Author Topic: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?  (Read 7420 times)

Bluebird

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Hi everyone, a beloved member of our prior board (NoEZway) started this thread some time ago, and I found it very helpful to know that I'm not alone in my Specific circumstance.

I'm Bluebird. My DH of 23 years died from the consequences of late stage alcoholism on January 13th, 2010. We have one child, a son who was 17 at the time his Dad died.

Watching my beloved husband slowly disintegrate in front our eyes and knowing that I was powerless to stop it was the most horrific experience of my life. That experience was deepened by seeing the suffering of our son, who struggled even more to understand how his father could leave him in this way.

Much growth and understanding has happened for both my son and I over the last five years. I have been blessed to fall in love again and marry my guy WifeLess, and our son is now an amazing father and young businessman. I would never have guessed either outcome in those first early years of grief.

Please pm me any time if I can be of help.

Take Care, Bluebird.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 09:06:37 PM by Bluebird »
My First Love, Peace Be Thine

WifeLess

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Circumstances?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 07:59:35 PM »
To any new survivor of suicide (SOS) member:  Welcome to Young Widow Forum.

The psychological trauma of the SOS (survivor of suicide) of a loved one is classified among the most extreme that a person may ever experience. And this is made even worse when that suicide is of one's spouse, whose death is ranked as the single most emotionally stressful event in an adult's life.

There are a number of us here who bear the extraordinary burden of the SOS widow(er), and I am among them. After 28 years together, I lost my wife to suicide in 2009. She had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and during the decades we were together experienced several major depressive episodes, the last of which she did not survive. Not only she, but her family too had an extensive history of mental illness and suicide stretching back several generations. At least 5 of her family members completed suicide, including her younger brother, a few aunts and uncles, and a grandparent. And a number of others needed medication for depression and/or psychiatric hospitalization, including 2 of her siblings, her mother and several aunts. It became clear long ago that the predisposition to mental illness they all suffered from was biochemically based and genetically inherited.

I have accepted that my wife's suicide was not about me or even her life circumstances. It was about illness. If medical science has learned anything in recent decades, it is that so many psychological/behavioral problems stem from physiological/biochemical abnormalities of the brain, many of which are genetically inherited. And if I learned anything during the past several decades with my wife, it is that clinical depression is a serious illness just as real as any other life-threatening illness, like heart disease or cancer. Unfortunately, it happens to be classified as mental illness, which makes it appear different. My wife died of a disease of the brain that impaired her thinking and her judgement. I take some comfort in accepting that she died, not by choice, but of natural causes.

So that is a short summary of my story. If you are an SOS widow(er) pease feel free to share yours on this Board as well. Sorry for the traumatic loss that brought you here.

--- WifeLess
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 06:57:10 AM by WifeLess »

Linda L

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Circumstances?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2015, 10:47:26 PM »
I'm Linda, and lost my DH to suicide from a GSW to the chest (in my presence) in January 2003.  I have often said since that I wouldn't wish this journey on my worst enemy.  Suicide adds such layers to grief, and complicates everything.  Not to mention the stigma, guilt, and blame.  The other board saved my sanity by connecting me with others who survived this, and I hope I have been able to help those behind me on this journey. 
It's not what happens to you, but what you do with it, that defines your life.

gracelet

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Circumstances?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2015, 06:52:46 AM »
I'm Grace and my beautiful Elle died by suicide when she was 26 and I 27. We were the ultimate lesbian power couple with high flying City jobs, the ones who people remembered, the ones who people wanted to hang out with, but also the ones with lots going on behind closed doors. Elle had a history of depression, although not a severe one, but she did have a diagnosis of Churg Strauss Disease which has survival rates worse than most cancers. It took its toll on her body and mind, amongst other factors.

We met when we were 21 at university. She was my first girlfriend, my first love, and we married 5 months before she took her life. I'll never forget the horror of finding her (she hung herself, and I still find it odd typing that word out), the trauma it has caused me, but life is good again although I'd obviously rather have her in it in real life, rather than just in my heart.

It's been a tough ride, especially receiving the brunt of the blame from friends and family, but I know in my heart that my wife loved me, I loved her, and it was mental illness that took her away from me. I'll always have good memories because she was such gorgeous company, although a total hilarious bitch sometimes. Oh how I miss her, but I'm moving forward, with thanks to support from this board and some special others (and wine).
Musings of this sarcastic but upbeat young widow can be read here : www.eerilycheerily.com

sphoc

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Circumstances?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 08:15:28 AM »
I lost my husband to suicide in April 2013. We'd been married for only 15 months, and he'd only been in the US for 4 months (he was from England, I'm from the US), and while I'll never know for sure, I sometimes think that he thought that running away to America for a new start would undo all of things he'd struggled with for so long. He so desperately wanted to make a new life for himself that he lied about his work and his treatment - all things I didn't find out until after he died. I don't think the lies were malicious, though. He just wanted things to be different.


