Posts tagged ‘Suicide’

August 24, 2011

Normal?

It is hard to gauge, when you have a history, what is normal and what is not. As I mentioned in my last post I was not sure if I had the will to be OK. I felt as if I were cracking into pieces again.

The first months after my Dad died was very tough. The truth is it would have been tough for most people. The difference is history. My history!

As each day passed I began to sleep, which as I have mentioned is a big part of the battle!

But after a month of struggling I knew it was time for action. First order of business – call Sinead and make an appointment. Sinead helped me gauge where I was. That is – where I was in the grieving process.

Everything that I was describing to her was normal. A normal part of the grieving process.

I was not creating chaos. I was not overreacting. I was not staying up for days at a time. I was not agitated. I was not irritable. I was just sad.

I was going to be OK. But once you have been down the road such as mine you know you must still be proactive.

In order to continue on the right path I needed a voice. A voice to finally say so much I had held onto for so long. My Dad was gone and he would never hear what I had to say, but I needed to be able to say it anyway.

I started this blog, one year ago, August 27th.

I choose my path – not bipolar disorder, not my Dad, not depression.

I have chosen happiness. I have chosen to remove all the labels!

And through this blog, I have chosen to no longer live in the dark. I live in the light, and I love every single moment of it!

August 18, 2011

Cleaning out the freezer

My Dad had a freezer in his garage.  It was not a working freezer.  It was chained and had a massive lock on it to keep people out.

It was full of guns and stuff that was special to my Dad.

I was not in charge of cleaning out the freezer, however I was there.

Inside the door was an envelope full of pictures.

Pictures of children.

I destroyed them the minute I saw them.

I was numb. I was mad.  I was sad.  Lastly, I was in shock!

I had no idea…

My Father was not only a molester of little girls, but also little boys.

I cracked just a little bit more! Broken all over again. That night I did not sleep. Over the next couple of months my will would be tested. The will to be OK without medication. The will to not jump at the chance to be manic, where my world felt so good and exciting. The will to not crash. The will to overcome. The will to make good choices.

August 4, 2011

His final words

He told me he would die soon. He said he was ready to die. He said the cancer had won, he hurt all the time. He was tired. He would shoot himself soon.

We made small talk for a moment.

Then…

He told me how much he still loved my Mother. He told me about when they met, what he first thought when he saw her (an injured bird), and how he fell in love with her the moment he sat eyes on her. He went on and on for what seemed like an eternity about Mom. When he finally stopped talking I said,”It is so sad that she died so young.” He replied, “Yes, but that was the way it had to be.” I responded, “She just could not stop drinking, she was so drunk when she died.” And he said…

“Actually Veronica (he inhaled and sighed), when I saw her, she wasn’t that drunk.”

I never followed up. I never asked, “What does that mean.” I never said a word. I just sat there, dumbfounded.

He then changed the subject and asked me if I really thought I had a chance at finishing school. I did not answer right away (still in shock I guess). He then said, “You know Eva (my step sister)… blah blah blah” that is all I heard. Then he said, “Well, I guess so far at least you have a good GPA, maybe you will finish, who knows.”

He took a breath…

I said, in a whimper, “Yes, I think I can finish school.”

He said again, “Well, maybe you can.”

He changed the subject again. He talked about how proud he was of Jake.

And just about that moment, my son, Jake walked in.

He and Jake started talking.

I just sat there, feeling numb, disconnected. It was as if I was watching the two of them from somewhere else.

In that moment, all of the pieces that I had worked so hard to put back together felt as if they were fracturing. Chipping away.

My adrenaline was pumping. My heart began to race. My brain started banging around inside my head. My thoughts were flying fast. I was trying desperately to keep up with their conversation.

At some point, I interrupted their conversation, and began to argue with my father, over..? It had something to do with politics… really? Nothing, it was over nothing. Yet, it was an argument over everything!

He became irritated and ask me to leave.

I did.

About a week later, he shot himself.

July 27, 2011

Before and after my Dad died

I was numb. I was shocked. Although I knew it was coming, somewhere in the back of my mind I just could not process the thought of him dying. Not only dying, but committing suicide. But after he did kill himself I was OK with his death. I was not hurt or angry that he had killed himself. I understood why he would and he had explained why he was going to do it.

But when we got a copy of his will, that is when I became angry and hurt. It is not that I wanted money. It was that he left my step-sister pretty much everything. He left my brother a bug chunk of money as well (which I expected). But me and my sister – $500! And that was not the hurtful part.

What hurts?

1) When your own father misspells your name in his will.

Yes, he did not even spell my name right!

But, two, was the conversation I had not long before his death that hurt the most!

I thought I would have the opportunity to go back to him and readdress what he said.

But that day never came.

July 24, 2011

After the reunion, what I always wanted to be

As I posted in this blog: https://nomorevictim.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/the-family-reunion/ I found that I had become very strong.  I could stand up for myself, I could face challenges, and I could walk away from a situation without feeling defeated.

