Surviving Suicide – Part 16
I am happy to report that after reaching out and asking for feedback, I got it! Had a few post comments to yesterday’s Part 15 post, had a few subscribe and a few commented on my Facebook wall too. Amazing what shows up when you just simply ask! I want to say a great big thank you to all who commented, it helps me learn and improve and incorporate change along the way! I’m finding too that as I go through this process, it really is helping me let it go. After posting, I always reread my post and then I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and tell myself that I’m ready to let it go and it works. I knew somehow that this process would be cathartic for me, just didn’t realize it would happen post by post.
We are now up to December 2000 and this is the month my late husband passed away, so I’ve sort of been trying to keep my posts in monthly timeframes, but so much happened within the month of December, that it will probably be a few posts all on its own.
On December 4th I’ve noted on my calendar tab that Rob said “one last time and then I won’t ask again, if I get rid of WC would you want to get back together?” My reply was “it’s too late, too much has happened”. Without looking back over my posts, I can’t remember exactly how many times Rob told me it was over with WC, but it was many and I really never believed him, my intuition was correct once again. I know there are some out there who just can’t stand being alone, on their own, I am not one of those and yet at this time, I had never been on my own, nor had Rob. I’d seen others who had terribly troubled marriages, couldn’t leave the spouse on their own because it wasn’t working out, instead had to leave the marriage for someone else. I never understood that at the time, nor do I now as I believe it’s necessary to spend time on your own, self reflecting, learning what went wrong and how you contributed to it, and in every single case I guarantee you, you always contributed in some way or another. It takes two to tango they say!
I also recognize that many are very unaware of self, they never seem to reflect and it always amazes me at how they go about their lives not doing any of this self work and yet continue on, but it’s been my observation too that they almost always repeat their mistakes and create a duplicate of what they had before because they haven’t done their homework on themselves. Rob was most definitely one who had not done much in the self awareness arena up until things with WC went badly, not sure if he was really capable of self reflection but I know as time went on, he at least indicated to me in our many conversations that he was doing a lot of looking back and trying to figure things out, but he was not functioning properly and so it may not have been the level I am referring to. I think it was more or less that he was trying to do what was good for Rob, that he didn’t want to be alone, so he played both ends against the middle between myself and WC. I don’t like playing second fiddle at the best of times, certainly not in this instance.
On December 6th I’ve noted that Rob didn’t come to work in the morning. He showed up at 11am looking like death warmed over and we had a very brief conversation, but I got mad because he had a customer’s car pulled apart and hadn’t put it back together again and they were expecting it that day. He said he couldn’t deal with that, that he was fighting for his life and I reminded him that I was in fact fighting for both our lives and our business. He left shortly thereafter saying this may be the day he killed himself. I’d just about had it at this point and didn’t know what I was going to tell the customer. At 2:15pm that day Rob called me on his cell and told me “I’ve arrived”. I was in no mood for word games so I think I asked him what the hell does that mean? He just repeated it again and it dawned on me then for some reason that he must mean he’s arrived to wherever he was planning on killing himself. I asked him where he was and he wouldn’t tell me, his voice was very distant sounding, he wasn’t saying much and seemed quite out of it but did mention that he had a gun with him. I can’t remember the end of that conversation, but when I hung up I thought what do I do now?
I thought for a few minutes about everything. I thought whether I should call 9-1-1 and tell them that I thought my husband was going to kill himself and that he had a gun, should I do absolutely nothing and call his bluff which had happened so many times before, should I just let this play out and if he did in fact take his life, at least my battle with him would be over? All these thoughts were racing around in my head! In less than 2 minutes the idea came to me to call our lawyer, he was very sensible, knew both of us, knew we’d separated and would be the most level headed person for advice that I could turn to. Poor guy :(. So I called him, told him what was going on and his answer was so simple that it just helped me make my decision. The lawyer said “Barb, you need to do whatever it is that feels right for you so that you can live with yourself.” Those words rang in my ears and I knew immediately that I just had to call for help. I thanked him profusely, told him this was above and beyond any legal duties that he’d performed for us over the many years, and that I knew I could count on him for clarity. I hung up the phone, thought about it for about 1 minute, then dialed 9-1-1.
I’ve noted “9-1-1 all hell broke loose!” in my notes and I can still recall vividly the insanity that ensued after making that call. I must have had 6 police cruisers pull up in the parking lot of my business, all had their flashing lights and sirens on. I had very clearly told the dispatcher that Rob was not at my place of business, yet they showed up in total freak out mode. A bunch of officers stormed into the showroom, were not calm at all, all talking at once and finally I just shouted at them that Rob wasn’t here, that I didn’t know where he was, that they need to go out and shut their lights off and turn the sirens off so the whole world wasn’t staring at the shop.
In Canada, gun laws are pretty strict, we don’t have the right to bear arms so the fact I’d mentioned a gun had put them into total disarray. They did as I’d asked, turned off their lights and sirens and then one Sergeant who seemed to be in control along with a female officer came back into the showroom. Rob had been calling off and on from his cell while all of this was going on, I couldn’t let on that I’d called 9-1-1 or he’d hang up and stop calling, and I had thought they’d be able to trace him via his cell phone. Sure enough they could. I told them we had many guns at home locked in the safe as we had permission to do because we were handgun shooters at a gun club. I also knew that Rob kept one on the boat in the safe there, even though he wasn’t allowed to do that. I also had the presence of mind to call our babysitter to tell her briefly what was going on and to make sure that she didn’t drive past our shop after picking my son up from school as he’d see all the commotion in the parking lot and I didn’t want him to see that. She drove an alternate way home and avoided my son seeing anything was wrong.
I think very well during a crisis, I’m very calm and collected and I remember thinking if this is Peel’s Finest I wasn’t impressed. They were very panicked, very disorganized and instead of instilling calm, seemed to perpetuate chaos. I told the officers that I’d be more than happy to let them into my home to see the properly stored guns and all our licences but that I didn’t want the cops going to my house because my young son was there. I had also called my sister-in-law at her work, told her what was going on and that could she please come pick my son up and take him out to dinner so he wouldn’t see anything. My major concern was my son not knowing what was happening along with trying to keep Rob alive. All the while Rob kept calling me, talking for a few minutes, then hanging up. Finally the female officer said she should talk to him and I told her I didn’t know how well that would go over as Rob hated cops. She said it’s okay, we’ve been trained to handle situations like this, just let me get on the phone with him.