Coping with suicide of my son? (trigger alert - not graphic)

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manBrain
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18 Jan 2019, 2:34 am

I am looking for ways to cope with the suicide of my son.

He moved out in October, returned in December and killed himself a week later, aged 17.
There were a number of reasons for this; he was grieving over his father, his girlfriend had left him, he had crashed his car and quit his job.
He also was a drug user for all his teenage years, which contributed to his emotional instability and inability to deal with life. I did suggest to him in the past that he may have ASD, but he refused to consider that, because he didn't want there to be something "wrong" with him. He refused therapy etc. While he was living with me his behaviour had boundaries, but he couldn't handle himself independently. He went on a major drug binge when he was away from home which made him psychotic and the come-down was terrible. I am so devastated that he did not tell me the state of his mind or the magnitude of his binge (he should have been in hospital to detox). Even though we weren't best friends, (he preferred bongs and xbox), we did have a functional relationship and I was always assisting him with advice and practical matters.

Since his death, I have discovered that he told a number of his facebook "friends" that he was suicidal, including adult relatives.
I am having trouble understanding why none of them contacted me; instead they agreed that I was an idiot, a fat b***h, and that I didn't care about him (!?). It has been difficult reading his facebook messages, which include him making comments about purposefully killing himself so that I would be the one to find him dead. He did it just before I got home from work.

I think that I am dealing with the trauma aspects ok, to get calm again after such a horrible experience. Though this will be ongoing. I will have to figure out some way of remembering my son in happier times.
The part that I am struggling with now, is how to interact with people? I manage going to work, working in silence, then going home to be alone.

Even though I understand how mental illness affects people, this experience has reinforced my belief that people are essentially un-knowable. This makes me even less sociable and less confident in relating; what am I relating to? Only a tiny part of someone else's consciousness, with a backdrop of chaos and deceit.

I am also so angry with the relatives who did not contact me with such important information.
I can understand that my son's friends (also druggie teenagers) didn't know what to do, and came up with great ideas like "I'll kill myself too" and "don't do what your mother says, just pretend to go along with it"; but I think I will never be able to forgive the adults. It seemed more important to them all, to be having their "intimate" facebook conversations, than to deal with the real-world situation.

Because talk-therapy is not effective for me, I am looking for non-verbal ideas about how to process all this.
Or, useful statements that I can tell myself, to somehow re-integrate with people and reassure myself (or at least, create a mental illusion) that they are not all as*holes.



traven
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18 Jan 2019, 2:46 am

i'm very sorry for you, don't count on it being easy any time soon



MjrMajorMajor
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18 Jan 2019, 4:29 am

I'm so sorry for your loss. Are there grief support groups you could explore?



Piobaire
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18 Jan 2019, 6:37 am

I'm so very sorry you have to go through this.
I wish you healing and peace.



BeaArthur
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18 Jan 2019, 2:46 pm

I am so very sorry for your loss.

A grief support group is a good idea. There are also groups for survivors of a family suicide.

I am shocked that with all the "cries for help" your son posted on social media, no one acted. Shocked and disgusted.

My daughter was very deeply affected by a friend of hers committing suicide. His father posted on his Facebook page that nobody should feel it was their fault - knowing that it's a reaction some people have. He might have been particularly thinking about the young man's girlfriend, whose earlier marriage had ended in the husband's suicide, and thus she might be particularly vulnerable.

I think that father did a caring and positive thing with his Facebook post, an act of caring and forgiveness. It's possible at some point, you can take a similar stand.

But right now, take care of you. Sending you tender hugs.


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Summer_Twilight
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19 Jan 2019, 10:43 am

manBrain wrote:
I am looking for ways to cope with the suicide of my son.

He moved out in October, returned in December and killed himself a week later, aged 17.
There were a number of reasons for this; he was grieving over his father, his girlfriend had left him, he had crashed his car and quit his job.
He also was a drug user for all his teenage years, which contributed to his emotional instability and inability to deal with life. I did suggest to him in the past that he may have ASD, but he refused to consider that, because he didn't want there to be something "wrong" with him. He refused therapy etc. While he was living with me his behaviour had boundaries, but he couldn't handle himself independently. He went on a major drug binge when he was away from home which made him psychotic and the come-down was terrible. I am so devastated that he did not tell me the state of his mind or the magnitude of his binge (he should have been in hospital to detox). Even though we weren't best friends, (he preferred bongs and xbox), we did have a functional relationship and I was always assisting him with advice and practical matters.

