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Dealing with an affair 25 years later part 4 - suicide/guilt

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yearsofpain25 posted 1/29/2014 19:37 PM

Shaking again as I write. I know this one is going to be difficult for me to get out and with some of the pm's I received I know this is going to be equally difficult to read. Apologies in advance. PLEASE don't feel you have to read this one.

People have been asking me what my hangup with going to IC is. I have a million and one excuses. This thread is the real reason. This is my biggest demon and I don't want to face it. Now that I have cracked the surface with my other threads, this is starting to come out of me in dreams, and now my daily thoughts. Yesterday I had to hide in our bedroom closet so that my W wouldn't see me cry when I was thinking of my brother while getting ready for work. The real reason I don't want to go to IC is that I'm afraid this is going to turn me into an emotional mess and I don't want that. I've kept it in check for the most part for 25 years. I'm supposed to be everyone's rock. I do not want to be an emotional mess. That's just not me. I don't want to be turned into a blubbering a**hole. And yet, here I am. An emotional mess. My W says I have PTSD from this part of my story. My PCP is starting to think so too after spiking high blood pressure two weeks ago at my annual physical right after I started all of this. My bp is all over the place depending on the day as my PCP is starting to monitor me. Some days I'm perfect. Other days I'm not. I gave my PCP the cliff notes version of my story and his first words were maybe I do have some PTSD and to get into IC. Ok. Enough already. Every. Single. Person. says IC. After this I'll be on my way.

A lot of what I have to say in this thread are things that I've never told anyone. I have mentioned a few bits and pieces of this part of the story to a few select individuals over the years, but never have I spelled out all the details to everyone. Not even myself. I may not let W see this thread until she's in a good place or not having to deal with three kids tugging at her every second. Maybe this weekend.

Not sure where to start or what to say to get it out. I guess I'll start with stating that I do not blame what I'm about to write on my mother, father, or the A, or the aftermath of the A. Sure, I suppose the toxic environment that we were all living in probably helped to "disguise" what was going on. But I don't think the A had any sort of direct impact on what I have to say next.

For those of you who read the first part of my story you know that my brother committed suicide. Here's what you don't know. Before the A, when I was 14 I almost committed suicide myself. I remember taking my father's shotgun and putting in my mouth. I didn't load it. I wanted to see how it felt. I guess I was testing the waters to see if I could actually do it. I remember not feeling all that much about it except that it felt cold and hard in my mouth and that a shiver had run down my spine. I also remember I felt that I could do it. Over the next few weeks I made the decision that I was going to do it. It was like throwing a switch inside me, but in a good way. I felt relieved. Even more than that I felt peaceful. I had "let go". I felt very calm. It was a precise and deliberate decision that made everything else go away. Now I just had to plan it out. I had to say my goodbyes (without actually saying goodbye). Over the course of the next two weeks I slowly got the chance to spend a little bit of time with each person I wanted to say good bye to. I'm not really sure how to explain what saying goodbye felt like. I have no words for that part of it. Other than I was at peace with everything. I got to spend some time with my grandparents and my friends. I said my silent goodbye's. I then planned on a Fri afternoon after school. That week, just a few days before, a girl in my class hung herself. I got to see the fallout. I saw her father through a window come to the school. I saw the fallout with my classmates. I saw the fallout with her family. I then decided that couldn't do that to other people. I called it off. I picked my baggage back up and carried on. I told no one of this except my W many, many years later and even then not with this detail. Now all of you know and I want to stick my head in the sand.

Oct 1994. My 21st birthday. LTGF#2 from part 2 of my story threw a surprise birthday party for me. She made sure my brother was there. In fact, my brother and I weren't very close because if you remember from the first part of my story, I had "checked out". I didn't want any part of my family. LTGF#2 having come from a broken home herself was close to her sister. Many times if my brother was around, LTGF#2 would initiate a conversation with him and have me join it. Looking back I could see what she was trying to do and I thank her for that. Of course she invited him to my surprise party. My parent's weren't there but all my friends were and so was he. It was a great party and I was officially surprised. I had no idea. I also had no idea what my brother was doing at that party. In retrospect I do now and it plays back in my head like an old black and white movie. I remember where he sat, who he spoke with, and who he spent extra time with. Me. He was silently saying his goodbyes. I should have known that's what he was doing. He was saying goodbye without saying goodbye. If anyone should have been able to spot that it should have been me. I had been there. Done that. I can see it so clearly now. He was peaceful. It wasn't what he was saying but how he was saying it. I can hardly live with myself for not seeing it.

