How can I be strong and help my kids when I feel numb and dead inside myself?

My husband DJ committed suicide in October 2013, by hanging himself outside behind our house while our 2 year old daughter and I was inside. I'm the one that found him about 45-50 minutes before our 17 year old son was going to be home from school. DJ told me a few weeks before this that he had been hearing "voices" in his head and that this had been going on since he was young. He use to make jokes about the "little voices in his head" ever since i met him 19 years ago but so did all of our friends. I  nor anybody else ever thought he was actually being serious because he would always laugh about it . He had never told anybody not even his parents or his sisters about this problem he had.Back in July he heard some bad news about a family member, and that's when things got worse. He changed so bad he wasn't himself a lot,like he was a complete stranger that was mean, I didn't know what had made him get like this until like I said a few weeks before he took his life, and as soon as he told me what was happening inside his head I started pleading with him to go get some help , that the Doctor could help him with this. He kept refusing, I didn't know what else to do because he was the type if you try to force him into something like talking to someone or even going to the doctors he would clam up and put that wall up. That day he woke up and he seemed happy and was laughing playing with the baby and joking with me, even wanted all of us to go fishing after our son got home. It was a good morning, then about noon, he changed, accusing me of saying things that I wasn't, which caused us to fight. I told him that he needed to leave, that he needed to get away from me for a while instead he laid down on the sofa with the baby. A few mins.  later he got up gave the baby a hug and kiss and told her that he loved her and walked out the back door. I don know how long exactly it was that I decided to go outside to see if he had really left or was just sitting out there, when I saw him haning from my old cast iron school like swing set that my parents had cemented in the ground when they moved into this house before I was born. I screamed and ran to him yelling for someone to help me and calling 911, still screaming for someone to please help me, not knowing that our baby girl was in our bedroom window seeing and hearing everything, me trying to get him down and yelling for help and paramedics working on him and sheriffs everywhere, until one of the sheriffs told me to go be with my baby. That's when I saw her crying in the bedroom window. She saw her daddy hanging there behind our house and wanting him, I told her that her daddy died and went to Heaven to be with God and now he is her Angel and will always be with her. Even though she is 2 years old, she is a very smart little girl and I didn't know what else to tell her. She still wont go to the back of the house inside where my bedroom and bathroom is without someone going with her because she is scared. Our neighbor went and got my son from school and told him what happened, my son was very angry at his dad for doing this. As far as I know of he still hasn't cried, and will not talk to me about that day or hardly anything about his dad, even though I try bringing up conversations about DJ. my son turned 18 years old 25 days after his dad's death!  As far as myself goes, I feel like DJ took me with him ! I feel numb and dead inside but I'm also very angry at him for leaving his kids and me like this!!! I cry a lot  but try to hide it when the kids are around, even though my son sees it. I CAN NOT get that image of the way DJ was when I found him out of my head!!! I don't sleep well because of that image and the nitemares, I still haven't went back to work because we worked at the same place, which means I don't hardly leave the house unless its very important, I don't hardly talk to any one any more because I got really tired and mad hearing "what he did was very selfish" and "How could he leave that baby girl"......I just want to scream " HE DIDN'T JUST LEAVE THIS BABY GIRL!!! HE LEFT ALL OF US!!!!!!" ! How can I  be strong and help my kids deal with this when I can't deal with it and feel like a lost cause that if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't care if I ever got up out of bed or not! I know My Kids NEED me and I REALLY do NEED THEM, but I feel like I'm letting them down even more by not being able to help them through this loss ,since I couldn't help their Dad realize and get the help he needed? 

I apologize for this being sooo long, but I would really appreciate any kind of feedback or anything to help me and my kids... 

Bess

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Replies to This Discussion

Bess,

My God, how horrible a story to hear. I can't imagine how hard it is for you and your children. You ALL absolutely need support and help. Have you any grandparents who can help you take care of the kids and perhaps help financially at this emergency time? Have you called your state welfare agencies and checked about aid in the form of counseling or financial help while you actively look for and enter counseling for you and your family? Please take these things seriously. You've all been through such a terrible trauma; don't make the mistake of not treating yourselves so. You need family, friend, & professional help right now. My heart goes out to you, and, though it's not much, you'll find the hearts of many people here who've been hit hard by the suicides of loved ones are with you, too. You are right and brave to reach out. Keep doing it. The few really special people you may meet will make the difference and help start you on a path to healing in time. It's terribly hard now, and you must struggle day by day, even hour by hour sometimes. Suicide hits us all deeply, all the more when it's a loved one. It's a very traumatic way to be confronted with death...and also with the essential separate nature of each of us. You'll feel guilty, too, and that can cripple you. You loved your husband, but he was a separate person, with his own free will, and his own psychological issues that he suffered from and hid. You were not responsible for his behavior, and all the love in the world is truly not enough to save some. Be responsible to yourself and your children. If it's hard to still love your husband at times because of the hurt and anger (you must let be, too) don"t let his untimely death destroy the love you feel for your children, who are clearly suffering, too.

