Author Topic: Guilt following dadís death  (Read 563 times)

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Offline Etcgc

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Guilt following dadís death
« on: December 25, 2017, 11:35:43 PM »
18 years ago my 56 year old father committed suicide. I was 34, married with two children aged 10 and 8.  I adored my dad and his death crushed me, literally broke my heart.  I became, unbeknown to me at the time, very depressed. My doctor diagnosed this when I went to see him about something else. The fact I had lost 2 stone and was up at 4am everyday gave him a clue. Iíve learned a lot about depression since then.  18 years later I am still riddled with guilt over the fact that almost overnight, I feel I lost the ability to parent. Something switched off.  I didnít feel part of a family anymore. I felt different and alienated. I loved my kids, of course I did, but Iíd lost something intrinsic in the way I felt towards what had been a very close and happy family life.  I had an affair, my marriage broke down and 3 years after dad died I left the family home and set up a new life with a man who is now my second husband. I still saw my kids and I now have an incredibly close relationship with them both.  I had some terribly dark years, I drank too much and it was a mess. I no longer drink, sober for ten years now and that has helped me deal with the pain of losing my dad - in that itís real and it hurts but Iím no longer self medicating. I suppose my question is, did I lose that ability to be the Mum and wife I had been before dad went because of grief?  I think about it so much - I lost years of my kids lives because I simply canít remember so many things - huge gaps that I canít get back and I feel so much guilt and sadness for that. Does anybody relate to any of this?  Thank you for reading.

Offline Emz2014

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Re: Guilt following dadís death
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 08:45:38 AM »
I would say that sounds much like grief. It is such a rollercoaster of emotions, some you wouldnt expect. The foundations under our feet are shaken when we lose a parent. Grief is strange in that you can be surrounded by people yet feel so alone, or you want people to be around but feel agitated when they are - we need something but either cannot work out what it is or people dont act in the way we need. It's very changeable! The affair was likely trying to 'feel' something

Try not to feel guilty - you have survived the rollercoaster of grief and that is an achievement. What you do now with your children means more now, in the present  :hearts: xx
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. 
Hold on in there xx

Offline Etcgc

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Re: Guilt following dadís death
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 09:13:32 AM »
Thank you. I suppose I know deep down that dad going did change so much. I know it changed me as a person forever and I miss him dreadfully every single day, even after so many years. Iíd give anything to just have ten minutes to tell him I love him, give him one last hug and to say that I have never ever blamed him for what he did.  Iím sorry for all the hurt I caused my family after he died - but if any good has come from it then it is the fact I have an empathy towards others who have lost a loved one. I think that unless you have experienced such pain, it is very difficult to even begin to comprehend. My mum (who was divorced from my dad) said after the funeral that it would all be ok now. In my experience time doesnít heal and the funeral is just the beginning of the process  to be honest. You learn to love with the loss. Itís still a physical pain at times but then that lets me know that heís still with me and he existed. But you are right in that I have my kids in my life and I adore them and we are all incredibly close. They understand everything that happened. The present is what matters and your words are very kind. Thank you xx
 

Offline Karena

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Re: Guilt following dadís death
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 07:55:05 PM »
I think grief probably had a huge part to play.When you lose someone you love very much,you start to think about others you love and potentially start of push them away,because loving them means they too can hurt you and this grief is such an awful experience we cant imagine going through it again,so we think too ourselves maybe its easier to not love.I doesnt mean you dont you do, but you can convince yourself thats the case.couple that with depression , another feature of grief, which can then put the idea in your head that you are not worth loving.These thoughts even though they are not true dominate your thinking and you can easilly get drawn down the self abuse road,drink drugs etc.But you have done really well,pulled yourself back from that.You can't talk too your dad in the conventional way,but you can talk too him.Maybe even write him a letter.I,m sure he would be proud of the way you have got back on track and been able too re establish your relationship with your kids. :hug:

Offline Maria66

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Re: Guilt following dadís death
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 05:03:12 AM »
18 years ago my 56 year old father committed suicide. I was 34, married with two children aged 10 and 8.  I adored my dad and his death crushed me, literally broke my heart.  I became, unbeknown to me at the time, very depressed. My doctor diagnosed this when I went to see him about something else. The fact I had lost 2 stone and was up at 4am everyday gave him a clue. Iíve learned a lot about depression since then.  18 years later I am still riddled with guilt over the fact that almost overnight, I feel I lost the ability to parent. Something switched off.  I didnít feel part of a family anymore. I felt different and alienated. I loved my kids, of course I did, but Iíd lost something intrinsic in the way I felt towards what had been a very close and happy family life.  I had an affair, my marriage broke down and 3 years after dad died I left the family home and set up a new life with a man who is now my second husband. I still saw my kids and I now have an incredibly close relationship with them both.  I had some terribly dark years, I drank too much and it was a mess. I no longer drink, sober for ten years now and that has helped me deal with the pain of losing my dad - in that itís real and it hurts but Iím no longer self medicating. I suppose my question is, did I lose that ability to be the Mum and wife I had been before dad went because of grief?  I think about it so much - I lost years of my kids lives because I simply canít remember so many things - huge gaps that I canít get back and I feel so much guilt and sadness for that. Does anybody relate to any of this?  Thank you for reading.

