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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Hi Bess, How are you doing? Hopefully, you're well and feeling stronger! You can see from the messages you've received here, that there are some very caring people on this site. We're praying for you and your family. God Bless you! Margo

it is hard iam still trying toget over my  grief

Bess I am so sorry for your loss. I visited this grief site after the death of my father this past Dec 26th. He died of cancer and I had to read your story because it was so much worse than what I'm going thru I want to help any way I can with support
First you must realize it was not your fault! It was no ones fault. He had an illness that went undiagnosed or wasn't addressed due to any number of reasons. There are a lot of people that deal with mental illness who won't get treatment even when it is discovered. I have a family member in particular I write of. My sister a issue that when diagnosed she just refused to believe it or her addictions to Alcohol and pain management was her excuse. When my best friend and father died I was fortunate to be with him at his home with my mother. I spent the last 2 weeks making his transition as comfortable as possible with help from home care and dr. I can't even have a chance to mourn him before I find myself trying to save my mother from my siblings who want her just for the money he left her. The sad thing I nor my father were ever close to them and he set up his banking with me, my mother and his name on it just to take care of her when he was gone
They have tried numerous times to have her change it through making them power of attn. to telling her lies about me I am now in the process of going to court and fight them for the best interest of my mother which I promised my dad on his death bed I would do. He warned me and everyone he knew about my siblings I am older in my 50's and never got married or had children so I really have no one to turn to I was always dad's little girl who was there when ever I needed him. Now I can't imagine my life without him and how scared I am for my mother. I will fight them for her safety and best interest and pray he helps me by giving me the strength to do it. I know when he died I would only have my mother left So I'm sorry I went on about my situation
I guess what I am trying to say is ask for the strength and you will get it
You are going to mourn you are going to get mad you are going to be depressed but one day you will wake up and say IM STILL HERE MY CHILDREN ARE STILL HERE and you will realize that his death does not have to be the death of you and your children. Please don't let one life gone turn into 3 lives. Your children need there mom and I know you need support also. Is there a support group that you can meet with people in your area. You need to know your not alone. People mourn no matter how they loose a loved one. Can you go with your children some where to get away for a vacation? If you can't afford it maybe there is a charity group that can help you? I don't know your situation. I just hope you stop punishing yourself You have to much to live for
There will come a rainbow after this rainfall I promise
You will be in my prayers tonight
Shae
Hi Bess,

How are you and your children doing? I hope and pray you are finding peace:)

when my friend dilllon kill him  self  q a  out there  and his family  cover it they wood not let his  friend  say good  by  they cover it up so fast hewas here  to day  and gone  the day i like wow how do you get over it

Margo powell said:

Hi Bess,

How are you and your children doing? I hope and pray you are finding peace:)

you cant be strong all you can be is you iwant to cry but my grand  monther  told me boys dont cry  so i do numb my self because dont want to rember  that my  best friend  is dead  and you no what  the kicker is  just  move  in his  old  apt  building   a month after  kill him self so i have to be numb but to you stay strong  i will get better that what they tell me

 My heart goes out to you and your children. It seems like you have tried to take the right steps .Many may experience the same traumatic event but be affected differently. Some people hold things in . It is  good you are able to vent. This is a part of the healing process. When you feel like crying...cry.... Don't let anyone tell you that you are not strong. We know you are strong and will be stronger with God's help ( Psalms 55:22)

Bess,

You never have to apologize for your post being "too long", its shows incredible strength to be able to do that and I commend you for it. Its heartbreaking to hear your story and I am deeply sorry you had to go through such a horrible event but I thank you for writing it and sharing your story with us. I know how difficult it must of been to write it. I went through the same situation with a loved one in the same way your husband did not too long ago and well as other loss and suicides over the years. A tragedy like that leaves so many unanswered questions and unfortunately it is up to US the SURVIVORS to try to pick up the pieces. The memories and the visions as you know, are devastating and they tend to follow us wherever we go because our hearts are still with our loved ones and we are trying to make sense of what and why it happened. You are not letting your kids down you are using your strength to do the best you can do in a situation like this. No one is ever ready or prepared to battle it. Also, I was a child when I lost my father years ago, younger than your son and I know that confusion, anger, pain, and deep sense of loss. Your son is now an adult but he needs you whether he admits it or talks about it, most times he wont but while dealing with his fathers death it is different from how you are dealing with it because they were two different relationships. All you can do is reassure your son and daughter of your love and of your husbands love for them and that they, in NO way were apart of his reasoning for leaving you. Your son may feel that way but its not true. It saddens me to hear about the voices he was hearing, unfortunately I know about that situation as well and the struggle with a severe mental health disorder. I know the strain and pressure that comes with it and unfortunately the only way to help it would have been counseling and extensive professional help, but since you said he admitted he had suffered for a long time it obviously went untreated and the longer you live with those thoughts the harder it is to not only accept help but to pursue it. It is not that he did not love you all or that he would ever want to hurt any of you, the disease just took over. I just wanted to comment on when you stated "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? " Bess, this was NOT your fault and there was nothing you could of done to prevent it. Please do not think that way because you couldn't of changed his way of thinking. You are not letting your children down if anything you are building up strength by expressing your feelings and seeking help or just by even talking about it. As for your little girl, I know children are learning faster these days and picking up things quicker but she needs you and needs a relationship with her mother like she has had. I know its hard to get out of bed in the morning but take it one step at a time, you seem like a very very strong woman and again I commend that because most people who suffer from a loss like this cant even open up at all. All you can do is love your children and do the best you can. I hope you have family and friends to confide in and lean on, and I am sure you do, and also I hope there is someone on the outside that is there to help you and your son (also any of us on here). I wish you and your family nothing but peace and strength as you continue on with your lives. Just remember the good times as much as you can, do not dwell or blame yourself because you did not cause this and none of you are the reason for it. Thank you again for sharing, it means a lot to see other people express themselves. I know its such a horrible situation but I am grateful for you sharing because it hits home to me. You are not alone, and you never will be.

