Suicide of a parent is a terrible thing from which to recover, and if we don’t get help, it will keep sabotaging us until we find a therapist who can allow us to heal. Whether or not you blame yourself isn’t the full issue, but it seems that you have become pretty self-destructive. I have never met you, but I suspect that your self-destructive behaviors are rooted in anger, anger at your mother for abandoning you, anger that you couldn’t have prevented it, and anger that nobody stepped forward to help.
The thing I know for sure about grief — if you don’t confront it head-on and get therapy, it will wait until you do. That is to say, it will fester and erode your self confidence, your relationships and your life until you get into treatment with a professional who specializes in your problem. Children of tragedy such as yours often go on to become depressed, sometimes for life. You should consult a psychiatrist for medications as well. Anger is considered a “secondary” emotion, that is, the primary issue is your woundedness and pain.
You can find a therapist who specializes in recovering from the suicide of a loved one at Psychology Today. There you can find one who either takes your insurance or offers a sliding scale for treatment. But, you cannot do this on your own. You don’t want to be describing this same issue 20 years from now, so please find a professional in your area.
Dr. Diana Walcutt