There’s a Countdown – the starts of a post….

There’s a Countdown – the starts of a post….

The end of May and the beginning of June are hard. As much as I’d like to deny it, it’s just downright hard. I want to be able to move forward and leave all the pain behind. All I’ve been doing is working on letting go of the pain. And I still hold on because deep down I’m fucking afraid that if I let go of the pain, I’ll be letting go of Ted…permanently. Logically, I know that isn’t true, and all those years with him…what would I be denying? Nothing but myself, right?

Today was a tough day. All day I had this heavy weight on me, in my chest, and a knot in my throat. I could feel the tears, only they wouldn’t come. Not until I had left work, after I watched my daughter’s recitals, and I took my son to work. As I drove my daughter home, I realized I couldn’t go home.

Dear Ted (Part 1) – an unfinished post

Dear Ted (Part 1) – an unfinished post

Dear Ted,

I had planned on writing you a letter every single day in May. I haven’t exactly done that, and guess what, I’m starting now.

May is a heavy month for me. We got married May 14, 2005. Mother’s Day is this month. Your birthday is this month, and you would have been 43 years old, and a week later, it will be three years since you took your life.

I’ve been working with a personal development coach since October. A way to invest in myself. it’s what people talk about a lot. “Investing” in yourself.

Anyway, two weeks ago, my coach and I talked about how to make this season this. How did I want to make this month different from the past years? How did I want this “season” to look different for me? I told her I had the idea of writing you a letter every day this month. I told her I wanted to feel grateful, rather that weighed down and sad this month. I’m tired of feeling sad. She suggested writing you Thank You letters.

For a moment, I didn’t like the idea. There’s times where I’ve started writing you letters in the the journal I keep just for writing to you, and just all this emotions pour out. I mean, that’s why I started the journal – to have conversations with you without interruption or judgement. Say things to you I’ve never been able to say, and to also tell you how much I miss you and love you. To tell you how the days are going with me and with the kids. Only, I’m never really consistent. A lot of those entries are intense emotions needing an outlet in the moment as long as the journal was available.

Anyway, I’m getting off topic. I’m here to write you a letter, and the Thank You letter fits into how I want to feel this month- grateful.

It’s taken me nine days to even get this far. I started this on Monday, May 04, 2020. Interruptions happen. Life happens. And you’re gone.

This isn’t exactly an exercise in exploring all the good things that have happened since you left us. This is going to be a hard thing. An exploration in all the things – emotions, fears – “stuff” that. Stuff I was struggling with and exploring before you died, and stuff that’s come up since you died. And it’s those things I want to thank you for.

Thank you for showing me my need for control. My planner personality was part of my need to feel in control. Your spontaneous trips did a number on my need for things being planned. I guess that got passed onto Alex. Even well before you died.

I had thought my going to counseling would help you as you went to yours. Yet, after, what?, three to four months you quit counseling because you didn’t think it was helping you. I kept up with mine. I felt I needed to fix myself in order for you to get better. I wanted to change me for you, and that’s not what I really wanted.

After you died, it took me awhile to realize that I had shaped my life around everyone else’s expectations. Around everyone else’s thoughts of what my life should be. I realized I didn’t know who I was, or even what I wanted to do with my life. I had to go about redefining parts of my life that I had become to believe were permanent.

You made me face the fact that I had absolutely no control over anyone. I have no control over how people are going to react to anything I do and/or say. I have no control over how people perceive me. I can only do the best I can with what I know and have. I still have my hard days.

And now, we’re on the day before our wedding anniversary. It would have been 15 years married to you. As the days have passed, I feel myself feeling slower and not wanting to face the day. I have this conversation with myself where I tell myself I have the choice of being happy, and the other part of the conversation tells me to just stay in bed and it’s okay to start sliding down into the sadness that’s coming up.

Only I don’t want to let the sadness overtake me, and have an overbearing presence when these kinds of days come up. This is where I do have control. I have control over how I make these days mean something for me. BK said I’ve reached a point where I can see it as a choice, and to not all together ignore the sadness. Just to acknowledge it, and to let it exist alongside what I want to feel and do for the day.

