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Forums / Sexuality and gender identity / A Complicated Suicide

Topic: A Complicated Suicide

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. Bridge
    Bridge avatar
    65 posts
    5 April 2014

    My name is Bridge, I have suffered from depression and anxiety from about the age of 12, culminating in a big breakdown at 29.

    At 29, homeless, jobless and bedraggled, I finally got help, literally hours I thought about ending my life, which I aborted at the last minute as I just wondered if (perhaps?!) I really was suffering from depression.  I decided that I should go and ask, just in case, as if I wasn't the other option would always be available. Many thanks to the teachers who taught me logical thinking skills. And many thanks also to the enlightened GP who saw me, without an appointment, having never met me before, (and after I had spat on his waiting room carpet). They saved my life that day.

    and while I'm at it, thanks also to my dad, who took me in and let me sleep under the table in the living room for a while, where I felt safe.

     

    That day marked the start of the rest of my life.  The great rebuild.  It has taken years, and I am so proud of myself for what I have achieved. 15 years on, I have a full time job I love, a partner I (usually) adore, an investment house that provides some security, and my relationships are stronger and healther.  I live up in the bush now, just outside Melbourne, and I am free here. I love it.  I can help other people now.  I can give back.  Its fantastic.

     

    so, where ia the suicide and whats so complicated, I hear you wondering?

    I had a friend.  I met her at school when I was 6.  we were best friends.  We ended up at different schools, but always kept in touch. spasmodically at times, through the years.  Knowing her kept me going at school when I felt no affinity to anyone, when I was the only odd person and no one else made sense.  That continued through my 20s as well.  She continued to make more sense, even after a long absence, than pretty much anyone else.

    In my late twenties, my friend met her future wife, (who I will call X) and moved in with her (yeah, we're all lesbians here). I went overseas for a year, and came home a wreck.  Backpacking was great: as no one knew me, it was easier to hide my ever deepening depression.  It came to light shortly after my return (and almost suicide) that I was in trouble, and I told my friend about it.  Over the next few months, I got very mixed messages from them both.  I would be invited to visit, and then asked to leave.  Her partner was really rude to me on more than one occasion.  Eventually I stopped going around, and they never came to visit.  I was angry, baffled and very very hurt.  But I had enough to deal with, I was fighting something that was way bigger than them.  So I put the hurt and confusion into a box in the back of my mind, taped down the lid, and walked away from it.  There seemed nothing I could do, so I just got on with life.  And I did.

    roll on 14 years, and I get an email, out of the blue,  from my friend.  She tells me that the reason that she removed me from their lives was at her partners request, as her partner was scared by my depression and felt sure that it would end in my death and she didn't want that for herself or my friend.  She then went on to say that her partner had  since taken her own life, leaving her with 2 primary aged children. 

     

    Wham.

     

    Since then I have caught up with my friend twice.  I haven't met her kids yet.  It is good to see her, and weirdly, we kind of just pick up where we left off, as we always have.  It is really great to have her around  in the soup of life again.  Its going to take a long time to catch up, and to readjust, and I'm angry sometimes that I need to at all.  But then I remind myself to make the best of what you have.  so im looking forwards to the future.

     

    But X.  I haven't grieved like this, ever, I think.  And its so confusing.  Im crying as I type this.  I cant seem to make headway.  Im obsessively thinking about the whole situation , over and over.  I daydream about what I could have done, that day she died, if id just run into her.  (would I have recognised her anyway?  its been 14 years and I didn't know her that well to start with. insane stuff).  I get angry with her and find myself talking to her (and shouting at her) when theres no one to hear me.  "You should have recognised this! You know this would have passed!  You've done this before!!". I trawl the internet looking for pictures of her, write ups about her, obituaries. She didn't even like me!  She was horrible to me!  Why on EARTH am I so upset??? 

     

    so that's my current struggle.

     

    and it will pass. 

    eventually.

     

    I actually feel better having written it and read it back.  Im going to post it on a forum, which is something I've never done before (I usually just save things onto the hard drive and avoid them in future).

    so well see how that goes.

    Thank you for reading this far.  I feel better already.

