As a child you look up to your parents, they are supposed to teach you and protect you.
But, what happens when a parent takes their own life, what does that do to a child?
As someone who has lost their father to suicide, I hope to give you a little insight into that, and give you hope that the pain doesn’t have to continue.
First, let me begin by saying this…. Those who commit suicide are not selfish, they are not cowards. They have a dis-ease of the mind. There is something lacking, something missing inside, they are lost, scared and confused. Now, some of you may disagree with me and that is perfectly fine, we are all entitled to our opinions and this is mine…from my own experience and what my Heart tells me.
Being 12 yrs old and receiving the news that your dad was gone was hard enough, but then to find out that he had taken his own life was something that strikes you right to the core of your heart. It does something to a child that can take years or even a lifetime to recover from. The feelings of why…why was I not good enough, did daddy not love me? Why would he make a decision to no longer be a part of my life? Was his family that unbearable to him? The emotions and thoughts that roll around in a person’s mind, especially a child can be very confusing and take a toll on their own sense of worth in life.
The struggles of a tween into a teenager are difficult enough and then you add the loss of a parent especially to suicide can lead a child down a dangerous path of self-destruction, rebelliousness, worthlessness, anger, bitterness, resentment and more…oh and don’t forget added to the mix, puberty. I can tell you this because this is what I lived, what I felt…all these emotions swirling around leaving me confused and utterly lifeless. Walking through my teenage years where honestly most of the time I just didn’t give a SHIT! I didn’t care if I got into trouble with the law. I certainly didn’t care what my mom was going through; because she wasn’t me, she had no idea how I felt. Getting mixed up with trouble making boyfriends, running away from home, oh the list is endless.
Looking back I can remember the pain that that little girl felt. That little girl is still inside and sometimes she struggles with feelings of unworthiness, but it is up to me to parent her and let her know that she is loved and it was nothing personal.
I look at things differently… I see my daddy with Love. I Love him and I forgave him a long time ago. You see my dad had his demons, he grew up in a very abusive home, an alcoholic father and an emotional abusive mother, who believe it or not would blame my dad for their troubles…’well if I hadn’t gotten pregnant with you, I wouldn’t have had to marry your father’ yep actually happened over and over. I see my dad as a small little boy whose heart was so broken by the words of his mother and the beatings from his father that he carried those feeling of worthlessness, hurt and pain into his adult life. He struggled the way many of us do with things that have happened in our own childhood. My dad was so broken that he felt as though the world was better off without him, because that is what he grew up hearing.
I’d like to urge each and every one of you to be very careful of the words that you speak, harsh words once uttered cannot be taken back, they can become a seed a grow into judgment of oneself that can lead to low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness.
I write this to give others hope, to know that there is another side to the story, and to hopefully make others see that words can destroy a life. We as parents have a responsibility to raise our children in loving caring environments, to raise our children up to be strong caring and loving adults…not hurt souls that will suffer all throughout their life and pass that on to their children. We also have a responsibility as human beings to be kind and loving. Just because we have the power to speak doesn’t give us the right to be mean or to hurt another with our words.
Only when we can see this as a problem will we begin to fix it, so the hurt and the senseless pain will end and there will only be Love.
It took so long for me to come to terms with the suicide of my dad. It took years be able to understand and forgive, not only my dad, but my grandparents as well. I had to see them as hurt souls, ones who were tormented at a younger age as well. They carried that into their parenting and it created so much pain, they lived what they learned, what they grew up with. This horrible cycle of pain that is passed down from parent to child, can and needs to end. Unfortunately for me it stopped with the death of Dad, it didn’t have to be that way, but I didn’t grow up with abuse the way he did. He didn’t pass that on to me. So was his death a blessing, I can’t say that, but what I can say is that his suicide has helped shape me into the person I am today. It did end with him. His suicide and his childhood have taught me so very much.
I believe I am a more understanding, loving and merciful soul because of it. Do I look back and grieve over the loss, in no way, do I miss my dad, of course…but I also know and always sense he is around me. He, this wonderful man, who took his life, gave me so much without even knowing, and for that I am forever thankful that HE was my daddy.