Curious if anybody feels the same?
I am new to the forums with only a few posts and to be honest, was unsure if I was even going to post on this topic but you all seem so understanding and compassionate that I have decided to do it.
First of all, know that I am safe and not in any danger I just want to talk about my feelings and maybe see if I can get some clarity on things I've always been scared to talk about.
I was suicidal numerous times in my teen years (I'm well into my 30s now) and well..okay so I've been to those quick ten set therapy sessions they hand out three times. Whilst I was able to talk some about losing my parents, I never got around to talking about this. I'm not sure I was even ready to and was scared if I said something they could take action even though I wasn't in danger at the time but my anxiety was making me a little paranoid about it. Anyway, I managed to keep my thoughts and such to myself for the most part and not go into a lot of personal details my parents eventually found out about what I will call my last attempt (I was 17). I guess I was expecting a hug and maybe some questions on why I would feel that bad that I wanted to end my life at that time, but instead, I was met with anger and what kind of felt like blame. Does anybody know why this reaction happened? I guess it's something I have always wanted some clarity on. I mean, I know it would have been a shock to my parents, but I wasn't expecting that reaction. Needless to say, I never spoke about my feelings again at least not to them and not in that way. I just internalised everything.
The other thing I wanted to say is I've had feelings as an adult about it all it comes up sometimes yet there's thing knowing in me that I couldn't act on it so they end up just being mere thoughts but do others experience this? You know, the deep knowing that you can't do anything, you won't do anything, but yet the thoughts are still there and you kind of just sit with them until they pass?
I'm just curious if anybody feels the same or perhaps could share their opinions or experiences on the matter?
Thank you. 🙂
First of all - Thank you for joining us in the Forums! We are really grateful that you choose our community to join and hope you will get out of the experience as much as you possibly can, and as least as much as we get from having you!
It is difficult to imagine the leave of distress and confusion you must have felt at that reaction. We are sorry you experienced something so lonely and isolating. Sadly, this is not an uncommon experience. Loved ones experiencing suicidal ideation is incredibly confronting, sometimes with very difficult and hurtful questions: "how did we cause this?" "how could they possibly think that?" "do they have any idea how much that would hurt us?" "Have we failed?" and on and on and on.
Sadly, when confronted this way unexpectedly, and when those questions rage out of control, the only reaction our Limbic (emotion) brain can manage is rage, and perhaps indignation. It is most certainly not helpful, and it certainly doesn't seem fair - but perhaps they don't know why they reacted that way either.
Nevertheless, we are truly grateful you had the courage to bring this question to the fore! this is just one perspective of a very important question and answer, and we are confident your peers here in the forums will want to reach out and help as well!
In the meantime, please know that we are here if you need us! Give us a call on 1300 22 4636 or click here to meet us on webchat! We are here for you 24/7.
Please keep reaching out, Child@heart - we are lucky to have you!
Hello Child@Heart, a very moving and understandable situation you have tried to deal with, and no, the reaction from your parents would certainly be a shock, instead of compassion you were met with anger, but perhaps some people do this to try and frighten you from trying it again, but it doesn't seem to be the appropriate response because what it can do is make you keep these secrets all to yourself and put on a brave face , when actually you are feeling the opposite.
There would be no encouragement for you to see a doctor, simply because parents don't ever want to hear one of their children had felt like this or even attempted it, as they take it as something they have done wrong and don't want to engage in this thought, so you are left to struggle with this all by yourself.
The confusing part to this is that you may have these thoughts on a continual basis but then feel sorry for those who would be left behind to cope with it all, and this could happen on many occasions., however, it's not what you need to struggle with all by yourself.
At a session it may go well, but during the week something has triggered you to have these thoughts, that's what your therapist needs to know about, because if you keep hiding these thoughts, like with your parents, then the help you need won't be able to begin.
Please take care of yourself.
Thank you, Sophie.
I guess sometimes it's hard to try and see things from another's perspective. I just remember my mum suddenly realising what she had just discovered and what it meant and she looked at me with such anger and said "say it" she said it over and over and I kept saying please don't make me say it until I did. Then she said "why are you doing this to us?" and that hurt because yes I realise my action would have affected others but it was not my intent to hurt them.
