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Surviving Suicide – Part 29

July 26, 2010


I love inspirational quotes! Yesterday so many of my FB friends had such amazing ones, the kind that just speak to you, as if they were written to you personally, that I had to pay attention to the messages. I’ll share a few with you:

1) Love this one by Zig Ziglar… “Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, and the day will come when you will be able to do the things you want to do when you want to do them”. *Such a great reminder about the importance of self discipline! ~ Katie Frieling

2) I am allowing myself to masterfully share with others what I am mastering within myself. ~ Donald E Wells Jr

3) Thank you for being who you are, unique and different. Thank you for being yourself amid the cries for conformity, and being an individual. Thank you for allowing yourself to be who you are, and offering no apologies. Thank you for not listening to them, and staying true to you. Thank you for seeing yourself, and allowing yourself to be seen. Keep Rockin’ – There’s No Stoppin’…You! ~ Bryan Hayes

All of these spoke to me, just resonated very strongly as I was not doing what I should have been doing, was questioning whether I can share what I’ve learned without having all the answers and then the last one just put me right back on track knowing I’ve just got to do what’s in my heart – that being sharing my experience, raising awareness of suicide and mental health issues and increasing prevention of suicide and of the stigma attached to it all.

Hope you liked them!

August 2001 – After Rob’s Death:

When I come up with a new post and have to do a heading, I keep using “After Rob’s Death” and it reminds me of the biblical BC or AD, my early religious uprbringing I guess? I thought maybe I should do BD and AD (“before” and “after” death) but then decided I’d just leave it for the time being.

There is so much more I want to share with you other than just Rob’s story, his life and his death. I want to share all the good that came for me from learning new things, ways to become more self aware, change your life, etc., so if any of you have any other suggestions for headings – I’d greatly appreciate it! Something with a nice positive spin would be lovely.

I’d totally forgotten about this one episode with my brother-in-law until I got to my August 2001 notes. I had said in yesterday’s post that it had been an amicable termination. It wasn’t on my part, but I’d kept it as non-confrontational as possible as I just wanted him gone. I’d also for insurance purposes I believe, run a check on my brother-in-law’s mechanic’s licence, it was expired from several years ago, even though he’d told me he had it. Guess in his mind “having” it didn’t necessarily mean “active” or “current” lol! When I just had my brother-in-law working for me as the only licenced mechanic, but he wasn’t – this too would have been a huge liability.

My brother-in-law had one of his own vehicles in my shop that he worked on fixing up and then sold it. He had the exact same vehicle – year, make and model – that he was driving himself along with this 2nd vehicle he sold. My shop had done the safety certificate on it for him to sell, but I’d used my other mechanic Tony to do the safety inspection as I didn’t trust my brother-in-law.

It was my shop licence on the line and I had to warranty anything passed on the safety certificate for up to 36 days after the sale of the vehicle. What ended up happening was my brother-in-law AFTER Tony had done the safety, had switched out some parts from the sold vehicle back onto his own vehicle. Things that were covered under the safety certificate.

The sold vehicle arrived to my shop on a tow truck shortly before terminating my brother-in-law. I’d asked what was happening, was told it was no big deal, just some minor problems that my brother-in-law would look after. The young man who’d purchased the vehicle dealt only with my brother-in-law, I saw him through the shop windows, but never had even spoken to him.

The car remained for quite a number of days in my shop. The young man who’d bought it had called quite a few times, I’d put the call through to my brother-in-law. I finally asked my mechanic Tony if he knew what was going on and he told me my brother-in-law had switched out some parts after we’d issued the certificate so the better parts were on his own car. He also said something about an overheating issue which is why the car was back.

I gave my brother-in-law a blast for being so unethical and that I’d done him a favour by certifying the car, had charged him nothing for the inspection and only $10 for the actual cost of the safety certficate. He assured me he’d look after everything. The car got fixed and left our shop. This was a real turning point for me as I realized my brother-in-law was a huge liability for me and my business and is more or less what prompted me to terminate him.

