my 2 younger sisters, and I support and accept his difficult decision. Yet, OUR hearts are broken.
Yet, I know that even the strongest soldier, one-day finds, that it’s his time to rest.
My Dad has been in Palliative Care, for just under 1 month now. I am proud of my Dad. It is the first choice he has made for himself, OVER my mother’s blatant disregard FOR his needs/wants. After 50 yrs, of “unknowingly enabling and ‘giving in’ to my mother, out of his love for her, ( and his concrete explanation of, ” Your mother is sick, I can’t leave her.”) My Dad has stood up to her.
She has told him he is selfish, abusive and has never loved her, for the choice he has now made. She has stated she will commit suicide, when he dies. *By my young adult years, I knew just how very conniving, and manipulative my mother was/ and still is. And, YES… how VERY mentally sick she’s been her entire life.*
My “wish” has now become, that MY dad lives his last days, weeks, or months, the way he chooses. He has limited the amount of visits my mother is allowed, to see him. A difficult, yet necessary decision.
AS I read your post’s @overwhelmed, and @jimhd ‘s, regarding suicide, my heart heard your feelings, thoughts, and worries. Very loudly. My OWN memories, emotions, and deepest fears surfaced. BUT I didn’t panic. I felt NOT so alone. I know, being told, “You are NOT alone” and “Feeling totally and hopelessly alone, during those times… are a battle fought, in a troubled, fragile mind. I know. I get “it”. I “hear” you. I have “felt” it.
And @johnjames, you have a truly incredible and compassionate knowledge base, filled with empathy and genuine concern. NOT only because you have studied such areas of life, but because you have lived through, witnessed, and experienced so much, as a man. A human being, beyond all else that you have become, throughout your life’s journey, thus far. Your very first post, in which you shared some very deep experiences from your military career, and as a Chaplain, drew me in, more than you may realize. Maybe, I was directed to your posts and words by something larger than myself. (I have copied and saved, many of your replies to others, and to myself, so that I can look at them, read them, and draw strength from them.) They have given me a “new” perspective, on many subjects, and for that, I’m grateful.
I seem to post in Connect when certain posts just draw me in because I truly “feel” them. Almost like, I am meant to read them. Not just in this thread but in several others, as well. And as I read them, I “feel” them because the “emotions” that they display are similar to my experiences, or I feel a need to reach out, and offer some light, in a dark moment. Because I HAVE been there, and I am sure, I will be again. Yet, I live to be as positive as I can be, see the big picture, in the smallest things, or see the simple things in the big picture, and realize that I DO have a purpose here, in this world. Even if I don’t always see it. Sometimes I feel that we don’t always see our own purpose at times because it is meant for others to see.
Dealing with suicide, suicidal ideation, cutting, etc… It is not easy. Especially, when the demons you wish to escape, come from within your darkest experiences, or thoughts. We are NOT our demons. We DO have a purpose here in life, and we ARE survivors. We must be extra gentle, yet sometimes stern, with ourselves. Nurture ourselves, yet urge ourselves to get back up.
We are the ONLY person that will be with US, every day, all of our life.
What I have shared isn’t even a quarter of my experiences. But I AM HERE. I’ve ridden the terrifying roller coaster, and I am STILL here. And no, journaling doesn’t always get rid of those feelings. Sometimes, I just want to rip the pages out… and I have.
The fall down a ladder, is easier than the climb up a ladder. YET, we have re-climbed our ladder, one rung at a time. Many times, for WE are here. We don’t have to get back to the top of OUR ladder, in one day; we just need to hang on to ONE rung, of OUR ladder, at a time. Even when, the “hanging on” part is the MOST difficult thing in the world. Sit on the rung of the ladder, even if it’s at the bottom sometimes. When you’re able, start the climb, to the next rung, don’t look all the way to the top of your ladder… just concentrate on that very next rung… getting back up is a process, NOT a race.
I see “your” purpose, in your posts…. With genuine appreciation, ~ KIM

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Kim, I’m very glad that my words touched you. I volunteer for Hospice, visiting patients once a week. I find that in giving to others, I receive encouragement, myself. For some patients, I may be the only non-medical person they ever see. Too many of them rarely, if ever, see a family member. Having family visits means a great deal to them.

In general, I’ve observed that those who have a strong faith in God have a much easier time of it, because they are confident that the One who created and loved them will be there to greet them, and welcome them to their forever home of peace and joy. And the family members and friends of the patient who share that hope have an easier time of it, as well.

Most of my patients ask me to pray for them before I leave them each week. Because I represent Hospice, I obviously don’t impose my own personal beliefs on them, but most want to talk about what will happen to them when they die. For one thing, I can assure them that Hospice will see to it that the actual process of dying won’t be a painful or unpleasant one. We will be by their side, and will also help their family through what is often a difficult time. Hospice was a real blessing to my family the last few months of our father’s life, which is one reason I chose to be a part of the organization.

Your words were an encouragement to me. Thank you for sharing your feelings. Please know that you can share your fears and frustrations anytime.

Liked by Kim

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@colleenyoung

Thank you Jim for starting this frank and honest discussion about suicidal thoughts. I’m inviting @overwhelmed @johnjames @bbams and @safetyshield to join you here.
It is reassuring to hear that you don’t want to end your life and that you have a solid reason (your wife) for not doing it. When the physical and emotional pain becomes unbearable, how do you keep yourself from the brink?

