Grieving for my Dad 40 years after his suicide.

by Ruth


My Dad died “in his car” when I was 6. This is what I was told. From that day on, he was rarely spoken about and no one grieved, at least not in front of me. I was confused and scared and wondered what I had done wrong. I wanted to cry and I wanted to be hugged if I cried. I didn`t know what grief was , let alone how to grieve. I internalized everything and hoped that someone would notice my pain and just give me that hug and the permission to ball my eyes out.. Nobody ever did.
I felt alone, frightened , ignored , unloved and confused. If my Dad had been there he would have noticed and would have cared. I missed him and needed him. I withdrew into my own world.

He was “replaced “a few years later by several boyfriends and then a stepfather. He did give me attention, but of a kind that was wrong and that confused me even more. My Dad would not have allowed this to happen to me.
I always yearned and craved for the love of my Dad and I always knew that something wasn`t right about the story of his death.
When I was 21 , I plucked up the courage to ask my Mum “what happened to Dad?”
Her reply: “ I thought you knew?”
“knew what ?” I asked.
“ he killed himself”

My world came to a standstill, he killed himself. He chose to die. He chose to leave me. He hadn`t loved me. He had abandoned me out of choice. Out of choice. It was like he had died all over again.
I`d had many different fantasies about how he had died “in his car”. But taking an overdose was never one of them. I had always wanted it to be someone elses fault, not his own.
I felt sick , I was shocked to the core. I felt like my whole life had been a lie.
I became depressed , but didnt realize that was what it was , I just thought I was going mad.
I still couldn`t ask for help even though I wanted to. I still wanted someone to notice my pain but they didn`t.
It is now 40 years since his death, I am having therapy and I think I am grieving. Grieving for a father who I idolized but can barely remember, who left me.
I think I feel angry, I still cant understand how you can leave your children. I feel numb, I cant find compassion for him or for myself. I cant cry easily and I still find it hard to ask for help or for comfort.. I still want that hug and I still feel confused.
And the biggest question , that may never be answered is “why did he do it?”

Comments for Grieving for my Dad 40 years after his suicide.

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Dec 11, 2014
thank you Doreen
by: Ruth

hi Doreen
I know all you say is true...im meeting another new therapist next week (who does EMDR which has really helped me before) I'll see what she's like..I'm wondering if one of the reasons I cant bond with the new one , is that the old therapist 'chose' her for me. I know it's really hard to find the right therapist, it took a long time to find the last one!
take care
Ruth x

Dec 02, 2014
Hang in there Ruth!!!
by: Doreen UK

Ruth It is not easy trusting a new therapist. The child within is where the problem lies. But the Adult Ruth must trust the therapist to do this work. If when you start you find it too uncomfortable. Shop around till you find the right therapist for you. You will feel unhappy, and disoriented from one day to another. But this is good therapy. In time it will all come together and each day you will be healing. When all your stuff comes out it will make you feel liberated one day and you will recover and be a different person. The person you were meant to be.
For me the money was the best investment I made. I don't see it at wasted money. It should be the best investment you will ever make. You are still making recovery. Often in therapy a therapist can only go so far. She may not be able to quantify seeing you for more sessions so has passed you on to another therapist. It is not uncommon for a client to become attached to her therapist. This is you trusting her to hold you whilst you are going through the worst experience of life when your whole history is being explored. It is not easy sharing your life with someone else. But believe me no therapist will be shocked. If anything they feel priveleged helping you and hearing your story. Don't forget they have their own issues also. We are all flawed human beings. Hang in there. It can only get better. You have done most of the major work. I know it feels like forever.
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ed note: This blog has been transitioned to a great new Forum with private messaging. Please check it out by hitting the "The Grief Club" button on the left. You can even resubmit your post there for fresh advice. Thanks so much!
Jennie

Dec 01, 2014
hello
by: Ruth

thank you Doreen and hi to R!
hope your life has been crazy in a good way R!? hows therapy going?

my therapist DID refer me to someone else ( the next day)...she said that my fear of my strong attachment to her was causing me too much distress so ethically she couldnt put me through it anymore. it happened really suddenly and i still havent come to terms with it, its brought so much up, which i know in the long run i will learn from, but i have been at rock bottom and now finding it increasingly impossible to trust my nice new therapist. so im resenting spending money with new T on discussing my "stuff" about the old one. the new one has assured me that she would not handle it the same way if it happens again...but my child is flatly refusing to trust her and so am i to a certain extent. AAARRRGGHHH!
apart from that im fine!
thanks for your kind words yesterday Doreen....i do want to stick with it...hopefully i will stop feeling like im wading through treacle one day soon.
must try out this messaging forum thing R?!
love to you both x

Nov 30, 2014
Sorry
by: R

Hi Ruth
I'm sorry I didn't write in Sep. Life has been a little crazy and I've struggled to keep up. If my therapist did that, I'm sure it would send me into a flat spin. It would confirm all my negative thoughts (being on own, no one understands or can be trusted). I don't think it's very fair on you. Did you talk to her about it? I really hope you feel better now xxx
-----------------

ed note: This blog has been transitioned to a great new Forum with private messaging. Please check it out by hitting the "The Grief Club" button on the left. You can even resubmit your post there for fresh advice. Thanks so much!
Jennie

Nov 29, 2014
Don't give up Ruth!!!
by: Doreen UK

Ruth it is so easy to fight back. When you challenge your therapist she can then not help you in the way she needs to. You have to work with her and not against her.
I once had the same experience. Had I changed therapists I would never have moved forward. I couldn't have worked the same way with another therapist. It could work for you if you work with another therapist even if you don't understand what is happening.
DON'T GIVE UP! Just when you least expect it everything will come together and you will start to heal and your therapy won't become the battle it is now. It is just because everything has been locked up for so long it takes longer and a great deal of skill to heal from the hurt of the past that you have inside you. When you experience the healing you will be amazed and you will never go to that same place again of feeling the way you do now. You will become a WHOLE person. It is HARD WORK. But it will be worth it in the end. Wait and see. If you give up now before the healing is complete you will have wasted a lot of good groundwork. Stick with it. best wishes.