Since his death, I have discovered that he told a number of his facebook "friends" that he was suicidal, including adult relatives.
I am having trouble understanding why none of them contacted me; instead they agreed that I was an idiot, a fat b***h, and that I didn't care about him (!?). It has been difficult reading his facebook messages, which include him making comments about purposefully killing himself so that I would be the one to find him dead. He did it just before I got home from work.

I think that I am dealing with the trauma aspects ok, to get calm again after such a horrible experience. Though this will be ongoing. I will have to figure out some way of remembering my son in happier times.
The part that I am struggling with now, is how to interact with people? I manage going to work, working in silence, then going home to be alone.

Even though I understand how mental illness affects people, this experience has reinforced my belief that people are essentially un-knowable. This makes me even less sociable and less confident in relating; what am I relating to? Only a tiny part of someone else's consciousness, with a backdrop of chaos and deceit.

I am also so angry with the relatives who did not contact me with such important information.
I can understand that my son's friends (also druggie teenagers) didn't know what to do, and came up with great ideas like "I'll kill myself too" and "don't do what your mother says, just pretend to go along with it"; but I think I will never be able to forgive the adults. It seemed more important to them all, to be having their "intimate" facebook conversations, than to deal with the real-world situation.

Because talk-therapy is not effective for me, I am looking for non-verbal ideas about how to process all this.
Or, useful statements that I can tell myself, to somehow re-integrate with people and reassure myself (or at least, create a mental illusion) that they are not all as*holes.


Those "Friends" told him that it's okay to kill himself, they were as*holes and they sounded dangerous. As far as your family members, that was wrong for them not to tell you. I can't stand anything more than

Hi, I am autistic and dealing with grief myself after losing my aunt to a stroke who was like a mom to me. A colleague of mine told me that grief is unpredictable and it is like a roller coaster which you have to learn how to ride. Now I am in counseling and she is very good. She told me that if you feel sad or angry, you have to allow yourself to feel those things. She recommended a stress ball.

Here are some resources for you
1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/11-healt ... _b_4757259
2. Youtube has a great guided meditation on grief
3. https://whatsyourgrief.com/self-care-id ... -grievers/
4.https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/pages/supp ... f-and-loss

What I am doing to remember my aunt
1. I am going to get some wish lanterns and take them and let them off over the ocean when I go to the coast next month in her honor
2. I also created an obituary in honor of my aunt - Go to everloved.com
3. Though we are not having a funeral, I am going to arrange a get together with Lois' friends and clients



deeplycomfused
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19 Jan 2019, 6:40 pm

My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine the hurt you must be feeling.



jimmy m
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19 Jan 2019, 10:37 pm

I am sorry for the loss of your son.

When my mom was nearing death, they prescribed hospice care for her. Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. Many times they use volunteers. They not only focus on the patients but also their families. After she passed, they approached me many times and asked how I was doing. Did I need any help. This type of organization may provide you some help.

As others have recommended, grief counseling may help.

The trauma from this tragic event has produced a great deal of stress in you. Generally this stress energy is locked away in your muscles and nervous system. It needs to be vented. So although this suggestion might seem odd, I will recommend you find someplace alone and very secluded and scream at the top of your lungs. Picture all the people who could have done something, said something and didn't and just scream at them with all your might. This will vent the stored stress energy in your neck and vocal cords.


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19 Jan 2019, 11:07 pm

My son threatened suicide twice. He has always felt that all his problems are my fault. Despite therapy, etc, etc, he continues to believe this, and for the past five years will have nothing to do with me.

The reason I am responding is because you asked how to remember the good times. I have struggled with that also. It seemed to me that his hatred, alienation, and disparaging negated all the other times earlier.

I have since decided that the good times were still good and I permit myself occasional glimpses of that. I think that with time you will also be able to salvage some of the earlier love and caring. :heart:


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Summer_Twilight
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20 Jan 2019, 10:21 am

jimmy m wrote:
I am sorry for the loss of your son.

When my mom was nearing death, they prescribed hospice care for her. Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. Many times they use volunteers. They not only focus on the patients but also their families. After she passed, they approached me many times and asked how I was doing. Did I need any help. This type of organization may provide you some help.

As others have recommended, grief counseling may help.

The trauma from this tragic event has produced a great deal of stress in you. Generally this stress energy is locked away in your muscles and nervous system. It needs to be vented. So although this suggestion might seem odd, I will recommend you find someplace alone and very secluded and scream at the top of your lungs. Picture all the people who could have done something, said something and didn't and just scream at them with all your might. This will vent the stored stress energy in your neck and vocal cords.