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John,

Thanks for writing. I don’t know if I’ve said anything about being retired. I left my life’s work when I was 55, ten years ago, at the strong recommendation of my doctors, who could see I wouldn’t be living much longer. I applied for Social Security Disability, which was approved the first time I asked, and a few months later, I resigned and moved to the home we had bought 2 years before. It took us several months to pack up and move our household 175 miles, 31 round trips with our pickup and horse trailer, other trailers, and a couple of trips with the biggest truck from U-Haul. It was a nightmare, made worse by my deep depression. I would work for awhile, then crawl into bed, leaving my wife and daughter to do much of the packing.

None of the people in the church offered to help. I was pretty devastated by the distrust and angst that came from people I had given ten years of my life to, whom I thought knew me well enough to know that the things being said about me were lies. I learned a few lessons about the deception that Satan uses to try to interfere with the Lord’s work and discredit His servants.

After years of counseling and prayer and support, I’m in a much better place now. I can’t say that I’m no longer depressed, or that I never think about suicide, but I am a lot safer. Aging doesn’t always treat us kindly. I have a few health issues, with chronic pain.

Retirement is hard for a lot of people, but it’s just what I needed to survive. Spending a lot of time maintaining our house and property helps keep my mind focused on something other than my problems.

My time is up. I have to wash the dishes and take a shower. Have a good Sunday.

Liked by safetyshield, Parus

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Thank you Jim for starting this frank and honest discussion about suicidal thoughts. I’m inviting @overwhelmed @johnjames @bbams and @safetyshield to join you here.
It is reassuring to hear that you don’t want to end your life and that you have a solid reason (your wife) for not doing it. When the physical and emotional pain becomes unbearable, how do you keep yourself from the brink?

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jmhd- Sorry about the help you needed and I believe deserved- it’s how people really re-act to health issues-or situations where you need a change because of health and depression problems- I know that depression can and does destroy my day, Even as a Christian for over 50 years- I know God is with me, but I also know that depression is real, as King David new well, but he didn’t turn away from God- and that’s the key- not to ever turn away, oh we can be upset, confused even at times, but He’s not confused- most of my friends in and out of the church left me to fend by myself – when I was diagnosed with Agent Orange Parkinson’s- a few more fell by the way side, and then I had a heart attack and hernia surgery and now possible cancer- I think I can count on 3 friends. Culture-I’m sorry to say has changed and not for the better. When Robin Williams died- and the family said it from from depression of the Parkinson’s-for the most part- I knew it was going to be a fight to live day by day, a friend I do have is going through pretty much the same thing and his spouse does not support him, when he is depressed- his spouse becomes angry and leaves the room- she is very un-happy and doesn’t want to live the life she is in now- committed to the point of not leaving- but hating to be there, he asked me if he should leave and go somewhere- where he could have some peace within his chronic pain- He loves his spouse very much- but the rejection and being alone most of the time and whatever ever he does- doesn’t make the situation better. I don’y know what you tell him, does anyone reading this have any ideas- he said the guild would kill him, yet living with 90% rejection I believe will destroy him physically some day. How do you think God would look at the situation? JJAMES

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@colleenyoung

Thank you Jim for starting this frank and honest discussion about suicidal thoughts. I’m inviting @overwhelmed @johnjames @bbams and @safetyshield to join you here.
It is reassuring to hear that you don’t want to end your life and that you have a solid reason (your wife) for not doing it. When the physical and emotional pain becomes unbearable, how do you keep yourself from the brink?

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Colleen- do you know if Parkinson’s PT- have a very hard time getting up in the mornings and moving around? It’s takes me 2 hours at least- plus it’s so depressing to feel that way. JJAMES

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Thank you Jim for starting this frank and honest discussion about suicidal thoughts. I’m inviting @overwhelmed @johnjames @bbams and @safetyshield to join you here.
It is reassuring to hear that you don’t want to end your life and that you have a solid reason (your wife) for not doing it. When the physical and emotional pain becomes unbearable, how do you keep yourself from the brink?

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I think that his wife’s behavior is displeasing to God, and if he has a place he can go to and be safe, he should do it for his own wellbeing. I think that there’s nothing wrong with being apart for a time. His wife needs 2 things – to speak with a counselor about how to deal with his illness, and to find a support group for spouses of people with mental health issues.

When I was in the suicide recovery facility, reading David’s words really spoke to me, though I found it extremely difficult to read at that point in my life. Psalms 6 and 91 were helpful, in two very different ways.

I’ve been a Christian for around 63 years, and being hit out of the blue with depression was a traumatic time. I had preached (God, forgive me) that Christians need not, and probably even said should never be depressed. Boy, was I wrong! I believe that, very slowly, the stigma of mental illness is decreasing, though the church may be even slower at understanding and helping that population. Old wrong attitudes and misinformation persist, and are hard to change. Gotta stop and get to sleep.

Liked by safetyshield

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Thank you Jim for starting this frank and honest discussion about suicidal thoughts. I’m inviting @overwhelmed @johnjames @bbams and @safetyshield to join you here.
It is reassuring to hear that you don’t want to end your life and that you have a solid reason (your wife) for not doing it. When the physical and emotional pain becomes unbearable, how do you keep yourself from the brink?

Jump to this post

@johnjames, I recommend you ask your question about Parkinson’s and having a hard time to get started in the morning to the members of the Parkinson’s group here: http://mayocl.in/2abXKUs

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