Grief is a funny sort of thing isn’t it?
Days, weeks, months can go by without a thought for those who have passed on, died, gone before us, whatever you like to call it, until the yearly ‘anniversary’ comes around.
I woke up yesterday morning feeling a bit ‘meh’ as my teen says (for everything) and I didn’t know why, and when my partner asked was I ok I couldn’t find the words to explain that feeling.
Today I am still trying to put my feelings into words but having failed miserably all morning I decided to sit and type them out instead.
If you’ve read my blog you will know that I was a victim of domestic abuse, but my abuser was a victim too; a victim of his life before me and his own low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
I tried to understand where he was coming from all the years I spent with him, and I really thought that I could save him, help him, give him the life he craved for so much, but unfortunately I couldn’t do that. In the end I realised that he had to want to do that for himself and no amount of persuasion from me was going to change him.
So I gave up trying. I had to, because in all those years of trying to save him I had started to lose myself.
And of course there were two other small humans in our home I had to think of too.
In my experience this particular man always had one major ‘get-out clause’ up his sleeve whenever things were not going his way.
Words would roll off his tongue as easy as saying ‘fuck off’ and manys’ the time he stormed out of our home, after an argument, car keys in hand, threatening to ‘end it’.
But he always came back.
Threatening suicide in a relationship counts as Emotional Abuse, and it worked too, every time, because as the victim I would back-track whatever it was I was arguing about or I would keep my feelings or the problems I felt we were having in our marriage inside rather than talk about them. I felt that his life was in my hands.
After we separated his threats became actual attempts, ‘cries for help’ some may call them. Personally I believe he was showing me that this was something very real and he was capable of doing, if he really wanted to, if I ‘pushed him’ hard enough. His last ‘cry for help’ was answered, not by me this time but by professionals (our Mental Health Services) thankfully.
I couldn’t do it any longer. I couldn’t cope with the responsibility for this other human beings’ life any more.
The very last time I spoke with him face to face he threatened suicide again if I didn’t ‘take him back’. But this time I stood up to him (I felt safe because we were in a relatives driveway, and there were others nearby) and told him he could do whatever he wanted, that it was his life, not mine and that it was totally his choice, nothing to do with me. We were separated months after all, and he had a new girlfriend.
For the first time in nearly 10 years I felt no responsibility towards him, and it felt wonderful too.
I know that there are those who feel guilty when a relative dies by suicide, thinking ‘what if we did more’ but at the ‘end of the day’ it is their choice. No one can make someone go for appropriate help or do what their doctor asks of them, you can only show them the right direction and be there for them.
And I learned that you don’t stay in a relationship just because they threaten suicide. That’s not love, that’s abuse.
So today I am reflecting on everything, and on my grief.
I am sad today because I am remembering a broken man who couldn’t find it in himself to live any longer, not just for his sons, but for himself.
I am sad because his teenage son has to tell his mates ‘my Dad commit suicide from a medicinal overdose’ (his words, not mine).
I am sad because that same teen misses ‘the idea of a Dad’ because he can’t really remember him when he was alive.
The other fella was only 4 & a half so has very little memory at all of his Dad.
I am sad for the man who once had hopes, dreams and aspirations.
Life has a strange way of pushing us into a certain direction; a collection of happenings push each and every one of us together or apart for one reason or another. Loads of ‘what ifs’ could scramble our brains!
But no ‘what ifs’ here! Today I am going to be grateful for that man; he gave me two wonderful boys.