Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicide

A discussion of any suicide issue or grief topic that don't fit elsewhere.

Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicide

Postby Athena » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:58 pm

My sister died by suicide last October and it has been a very hard year for my family. My dad, however, has coped in a completely different way. He blames her ex-boyfriend for her death and has repeatedly mentioned how he wishes he was dead. I can't count how many times we've tried to talk to him. He doesn't believe his therapist or his medication works and he is in complete denial of all the other circumstances surrounding her death. He is obsessed with this idea of justice and has slowly began talking about harming her ex. Last spring, he started seeking life insurance and this was around the time we were all most worried that he'd hurt himself. Over the summer things seemed to get less severe and he stopped talking about his theories and dangerous thoughts so much.

However, within the last few weeks he's been talking about certain things that lead us to believe he is suicidal and dangerous again. He has mentioned to my mother that he wishes someone had done him the favor by giving him a gun so he could kill my sister's ex-boyfriend. Says he doesn't know if he can make it to Christmas. He has also talks about his "gas pedal" in his Camry sticking to the floor and his car accelerating out of control several times. He has taken it to the dealership and documented his claims but there was something extremely fishy about all of it. I decided to do a internet history search on his computer and there are a lot of fatal car accident searches and as well as some other things that seem worrisome. He has multiple word documents that he has written about his theories on her death and a constant theme of "I wish I was dead". He also has a copy of his written will and instructions for us if something was to happen emphasizing in the first sentence that we must not talk to the insurance company and that we shouldn't think he would have committed suicide.

Everything he writes is CRAZY. When I read it, I just imagine a completely different person writing because it's all mad talk. I don't doubt for a moment that he believes he can fool everyone, including the life insurance company, that he can get away with purposefully crashing his car and making his death look accidental. He is a dramatic and utterly selfish person. Thinks he is the only person who grieves her death and doesn't even realize the pain he is causing all of us, especially my mother.

I want to threat him that I will take all of this information to the insurance company and show him that this plan won't work because I won't let him. I thought about having him sign a promise letter to me swearing that he would never do anything and tape it to his mirror because I think if he sees that everyday, he will be reminded of the promise he would be breaking. But my oldest sister thinks in some way, he is a lost cause.

What do I do? How can I keep myself from feeling like there's nothing I can do? Will he ever get better? I know that is foolish to think and that I can only do so much, but there just has to be a way. He makes me so angry
Ozzy 7/3/1980-10/6/2011 I love and miss you big sis.
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Re: Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicid

Postby Karyl » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:54 am

Athena,

Oh my, your dad's life is in turmoil, and he's not in a good place, certainly not thinking rationally.

Is your mom able to help you persuade him to admit himself to a psychiatric hospital before it's too late? There is help out there, if he will just reach out and embrace it.

Are you willing to contact 911 or your emergency services if he makes a suicide threat, even if it angers him more?

If you would email me privately at arlynsmom@cs.com I would like to talk with you about other options.
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Re: Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicid

Postby psyquestor » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:00 am

I don't usually give advice of what to do, but for this I will make an exception. Call the Hotline numbers on the homepage and get real time advice from professionals! The numbers are not just for suicidal people, but for people trying to help them get well again.

Here were my thoughts over and above calling the hotline.

If he is still in therapy, call them or bring the letters to the therapist. You stated you were toying with threatening him to go to the insurance company; it would not help. As you can tell, your Dad's thinking is disturbed and not rational. You could say or do the most rational things you could think of to keep him here, but he may be unable to hear it or see it. Depression can rob you of your senses. My son had what I call "circular thinking" and no matter how much he tried to see a way out of his troubles, he was unable to see any positive outcome.

I had my son arrested and taken to the hospital. They can hold your father for up to 72 hours and longer if they feel he is a threat to himself.

Be well Athena, stay strong. Let us know how things turn out. ((((hugs))))
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I thought I would lay down and die after losing my Son to suicide.
Instead I chose to fight the monster that killed him.
http://www.afsp.org

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Re: Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicid

Postby cali » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:38 am

Athena, I'm so sorry that you are experiencing this. Many of us here know how difficult it can be to support a person we care about who is suicidal, especially when the information about what to do is not easy to find. Here is a link to a page from an organization that has support and ideas about how to help a suicidal person. Please get support for yourself as well as your father. He needs more support right now than one person alone can give. Please see if you can find other family members or friends of his who are willing to educate themselves with you about how to support a suicidal person, and enlist their help, as well as professional help and group support. People must inform themselves about what has worked best for others in these situations. Being around a suicidal person is a very high stress situation. Kudos to you for reaching out. It is one of the most important things you can do. Please keep reaching out, for yourself and for your father.

The link page below has some good information and more good links below it:
http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/whattodo.htm

And here are a few other tips as well:

You cannot "guilt" someone into staying alive, by telling them it would be cowardly to die, or that they are obligated to stay alive. Suicidal people need support and compassion and good listeners who can help them find their own reasons for wanting to live. It is common knowledge that "suicide contracts" do not work, i.e. "I, so and so hereby swear that I will not suicide, signed, so and so."

Drugs are complex and need a lot of careful moderation and supervision by people who are very careful, caring, and well educated about what they are prescribing. The person who is taking the drugs should be listened to very, very seriously if they feel that they are being harmed or not being helped by them. There are only a few well known drugs that consistently have an anti suicide effect. Lithium is one of them. Many antidepressants list suicide as a "side effect." Suicide is fatal. Drugs can be very dangerous and they are never enough by themselves.

Advances have been made in therapeutic techniques such as EMDR and other methods that involve the nervous system or the body in some way, in addition to talk therapy. EMDR can be enormously helpful for safely discharging the intensity of obsessive feelings and memories.

