My father committed suicide at our apartment when I was 5. Everything is kind of a blur after that, but I remember (and still have) these awfully vivid dreams about that day. But the one time I tried to talk to my mother about it, she said it was just from stress and that my father had passed on from a heart condition. The dreams were just from me being a kid with an imagination. This answered satisfied me for a little bit, but I started questioning it because no one would EVER talk about him. If it was just a heart problem, there shouldn't have been such a hush-hush attitude about it. So I did some research and found his obituary in the newspaper. I was right, it was suicide. Turns out those dreams were actually of that day. I've had a pretty hard dealing with it. The counselors didn't really help because they just made me feel like another patient. I know it's not my fault, but I just can't help but think "why wasn't I enough to keep him wanting to be alive?" Thanks for listening. any comments are more then welcome
I am sending you hugs. I hope it's okay.
I am so sorry your dad is gone, and that he took his life. I suspect that maybe your mom is in denial about how your dad died - or maybe she's trying to protect you. In any case, I wanted to address the issue you brought up - because I have a feeling that many people whose parents took their lives ask the same question.
You asked why you weren't enough to keep your dad alive. That's a natural thing to wonder.
I'll explain my understanding of suicide, and maybe it will help a little.
From what I understand, Aubrey, when most people take their lives, their mind is in an altered state, so that they are not thinking clearly, they are not thinking rationally the way 'normal' people do. They just do not understand that.
(Because rationally, I believe your dad would never in a million years have left you or done anything to hurt you.)
But the mind may get something that has been compared to tunnel vision. Tunnel vision means the person can only see a very narrow place, straight ahead, and she or he cannot see (or understand) anything outside of him at the time.
Example: If you were barefoot and stepped on hot coals, your would respond to the pain by jumping off.
If, in jumping off, your jump slammed you against someone else and knocked that person down - someone you did not see at the moment you felt the pain, would you be deliberately hurting the person you knocked down?
Some people also say that people who take their lives may be in a suicidal trance, where their minds are functioning almost like robots. At the time they end their lives, they have no thoughts or feelings except ending the pain they are in at that time.
And, sadly, some people's thoughts are altered so that they truly believe other people would be better off without them. I don't know what your dad thought, but that's a possibility, too.
Most people who take their lives loved very deeply..
Do you have any good memories of your dad?
I think Karyl expressed in her post to you, pretty much the way I'd explain what I've learned through the years about suicide and how it seems like those who attempt or follow through seem to be thinking at the time.
I've read many stories and spoke with many people, through the years who either attempted or were suicidal and there were certain things they said they felt, that their mind felt, one being that they loved their loved ones, especially their children very much and often they'd feel like their loved ones would be better off without them.
It's a really hard thing to try to put ones own thinking into someone elses way of thinking for a moment in order to understand. Especially, when someone elses way of thinking is something our own minds can't begin to comprehend.
I have no doubt that you were good enough but something was going on in your dad's mind, some type of imbalance that got worse with time. I know I'm making a generalized statement but it's what I believe in my heart and from everything I've learned over the years. It would seem that no perfectly balanced mind would come to such a point.
i feel that your Mom is trying to protect you. You were only 5 when it happened and since then she's been in protective mode. When my children's father suicided, ironically, a friend of mine was at my house when I got the call and my friend's sister was a psycologist. He called her immediately, she was about to board a plane to go to a convention. I told her how old my kids were and that there was no way I couldn't tell them that he suicided that they would hear someone say it at the funeral and when we were around the family. She agreed because of their age and told me I could tell them the method used is they asked but no details. I still haven't nor never will tell them the details, though their family's side did say alittle too much! My friend's sister, the psycologist, did say during that conversation, "if they were younger, like 5, I would tell you not to tell them he suicided!" My kids had tow cousins that were 18 mos and 5 at the time, naturally nothing was said to the 18 mo old he just kept saying his Uncle was sleeping and with the 5 year old the family told her he had been really sick and went to Heaven. So I do understand not telling you at 5 and then it was probably just like as time went on, "OK, how am I suppose to tell her now, how am I suppose to bring this up to her, is it the right age and when's the right time to ever tell her this?"
Thank You for sharing your story with us! Please feel free to come here as often as you feel you need to and are able to! If you would like to tell us more about your dad and your memories of him, we'd like to hear that, too!
I know his mother abandoned him at 12, and he had been in foster care ever since then. He stayed with one family, I call them my family now, for about 9 years. I guess that could have something to do with whatever he felt was wrong with his life.
I do have some memories actually:] I remember for my birthday, everyone had gotten me dolls and all kinds of girly stuff. Back then I was such a tomboy. He saw how upset I was and took me outside and we built the biggest snowman possible. He even let me use his favorite hat for it.
Proud Army Mom
I thought I would lay down and die after losing my Son to suicide.
Instead I chose to fight the monster that killed him.
Hold On, Pain Ends
Thank you for sharing that adorable memory of your Dad with us! We rarely ever get snow here, where I live, and when we do it usually doesn't stick, b/c of our crazy humidity here but, I'm pretty sure everytime I see a snowman on TV, in a picture, or a figurine, you and your Dad and that wonderful memory y'all made together, will cross my mind!
Just a beautiful name! Hello, I hustled wanted to say that all of your feelings are so on point and just. These are the same wants if this just happened for you. We all go through the investigative phase of suicide loss in the beginning. I am sorry you are in this pain and I am sending you warm thoughts of light and love! This is the perfect place for a rant! I recommend reading as much information as you can find!
I am certain that you will find some peace here and through our experiences in sharing this journey.