Nov 22, 2014
Shouldn't I be over it by now?
by: Anonymous

Not sure what to say. 43 year old. But miss my dad! Ignore this, will be fine tomorrow, too many vinos!!! Hope you ok tho, take care xxxx


Sep 24, 2014
hi R
by: Ruth

good to hear from you! I would love to be able to email you...I've asked before but it wasn't posted on here :-(
sorry to hear you are feeling stuck with the anger..I dont think ive got it out yet! funny how things change over night...my Therapist yesterday told me I was challenging. ..and has given me the number of someone else??? my biggest Fear is rejection and abandonment. ..which I told her again yesterday...but she seems to have a problem with my anger ( even though shes never seen me really angry.) I am completely triggered and confused and really scared. she is supposed yo be calling me soon. I had just realised I had become attached to her...but am resisting it as I fear rejection and am still finding it hard to fully trust her. sometimes I wish id never started this journey its so flippin hard.
sorry to be mrs doom and gloom! it would be good to talk to you..
take care
love Ruth x

Sep 23, 2014
Therapy
by: R

Hi Ruth
It's great to hear you are feeling better. You are right about therapy, it is tough. I don't think I will ever find it easy. Sitting down every week with my therapist and saying what I really think is not my idea of fun (for anyone involved) and doesn't leave me feeling great. It's really good to hear that it is working for you and it also gives me hope. I'm still well and truly entrenched in the anger phase. Stuck. I am so angry I can't talk. Did this happen to you? To be honest, I don't think about it most of the week and then I get all agitated when I have to spend 50mins a week, trying to avoid talking about it, when we both know what I should be talking about!!! It's sooo frustrating. So your dead right, therapy is tough! Thank you so much for replying to my comments, it really helps. I just wish we could contact each other by email, less public and quicker!!

Sep 16, 2014
hi R
by: Ruth

hello!
im doing ok thank you R. time seems to be healing...its still all there but it isnt upsetting me now. I even had the realisation last week that my dad DID love me!! wow. still dont get how he could leave me...but I know he loved me.therapy is tough still though...even though I haven't spoken about it for weeks!
how are you doing? please let me know...im still here for you xxx

Sep 15, 2014
Hi
by: R

Hi Ruth
How are you doing?? Are you feeling any better?
R XXX

Jul 11, 2014
thank you
by: Ruth

Dear R
thank you for your kind words ....it does help knowing there is someone out there who knows where im coming from . How are you doing? have you made any breakthroughs?
I`ve been really depressed for the last 3 weeks. Its weird , i keep reading all the information , but it still seems so surreal. I cant explain it. Its like i have eaten something but cant digest it.
..and now i have indigestion! actually that explains it quite well.
its painful.
let me know how you are, love xxxx

Jun 24, 2014
Difficult times
by: R

Hi Ruth
I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier, I have been away. This must be really difficult to take in. All this information after having years of nothing, it must be really hard. I know I would feel totally overwhelmed. I'm never very good at giving advice but I suppose I should say this is all progress in the healing process, but this doesn't make it hurt any less. If it helps, speaking from someone who is in a similar situation, I think you are doing the right thing, finding out the details. I know that everyone has analogies and mine is it's like a horrible tumour- it's needs to be located, cut out, all the horrible gunk surrounding it needs to come out and then it can heal. You will be left with a scar but it will be a healthy scar and one that can't do any more damage. Hang in there. Sending a big virtual hug, R xxx

Jun 20, 2014
coroners report & suicide note
by: Ruth

the coroners report into my dads death has arrived, including his note.I dont know what i was expecting, i just had no idea.
apparently my mum had been suffering from post natal depression for the previous 2 years after the birth of my brother. My dad apparently had a history of a personality disorder , anxiety and over inflated sense of importance. He also had insomnia and was taking lots of strong drugs such as mandrax and mogodon.
Their marriage broke down, and my dad said he couldnt bear to see the suffering of us kids if he just moved out.He thought if he moved out that my mum would reject us and maybe kill herself.
He told 2 people to tell my mum to "love the children" He said that all he wanted was a Family to love. All I wanted was to be loved. Seems simple enough to me.
so he thought the best option was to kill himself.
well at least he wouldnt see us suffering.
but we did suffer.
i`m back to feeling no compassion for either of them.
yes my mum was suffering , but i have to recover from the fact that i have felt unloved /unlovable for all of my life.I suppose when i can come to terms with that , i can start to feel compassion for her .
meanwhile she doesnt know that we have received all this information.She is just getting over cancer , so it is not a good time to share this all with her. So i am having to hide all of my emotions from her. And anyway, if i were to confront her with all this stuff now , it would come out in a bad and angry way.
feeling a bit numb, anxious and depressed.But at least i now know why ive always felt unlovable.
Ruth

Jun 04, 2014
dear R ♡
by: Ruth

hi..how are you?
hope things are going ok?
I had major transference on my therapist last week and stormed out! realised afterwards that she'd morphed into my mum in a big way! and id reacted as I did as a child. went back this week and talked about it all and learned a lot...it's a therapy roller coaster ;-)
xx