     

    Bridge

  2. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    6 April 2014 in reply to Bridge

    Hello Bridge

    Welcome to Beyond Blue.  Your story is both fascinating strong.  I was engrossed to the end.  I don't mean to make it sound like "just a story" but you explained it all so well.  Now that you have got it off your chest I can understand how you feel better.

    Grieving for someone you have only met a couple of times is not that strange.  I find myself sad/grieving for people I have never met.  It's because you can relate to their circumstances I believe.  Had you not received help at that critical time in your life you may not have survived.  But you did and not only that you have rebuilt your life.  What a fantastic achievement and a great model for the many people here who need to hear success stories in order that they can have hope as well.

    Unfortunately for X she did not get the help she needed which is very sad.  I wonder if even when you knew her she was worried or scared that she had depression, or afraid that this may happen to her one day.  I know it was one the things that followed me around.  I'm told that people put off making their wills because it means that one day they will die.  Well of course they will die one day regardless of what they do or don't do, but not making provision can keep up the illusion that it is not going to happen to them.

    I wonder if something of this nature was going on in X's mind?  It would certainly explain her attitude towards you.

    I think that anyone who has gone through or is going through a a dreadful experience invariably relates to others in the same situation.  Hence the responses on this forum.  There are so many kind and helpful people here who offer support, comfort and encouragement to others, and what they say comes from the heart.

    You sound as though you are one of these people, and in the case of X really sad because you could not help her or find someone else to help her.  "What could have been", or "If only" are sad words and hard to get away from.  For your own peace of mind this is not a good way to go.  You cannot change that situation, and believe me I really empathise with you. 

    Is there something you feel you can do to explain your regrets?  Perhaps write a letter to X telling her how sad you are and how you would have liked to be friends with her and to have helped.  I'm told this sort of thing can be useful and helpful in managing a situation that you cannot change.  There may be other actions you can take to lay her to rest in your mind. 

    I would like to know how you go with this if you are happy to write.

    Thank you for sharing your story and the hope that you have given to me and anyone else who reads it.

    White Rose

  3. Bridge
    Bridge avatar
    65 posts
    11 April 2014 in reply to White Rose

    Hi White Rose

    Thanks for your reply, its much appreciated.

    thank you for listening.

    your reply has  made me think a bit too.

    X did help me, by telling me that she had had depression in her later school years, but had overcome it and at that point had a pretty good life- career, girlfriend etc.  It gave me hope.  So she did help me quite a lot.

    Im angry i didnt have the opportunity to have done the same for her.

    and i think you are absolutely right about her being scared of depression- and why wouldnt you be?  Its a nasty insidious destructive, a personal natural disaster.

    I think she was very scared of it returning, and i dont blame her.

    My friend made a comment the other day about how X wouldnt discuss her (posible?) depression with her, because of the stigma attached.  I cried.  in the cafe.  X was a health professional. my friend was her wife of nearly 20 years.

    stigma makes me very very angry, both as a lesbian and a mental health sufferer. It is such a waste of time and energy.

    (Im very angry tonight aren't I???!!)

    rather than banging my head against the wall, ive taken some action.  Ive approached Beyond Blue with a suggestion of a mental health awareness day, where i work, at one of Melbournes family based recreational parks. Ive started talking at work to other staff, many (or maybe all) who are aware i have had mental health issues in the past.  It doesnt help me, as a boss, do my job, having them know that, but  its a small step to moving the whole community forwards on this matter.

    Its like coming out as a gay person, its really taxing and challenging.  But its better for everyone in the long run.  There are at least 2 people on my staff who have mental health issues, and many more who have been affected by others who have them.  were all in this together, we just seem to spend a lot of time pretending that were not!

    so. im trying to channel the rocket fuel of anger somewhere useful.

    and  tonight i am drinking to opening doors, saying it like it is and being blunt!

    thanks so much for listening.  I really appreciate your time and energy.

    i hope your life is going along as well as it can be, or at least, there is hope that it will soon improve, if not.

    im here and happy to be an ear if you too need to offload at any point. (ill keep and eye on this website)

    :)  bridge

  4. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    13 April 2014 in reply to Bridge

    Hello Bridge

    Sorry to take so long to respond.  Your post sounds so positive despite your ongoing grief for X.  Anger, unfortunately, seems to follow us around, but I think a lot of it is frustration.  As you say, stigma and prejudice.  