The day after my 21st birthday I left to go to another city 2 states away to visit a friend for the week. My brother waited until I left and shot himself in the head with my father's shotgun. I was out on the town in a major city that night so no one found me until the next morning. No cell phones back then. Ironically I went to the movies that night and saw Pulp Fiction. If you've seen that movie you remember the back seat of the car scene. That was fresh in my head through this entire experience once I found out. My buddies mother found me and told me to call home immediately. My dad answered and I knew right away what had happened. I could hear my mother wailing in the background so I knew it was my brother. My father couldn't even speak. He didn't have to. Said I would be home right away and caught the next plane back home. The immediate weeks afterwards play like a movie. They aren't real. Remember those details that I got from my mother's diary that I wish I didn't have? I have those details about my brother's death as well. My uncle (father's brother) had come over to the house and they didn't know I was around eaves dropping while my father was venting. I heard the details of the condition of my brothers body after he killed himself in his bedroom. I don't know how to share the full story without the details. Gives you a good idea of what's in my head.

WARNING!!! Skip the next paragraph if you don't want these details!!! WARNING!!!

My brother somehow had passed over the regular shells and used a double magnum load in the 12 gauge. Apparently may father used to take out small trees with them when he was younger and hunted. There was literally nothing left of him from the shoulders up. The recoil of shotgun was so great that it had broken all of the fingers on his right hand. The police took so much evidence out of his bedroom, anything that had major biohazard contamination, that my dad had to stop them from taking the entire room. His brains were all over everything. My brother also was very sickly and on a lot of meds. There were five small piles of pill bottles around his body. He was making a statement. He showed that he could have killed himself by using any combination of those drugs but instead he chose the shotgun. In the weeks following, if I wanted to get anything to remember him by, I had to literally scrape his brains, blood, or pieces of bone off of it. Sometimes all three. There was yellow crime scene tape across his bedroom door for a few days that my dad had to take down. Back then, they didn't have special service clean up crews, or crime scene repair crews, so my father and I did much of the work ourselves. Most of the major evidence was already cleaned up by the police and taken away in bags, but we still had to patch up all the buckshot in the ceiling and rip out the carpeting, bleach and repaint the walls, put in a new floor, etc. We tried to return that room to some semblance of normalcy and it may have looked normal when we were finished, but in our minds that room will always look like hell.

Why did he do it and what was that statement I mentioned in the above paragraph? I don't want to give too many details on the statement piece of what he was trying to say since it drew a lot of media attention at the time. The local papers, NBC, ABC, and CBS were all camped out on our front lawn and the phone was ringing off the hook. We even left the phone off the hook for a few days. Bottom line is that there was an incident that happened at the school and my brother was being used as a pawn by someone in the administration. Media was tipped off by someone and the situation exploded. Literally. Thank god social media and the internet didn't exist back then. Local news television and calls from national media wanting interviews was enough. I couldn't make this shit up if I wanted to. He not only did it because of the incident at school, but also because he was tired of being sick all the time, not being allowed to do certain things, and apparently had issues with our mother (I only mention my mother because of an alleged suicide note that I never saw). The incident at school pushed him over the edge. He made a deliberate choice to end it and became peaceful once he made that decision. I can see it clearly now. It was his choice and there was not going to be a cry for help. Sure he went out violent, but that was an expression of his anger. At least I know he was at peace with I was when I made that same choice seven years before him.