May 17, 2014
R I understand how you feel!
by: Doreen UK

R I understand how you feel. I was at the stage you mention. When I went into therapy it was because I reached rock bottom and didn't know how I felt except to say that everything was tangled up and I couldn't untangle it all. I needed help. Therapy began to peel off the layers. I still couldn't see. I tried so hard to remember. I got angry every time my therapist told me that I was resisting therapy. I knew in my conscious mind I was trying. But in my subconscious mind I was scared of what I might find out. I was scared to admit I hated and loved my father. (this is called ambivalence).
Feeling angry is part of your therapy. Even if you haven't cried before, for you to do it now is PROGRESS. Therapists use their skills so that your emotions start to work and you do cry and get a response to what has been repressed.
Think of a stack of clothing 10ft high. Deep inside you is all your turbulent emotions. (like that stack of clothing). Someone hurt you deeply and all the love went to the bottom of that pile and got filled up with all the pain and anger and hurt you felt. All your unhappiness is sitting in layers. Happy times come. You get confused. Add confusion to the pile. Now the therapist goes to work to peel off those layers. You are bound to cry. Don't try to love your father or feel compassion for him because you can't and you won't. All you will feel is the anger and the anger will stop you from trying and you will miss out on the best. Which is healing. When the layers are peeled away. You won't feel angry again at your father. Most of what is peeled away should evaporate and disappear and what you will be left with is the YOU before you got hurt. See this as a discovery and learn to love yourself. Start by doing special things for yourself NOW. Because it is part of your birth right and heritage TO BE HAPPY and WHOLE. Best wishes.

May 17, 2014
dear R ♡
by: Ruth

hi
we are all different and go at different paces and in different orders and directions. my therapist says that I dont have to forgive everything. I think forgiveness is really hard sometimes. ..and hard to get my head around. I suppose you need to deal with the anger at the moment as that is what you are feeling. when I was feeling very angry I did some drawing and artwork using scans of his photos...that was quite cathartic! you have to find a way that suits you and that you feel comfortable with though.i find it hard to cry about all this when im at home...but seem to be able to cry bucket loads in therapy.my rambling probably isnt helping you...but remember you arent alone!did some hardcore weeding in the garden when I was feeling bad the other day...that was quite good.
thinking of you xxxx

May 17, 2014
Ruth and Doreen
by: R

Ruth I am pleased you are feeling a bit better. It sounds like you are beginning to make your dad a part of your life- and it's starting to feel ok. Its weird how i can see that grieving for your dad is a good thing for you to do- but when it comes to me, I can't see it. I really struggled with the idea of finding more out about my dad and I for a long time i felt nothing. now im just angry and that's why I don't want to find out more. I have started to write stuff down again and what I wrote on thurs makes me cry every time I read it- and I never cry.i have no compassion for him, in fact I hate him. Maybe some things are just unforgivable. I know that anger is the first stage of grief and I think I've been stuck in this stage for 30 years!

May 16, 2014
dear Anon 1 & Doreen
by: Ruth

thank you ladies your kind words and understanding meant a lot :o)
i really really sobbed through my whole session , which felt such a release. She encouraged me to do some sort of ritual to mark the anniversary and to do it with someone ( both things ive never really done ) So i spent the day being kind to myself and doing nice things and then in the evening we went to my favourite beach (with husband and mad dog) i took some flowers from my garden and wrote a message on a pebble and placed them in a remote rock pool ( which said dog jumped into shortly afterwards and made us laugh) then we had a lovely picnic and a small bottle of prosseco and enjoyed the warm sunshine. It felt good....and i even think i am starting to feel some compassion for my dad.Instead of wondering how on earth can you can leave your children , i`m feeling that, wow, he must have been really really desperate and in a really bad way to leave his children. Anyway i plan to do something like this on every anniversary <3
did you have any more thoughts about finding out a little more about your dad Anon1 ? Big virtual hug to you too.
xxx

May 13, 2014
Ruth: Your hard work in therapy will pay off.
by: Doreen UK

Ruth the way you feel about you wondering why your therapist would want to listen to you, and feeling she will hate you and other people will hate you tells me that you feel this way by something from your past that you have buried. This feeling won't go till your therapist works with you to find out. BE BRAVE. It won't be as bad as you feel now. Things buried are much worse because they were buried a long time. One day perhaps without you knowing it those feelings of hate will come out of your system and never bother you again. Also don't worry about what your therapist thinks. Therapist feel privileged to share and work with someone's history. They learn a lot also heals them from things in their past. Many can identify with us. They can't be vulnerable with us because they have to maintain professional boundaries, and if they were bothered by a clients problems they would not be able to work with their clients which is why even therapists have to be supervised so they can continue to serve their clients well. Therapists hurt like we do and they also lose loved one's. Therapists are never shocked by a person's history. If you resist aspects of therapy it will take longer and stretch your sessions. I didn't care how long it took, I was going to see it to the end. WE can heal from therapy where life becomes more manageable. We don't need to resolve our whole life history. I hope this helps.