It's been a difficult two years, but I do have good memories (in spite of all the crap), and I continue to chug along and do the best I can to take care of myself. The people I've met through this group are truly wonderful people, and I am eternally grateful to them for helping me to get to where I am today.

OSAAT

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 01:02:32 AM »
Hi everyone. I am just past 4.5 years out. I was talking to a lovely woman before I found YWBB who told me she was widowed young and suggested I find a young widow grief group, so I googled "young widow grief group" and found YWBB. I was completely shaken to my core. I have a lot of very complicated circumstances surrounding J and I's relationship and his death, so instead of giving you step by step circumstances, I will sum it up the best I can.

When I met J, I was not intially attracted. As some time passed, I found him very attractive on different levels. We shared common struggles in our past and bonded quickly. He was sober when I met him. Shortly after we started dating, he relapsed. I did not recognize the man in front of me. It was like Jeykll and Hyde. He had a dirty outfit on and looked totally different. I told him I could not stay in the relationship under these circumstances. He struggled for a bit, but regained sober footing. He was sober 2 years. It was not all great. We both struggled, but loved each other deeply. It was hard to say the least. He had more relapses and I left him. It was too crazy. After a horrendous relapse he had, he sobered up again. We were in contact. Then the person he was drinking with, died. That messed him up. It was a quick slide downhill. We were supposed to get together for dinner to talk. The last I talked to him he was sober. He showed up at my door, his behavior and the look in his eyes told me, but i denied it to myself. He went to the bathroom at the restaurant about 4 times to snort something. He was so discombobulated and his pupils were the size of the head of a needle. I was so sad and so hurt and so humiliated for thinking it would be different this time. I knew I had to completely let go and trust that God would take care of him. I knew we just were not good for each other and it brpke my heart. We had a conversation and ended it. He really went off the deep end.. 2 DUI's in 5 weeks. Then he had to get drug tested/blow to ensure he wasn't using/drinking, so he started huffing computer duster. They couldn't test for that, so that is how he got by. He ended up in the ER with 2 head injuries before he died. One visit he got stitches and the other visit he got staples. He had been huffing and passed out and hit his head. The day he died, he started out sober. He had contact with some of our mutual friends. They said his eyes sparkled. He went and bought computer duster and stood at the foot of his bed (to prevent more injuries to his head) fell face first in his pillow, passed out, and suffocated. His death was a very tragic thing. He was a great person, but just cpuld not get honest with himself about himself. On many levels I still process our time together, his death, and circumstances and people surrounding his death. I am Beyond Active Grieving, and have been for 2 years or so. His tragic unexpected death sent me into a tailspin. I went into major depression, but did not realize it. I thought it was the grief. I thought about suicide everyday, but i just could not complete it. It has been a ride, that is for sure!

Sugarbell

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2015, 07:15:28 AM »
My first two years I spent most of my time in the Special Circumstances forum. I related mostly to fellow SOS widows-because my husbands suicide was such a traumatic shock to me. I honestly could not wrap my head around it..I obsessed over it...reliving those 3 days he was missing...over and over...I had such a roller coaster of emotions...from despair to anger to rage fluctuating within hours of the day.

At about 4 years out...I made peace with it...When we started communicating. Ben doesn't want to be remembered for his impulsive decision to take his own life. His mistake (and we all make them) was his final one. I remember now the man he was for the majority of our marriage-not the last few months of his life. Suicide is not his legacy.

But it took years and a miracle from divine intervention to get to that point.

The main advice I have to fellow SOSers is not to dismiss the trauma you've been dealt. (Especially if you witnessed the suicide or found the body). I thought I was a tough ass...and forged ahead...taking care of 3 tiny kids, dating way too soon...and masking my trauma/grief by developing a severe chronic addiction to various prescription medications that in the end almost killed me.

After 7.5 years I have recovered from the trauma/grief...after 3 years clean..I have recovered from my addiction but work my recovery every single day. Get any help you need to get through this. You will recover and life will be beautiful again. But allow the gift of time to do it's job.

Peace to anyone who finds themselves in this forum. I guess my post also falls under "Surviving a Suicide" as well.