It will be harder to encourage your now 18 year old son to get into counseling (I have a 26 year old nephew who rejects it after losing his dad/my brother a year ago), but please use whatever support/advice you can form a therapist of your own or from family/friends to help there. Men often do the worst thing possible in the face of such psychological trauma: they repress it all. They push it down and the result is the pain/stress builds; and it will need an outlet and come out in bad ways if they don't find a way to express it. My two remaining brothers responded to my oldest brother's suicide this way. Since then both have serious physiological issues, one with bad digestive issues; the other with terrible headaches. Women are generally better suited (whether it's pyschological or sociological or both) to emote, and that's good...as long as you don't get into a pattern of drowning yourself in your own misery or beating yourself up about it. Your pain and misery are very real and your need to grieve is real. Hard to do, period, even without having a family to take care of all on your own. Reach out for all the help you can. Be brave every day and fight for your life, your love, your children's lives. Being alive is sometimes the hardest thing for the suffering we can feel. And it doesn't get much harder than this. You're in good company here. Everyone here knows the special horrible hurt/loss of suicide. We care about you and yours.

Love,

Greg
Dear Bess, it breaks my heart to read what you and your family have been going through. Please don't let the comments others make affect you any more than you have to. Unfortunately, most people are quite insensitive to the range of emotions and deep grief one goes through following a suicide of a loved one.
My experience in trying to help others through the grief process has revealed that others often pull away and you may feel isolated at times. Encircle your children with love and compassion. Even when you are hurting, they must be your first concern.
You will have to mask our own feeling but as time passes you will see that in putting your attention on your children's needs, it will help you heal.
The matter of the voices in DJ's head causes me to believe he had been afflicted with a demonic spirit that was taunting him. This is often one of the major concerns seen in the lives of those who commit suicide or attempt it. Prayer will help you if you will ask God to take your burden. Everything is a process, so it takes time but ask God to sustain you and carry you through this great trial. I will pray for you as I know many others on this site will. There are wonderful compassionate people on this site that are more than willing to provide help, support and strength to help you.
God Bless your children!!! Your son is at a very vulnerable age. See if you can find a support group with other young adults that he can open up to. When my ex died, my daughter was 17. She became very angry. It is still a problem to this day. She was to prideful to engage with others and bear her soul. She held so much of her grief and sadness in that it has unfortunately colored her world in a negative way.
I pray this new year will represent a new beginning for all of us to see the good in the world and use our experiences and suffering as a way to help others in their's!

     Greg ,

My Sincere Condolences to  you and your family on the  Loss of your Brother. 

To answer your financial questions, no to the grandparents helping because his parents are disabled and live 4 hours North of us and my mom is 76 yrs old and lives 4 hours South of us. I  did apply at our Social Services for help and we get $225.29 in food stamps and we were put on medicade. Social Security contacted me and both kids (until my son graduates in May) and I will draw $546.00 each off of him. Our town is some what small and our medical facilities are not all that good, let alone for therapists. I went to one at our clinic and she never asked any questions, never made any eye contact except for when we were introduced and as I was leaving, and that made me uncomfortable, so I told my Doctor that I would not go back to her. My  Doctor introduced me to an outside therapist but this one doesn't take any kind of insurance or medicade, cash only and I can't afford that right now.We do have a Mental Health but most of them have paychecks and no experience except reading things out of books. The closest support group is 3-4 hours away but mainly for alcohol and drugs. I have been searching like crazy online for some kind of information or help or what ever I can get and up til now haven't found any that I could relate to or afford. I have always been  a very independant person and it is and has been very hard for me to ask for any kind of help from any body. I know my kids are hurting deeply and my son and I are really affected by this because we are older and understand a little bit more on the Death of someone due to age, illness, car accidents, etc., more than my daughter does, But on A Death like this, I don't know for sure but have a very good idea, that my son like myself DOESN'T Understand At ALL !! There's so many questions that I have but know I will never have the answers to like, WHY did he fight so hard to hide his "problem" all those years from everyone and DIDN'T fight even Harder to get Help after he opened up and told me, knowing I would stand  by his side like I have from the day I met him? Yes we had our share of problems through the years but no matter what those problems were, some worse than others, we dealt with them and kept our family together.He had my heart and soul no matter what!!! A couple of weeks after he died, I was going through his stuff and found his sketch pad that he used to draw in, and while looking through it , found a sketch that he did of him self dated in 2003, in this sketch it had a rope around his neck !! I cried and cred and cried .He always said that he wouldn't make it to the age of 40 and he didn't!  I also found an SD card , he knew I would be the one to find it cause he erased everything on it except a few pics of the kids,and me and him , and a list of songs from different bands that he chose on purpose, because each one of these songs had lyrics in them talking about  the things he had told me about his "problem" and the way he looked when I found him. All of that told me that he knew for years what he was going to do! which ANGERED me even More but also killed me inside even more. 