I miss you. There are so many happy memories attached to those days. It’s those memories I want to celebrate and focus on. Not on the fact that you aren’t here to celebrate our special day. Then, my brain will go down a path that my mind has gone down a lot.

Unflitered? – one before and on April 01, 2020 – unfinished post

Unflitered? – one before and on April 01, 2020 – unfinished post

When the idea to start this blog came to mind, I told myself I wouldn’t filter anything. I told myself I would write every single day because it would be good for me, and I enjoy writing. I told myself a lot of things when the idea to start a blog came to mind.

I haven’t written every day here, or in the other journals I’ve started to help in my healing. I haven’t posted everything I have written here either. I’ve filtered myself, only keeping what I think may not be accepted by others. There have been things I’ve wanted to share, and fear has kept me from writing and from sharing.

And now…what’s happening to our world? While there are major physical health concerns going on with Covid-19, my world has had other things happening where my focus isn’t on making sure my kids wash their hands every single time they go to the bathroom, or not touching anything in general. I’m not making light of what’s going on, and I am making sure they understand the seriousness of hygiene.

Our own little world has experienced physical trauma recently, and has also experienced a big trigger in our PTSD. And while I was told we have PTSD, it’s never been really spoken about during our counseling sessions.

March 10, 2020, I received a triggering text from the father of one of A’s friends. I had been out most of the day with work and taking my daughter to a couple of appointments. I had a slight worry earlier when I had called A to let him know what was going on, and he didn’t answer the phone three times. While about to turn to go home to check on him, he called saying he had been asleep when I called. I left it at that.

Three hours later, as I park in our driveway, I check my phone and I have a text and a FB message. The text read, “Hey. Are you busy?” and the other read, ” Hey trish this is …Can you call me ASAP xxx-xxx-xxxx. It’s an emergency regarding A…”

Everything went black, and I began screaming my son’s name as I rushed into the house, leaving my daughter in the truck. I scared my son as I burst into his room, screaming his name. I have never been so grateful to hear him yell back at me, “What!?!?!What!?!?”

Seeing him alive, I left his bedroom. I honestly have never been so grateful for having my son scream and yell back at me. He followed me, and began yelling at me. My daughter had been unloading the truck, and when she was done, I sent her to a friend’s house because I knew the yelling upset her, and even triggered her.

I told A why I came running into the house. He yelled at me that he was in pain, and I asked why he didn’t tell me. Granted, I was glad he was telling other people. He said in the moment, when talking with his friend (and this was shortly after we had spoken on the phone), he was in so much pain he wanted it to end. He told her he wanted to cut, and she got scared, which led to a string of people trying to get a hold of me. I was on the phone with counselors and friends most of the night either via text or voice.

Peanut spent the night at a friend’s house. I spent the rest of the week sleeping on the couch, afraid for his health and mental wellness. The week before, he had admitted to being depress, of which his counselor and I had figured out…only this incident just verified it.

His grief counselor had told me there is situational depression and chemical depression. While it’s understandable that the trauma of Ted’s suicide would have us fall into situational depression, it would seem A slid into chemical. It was time to think about medication.

I’m not a big advocate of pharmaceuticals, and I understand people need it. My counselor, his grief counselor, and his school counselor are also not big advocates of medications. Until it appears it is needed.

During the session after The Scare, I realized that I also need help. I really thought I could talk my way through my healing. Only there have been some very intense moments during the past almost 3 years since the suicide that have been overwhelming, and damn near unmanagable.


It’s been several days, possibly a week or more, since I first started this post. A lot seems to have happened. Two Sundays a

Just want to get through the Holiday – post started December 26, 2019

Just want to get through the Holiday – post started December 26, 2019

I took a sabbatical from social media. Namely from Facebook. The posts of friends with their families becomes too much around the holidays. It’s a painful reminder of what’s missing from our family. While I’ve been preparing myself for the emotional roller coaster that has presented itself over the past two holidays, I wasn’t prepared for the strange lack of holiday cheer that crept into my body.