    What a great idea to have a mental health day at work.  I imagine it must have taken some courage to tell your colleagues about your health problems but as you have found out, other people have them as well.  And once one or two speak out it's surprising how others come out of the woodwork.  So much healthier all round.  So many folk are scared of mental health issues and have absolutely no idea of what goes on.  Old wives tales abound.

    In the past couple of days I have taken to saying it like it is in various areas of my life.  Not always successful, depends on the other(s).  But so what.  I'm tired of hiding and apologising for being me.  My friends like me or they would not be my friends.  They know the trauma I have lived with for the past several years and to varying extents, understand why I am as I am.  I'm healing, albeit slowly, and like everyone else I have good and bad days.  So "cheers" to the fighters and those trying to find a way to fight.  As the song says "We will overcome". 

    Great to hear from you.

    White Rose

  5. Vera55
    Vera55 avatar
    76 posts
    13 April 2014

    What an interesting read. Thank you both for the discussion. Very informative and insightful. 

    I am not having a good day today. Feeling very fragile. 

    Suicides are so destructive for people left behind yet so inviting when the shame and the onslaught of the illness become too much. It's like a safety valve that works most of the time but at times can get stuck and the pressure builds up. This is how it feels to me. And in a weird way feeling that responsibility of not wanting my family to suffer is what gets me out of that mind frame. I ask myself what is it I want to do or have before I do myself in. And it's usually something really silly like good chocolate or good champagne or a good laugh with friends or just WHO CARES? Do or be whatever you want to be because there are no answers anyway, and stop looking for them, blah, blah, blah.

    i think I get stuck in how I think life should be and how it is.

    i think I hone in on one thing and think this is the solution for me and off I go exploring this to the detriment of all the other things around me. It's like when I cook I regard one ingredient as the most important and others as secondary. And yet It's the adding of all ingredients that produces the best flavor. 

    This is an important moment for me. Realizing that bits of everything is ok, in different proportions and it's not any one thing I do or know that will heal me from this.

    i feel so weird at times. 

    And that is the beauty of all living things. Our paradox. 

    Vera

     

     

  6. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    13 April 2014 in reply to Vera55

    Great to hear from you Vera.

    I understand your sentiments about suicide.  I think if you are capable of realising how your suicide will affect your family and friends the chances of completing it are greatly reduced.  The real problem, in my opinion, is when the would-be suicidal person is in so much pain that they cannot see further than their pain.  I came across a quote a short while ago.

    Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.

    I firmly believe this true and certainly in my experience.  I attempted to take my own life because I could see no other option.  Family and friends did not enter the equation; I could not see them.  All I had was my pain and it became too much to bear. 

    Sad though it is for those left, the suicidal person has no intention of causing pain to others.  If anything they think they are doing the family a favour.  There is nowhere else to go and no belief that life can get better.  It really is a genuine belief, not a cop out.  Living in that black place does weird things to the mind.

    On a different note Vera, I hope you are feeling better. 

    White Rose

  7. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    15314 posts
    14 April 2014 in reply to Bridge

    dear Bridge, White Rose and Vera, I have found this post a very interesting one, but firstly can I say Bridge it doesn't matter one iota when you say 'yeah, we're all lesbians here' in your first comment talking about your girlfriend and X, your still a human and what sexuality you are is of no concern to us at all, it certainly doesn't make you any lower or higher than the rest of us.

    Suicide is a topic that some people or maybe 'friends' want to know about, but with myself these 'friends' ( who aren't any more) are just nosy, no different than watching 'the bold and the beautiful', because they want to know so that the word around can be spread, which is no good for the person.

    Nineteen years on for me and the relationship I have with my two sons, daughter in law and of course my two year old grand daughter would be all lost, and if I wasn't here then hell I would have missed all of this, but at the time of even considering suicide our mind is blocked off from being able to visualise any of this.

