Members nc711 Posted February 17, 2012 Members Report Share Posted February 17, 2012 Hi, I'm new to the boards. I'm not sure where to start so I'll just tell you a little about myself. I'm 23 and my father passed away 4 months ago. He was a great dad when I was growing up, he was incredibly kind to everyone he interacted with. He was the kind of guy that would spend an hour shoveling the snow from his driveway, then spend another hour shoveling the neighbors driveway just to help out. I remember one winter when my hamster passed away, he spent hours making a small grave in the backyard to bury him in, and even made a little headstone for him. I feel so lucky to have had such a great father growing up. Everything was great until 6 years ago or so. He hurt his back at work and was prescribed vicodin. A lot of negative things happened in his life that year and he took a turn for the worse. His best friend died and we encouraged him to seek help for depression, but he had too much pride and bottled everything up. Eventually, he developed an addition to vicodin, although he would never admit it. He started drinking hard liquor, spending more time away from home, became unhappy with his marriage and eventually did a complete 360 from the man he was and turned into someone I couldn't even recognize. The timeline is kind of a blur to me, but eventually he started seeing a woman on the side, which was really shocking to the whole family, he and my mother had been together since they were 13. Eventually, he started smoking crack-cocaine and slept in a van with this other woman. He lost his job, lost the house. We all encouraged him to seek help, to fight his addiction, but we knew there was nothing we could do unless he wanted to change for himself, and I think he was just too depressed to do it. Trying to think back, all I really remember is a lot of arguing, a lot of fights, a few 911 calls, him being hospitalized one or two times, me begging the nurses to keep him admitted and put him in the behavioral health unit. I don't know why, but when I was 20 or so, I started to completely shut him out of my life. I moved in with my boyfriend and we bought a house together. The new things in my life were a good distraction and it was too painful to think of my dad. I think the last time I spoke to him was 2 1/2 years ago, maybe 3. He called me every week, sometimes on a daily basis, and would leave messages, sometimes crying, sometimes angry that I didn't answer, sometimes he was apologetic, sometimes he would just play songs over the voicemail. Looking back, I have no idea why I didn't answer the phone. He was obviously hurting and I was in my own little world, not even giving his messages the time of day to listen to them. I don't know if it upset me too much to deal with, or if I was hoping my silence would encourage him to hit rock bottom and seek help. For all I know, he could have hit rock bottom and needed help, but I didn't answer. Fast forward to last October when I got a call from my brother, my dad was at the hospital and in a coma. I'm still unclear as to what happened. I guess he was violently ill for days and didn't go to the hospital. His girlfriend finally took him to the hospital. She said he lost consciousness after they got in the car, so she continued to drive to a hospital an hour away. This is what the doctors told me, anyway. He was in multi organ failure and had he come in a few days sooner, they could have helped him. I just remember the doctors saying they didn't think there was anything they could do. His liver shut down, then kidneys, something about oxygen deprivation and dead intestines, and brain damage from lack of oxygen. They said something in his blood was the highest they'd ever seen, I can't remember what it was off hand, and his blood wasn't clotting. Anyway, I never got a chance to tell him how sorry I was, and how I forgive him. We took him off of life support and he passed away a few hours later. Of course, I wonder if I should have urged the doctors to take extreme measures, if there was anything he would have wanted me to do in a situation like that. I just can't even remember the last time I saw him. I remember the last time I spoke to him on the phone, and as horrible as this sounds, it's because it was a number I didn't recognize and I answered it. I said hello, he said hello, and I panicked and hung up. I feel terrible. I can't believe I treated the one person who loved me unconditionally in such a horrible manner. He raised me better than that. I'm so confused why I acted the way I did, what kind of mindset I was in to make me behave that way. It seems so stupid to me now. Even during his darkest days, he said I was the bright spot in his life, the only person he could depend on. I think of him saying that and I feel sick to my stomach. The guilt has been terrible the past few days. My mom and brother are also grieving, but they are both so fragile, I feel like I should not put my burdens on them. I've also been extremely upset about the girlfriend situation. She has all of his personal items, pictures of me he carried around with me in his wallet, and a lot of his personal items that meant the world to him. She refuses to give them to us. She says that we never cared about him, we don't deserve his belongings. I have nothing of his to even hold on to. Even when they admitted him to the hospital and put his belongings in a bag, she took the bag and left. His wallet, everything. At the time, it was all very suspicious to me. The coroner kept his body (did not do an autopsy) but had some leftover blood and the cause of death was inconclusive. The called my moms phone and said they were doing an investigation. A few days later, the cause of death was liver failure due to unnatural causes, and he had a very high level of opiates in his system. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but right now I just feel lost. My boyfriend travels for work and I'm home alone and this week has been really rough. I think because of Valentine's Day, my dad would always get me roses and a stuffed animal and a balloon, even when I was a teenager. Thinking of all the nice things he did for me just makes me cry uncontrollably, I do not feel happy and fuzzy and warm inside, I feel guilt. The only thing I have to connect me to him are his voicemails, and they are really difficult to listen to because he is upset in them. I don't know if I should listen to them anyway, if it will make me feel better? I'm lost and I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 12. I've been taking anti depressants ever since and I really do not want to fall into a depression again. Will this feeling of hating myself eventually go away? Right now I feel horrible, I can't even look at myself in the mirror, I'm so ashamed of the way I acted. What hurts the most is, the pain he felt when I ignored him is probably ten times what I'm feeling right now. I feel sad for him. Someone who was so good, raised his own family when his father left him and his siblings, was an honest man and worked very hard to provide for his family, someone so selfless had to end the life the way he did. He deserved so much better. What can I do to deal with this guilt? Do I force myself to look at his pictures, which I've kept in a box in the other room for the past 4 months? I can't even look at them without feeling nauseous. Do I just embrace it and look at them in order to start healing? I am a vet tech, I deal with death every day, but now it's like all my feelings are amplified and I find myself trying not to cry at work when a patient is ill. I've always been compassionate but I feel like all my feelings are on edge, even when I'm happy, I feel like I'm going to cry. What are some of your experiences? What helped you cope?I apologize for the length of this and the incorrect grammar. I have not slept well in 5 days and the fact that I'm posting this on a message board without even proof reading it shows how far from myself I am right now. Thanks for reading, I really appreciate any experiences you share or any advice you have to offer. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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