In the following weeks at some point we got his suicide note back. I remember it being in a plastic bag with a large orange sticker that said "Caution Biohazard Contaminated Evidence" In fact I'm looking at that giant sticker right now as I write this. In the weeks leading up to my brother's death he came to me and said he wanted me to teach him about music. Either guitar or bass. We never got there, but I peeled that sticker off the evidence bag and plastered it to my Bass VI guitar case (baritone guitar). When I took that guitar to gigs and rehearsals it's like I'm taking a peace of him with me. It's a very sad sounding instrument which I think is how he would speak if he could. Sorry, t/j there. Back to the note. I used to have it memorized. I think over the years I buried it so deep and repressed it all. I now can't remember a single word of it and that makes me sad. I remember hearing talk of a second letter too. There was supposedly a second one that was addressed from him to my mother and the content supposedly wasn't "pretty". Apparently my aunt (same aunt that was double dating with my mom and OM) intercepted the letter and got rid of it. I would really like to have know what was in that one. But never saw it so not sure if it really existed or not. Nothing would surprise me anymore.

I've thought about my brother every single day at least once for all of these years. A lot of flashbacks come to me at odd moments when I'm alone. Especially while driving. In the car, in the shower, dreams, wherever. These last few days they are becoming more and more prominent in my head. Also over the years, I don't know what it is about war movies, but I have had to bite my tongue and choke emotions down or I almost start to cry. Not sure what that is all about but I think it's connected to this somehow? A connection of brotherhood and then you lose your brother (comrade)? Of course there's more to the every day life stuff but I could be here forever if I include all of it. I could go into how, including my brother, I lost five people in my life that I was close to in a two year time period. For my grandparents it was their time. The other three all too young. I'm sure you've had enough of this thread if you've made it this far. I certainly have.

I don't want anyone who reads this to worry about me. Really. I have not had any of those thoughts in a very long time. I haven't even had any thoughts of suicide since BEFORE my brother died. I'm a lucky guy and appreciate what I have. From what I've gone through and to now see where my own family is makes me appreciate life all the more.

I do believe that my brother gifted me the ability to self analyze after he died. I believe he also gave me the gift of strength and humility. After all, no body died today. It was a good day. I've tried to adopt that as my disposition.

I apologize if any part of any of my story seems overly dramatic. I really don't mean it to be. It plays out like a sick movie that's about someone else when I look at it. There are still many other facets to my story but between these four threads, that's the bulk of it. I'm going to have to put SI down for a few days for my own sanity. I'm not running away, but I have to hide this last piece from W until at least the weekend when she can absorb it. I'm going to let her know I'm taking a break from SI until then. Plus I want to go numb for a few days. I want to disassociate and check out for a few days. This was an awful lot for me in a short period of time to just vomit out here on SI. I will seek IC early next week and start to find someone where I can dump off all 4 of these f'n threads (minus the comments). I have a feeling I'm going to be giving someone a whole mess of business. Before I go I will bump up the other threads and let them all sit together as a package for anyone who wants to read them. I'm going to leave it all out on the field. I'll check back in a few days.

My apologies if I have offended anyone along the way or made anyone sick. I'm sick. I certainly didn't want to be dramatic, but wanted to state everything more as a matter of fact. But I look back through my writing and see a really bad dramatic movie. Sorry. Thanks again to whomever listened.

yop out.

I'm so sorry kiddo. I understand how you were feeling. I only wish I had understood what you were saying that day you were silently saying goodbye. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT'S WHAT YOU WERE DOING. I was your big brother and I should have protected you. I will never forgive myself for missing that.

nekorb posted 1/29/2014 21:09 PM

I didn't read the other three threads, so I don't know what is posted there, but I think once you get past the difficult part of disclosure of all this info in IC, you will be relieved on some level.

For the record, I didn't see anything here that I felt reflected badly on you or that you should feel ashamed of. I just felt really saddened for you and your family.

Your brother's suicide is not your responsibility, just like my husband's affair isn't my responsibility.

You need a safe place (IC) to talk about these things. You've carried it around long enough. It's ok to start letting it go.

Wishing you the best next week.

Merlin posted 1/29/2014 21:22 PM

The tool box that therapists have are not so powerful that they are much threat to anyone. The techniques are subtle, gentle even.