No One Is Equipped – unfinished post

No One Is Equipped – unfinished post

The past few weeks have been rough. Basically, May and June are emotional rollercoasters as it brings Ted’s birthday, and the week after that, the anniversary of his suicide. Each of us handles it different. We try to do something as a family, and it’s basically understood each of us still needs some alone time to process.

There had been a few things going on in the background during the past few weeks. While we were working through just getting through each day,

  • The end of school was approaching. A triggering time of year for everyone in our family.
  • We were working with Big Brothers and Big Sisters to get A a third Big Brother. We had met him, and A was trying to decide if it was worth it.
  • During one week, I got a call from the school – Peanut, her in-school licensed counselor, and school nurse, because Peanut had basically harmed herself by either scratching herself until she bled or she did something to make herself bleed.
  • During the last two weeks of school for A, we were trying to get him caught up with schoolwork so he’d graduate 8th grade.
  • A started working at least twice a week at a restaurant, and he seemed to be happier. When I picked him up or when he came home, he was just all smiles and laughs, even if it was chaotic at work.
  • During those last two weeks, he had to be picked up because he had gone into a dark place. He called me with his safety plan phrase, and I had to pull him out of school.
  • The last day of school for A, he was there for two hours, and couldn’t handle being there.
  • I was going through some stuff of my own while trying to be a parent to my children.

This year has been hard for a lot of reasons. It’s been hard for everyone, and everyone has their own story. I’m only here to share my story. Peanut’s anxiety skyrocketed to the point she was seriously depressed, withdrew from things she loved – art and dancing, harmed herself, and basically got to a point where she just wasn’t safe alone. Plus, being a girl in middle school brings on its own trials and tribulations to go through. Let’s add carrying grief and trauma. We got to a point where she was willing to try meds. We went through one, and she experienced the severe side effect of getting worse. She harmed herself twice, and I had to tell her that if she did it again, I would have to admit her to a facility because I could not keep an eye on her 24/7. I just didn’t have it in me to do it. She didn’t want that, so we tried a different medication, and that seems to be helping. Then again, it could be because the school year is over.

With A, it’s always a learning curve. The title of this post came from something he said to me after I broke the news to him that the Big Brother match we had met about three weeks ago had told our Match Coordinator he couldn’t do it. I had alerted our MC that Alex had a moment where he was suicidal. Per procedure, she had to alert the possible match. There was a disconnect that happened, and along the way, we were getting pushed for A to make a decision. After the initial meeting, he wasn’t real sure about committing. We talked about it, and I told him that I didn’t want him missing out on any fun or opportunities because of his dad. He finally consented, and told our MC he was willing to go.

So the disconnect happened during that time. She had emailed the possible Match, and while on the phone with him yesterday, he was all for moving forward, when she asked the Match if he read her email. He read it while on the phone with her, and basically said he wasn’t equipped for that kind of thing. He didn’t want to be responsible if something like that were to happen while he was out with Alex. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised. It was heartbreaking to hear it. The MC profusely apologized. Basically, that was three strikes. This was the last attempt to have Alex connect with an adult male to go out and experience stuff outside his bubble of the house.

This wasn’t something I wanted to break to my son. He had experienced a second suicide this year, and it was one of his adult friends who he had a deep connection with. Prior to this third attempt to match with a Big, he had previously gone through two others that ended with one disappearing, and coming back to say he wasn’t a good example for Alex, and the other just too involved in the med-program.

Now, let me put something into perspective for you for survivors of suicide. I’m sure you’ve heard of Survivor Guilt.

Babbling Ramble

Babbling Ramble

There are days I sit, and stare at my hands. I study how my veins create backroads, while the lines on my palms create valleys, creeks, streams, and rivers. I study the length of my fingers, the length of my I want to nails. I wonder at the change of shape and color my nails display, little craters within an icy lake. I stare at the lines they call fingerprints, wondering how unique they really make me. The wrinkles on the back of my hands remind me of the wrinkles of an elephant’s skin. Despite the roughness, the skin is smooth. The tendons of my hands remind me of marionette strings, ready to be pulled and snapped at any moment because freedom makes my hands itch. My fingers are long and slender, and what I see are extensions of love, of creation, of pleasure, of comfort, of healing.

