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Sandya, I lost my Helen on June 30th 2017, and after 48 years of marriage, and even now when I wake up each morning I have that initial "surprise!!" that I am on my own. I miss her so much and still feel "lost" and whilst things are a little easier its still so hard without her.  I do have good times when out with friends and family and at those times I suppose I am happy somewhat.  But what I do find different is that I can more regularly remember our good times together. There was always that thing that people say "remember the good times", for the first 10 months or so all I could remember was those last few agonising weeks, but now I can and do remember the fantastic times we had and that does give me some consolation and I must say joy reminiscing on our wonderful time together. So so sorry for losing your Dave and I wish you strength and love in the coming months and years.

Ray

Hi, I just joined this site, though I admit I am not always sure if there is a place I belong. I am a "widow," but my husband was a scary, abusive alcoholic who committed suicide 7 weeks ago. He used a gun that since, I have wondered was actually meant for me. It has been a crazy range of emotions. From feeling lonely and lost and missing him, to hating him, to feeling lucky. I have 3 children and I am pretty sure we are in for a long road. There is a heaviness in this that sits on my shoulders a lot. My therapist has urged me to go to group therapy, but I don't feel I quite fit in them. I also struggle a lot with the fact that so many of his friends have no idea what the reality of our life was. And I feel like I am supposed to be acting a certain way that is a bit of a lie, if that makes sense. Anyways I am rambling the things that run in my head constantly. Thank you for listening and it is nice to meet all of you and I am so very sorry for the loss you have experienced.

Wow. Yes your situation is a lot more complicated and tragic than a lot of others. But I am hoping you can find some common ground here and at very least some sympathetic ears.  

About his his friends that have no idea -- maybe you need to leave them behind and find some new healthy friendships of your own.  

Welcome, AngieK, and I'm sorry you had to join us.  Although I had a very happy marriage with my second husband Ron, who died in November, 2016, I was also married to a scary, abusive alcoholic the first time. He died 13 years after we divorced as a result of his drinking.  My son, who now has two little girls of his own, says the oldest (age 4) is asking about "Grandpa Walter". It's really forced me to focus on what I want her to know and to remember of him.   I put together a set of pictures of him and my son and DIL agree with the plan that I'll show them to my granddaughter and tell her the good things for right now- that he was very smart, that he loved to read, that he liked fishing, etc.   They do want to tell her and her siblings the truth when it's appropriate.

Which is my long-winded way of saying that it's OK to feel relieved that he's not around to intimidate you anymore but also mourn for what was lost and what HE lost.  People will realize that he was troubled if he took his own life.  You don't need to go into any other details- if you feel comfortable with saying so, you can volunteer that he was a troubled man and you hope he's at peace now.  It's a delicate balancing act with kids, too- they have half his genes.  They know the bad stuff but they also need to know of whatever good things you remember that brought/kept you together so they understand that they can take a different path.  My son doesn't drink at all- neither does my DIL.  My Ex was an extravagant spender and ran up credit card debts.  They're frugal.  My Ex was unemployed the last 5 years of the marriage.  My son very proudly supports the family on his salary.  OK, I'm talking about myself again- but I want to give you hope that it's possible for your kids to get through this and thrive.

Thank you both for the note. I agree, and do remind the kids of good things and love. They are 5, 6 and 11 and it is so ok that they think of their dad in only good ways. They did witness a lot of things, and my oldest has the hardest time but she has a good therapist helping. I appreciate the welcome and the advice. 

Hi Angie, so sorry for this crazy roller coaster you are riding. Our situations are not similar, but the emotions your are trying to deal with strike a chord.  About 2 months prior to his passing, I found out about a year+ long online affair. So, when he died I was still hurt and angry but had to put on the grieving widow face. It was so new and fresh , I hadn't dealt with it. So...it took me a long time to put it to rest so I could grieve. I knew I couldn't move forward with my life without letting it go. I probably seemed cold and heartless after he died but I just gave up caring what others thought. I let people believe the best in him because ..why not?  The truth would have hurt them and not made me feel any better.  

Almost 2 years later, I still waffle between relief, grief, sadness, anger, being thankful, etc. Most days are great, but there are still trigger days, sounds, smells...

Be kind to yourself. Nothing is right or wrong. You just deal the best way you know how. Whatever works for you. Sending gentle hugs your way  Anita

AngieK, 

So sorry you had to join us here.

As a survivor of suicide your situation is unique. Compounded with the abuse..I can imagine you have so many feelings swirling. 

I cannot encourage you enough to seek out a suicide survivors group near you.  There is also a group here in Widowed Village. 

You act/feel/think however you see fit.  You are entitled to feel whatever you feel.  

Also - www.sslf.org is a great resource if you haven't already found them.  

Keep thinking out loud and processing. Be kind to yourself.  

Peace

~Sue 

I'm so sorry, Angie. I hope you make some important connections here in the Village.

We do have a private Suicide Survivor group: http://widowedvillage.org/group/suicidesurvivors

And also one for Survivors of Addiction and Substance Abuse: http://widowedvillage.org/group/survivors-of-addiction-and-substanc...

I'd also like to highly recommend a closed Facebook group that a young widow I met at our San Diego Camp Widow last year has started called Stigmatized: The Suicide Survivor's Journey.  It is very active and honest: https://facebook.com/groups/1892637544291938/

Angie,

My 1st husband I divorced because of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse. 90% of physical abuse was targeted at our infant son, possibly causing a TBI, admitted to covering his face many times to stop crying to the point he stopped breathing while he was 2-3 months old. He never lost parental rights, because once the divorce was finalized, the state of KS dropped moving towards terminating my parental rights AND his (stupid on their part) and worked towards reunification with me. However, when he won appeal of guilty verdict in felony child abuse trial over TBI, and case was reversed and remanded, prosecution decided not to retry, which resulted in original divorce agreement staying in place. Ex-husband still has joint custody, equal decision making, and 4 weeks visiting rights a year in summer. 2 years ago abused son one more time, which was reported when I found out next day to police there, CPS here and there...4 months later, sheriff out there updated me no further prosecution could be continued, because it was my son's word against his dad's, no physical evidence, in spite of history, and domestic battery charge on dad's record from child's infancy with child listed as victim....