You should try IC, maybe a counselor or two to see if you hit it off with the style and approach each uses.

If it's not for you, it's not for you. If you give it some time, you may find it very helpful.

StillStanding1 posted 1/30/2014 08:31 AM

Hey there, YOP,

I'm glad you found the courage to put all this in writing. I know it was very difficult for you. I hope that getting it all out finally was somehow therapeutic for you. I truly hope it is a huge step forward in finding peace.

I totally agree with nekorb. I know you don't believe it, but you are not responsible for your brother's choice. I hope that an IC can help you work through that. So glad you are taking the steps necessary to finally address your demons. You, your marriage, and your family will all be better for your work to do so.


WorldTraveler23 posted 1/30/2014 11:05 AM

Years, I am so sorry for the pain that you and your brother went through in your lives. I am glad you're sharing it here. I do hope you follow through on IC. It certainly can't hurt, and you may find that it helps you reframe your thoughts and feelings. One example is this:

I'm so sorry kiddo. I understand how you were feeling. I only wish I had understood what you were saying that day you were silently saying goodbye. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT'S WHAT YOU WERE DOING. I was your big brother and I should have protected you. I will never forgive myself for missing that.

With some distance from the pain, you may be able to say to yourself:

I'm so sorry kiddo. I understand how you were feeling. If I had realized what you were going through, I would have done anything in the world to help you. I didn't know. I wish I had. I would have done anything to protect you. I love you and I miss you.

Years, you cannot realistically think that you SHOULD HAVE KNOWN what he was feeling. You saw him at a party. You saw him peaceful. That would not, and should not, have caused any alarm bells to go off. If your wife told you this story, would you think she had any culpability in somehow reading her brother's mind? I promise you, you would not. Give yourself that same respect and peace. I believe IC can help you with this, and help you remember your brother with love and peace and joy.

I have not lost a sibling. I have lost two pregnancies, one pretty far in. I blamed myself for eating some of the "forbidden foods" before I realized I was pregnant. But I look back now and I know that I would have done anything in the world to protect my daughter (and other baby) if I had known what to do. I didn't lose them on purpose. Blaming myself doesn't help. Remembering them with love does. There is always sadness, but there is peace too. I really hope you can find that. Sending you my best.

stronger08 posted 1/30/2014 12:38 PM

My friend, I can relate very well to your story. I too have lost my brother to suicide via a self inflicted gunshot wound. While we were only 15 months apart and I'm sad to say not very close. We had an apartment together for about a year in a house that our parents owned. About a month prior to this tragedy I had moved in with my GF who went on to become my XWW leaving the apartment to my brother. He had gone out one night and was drinking heavily and took his life. He left no note nor did he give any indication that he would commit suicide. He just did it out of the blue, but I'm sure he had his reasons. It subsequently came out after the fact that he was gay or at least Bisexual. While he was younger than I he was a much bigger dude. Strong, broad chested and could handle himself. He was a LEO and used his service weapon to do the job. All I can assume at this point is he was struggling with his sexual identity and being that he had this so-called tough guy image it made him very conflicted. Perhaps someone had found out about him or he just could not stand living a lie any longer. It really does not matter now as whatever it was he took his life. He was only 26, recently promoted and one of the youngest men in a supervisory position in his department. He was well liked by his peers and subordinates. He also had many friends. As we lived in NYC at the time the media was there in force. So I can also relate to their relentless and often inhuman pursuit of a story. They had our house lit up with their cameras that my poor mothers eyes were hurting. This caused me to get angry and confront one of them that was very close to the house. I remember pushing the guy and knocking him down and the cops there had to pull me off of him.