    There is only one person who understands suicide and that's yourself, because you can't literally tell anyone of what you are actually thinking. L Geoff. x

  8. Neil_1
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    4232 posts
    14 April 2014

    Hi there Bridge;

    I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to your post – but I do say, thank you for providing it and as you said, you felt like a little load may have been lifted from your shoulders for getting your post typed up.  I do this and I feel it’s a kind of therapeutic experience.  Sometimes I post them here and sometimes they stay on my computer.

    You’ve reached to me so often of late, which is just wonderful and for all that support, I really want to say “Thank you”.  Support but with heart-felt compassion and some really great advice too.

    This is also a brilliant place to come and vent as well – as I hope you’ve figured by now, that no-one on this site judges anybody else.  It really is a fantastic supportive community and everyone is welcomed and supported.  So it’s really up to the poster as to how much they wish to detail out.

    It was so awesome to read about how you’ve now settled, with your partner into what sounds like a lovely tranquil place outside of Melbourne.  You’ve got a full time job and it really sounds like you are now feeling in a much better space than you have in the past.

    Again like so many of us, you’ve had to battle and get through things and we all have to do it in our own ways – with support close by, without support close by, etc.

     I honestly don’t think I’ve provided too much usefulness here Bridge – I just wanted to write to you, so you know that I’m here as another support person for you. 

    And to thank you again for your other posts of support to me.

    Kind regards

    Neil

  9. Bridge
    Bridge avatar
    65 posts
    15 April 2014 in reply to White Rose

    Thanks everyone for your support.

    The good news is that i am feeling MUCH better about it at the moment, and can take a moment to look at other aspects of my life without it butting in all the time and me feeling like im going loopy. again!

    Its also really lovely to find all you people and be able to talk openly about depression, and  how it has affected me and my life, which it has, deeply and on every level.  This is a rare thing, something I have yearned for from friends particularly over the years and never really received.  This is precious and im lucky to have found this forum and this crowd.  So thank you all.

    White Rose- I really like your quote.  its so true. it certainly sums up my own experience of suicide- like slipping off a rock face because your little fingers just haven't the strength to hold on any more.  

    Vera- thank you so much for you warmth and welcome and gentleness.  Im hoping that when you get this you will have had a least a day (of part there of) where you were feeling better.  Its so tiring being fragile.  The sun has been shining beautifully  here in Victoria after a lot of slow, gentle rain. I hope it is the same for you.

    Geoff- suicide is such a personal thing isnt it?! im not sure if others have had this experience too, but i had a group of before breakdown friends, and now, (much fewer,) after breakdown friends. there are only two people who have straddled the divide, but i wouldnt say i was terribly close to either of them. but i know they are there for me bless them in abundance.

    Neil- good to hear from you, and thanks for writing. im hoping you are feeling no worse, and things may have shifted a little. how are your various grumpy muscles going with time off gym?

  10. Neil_1
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    18 April 2014 in reply to Bridge

    Hi Bridge

    Sorry it's taken a little while to get back to you on your thread.  It IS sounding better for you and when I say better, I hope you know what I mean - as in, better than you were when you first posted here.

    You also hit the nail right on the head about the feeling or the 'just being here' on this site and being able to let loose with whatever is troubling you or just to let out what's inside and you can't do it anywhere else - because for the most part, no-one else knows how you feel - how to deal with it and possibly more to the point, how to respond.  Having this facility is so good because we all suffer (or have suffered - as in the case for at least one of us) from this flaming mongrel of an illness and so we can fully empathise with others who come here.  Boy it takes a long time for me to get a point across!!  :)

    Bridge, nope, my muscles aren't healing like I want them too - so I suspect I'll be needing to get to a physio, sooner rather than later to try and speed up the process.  Annoying isn't a word I'd use for this - but then again, the break will help to rejuvenate and sharpen up my enthusiasm levels - although they're always pretty high when it comes to working out.

    Hey, when you said, "... but i know they are there for me bless them in abundance".    Was that you in reference to your friends??  Which is a good thing, yeah?