May 13, 2014
Virtual hug
by: Anon1

Wow Ruth, it sounds like you are facing some really really hard stuff (talking to your brother, inquest reports, 40 year anniversary). No wonder you are feeling wobbly. Anyone would. I'm glad you can see you therapist today, hopefully she will make you see that you don't have to do it all alone. Sending you the biggest virtual hug possible xxxcx

May 12, 2014
dear Anon1
by: Ruth

hi...good to hear from you. glad you've found the strength to go back to therapy. I like to find out things about my dad as I know so little. its good to hear about his character and how we are similar in lots of ways...like sense of humour and being rebellious. when I hear about some of his struggles with prescribed drugs and how they affected him..it makes me sad and I feel compassion. ive just this last week actually spoken about him to my brother. he found out how hed died by going to read old newspapers in the library when he was 18...but he didn't know if I knew...ironically it was almost at the same time I found out.but neither of us knew the other knew so we never said anything. we have written to the coroners office to get permission to see the inquest reports...not sure what we want or dont want yo gind out.
im really struggling this week as on Thursday it will be 40 years.i feel anxious...I don't know what to do...I never really do much on the anniversary. ..but this one feels big. therapy is hard...I cant believe my therapist would want to listen to me...I feel she will hate me...im always frightened that people hate me. like I suppose I felt my dad must have hated me. im overwhelmed at the amount of stuff I have to deal with. .it feels impossible. I could be in therapy for many more years...am I even clever enough to be able to get over all this stuff. I guess I'm having a wobble! therapy in the morning so I will tell her how I feel. This head stuff is so complicated isn't it?! xx

May 12, 2014
Confused and uncomfortable.
by: Doreen UK

ANON 1
I reached a similar point in my counselling confronting a person. It was the most difficult thing I have had to do. BUT I DID IT. I came away knowing I had to do this CONFRONTING as part of my therapy. It gave me a release that I was tying things up for me. I couldn't resolve my pain any other way but through CONFRONTATION. For me this was a very HEALING EXPERIENCE even if I didn't get a positive outcome. I DID IT.
If you are not ready to do this work your therapist advised then wait till you feel more comfortable with it. You say "Why would I want to feel more pain?" The pain is there anyway bubbling under the surface. When the pain comes out of you, it will never return and this will be another part of your healing experience.
The way you feel now is called AMBIVELENCE. (feeling contradictions). This is a normal part of your therapy. It is part of the process. Often we will feel uncomfortable and confused. But if we do the grief work it will pay dividends in the end. Be Brave. Things get worse before they get better. You will overcome how you feel. Things will get better in time.

May 12, 2014
confused
by: Anon1

Ok, I got over the break thing (until it happens again). At least I can laugh about it a bit now, which is definite progress. After speaking last week about my dad and acknowledging that i will do anything to avoid talking/thinking about it/him, my therapist thinks its would be a good idea to find out more about him. That way, when I think about him I don't straight away think about the suicide bit and the event of finding him. She thinks that may help. My sensible head says yes, this seems like logical thing to do and I can see where she is going. The other part of me is screaming no don't find anything out, all its going to do is lead to lots of tears and terrible pain and hurt. Why would I want to make this person real- the fact that he left us is then going to feel hundreds times worse..... bit confused. xx

Apr 15, 2014
Progress! It will come in time.
by: Doreen UK

Ruth and ANON 1,
You are right Ruth. Therapists don't judge. They are used to outbursts. The counselling room is the setting where it is safe to let out your emotions however they are expressed. THAT IS YOUR SAFE ENVIRONMENT. Don't either of you worry about floundering. This is to be expected. Many people suffer with CONTROL ISSUES. They just don't do anything about it to make it better for themselves. Others are not too bothered about CONTROL. When young Control can actually make one feel safe and protected. And often just handed down from generations. It is only as one becomes older that it doesn't work and causes obstacles in relationships. DOING THE GRIEF WORK around this is very liberating and cathartic. ONE DAY. you will be FREE. and you will know it. Because I am well READ, but NOT TRAINED. I understand the dynamics of the therapy/counselling setting and how it comes together. You may think you have a long way to go because of the way you still feel. But this may not necessarily be true. It can all come together quickly and you will know when you feel better. I hope I am able to witness this change. I know you will write back with updates. Till then. Enjoy the space you have in therapy/counselling. It is YOUR PRIVATE SPACE however you choose to use this. If you feel like taking time out. Make sure it is for a short time as Anon 1 did for 4 weeks. This is not a bad thing to do and can actually be your space to process how far you have come and give you the confidence to continue. We may never resolve every issue we have. But we can get far enough in our life to be able to continue in life happier, and to never have those issues we went into therapy/counselling with. Ever bother us again. This is PROGRESS. Best wishes.

Apr 14, 2014
Making friends and influencing people
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anon 1
You say you are finding it hard maintaining relationships. Many people feel like this. You are not alone. Write out on paper what you expect a relationship means e.g. COMPANIONSHIP. And what you want out of a relationship? What and how you expect another to treat you? often this is with RESPECT. Explore how relationship are developed? often it is offering friendship and receiving this. Think of all the questions you can about relationships and how you think they are developed. Also realise when you have unresolved issues it causes one to look inwards for failings and then you start beating up on yourself and perhaps feel very frustrated. Relationships are a 2 way thing. If you are a GIVING PERSON you can sometimes give too much of yourself to a relationship. Sometimes you can feel used or abused by a relationship by giving too much of yourself/or holding back. Developing relationships is not easy. Perhaps you can set down some ground rules about what you expect from a relationship, and what you can offer/contribute to a relationship, to make it work. Draw up some guidelines and rules for how you want a relationship to develop. How much of myself am I willing to share with another person? Where are my boundaries? Remembering that betrayal, trust, respect, can also be broken and HOW WOULD I REACT? I bathed myself in self help books. One you might want to try is "How to win friends and influence people" I think the author is Norman Peale. Make your discovery a fun experience. I myself have been deeply wounded by relationships that went wrong. But I have learned much along the way that I would do differently. You can also have fair weather friends who stick around when all is good and then when you are needing them, they disappear. I hope some of this helps you. Best wishes.