The bastard had the nerve to start demanding that I be arrested for assaulting him. In hindsight I should have beat the ever loving shit out of him when I had the chance. The officers on the scene made it clear to him that if he insisted on pressing charges he would never again get any comment or information from them. So he backed down and the cops forced them all back a good distance from the home. Afterwards my dad and I cleaned up the mess like you did. The blood was pooled so badly it had started to penetrate the floor boards on drip into the basement. I remember staring at basement ceiling that had dried blood that looked like ice sickles hanging down. It was a big mess and cleaning it was a very emotionally draining experience. In the end we decided to gut the apartment and remodel. I did not seek any sort of professional help afterwards and it led to quite a few bad decisions on my part. I M my then GF even though I knew in my heart that she was not the one. I needed to cling to someone and she happened to be there. My guilt still exists to this day and I often wonder if things would have been different if I had only taken the time to get to know him better. Its been 25 years since this all went down and in thinking back who could have expected this to have happened.

So I continued to simply exist and threw myself into my work and providing for my family. I was successful at that and did well for myself. Then my XWW started her shit. I was blind to what was going on for many years and I'll admit I did not want to know. Ignorance was bliss to say the least. It got to the point where I could no longer deny to myself what I knew was going on. So I followed her one night when she claimed she had to have a business dinner. Naturally this turned into my D-day and a physical confrontation with the OM. Things went downhill very quickly from there for me. I was arrested for getting physical with OM that night and the lies my XWW was telling to authorities and to any one who listened almost destroyed me. I was lucky to have a good attorney who knew how to get what I needed to vindicate myself. It took a year for the truth to come out, but it did and that's all that mattered. She and OM were exposed for what they were doing and how they were conspiring to basically fuck over my life. I remember the pain I felt of my XWW betrayal and I have to admit it was worse then losing my brother. It took my XWW A to finally get me to seek professional help. And I must admit it was the best thing I could have done. It along with SI gave me the strength to fight back. I continued therapy even when I came to terms with the A. It also helped me to heal myself from the loss of my brother and the subsequent guilt that lingered. While I still feel guilty from time to time IC has helped me to accept what had happened. I am at peace now with most of the trauma I've experienced in my life. It gave me direction to live as best I could and to finally forgive and love myself again. I don't have an overly great life, but I have a happy one. I'm in a good place with myself and with others. I have forgiven not only those who have harmed me, but myself as well. All I have to admit that without the support of my IC I don't think I'd be at this place in life. I strongly urge you to seek out professional help. It just may change your life. Best of luck to you brother.

SisterMilkshake posted 1/30/2014 12:45 PM

I'm so sorry kiddo. I understand how you were feeling. I only wish I had understood what you were saying that day you were silently saying goodbye. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT'S WHAT YOU WERE DOING. I was your big brother and I should have protected you. I will never forgive myself for missing that.
I am so, so very sorry for the loss and the tragic way your brother died. This statement just broke my freakin' heart, yop. I really like how WorldTraveler reframed it.

Realistically, there is no way you could have known. Oh, yeah, hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but how could you have known, even with your own personal experience, you still can not read someone's mind. You would have to be a mind reader to have known because it was so subtle what he was doing and also didn't have to be saying "silent good-byes". Seemingly perfectly normal behaviour.

Yes, I bet this has been extremely emotionally draining for you and you probably do need a break. You have been carrying a heavy burden for way too long, yop. It is time to give yourself a break. You are not a rock. You are a real live human being who has carried some heavy emotional baggage for way too long. It is okay to put the burden down. You are strong (but not a rock) and this won't break you. You won't be betraying your brother to put the burden down. I am sure if there is an afterlife and he is watching you he wants you to put the burden down.

Do not apologize for writing your story here and for it seeming to be "dramatic". It may seem dramatic because it is dramatic. Tragically dramatic. (((((((((((((((((((((((yearsofpain25))))))))))))))))))))))))) (okay, maybe my hugs are a bit melodramatic)

eta: there is a difference between dramatic and melodramatic. You are not melodramatic, yop.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 1:15 PM, January 30th (Thursday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 1/30/2014 12:53 PM

stronger08, I am so sorry for the loss of your brother so tragically, too. (((stronger08)))

yearsofpain25, I wanted to mention that maybe you should look for an IC who specializes in PTSD.

SadInNC posted 1/30/2014 12:57 PM

I just want to send you a hug. It's time to love yourself. Hugs, hugs and more hugs.

