Loving a Suicidal Parent

by N. J. Lindquist:

Despite loving a suicidal parent dearly, one daughter saw her need to look out for her own mental health.

 

Stock Photo Image by David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stock Photo Image by David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Five years ago a young woman’s mother committed suicide. Prior to that, the mother had struggled with mental illness and addictions for many years.

From ages 14 to 17, the daughter looked after the mother without telling anyone what was going on at home. At the age of 17, the daughter made the very difficult decision to leave her home before she went down the same path as her mother. And shortly after that, she made some very wise decisions on how she would live her life, which she shares in this video.

Unfortunately, the mother could not or would not change.

To honour her mother, this year, the daughter swam 500 laps to raise money for mental health in her mother’s memory.

If you’re living in a situation that is going to destroy your life, if you feel burdened down from trying to help someone who shows no intention of really wanting to change, or if you feel guilty for not being able to help someone you love, please watch this video. The story beings at the 3-minute mark.

And if you identify with the mother, please seek help from those who are qualified to give it.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

By Liz Cowen Furman:

Sometimes the rough road we are traveling  leaves us feeling as if we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Some even wonder if it’s worth the journey and consider suicide in their efforts to find relief.

 

Image of a rock used at ThinkingAboutSuicide.com

 

Many a person has called out to God with anguished questions like:

Does my life matter?

Do You care about me?

Can You hear me?

What is the point?

Do I have a purpose for being here?

Is there a plan somewhere in this mess?

Why hasn’t God healed me?

Or restored my marriage?

How am I going to get through this?

Will I die alone?

Are you up there?

A rock and a hard place all right. If any of these questions sound like you, or you have another, let me share some great news.

If the rock you are stuck between happens to be the Rock of Ages, Jesus, you are safe. He has promised us to be with us no matter what. (See Joshua 1:5)  That means no matter what we have done, or what has been done to us, He will stick by us. All we need to do is ask Him.

In this world, you will have trouble. John 16:33

Jesus’ own words to us, but read on He continues.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.

So, when rotten stuff happens to us, instead of stomping our feet and saying Why me! Why now? I’m going to commit suicide. If we remember that bad things happen to everyone. No exceptions. Then we won’t feel so singled out and tortured.

Instead of thinking of ending it all and quitting, why not lift our eyes to the Rock? Why not pour out our pain at His feet and allow Him to work on our behalf? Why not ask Him to take the reins, and the weight off our shoulders?

We can give our burdens to Him and then hang on for dear life to The Rock?

If you are ready for some help from the One who can actually give it, here is a simple prayer you can pray to ask Jesus to take over and give you peace.

Jesus, I believe that You are God. I believe that you are all powerful. I know I have messed up and sinned against You. I am sorry. I want to give You control of my life and let You lead from now on. Thank You for loving me and saving me. Amen

If you prayed this prayer today (or ever) then relax. He’s got this one. You and I will still have burdens this side of heaven, only now we don’t have to carry them alone. We can lift our eyes to the One who will help.

Now, go for a walk to get some fresh air. Then watch Fernando Ortega sing this great old hymn to remind us both that being between a rock and a hard place isn’t a bad thing if that rock is The ROCK. Jesus Christ.

When Suicide Seems Like the Only Option

By PeggySue Wells:

When suicide seems like the only option, having someone walk with you through your struggles can give you hope for the future.

Many have been where you are now, survived, then thrived. Ask for help! Your struggles can also teach you how to encourage others.

 

Life preserver image by cbenjasuwan FDP net

Image courtesy of cbenjasuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Seasons of famine in our lives can be caused by broken relationships, financial struggles, or by periods of severe stress. For my friend it was all three at the same time.

Here is his experience:

“Through my own poor behavior choices, I lost my job, my house, and my wife.  Going through that loss brought me to the brink of suicide. I didn’t see any other option. But my mother faithfully drove out to spend time with me every weekend for four months. She had little money but she always treated me to a meal, movie, or shopping trip. She sacrificed her own needs for mine. If it were not for my mom, I wouldn’t be here today. She was lifeline when I was drowning in despair. When I was thinking about suicide, she showed me how to live again.

“From her example, I learned to look for the signs of depression in others and give a little of my time to be with that person. Going through that dark tunnel of hopelessness is brighter when someone shares the journey.”

“When helping someone, it is more important to bring hope than to be an expert.” Pat Palau (Breast cancer survivor)

When suicide seems like the only option–you feel you have lost everything–all is NOT lost. You still have help you can give others, and you don’t know the future God has in store for you.  Don’t cut that short!

If you are feeling desperate, be sure to share that with someone who can walk you through your journey. Tell them you are currently not seeing hope at the end of the tunnel, and ask directly for prayer and encouragement. Don’t assume they will know how desperate you feel unless you tell them. They too may have been through very difficult times in the past and be able to encourage you. You can even share your own story in a comment here, and our volunteers will definitely pray for you and reply in additional comments here on this site.