2nd husband, reason I am a widow, was active alcoholic, who presented himself as recovering for the 5 months we talked before we met in person, and for the first several months of dating, once a week approximately until I for sure knew that was a complete and total lie. Me, being naive, had never been around an alcoholic in any type of personal, long-term way. I did not know the extent of the dangers to his health, the extent of the addiction, etc. He was sometimes emotionally and verbally abusive, although rarely, and never physically. In the end, in spite of the alcohol, I did agree to marry him, and We were married 2 years. 2 days before the 2nd anniversary, he was suddenly jaundiced, we knew he needed the hospital, and when he agreed to go to the ER, it was not til the next night I got him to allow me to drive him, and still him stalling in the car over half an hour outside the entrance before I made him get in the damn wheelchair and take him in. I think he was hoping he'd just die in the car. I learned later it was a miracle he survived that first night in the hospital. After night one, he was moved to ICU, spent 4-5 days there, then the rest in another floor (less critical), but when it became clear not only his liver had failed, but no, his kidneys did not eventually take the turn back to improving as we all hoped, and it seemed like maybe they would...he was put on hospice, 2 days later left hospital, died 24 hours later. 12 days after our second anniversary, I became a widow at age 31. He was 43. I am raising my 10 year old son, his stepson. His therapist was able to visit him second week in hospital, because I specifically wanted her to evaluate his mental health (he was schizophrenic and depressed, but relatively stable prior to hospitalization). I found out later from my mom who was in room with therapist and Shane, that he said he was there because of suicide, that he was serious, and that the amount he drank in 24 hours before actually arriving at ER was active attempt to complete the job. My grief is complicated as well. How do you manage a substance abuse death? A death you are blamed for by many, in this case, specifically his mother (who I have not seen or spoken to since his death, she did not come to the memorial service I held according to his wishes and did not invite me to the event she held at her home for family and friends) and also my church (why weren't you honest and open about his alcoholism with all of us, we could have helped???--first off, no, he had all the need he could have wanted available to him, including weekly in home therapy. It is up to an addict to accept the help. He never wanted to and never did. And, it was his secret to share, not mine). How do you cope when you realize, this is also, yes, a suicide, though not as obvious of one, not a bloody one? I am accepted into one Facebook suicide widow group, but specifically excluded from another. And that's a secret to many. I can share on here, especially with my friends in the chat, and in my support group of young widows I meet with in-person in Denver. But if his family finds out, especially his mom, that he called it suicide? The blame will be even more on me, I guarantee it. Stigma, upon stigma, upon stigma. Pile on that that ex-husband once blamed an overdose attempt on me. "Don't you remember when I tried suicide because of you??? Um, no, because at the time you claimed that that was not what happened..." The fact I have mental health issues myself. The fact my son carries my biology and his fathers (The best...I mean worst...of both worlds). Anyway, I am not meaning to overwhelm you. Just trying to share my story to say I think we could relate on many, many different levels. I am at a point that I am almost 2 years out, and overall am handling things in a logical, calm, way. I can offer insight and advice as you are wanting or willing to hear it. And I also like to listen (and talk) when I am available. Send me a PM or a friend request if you'd like to chat sometime, or catch me when I am online in chat. Thanks.

Debbie

Wow, that is such a very hard story. I am so sorry you went through so much, and it sounds like you should be very proud of yourself for handling things with such grace. Thank you for reaching out and for sharing your story.

Thank you all for the welcome and for the great resources and advice. I will look at them. As for kids? My 11 year old for sure has the worst time, but she talks and goes to therapy and was already a bit of an unhappy child because of the abusive situation. She begged me to leave so many times. I know she is handling a lot of guilt, but I do believe she will work through it. 

AngieK, I am so sorry that you need to be here. Your loss is so very tragic. I understand the "not fitting in" feeling because I am an alcoholic/suicide survivor as well. Do what makes you comfortable in your interactions with others. There are many that do not know how my husband died. I finally came to terms with the fact that it is my decision what and if I tell others.

Be good to yourself and although it seems difficult, don't worry about others. I do want to say that the Suicide Survivors and Survivors of Addiction and Substance Abuse groups on here do not seem to have much activity. I have posted in both and not received input from anyone. The recent posting are older as well.

Hugs and peace to you.

(((AngieK)))

Just a heads up Mom ...
At the of 11, she has more memories of Dad than the younger 2. My 2 youngest were 11 & newly 13 when their father was killed 11 years ago ...
Monitor signs of numbness in your daughter. My daughter's therapist never detected or monitored for it b/c it was not part of her therapy guidelines. Girls are far more likely than boys their age to get into cutting their arms w/razor blades from box cutters or an Xacto knife. It provides feeling. It's not a sign of suicide. My kids did their own laundry so I never noticed the blood on her sleeves or towels. Her brother mentioned she was not cleaning up the blood in the bathroom, I thought it was menstrual blood till I noticed box cutter razors on a receipt that I had not noticed on the conveyor belt at the checkout. My daughter still hasn't told me where she learned about cutting - I suspect it was from the Internet ...

Many people say kids are resilient - under the age of 10 more so. Just go ahead w/monitoring & safeguarding as well as report any concerns to her therapist ...
Many blessings on your journey w/kids ...

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