B.W.H. 9/24/2007

AndysWife

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2015, 08:11:55 AM »
For some reason, I am having trouble knowing what to write here.. anyway I will muddle through..

I found the site 2 days after the suicide of my husband and joined 2 weeks later. I became almost addicted to the forum as it felt like the only sane place on Earth at the time. That was 3 1/2 years ago now. I was the one to find my husband dead in my loungeroom and I administered CPR along with my then 15 yr old son until help arrived.

I read a poem once that was called The Raging In My Soul and that is how I would describe the first 2 years of my recovery.    His death, suicide, us, it was all consuming to say the least. If I wasn't crying I was pure anger but when I reflect on those 2 years, that anger served me well. I got stuff done! I now know that anger is really fear and hurt in disguise but I was facing quite a few legal battles and family ones also and combine all that with not sleeping from doing night feeds with a newborn, well, you get a storm.

Life is very different now, which is important to share with the new members of SOS. When this first happened, I thought I was going to feel that hardcore grieving forever. When I think about Andy and what happened that day, I feel melancholy and sad for him. His suicide was just so unnecessary but I no longer feel sorry for myself. My head is clearer, I've returned to work last month and I even quit smoking just before Christmas.

I am not finished with it yet though. I'm still trying to figure out where I go from here but I am in no rush either.
A.B.D.  26/01/1969 - 08/08/2011

rememberingjason

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 06:02:49 PM »
I lost my husband of 7 years and best friend of 11 years at the end of March 2011 to suicide. I found the YWBB shortly thereafter in dire need of someone who understood and that I didn't have to pretend it was all okay.

I am facing the 4 year anniversary this month and cannot believe it has been that many years.

I am so glad that this place will be here for not only those of us who came before but all that will need it and come after.

Remembering the Good Times - Always

Laura1017

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2015, 06:18:28 PM »
My Specific Situations Heroes,

I love you guys.  You and so many of the threads spoke to me on levels that I couldn't reach with my friends and family.  Gates of Hell was probably one of the best threads on the entire board and I hope it brings the same comfort to the newly widowed that it did and still does to me.  I was so happy to see that one make the migration.

When I met Matt, he told me he had been to rehab years prior.  He was sober for most of our relationship until he wasn't, as it goes.  When he went to rehab, it was for drugs (GHB for those that know what that is).  He was in a mess of a situation and his dealer went to prison for 10 years.  Fast forward to when that dealer got out of prison and Matt still owed him money.  That's when it all went downhill for us, fatally for him.  He started drinking and just couldn't stop.  He'd detox and be great for awhile, then start drinking again.  When he died, I thought he was in a sober phase.  I found out 4 months later, when the tox report came back, that was not the case.  I'd suspected it, as those living with addicts do.  He died in a car accident and the first trooper on the scene invited me to his house, where he insisted that there was no chance Matt was drunk.  Not only was there a chance, he was out of his mind, off the charts intoxicated.  The anger and hurt I felt when I received that report almost killed me, too.  It took reading all of your posts to ground me and enable me to remember how hurt and scared that man was.  Matt had an incredible heart and an absolutely infectious smile.  Everyone he talked to felt important and loved.  We had some great years and I refuse to let how he died be his legacy.  I am still thankful every day that he was the only one hurt in the accident that night, but I hate alcohol and I resent the hell out of the fact that I don't have my husband because of it.  I still feel immeasurable guilt every time someone else joins this board because of a drunk driver, but it doesn't make me love Matt any less or hurt any less that he's gone. 

So many of you saved me and I've loved seeing your screen names pop up on this new board.  Thank you for your posts and your support and your compassion.  You're my heroes and I really mean that. 

Bluebird and Wifeless, I can think of no others better fit to moderate this section of the board.  The two of you have always been such inspirations to me and seeing your Chapter 2 brings the happy tears. 
"I will see you again, in another life, when we are both cats"

OneNow

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 09:42:22 PM »
So glad I found you all again...I was doing pretty good the past couple of weeks- so I did not even visit the old boards until two days ago and saw the huge change over. Glad I made it! These boards are great! and it comes at a strange time in my grief journey as I am just starting to feel like who I am becoming- I got rid of many "old" things that tied me to my "old" life- and with these new boards I feel like in some way I put that time I spent on those old boards behind me as well. So glad to have this new start!

First want to say thanks so much to Bluebird and Wifeless...your posts and support has made these past 18+ months bearable. (along with all the other great posters who are here as well!)