Apr 14, 2014
a rant
by: Ruth

dear Anon1
I wholeheartedly agree with everything Doreen says! I still feel like im floundering a lot of the time ...and I act out in therapy and then feel embarrassed. ..but we realize it...so THAT IS progress! what about showing your therapist what you wrote to us? therapists are used to all of this...they see it all the time...we shouldn't feel ashamed...they aren't judging us.

I totally "get" that feeling of needing to be in control...because I had no control over anything as a child..but I think im learning to sometimes let go of the control and to see what happens...especially in therapy. But I do have a long way to go...and we all do it at our own pace...we are all different.
rant away ,I'll always listen too :-)
xxxxxxxx


Apr 13, 2014
A Rant
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anon 1
RELAX. RANT ALL YOU WANT TO. I will never tire of supporting you. I will never judge you. Everyone moves forward at different paces. There is no set rule. You are articulate enough to know what your problem is and what you are doing. THAT IS PROGRESS. What you don't want to do is feel embarrassed or ashamed for the way you feel or even ACT OUT. You endured a TRAUMA when you were growing up. You LOST YOUR FATHER at a tender age, and you were sent away to school till you were 18yrs. It may help you and your therapy if you were to write out how you feel and what you think happened to you along the way. If you can't do this. Don't worry. Often feelings and memories are trapped and we can't get at them to work them out. Which is why a therapist is needed. But often writing helps unearth memories and feelings.
In my experience I didn't know how I felt. I was afraid there was some dark secret all locked up and I would be afraid to hear what it was so subconsciously I was resisting finding out. I was punch drunk with therapy and didn't think I would survive let alone Heal from the experience. You will often feel as if nothing is happening and you aren't making progress. BUT YOU ARE. Only you don't know it yet because you still have issues to resolve. My therapist told me I was resisting therapy almost like pushing it and him away. I was frustrated hearing this because I didn't know I was doing it let alone stop what I couldn't understand. I didn't understand because I felt numb. I wasn't in control either because I was always controlled when I was growing up and I didn't know how to change this, or take control. ONE DAY you will wake up from a nights sleep and feel your world is changing and you feel different. This is the start of the healing experience and it can only improve if you keep your counselling up. It can all take place suddenly. Don't be alarmed or disappointed. I didn't have any expectations. I was pleasantly surprised when change started taking place in me.
So what if you take 4 weeks out of counselling. This is you taking control of what you want to do. THIS IS IMPROVEMENT. This is moving forward even if you can't see it yet. Be proud of yourself for doing the grief work. Don't ever give up Hope. Don't be afraid to rant.

Apr 13, 2014
A rant
by: Anon1

Thank you both for your comments. You both sound like you have worked really hard in therapy and have learnt a lot and are happy(?). I'm still floundering around not sure what is going on. I have learnt a few things but am nowhere near feeling at peace with it all. I have learnt that I don't ( and am not sure how to) maintain relationships. I have subconsciously avoided 'real' relationships with people for many years and now realise that this plays out with my therapist on a weekly basis. I understand that this relates to my dad dying when I was 7, but in the same year I was sent away to school and stayed until I was 18. I have never relied on anyone and if I don't feel in control, I can't cope. My therapist is great and good at what she does but I still make monumental blunders and then feel ashamed. After really 'talking' a couple of weeks ago, last week I told her i needed to be on my own and so I organised a 4 week break in therapy. It's only now I realise once again I pushed her away It is so frustrating and embarrassing that I do this- will I ever be able to see the bigger picture? Sorry for the rant. X

Apr 11, 2014
Doreen
by: Ruth

thank you Doreen
xxx

Apr 11, 2014
Misconceptions of therapy/counselling
by: Doreen UK

I ran out of space but to expand on what you say in your post. Therapy can be very painful indeed. You feel very disorientated when you come out and not yourself for at least 3 days. Then you go back the following week for another session and often feel numb and don't know where you are at. But it is important at this stage when you feel therapy/counselling is not working to NOT GIVE UP. To still maintain consistency in your sessions is so important. I was very cynical. I didn't think therapy/counselling would work. But I reached a point in my life when I couldn't continue living the way I was with this depression. I had nothing to lose. then one day I just woke up and suddenly the healing process from counselling/therapy was working. I couldn't help but go back for more of this new FEELING GOOD FACTOR. It just started getting better and better till I was able to cope with life. My family and people I interacted with on a daily basis also benefited from healing and being supported in a way that they could also cope better with life. Healing is a very slow process, and many at this stage give up too soon. It is not much fun being in therapy/counselling for years. But the older the person is the longer the sessions and Healing is because of the time it took to get this way. I have posted this information to help those who are confused about what to expect or, whether to continue with counselling sessions on going that can become tedious, especially if the person thinks nothing is working. It can also be as simple as having the RIGHT counsellor. Each counsellor offers different types of counselling/therapy and it just may be that the type you have been offered is not working for you. persevere till you get the right therapist/counsellor for YOU. If you are not SURE you can speak to the Supervisor of the Practice you visit as they can advise you, or offer you another therapist/counsellor within that practice if it is more convenient for you, rather than having to travel too far just to get the support you need. Best wishes to everyone and I hope life gets better for each of you. Doreen

