Friday, May 13, 2005

...on threats of suicide

(Jerry I just read your thoughts on people who threaten suicide. I don't think you cold hearted at all.)

I never thought I would write about my dad. I never knew him. He died when I was 9 months old. When I was 6/7 my mom told me what really happened. He shot himself in the head. He didn't die right away. I don't know much more of the story. Its obviously a painful subject for my mom to talk about. Actually, if she is like me, she doesn't remember all the details.

So I went through the rest of my childhood feeling like he must have hated me. Kids blame themselves for things they have no control over. I did that too. I figured it out as an adult.

When I was a teenager my mom came home from work one day, obviously upset. She told me that a boy I dated briefly tried to kill himself. His mom had worked late and came home to find him in a bloody mess. He had slit his wrists and neck. Anyway, my mom asked me point blank if I had ever thought of doing that. I hadn't seriously. I said NO to her , of course. We talked the rest of the evening about it and what peoples motivations could be for doing it. He and I were friends and his actions had absolutely nothing to do with me. I think he was a little upset over some girl and he was very intoxicated when he did it. I saw him weeks later, bandaged and scarred. I don't know what ever happened to him . But I bet he is still scarred up.

I have always been less than patient with anyone who threatens suicide. I always tell them what my dad did, and how it affected me my entire life. What he did was selfish and wrong, but in a way it protected me. Because I love my mom so much, I never ever threatened suicide. I never really even contemplated it because I knew how bad it would hurt her. Later in life, after I had children, I went through some depression. I never let it go there because I loved my kids too much to hurt them in that way. I feel in a twisted sort of way my dad's selfish act kept me from ever going that far.

Suicide is a cruel and selfish act. Threatening to do it is even worse. I forgive my dad.