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No one to reach out to today...

Discussion in 'Military & Emergency Services' started by Florian7051, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Well-Known Member

    I'm trying not to make this about me (because it's not), but yesterday a friend of mine from the Corps committed suicide. I really don't know how to process this. I was suppose to be in therapy today, but my daughter is home for a dental appointment. I saw the news this morning on my Facebook feed and there has just been a gloom hanging over the day since then. I don't really have any friends (because I isolate) so I don't really have anyone to talk to, to process what it is that I'm feeling. I didn't know he was struggling. I wonder if he knew how bad I am struggling. I would have reached out to him if I would have known. It has been so long since I've posted on here I wonder if this is really even the venue to do this??? I just don't have anyone to talk to today. I don't think it's guilt I'm feeling maybe not even sadness, more like disappointment in myself, sorrow for his family; he was one of my Marines how could I not have seen the signs. They were all there. When I heard the news it's like a light bulb in my head went on and all the dots of his Facebook posts connected and everything made sense. If anyone should have seen this it should have been the Sergeant with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I guess I feel like I failed him. I'm not looking for any reassurance so please just don't, not today, I guess I just wanted to tell someone what I'm feeling because I have isolated myself so badly that there is no one around to listen anymore, and who knows, maybe I'm the next to find myself in this boat with no one to talk to and no options, hopeless and helpless just looking for a way out... I'm sorry for the rant, but thanks for listening...
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  3. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    I think this is a perfectly fine venue to do it.

    I've been through something similar. He was my "unofficial adopted brother". I had a similar "I should have known/why didn't he call me?" set thoughts. Because, once I got the news, it explained some things. :( I finally decided he didn't call because he didn't want to get talked out of it and I'd have done my level best to stop him, and he knew me well enough to know that.

    I wish no one ever had to deal with any of this! But you don't have to isolate from the gang here! :hug:
  4. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    I'm glad you are reaching out - and yes, this is the place to do it.

    I think after a suicide we all wonder why we didn't see it was coming, ask ourselves why they didn't reach out, try to put the blame on us for not being someone who could stop it. And I think @scout86 hit it on the head. Sometimes they don't want to

    I am so very, very sorry you are going through this. Any chance you can do a phone appt with your T since you can't go into the office?
    If it helps - this is also a good place to honor his memory - with people who will understand.
  5. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

    Hey brother... Reschedule the dental appointment if you need to. If taking care of your kids centers you, ring the VetCenter up instead, & either set something else up or head on up to the farm, yeah? Something about the outside of a horse really is just good for the inside of a man.

    Respecting your wishes not to kick you in the ass right now, but you change your mind about that, just say the word.
    Mytime, EveHarrington, ladee and 4 others like this.
  6. LuckiLee

    LuckiLee I'm a VIP

    Condolences. So very sorry for your loss.
  7. Zoogal

    Zoogal I'm a VIP

    I'm sorry. I understand the feeling except mine was my cousin. The "I should have known" the " I could have stopped it" has been through my mind quite a bit too. It's hard. We are here for you if you need us.
  8. ladee

    ladee All the hard work has been worth it ! Premium Member

    Sorry for what brought you back, but good to hear from you just the same. You don't have to isolate with us.
    Here for you, just like always.
  9. Rugby02

    Rugby02 Active Member

    @Florian7051, I feel your pain. I really, really do but on the flip side.

    I'm going to ask you point blank what you would've done if you had known that s/he was so close to the abyss? I'm asking you because I'm coming out of a rough 24 hours and I'm seriously needing your insight. Yeah, I'm implementing my VA tools but my feet were right there, edging to safer ground until I could start laughing again. I'm calibrating my actions in a disciplined but extremely positive way: going to the gym with my service dog, cancelled an install project in my home but attended my physical therapy appt-PT is another vet & saw right through my smiling charade, listening to positive music, going back to bed shortly,...

    I've made a firm contract for safety but sometimes I'm right there staring hard wondering wtf,.... No, I don't own anything even resembling the sharpness of a spork to hurt myself, no substance issues beyond Starbucks, no weapons, etc.

    Here's your chance Florian7051 to be there to support another veteran because I'm reaching out to you specifically for support. I don't know how to switch this to a private message but if you do, please draw me a crayola picture that even the army would comprehend so we can discuss this further.

    Yes, I've contracted for safety so don't freaking call the goon squad. I. Am. Safe.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2018
  10. Florian7051