My story...
I lost my husband of 17 years in Aug. 2013. Still can't believe he is gone..seems like yesterday- but then again forever. (some days I just want to jump up and down at the universes unfairness- I so badly just want to talk to him again and of course make everything all right..and it kills me I can't.

He suffered from major depressive anxiety disorder. He was WONDERFUL for the first three years we spent together- but after a few months of marriage he started self medicating with many different drugs- he'd beat one to only start another. Still can't believe we got through those dark years of drug abuse.  The last two years of his life- he was sober- and tried so hard..did everything the doctors said to do...but still he never felt better. (I know this is morbid to say..but I was proud when the blood tests came back with nothing in his system.) It seems once he beat drugs his mental illness got worse...but I know he did A LOT of damage with them.

He tried suicide 7 times that I can now say for sure were attempts. Some times I found him- sometimes his mom did in time.

This last time his mom found him and he made sure it was going to be his last. I won't say what he did- as I never even knew you could so simply end your life... I know he must have researched it- because he did it was such exactness. I've heard of all the many ways you can end your life- but the way he did it I have not heard- but according to the medical examiner it only took less than 20 seconds for him to die.

The weekend before he died I had a HORRIBLE dream that I went to look for him and he was gone- I screamed his name over and over until I could not scream or stand or see anymore. The week was pretty bad overall- he was fighting with his mom- over what I still don't know...We also had a big fight- where he did tell me he was going to end his life and that he was going to make sure his mother found him- I was really tired and just snapped and said- DON'T YOU DO THAT TO HER! and he looked at me and slapped my leg and I just screamed at him..GET AWAY FROM ME- he tried to apologize- but I just kept saying Get away from me...I break down and cry thinking that... because I know that must have really put the wheels in full motion for him to want to end his life.  He stayed at his mom's- because he stayed there during the week when I worked so he would not be alone and his mom could make sure he took his meds.

He called me the next day when I got home from work- and said he was sorry again-and said I was too- and he said I just want to know one thing...do you still love me?  and I so glad I answered- Yes, I love you always.  and he said- Good that's all I wanted to know- and then said he was tired- and said goodbye.

The next day I found out he was dead at 2 p.m. I never got to see him again- since it there was an investigation and the cops pretty much would not let me see him- and then I was in such a daze...then we decided to have him cremated.
If he did not tell me two days before what he was going to do-  I don't think I would have believed what I was told happened.

I have so many regrets....The years wore us all down...a few arrests- many stays in mental hospitals.

The attempt before the final one was so horrendous- it was about two years before he died. He took a bunch of pills his mom found him and got him help in time but was tied to a bed - not knowing who he was or who I was...and was out of it for three days. It was heartbreaking to see him like that...I thought if he came out of it he was going to be "not there". On day three he came out of it. It was horrible to go Thur- but I am glad in a way that we did - because I realized how sick he was- and how sick I was because of it'd how awful I was treating him. And just how close I could have been to losing him. So as awful as it was- looking back I can say it was a "gift" in a way- because I  got more time to be more compassionate to him.- but in those years he just kept pushing me away further and further- and sadly I went (at least mentally to a degree.)

The last years I did not nag as much and I was much more understanding and compassionate- and I am thankful I was (not always, but a lot more than the years before.)  He got sicker and sicker- just could not be happy and function in the real world- he hated going out and stayed in bed mostly- could not deal with anything- even eating was too much for him- he'd eat only one meal a day.

When he did pass it was pure sadness for a life unfulfilled- he was brilliant and my Mr. Wonderful..to see him slip away year by year was hell.  I felt so much guilt..it nearly destroyed me- but thanks to this board I am coming to accept it. And the gates of hell were opened.

My only happiness in this is that he is no longer suffering. Someone wrote that their loved ones suicide was like a gift...because it gave them back THEIR life... which for me is true too... I can only say that here.  I know he would not have gotten better- his mental illness was unable to be cured and terminal and fatal.  I just wish I could have understood it all better when he was alive...but back then I was too wrapped up in getting thru it and keeping us financially afloat and having to take on everything and could not see clearly.
It's been a long 18+ months- but I can finally say I am just starting to be able to breath again and the stress is gone.

I just pray there is still something more for me in this life...and I fulfill my purpose.

Thanks all...wishing you peace.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 10:34:40 PM by OneNow »

Bluebird

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 10:19:24 PM »
OneNow,

Our stories are different and yet...your story resonates so deeply.

Thank goodness for the compassion and insight you were blessed with. Even if that compassion was uneven, as it was for me, it was a blessing for both of you, as it was for us.