Getting to Happy posted 1/30/2014 13:26 PM

(((((yearsofpain25 and his Brother)))))
Bless you both.

yearsofpain25 posted 2/1/2014 09:12 AM

Speechless. Took me most of last night to collect myself after reading everyone's posts. I'm deeply touched. Thank you for your posts, pm's, and thank you for your support.

I took time last night to go through everyone's profile's that had something in there to get to know a little bit of you if I could.

nekorb - I'm at a loss for what to say. Very sorry for your situation seems trite. How's DD17? She doing better?

merlin - Thank you again. You are an amazing father. I got a kick out of your tool box comment. You are right that I probably shouldn't put them up so high that they have some sort of power.

still - Your continued support through all of my threads means so much to me you have no idea.

world - Floored. I lost it. I don't think I will ever be able to let myself rephrase like that. But I will give it a try. My head knows what you are saying. My heart is another matter...

stronger - I don't know what to say. I hate that you have this same type of story. But oddly I take comfort in the fact that someone else gets it. Fuck! I'm crying again. I hate this. Thank you for sharing. You have no idea what that meant to me.

sister - I really appreciate you. Thank you for your continued support. It means a lot. Receiving dead man letters from crazy OW is no joke! That's some messed up shite you are going through. I'm listening to you on the IC/PTSD thing.

SadInNC - thank you. I felt your hugs hundreds of miles away. thank you.

Getting to Happy - I felt your hugs hundreds of miles away too. Thank you. How are those three kids of yours? Sorry you are going through that messed up situation. From your story you sound like a smart, tough lady. TMI, but I had heard through my mother that my father also played ED games with my mother. He wouldn't cheat on his girlfriend so he made his up. What's your status with Mr. Happy now? You guys still in R?

AND TO EVERYONE - Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for your support. Thank you helping. Thank you for your ideas. Thank you for accepting me here. Most importantly, thank you for making me feel better.

I HEAR ALL OF YOU! I have gotten an 800 number from work to call to get the IC process started. I have a tough weekend ahead as we have to put down our family dog of 12 years on Monday. After that I will start to make the calls and I'll see what I get. If interested I'll continue to post here with my progress and feel free to keep reaching out to me. I may not have answers, but I'm a good listener and as many of you know I have a very different perspective than most here on IC. I would like to keep contributing as much as I can in that aspect.

I'm going to go hide in the closet for a bit so the kids don't have to see me.

Thanks again.


ProbableIceCream posted 2/1/2014 09:15 AM

There are very effective therapies for PTSD. They really work.

In the United States, EMDR and CBT are considered to be the best. EMDR doesn't work for everyone but when it does work, it works effectively and amazingly quickly. CBT requires more homework and is slower, but works well too.

EDIT: These are both talk therapies, no medicine.

[This message edited by ProbableIceCream at 9:15 AM, February 1st (Saturday)]

yearsofpain25 posted 2/1/2014 09:19 AM

Thank you Probable.

These are both talk therapies, no medicine.

I'll look into those. I refuse to take any meds for this stuff. I've seen my mother's footlocker full of meds for this stuff and I'm not going there. Words great for many people but won't be for me.

millienotboo posted 2/1/2014 10:26 AM

EMDR....please google this. I came home to my husband after having taken 2 bottles of sleeping pills (long ago, before the A) it's positively soul and spirit crushing. I also had to give my adult DD mouth to mouth on a bathroom floor after a drug overdose. Along with other traumas in my life the A brought me to my coping limits.
I found an IC who is certified in EMDR. I think it saved my life, it certainly saved my sanity. The science behind it is sound. At first it seemed slightly hokie and new agey to me (which is SO not me) but after some research I see and understand the value of it.
It certainly helped with the "mind movies" and hyper vigilance.
I feel I can "almost" empathize with you and know that once you begin releasing suppressed memories the flood gates will open and getting them compartmentalized again is like herding cats. Now is the perfect time for you to absorb and process the tragedies in your life. My IC tells me that for years I didn't have the skills to cope with my traumas and that once my brain felt I was able to process it came out in waves.
I'm proud of you (should that matter) it's very difficult to look at your life and tackle it.

yearsofpain25 posted 2/1/2014 11:47 AM

Hey Millie. I'll look into EMDR. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I'll give it a look.