See also:

New Normal: New Hope After Trials

A Successful Suicide Prevention Story

 

Bullied No More! a Poem by Martha Bolton

By Martha Bolton:

How can you experience victory over bullying? Part of the solution is how you choose to react and seek support.

 

Recently a young jewelry designer took her own life,  leaving behind notes describing how she’d been bullied by some co-workers and classmates in the fashion industry.

It’s a tragedy when someone takes his or her own life because of ill treatment by others. But everyone who is bullied can make a choice. If only that young woman could have turned her terrible experiences around, and positively helped herself and others who face similar circumstances by standing up, standing firm, and reaching out for help.

We believe God could have helped her get through that dark moment and find her way back into the light.

          I’ve been bullied myself; I know it’s no fun.

          So what can a bullied person do?

Image by imagerymajestic  FreeDigitalPhotos net

I will be bullied no more!

 BULLIED NO MORE

Say enough is enough by your standing; not by your retreat.

Say enough is enough through your triumphs; not by your defeat.

Say enough is enough with your faithful friends standing up for you.

Say enough is enough by telling your mom and dad and teacher, too.

Say enough is enough by being you, not by returning hate.

Say enough is enough by rising above, instead of biting their bait.

No one can make you be less than you are.  So remember when things get tough,

The ones who matter will have your back ‘cause enough is enough is enough!

© 2013 Martha Bolton

To be bullied NO MORE, and find hope when you are suffering from bullying, these articles may help:

 

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How to Stop Cyberbullying

Cyberbullied: Handling Mean Texts and Online Posts

 

 

Yes, There is an Anti-Bullying Day

by N. J. Lindquist:

Today is Anti-bullying Day in Canada. It’s also known as Pink Shirt Day.

 

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pink Shirt Day started with an anti-bullying stand taken by two Grade 12 students in Nova Scotia about six years ago. They witnessed a Grade 9 student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school and rallied other students to wear pink as a message against bullying.

Two of my sons were bullied for very different reasons when they were roughly 12-13. As a parent, I felt angry and determined to stop it, while also a bit helpless – no one can live in another person’s shoes. Nor can you be with your child all the time.

Our sons survived and weren’t injured by their experiences, but I wonder if there were other kids who ran into the same bullies, and the bullies themselves – are they still bullies as adults?

Far too many of the people who commit suicide or attempt to do so have been bullied. The death of Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old from B.C. who committed suicide in October after posting a video detailing how she was bullied both in person and over the internet, brought attention to the newest for of bullying, cyber-bullying. But bullying has been around for a long time.

For more information on Pink Shirt Day and what you can do about bullying, read this article.

You can also read here on our site:

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How to Stop Cyberbullying

Cyberbullied: Handling Mean Texts and Online Posts

Copycat Suicide

By N.J. Lindquist:

Please don’t allow the suicide of someone you admire or care about to lead you to choose a copycat suicide.

 

Image from Wikipedia of Mindy McCready

Image from Wikipedia

When I read last week about the death of country singer, Mindy McCready, I can’t say I was surprised. I knew that her current boyfriend (the father of her 10-month-old son) had died only a few weeks earlier, and that his death was being looked on as a probable suicide. I have to admit that when I first heard of his death, I had a feeling in my gut that hers would be next.

As a fan of country music, I’ve long been aware of Mindy, and really enjoyed some of her songs, especially “Guys Do It All the Time.” But I was also aware of the roller-coaster life she’s led, including her upbringing and connection to a Pentecostal church; her graduation from high school at age 16; her move to Nashville to pursue her dream; and her relationship with married baseball pitcher, Roger Clemons (when she was 18 and possibly younger).

I was also aware of her parents’ divorces and remarriages; her various relationships with men; her two children, her battle with addictions and her earlier attempts at suicide. It almost seemed as if an early death would be the inevitable conclusion.

I feel so sorry for Mindy and her family, and in particular for her two young sons. But my greatest concern is that no one else will copy what she did.

I remember years ago meeting with a teenager I’ll call Debbie who had been cutting herself regularly for a long time, but had recently made several attempts to commit suicide. As we talked about Debbie’s life and her frustrations, she began to cry and whispered the name of a male singer who had recently died from what was being called suicide. Apparently Debbie was a huge fan, to that point that she idolized him, and she was feeling the need to follow him, even in this.

The fact that Debbie’s attempts at suicide hadn’t been successful told me that she probably didn’t really want to kill herself. But that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have succeeded. She was fortunate that her mother had been in the house each time and found her before it was too late.