Apr 10, 2014
Emdr by Anon 1
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anon,
I am not familiar with the different types of therapy/counselling that many talk about. What I can say is that many of us feel some trepidation as to whether we are doing the right thing? There is a lot of confusion about therapy/counselling. Some people feel the therapist/counsellor is telling them what to do and some people don't like being told this. They like to feel they are in control. Yet others' go into counselling/therapy because they are not in control of their lives.
What is important to remember is. There are no magic cures. But many SOLUTIONS. It is a misconception that counsellor/therapists tell you what to do. They offer directives. Healing is a slow process. I am an impatient person. Mostly because we live in a fast paced world and hard to keep up at times. But if you learn to be patient and not give up you will reap the rewards for the pain and hard work you put in. You also say that you feel it is wrong to delve into the past. Many people have repressed their feelings and emotions and they are all locked up. Therapy assists by the therapist working at a deep level to bring what is trapped to the surface so it can be explored and leave the system. It is such a marvellous SKILL used here. For me my experience was those trapped feelings just evaporated and never bothered me again. Most grief work is just trying to resolve issues from the past that haven't been resolved. I have heard preachers say. STOP LIVING IN THE PAST. THEY ARE WRONG. Often when we feel troubled and listen to this advice it doesn't get better. WHY? Because what is bubbling under the surface and causing us depression is just PRESSING FOR RESOLUTION. When it comes out of the system the person suffering feels FREE. So Preacher's should not interfere in this area thinking they know best. Because of this error I suffered Pain for 40yrs. till I couldn't cope. I was at bursting point. I would sit in Church suffering and getting no relief. After counselling I can understand better Spiritually. More information is being absorbed and understood. NO BLOCKAGES. I would say that to take responsibility for seeking counselling for yourself (though very personal) is a challenge. You have nothing to lose. You GAIN. And it is a very MATURE thing to do to take responsibility for having BETTER MENTAL HEALTH.

Apr 10, 2014
dear Anon1
by: Ruth

Hello
im so sorry i missed your other comment a while back, about really opening up in therapy! i`m so pleased for you :o) hope it continues.
ask as many questions as you like , its good to talk to you!
Ive had therapy on and off for years....but ive never lasted long ..sometimes because i just havent really felt comfortable with them and sometimes ive dealt with a current issue and then stopped. but about 2 years ago i went through a very anxious and depressed phase and searched for someone who did emdr....luckily i found a lovely lady literally round the corner from me , who i really liked. it was hard at first (well still is sometimes !) to really open up to her and trust her but i`m definitely getting there with that. i feel she IS the one that can help me get through all of this and now im 46 ive decided that i really want to get over everything .i do get impatient too...especially when i hit a block and shut down...probably like you describe? but she reassures me that im reacting normally and that it WILL take time! i guess when youve lived with something for so many years , it is going to take a long time to make sense of it all.
you do have the added pressure /worry? of having to start seeing someone new to do your emdr which must be daunting for sure.i dont know , maybe you could test the waters with a less "frightening" issue like a fear of spiders or something ? to see how it works? but i definitaly found the video clips of emdr and reading a lot about it reassuring.
some weeks i do feel really bad after a session, but generally it doesnt last long and i know that in a weeks time i can go back and talk about it with her....and i keep telling myself "NO PAIN NO GAIN!" but no one can pressure you to try it. And usually after a session i have dreams , which when i talk about them to her ( thats part of the therapy) help me make sense of stuff...also in the week after i sometimes have big realisations about stuff and something will click and make sense at last!
the other day i saw something online about being inside our little circle of our comfort zone....everything outside that circle said" where the magic happens" i keep reminding myself of that too. i know i`ll be in therapy for a few more years to come but finally ive realised i`m worth it .
hope that all make sense and maybe helps a tiny bit!
thinking of you xxxxx

Apr 09, 2014
Emdr
by: Anon1

Thanks , it doesn't seem so scary when you put it like that, but I don't think now is the right time for me to do it. Maybe I need to watch the youtube clips. No it wouldn't be with my current therapist as she does more cbt stuff so if would have to be a whole new person. Can I ask how long you have you been in therapy? I'm kind of an impatient person who wants to get things done quickly.... But I don't think therapy works that way. Also did you ever doubt you were doing the right thing? I'm constantly worried that I shouldn't be delving into the past especially when I makes me feel so bad. I had such a good denial/avoidance thing going on before therapy that sometimes I wish I was back there.... Sorry for bombarding with questions. Xxx

Apr 08, 2014
dear overwhelmed Dad
by: Ruth

hi
how are you doing ? I`ve been thinking of you xx

Apr 08, 2014
dear Anon1
by: Ruth

Hi
Ive been doing the EMDR on and off for a year and a half ( i was recommended it by a friend who had been abused ) its very gentle and my therapist always makes me feel very safe. She also does EMDR relaxation with me after a session to make sure im in a safe place to go home. Basically you go back in to a traumatic situation from the past , relive it, but also (sometimes) take people back in to that situation with you, such as you as an adult or someone you trust/love, to help you. then the next time you go into that trauma the effect it has on you is much less and can eventually go. i`m not good at explaining it....i found some good videos on you tube about it , which i watched before i started it.that helped! i still get nervous before a session , but am always glad i have done it afterwards! its even helped me with my fear of flying :o) will it be with your therapist that you see already?
lots of love xxxxx

Apr 07, 2014
Emdr
by: Anon1

Hi Ruth
Could you tell me some more about emdr? My therapist and doctor have suggested it but I'm too scared to give it a try in case it makes everything worse. Have you found it works? Any insights would be great, thanks xx

Apr 01, 2014
overwhelmed
by: Anonymous

thanks for the kind words and advice everyone. i will work through it best I can

Apr 01, 2014
Complex
by: Doreen UK

I am sorry for your loss of your mom, for the difficulties in a 16 marriage and for a failing business. I wonder why bad things come in 3's. Just when life is difficult enough we get more than be would think a person can bear.
Take each difficulty separate and see a counsellor if you need to so that you are not in OVERLOAD. Counsellors can take each issue separately so that you feel supported with each difficulty and you don't let the feelings get mixed up together, making you feel worse.
Your feelings of abandonment could be a trigger from your earlier life experiences which you feel now and can be resolved with a counsellor, so you never have these feelings forever. I am so glad I did the counselling and I was able to resolve issues that intruded and made me feel worse all mixed up. You can move forward better with a good counsellor to help you with this enormous load. Life is complex. Death is complex as there are so many things to sort out. Since I lost my husband to cancer almost 2yrs. ago I realised how much one has to deal with. Life is full of sorrow no matter how best you try to make it better for everyone in your world. The secret is FOCUS. Don't let the difficulties of life control how your life goes. When you are in control you will feel more secure in life and be able to take the obstacles in your stride better. Best wishes.