On a side note, a coworker friend of mine who is in my inner circle at work brought up to me yesterday that her nephew committed suicide this past June. She knew about my brother but didn't know any of the details. She wanted to talk to me this entire time but was afraid to. We talked.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you want to talk. I understand that this material is heavy and not for the feint of heart, but don't worry about me and how I might react if you want to discuss something. Really. It's been 20 years since my brother's death. I probably won't have an answer, but I'm always willing to listen.


Gemini71 posted 2/1/2014 12:28 PM

Dear YOP,

My heart breaks for you. Your story hits familiar territory for me. Depression and Suicide gallop through my family. I have seen the long lasting effects and scars it leaves on the survivors, and for you to come as far as you have by yourself shows incredible strength and fortitude.

My family history starts with my Father's Father. He hung himself when my Dad was just six years old. I can still see how it hurt my Dad, seventy years later. He had a lot of siblings, most of whom turned to alcohol to treat the pain and anguish they felt. Twenty years later, one of my Dad's brothers shot himself. About thirty years after that, his sister jumped off a bridge. Seven years ago, his nephew shot himself. And this past year, another of my cousins killed himself with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sadly, I could have been a part of that list when I tried to overdose on pills twenty years ago. That was when my Dad started learning about depression. He started taking medication and more importantly, he started volunteering at the local crises hotline. The training he received helped him to break the cycle of guilt and self-blame. When the stress of D-Day threatened to push me over the edge, my Dad's the one I called to take me to the hospital so I could be 'safe'.

I'm not going to tell you what you should do. Everyone's road to recovery is different. But in reaching out to others and sharing your story, even with strangers on-line, you have taken a huge step forward. Suicide in the family used to be considered shameful, and was never talked about. But there is nothing like fresh air to help heal wounds, and sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Prayers and positive thoughts going out to you and yours.


[This message edited by Gemini71 at 12:30 PM, February 1st (Saturday)]

nekorb posted 2/2/2014 13:08 PM


Glad to see you came back to your thread so you could see everyone's feedback and support.

Thank you for asking about DD17. The situation is about the same. She continues to engage in self harm. I feel we are seeing an improvement in the depression on some days, but she also lies about how she feels so it's tough to say. I just pray and remain focused on God, trusting that He is watching and has the situation in hand.

In regards to your comment that you aren't sure if you can "reframe" your thoughts as one of the previous posters mentioned (can't remember who it was - sorry!)

Reframing (for me anyway) has a lot to do with internal dialogue. Become aware of when your internal dialogue starts churning out stuff that keeps you mired in the guilt you feel. When you realize it's happening, you MUST learn to stop the thought, distract yourself, and redirect the thoughts to your positive goal. (Ie the reframed paragraph posted up thread)

Personally, I'd print that bad boy out and have it hanging up somewhere in the house so that every time you see it, it's an opportunity to initiate that positive dialogue in your head spontaneously, as opposed to always waiting for it to be a "response" to the negative thoughts.

Also see if you can nail down any triggers to the distorted thoughts. (And YES, your current thoughts about that are distorted). For instance, I have an eating disorder and I KNOW that at night, when I am tired, I do not see my body accurately in the mirror. If I catch myself looking in the mirror at night and the dialogue starts about how fat I am, how saggy this or that is, etc. , I immediately remind myself I not capable of making those determinations at that time. I STOP the negative internal dialogue. And I accept that the negative dialogue is distorted thinking.

It's a process. Maybe work on one sentence at a time in the reframed paragraph.

Don't give up. Glad you are getting started on finding IC.