I wonder what my hands are capable of. Would they do anything I asked them to? I’ve seen them create. I’ve seen them destroy. I’ve witness life being held within their grasp. I’ve imagined them taking life. How morbid, no? What can create life can also take it away. Gently or brutally. A gentle touch could easily maim as much as a slap could cause clarity.

I’ve seen a story of a girl, sitting in a park, staring at her hands. Wondering what I wonder. Only, it isn’t her who commands her hands. Not truly. She hears them, and they tell her what to do with those hands. She feels hate and disgust for the world around her. They tell her she is here to cleanse this world of the corrupt and evil that is poisoning this world. The cleanse this world so it is as clean and pure as her skin and her soul. She is theirs, and she will become more.

And underneath it all, underneath the cacophony, she feels a faint plea. In the liquid ink pool of her mind flutters something that doesn’t quite sound like them. Strangely, she can’t seem to recall where they came from, or even when they started speaking to her, and guiding her to do what she does. She can’t recall how old she is, or where she even came from. She looks like a porcelain doll, and if not handled carefully, she would break.

Only, she did the breaking. She broke so things could be mended and better.

And that flutter only seemed to struggle more, like a bird trying to remove itself from a giant spider’s web, thick with oozing glue. She begins the question why she blindly complies with them. She wonders if what she is doing is…right.

There’s so much that can be told with her. I return to the voices in my head. The multiple personalities clamoring to be let free to express themselves. That is why I write and tell stories. Each voice is released to express itself, and sometimes, it doesn’t even know how to go about saying it when given the chance. Some voices are woven together, creating a world only I see, want to nurture, want to bring to life.

The bubble will pop

The bubble will pop

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 45 months after Ted took his life is, as parents, we won’t be able to protect our children from cruel realities of this world.

We can educate them. We can even try to prepare them, and that’s not always enough. The Universe, God, or whomever you believe in, or don’t believe in, is going to throw you a nasty, curving fastball that going to knock the wind out of your kids, and I hope that you as their parent will be there to help them navigate through the ugly storm they will go through to process what has happened.

Don’t run away. Don’t hide them away. Face it with them. Talk about it. Sit with them in the ugly and the uncomfortable. You Will Conquer It. And it will take TIME.

Ted and I had made a silent pact that we would never get a divorce. We were protecting our children from having to experience a divorced family, where there were so many possibilities of things that could go bad.  For me, I wanted our kids to know the joy having two parents at home every night because that’s what I had during the younger parts of my childhood. I didn’t want them to experience any of the stories they shared about their friends in divorced families. They didn’t understand why divorce happened, even when we tried to explain it to them.

Only, times had changed as we became adults and parents.  Not a lot of families had a stay at home parent with their kids. We both worked. I missed my kids. I missed my husband. As the kids got older, it seemed we were both trying so hard to be more involved in their lives. Only, fears of not being able to pay bills or have health insurance for our family, our kids,  kept us both in places we struggled with mentally and emotionally.

There were bad days. Days where it felt like a divorce would be better for him and for me. Yet, we didn’t want the kids living in a single parent lifestyle, split between two people. And I did love Ted. I knew he was a good person. A good person struggling to find himself amongst the chaos of living. I was struggling, too. And we both dealt with it differently.

And what we had set out to do – give our kids two loving parents who were there for them always didn’t happen.

I missed most of our children’s childhoods to a job I ended up hating and being let go from. I wasn’t home those nights they needed help with homework, and Ted was. And there were so many other things Ted and I regretted and resented because we made decisions that took us away from our children and away from each other.

Ted ended up taking his own life. I couldn’t protect our children from that. Nothing we had done raising our kids prepared any of us for that.

I made decisions that I thought would protect them. I tried to prevent things from happening. I promised Ted I wouldn’t tell anyone. I told two people, silently hoping that their knowing would help change Ted’s suicidal thoughts. I didn’t tell Ted I told them. I helped Ted find a counselor. I started seeing one.