Apr 01, 2014
dear complex dad
by: Ruth

I'm so sorry to hear all of that. to have just one of those traumas to deal with must be very hard. But to have all of them, its no wonder you are struggling. when I have too many "stresses" in my life , my depression is set off big time. its probably a very " normal" reaction... but you can come out of it, no matter how impossible you think that is. I really urge you to find a therapist...and if you dont click with them or like them...then find another ...talking to someone who doesn't judge you and listens unconditionally REALLY IS A HELP. Even if all you do is cry for the whole session....its such a relief. Honestly. Yes its hard , but we are worth it. I dont know what country you are in....but there are online registers of trained therapists. Just give it a go...what have you got to lose? have you spojen to anyone about how you really feel? dont be put off by your friend not taking you seriously and not understanding. .not everyone understands or can empathise...but there are people that can. sending you love x

Mar 31, 2014
Dad
by: Anon1

Thanks Ruth for your kind words. It has spurred me on and I when I saw my counsellor today (she is actually a therapist but seems less daunting to call her a counsellor) I talked- I really talked!. She actually asked me what had changed!? Yes I suffer anxiety, panic and probably depression. I am lucky in that I know the reason was most likely financial. It would be great to talk as I have never met anyone else in the same situation. Thanks again x

Mar 31, 2014
Complex
by: Anonymous

She loves me tons, and I her. Its complicated. My solid? marriage to a wife I love very much is very rocky after 16 years, my business isn't going great and I lost my mother 3 years ago. Strangely enough she committed suicide by starving herself to death in Hospice. It was mortifying. I was there 24/7. I felt the way you feel; myself, my sisters and the all the grandkids weren't enough to keep her around. I felt abandoned, slightly betrayed. I sort of understand why she did it as she had massive back pain but like you, I am unnecessarily and unjustifiably bitter. Upon reflection she probably did the right thing for her circumstances and is in a better place.
Everyone is given a life to choose what to do with.
I tasked a friend with letting my daughter know how much I loved her, did not abandon/betray her, and how none of this was her fault. We were "kidding" around having a conversation, he thought it was a big joke

Mar 31, 2014
overwhelmed Dad
by: Ruth

please tell us how you are feeling and what is going on for you. have you spoken to anyone at all? your daughter loves you very much xxx

Mar 30, 2014
overwhelmed
by: Anonymous

Ruth,

I can assure you your dad loved you very much indeed. i am still struggling here and it seems that the deep love for my daughter is overshadowed by the enormity of the issues faced. if you knew what i was feeling you would understand why your dad opted out. its nothing to do with you but a massive coping mechanism breaking down. if anything i wish i had not had a child then it would be a no brainer and there would be no remorse, guilt, or pressure, just me. no hurt for my daughter for the rest of her life

Please know you were well loved, truly

Mar 28, 2014
OMG
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous
I am so glad you did not decide to end your life. The answer is FOCUS. I know it is hard. Reach out to God. God is the one who saved me. In the days of my depression I was ironing and had this urge to end my life. I rushed to the door to go out before the children came home from school and as I got to the door the bell went. I opened the door to find one of our Church members. She said "I felt something was wrong and turned my car round so fast I nearly had an accident. I told her I was about to take my life. Another time I had this urge to die and turned the gas taps on. All the time talking to God about these strong urges I had no control over. At that time the phone rang and it was a Bible worker and our Pastor. I was saved again. Another time I was going to the Prayer meeting and all these cars were rushing past so fast. All I could think of was how easy it would be to throw myself in front of one of these cars. When I tried my feet felt like lead and tied together and I couldn't move. Saved again. God did deliver me from a Spirit of suicide afflicting me and this was the start of my road back to healing. I have since then had a mission to try to save anyone which ever way I can from taking their own lives, and also to help anyone feeling suicidal or suffering from depression. Anyone wishing to write to me privately can contact me for support at: doreen_1948@hotmail.co.uk.

Mar 28, 2014
dear Anonymous dad
by: Ruth

hi
I would be so happy to know you have changed your mind. There must always be somewhere to find help...I hope you find it. for your sake and your daughters.thank you for your kind reply, sending much love to you x

Mar 28, 2014
OMG
by: Anonymous

I was thinking of committing suicide. I have a 14 year old daughter who I adore. Your post is amazing and timely. Due to you I am reconsidering. Thanks. Maybe you saved this Dad.

I have no doubt your Dad adored you and he took his life with a heavy heart. Sometimes you can't see a clear way out and I am sure his last thoughts were of you and how much he loved you. Those would be mine. It must have been a bad situation for him to opt on an adorable 6 year old.

Find out the truth and why he committed suicide. At least you will have closure. Maybe he left you a letter?