A man came into my shop on August 8th, introduced himself as Peter, said his son had bought a vehicle from my brother-in-law that my shop had done a safety for. His son had paid my brother-in-law $2500 and the car had died less than one week after he bought it. He explained it had come back, my brother-in-law had taken forever to do the repairs, wasn’t returning phone calls, etc. but that his son got the car back and then it totally died a second time and now it was the engine was completely seized.

I explained to this man that I’d had nothing to do with the sale, that it had been a private sale between my brother-in-law and his son, that I’d only done the safety on it, etc. He didn’t care, he told me my shop had issued the safety, it had been sold off my lot and therefore I was liable. Lesson learned :(.

He also said he’d do whatever it took to get his son’s money refunded and he didn’t care who he had to take down to get that done. He was a highly intelligent, pleasant man, lovely Scottish accent and did all of this very diplomatically but there was no mistake he meant what he said. He told me his son had had some rough times, had just gotten his life straightened around and that Peter had lent him the money to buy a reliable car.

I told him my brother-in-law was no longer working for me, but that I’d look into it and get back to him. He thanked me and left. I was freaking out! I immediately called my brother-in-law, had a major blowout on the phone, told him he needed to give this man his money back and remedy the problem he’d caused. He said he’d already spent that money paying bills and didn’t have it to return. My brother-in-law told me I should refund the man his money, he also made a comment that I had money as I’d been able to pay for my new deck at home. I yelled some obscenity at him I’m sure and hung up.

Peter, the father, had said he’d done some investigating and knew of my in-laws, and that if necessary he’d contact them too. I told him both my in-laws had suffered strokes recently and that they were extremely fragile and stressed over the loss of Rob to suicide. Peter sympathized, but wasn’t deterred.

I did call my mother-in-law and calmly explained what had happened. I told her I wasn’t about to pay for my brother-in-law’s misdoings but that I could be sued for writing the safety certificate. She was most upset that her son had caused even more trouble for me, said she’d speak to him and get the problem rectified immediately.

I’d told my sis-in-law what had happened, she was furious that this man would threaten her parents. I told her I actually admired him for standing up for his son and that I’d do the same. She only focused on her parents, knew her brother was nothing but trouble, but didn’t see why it should involve her parents. I told her it should never have involved me either and I wasn’t going to pay my brother-in-law’s debts. Her Mom ended up giving me a cheque and I gave Peter the cheque in about 48 hours.

My sis-in-law was mad her Mom had to pay, but didn’t seem to have any other solutions and agreed I should not have to pay for her brother. We both agreed what a piece of work my brother-in-law was, wondered why with every opportunity that came his way – he always chose the wrong, unethical path. I have not spoken or seen my brother-in-law since I terminated him, it’s been 10 years and I don’t think I will ever again, unless pressed by family situations like a funeral.

Peter was ecstatic of course that I had a certified cheque so quickly. He came to my shop to pick it up and we had quite a good conversation. He was a psychologist, and was hugely into self development, did speaking engagements, etc. So out of such a negative, volatile situation sprang a very good friendship. I always look for the silver lining, and knew somehow we’d be friends for a very long time.

Peter was instrumental in getting me started into the amazing world of self development/personal growth. He’d suggest books to read, sites to check out, and opened my mind for the first time to the fact we could create our lives, that our thoughts are things and become reality. He also suggested that I get rid of the Firestone dealership. I wasn’t ready to hear that then.

He got me really thinking about my thoughts, my beliefs, whether they were mine or learned from someone else and taken on. He got me looking at things in such a different perspective and I’d never met anyone like him before. I told him if I sold or shut down my business it would be me failing. He told me to look at it this way – everything had a beginning and an ending – my business was not me, it was just a business, its own entity and had nothing to do with me or my abilities and this was its ending. I couldn’t see that at the time, didn’t want to, but it was the beginning of changing my way of thinking and changed me forever.

We had many long, deep, philosophical conversations which I just loved. Never tired of hearing what he had to say or the challenges he gave me. I ended up life coaching with Peter for almost one year, he had stopped doing the life coaching as a business, but did for a few private clients.

I told friends and family about Peter, about what I was learning, about Law of Attraction, etc. Every single one of them didn’t trust Peter, thought I was romantically interested in him or he in me, they just couldn’t grasp that men and women could be friends only. They figured he must have some ulterior motive. I couldn’t understand why they weren’t happy for me, for my new, happier way of life. I learned eventually to not share my excitement with them and to find a new support network that would get it.

