Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, March 17, 2011



I'm going to tell you a story because I don't know who else to tell.  You all, my necessary, anonymous friends.

My part in it was very small.  It was Thanksgiving Day, 2008.  I had spent the previous week involuntarily admitted to a mental hospital after a suicide attempt on a Sunday afternoon.  Toren had been dead for just over a year.  One of my closest friends from the past (the mommy mobile girl, for anyone who has been following and remembering this bitter sob story from the first year) had just given birth to a son and he was very ill.  I was having constant anxiety attacks; overwhelmed by something more complex than jealousy, it was utter confusion about why she got a live baby and I didn't, but also unmaintainable concern that she would lose her son too.  And I was driving my husband nuts.  He wanted me to be nothing but happy for our friends who were new parents, but I couldn't do that.  I couldn't get beyond the hugely complex, uncomprehensible emotions of my dead baby, her live but sick baby, and in hindsight, the lack of support I had from the man who was un-becoming my best friend.  The Saturday before (suicide Sunday, to jump around terribly) my husband was out at a nightclub, as usual, while I was at home, unable to face a night of dancing post dead-baby, as usual.  With bottles of wine, as usual.  That Saturday night I really needed someone, but they were all out dancing.  Saturday turned into Sunday and I continued with tears, alcohol, then tossed the contents of all medicine in the house into the mix when my husband said he was going to move out.  My husband MADE me get into the car and I hugged Toren's memory box all of the way to the nearest ER.  The memory of Toren was the most beautiful and painful thing, but on that day, it felt like all I had.  I didn't know if I was on my way to be with Toren, but there was no longer much point to be alive if I was going to be so alone.

The hospitalization was one of the best things that ever happened to me, once it was over anyway.  It is very scary to be forced to go somewhere.  It was very late at this point, I rode in the back of a sheriff's car, was strip searched upon arrival, sedated, and sent to bed for a few hours before the mandatory time to start the day.  My husband came for a "family" therapy session a few days later and the therapist expressed her thoughts that any trouble between us could be repaired and I believed her.  I was able to leave after four days to enter out-patient treatment.  I only told one friend about it and carried on like everything was fine.

I think I brought a pear frangipane tart to Thanksgiving dinner at a friends house, just like in previous years because everything was "fine".  Thanksgiving at my friends house was our new tradition and all sorts of people stopped by while those like us, who didn't have family nearby, stayed all day.  There was a couple there that I hadn't met before and their two children were there as well.  I'd estimate that the little girl was around 4 or 5 and her brother was a year or two older.  The couple was really cool; young like us, tattooed, into the same club scene.  At first I felt uncomfortable around such adorable, young children, but before even a few hours past I was running around the yard with the kids playing games.  The kids and their Mom sat by me at dinner and we kept each other entertained.  The little girl had a tin of powdered pink lemonade with a tiny spoon and I helped her make lemonade.  After dinner on the deck all of the adults chatted and the girl held on to my hands and shook her head wildly, so wildly that she would have fallen over if she weren't hanging on to me.  She did this over and over and we all laughed.

Not that these were my motives, but I thought my husband would see how happy I was, and how fun I could be with kids by how I interacted with these children and surely we would mend our marriage.  SURELY, we would resume our family building plans.  We could be like this great couple who had the lifestyle we had but also had children!  We had met role models.  But on the drive home I laid my head on the center console where his arm was and he moved away, and later that night the discussion began again - nothing had changed with him, he had no desire to see if our marriage could survive.

I never saw that couple again.  I never went to Thanksgiving at my friends house again.  There were those horrible months of being so alone and feeling suicidal for so long, but thankfully I had the mandatory out-patient treatment to go to 3 times a week plus my regular therapy.  And the one friend I had told about my mental hospital stay kept me afloat through that time.  And my story moved on.  My SnuggleBunny is in this very room playing a game on his computer, in our home.

In early February the wife of that couple died.  Piecing information together, it sounds like she committed suicide after her husband fucked another woman.

Her husband killed himself a few hours ago.

I bet that no one could even comprehend their truths.  I can't believe that I survived and they didn't.

My heart breaks for their story and their orphaned children.  May they all find peace.

13 comments:

Ya Chun said...

Oh the children!

And stupid men who can't keep it in their pants. All this sorrow for the kids for THAT!

UGH.

AnnaMarie said...

No shit. What is up with penis's? They seem to be unmanageable. My thought with all of this was, "if I had a living child, I would never leave them." If Toren were somewhere where I could find him, I would never leave him (poor guy!)

Wabi said...

Oh, that's terrible. Those children. So awful.

Awhile back I learned that a casual friend from my twenties lost his daughter. His estranged wife committed suicide and killed the girl, too. They weren't a symbol of anything to me like this other family was to you. And still, when I think of them I am haunted by all the little things my husband and I noticed and commented on vs. the things we didn't see and clearly had no idea about.

I'm so sad for those people. Also glad you found a different path than they did.

still life angie said...

Wow, Annemarie, what an incredibly powerful reminder of how things change. My gut fell knowing their future and present. My heart breaks for their kids, having to live with those consequences. So much compassion. When my ex-husband cheated on me, I contemplated suicide many many times. When I faced that darkness, I have always felt grateful at my stubbornness to want to spite him with living. Sending love and thoughts to their family, and of course to you, beautiful woman.

Sophie said...

:( How very sad. I feel so badly for those kids.

You're a survivor alright Anna. You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Sending you much, much love.

xx

Sara said...

Oh my god, the world is just a mess sometimes, isn't it? A horrible, sad mess.

I'm glad you're where you are right now, and even a little thankful I am where I am, though I'm not exactly where I'd like to be. Things could be worse.

Barbara said...

Holy crap. I can't imagine what those poor children will have to deal with growing up. Such a sad situation.

I am very very glad that you survived.

xxx

Reba said...

that is a terribly sad story on many counts.

wishing peace for those poor kids, and their parents, wherever they may be.

Jenn said...

Oh my goodness. My heart is broken for those children. I cannot even imagine what they must be going through. They will be in my prayers.

Also thinking of you and thinking how good it is that you found a better way. What a strong and resilient woman you must be. My admiration goes out to you. xx

Lisette said...

Wow! I am so sad for their children.
I am glad you are in a much better place now ((HUGS))

myskytimes said...

Oh wow... I certainly didn't expect an end like this to the story. How sad, so so sad. Hope the kids are taken care of in a loving environment.

And most of all I am glad you are in such a good place right now, with SB by your side as a supportive loving companion, lover and friend. Glad you are here...

xo

Kristin said...

What a horribly sad and tragic story. There is only one good thing about it...that you did survive. I am so very glad you survived.

Quiet Dreams said...

You are in such a strange place--grieving, but yet, having survivor's guilt (I imagine). I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I'm aching for this family and I'm hurting for what it must be bringing up in you.