As I believe was the case with Mindy, there were things in Debbie’s past that made her hate herself and her life—things that were at the root of the cutting and the spiral her life was in—things she couldn’t just push into a dark corner of her mind and ignore. But at this point, the impetus for her suicide attempts wasn’t as much about her personal issues as it was about the very real fact that her idol had done it.

The idea of killing yourself may not come from a celebrity; it might be because a partner or friend does it, as in Mindy’s case; or a family member.

If you’re thinking about committing suicide because someone else has done it, consider this: Your life is too important to become a footnote to someone else’s life.

What you can do:

  • Don’t keep your dark thoughts to yourself. Find someone you can talk to about how you’re feeling and why you feel a strong connection to the person who has died.
  • Look for positive things you could do to help the person’s family and friends deal with the pain suicide leaves behind.
  • Make a list of things you could do to help preserve the memory of the person who has committed suicide so that others will remember the good times and not just focus on the circumstances of the death.
  • If you continue having suicidal thoughts, see a doctor or a counselor and tell them exactly what is troubling you.

 

Overcoming Grief: Plan to Live!

One way to help overcome grief is to plan to live–one day at a time.

children walking down a road     In this series 10 Things I’ve Learned  About Grief” (from the book Dear AmericaI share my own story of loss and grief.  The tenth thing I learned (see the first eight here) about grief is this:
     #10: Plant bulbs: plan to live!
     Okay, maybe you don’t garden, but here’s what I mean: The Saturday after the Attack on America, I took my radio into the garden to stay abreast of the latest news as I planted fall bulbs for spring flowers.
     As talk shows discussed possibilities of future terrorist attacks, biological and chemical warfare, and other possible horrors, the thought suddenly occurred to me that I may not be here next spring to see the very tulips I was planting.
     After all, those people who boarded planes or who went to work at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and New York police and fire stations that Tuesday morning fully expected to be here that afternoon, let alone next spring. Will I still be here? I wondered. Will our society still be here? Will our nation still be here?
     Maybe I shouldn’t even bother planting, I thought. I paused for the briefest of moments.
     No, I determined, I am going to plant these bulbs. I am planting them in faith, expecting to be here next spring to see the flowers.
     I planted the bulbs.
     Whatever it is you love to do, make plans to do it-next month, next season, next year. With God’s help, determine to survive. Trust God to carry you through whatever this life dishes out. He won’t let you down.  (Excerpt from Dear America )
     “Lessons From Grief: Living Is About Dying” is an article by Sabrina Beasley who lost her husband suddenly in a car accident but found something to look forward to. She writes:
“As for me, brushing this closely with death has awakened me spiritually. I can see how short my time on this earth is. Like [the apostle] Paul, I praise God that it’s short. I can’t wait to know the Lord face to face, but for the sake of the dear lost souls who walk hopelessly around me, I have resolved to do everything I can to spread the Good News [of Salvation in Jesus Christ] for as long as I am alive.”
     When losing a loved one makes you want to die, do something you love. Create something to look forward to. Find for yourself a reason to live. Your loved-one would want you to live. And even if you think differently, many others in your life know you, love you, and want you to live. God has a purpose for you, and He wants you to live.
     Through this inspiring video,  “The Call” by Celtic Woman,hear God call you to something great for the rest of your life:
 

New Normal: New Hope After Trials

By Jeenie Gordon:

This excerpt, written by Jeenie Gordon (licensed marriage and family therapist) was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye, Healing and Hope for the Suicide Victims and Survivors, and used by permission from New Hope Publishers.

Once you have gone through this gut-wrenching painful cycle, you will establish a ‘new normal.’ You will again feel hope.
Image: anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As a therapist, I often tell my clients about the concept of “old normal versus new normal.”

Life has been going on in a normal manner – ups and downs, little annoyances, and joys – the usual stuff. Then disaster strikes and throws us smack dab in the middle of agonizing pain. During the time of mourning, we feel abnormal. Nothing makes sense, we don’t care about life. Nothing brings joy. Grief has us in a vise grip, with unyielding heavy chains surrounding our hearts and minds.

I have told many clients:

“If you weren’t feeling abnormal during this tragedy, then I’d worry about you. This is normal for what is currently happening in your life.

“Once you have gone through this gut-wrenching painful cycle, you will establish a ‘new normal.’ You will again feel hope, be able to laugh, and enjoy life. The old normal is gone forever, but a new one will replace it.

“A word of caution: There will always be residual pain the rest of your life. However, it will no longer control and suffocate you. Emotional health can and will be achieved and you will be able to deal with the residual hurt.”

God certainly has a purpose for us and for all the things that happen in our lives. However, we may never fully understand what those purposes are while we’re on earth. It’s not that God doesn’t want us to know, but we are probably incapable of understanding because of our limited, finite minds.

Consider a two-year-old who sticks a fork into an electrical outlet. The parent grabs it away, yet does not try to explain to the toddler the dangers of electricity. At that age he could not grasp the concept.