 

"If you are going through hell...... keep going." - Winston Churchill

 

-Alison

Boys can cry, there is NOTHING wrong with that. I know you numb yourself because its difficult to handle certain situations I do it all the time but it doesn't matter if you are a man or woman. You get hurt just like we do and I know you express and hold yourselves different, most women are more emotional but Germaine.... you deserve peace within yourself you shouldn't hold all that sadness in. Losing a best friend is one of the hardest situations to handle, I lost one of mine and it destroyed me I know that emptiness but please let it out, write things down, cry when you are alone, talk out loud to them.. but you continue to stay strong and you will get better but you don't have to numb yourself! You will be a strong man even if you cry its just acknowledging how you truly feel and that's the best remedy.
 
germaine said:

you cant be strong all you can be is you iwant to cry but my grand  monther  told me boys dont cry  so i do numb my self because dont want to rember  that my  best friend  is dead  and you no what  the kicker is  just  move  in his  old  apt  building   a month after  kill him self so i have to be numb but to you stay strong  i will get better that what they tell me

Hi Bess, How are you and your children doing? I think about you often and hope things are getting better for you. Blessings, Margo
Bess,

I read your story and I think you are very good at expressing your feelings and your pain. I'm sure it certainly doesn't feel that way, but believe it, it is. It is the kind of gift that, in effect, saves people like you and me, and so many others on this site and in grief groups and therapy around the world. It is a gift that, tragically, your husband, and my brother and an ex-girlfriend of mine, did not have. They were not able to own, express, share, or bear their hurts, their misery, and their despair. And we are left alive to bear the terrible misery their inability to bear theirs leaves us with.

Please try your best sometimes to consider this. For, you will drive yourself absolutely nuts trying to 'understand' why certain people give up and take their own lives and why others have the wherewithal not to. Just know your ex-husband did not have the wherewithal. That there may be plenty of 'if onlys'--if only he had found the right therapist, or met the right people who supported him right, or found the right path within himself to not run from himself & his problems--but that time is past for him. Free will, sadly, means we all have the ability to say 'enough' and make that exit.

That we, the survivors left behind, understand that the reason people kill themselves is because, for them, for whatever reasons, suicide seems to them their ONLY way out of their suffering, only serves sometimes to make our sorrow worse. We feel the misery of if-onlys and we blame ourselves for 'failing' them somehow. But, to help you stop latching onto this as reason to hate yourself for every conflict you ever had with that person, try to remember that people who are suicidal will tend to respond to even the 'normal' suffering of life and relationship conflicts as just another excuse to give up, because theydo not have your gift of being able to bear those sufferings, deal with them, reconcile them, move on from them, and perhaps learn from them.

I think this kinda normal weakness we survivors of suicide of loved ones feel is what is the fuel for your similar feelings of failing your children. But you didn't abandon them. And your gifted expressive words are easy to empathize with and show just how 'there' for them you really are in your heart. On top of that, no one expresses that they feel BAD about how their own pain and depression may negatively affect their children if they're not a parent who loves their children.

So, use that gift you have. If you're still feeling that depressed and miserable, enter your family into a good group therapy. Don't do what your ex did and not get the help you may now need. He couldn't get that help. You can. You have a gift that allows you to take it seriously, without it crumbling your ego, that sometimes even an otherwise strong and proud person needs to lean onothers for support. You may as well lean on someone(s) who has lots of experience with these kinds of tragedies in life.

Sometimes, believe it or not, the hardest thing any of us as suicide survivors will ever do is find our way not only back on our feet but back to being able to enjoy our lives in 'their' absence.

But that, in the end, is how we honor them and our love for them. For their loss of life, and their waste of life by what they felt they had to do, is the worst tragedy their is. So, fight this life destruction with your gift, and you will make the world peopled by one more person who loves life.

And part of that love is in the tears you will always have for him.


Take care,

Greg

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