Today I am going to get personal…really personal actually. I have had parts of this typed into my notes on my iPhone for months now and have never shared it. Something came over me this morning and well here I am typing it for the world to see. This is my story about my dad who committed suicide.
Being 14 years old and receiving the news that my dad was gone was hard enough, but then to find out that he had taken his own life was something that strikes you right to the core of your heart. It does something to a child that can take years or even a lifetime to recover from.
I’ve been lied to and hurt by some very close people in my life. For so many years I have held in that pain and wanted to give them just as much pain as they had given me. Now it is the time to explain all of this and maybe reading my story will tell you all a little more about me personally.
The feelings of why…why was I not good enough? Why did he not love me? Why would he make a decision to no longer be a part of my life? Was his family that unbearable to him? So many questions…and no answers. The emotions and thoughts that roll around in a person’s mind, especially a child can be very confusing and take a toll on their own sense of worth in this world.
Yes Hate. I hated him. I hated that my dad took the “easy way” out. I hated him for leaving me at what I thought was the worst time of my life. I was seeing red and I just wanted revenge. I was filled with pure anger and hatred, and you know whose life it really hurt and affected?? Mine. I was holding onto all this pain and kept it all to myself. We all have scars that won’t heal, wounds that will forever bleed. I had to learn how to release all of that pain and anger.
I try so hard to please everyone and yeah maybe that’s a huge fault of mine, but its something I can’t change. I have a big but very frail heart. I forgive way too easily, I really wish I didn’t because some people really don’t deserve it. I still do though, because grudges will do me no good. I also believe in second chances and probably more. I realize that some people are only out for themselves but also that beautiful, genuine people do exist.
I am slowly learning I don’t need to please everybody, I am trying to say no but that is something I need to work on. Not everyone will like me and that is just fine. I take responsibility for my own actions and won’t blame others or make excuses. People hurt me and I hurt others even though it is not my intention. It took me years of work to arrive at this point in my life.
Finally, years later…I realized that my dad was suffering and if I let that consume me I would be suffering right along with him. It took me years to forgive him, but I did. Do I grieve over the loss of him? No, not anymore. I can’t change the past. Do I miss him? Of course. But I have lived longer without him than I did with him. I do know that he is with me everyday. I see him through my children and I know he is watching over them also.
I’ve survived and I’m stronger, kinder and more understanding because of it. I’m not ashamed of how he died like I used to be. I’m writing this for my dad, my children, family, friends, and most of all for myself. This is my story. We need to end the stigma! Choose to keep going.
In memory of Duane Smith
If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255