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boatdude87

My GF's mother committed suicide and left a note blaming her for everything. Help me help her.

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boatdude87

I have hunted the internet and not found much of anything that addresses my girlfriend's (hereafter, GF) particular situation.  Like the title says, my GF's mother committed suicide a few weeks ago.  There is a younger brother (he is not quite 18 yet). The mother left almost 2 dozen letters for the brother - all of them about how much she loved him and he is a good kid and so forth.  And for my GF, the mother left a paragraph that said my GF was never there for her and the mother blames her for most of what was wrong with her life and is why she took her own life.  

This has absolutely devastated my GF.  When my GF was 14, her mother had a medical issue that incapacitated her for quite a while and drastically altered her personality.  At 14, my GF actually had to pretty much become the adult in the dynamic.  For a very long time, it was my GF who was the one who would have to be reminding her to take medication etc. Over the next decade, there was a veritable s%&t-show of things that the mother did to my GF - turned a blind eye to physical abuse from the mother's boyfriend; abandoned her to extended family in another state, saying she would be back in a few weeks and never returning. There is more.  

The mother also had three previous attempts at suicide that left her on ventilation as part of her recovery.  Each of those times, my GF was there to pick up the pieces. After the last one, my GF did begin to distance herself from her mother.  She had her own daughter now and her own medical issues to deal with as well. My GF just no longer felt she had the strength to take care of herself AND her mother. 

All the reading I have found online so far keeps stressing that it is imperative to help the survivor realize it is not their fault. Yet the either unsaid or explicitly said assumption is that the person committing suicide has either not left a note or a note that says they are sorry and they they love the survivor.  That is most definitely NOT the case here.  Even the people in the support group my GF attended gave her dumb, blank looks when told of this and had nothing to offer her.  

Has anyone out there encountered this before?  How do I help my GF cope?  How do I help her grieve and move forward? How do I help her let go of the guilt she now feels?

Any help or insights would be appreciated.

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Angelinthepit

That must be really devastating. Based on what you’re saying it seems that the moms judgement and insight were impaired by her medical issue. I wonder also if she is grieving for the loss of who her mother was prior to her illness? It seems like it altered her personality significantly. Was their relationship different before that?


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boatdude87

My GF has most definitely said that she feels she has lost her mother twice.  She has described her mother as a very sweet person who would give you the shirt off her back before the medical issue.  Afterwards, I can best describe her as a raging narcissist. 

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Angelinthepit
My GF has most definitely said that she feels she has lost her mother twice.  She has described her mother as a very sweet person who would give you the shirt off her back before the medical issue.  Afterwards, I can best describe her as a raging narcissist. 


That’s a tough one. It would be difficult to find meaning in what happened after the personality change. I wonder how she interprets the changes in feelings toward her. Interpretations can make or break us.


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Meliss W.

I am so sorry for your girlfriend, and for you as someone is suffering with her. She is blessed to have you by her side. I am much older, age 60, but when my daughter blamed me for my husband's suicide, it was devastating. She cut me out of her life and I don't see her coming back as she left it very, very, ugly.

It's hard. You loved someone and tried your best, but in the end THEY decided to go. It was your girlfriend's mother's choice, whether they got along or didn't, whether her mother blamed her or not, it was the mothers choice. When a person makes that terrible decision, it is theirs alone. If we had been there in that second, we would have saved them (our decision), but none of us were, so the final decision was theirs alone.

I heard someone describe grief as a horrible invisible monster that clings to them, or hides in unexpected places ready to jump out at you when you least expect it. I feel like that is true most of the time. 

Add someone else's judgement on you as the blame, and it is really too much. She has to fight the monster. It lies. Your girlfriend is not responsible for her mothers decision, no more than I am responsible for my husbands. 

Love her though it. Be patient. Remind her that her mother did love her but had issues at the end that caused her to say such terrible things. Remind her that she has her whole life ahead of her and she can make her own decision to be happy.  Her mother's story is over. Now, your girlfriend is writing her own story, and that will include how she gets past this horrible loss and makes her own wonderful life, a part from the past.

Words are easy, but the struggle is daily and difficult. I am not on the other side of grief yet, if there is another side, but I am fighting to get there. Somedays I feel like I am better, someday's not. That is grief. 

I hope she can focus on the grief of losing her mother and forget the blame. It sounds like she loved her mom very much and cared for her as best she could.

It's hard to let go of hurtful words, they play like a recorder in your mind, but she has to put them in their place. When the recording of the words starts haunting her, she needs to recognize it and immediately tell herself, "My Mom gave me life.  She loved me.  She was a wonderful woman until she starting having problems. She said things, treated me in a way that hurt me, but now she is gone. I know she didn't really mean to hurt me, it was something else that caused her to be that way. I love my Mom and I always will. I miss her. I forgive her. I will honor her life by trying to remember the happy times and releasing the hurt of the bad ones. I will honor her by living a good life full of happiness and love."

Tell her to be kind and forgiving to herself, she can't carry this misguided blame around with her, it's too much on top of grieving the loss of her Mom. If any other family members try and continue the hurt of blame, I would suggest that those relationships should be on hold for a while until the abuse stops (and that is what blame it in this situation, abuse).

It is very sad, no one should lose someone they love this way. No one should be blamed. When blamed, don't accept it. The heart knows truth. I pray for comfort and healing for her, and patience and love for you. Bless you for helping her though such a difficult time.

 

 

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