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Romansdad

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I lost my youngest on June 14th 2016. His name is Roman, he had ebsteins anomaly, a heart condition where the tricuspic valve does not form fully. My wife had am emergency c-section after being induced, while she was in recovery I was given the news, while the Dr did accompany me to her room to inform her he would need open heart surgery in the next few days and that he was currently being incubated, I feel like she saw it in my eyes the moment I walked through the door. I've felt guilty for seeing him first, for finding out first, like I was the one who had to tell her. Long story short he had 1 heart surgery, 1 emergency heart surgery, we watched him be shocked back to life multiple times, and finally watched his heart monitor while he was away having a test go from 70 bpm to 250 when he went into cardiac arrest and after an hour and a half of resesitation efforts we were called in a 12x12 room surrounded by a priest, his surgeon, and his cardiac team and were advised he passed away, day 59. I thought I made it out, logic told me he had a heart problem, nothing caused it, nothing we could have done, just a real bad thing many have to deal with, sad, but manageable. That was a year and a half ago. I no longer care to have friends, don't care to be around family besides my oldest and my wife, I have a hair trigger temper, and depression doesn't begin to describe my head. I have good days, hell I can string a few together, but inevitably I end up trapped in that room, seeing him be shocked, seeing him lay there lifeless not a damn thing I can do. Everyone always told me I was a great dad, I took pride in that, now I have to leave the house when I'm triggered because I'm afraid I will snap on my oldest, afraid I will say something to my wife I can't take back. I'm not me anymore, I don't like me, I don't like anyone, there is a piece of me left screaming to come back, to hold my son though he's 4 now and doesn't have time for that. I know my wife feels neglected, I Don't mean for it, but I can't get out of that damn room. What scares me the most is I have a daughter due in February, I was so excited wjen I found out, I had a few of those good days, and I still am, but I am so scarred, I can't deal with that again, and I am afraid I won't let myself bond, I'm afraid this person that I am has no business bringing another child into a world that I have grown to despise, not just because I lost a child but because of how people are, suddenly myself included. I've tried talking to therapists, friends, family, I have gone down the road of drugs and alcohol and been sober for some time now, drs have put me on meds, but I'm trapped in that room, and each day I just get angrier and angrier. Is there a dad out there with anything similar that can tell me something new to try, I'm done talking, I'm done crying out for help, I will bury it all and live out the rest of my days if I don't get a new idea soon. 

 

I'm not sure my stance on god anymore if he exists I don't like him, don't want to talk to him, and definitely don't want to hear about him.

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romansdad I am so sorry you lost your baby it must have been an agonizing 59 days. your symptoms definitely describe PTSD which was caused by the trauma of what you witnessed and experienced. It is very common after the loss of a child because that in itself is a life altering horrendous occurence. This means you are kind of stuck in a loop cycle replaying over and over again. The stress of that cycle affects sleep quality and causes emotion changes like those you describe. Anger is also very common but in itself destructive, men tend to get stuck in that stage of grief longer than women because they feel as the protector of the family they let people down and should be able to deal better with the situation and life afterwards. There is a very effective therapy called EMDR for treatment of PTSD which forces you to replay the trauma and vocalize all the emotions aloud several times until you are able to feel that release of internal pressure and start making peace with the fact there was nothing more you could do, and begin to soften that hard outer shell to allow yourself to heal and become emotionally connected again in a healthy way. I do not believe in god either after i lost my 24 year old son in 2015 but I do believe that people come into your life for a reason. Coming here and asking for some understanding of what has happened to you is a big step forward you realise that you need some help and support. Most of us parents post on the loss of an adult child thread at the top of the page which has a huge number of views. It keeps us all in the same place and we can form friendships with each other. It is regularly used with postings every day pretty much so there will be messages of support and advice regularly. It is important to deal with your problem before the next birth of your daughter so that you are able to bond with her which I feel sure you will, babies are just so helpless and adorable. Also you recognize that your feelings are impacting all the family not always positively. Glad you are sober it is very easy to slide into dependence of alcohol or drugs to numb the pain and blot things out but that is a slippery slope onto disaster. Anti depressants are good because they flatten out the highs and lows and help you to begin to make sense of what happened. Just because you have tried therapy or counselling does not mean it does not work. Either it was too soon after and you were not emotionally ready or it was not a therapist you felt a connection with. I would urge you to find another therapist and try EMDR treatment to help you. There are a couple other fathers on our thread but obviously we cannot influence their posting, but ther are plenty of wise bereaved mums who can help too. please join us and dont give up hope that this will be your life forever

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Thanks tommysmum, no disrespect meant by asking for a dad's opinion, you do seem to have a good understanding of my point of view. It feels like those around me are just tired of hearing me talk about him, maybe it's me tired of talking in the same loop. There have been times I've found that my mind makes me believe a certain way, that friends or family have abandoned me, that they don't care, and then I come to find how selfish I've been. What's strange is weeks, months after he passed away I could cope, I could help other families, promote the charities that helped us, talk about it, now I have to unfollow those families and charities on Facebook because I get angry wjen I see them. Recently I had a family friend lose his baby because someone placed him in an adults bed to take a nap and he suffocated in the sheets, we saw him Thursday, the old me would have had words of encouragement, a positive to say, but I couldn't talk to him cause all I could think to tell him was that slowly every day would become hell. 

 

Id be willing to speak to a therapist again, but I don't want to spend months on end talking about it, it's like a part of me just wants to move on, but the other part still wants to hurt. I just don't want to ruin my other children's lives, but how do you raise a child to believe in good, to believe in the magic of life that's just dead to you.

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romansdad i was wondering how you are doing? It is really hard to remain positive about life and to celebrate when you have been through the worst loss ever. It takes time. As you gradually heal you will find the anger and bitterness fade and you will be able to be there for your other children in the way you want. losing a child rocks your world shatters your reality and makes you lose faith in living we have all been there believe me. it sounds like you without realising it went into determination mode at the beginning and forged ahead helping others because that was being a positive role model. Yes it was and I am sure you helped a lot of families, but you kind of lost sight of your own grieving which also demands your attention. It is really painful but so so important to focus on your own self your inner core and work through your feelings and emotions honestly, which seems you neglected. That is why you feel so angry and why you cannot offer hope to your bereaved friend. It is hell and he will find that out for himself. You do feel deadened to the world and joyless and it takes a long time to recover positivity and find some peace and even some joy in life. You are undoubtedly very changed by your trauma and it is hard to accept the new reality and get to know yourself again. I hope you can find a good therapist who will help you to work through your anger and unresolved feelings so that you can become the gentle loving dad to your other child again. He is just as confused and fearful and angry too and are looking to his parents for role modelling and guidance in a world that totally changed for him too. The new baby coming soon will also help in your healing she will need you to be emotionally healthy and so will your wife. The fact that you reached out on this site proves a desire to heal a recognition that things just are not right for you, and the willingness to work on yourself is the greatest gift you can give to your family. Good luck and let us know what is going on and how you are coping ok? You are not alone

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