I wish that I knew exactly what to do. I wish I had all the right answers, could do all the right things. Even after everything, after losing a husband to suicide, after surviving and pushing forward to keep living with my two sons, I feel lost and clueless.
My oldest is regularly seeing a psychologist. He has depression and anxiety. These leak into his whole life and affect him a lot. On top of all of this, he grieves heavily over his father.
His family history doesn’t help, either. On his father’s side, there’s alcoholism, depression, dementia, heavy drug abuse, and more.
Many people can probably relate. Mental health is poorly understood, stigmatized, and almost never treated well in the United States. People don’t typically go in for mental check ups. Even those who clearly need some help may shy away because of the fear of how they’ll look. Or worse, they have health insurance that doesn’t really cover those services. Or even worse than that…there are no helpful services nearby.
A few visits ago, the psychologist reassured me that he was not immediate danger but that he had admitted thinking about how to kill himself. The plan was juvenile and not thought out. An attempt was never tried. But my heart was pierced by an ice cold dagger. I just nodded stoically but I felt like rushing out of the room to find my son, reassure myself he was still there, still waiting to go home and have dinner.
I feel like I’m failing my son. I fear that despite trying my hardest, I won’t be able to protect my son the way I should. I’m afraid that I’ll get that phone call one day or find a loved one again.
I lost my husband to suicide. My biggest fear is losing one of our children to that same monster.