    Florian7051 Well-Known Member

    The honest truth is I don't know what I would have done if I would have waited until the last minute to reach out to him... I don't think it would have done much good, but I didn't have to wait until the last minute. He was doing a bunch of great work for the veteran community to raise awareness for the #22 veterans that commit suicide every day. So many people were critical of him for his work (so many were supportive too) but I never reached out to him in the beginning and let him into my world because I was afraid to share my story, my pain, my sorrow, my guilt, my shame... I was afraid of judgement as I too was met with criticism from my peers when I first entered the MEB process, and I didn't want to go through that again. What saved me in my darkest hour was being needed... My youngest daughter was born with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and suffered many developmental delays. I took her to PT, OT, ST, HT etc... she was like my project. I developed some co-dependency issues that I'm still trying to work out, but her needing me saved my life. Maybe if I would have let him into my world and actually gave him purpose (an actual tangible vet that he knew, that was going through the same shit as him, that needed him to lean on from time to time, that supported him in his struggles) than this might not have happened? Maybe then if I reached out to him at the last minute it might have made a difference, but I think that bond would have needed to have been established first. I did what the Corps trained me to do though. I treated him like a piece of gear (because you never know when that's the last time you'll ever see him, so you don't get attached) and as a leader you never show any weakness. I've isolated for so long I can count the people on 1 hand that know about my PTSD and support me. Maybe if I would have trusted him as a fellow human being, as a man, we could have formulated a bond that would have allowed me to understand and guide him to where I'm at right now in my recovery instead of stopping on the dark road he stopped at. I've been a tremendous warrior in my own recovery, but have done little to help others in theirs and that is unacceptable. And helping others starts with allowing others to help me. I have to put my walls down and learn to trust, to formulate a bond, to build friendships based on honesty (complete honesty). So to answer you question what would I do to save you? I would extend my hand now, in the beginning, before you get to that point, and hope we could build something you look forward to, some purpose, something positive, something that would keep you from traveling down that dark road to begin with. And if that day ever comes, maybe it is far enough down the road and their is enough time and distance in our friendship that we have built a foundation of trust that would allow me to talk you down. IDK this is all just speculation.
  11. Rugby02

    Rugby02 Active Member

    @Florian7051, your candor is greatly appreciated. I do know that you would've improvised whatever was needed to keep your friend alive. That's just how your roll. How do I know? Because you just extended your hand to me (a complete stranger) to help me get through the darkest moments. You're that beacon so that I can now focus and also now I know that I'm not totally isolated. Having someone out there is really, really helpful. For this, thanks for offering to be an anchor. Even more, thank you for sharing your thoughts while offering to create a friendship with me. I really do need a friend who can just be there to talk me down. Likewise I want to be there for you in the same trusting way. ok?

    Like you, I have an extremely limited support network and it hurts because I also isolate and I have no adult outlet. FWIW, while I don't fear death, I am mindful that I have a daughter who would be traumatized and that's what makes me step back from the abyss each and every time. Kudos to you in knowing that you're needed by your daughter(s).

    I'm so sorry about your friend. I truly am. Eighteen months ago one Saturday afternoon I turned to my daughter and told her that my buddy Bam-Bam at that very instant had just committed suicide. Then, I found a photo of him almost instantly in a box that I hadn't opened in decades to show her who he was. (She was amazed that I was once young,...) It's bizarre but I knew the exact instant & cause of several family members who have died prior to the obligatory phone calls made to me so Bam-Bam? Yeah, it's a true account.

    I still tear up to this day when I think about him because I couldn't save his sorry ass. I mean, really, I always fought like hell to cheat the jaws of death because NOBODY dies on my shift---or some bs logic that I like to believe keeps me strong in chaos. It's all bs. But then, I sat and wondered recently, who is going to save my sorry ass when I just happened to read your note about your friend. Yeah, I had to reach out to you because damn, I'm really sorry that the two of you didn't connect in time but I reached out to you to be the double-sided catalyst for you being able to help another and for me taking a huge step in Faith in asking for help.

    Together, let's shoulder through this shit storm, eh?
  12. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    @Rugby02 @Florian7051
    a quick note from the other side....

    When I was first diagnosed I did not handle it well. My military days were long behind me - and I didn't have anyone who I could turn to about that. Yes, I had support - but not the kind I needed to sort out my military shit. Hell, I hadn't even heard of the 22. One day I found myself in an office on the far side of the building I worked in. I knew a combat vet worked there but I had barely ever spoken to him before. But I was beyond desperate.

    I am a very, very, private person (you wouldn't know it by my posts here but hey - it's anon!) so when I walked into his office, closed the door and said " How long were you in?" it shocked the crap out of me. He looked at me....pulled out a chair...said "did my 20" and told me to sit down. Funny -- that question - how long.... Only another vet would get it. He saved my life that day. Over the next year I wandered in and out of his office and he helped me get my symptoms under control, taught me practical coping methods (y'know, conceal/cover/60 second sweeps and all that stuff your therapist doesn't teach) and calmed me down on days that I so panicked I couldn't speak.

    There were three times over that year that I had my plan in place -- but I told myself I would wait until after I spoke with him to see if he could give me some ideas on getting thru the next day, hour, minute. Each time he was able to talk me down and I NEVER told him I had a plan

    Because of him I'm in a far better place and was able to get in with the VA. Sadly he eventually had to kick me loose because we hit a place where my issues became a trigger for him. But it was ok -- because I was ready to leave the nest.

    Why do I blather on? To let you both know that you will may never see how much you can mean to someone. That your caring about each other - and the rest of us - can save someone's life and you won't have a clue. That you can't discount the effect you are having on people -- even if you don't see it.

    And to let you know that I'm around -- and I have some paying it forward to do - if you need another ear to vent to....
  13. Living in the 70s

    Living in the 70s "Go dté tú slán" Premium Member Donated

    I am so sorry for your loss! I really am. We went through this late last year when a member of our team committed suicide. I had just sent her (for funding purposes) articles about how improved nutrition assists in helping people resist their suicidal tendencies. I knew she was struggling a bit but not how much. Afterwards I went through the I should have seen it, and if only I had. I think that is natural with suicide.
    Freida and scout86 like this.
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