I have been seeing a psychologist for past 2 years weekly. I have suffered from depression and 2 years ago attempted to take my own life. I recovered physically but still everyday is a struggle. I have become isolated, rarely go out only to attend work and prefer this way. I have an adult son who treats me poorly, has been physically and psychologically abusive since he was a teenager, have 3 grandchildren but only see one of them now.
My psychologist thinks I suffer from complex trauma due to childhood abuse from my mother, sexual abuse from my brother, was in a domestic violence with my sons until he took his own life, found closest friend who took her own life, it just goes on and on. How do I recover from this?
Sometimes I don’t know if things really did happen or have I dreamt it happened. I feel like I am losing my mind. I don’t know what to do. I feel like a failure, couldn’t even take my own life right. Please help.Dissociation
Thank goodness you did not die. Your having failed was a success, a blessing in fact. In addition, had you died your family and friends would have suffered a tremendous loss. Imagine, for a moment, the suffering of your grandson had you succeeded. You spared him from having to lose his grandmother. It reminds me of what Scott Simon of NPR tweeted about losing his grandmother to suicide: “My grandmother took her life and my mother, who struggled against the impulse several times, said, ‘Suicide puts a fly in your head. It’s always inside, buzzing around.'”
Maybe your “failure” saved your grandson and others in the family from having to endure the “buzzing” of suicide.
You might try reading about people who attempted suicide but survived. The vast majority of them did get help and were thankful to have survived. The most famous among them may be Kevin Hines. He jumped from the Golden Gate bridge. The second his hands left the rails he felt instant regret. He survived, got help and now shares his story of hope and change. His story is a testament to the fact that life circumstances change.
You might also try reading about near death experiences (NDEs) or watching testimonials on YouTube. The International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS) is one of the best resources. People who have had an NDE are often profoundly affected. It significantly changes the way they live and view the world. One particularly inspirational NDE was that of Jeffry Olsen. Reading about NDEs or watching IANDS videos might positively change your view of life and death.
You have been in therapy for two years but you did not indicate if it was helping. You should feel a little better after each session. If not, you might need a new therapist. The idea of a new therapist can be dispiriting for some people because they don’t like the idea of starting over but sometimes a change is needed. It may be necessary for you.
Life is difficult. That is undeniable. Everyone struggles, some more than others. We must learn to endure it. I understand that you are suffering and for that I am immensely sorry, but it is a fallacy to believe that your life will not improve. I sincerely believe it can. It is often a matter of finding the right treatment. Think about whether a new therapist is right for you and make the change if necessary. Call emergency services if you feel that you can’t protect yourself. Good luck.
Dr. Kristina Randle