Mar 24, 2014
Reply
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous.
Often in cases of suicide one needs to see a counsellor and can benefit greatly from this support. I am happy that your counselling has benefited you. But you are now wondering if you should go back to counselling? I URGE YOU to not give up counselling. The process of support and healing is so slow that one finds it tedious. I am so glad I didn't give up and I persevered in counselling. I was sceptical when I went into counselling and cynical thinking it won't work. But I went anyway as I was suicidal and desperate. The process of therapy was so painful. I persevered. I woke up one day and my miracle started. I felt better. DIFFERENT. As if I was Healed. I never went back to feeling so bad again and I ended 40yrs. of depression in 4yrs. of therapy. Best experience of my life. Expensive but worth it. The best investment I made in my life. Please don't give up! It is always darkest before dawn. Best wishes.

Mar 24, 2014
hello Anon1
by: Ruth

hello
thank you for reading and replying (for the first time!) ive never written about this before either. I'm so sorry you have been through the same thing. I've never met anyone who has been through this...ive been in therapy for 1 1/2 years now (EMDR therapy) and ive been dealing with all sorts of things at a much deeper level than I ever did in counselling. ..it IS really hard and I quite often dont want to go....or even want to run out of the session! but I intend to stick at it , if I can. I still get bouts of depression and anxiety ...is that the same for you? the other two lovely ladies who commentwd on this ( below) have definitely given me hope that it is possible to come to terms with this. Do you know why your dad did it? hope to talk to you again...and sending a virtual hug xx

Mar 23, 2014
Reply
by: Anon1

Ruth, my dad died 'in his car' when I was 7 and that was 30 years ago. I knew it was suicide because we found him. Everything you describe is me. It was like he was deleted from our lives in a couple of hours and no one said anything. My life changed dramatically after that event and I feel that I became a very different person- some bits good, some bits bad. I developed a capacity to just ignore things which I thought was the best way to deal with things. But it eventually took its toll and I ended up being able to cope with very little. I have been seeing a counsellor for a year and although I know it has helped, it is hard and I struggle every week deciding whether to return. I have never written on any of these sites, but once I read your post I knew I had to tell you that you are not alone. It's hard and it hurts xx

Mar 14, 2014
thank you anonymous
by: ruth

thank you so much for reading my story and also for taking the time to reply. I know in my head that everything you say is true and i`m hoping in time i will feel it in my heart..
i`m sad to hear that similar things happened to you but pleased you have managed to move on.
Ruth x

Mar 14, 2014
thank you Doreen
by: ruth

thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and an even bigger thank you for taking the time to reply.
I have found the right therapist , after a lot of looking, and i know she is the one who can help me. It`s just a lot harder than i thought! I`m reassured by your story and i know that one day , i will be that mature woman enjoying life to the full and not this wounded child that i sometimes am.
Im so happy to hear that you have found happiness :o) xxx

Mar 14, 2014
Grieving for my Dad 40yrs. after his suicide
by: Doreen UK

Ruth you were young when your father died and had all the thoughts that go with the loss of a father. Your mother perhaps thought you were too young to know the truth so waited till you were of an age to understand and ask her.
Your confused thoughts has affected your life to the point that you have turned everything inwards upon yourself. But you will need to do this within a therapy/counselling setting in order to grieve these losses. A good therapist will use the technique of dealing with the "Child Within" which is what I did. This grief work is very painful, but when you have done the grief work it is cathartic to the point you will never go back to the place you are in now. You must stick with therapy and see it through. You will be amazed at how well you can HEAL from your PAST. It is the most amazing experience. You will soon be able to put everything in its right place and you won't be so angry with what happened to your father. All the pain, anger, and hurt will eventually evaporate with good therapy and you should emerge as a MATURE WOMAN who can now understand and not hold it against your father that he "Left You" " He didn't love You." etc. The reason it is all about YOU now is because that child within has been wounded. That child within needs to be nurtured into Healing and this is the work of a good therapist. You should emerge as being the most amazing experience ever in which you will be able to Reclaim your life as a mature adult and go on to make your own life and be a happier person. You will then be able to have compassion for your father. Many people who take their own lives are in a state of mind where their pain is so severe all they can focus on is their pain and ending it. So they end their pain by ending their lives even if they didn't want to. When a person's world has crashed they cannot process the thoughts of the people they are going to leave behind. All they are doing is ENDING THEIR PAIN. You will one day have a different perspective and understand better. But for now take each stage as it comes. It is usually when we are older that all unresolved issues in life will start pressing for resolution and we end up in therapy in our mature years of life. But the best is yet to come. I went into therapy in my 40's. I ended all that suffering in 4yrs. I am living for the first time in my life at age 65yrs. It is never too late to find happiness and reclaim your life. Best wishes.

Mar 13, 2014
Grieving for my dad after 40 years
by: Anonymous

I read your story, and I'm so sorry. Mental illness is something humans don't ask for or want. Sometimes an individual can be so consumed with their own mental pain they do not have the capacity to realize what the outcome can be for people who love them, they just want the turmoil in their head to stop. The picture you posted was beautiful, he was a very handsome man, and you are a beautiful daughter. I can understand that when someone commits suicide, others feel it is selfish. I don't think for one minute he didn't love you, he just wanted the pain to stop, and most likely was emotionally exhausted. Some fathers, mothers suffer from drug and alcohol abuse none of this was a master plan of theirs when growing up, things happen in ones life, and perhaps some are stronger than others. It sounds like you were cast aside, and that is very unfortunate, similar things in life happened to me also. I grew up lonely, sad, no confidence, and frightened. I couldn't morn my father also, I really didn't know him that we'll. It made me feel guilty, until I realized one day, his pain was gone. I wish you well on your journey trying to recover from what sometimes can be a very messed up world.. My prayers are with you.

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