This was a defining moment in my life. My life became clearer – sharper, and so did I!

Within a year, I decided to go to college. And soon I will be graduating with my AA and transferring to Sam Houston State to get my BA in Education! I currently have a 4.0! I am the student I always wanted to be.

I may have never asked my Dad those 8 questions, but what I did do was become the daughter I always wanted to be even though my Dad would never be the Dad I had always wanted.

I am the wife I always wanted to be. After that fateful day, I no longer leaned on my husband for emotional support. I discovered I could take care of myself. This new sense of self helped me to be the wife I always wanted to be. No jealousy, no anger, and no fear of abandonment.

Today, I am what I always wanted to be, but never imagined that I could be.

Happy!

But I will admit, it takes work and dedication to be happy. Is it worth it? Hell yes it is!

July 11, 2011

8 Questions I wanted to ask. . .

but never had the courage!

  1. Do you love me?
  2. Do you know that you hurt me?
  3. Does it matter to you that your hurt me?
  4. Do you understand that for many years I was actually beyond hurt, I was broken?
  5. Do you know what that means?
  6. Do you know that I hurt so bad that I wanted to die?
  7. Does that affect you, knowing that you are responsible for that kind of hurt?
  8. Who hurt you, why are you so broken?

Instead, I learned to play bridge and he and I would meet to play often, I met him for lunch, I helped him come up with a diet program, I listened to him when he needed, someone other than Elly, to talk about his cancer, I listened when he told me he had bought another miracle cure on the internet and I never – once judge him for it, I took him food that I had cooked or baked, I took him supplies after the hurricane, I cried for him when he told Nanny, his mother, that he was dying of cancer, and I listened when he told me he was going to kill himself: I never criticized him, I never told him not to do it, and I told him I could understood why he would commit suicide.  

What was my payoff?  Today I can tell myself that, despite him, I was a good daughter.  And why that matters to me, I really have know idea.  

July 9, 2011

One Year Ago

My dad and my brother, less than a month before my dad committed suicide.

July 7th was the one year anniversary of my father’s death.  My brother, sister, and I all met for dinner on Thursday.  We talked about that day:  how we felt, what we were doing when each of us received the news, and how we feel now.

Incredibly, I feel no sadness.  For me, my father is not really dead.  Since Elly made the memorial service about her and the fact that we were not allowed to see his body, my father’s death has never felt real.

In reality, it does not matter much to me whether he is alive or dead.  Oh it did for a little while, but today I feel neutral.

From 2008 until his death, I cared. I knew he would be dying sooner rather than later and I wanted to get to know my dad.  And the truth is, I kind of did.  But I was to afraid to ever ask him the questions I really wanted to know.

Being a victim of sexual abuse, I believe, makes you afraid to open up conversations with the abuser.  I was afraid to ask him why.  I was afraid to ask him anything about it.  I was afraid he would tell me it was all my fault!

June 8, 2011

The Family Reunion

As that day in September of 2008 approached, I was filled with anxiety.  Not only would my Dad be there, but so would my Nanny and my sister (who I had not seen nor spoken to since 2005).

In addition, I was completely off of all psychotropic medication.  I was managing my life well, but still lived in fear of having a setback.

I had a plan on how to handle almost every situation that came at me while I was there. If my Nanny made mention of my relationship with m Dad, I would just tell her that we would talk about it later and that it was her birthday and I was there to celebrate her. If my sister would not speak to me, I was OK with that too. I know at some point I had hurt her enough to where she no longer felt comfortable with me in her life. I was OK with that, I had felt that way about others in my life and, although I was not sure why, I could understand not wanting chaos in my own life. My Dad, well he had a way of getting under my skin… my weight. All of my life I had been to fat in his opinion. And when I lost all of that weight, every time he saw me, he would say how great it was that I had finally lost some weight. It is sad really, because as thin as I was, I was very unhealthy. However, by 2008, I had started gaining weight back. The ultimate plan was to leave. Mike and I, even today, have a deal… if ever one or the other wants to leave a situation – we will leave together. No matter what.

As we arrived my Nanny was driving up as well. (That’s right, on her 95th birthday she was driving up!) As I greeted her the first thing she asked me was if I had seen and talked to my Dad. I replied I had not but I was sure he was inside. I am sure my discomfort gleamed on my face. She just gave me a hug and then walked inside. She never mentioned a word to me again that day about my Dad.

As I finally made it inside I saw my Dad, my brother and my sister. I felt this incredible sense of dread come over me. But as I got closer my brother hugged me and whispered in my ear “Everything will be alright.” My sister then gave me a hug and said, with tears in her eyes, that she had missed me. I told her I had missed her too. Then I made my way round to the rest of the family, giving hugs and asking how everyone was doing. And then I saw my Dad.