ETA: I'm so sorry you are having to put your furbaby to sleep on Monday. We put our 13yr old dog down this past summer. It was so hard, but it was right for him. We each took some locks of his fur, which still smell like him. ((Hugs))

[This message edited by nekorb at 1:12 PM, February 2nd (Sunday)]

yearsofpain25 posted 2/3/2014 18:15 PM

Hi Gemini71. Glad you are still here with us. I can relate to that family history and it being shameful. My uncle (mother's brother) hung himself in his early 20's. For the longest time we all thought he died of pneumonia while he was away at college. Guess not. I don't remember when or how that news came out but I remember my mother being really surprised by that news. She's attempted suicide more than once herself. I know that she suffers from depression and I'm pretty sure NPD. All that crap runs in the family.

Hi nekorb. Hopefully your daughter will turn a corner soon. I will certainly keep her in my thoughts and prayers. That rephrasing thing... I know my head tells me that is correct. My heart can't let it go. This baggage is never going to go away for me.

Yes. Last night and today were very hard days for me and my family having to put our dog down. The kids were a basket case. I'm a basket case. I hate this crying mushy shit. I can't do anything with it. I want to go back to being angry, bitter and jaded. I can at least do something productive with the anger. I can't do anything with this crying nonsense. I want to buck up and "be a man". My routine is all thrown off. Normally right now I would be out taking her for a walk. Instead I'm half way through a dram of really good single cask of Bow more single malt scotch that I brought back from London and I'm writing to all of you. Was saving it for a good day. Popped the cork for her. All sweet and butterscotch on the nose just like her. Peaty, full of youth and fire in it's old age, just like her.

And for the big promised, today I called the 800 number through work, got referenced to an IC, and have my first appt scheduled for next Mon. I spoke to the IC for 20 minutes on the phone and ran through my issues so she knows what she's dealing with. She said we certainly "have a lot of baggage to work through". Yep, I guess we do. She said that she wants me to print off the four threads from here so that she can read them between the first and second visits. I'll strip the comments out first.

Thanks again everyone for listening and for your continued support.


ETA - Had two bp checks last week and they were both normal. don't have to go back for two more weeks for the next bp check. Doc is starting to think there is something to this PTSD thing if I was having flashbacks on the day that my blood pressure was at a dangerous level. Great. Just great.

[This message edited by yearsofpain25 at 6:20 PM, February 3rd (Monday)]

yearsofpain25 posted 2/4/2014 13:24 PM

This is an excerpt from what I posted in william's thread. Posting it here too for IC. "Film at 11":

Since my brothers death in 1994, it's played out as a black and white movie about someone else's life in my head. It doesn't seem real and yet I know it is. Mine isn't caused by sounds. The "flashbacks" come mostly when I'm alone. Especially in my car. Out of no where it will hit me like a 2x4 across my face. Or there are some things in movies or tv that will cause it. I'm starting to come to the conclusion that if I get a visual where two people are close and one of them dies violently and unexpectedly, it will trigger the film in my head. But mostly in my car or in the shower by myself when I have too much time to think. It kinda goes like this:

queue black and white countdown at beginning of movie...counting back from 4...3...2...1...

bring up first scene of cleaning remnants from the insides of my brothers head off of a green dragon figurine that he owned. This image will stay up anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds....fade to black...

bring up next image of yellow crime scene tape across his bedroom door. This image will stay up anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds....fade to black...

bring up next scene of him saying his silent goodbyes and my b-day party before he killed himself. This image will stay up anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds....fade to black...

bring up next image of splattered suicide note in contaminated evidence bag. This image will stay up anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds....fade to black...

bring up next scene of cleaning up said crime scene with my dad several months after his suicide. This image will stay up anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds....fade to black...

bring up any number of scenes from the toxic environment I grew up in. This image will stay up anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds....fade to black...

Then repeat. You get the idea.

Afterwards my coping mechanism of wanting to have sex appears. I don't do conventional drugs, but my drug of choice is sex. Sex is my escape and makes me feel physically better and mentally better for a little bit as it's an escape for me. And that's how I dealt with it...until now. Which is why I'm here on SI and vomited here like I did. I know I need IC but have been afraid to face all of this shit. I guess I will go and find a way with IC to deal.

jb3199 posted 2/4/2014 14:06 PM

I know I need IC but have been afraid to face all of this shit.

You are a whole lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.

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