suicide's survivors

talk to other survivors of loved ones that took their life and learn how to cope with everyday life, how to carry on,try to understand and know why you feel the way you do.

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Comment by Tracy W. E. on October 23, 2013 at 3:19pm

Caryn, my daughter is doing great.  It wasn't until months later that I found out that she had blamed herself for me shooting myself.  Just prior to it happening my husband and I had been having a conversation about her. 

I understand how you can lay the blame on your mom because she didn't really think he would do it.  The sad thing about it is, most people that talk about it won't do it.  I have been to the ER several times and told them I had taken a hand full of pills and they send me right back home.  If anyone ever tells you they are gonna do something or wanna die don't ever take it as a joke. EVER!!!


Comment by Tracy W. E. on October 23, 2013 at 3:10pm

Lisa that's a great clip from your book.  I have multiple diagnosis, unfortunately, that's what made me do what I done.  I never done illegal drugs or alcohol and I am a 40 year old woman.  Some of my lovely mental health issues were handed down to me because im sure most of you hopefully know it can be hereditary.  That isn't the root of my nervous breakdown, I guess that's what I call it, when I shot myself.  There were several other factors that came into play.  But it may be something very simple.  I think some of us alienate ourselves from others because they can't understand our grief and pain, hence another reason we may end up walking that fine line.  Please, I can't say it enough, if you have friends or loved one's with mental illnesses or problems, please, please, please educate yourself!!!

Comment by Caryn Hersh on October 23, 2013 at 2:59pm

Wow! You really weren't meant to go that night. How is your daughter doing now?
It makes me feel better that I kind of understood where my brother, also a Michael, was mentally that day. Unfortunately he called out for help but my mom was under the impression that if someone says they are going to kill themselves they wouldn't do it, and she did nothing. He called her to say goodbye and she understood what he was saying, he had just separated from his wife & was staying in a hotel. She called the hotel later & got no answer , that's when she had them check on him but it was about 7 hrs. later, they broke down the door & called 911 but he was already dead. We only live an hour and a half away, she could've gone up there, she could've called 911, she could've called me but she did nothing thinking he was crying wolf. I know he didn't call me because he knew I would've dropped everything & gotten up there ASAP. So right or wrong I blame my mom for his death.

Comment by Lisa Schenke on October 23, 2013 at 2:54pm

I agree that hearing from people who have been suicidal definitely helps us understand more about how our family members/friends were feeling. I am copying and pasting something here from my website,, that gave me more perspective than anything I have ever read. This comment was posted to a newspaper article about my book and my journey by someone like Tracy and I really felt it was describing my son:

Depression is an ugly thing, and I hope you have never had to experience it. It begins to tell you lies and alienate you from the people that love you (rage is a tactic of pushing people away). It convinces you the people that care about you hate you and everything they do is proof of that. Psych meds make you feel ill and not yourself, therapists don't understand you. Eventually, some turn to illegal drugs and alcohol to numb themselves. What they don't realize is that something that might be innocent for a teenager without problems can be disastrous for some with problems. The alcohol feeds the depression. You spiral into a deeper hole because of it, and little arguments become even more proof that the people around you are better off without you. In the end, I am sure he thought he was making everyone's life easier by killing himself.

If you're wondering, yes, my story is similar to this kid's...except I managed to get the help I needed before I hit the last step and I'm still here today, ten years after my initial diagnosis.

It honestly sounds like they did all they could, but like many parents, likely could only do so much, especially when their son became an adult. There is only so much a person can do for someone before it becomes up to them to focus on fighting it. Not to say this kid is at fault, either - fighting a mental illness, especially one like depression which saps your very will to fight, is one of the hardest things I have ever had to done. I would not wish the kind of hopelessness you have to face on my worst enemy. It's like literally looking forward, seeing complete darkness, and walking through it anyway with a vague hope that maybe things will get better and there will be a light 'eventually', with your brain lying to you the entire way that the 'light' doesn't exist.

I am sure the parents made mistakes - all parents have - but the real monster came from within him.

Comment by Caryn Hersh on October 23, 2013 at 2:51pm

Comment by Tracy W. E. on October 23, 2013 at 2:23pm

Yes Caryn that's how I felt.  I just got to that point that I was in so much pain, mentally, emotionally and even physically that I just wanted it to all end and I knew the only was it was going to end was for me to no longer exist in this cruel world.  I never for one moment thought about the consequences it would have on my children or anyone else.  You can't think at all when your mind goes into that state.  You are no longer yourself.


Comment by Tracy W. E. on October 23, 2013 at 2:17pm

Carla, your welcome.  Anything I can say or do to help anyone understand is the least I can do.  I don't feel like you or anyone needs to thank me for it though.  I can tell you though, like your son Michael, I didn't HAVE A CHOICE that night.  I had been ridiculed and made to believe I wasn't worth the air I was breathing and I was losing everything I had left in life.  My kids, my home, my husband and it really was like someone snapped their fingers and a light bulb came on in my head.  I was completely fine one minute and the next I had no idea what I was doing.  I first tried to load a .22 derringer several times and fired it into my head and it wouldn't discharge so I just threw that on the bed and went for the .12 gauge shotgun.  I had one shell, buckshot.  I fired it into my heart 5 times and it wouldn't dishcharge. The 6th time my sister and mother were trying to break the door in along with my 13 year old and I suppose in looking up and pulling the trigger the barrel moved over into my underarm and blew my side out.  I spent a month and a half in the hospital recovering.  That night though when it happened I didn't even know I had done it, I didn't feel it initially.  All I knew was it blew me backwards and I was thirsty all of the sudden and it was like everything went into slow motion.  They had 3 iv's in me before they put me in stat flight.  I thought I was going to die before they got me there.  But I asked GOD if he would please help me.  I told him if he would help me I would change my life forever.  But It was only then when I was hurting so immensely that I can't even begin to explain the pain that I realized what I had done.  My 13 year old seen me and it didn't even ring home.

Comment by Caryn Hersh on October 23, 2013 at 2:10pm

That is awesome that you are thankful for a second chance and are trying to do your best. Talking to people on here is a great thing, I agree with Carla, you are bringing a voice to those who have no voice now. I always felt that my brother was in such a dark place that he couldn't see the consequence of his actions on his baby, his family or friends. I know he was just looking for a way to end to pain he was feeling, does that sound right to you?

Comment by Tracy W. E. on October 23, 2013 at 2:04pm

I still struggle on a daily basis to deal with all of my demons, but I am still alive because somebody wasn't ready for me yet.  I thank GOD everyday of my life for giving me a second chance and I try to do the best I can.  It's a big job.  Thank you for asking!!!

Comment by Carla on October 23, 2013 at 2:01pm

Dear Tracy - Thank you. Thank you for being our son's voice since his is silent now. Thank you for having the courage to speak out to we who have lost loved ones, and thank you for surviving and continuing to do so. Your comments and thoughts mean a lot. Too few people understand our pain and sorrow and they often don't want to and that's why it is so lonely sometimes.... this type of grief. But I agree with everything you have said. I believe that Michael was not in his right mind. It makes me angry when people have told me it "was his choice". I tell them - "if he thought he had a choice, he wouldn't have done this", I hope you continue to answer questions and post here - we all need to hear you. It brings comfort, at least to me.


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