I want to Thank You So Very Much for replying back

          Bess

 

Bess, my heart goes out to you. I know all too well the pain associated with loosing a loved one to suicide. I witnessed my husband take his life march 2013 while my 17 year old was in the other room. It's a horrible horrible memory as you describe in your post earlier. Counseling is the most important thing for all of you. I encourage it. I remember feeling lost, confused, alone, unsure,scared and all of the above (still do) but lean in the ones that love you and offer good encouraging hope for the days ahead. It's their strength that will help hold you up on you weakest says. Allow them to hold u and guide u. My thoughts and prayers are with you and know you are not alone. If you ever need to talk you can email me anytime. I will message you my email address for you to have. Stay strong and take one moment and one day at a time.

Margo, 

Would or could it be possible for me to talk to you privately? There are a few things you said
that I'm totally stunned over. 

                            Bess


Michelle,

                 Will I ever get that image out of my head? It's very hard for me to talk to my family or friends about it because for 1, they really don't understand what or how I'm feeling or whats going on in my head. 2. Some of my family try to get me to stop talking about it, I guess they think if I don't talk about it , I won't get upset and cry more. Which in return makes me not want to talk to others.  And 3. When I do try to talk to some, I feel like I'm bothering them and they don't really want to hear about it, so I just stop all together.

In our town there really isn't any good counseling let alone support groups. That's why I feel like I'm becoming an internet freak, trying to find some kind of help in understanding or ways to help my kid's and I cope with all of this.

I totally understand all the feelings you described because I feel all of those and anger too! There's some days I think I'm gonna be ok and be a good day and in the blink of an eye I'm crying and wanting to cuss him out for leaving us and at the same time wishing I could do anything to have him back. Not just for me but for my kids cause I can see the pain in my son's eyes and my baby girl always talks about her daddy, which tears me up inside. I don't know what to do or how to think any more.

 

Yes. I too felt the same way about talking to people and some family members. As though they couldn't understand why I couldn't stop talking bout it, thinking about and some believe it or not even said you're going to have to move on. No we don't have to move on! we are forever impacted by this and we will learn to cope but in our timing and timing is different for everyone. We need to talk its part of our healing. Lean on the ones u trust and the ones willing to lend an open hand to help u. These are the ones that will carry you thru. You stated your not in a big town with much help and support.. You did good by reaching out to this site. Many here have experienced the same sort of loss and have a much better understanding of your pain, emotions, fears etc. it's very comforting to truly feel that the one your talking to gets it! Understands what your saying and understands what your feeling. Email me anytime I m willing to listen and share the things that helped me get where I am today. Everyday is a work in progress. Stay strong and keep pushing forward.
Wow... I am so sorry for your loss!!!,on February 15th I lost my little sister in a simililar way she hung herself in the basement of her brand new home .. With her 6 month old daughter and fiancé right upstairs.. For about 4 years she had been back and forth to crisis councelors inpatient care all to help her with the " voices"! ( that's what she called them too)! After the birth of her daughter the "voices" completely took over .. The week she took her life she went to crisis and they sent her home stating she didn't need in patient care .. She always new when it was bad and she would always seek help .. But this councelor sent her away .. She never left a note we just all have to move on from this .. My niece is the light of my life but at the same time when people say how could she leave her daughter it's absolutely infuriating you are right when you say he didn't just leave your little girl he left you all .. I'm almost at 1 year and I still don't know how to put this together in my mind either ..I know how sick she was so I try to imagine that she is not suffering anymore .. But still I'm here suffering and missing her every day .. That day lives in my mind I remember every detail. Even though I wasn't the one that found her I see how her fiancé that did find her deals with it !! He is in pain and blames himself he thought she was going to do a load of laundry and she walked right past him with a little bag stopped in the kitchen he heard the fridge open .. And go right to the basement ! He found her about 20 minutes later when he went to see what was taking so song in the basement .. I know that he is seeing a councelor that seems to help .. He is angry not at Tanya but at her councelors ... The thing that I can tell you that will hopefully help is reaching out to friends and family will help .. Sometimes it's nice when people just validate your feeling .. They are your feeling there is no wrong or right way to go about this ..I dont know if this helps but I am here to listen .this group has helped me a lot ..
Bess, yes I would be more than willing to speak to you. Email me your number and a good time to speak. My email address is margopowell@yahoo.com. I hope I didn't say anything that upset you. If so I apologize.