In secret, we both sought counseling. I didn’t hide the fact I was going to counseling from anyone , except our kids. No one knew Ted was in counseling except me & the two people who I had told, and Ted didn’t know I had told them. Secrets. I hated secrets, and here we thought we were protecting others from something – pain and fear. Keeping it secret wasn’t the right thing to do; only we only did what we thought and knew was best.

This post has taken me several days to write. For the second time in 45 months of Ted’s suicide, someone special and loved by us took his life. It hurts. It’s a different hurt, and it still hurts. My motivation for having started this post was to encourage others to talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Don’t sugarcoat the ugliness of this life. While you think grass is greener on the other side and that one person is all peaches and cream, you don’t know the turmoil and hard work they are going through to keep it up. There isn’t always safety in putting our heads in the sand, or building a wall around our families. Eventually, they will find out…..

Trigger Me This… -incomplete post…

Trigger Me This… -incomplete post…

Those of us who’ve read about PTSD have probably wondered what that’s like to live with it. Or rather, how does those with it live with PTSD?  Or have they wondered if PTSD is even real, despite the studies and evidence. It’s probably almost like those that don’t have a mental illness like depression. They just wonder, “Why can’t you be happy or normal?”

One never thinks they’ll be depressed or even get PTSD. I certainly never did, even with a family history of depression. I was going to therapy before Ted killed himself. In fact, I was going to therapy because he had admitted to being suicidal, and I thought I needed help on a lot of levels.

Well, I’ve been 12 months on Prozac. I honestly never thought I would be taking medication to help with my emotions. I thought going to counseling would be enough. Only, my emotional balance wasn’t stable. When something happened to the kids, when their world was rocked by something, I would take it and drown in it. I would drown in their sorrow, anger, despair, confusion…all of it. I would make it my own, and it was intense. So intense I couldn’t function sometimes.

After we had a suicide scare with A in  March 2020, I had to take a good look at not only A but also at myself. The PTSD was triggered by a FB message sent by a dad. I had previously told A that if he didn’t want to take meds, he didn’t have to. Only, this shed some light on some darkness I was denying of myself. During an emergency meeting with the kids’ grief counselor, she mentioned he should think about meds to help him over a hump he didn’t seem to be getting over. He got defensive and angry, especially when I agreed with her. He didn’t hear me say, “I think I need to start taking meds, too…”

An Individual Journey

An Individual Journey

One of my best friend’s sent me a TikTok video of a gentlman who is sharing his grieving journey of losing his wife to cancer. In the video, he said it was a hard day,and asked for support, encouragement, and advise on how to keep going. She wanted him to be safe. I love her heart.

I commented on his post, as did hundreds of others. I took a look at his other videos, and I commended him on sharing his healing journey as well as how he and his two little girls had gotten there.

Loss is hard. Doesn’t matter what kind of loss. Loss is hard. And we learn how to handle it. Or at least a lot of us try to.

Losing somone in your life is a different kind of hard than any other loss. Then, there’s how you lost that person that can contribute to the pain, and how we carry our grief the rest of our lives.

Prior to Ted’s suicide, the only other suicide experience I had was a friend having hung himself while I was at college. I heard from one of the guys from the group I hung out with whenever I came home from college. I wasn’t super close with him, and he was still someone I really did care about. I had guilt, “I wish I hadn’t said that to him. I was joking.”; “What could I have done differently?” This particular event wasn’t traumatic for me. I still carried the guilt for awhile.

“But, he wasn’t Ted,” some might think. And that’s true.Yet, someone still lost a child, someone lost a love, someone lost a brother, someone lost a grandchild, a nephew….And each one of those loses were individually experienced.

I can logically tell you that I understand Ted’s parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends each hurt from his death. I can also tell you that I don’t know their pain because I’m not them. I’ve been blessed to witness or hear how Ted’s suicide has affected those who had him in their lives.

That’s one thing about loss. No one is going to know your pain. There will be those that can relate, sympathize, and empathize. Those who have gone through a similiar situation can identify, and they still won’t know your pain. We all process loss differently.

