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Surviving Suicide – Part 14

June 19, 2010

I woke up today and just laid there for a bit thinking of 5 things I’m thankful and grateful for as I normally do each day. It’s such a nice way to start the day off on a positive note and I usually come up with more than 5 once I get going. I also closed my eyes and centered myself as to what kind of day I wanted to have, from what energy point did I want to come from and decided I wanted to stand in the energy of possibility, opportunity and miracles and wanted all 3 in abundance and felt sure something good would show up. As I do this blog, I am always thinking of how I will create a business/career out of my experiences in a way that will help others move forward and heal in their lives from the devastation of suicide. I don’t have clear answers, have some ideas that I’m writing down, but nothing definite as of yet. I do know that I am guided or driven to tell this story, and that out of that I will heal even further and that this is my life purpose that I’m following and feel certain that something will come to me during this process of blogging. So what 5 things are you thankful/grateful for today?

I closed yesterday’s post ending as of October 2000 saying I was glad it was over. November 2000 was an even worse month and full of so much upset, drama and emotionally draining occurences that I truly don’t know how I got through it. Rob was not doing well at all as he had lost what he wanted which was his girlfriend WC, I would not take him back and he was not handling being alone well at all. I noted in my calendar tab that on Nov. 1st he told me “I won’t kill myself before my Mother’s birthday” which was 3 days later. He also added that if he did take his life, at least he could be a provider one more time, and he was referring to his life insurance policy that I spoke of earlier. What a state his mind must have been in! Two days after making that outrageous statement, he then told me that he was damaging his relationship with WC by being too negativešŸ˜¦. We had no employees by this point, it was just Rob and I at our shop, the business was really slow so when he was there, he spent a lot of the time in the showroom sitting at the service desk which was right by my desk and we talked a lot. We talked more in the last 6 months of Rob’s life than we had in almost 30 years of knowing each other. We had the strangest, but most deep and insightful conversations about things most would never discuss in their lifetimes. There truly was nothing left unsaid.

I have always been an extremely curious person, always wanted to know why people did what they did, why certain things happened in a person’s life, etc. and so Rob and I openly discussed pretty much every aspect of his life as it was now, what our lives had been like before all this and what his thought processes were like. He attempted suicide many times, would always tell me about it afterwards in great detail, and I listened intently trying to figure out what was going on in his mind so that I could support and help him get the help he so desperately needed. It was never far from my mind that he was spiralling further and further down the abyss as we did have these discussions. I remember thinking this is insane the kinds of conversations we’re having! I listened to him tell me what it was like trying to take his life with a green garbage bag over his head and using ether. He said it was very unpleasant, that he finally had to rip the bag off his head and gasp for air and then noticed that all his veins were distended for several hours. I can’t remember, but believe he tried this twice! I was appalled, but passed no judgement whatsoever, I just listened and asked questions and supported as best I knew how. I couldn’t imagine putting myself through something like this, something so physically violent and painful and damaging, but I knew for him it was what he’d done and was what he thought was a way to end his turmoil. I never could and still can’t, get to that place where I don’t want to wake up and have another day, but I knew for him it was a constant reality.

He told me how the same insane thoughts raced through his mind day and night. That he spent hours and hours planning his demise, making elaborate plans, thinking of all the details. Apparently this is very common when your brain is chemically unbalanced and you are considering suicide, and I’ve read also that men tend to really get into the details more than women do in the planning stage. I remember asking him why he chose ether, why he chose such a painful way to end his life as opposed to quietly taking pills and just going to sleep? I don’t recall his answer, but he did mention that thought had also crossed his mind but that he didn’t have any pills strong enough. After speaking to the psychiatrist at the Psychiatric Hospital Rob would end up in eventually, men also plan much more violent suicides than women too.

On Nov. 3rd I attended a birthday gathering for my mother-in-law’s birthday at my sister-in-law’s place. I took my son and we did our best to have a good time, but my heart sure wasn’t in it and I certainly didn’t feel like celebrating anything with what was going on. Rob’s Mom knew there were big troubles, but she didn’t know how bad it was as I don’t think Rob communicated a whole lot with them. My father-in-law was also there, he too was worried about “Robert” but we tried to put the emphasis on having a nice family gathering to celebrate the birthday. Rob did not attend. I was in a very awkward position of staying in touch with the in-laws, I loved them and they’d been good to me, my son was their grandson so I felt it was important to keep that contact open, but it was very difficult for me and I had to be on guard with what I said or didn’t say. My sister-in-law throughout all of this was extremely supportive of me and was thoroughly disgusted with what her brother, Rob, had done, but she was also very fearful that he was talking so much of taking his own life. My sister-in-law told me many times as I’d recount what was going on with Rob that I must be an Angel, that she couldn’t believe I would even help Rob and that I was compassionate and caring even after all he’d done to me. I thanked her but said I was no Angel, I was just doing what any decent person would do for another in a great time of need, that I was still his wife, had been with him many years, loved him still and there had been good times and I didn’t want him to end his life, so did my utmost to help.

Three days after the birthday party, my father-in-law had a massive stroke. I think the strain of what was going on with Rob was too much for an older man, he’d already had quadruple bypass heart surgery years before, and his body just couldn’t take it. This added even more stress to the mix, Rob was worried now about his Dad, his family was scrambling to be at his side and were not only worried about Dad, but Rob too. I can’t recall whether Rob went to visit his Dad in hospital or not, they lived about 2 hours north of us.

I noted in my calendar tabs that the day after his Dad’s stroke that Rob left work early saying he was too weak to even kill himselfšŸ˜¦. I can’t recall whether he meant he was too weak as in wasn’t even man enough to be able to follow through with what he was saying he’d do, or whether he meant he was just so weak in a physical state of being. I told him to try to think positively, to not beat himself up, to know that this day shall pass and that tomorrow may be a better, stronger day – it was all I could think of to encourage him. Rob took a lot of time off during November, and as I wasn’t a mechanic and wasn’t able to do that sort of work, it was a pretty difficult position to be in, but I stayed put till end of business and as it was so slow anyhow, not many came in.

About 10 days after my father-in-law’s stroke, I did make a note that Rob took my son to visit his Opa, but I can’t recall whether he was still in the hospital or at home. I was nervous letting my son go with Rob as I knew what shape Rob was in, was worried that he might have a drink while up at my in-law’s, etc. but I knew somehow deep inside that I just had to let my son accompany him for a whole bunch of reasons. Everything worked out fine and my son was home with me that night, Rob was happy that Sean had gone with him and felt good about seeing his Dad too. I was thankful my son was home and that all was well, and although I’m not particularly religious, I did look upwards and say a small prayer of thanks – for Rob, for my son and for my father-in-law.

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