Angel, 

 My Sincere Condolences for you, your baby niece and your sister's fiance. I know how he is feeling and its Horrible!!!! I too blame my self for telling my husband to leave that day, thinking that if I hadn't of told him to leave, he would still be here. But after going through his stuff and finding those things , I'm starting to think that it was gonna happen no matter what . I hope I don't upset you by asking this question  about your sister and if I do, I 'm really sorry , you don't have to answer.The question is when your sister had her "moments" withe the voices, did she change? What I mean by that is, did her facial expressions change, did she argue with people but seemed like she was arguing with someone else, then after her "moments " were over, act like nothing had ever happened? DJ did all that and accusing me and our son of things we had no idea of what he was talking about. One day he scared my boy so bad  by fighting and accusing me of doing something that my son even started pleading with him to go get help, because I really wasn't there, I was here at the house. He was fighting the voice he said was mine. It was a very hard thing to go through! After he told me about the voices , I began watching him and being able to tell when he was having his "moments", and I would try to keep my distance until he was over it. It was really hard at work cuz we both worked at the same place and a couple of days the same shift.

I know he's not in any more pain, and I'm grateful for that but I'd give anything to have him back.

You dont know how much You and everyone else that has talked to me since I joined yesterday, has helped me..... I was actually able to sleep a little better last night, than I have in the last couple of months. I still had the image when I closed my eyes but I fell asleep quicker. I Thank You and I am very Glad I found this group,

My heart goes out to you, and your sister's family and if you ever need to talk , I will be here for you too.  


Bess,
To answer your question .... She would hear my voice and my other sisters voice all the time !!! She would call me extremely upset saying that she knows I was in her house that she could hear me in the closet .. She thought she was being video taped and would go around the house taping up anything she thought could have a camera in it ! It got to the point where she would take the babies receiving blankets and stuff them in the vents of her house.. 1 x she called my husband asking him why I was saying such mean things ! She told me in one of her lucid moments that if she told me what the " voices"! Said it would make me sick .. Trust me Tanya was an open book and usually said what was on her mind no matter what anyone thought .. So when she couldn't even utter the words to me it has to be horrible .... Reasoning with her at the end almost felt like a job.. I have also come to realize that she has most likely planned this for a long time ... I miss her so so much .. We were very close . Remember when she turned 16 and I moved into my first house she begged to stay with me ..she even slept at the hospital with me when my first son was born .. We were always together . She loved with her whole heart .. She wanted to have a baby sooo much and finally had her first child when she was almost 30 .. Due to her illness my aunt took custody and adopted him ...she was soo excited to have her little girl ,so when she started hearing the voices so intensely late in her pregnancy and even worst after she was born .. I think the fear of losing her made everything worst .i can't be sure of this but that's where I think she was at in the end .. I hope this helps you !!! As for a dx she had szchitzophrenia/with psychosis ...

Dear Bess,

I am so deeply sorry to hear of this terrible tragedy that you and your family are enduring. I cannot even begin to imagine what you must be feeling inside. The strength you have already displayed by continuing on and being there for your children is absolutely incredible.  You made reference to a belief in God, so I would just like to share with you one scripture from the Bible that helped me during my darkest hours. It is in Psalms 34:18 which says-

"Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted, 

He saves those who are crushed in spirit". 

I appreciated two things about this scripture. First, the idea that God somehow leaves his normal dwelling place to actually be closer to you when you need him. Closer than others who are not enduring something as terrible as what you are going through. The second point I appreciate, is the difference between the words "broken" and "crushed". To illustrate, if you dropped a vase on the floor, it would be "broken", perhaps in several pieces, but it's possible that it could be reassembled and glued back together on our own. However, if you took that vase and put it in the middle of the highway and it was run over by an 18 wheeler, it would be "crushed" with no hope of piecing it back together on our own. Sometimes we can experience something painful that breaks our heart, but we can put ourselves back together. Other times we may experience something so terrible, such as what you are going through, where we absolutely cannot repair ourselves without the help of God. I would like to encourage you to lean on God to help you get through this terrible time, and please don't forget that we can pray to God everyday- all day long if needed. I hope this message can bring you some comfort, and you will be in my prayers. 

Love Danny

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