    Kind regards

    Neil

     

  11. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    18 April 2014 in reply to Bridge

    Hello Bridge

    How are you going?  Haven't heard from you for a couple of days so I'm writing a quick post to say Hi.

    Would love to know what's happening in your life.

    White Rose

  12. Bridge
    Bridge avatar
    65 posts
    18 April 2014 in reply to White Rose

    hello neil and white rose

    thanks for your replies.

    yep bless them in abundance is for my friends who found ways to support me, even in part, which I'm eternally grateful for.

    neil- sorry to hear about your muscles.  go physio go!  It is SUCH a pain waiting for things to heal.  how are you feeling other than that?  Im hoping ..

    Rose- im feeling heaps better, which is just as well:

     I put my dad into care last week, hes only 71 but has dementia.  Hes been living with us since before christmas, but it was getting really difficult.  My deal with myself and partner was that I would do it until i started getting depression symptoms, and when they arrived, stop.  And thats exactly what happened. Im glad I followed my plan, and Im glad (and proud) that Ive managed to do what i set out to do, which was keep dad out of care for as long as i could, without going down the tube myself.  Im sad it wasnt longer.

    but im glad i found a way through the suicide things a little because the combination of those 2 events together is a bit scary!

    Im still upset and angry about X, but I'm not obsessed by it as much as i was, which i think is definately a good thing.  It helped a lot to write it down, but it also helped to know others had read it and understood.  

    aged care- well, we will wait and see.  Im not so sure about it, but dad surprised me by joining a gentle exercise group there (almost as unexpected as neil taking up lacemaking i suspect)

    Its great being on here, its given me a really good chance to reflect on how big an effect this illness has had on my life (and no doubt will again).  I realise there is a lot i would like to do on a community level to try and help reduce the stigma of mental illness, just not sure how to do it yet.

    If you can think of a way to help let me know!

    thanks you both for your time and energy

    OXOX

    Bridge

  13. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    19 April 2014 in reply to Bridge

    Dear Bridge

    So pleased that you are feeling more comfortable.  Also sad for you re your father.  It's not something I have needed to do but I know so many others who have gone through that particular scenario and it is so distressing.  On a more positive note though, you have recognised the necessity both for yourself and your father.  As you say this has a huge impact on you.  And at the risk of sounding trite, you do need to think of yourself and your self-care.  

    How is your suggestion going with BB about a mental health day at work?  It sounds such a great idea and so positive.  It has made me wonder if I can do something of this nature.  The idea does scare me a little so I will need to really think it through.

    I've had a few down days in the past week (who hasn't?) but I am back to feeling well.  I think I am begining to let go of some of my hurts and it is such a load I have been carrying.  I feel a bit like the weather.  It's been hot and humid here (Qld) and now we are into autumn with warm days, cool nights and no great humidity.  The sort of weather that makes me want to dance and sing (but only when no one is looking). 

    Lovely to hear from you Bridge.

    White Rose

  14. Bridge
    Bridge avatar
    65 posts
    21 April 2014 in reply to White Rose

    Hi White Rose

    Isnt autumn wonderful! its my favorite time of the year.  The vines around here are just starting to turn yellow and there are mists over the hills on the way to work each morning.  Its really beautiful.

    im glad you are having more good days.

    (very glad).

    its such a relief when you prod an old hurt, and its not as painful as it was last time you prodded it. and it gets less, and less.  and you get a bit lighter. helleilujah.

    I wrote to BB a while back and they sent an email asking if we could accommodate the BB bus which does a road trip around australia (maybe each year?) but seems to be not coming to vic until next march- i wrote to them explaining what my work place does (its a community venue), and what it could provide but i havent heard back from them.

    however my works COM were muttering about mental health week in october, and the main mutterer is someone who i get along with well, so i think i will chase her up and have a talk about possibilities...  I have no idea what will come out of it, but my thinking is anything is better than nothing.  I dont mind what really, just something to get people talking and thinking. and understanding a bit more.

    My workplace is quite unusual in a lot of ways....it has the capacity to do something really great, the staff there are pretty on board with stuff like this anyway, usually.

    Ill keep you posted!

    enjoy the weather

    bridge

     

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