My aunt was in hospice after Christmas for nearly two weeks before coming out of her coma, a few days before she died two weeks ago. I had been talking to a counselor for two months prior to finding out about the massive strokes, her time in hospice and then her death. I am also going to join a grief support group in a couple of months since I am required to wait for 8 weeks.

Here is a website with 115 different resources for grief
https://www.mastersincounseling.org/gui ... reavement/



manBrain
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21 Jan 2019, 2:09 am

thank you for your replies and ideas.

I do a lot of physical work and exercise which helps and monitor my heart rate and sleep with a fitbit. I am not usually interested in gadgets, but it reminds me I am still alive and not to fool myself with how much sleep I'm getting. It also has a short guided breathing app which is useful for calming down before I go to sleep.

I am not having much success in finding happy memories of him. When I think of him at a younger age, or look at photos, I mostly notice the disgusting changes that happened after he went to live with his father from 11-13 years old (his choice, not mine). He went from being a great kid to a drug addict and school dropout by age 12.

I have found an amusing video on his iCloud though.... where he sets his hair on fire by accident while lighting his bong. He wasn't hurt and thought it was very funny. That might be as good as it gets.



blazingstar
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21 Jan 2019, 9:06 am

manBrain wrote:
thank you for your replies and ideas.

I do a lot of physical work and exercise which helps and monitor my heart rate and sleep with a fitbit. I am not usually interested in gadgets, but it reminds me I am still alive and not to fool myself with how much sleep I'm getting. It also has a short guided breathing app which is useful for calming down before I go to sleep.

I am not having much success in finding happy memories of him. When I think of him at a younger age, or look at photos, I mostly notice the disgusting changes that happened after he went to live with his father from 11-13 years old (his choice, not mine). He went from being a great kid to a drug addict and school dropout by age 12.

I have found an amusing video on his iCloud though.... where he sets his hair on fire by accident while lighting his bong. He wasn't hurt and thought it was very funny. That might be as good as it gets.


I didn't mean to imply that you (editorially) could find happy memories this close to losing him. In the beginning I pretty much felt like my whole life of trying to be a mother and loving my son and doing the best I could for him was worthless, or even worse than worthless having caused so much pain for him and others. It seemed like even the things I had done which I had thought at the time were good, weren't. I couldn't even look at pictures from when he was small. Pictures I used to treasure now seemed to mock me.

It takes time. Lots of time. I just wanted to let you know that, in the future, you may be able to gain some comfort from the good times.

A very good friend, who is also a retired psychiatrist, advised me that healing from emotional trauma also requires a lot of rest and sleep and to be sure I let myself sleep enough. This close to an event, it is not depression, it is grief. Grief takes a lot of work to process, even when you aren't consciously grieving.

I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how tragic it is to completely lose a child in this manner. (((manBrain)))


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Summer_Twilight
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22 Jan 2019, 1:21 pm

manBrain wrote:
thank you for your replies and ideas.

I do a lot of physical work and exercise which helps and monitor my heart rate and sleep with a fitbit. I am not usually interested in gadgets, but it reminds me I am still alive and not to fool myself with how much sleep I'm getting. It also has a short guided breathing app which is useful for calming down before I go to sleep.

I am not having much success in finding happy memories of him. When I think of him at a younger age, or look at photos, I mostly notice the disgusting changes that happened after he went to live with his father from 11-13 years old (his choice, not mine). He went from being a great kid to a drug addict and school dropout by age 12.

I have found an amusing video on his iCloud though.... where he sets his hair on fire by accident while lighting his bong. He wasn't hurt and thought it was very funny. That might be as good as it gets.


If you don't have any good memories, then I think grief counseling or a weekly grief support group is the way to go because it sounds like you might be seeking closure? It also sounds like you aren't just grieving over this death but your lack of relationship next to his bad choices as well.



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14 Feb 2019, 5:34 pm

I'm so very sorry to hear about your son. As some others have expressed, I am disgusted at these so-called friends (and relatives ?!) who seem to have encouraged him to go down the destructive path, even by not acting when they should have. In your place, I would want payback. I might even seek to take legal action. He sounds like he really needed help and guidance but nobody was willing to give it to him.

All I can say is don't stop until your heart is at peace about things. If you're angry, do something about it. People need to be held accountable for their actions, and the internet medium is no excuse to act inhuman. At the very least, you need to tell your relatives how you feel about their behaviour. I believe this is the best way to get to a place where you can trust people again. You need closure.


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