When all you can do is watch…

One of the hardest things in life is when a loved one is going through a terrible time and there is nothing you can do to save them. There are no shortage of ways that life can fall apart. Loved ones can become seriously ill, they can be bullied, abused, attacked. You try to do all you can to help (and if you’re British this will involve making gallons of tea); You call and visit them, take them to places that will cheer them up, send them gifts, send cards. Hopefully, with your support, your loved one can start to rebuild their life. But what happens when things don’t get better?

Unfortunately, that was what happened in my case. My cousin's world was crashing in around her and I couldn't stop it. I watched as she tried to take steps forward, only to be knocked back down again with new difficulties. Eventually, at just 22 years of age, I lost my dear friend and cousin to suicide.

August marks 2 years since I lost her.

Mental illness is cruel.  The hardest part of surviving a loved one’s suicide is that you can never make things better. They are essentially frozen in time, and they are forever stuck in a state of terrible pain. They will never feel happier, never live out any of their dreams, never grow old with you. And you will never be able to answer their questions, never fulfil your promises. You are left with an itch you can’t scratch; a hellish limbo where you still long to make things better, but have no chance of doing so. I think that this is the reason why so many people become mental health activists after losing somebody to suicide.

There is an incredible amount of helplessness and guilt following suicide. There is an intense feeling of having no control of the world around you, of not being able to protect yourself or others. For a long time now, I’ve struggled to regain authorship of my life. I feel as though my actions are futile, like I’m trapped in an impenetrable metal cage and I’ve only got a chocolate spoon to get myself out. And guilt, oh God, the guilt. If I had just called that one time. If I’d popped in for a chat at that crucial moment…

One week before she died, I was trying to find a way into my local park well after closing time, trying to find a tree I could hang from. I go over that night a lot. If I hadn't backed out, if I had died in her place, perhaps the family would have been able to rally around her instead. Perhaps people would have been more understanding. And perhaps it would have been her 2 years later writing this blog, broken but alive.

5 thoughts on “When all you can do is watch…

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  1. This must have been tough to write and I want you to know it was not your fault. Suicide attempts and suicides may happen without the person really registering what is going on. And about that time for you trying to get into the park, you were not meant to die… Way to be a voice through your hurt and being so caring about to want to reach out to help others… Let go of any guilt you may still have for you are to live on and continue to be there when someone may just need it…
    https://suicidenotmyheart.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m working on letting go of the guilt, but it’s tricky. With suicide being entirely preventable, it’s hard not to keep going over and over the events leading up

      Thanks for your support xx

      Like

  2. I understand… Take your time to process the emotions and work through the hurt, your hurt… I know you wanted to help for you have such a compassionate heart… I know your cousin would want you to heal and carry on… She would want the best for you just like you wanted the best for her…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for following my beavoicefororphans weblog, but if you want to follow suicidenotmyheart blog, you’ll need to go to that link above and find the blue button on the left side to click to follow it.

    Like

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