Dad, “Hey there Pooh (my childhood nickname) you look like you are gaining weight.” I replied, “Dad, I love you, but my weight is none of your business.” I remember Mike reaching for my hand. My Dad turned red then said, “well you look good.”

Then I noticed his leg! It was awful looking and for whatever reason I immediately ask if his cancer had returned. He hushed me and said he just thinks it is a cream he used. But you could see it in his face, he knew what I had said was probably the case. Then he said he was going to the doctor next week.

My Dad’s own words “At Labor Day the start of September my right leg began to swell and look very muscular. I guessed because that was where I was rubbing testosterone gel on it and it was just becoming muscular and strong. I was so wrong. By the middle of September the leg had changed to a blue-green-yellow color and my wife had me go see my favorite GP-MD. When he saw the leg he said CANCER. Another PSA was done and came back at 51.6.

In October my right leg began to bleed and produce a whitish liquid. Pus I guess. This lasted a few weeks and then cleared up.”

That day will live in my mind forever, it was the beginning of the only relationship I ever really had with my Dad and it was the beginning of a renewed relationship with my sister. It was also the last celebration I would have with my Nanny.

The relationship with my sister is still alive today. Sadly, I do not believe it will ever be what it once was. My heart was broken when she left in 2005 and cut me off, and although I am sure she had her reasons, I can never suffer that hurt again. So I will guard my heart forever. It will always be somewhat fragile. Broken pieces put back together, no matter how strong the glue might be, are never as strong as they were when the heart was whole.

The relationship with my Dad was a ruse. I had no idea until his death that I was a pawn in his life to get the attention he needed and/ or wanted from his wife. In addition, I believe he knew that without some type of a relationship with me he would never get to know my son. And being a grandfather to Jake was something he really wanted. Despite that, I am glad I had it. I learned so much during the time with my Dad. Although, in the beginning, I was just a tool to gain attention from Elly, as time went by I think maybe for the first time ever he began to see me as his daughter. And for the first time possibly ever, I think he felt remorse. Not only for what he had done to me and my sister, but for what he had done to my Mom. A week before he died, he disclosed his part in her death. Something many had suspected over the years.

He was there!

May 6, 2011

Sleep

Sleep is by far the most important part of staying balanced.

A person who is bipolar and on their way “up” can literally break the cycle just by sleeping.

So why don’t all people who have a tendency to have highs just sleep?

1) When the brain is stressed or over tired sleep does not come easy.

2) Mania is fun, exciting, and chaotic.

3) When mania begins the brain becomes hyperactive and it is sometimes impossible to shut off the chatter in your own brain.

4) The natural response to stress is to produce adrenaline which obviously does not allow for sleep.

Once I understood how important sleep was it became my secondary goal. The first goal, however, is to reduce stress. By reducing stress, I can sleep! And by sleeping I stay balanced!

Next up….. Moving on to 2005.

Making my marriage and my relationship with my son work like a fine tuned instrument.

and

Reconnecting with my Dad.

May 3, 2011

NO!

Once a person has the ability to observe the warning signs that a manic episode is approaching they can then take action.

I am so incredibly aware of my body and my brain that, the minute I feel my jaw tighten or that I wake in the middle of the night and cannot fall back to sleep, I start relaxation techniques, I identify the source of my stress and make a note to address it after a good nights sleep, and if I cannot identify in a few minutes I make a note to attempt to identify it the next day. I literally write it down! And I follow through!

My mental health is so important to me that I will do whatever it takes to be OK. I have walked away from friendships that have become toxic, I have dropped a class that I felt uncomfortable in (as in REALLY creepy uncomfortable, I trust my gut!), I have a straight forward approach to other humans, I say what I mean, I no longer play the nice girl game (if your outfit is ugly and you ask me, I will tell you it is not flattering! If I don’t I will feel horribly guilty and be stressed!).

But the number one key to my success is learning one word. . . NO!

You can ask, but the answer is probably going to be NO!

Nothing is more important to me than me. Because if I am crazy I am good to no one, especially not to me!

Now you might be thinking, “how selfish!” Your damned right! But not near as selfish as a person who never says NO and is always overwhelmed and having a nervous breakdown on a regular basis. They give – give – give until there is nothing left. For a day, a week, a month, a year – they hold it together. Then they break. And all hell breaks loose with them!

Why do people do that? I will tell you why I did it… because I always thought something was wrong with me and I wanted people to like me! I wanted to be accepted. And I honestly believed that no one would like me for just me! I was broken and I was afraid everyone knew it. The truth was, everyone did! Not because of my past but because of my present.

Oh don’t get me wrong, people loved the fact that I was the go to person! But when I would break a little bit more they would whisper “Poor Veronica, she had a tough childhood, she can’t help it.”

Oh, yes she could and she does!

Discovering the tool – NO, has been a literal life saver!

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