If you are planning a suicide. If you have attempted suicide. If you are considering suicide. If you have ever considered suicide. If someone you know has considered suicide. I want you to read this. I want you to read this and then go back and read my whole story. Read my first post. Read Denny’s obituary. Read the posts about when it happened. Watch the videos of my girls. And tell me if I’ve changed your mind. If I haven’t, read them again and let me tell you more details.
Tonight is hell. I keep saying, “I think we’ve been through the worst of it,” then we have a night like this. It’s been over three hours now that both girls have been screaming at me. Both hyperventilating. Winnie is in so much pain from losing her dad and doesn’t know how to deal with it. She doesn’t know how to express it. She hit me today several dozen times and tried to bite me. She never hit me or bit me ever before Denny died. She’s a mess.
I’ve been taking her to therapy. She’s been diagnosed with PTSD. She is 3. She has to see her therapist 2x per week. She gets triggered by things and acts out. Transitions, like going from one place to another, or changing activities, can make her start demon screaming and hitting and biting. She gets freaked out around anyone dressed anything like a police officer because “they scared mommy and made her cry.” She thought the officers and their radios scared me and that’s why I fell to the floor when they told me Denny had taken his life. She starts physically reacting and tries to get away from them. Loud noises make her cry. She is either super social and loud or hides away and wants nothing to do with anyone except me. She clings to me and will literally dig her nails into my skin if I even try to set her down when she doesn’t want to. She scratches my face and takes out chunks of skin when she’s mad. If she doesn’t get what she wants she screams as loud as she can for as long as she has to until I give in or until she throws up or starts hyperventilating. Oh and she throws up every few days from anxiety. None of these were a part of her a little over seven weeks ago.
Piper doesn’t know what’s going on. Sadly, I don’t think she even thinks about Denny much anymore. I think she’s just too little. But she is affected by her sister’s emotions and my emotions. Even if I don’t show it outwardly, if I have a bad day, she is more needy and whiny and clingy. She’s become much more social over the past few weeks. But on a day like today she screams when anyone else comes near her. She won’t let me put her down. She won’t even go in her swing or high chair. Some people have suggested baby wearing and thank you for that because it has definitely helped! But days like today, neither one wants to be put down. So I end up sitting on the couch holding both girls on and off for hours on end and just staring at the laundry piling up.
I have only slept more than 4-5 hours one night in almost 8 weeks. And I never sleep more than 3 hours before being woken up by one of the girls. I’ve taken a few naps here and there (thanks to amazing humans and the one night of 7 hours of sleep was thanks to Benadryl and my sister). Another woman whose husband also died of suicide recently said she is constantly choking back tears and it’s like she’s always trying not to cry. That’s what I feel like for the large majority of each day the last little while.
I’ve had so many willing to help. And the biggest help is with housework and my kids. My list of things to do grows exponentially and the things that get crossed off are sparse. I try to let as many help as possible so that I can get things done. Sometimes people insist I don’t think about my list and take a nap. That’s always good too. I have too much guilt to take a nap most days though because there is too much to do. And the last two ish weeks, Winnie has been the biggest mess. So I canceled most of the help. Having so many people involved makes her unstable and takes away from her routine. So I haven’t had many breaks. That’s probably why I’m so overwhelmed and feeling like I’m about to break right now.
Just yesterday, I spoke with someone who had attempted suicide. It was not for attention or to get people to feel bad for them. This person genuinely thought their family would be better without them. This person said something like, “I thought of course it would be hard for them for a while, but it’ll be a short amount of pain and then they’ll be so much better off without me here.”
Let me tell you, like I told this person, this is not true. This is a lie that mental illness (or evil spirits or satan or whatever you believe in) tells you. This is a lie. Your people will not be better off without you. Yes, we will get through it. Yes, we will survive. Yes, my girls will have happy and whole and healthy lives. But do you know how much better we would be with him here? Do you know how much work it is going to be? Do you know how tired I am? How worn out I am and how tired my girls are? Emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally…
Tonight I let them cry themselves to sleep for the first time ever. I’m not a “cry it out” person. I am trying to do everything in my power to prevent as much damage as possible. I don’t want to add to the trauma. I am keeping as much routine and consistency as I can. I am trying to keep discipline and healthy habits a prominent part of their lives. I have had to separate ourselves from people who bring drama or chaos right now. I am trying to talk Winnie through her feelings. I’m trying to hold my kids as much as possible and be as present as I possibly can. But after 3 hours I couldn’t do it. I let them cry. I sat there in the room while they cried themselves to sleep, while Winnie just repeated “Mommy…mommy…mommy!”
I feel bad about it. I have guilt tonight. But I’m also so tired. We are over seven weeks into this and this is our new norm. It’s heartbreaking.
We will be okay. But all of this could have been prevented. If Denny would have stayed, we would not be here right now doing all of this. There were other trials we would have faced, but I would take those any day over this. And I guarantee if he knew the damage he was doing, he would too.
If you feel yourself slipping, get help. Talk to someone now. Don’t wait. Stop making excuses. Do everything you can to prevent this. Don’t let yourself get to that point where you can’t turn back. Denny was so loved. He was so needed. And he was definitely not a burden. Not even a tiny bit. You are loved. You are needed. You are not a burden. Stay. Do it for those people you love. I’m not just talking to parents or spouses. If you have kids, siblings, parents, friends, a significant other, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, coworkers, neighbors, grandparents, grandchildren, dogs, cats… Do not do this. You don’t know how it will affect people. Choose to stay.
You are loved.
You are needed.
You are not a burden.