I didn’t really believe in Angels, but I knew even at this time, that Peter was a gift sent to me. That he had come into my life for a reason and that I had to be smart enough to take full advantage of all the learning I could with him. This was also the time when I realized how my support network really didn’t support me, they were used to the old Barb, not this new changing Barb. Made me sad to have this realization, but I was excited to learn new things, it had been ages since I’d done that, I’d stagnated doing the same ol’ same ol’ for so long.

I noted in August that I had many days where I’d recorded “Anxiety, Sad, Easy to tears”. Mid August I noted that I was really anxious and was thinking I should not have kept the Firestone. August 17th I got the final gun back from the police, this was the first gun they confiscated when Rob attempted suicide back at the beginning of Dec. 2000. Noted I had a really frustrating time to get the gun returned and I had to return the trigger lock once I got it home and locked in the safe.

Had a really nice family reunion with all my cousins and this was unusual because we usually did this at Christmas time, so was a beautiful day spent outside by the pool and just enjoyed reconnecting. The times of fun were few and far between so I really appreciated them when they happened. My boat was also in an “in water boat sale show” although nothing transpired from it.

August 28th I’ve noted “really want boat to sell and Firestone” so my thoughts were most definitely focused on getting rid of the boat before the season ended. My note also reminds me that I must have come to the conclusion to try and sell the business, but very difficult to do with Rob gone and sales down. Also on this day I noted I’d left a message for my girlfriend who had not come up to the cottage or gotten back to me. I valued her friendship and was trying to find out what was going on.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Daniel Hollywood permalink
    July 26, 2010 3:37 pm

    Hi Barb,

    I don’t know where you are at this point in your belief in God, but usually when we are sometimes at our lowest he puts people or one person in particular that changes our lives and perspective on life. I think thats what happened with Peter, the change in your personality and approach to things was already changing, but he was a motivator that you trusted and also looked to as being a Mentor.

    It appears that some mental problems run In the Male side of Rob’s family, he needs medical help himself, he constantly uses and manipulates people and we see this all the time in the Addictions field, are you sure he isn’t using drugs of some sort. All the Characteristics you’ve mentioned are attributed to addiction.

    I very much enjoy your Blog and seeing how you’ve handled all the situations you were confronted with, I also admire you for the growth you’ve displayed since 2000, I’m glad to see that you don’t let people use nor abuse you.

    Have a Blessed day


    • July 26, 2010 4:08 pm

      Hi Dan,

      I believe in God, but more in a spiritual way than a religious way. I don’t attend services, don’t feel the need to, can have conversations and do often with God, my Angels, the Universe, Source – whatever name you want to call it. I do believe people are sent to us, to cross our paths for a reason and I’m super aware when they cross my path. I was not one to easily trust at the time I’ve been blogging about, but something in me just told me Peter was okay and could be trusted.

      My brother-in-law I’m sure is bipolar too. Don’t know if he’s been diagnosed, but know he’s got many mental health issues and addiction has been and may well still be, an issue. My brother-in-law was always this way, many referred to him as the Black Sheep of the family, to me he was just trouble. He was given many chances even with working for us, each time he’d inevitably make such a nuisance of himself that we’d have to let him go. The same thing happens whenever he manages to get a job working for others, it’s great in the beginning, but within a short timeframe, they too realize who he is and he’s unemployed once again. He always manages to find someone to help him out, whether it be a job, a place to live, financial bailout, etc. Those people feel sorry for him, try to help, but in effect, they are just enabling him and I’d had more than enough the last time to never want him in my life again.

      My father-in-law has since passed away, but he too was highly volatile with his temperment, you’d never know what would set him off and I likened it to walking on eggshells just as I did with Rob. I’ve often wondered if he too wasn’t bipolar. Such a shame that it wasn’t diagnosed earlier with Rob, his brother and Dad as they would have had entirely different, happier lives had they gotten the treatment they needed and so would their spouses and families.

      So glad you’re enjoying my blog Dan, I really appreciate your comments too!

      Take care, Barb

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