I agree that you should be directly in touch with your father's therapist and state your concerns very clearly. If you do not feel that you are heard or taken seriously, look elsewhere immediately and use the word "emergency." If need be, inform the person that you are writing down what they say, and always make sure to get their name at the beginning of the conversation.

Shame, humiliation, hopelessness and self blame are very toxic. The link above addresses a bit of the major importance of finding a way to help someone without shaming or humiliating them. People who are experiencing strong suicidal ideation do not generally know how to help themselves, at least not consistently and efficiently. They need guidance. They need to find hope. They generally cannot bear being subject to the pain of those around them. They are in extraordinary pain already. Sadly, they can be exhausting and very difficult to be around, which is another reason for getting lots of support.

I hope that what I have shared here is helpful, for you and your father. I am so very sorry that you lost your sister, and I am lighting a candle for you and your family, right now, before I send this. May you find the small light of warmth and comfort that is heading your way, and breathe it in...
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Re: Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicid

Postby Athena » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:39 pm

Thank you Karyl, Tammy, and Cali. I really needed to hear someone else's words outside of my own family. It's really easy getting angry with him and expecting more logic but I have to remind myself, as you all have said, that suicidal people are suffering more than can be seen on the surface. I did end up talking to him and I kept my calm. I said everything I wanted to say and I didn't threaten him. I definitely need to get in touch with his therapist instead of relying on my mom to do it. We've talked about admitting him but I feel like I should try these other options first. I would hate to put his career at risk, especially when he says he's applying for a hire position.

Cali, the EMDR is something I never thought about. I will definitely look into it. And the "promises" or guilt method probably won't work like you said because it doesn't help the deep pain he has inside, but I was very desperate to think of anything that would hold him off.

If he wasn't my father and the things he says didn't bother me so much, I think it would be much easier to be a good listener for him but I just get angry. I'll try harder to get him to go back to therapy.

Thanks again to all of you. It is very comforting and greatly appreciated.
Ozzy 7/3/1980-10/6/2011 I love and miss you big sis.
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Re: Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicid

Postby cali » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:06 pm

Athena I am very glad you are working on getting more help and you were able to talk to your father. I would also like to recommend a book, that I think is very powerful and informative. It is written by someone who I feel really understands the complexities of this issue. It might be helpful to share it with your father, because it is written for survivors, for people who are suicidal, - often those two go together, and for people who are trying to help and understand someone who is suicidal. This is a thick, information packed book. It does not need to be read cover to cover, but has many sections that can be read in small bites. I think it's invaluable: "Out of the Nightmare, Recovery from Suicidal Depression and Pain" by David L. Conroy, Phd. If you go to amazon and read the reviews, they speak to it's helpfulness. Wishing you some restful moments... but if your father takes a dive and becomes relentlessly negative, please act. Any changes in medication require special vigilance, for weeks afterwards, and other changes in his circumstances can also be triggers.
A note on EMDR- the technology has advanced quite a bit. The old school method involves following the therapist's finger with your eyes while you process something. It can be very effective, but it gave me a headache. There are now devices such as a row of alternately blinking lights, or hand held thera-tappers which alternately vibrate from side to side. I think they work really well.
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Re: Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicid

Postby Athena » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:15 am

It's amazing reading this thread after 8 months. My fears were confirmed on November 23rd last year when my dad DID actually make an attempt to kill himself. The entire 12 months prior to that I had predicted he would do something and I know that if it wasn't for that awareness, we would not have been able to save him that night.

I just want to thank you all for the support and advice that you gave me last year. I am so thankful to have him in my life and hope to God that I never have to experience the fear of losing him again.
Ozzy 7/3/1980-10/6/2011 I love and miss you big sis.
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Re: Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicid

Postby Athena » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:57 pm

It's not even two days later that I feel like a fool for my last post. I thought my dad has been getting better ever since his attempt last November but only to find out that he had another attempt just a few months ago. My mom and oldest sister did not tell me because they thought I would be better off nothing knowing. I feel so betrayed and hurt by it and even more angry because it makes me hate my father.

This most recent attempt was all for money. He's been obsessed with suing his old employer and this was another way of trying to threaten or pressure them into giving him his old job back (a job that he lost because of his careless actions and fault). I used to feel bad for him and believe he wasn't responsible for his behavior but now I don't care. I know he's sick and I know he isn't in the right mind but I'm just tired of trying to get through to a man who has no remorse for his actions and lacks the ability to empathize for how he makes others feel. He's not getting better; he's just learning how to become more manipulative.

He goes to therapy, has a psychiatrist, goes to outpatient, takes medication, etc. etc. etc..... I feel like we've all tried everything we can but nothing seems to work anymore. I'm starting to have some serious doubts about my relationship with him and whether or not I should even keep trying. I believe my sister could have been saved but not my father. Maybe that's because we never had the chance to deal with the challenge of exhausting all our efforts with my sister. Who knows.
Ozzy 7/3/1980-10/6/2011 I love and miss you big sis.
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Re: Afraid my dad will kill himself after my sister's suicid

Postby Cschwab » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:50 am

I feel for you ;(. I will definitely look into your study. Suicide has effected us all and I can't think of one positive aspect other than the end goal to ease the pain and hurt of those who take their lives. They had to have had no other option than relieve them selves from this life. I will struggle until that day I die but have come to accept my brothers choice. Depression if untreated and not dealt with can lead to suicide. I think that depressed and suicidal individuals will cover up their illness to the best of their ability. If a doctor asked them if they are suicidal......they will say NO, if they ask if they have a plan.....they would say never. Suicidal people don't want other to see their pain. :(
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