I had a friend who lost her brother to suicide about a little over a year after Ted’s suicide. I basically told her that I had no words that would give her any comfort in her loss. I told her none of us, even those who experienced a suicide, would know her pain as she moved through her loss. I offered her what I could in the time she needed support – an ear, an eye to read what she typed or texted, a shoulder to cry on, etc. I reminded her she is loved and there will be those who will be there to help support her when she and her family needed it.

And honestly, that’s all one can do. Is just be there to support and love those moving through a loss.

My grieving and healing journey is different from our son’s and from our daughter’s. And each of our chlidren’s journeys is different from their sibling’s. Not once in the nearly four years after Ted died have we been on “the same page” of our grieving. I’m not sure we ever will be. And that’s okay, too. While we each grieve and heal, we will learn from one another hwow to support one another.

Random early morning thoughts

Random early morning thoughts

Soooo, I haven’t written in quite awhile. I’ve been doing a lot of writing in my numerous journaling notebooks. Yet, some times, I have the urge to post something on Instagram, which also get posted on Facebook. Here are a couple of recent posts:

Posted Saturday, February 13, 2021:

Remember when I was posting about cleaning up the decluttering the basement?
Well, it’s still cluttered, and it’s still so much better than it was.
The original motivation behind it was to clean up the backroom and the basement so A could turn the one corner into his space. Eventually.
I’ve been spending more time downstairs in the corner where the couch is and a TV is. I’m going through a phase where it’s hard for me to be in a room that Ted spent a lot of time in. Other than the drum set, there really are no reminders of Ted in the basement.
I use his bathroom now, and I’m still sleeping in our bed. Yet, that space in that corner is mine right now. Even with the new furniture upstairs in our family room, it hasn’t felt right to be there and spend time there for too long, even if the kids are with me. I feel haunted upstairs.
At one point, people were asking me if we would move after Ted died. I saw no reason for it. He didn’t kill himself in our house. We had a support system where we were, and I think a part of me felt I’ll be damned if I let this shit scare me away. Plus, having to sell our house and ally hat other stuff that goes with moving was nothing I wanted to, or even could mentally and emotionally, handle on top of everything else that was going on after he died.

I’m not quite sure why I started this post. Apparently, I needed to write. There is a lot that goes on with me that I don’t share, even though I want to. I want the world to know about my pain, our pain, our journey…and yet, I don’t even understand it at times. Am I even ready to expose all that haunts me? Are you even ready to know what haunts me?


Posted Saturday, February 06, 2021:

I miss you. Then, I realize I also miss what we were and what we had and the parts of being partners.
I’ve been hiding my panic, my sadness, my fears, my stress, my anxiety, anger, guilt, resentment….all of it. All of it has been underneath this mom exterior. Mom worry and Mom guilt make for convenient covers of my own emotional and mental struggles as I somehow want to deny my own grieving and processing of your death….your decision….your suicide.
This blue-black ocean of foam and storm suffocates me internally as I try to grasp everything in me wanting to be let loose.
I’m scared to let it all go and let it release because I don’t know what will happen in the havoc the emotions might leave behind.
And yet, I’m exhausted. Exhausted from holding it all together for everyone else. I have no one whose arms I can crawl and sob into. I have no one I can cling to who will understand my loss. I have no one to hand over the reigns of parenting for an hour so I can take time to myself and just let it all out.
It’s been weeks of late night or early hours of random thoughts and random tears…and sometimes, the tears don’t even come.
The nightmares wake me up, and I’m afraid to go go back to sleep to have them come again. They remind me of the hole in my life. Remind me I can’t go back to how it used to be. Remind me that I have to rethink and relearn how to live and raise kids and love myself again and move forward.
I’m bruised and scarred, and it’s so easy to hide it all behind the worry and want for our kids to grow up emotionally and mentally stronger than you and me.
The tears come silently and in the dark. I lie in bed or stare at a blank piece of paper trying to make sense of the mess inside me. Why now? Why am I feeling all this now?