My father left me 1997. He had been ill for a long time with Lupus and other issues. He was my soulmate we were really close, when i was in trouble he was always there for me i was I suppose out of six children his favorite no idea why.   

He died 2 weeks after a routine operation, he just gave up living, he didn't want to be in pain anymore and he wanted to protect my mother from any more of his agony as it was having an effect on her life.   

When i saw him last he more or less just ignored me, turned his head away from me when i went to give him a kiss i had no idea he would be gone that night. I saw him when i turned around after going through the door and my heart sunk i knew.

At 4am my window blew open in my bedroom, and i found out later he died at 4am.   I always think he said goodbye.   Later that day as i was laying on my bed bereft with grieve i have never felt in my life i felt someone sit down on my bed, i know i did and my jack russell hearing me moving about came up to see me and jumped on the bed and looking at the exact spot i felt someone started to really growl hackles up and turned around and ran downstairs.   

Anyway after the funeral I suddenly felt rejection, anger, and disbelief that my dad who i loved turned away from me, and wouldnt fight for his family.  I know its not suicide but i almost felt in a way it was. He wasn't so ill he couldnt have survived, but HE decided to die and stopped trying to live.  We watched him for 2 weeks fade away.

It screwed me up it really did like you i felt lost, hurt, i couldn't cope i drank too much, i hated my life, i hated my father for leaving me.  I really was in a mess.  I think his death is what triggered my multiple sclerosis the stress of it.

I was only married a year with my husband who i have just lost in october 2017, but he helped me through it, supported me, and I finally came out of a dark horrible tunnel.

To loose a father by suicide must be one of the hardest things to cope with. You reactions were totally to be expected. The one person in your life who you loved the most had rejected you, turned away from you, and this in its own way made you to turn away and reject your family, as it was easier to face.  You loved them so much you didnt want them to feel the way you did if you passed away, in a way bizarrely i think you were trying to protect them in your befuddled brain.  You were dealing with the worse form of grief the grief of a suicide is awful really awful. 

Personally anyone who looses a a loved one by suicide should have long term counselling its not something you can just cope with yourself.

Perhaps even though you can talk about it now you would benefit from some counselling to help you understand why you reacted the way you did, it will help you with full and final closure of his leaving you.

You feel guilty you question why would he do such a thing, was it something i could have done, should I have noticed?  I can imagine all the thoughts in your head at the time so loud the only way you could shut them up was by drink.

I am going to be honest here but I have been in terrible pain with my MS to the point i cant bear it but I would never put my family through a suicide no way, when i go it will be because its my time, i couldnt leave them the guilt, the hurt and the rejection. It leaves people smashed and it takes a long time to get over it.

They may be in pain, but they have no idea how much pain they leave behind.

I think your amazing and brave to face it now, you have dealt with it all on your own, sadly yes you have to bear some bad scars but you did it, and you came out the other side a much stronger person.

Think of it this way, your father left you not to hurt you but to protect you in his own mind that was what he was doing, in his mind he was taking the ultimate sacrifice his life for yours.  When someone has decided to part this way, they are not thinking rationally, but totally emotionally and they make their own minds up that this is for the best for everyone.  My father did when he gave up, he was protecting his beloved wife, and his children, from seeing him suffer anymore and draining my mothers resources as she had health issues herself.

He turned away from me not because he didn't love me because he couldn't bear to see me and know he wouldn't see me again, and i think in his own way he felt so guilty for doing that he did come to say goodbye and i hold onto that thought to help me understand.

I did have counselling in the end and it really did help me.

I am about to have counselling now after the death of my beloved husband but that is a total other story.

Now all you can do is just enjoy the rest of your life, with your lovely family and feel your father around you and tell him you forgive him, and you forgive yourself, and just take in every day and remind yourself that you are a survivor of a suicide which believe me is a huge achievement in itself.   

I think you might benefit from reading this, it wont hurt and perhaps it will help you to understand all the stages of grief you had to go through to be where you are now. http://supportaftersuicide.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/HSE-Ireland-Suicide-survivor.pdf

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