Perhaps God withholds the reason trauma has occurred in our lives, not because He wants to hide something from us, but because our minds are unable to comprehend. Someday, when we see Him in His majesty and glory, we will fully understand.

Grieving in a Different World: I Want to Kill Myself

By Dianne E. Butts:

When grieving a loved one, it can be easy to hate your new circumstances and even think, My world is so different, I want to kill myself.  Here’s hope.

 

Image: Classical Sunrise by Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Classical Sunrise by Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In this series 10 Things I’ve Learned  About Grief” (from the book Dear AmericaI share my own story of loss and grief.  The ninth thing I learned (see the first eight here) about grief is this:

 #9: Your whole world is different, but that doesn’t mean you will be sad forever. 

We talked in Grief Lesson #8 about how grief can seem to go on forever. I mentioned that many people grieve for a full two years. I wish to clarify what I mean. I know a woman who lost her husband two and a half years ago. Recently I overheard her talking with a friend and she said that people tell her it will get better but she still misses him and she doesn’t expect it will ever get better.

I felt guilty thinking perhaps I was one of those people telling her it would get better.

The other woman said she had lost her husband over a decade ago, she still misses him terribly, and then she told my friend she was right: she will never get over it and it will never get better.

How sad!

When I say grief last for two years, I’m not saying at the end of two years you won’t grieve anymore or feel pain or miss your loved one! Have you ever hit your thumb with a hammer? Or done something else physically painful? With the kind of pain that takes your breath away? At least for a little while, you can’t speak. You can’t express anything but the pain. You can’t move, except to hold whatever hurts and hang on. We learn that if you hang in there, you’ll get your breath back. That’s what I’m talking about.

I’m not saying the pain goes away. I’m not suggesting you won’t miss him or her anymore. Your life has changed and it will never be the same again. But the pain will ease gradually, and after two years you should be able to breathe again. You should be functioning again. If you’re not, you need to seek out help.

Your grief will not last forever. After the death of her husband, I once heard a woman ask her friend, “Will I ever laugh again?”

Her friend wisely and immediately answered, “Yes. YES!

This article “Living Through Grief” on CBN.com has some helpful information about the steps of grief that we normally experience. It also lists three steps to recovery: Grieve, Believe, and Receive. The article offers “Scriptures that can bring hope, strength and peace” and tips for “Helping Others Through Grief.”

Don’t let thoughts linger in your mind that make you think terrible thoughts like I want to kill myself. Don’t give up. Hang in there. It does get easier.

Video: Listen to this beautiful, hope-filled song performed by Lynda Randle: “I’m Free.”

May you find freedom from your grief.

Read other articles on this site by Dianne E. Butts HERE.

 

Filling the Void When My Son Died

By Janet Perez Eckles:

A mother’s grief knows no bounds with the loss of a child, especially to murder. Only God’s love can bring true healing and fill that terrible void.

 

Image: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking back at the night in that emergency room when the doctors walked in and asked, “Are you the parents of Joe Eckles?”

I jumped to my feet. “Yes, where is he? How is he? When can we take him home?”

Those questions carried my fear that something awful had happened when we received the call that he was wounded. But nothing, nothing, no amount of faith, knowledge of bible verses, of years of attending church could have prepared me to receive the doctor’s words that shook my senses.

“Your son has not survived the twenty-three stab wounds.”

Emotions? Feelings? None made sense. No mother can begin to comprehend the horror and grief that slices the heart.

Anguish jabbed at me when my son died: thoughts that I’d never be able to live carrying that pain. I’d never be able to face a world without my Joe. Weeks dragged back with sleepless nights and with days that made no sense.

And one dark afternoon, as I held his football jersey and pressed it against my chest, I realized that the void he left in my heart, my life and in our family was what ached the most.”Lord,” I cried out. “Will you fill this emptiness that sears in me?”

In the midst of my sobs, God’s voice whispered a question, one I’d heard many times before. But now it had a different message for me:

”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8:35.

I had experienced the sword of pain. But I lifted my head, wiped one more tear, and looked up. I chose to receive Christ’s love to fill the void the love for my son had left. I embraced Christ’s love to soothe the bleeding wound in my heart. And it would be God’s love that would touch the heartache and begin the healing.

Ten years have gone by since that day when my son died. And  looking back, I think of many who want to know how to commit suicide, how to end it all, how they can go on living when the anguish feels too much to endure, I understand.

But now I also comprehend that God’s healing is found in the love He offers, in the promise He makes, and in the hope that soothes each wound.

See more articles and videos by Janet Perez Eckles HERE, including how she not only lost her son, but also faced her husband’s unfaithfulness and the loss of her sight. Janet continues to rest in God’s arms and rejoice in Him.