I'm so glad you found our new board and I wish you much peace on this next phase of your journey.

Take care, Bluebird.
My First Love, Peace Be Thine

mixelated

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2015, 10:15:21 PM »
Hi. New to this board. You all seem so sensible and supportive, it's wonderful to see.

Three months ago, my husband ended his life. He suffered from chronic physical pain and had been diagnosed with bipolar 2 a couple of years previous, probably worsened by his other condition. I think the bipolar swings had been affecting him for a few years before that, but he did everything he could to hide it from us, and didn't want me to see doctors with him. I respected that, knowing he was trying to preserve his autonomy, but it meant that I really lacked a good understanding of what was going on with him, because he wouldn't talk about it. He kept saying that he didn't want to burden us with it, and I wish I had fully realized what he meant.

He couldn't work, and was getting worse last year. I could see his condition was deteriorating, but thought it was physical, because it looked physical. Finally, late in the year, he had a rare manic phase that he couldn't hide and didn't recognize, and I started going to a NAMI class to try to understand how to help him. He told me then that he had not been taking his meds for his mood the past year, because they didn't work, and that he had stopped taking all of his pain meds a couple of months previously so that he would be able to assess his situation with a clear mind. He was very intelligent, always very self-aware and very knowledgeable about pharmaceuticals, so I thought this was a rational approach. (I still think it, to a degree - if he said the meds weren't working, I do believe him.) A few weeks later, just before Christmas, he went out to the garage, locked himself in, and took an anesthetic. He made sure that I couldn't get to him without realizing what he had done and calling 911. It was very methodical and gentle, which was typical of him - timing, planning, everything.

But here we are, me and our kids, left with now knowing the terrible psychological pain he was in, and not having been able to know it, to be able to help him or comfort him. Dealing daily and hourly with the anguish of his permanent loss. Twenty years of a shared life; ten golden beautiful family years and ten years of struggle, stress, and worry, capped with the unthinkable. It's hard to feel there is anything on the other side of this - or rather, to feel like there will be a time when this pain will have eased, because I know there's no ending.

Bluebird

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2015, 12:05:37 AM »
@mixelated,

Welcome to widda.org and I'm so sorry for the loss that brought you here. I hope you will find some comfort as you and your children grapple with the loss of your husband.

I relate very much to the way you think of life as before his disease flared up and after. I tend to think of my life with my husband that way too.

I hope that with time you will begin to feel your pain ease. For me, 5 years after losing my husband, the pain is less present on a day to day basis. It is still with me when I intentionally reflect on the details of his life and his loss, but most times, it is held in a safe place somewhere inside and I am able to enjoy the many gifts that have come my way. I hope the same will be true for you too.

Take care, Bluebird
My First Love, Peace Be Thine

MissingSquish

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Re: Introduce Yourself - What Brought You To Specific Situations?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2015, 06:10:36 PM »
 I found ywbb a few days after my DH, Squish died. At the time, we weren't sure what ultimately caused his death, but the toxicology report stated he died of an accidental prescription drug overdose.

Let me back up a minute. Squish was an amazing, charming and ridiculously intelligent guy who happened to be bipolar I. He had quite a few other physical problems due to his previous career and had chronic pain as well.

Squish was the type of guy that commanded attention when he walked into a room, but was secretly so insecure. My FIL's eulogy of Squish publicly acknowledged this incredible insecurity that was always brewing inside of him, but it seemed like a slap in the face to me.  The relationship between his family and I took a major downhill turn when Squish and I were married, and an even worse downturn when he died.

Squish and I were married only a bit past 6 months when he fatally overdosed.  I had gone through hell and back with him during the time that we were married and living together. I found him nearly dead on the floor over a dozen times, and had revived him myself. It has taken a lot for me to overcome the PTSD of watching someone kill themselves over and over again.  Though the coroner ruled his death accidental, I don't see it as such.

I've only recently felt comfortable acknowledging to my extended family and a few close colleagues that my husband killed himself. The stigma of suicide is very real, though my husband was as terminal in his mental illness as someone is terminally ill dying from cancer. I have also recently forgiven him for putting me through such hell as well.

The way I finally see it is that my husband's suicide was as selfless of an act as he could muster. He realized he was making everyone's lives around him miserable, and he wanted to liberate us all from the drama. I am thankful that I do not have any children and I never have to deal with my in-laws ever again.
Gone but not forgotten.....my Squish.

Miss you forever baby girl, my Pru!