Thank you for the extra info and support.
I had a similar experience with my parents at the same age, where an attempt did not elicit the expected reaction. I think, as Sophie has said, that many people don’t know how to react, and come from an emotional space. My parents just sort of gave me space. A lot! They didn’t even pick me up from hospital when I was released. I think they just didn’t know how to handle it. Maybe yours didn’t either?
Fast forward I’m in my 40’s and like you, those feelings still sometimes come. And just to let you know, you definitely can talk to your therapist about it. They will only act if you’re not safe. It’s good to be able to talk about. You can also safety plan together, and work out ways to manage those feelings.
You no doubt already have some strategies you use to keep safe. I think there’s a thread here which discusses that somewhere too.
Are you currently getting MH support from anywhere? I know you said you got those free sessions before…
Hi Geoff, thank you for listening and responding with your kind words.
Actually, back then my parents did say that they were going to take me to a psychiatrist but I begged them not to because I was paranoid about what would happen to me and the action that would be taken. So I just said I'll do better I'll be better and I told myself never again just don't talk about your feeling or anything. My mother's response after all this was not to allow me any further privacy. I wasn't even allowed to shut my bedroom door anymore. That just made me even more depressed at the time. She said something along the lines (if I remember) that I would have to earn their trust back.
When I got my second job sometime after leaving school, things seemed to get more normal and for once I didn't feel like a disappointment that I had actually turned my life around. I had even made new friends and had a vibrant social life. But when I left my job of almost ten years and then my parents got sick and we all became housebound and I lost contact with a lot of my friends and my day to day became pill schedules and feeding for my mum as well other carer duties and dealing with my dad and all his cancer appointments and new meds all the time and new treatments. I couldn't leave the house because somebody had to always be there with my mother and even if my dad was there and not at the hospital getting treatments for once if I left the house and something happened to my mother he wouldn't be able to deal with it and if something happened to him, my mother couldn't react as she wasn't even aware where she was or who she was. (my parents had terminal illnesses). I hardly slept during those years worried all night that something could happen to my parents as we had the doctors tell us things like how my father couldn't go over a certain temperature and if he did I was to call the hospital immediately.
I remember feeling so strange about being out in society again after they passed. I hadn't had hardly any outside social interactions and I remember stumbling on my words over somebody asking me if I was having a good day. It's like I had somehow forgotten how to converse with people.
I do feel like for them, for my parents I have to push on and I want to make them proud so I know I could never act and I do want to be happy.. somehow. This is why I would just sit on the thoughts, let them pass and then try to get back to doing.. well life.
Once again, I am safe and in no danger. 🙂
Hi Katy, thank you for your response and for taking the time to listen and also share with me your experiences.
"I had a similar experience with my parents at the same age, where an attempt did not elicit the expected reaction. I think, as Sophie has said, that many people don’t know how to react, and come from an emotional space. My parents just sort of gave me space. A lot! They didn’t even pick me up from hospital when I was released. I think they just didn’t know how to handle it. Maybe yours didn’t either?"
Perhaps you have a point there, and I am sorry about how your parents in dealing with the situation. Forgive me, but I assume a little space might have been appreciated but I would guess you didn't probably want as much space as they gave you.
"Fast forward I’m in my 40’s and like you, those feelings still sometimes come. And just to let you know, you definitely can talk to your therapist about it. They will only act if you’re not safe."
Thank you for that insight, that does offer some comfort in knowing.
"You no doubt already have some strategies you use to keep safe. I think there’s a thread here which discusses that somewhere too."
I do and they may seem silly to some but hey, they are mine. 🙂 Thank you I might have a look later to find that thread.
"Are you currently getting MH support from anywhere? I know you said you got those free sessions before…"
To try fill in as quick as I can I went to my GP after my parents passed and did some assessments and then she appointed me to a therapist for my first set of ten. I couldn't afford therapy so my therapy ended after the ten. Then my brother sent me to a life coach who as I'm sure you will know or at least guess they don't work with depression or anxiety or grief they just help you attain goals and things or career choices. I went alone after that for a while and then found myself back at my GP then another therapist then another again ten sessions. The last therapist wanted me to have continued support so she put me on to wellways (if you have heard of them) but then I made a life decision to move states and yeah.. I have recently gotten back into cooking which I used to love to do and I'm spending more time out in nature and just trying to piece things back together at my own pace although I still have what feels like pressure from family to do certain things to "move on" with my life.
