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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org I would like to talk with you about other options.
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))))
Proud Army Mom
I thought I would lay down and die after losing my Son to suicide.
Instead I chose to fight the monster that killed him.
Hold On, Pain Ends
The link page below has some good information and more good links below it:
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.