My daughter took her own life, and I can’t face talking to anyone about it | Ask Annalisa Barbieri

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A twelvemonth agone I mislaid my beautiful daughter, 21, to suicide. It was wholly unexpected, and from nan extracurricular she appeared to beryllium a normal, kind and happy young woman. We knew she had immoderate anxieties astir life and direction, but we ne'er dreamed it was causing her truthful overmuch pain. She did it while I was successful nan house, and I discovered her. I tried but could not prevention her.

I struggle to power my grief. I would subordinate her successful an instant, but I request to beryllium present to support my woman and my family, who are arsenic successful pain. I aftermath regularly pinch nightmares of that day. My temper is mostly OK, but I cognize I put connected an enactment successful beforehand of group to get done nan day, and I spell to activity to distract myself. I sometimes want to shriek astatine group to show them what I’m feeling, but I can’t. If I didn’t stay calm and effort to enactment normal, I would simply break down and outcry and, I think, preferably die.

I’m told regularly to spell and spot someone, and I’ve spoken to my GP, but I can’t ideate what speaking pinch personification for illustration a master tin perchance do. It’s not getting immoderate easier aft a year.

I’m seeking advice because I can’t look talking astir it pinch anyone.

I americium truthful sorry to perceive astir your daughter’s death. I could consciousness nan symptom and anguish successful your letter.

I went to advisor psychiatrist successful psychotherapy Dr Jo Stubley from nan Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust to talk it. She felt it was absorbing that you were repeating what your girl did by “letting everyone deliberation everything is OK connected nan extracurricular and not letting them cognize really atrocious you consciousness connected nan inside”.

Stubley said: “Sometimes, erstwhile you suffer someone, it’s excessively unbearable to fto them go, and truthful you return them wrong of you. But what you’re besides holding connected to is nan suicidal portion of your daughter, and that whitethorn beryllium stopping you from really being capable to grieve.”

Stubley and I discussed really allowing yourself to grieve whitethorn consciousness arsenic if you’re letting your girl go. This is not uncommon. “To grieve her whitethorn look for illustration letting her spell each complete again, and that feels for illustration specified a unspeakable point to do, truthful it seems amended to enactment successful a authorities of stiff grief.”

In your longer letter, it besides seemed you were carrying a batch of guilt – that you had been successful nan house, that you didn’t know, that you couldn’t prevention her. “The unspeakable point astir guilt erstwhile personification dies by suicide,” says Stubley, “is that location are those unfinished conversations and you deliberation that if you could person conscionable vanished them, you could possibly person done thing to extremity nan person.”

When an emotion is truthful large it threatens to engulf us, it’s tempting to effort not to process it astatine all. But arsenic you’re seeing, that’s intolerable to do without harming ourselves and those astir us. Men tin find it harder to definitive feelings of vulnerability, arsenic if it’s a shameful point to outcry aliases beryllium sad. I wonderment what you’re acrophobic will hap if you do shriek and show group really you feel. Maybe it would thief them thief you?

You whitethorn not consciousness for illustration talking now, but that whitethorn change. Stubley thought you mightiness see listening to others who person been done what you’re going through. It’s important to cognize you tin not only past this but unrecorded done it and flourish without that being a betrayal.

“Maybe you request to publication astir it [support and advice] earlier you perceive astir it from others,” she said, and aft that you mightiness beryllium fresh to talk to your woman and others.

You whitethorn find it adjuvant to perceive to Difficult Conversations Around Suicide, nan podcast I did pinch Stubley.

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Dr Stubley suggested looking astatine online support specified arsenic Sobs – Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide, Calm (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and Cruse, and besides looking up what section bereavement groups location are for you. She besides recommended nan awesome free booklet Help is astatine Hand, successful which 8,000 group were asked what was useful and adjuvant aft a loved 1 took their ain life: “So overmuch of what you’re struggling with, different group are struggling pinch too, and they mightiness propose things you haven’t thought of.”

Grief and nonaccomplishment are tremendous emotions to process – and a twelvemonth is nary clip astatine all. “Suicide-bereaved group are much astatine consequence of termination themselves,” said Stubley, “and their support networks are 1 of nan astir protective factors.”

Please return a mini measurement coming to get help.

In nan UK and Ireland, Samaritans tin beryllium contacted connected freephone 116 123, aliases email jo@samaritans.org aliases jo@samaritans.ie. In nan US, you tin telephone aliases matter nan National Suicide Prevention Lifeline connected 988, chat connected 988lifeline.org, aliases text HOME to 741741 to link pinch a situation counsellor. In Australia, nan situation support work Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other world helplines tin beryllium recovered astatine befrienders.org

Every week, Annalisa Barbieri addresses a individual problem sent successful by a reader. If you would for illustration proposal from Annalisa, please nonstop your problem to ask.annalisa@theguardian.com. Annalisa regrets she cannot participate into individual correspondence. Submissions are taxable to our position and conditions.

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