I have not been severely suicidal myself but I do know what you mean about having those thoughts without acting on them. I was very sick last year, and I was not getting better, my life was put on hold for months and I had to have life-saving, but severely drastic and major surgery to help me get better. It was traumatic for me. And yes, I did have thoughts about just going away and never having to deal with this and those "why me?" thoughts all the time. But i knew i would never go through with it.
Life can throw some bad curveballs at us and it is how we learn to deal with it that counts. It is probably a good thing that you have learnt to 'sit' with those thoughts, as you are mentally in a better place to deal with those thoughts now. From my experience, i am now mentally tougher than ever.
Also, sorry to hear about your parents. Their reaction was probably out of shock and concern. Your parents probably were victims of suicidal stigma and did not want to think they did anything to cause this, and were somewhat in denial. Also, it would have scared them, losing a child is never pleasant. It is awful.
It is probably a good idea to talk these thoughts through with a MH professional, though.
All the best
Thank you for reaching out. I am so sorry to hear about your surgery and the difficult time you went through. You are a brave and courageous person to come out the other end of all that so you should be proud of yourself.
Yes you are right life does like to throw curve balls and it does matter how we deal with it, but also, were not always in the best mental state to deal with things in the way we should or would like to, and it can sometimes be an afterthought how we should have acted or rather reacted and that can sometimes make us feel even worse (just my opinion). I seem to go through a lot of that.
I'm a super-sensitive person and I have been since..well..forever. This hasn't really helped me much in dealing with things that happen in life as I find it hard to cope with how it affects me which I feel most of the time is ten times as much as the average person. People have always seen me as the person that constantly makes mistakes and just seems to be in a mess all the time. I don't feel like I ever made my parents proud and it pains me that I didn't get the chance before they passed. I just feel like a disappointment all the time. That's what I felt that day when they found out. Just another moment of me letting them down.
I guess that's why I have never really gotten rid of the thoughts and they come back from time to time because I just feel like it doesn't matter that at the core I'm a nice person or that I'm kind or that I try.. or that I want to be somebody because despite all that I'm the one who can't get her life together and has never really had it together. I find it a constant struggle to try and get people to understand me and where I'm coming from because I feel like all people see is a failure.
It's like when I seem to have a small victory or I finally feel good about something and imagine I'm like a child happy with their balloon..but then somebody either comes to tell me that was never my balloon in the first place and takes it away or just comes along and pops it and walks away.
I hope that's okay to share all that I know I can ramble sometimes too. 🙂
To summarise, My own experience was when I was a young teenager, almost 48 years ago.
My (ex-)step-mother was angry, as if insulted, shamed & made to look bad.
My father couldn't handle what I'd done, & was genuinely upset. He just didn't know what to say or do,& had no understanding.
Because they hadn't seen any problems, (even though I'd run away the previous year), it was as if they could not conceive of any reason for what I'd done.
Then they told me me to never talk to anyone, & only say I'd been in hospital because I was sick.
During my attempt, I had a thought, a strong thought telling me, I have to wait. Nothing more, just wait.
I puzzled over it. Although I didn't understand it, the thought was so intense, it was as a command, & I waited. & waited, & now I feel the thoughts I had before are not strong anymore, nor is the thought to wait. It all seems much more distant in my mind. Still there, though, I am not concerned about them. I may have a thought now & then, but just get on with whatever I was doing.
The thoughts are a small part of me, now. & have a corner on one of my shelves, still in use, I guess for some things.
can only hope my experience of living with thoughts for many years is in seeing how they can become less intense & less frequetnt over time, while we get on with living as best we can. Maybe, like me, you'll look around & wonder how you got to where you are from where you were so many years ago.
I wonder where was any support for you while you cared for your parents? I keep thinking how difficult that was, & how well you did looking after them, while they were dying. So strong, you. So strong. I'm proud of you.