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Lost my dad to suicide - regrets and numbness.


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I lost my dad in march. He committed suicide. He had been battling a severe mental illness, Bipolar disorder.


I know he's dead. And it makes me sad sometimes. But i don't know, I feel so numb. As the months have gone by I am starting to think maybe I had too much unnecessary animosity towards my father. We had a rocky relationship but no one understood me better than him. And i have too many special memories with him ... that i never cherished as much as i do now. 

He had committed some pretty terrible acts against my family that caused significant damage...really bad. These were things that i honestly couldn't get over, even if the illness was to blame... not him. 


I regret everything and feel almost nothing 90 percent of the time. Every mean word i ever said i regret..and every time i refused to hug him (for a year) because of all the hurt he had caused the family (I don't want to hash up the details.) I hardly ever said "i love you". But gosh i loved him. I still love him. And i know what this means, that i can't take advantage of the people around me...or take for granted the ones who love us. But... what now? Am i supposed to live with this self hatred and regret for the rest of my life? Note; I know the suicide is not MY fault, so i do not feel guilty for that.


So, am i weird? Why does it feel like i can't feel? Am i too busy with school? Still under emotional shock? Still being strong for my emotional mother?

I WANT to cry, scream and run away... but i don't feel any of it. Sure, its in here but I seem incapable. Its like i am battling with this young woman who wants to be strong and this one who wants to run into her friends arms to cry forever. 


Thank you for taking the time to read this. i hope i don't sound like a total nut case. 


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Hi dear Drod,


I'm so sorry about your dad and about the confused state you're going through right now.


I wanted to let you know - you do not sound like a total nut case... to us, anyway.  Grief is the accepted insanity.


As you have questioned, you may have things interfering with accessing the feelings you're speaking of.  For examples, my sister was in school when my other sister died and though she wanted to take time off, she continued because she knew my sister was so happy for her.  But this created a completely different initial grieving period for her than for me who had the luxury (or detriment) of having much alone time.


Another example is myself, when my father died, my mom didn't do very well.  Suddenly, two years later, she became willing to live again and I didn't have to worry about her.  I sank into a very surprising and very intense 2 months worth of grief for my dad that felt like it was the first day.


The other thing that I have been recognizing is that sometimes people can't access their feelings right away as a protection mechanism that their own subconscious is choosing for them.  As in, the psyche cannot handle the emotions full-on and so our innate intelligence creates this disconnect for the time being.


Besides all that, numbness is seen as one of the very common reactions.  As well as any other reaction that anyone has.  Grief is messy and has no order and, for a while, no understanding.


So, as you have been doing, take some time to read around the forum, share your story with others and listen to theirs.  You have expressed very well and I think that understanding will come for you as you see that there is no timetable and there is no right way. 


If you want to be strong in the morning, let yourself.  And then, in the afternoon, if you want to be crying in your friend's arms, let yourself.


But be gentle with yourself as you struggle with your thoughts.  It is ok to question whether we should be feeling differently or more, just as it's ok to actually be feeling different or more.  We shouldn't judge our thoughts just as much as we shouldn't judge our feelings during this time.


It was a complicated relationship, as you have said.  Please allow yourself all the time you need to feel and think all that you need to feel and think.



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Hi Drod

As I am reading your post I feel as though I am writing my own story. I can't believe the similarities. My dad who was also bipolar committed suicide. We were having an argument and I wouldn't take his calls. Then I get the dreaded knock on the door to tell me he's gone. He also hurt my family due to his drinking. Things that I always wanted him to make amends with but he never did. My family doesn't understand why I love him so much because of all the bad things he did but they were never there for the good stuff. My mother died about a month after he did from brain cancer. They were divorced for years before thy passed. It is almost the 5 year anniversary of their deaths. I still feel sad and I know I shouldn't feel guilt but I do!! They say time heals and I think it does to an extent. But I don't think I'll eve be the same again.

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