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Gabriel8

Avoiding the fate of so much of my family- My Survival Story

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Gabriel8

   *Trigger warning (suicide, family dysfunction)

   I've heard the words of my mother's suicide note echo in my mind my whole life, "I'm sorry, but I'm just so tired..." 

   I remembered those words when I was in my late twenties, and found out what she meant in my own emotional and spiritual exhaustion of life; without hope of a way out. I knew that there was something wrong, something very wrong in my life, and whatever it was it was making my life impossible and painful. I felt like I was carrying an impossible burden and I couldn't put it down. However sure I was that something was causing so much pain and unhappiness in my life, I couldn't put my finger on it... I just couldn't seem to figure out what that something was! And my seemingly futile quest to do so inevitably led me down the same dead end road that I had been down so many times before.

   Those where the times when I seriously contemplated taking my own life. I figured I was doomed to the same fate as my mom. It seemed inescapable. 

   Recently my father passed away; for natural reasons, I'm grateful to share. His passing on has had an impact on every member of my family; but it seems to have hit my uncle with blunter force than other of my relatives. Since my father’s passing, my uncle's seeming outward appearance of self-reliance and confidence has withered and he seems shaken to his very core. When I last saw him he spoke those words to me that seemed a direct quote from my mother's suicide note, "I'm just so tired..." 

   And I didn't connect the two expressions of emotional and spiritual fatigue, along with my own experience of this type of despair, until just tonight; when it occurred to me that, just as I have been impacted by growing up in a dysfunctional family, so to have all the rest of my family... that dysfunction (in all its forms) is a shared family disease. 

   I have been traditionally prevented from making this connection by my own family role and the accompanying belief that the dysfunction I grew up in was "all my fault". And I have been kept from connecting the threads by the fact that everyone in my family has played a different family role; and some of our problems have been more or less hidden by outward appearances of self-sufficiency and self-reliance (my uncle's functioning alcoholism & my mother’s refusal to get the help she needed). 

   It seems to me that the same reason why my mother chose to end her life is why my uncle is so withered by the storms of life, and also why I once contemplated taking my own life; our shared inheritance of a dysfunctional family disease that has its expression in abuse, abandonment, codependency, and alcohol and drug abuse. 

   ... Until I identified that I have a problem that I inherited from my family (not just from my mother), I was doomed to repeat the same pattern of living and dying that has destroyed the very souls of my relatives for untold generations past.

    The emotional and spiritual fatigue that so long plagued me and drove me to contemplate suicide is not nearly as strong of a force as it once was. I have found a name for that something that burdened me for the very saddest and most desperate years of my life. I have found something that works for me! A way to live my life and free myself of the beast that seems to stalk my family from the dark places in our souls where we don't like to go.   

   I have found a way to face my own demons (with help), and to live and (slowly and gradually) put down the burden that has driven so many of my family members (most of whom were otherwise good people) to addictions and the very depths of suffering and despair. 

   I am, after so many years of my own despair and suffering, not just staying afloat but truly learning to swim! I don't know where my journey will lead me, but I feel assured that I have already saved my own self from the greatest peril that I was so long in. And knowing that makes all the difference. 

 

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Gabriel8
7 minutes ago, reader said:

Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Take care.

It's nice knowing that I can put my truth somewhere safe. :happy:

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reader

Keep sharing your truth with us.  People need to know they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings and there is hope.

Take care my friend.

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Gabriel8
On 2/3/2018 at 3:18 AM, reader said:

Keep sharing your truth with us.  People need to know they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings and there is hope.

Take care my friend.

^_^

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reader

Dear Gabriel,

How are you doing?

I've been thinking about your words.

 

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KarenSunshine

Wow, you write beautifully of your awful pain.  Your strength, insight, willingness to move forward are moving.  Thank you for being so honest and open.  Your share was a long time ago (relatively speaking) and I hope you are doing okay and finding a warm pool to swim in with the sun shining.

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