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I am guilty......

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Relationship advice Hi, I was a 40-year-old mother of two children, an elder daughter of about 17 years and a son of 10 years. My elder daughter recently committed suicide (and died) on 5th April and I think its all because of me and my husband. Its all our fault. We both used to terribly torture our daughter (she had written so in a suicide note) and we used all our time and energy for our younger son. Its true that we used to love our son a lot more and there was a reason to it. Our son is a very talented boy, unlike our daughter. My daughter couldn't do anything properly and was so incapable. We had to beat her to make do things.

My daughter usually looked very gloomy. But on 4th April, my daughter had an entrance exam and after that she looked extremely sad, more than what she looked usually. Little we knew that it was the last day we would see her.....

Please advise me and my husband what should we do now..........

I am guilty......

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Anything I say in the way of condolences is going to sound trite, so I won't and we'll take my sympathy as a given.

You should be searching for a local grief counsellor. Mind my asking why this hasn't occurred to either of you yet?

In the absence of that for the time being, all I can say is that mistakes, no matter how big, when taken as opportunities to learn from them and improve the world (or your small corner) can thereby become positive things as well as convert guilt into highly use-able, useful energy. In other words, 'It's not the crime, it's the time'.

I take it you're very familiar with the McCanns?

Meanwhile - here: meet a counterpart of your daughter: http://www.peoplesproblems.org/showtopic/6401/My-Life-Is-Full-Of-Problemsplease-Help-Me. And now ask yourself, how spooky is that?! Is it a sign? Is that, without even knowing, why "ov awwl the barsh [forums] in awll the woyld" you walked into this one????

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Well, the girl r* seems quite similar to my daughter (both Indian, both 17-year-old, both CBSE science stream students, both had entrance exams on 4th April, both want to become computer engineers). But don't you think this girl is over-reacting or something?

Yes, I did beat and scold my daughter, but she isn't that idiotic that she would go around telling that to every stranger out there. Reading that thread, I felt that this r* has some mental problem. Instead her parents are burdened by her, maybe, and she is lying. My daughter was much better than her.

I miss my daughter. In fact, girls like r* should commit suicide and stop torturing their parents and should not put false accusations on their parents, who care for them so much. My daughter should not have committed suicide.

I am guilty......

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Doesn't sound liek she is faking it to me, it sounds to me as if her parents are blinded by a prejudice towards her, in which they have decided her clumsiness should be made worse by beating her until she is so lacking confidence that she is scared to do anything incase it causes more beatings. In fact the beatings will probably have made her anxious and made her issues worse, thus making her parents even harsher and so on until she feels there is no way out.

Understandable that you are emotional due to your daughter commiting suicide, that is a terrible and tragic loss, but this girl is asking for help as her parents are too blinded by their son to listening to her needs and nourish her to become a better person. Beating someone only creates fear, anxiety and a nervous disposition, some can hide it through bullying, other (like her) will use it to blame themsleves and become depressed.

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Hmm that was meant to be posted on the other link, not this one but I see the similarities to both stories.

I am guilty......

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You are still blaming her and she killed herself? She said you are the reason. Maybe that bad feeling is because you were bad to her and continue to blame her. There is nothing more to say.

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"Well, the girl r* seems quite similar to my daughter (both Indian, both 17-year-old, both CBSE science stream students, both had entrance exams on 4th April, both want to become computer engineers). But don't you think this girl is over-reacting or something?
Yes, I did beat and scold my daughter, but she isn't that idiotic that she would go around telling that to every stranger out there. Reading that thread, I felt that this r* has some mental problem. Instead her parents are burdened by her, maybe, and she is lying. My daughter was much better than her.
I miss my daughter. In fact, girls like r* should commit suicide and stop torturing their parents and should not put false accusations on their parents, who care for them so much. My daughter should not have committed suicide."

What you're doing is self-deluding, specifically minimising (call it self-cushioning). The fact that the alias you chose at point of registering was "guilty mom" (and you can't get plainer an admission as well as contradiction to your second post than that) shows me that your guilt is coming in waves, which at that point was between swells. Since grief itself comes in waves, this tendency to minimise is obviously in reaction to each swell and your way of coping with their painful peaks. News for you: that's not coping, it's avoiding. Because, in the presence of her inarguable *actions*, there is nothing in R's post to suggest she's exaggerating or lying. Granted, at times one can detect a kind of emotional contrivance, but then that's to be expected because she'll have grown too accustomed to what to her is now a bog-standard routine and so would be in far greater danger of understating were it not for her need to make the most of her opportunity to gain a bit of understanding and sympathy for a change. At other times you can hear R feeling sorry for herself. But why wouldn't she when she's entitled and there's no-one else to do it FOR her?

I also hear a lot of anger and resentment aimed at your daughter through R. Like you say, their ages and situations were uncannily similar. And people *do* make the same characteristic noises and movements when in any same specific extreme of situation. So why the resentment? Is that because you feel the good times in amongst the bad should have been enough to have kept her hanging in there? Or is that because you felt your daughter would sometimes deliberately provoke you? Madam, I imagine sometimes that was true, yes, because in the absence of the positive variety, to a kid who needs attention, parental more than any other, negative is better than nothing if that's all that's available (via a quick prod). But you purporting to believe that going around telling other people is idiotic when the direct opposite is true, is bullying talk as well as lazy talk - in fact, is itself the true idiocy - the usual attempt to escape shame and culpability and the need to take remedial action, by tying the victim's hands using emotional blackmail against exposing the bullying whereby it would be made to get dealt with thus stop. You must be *very* chronically unhappy to have not only needed a *live-in* victim but to have made use in that way of your very own, first-born child.

NO child should feel that their only route of escape is to take the greatest leap known to man in snuffing their very selves out. To do so is an inarguable action when it comes to truthful testimony of their burden and their sense of utter powerlessness over doing anything else about it (because they're a child). It may take two *adults* to tango, but not when one is a child with too few resources both mental and practical at their disposal whereby giving consent to dance that dance isn't even possible because there's no alternative. What did you expect her to *do* to improve her lot - stick a 12 inch knife into you? You were the adult, you were the one with all the control. She was the child; she was made to feel - via the very exposure embargo you hereby illustrate - she had none...bar the one she took. She was not you, in other words. You cope by kicking the cat. She didn't. So she kicked herself. In order to behaviourally disassociate herself from you, I shouldn't wonder.

Granted, I'm not so green as to believe she wouldn't have had sources of unhappiness *outside* of the family home, which, along with you reproaching her for not being more like you, may explain why you at times veer towards feeling you and your husband are *not* exclusively to blame. Had she not, those might have been respites sufficient to have kept her believing life was worth living. But [1] ones homelife and first primary relationship (that's you and your husband) is ones bedrock, meaning, it trumps all else as well as has a knock-on effect into all other areas, and [2] those other areas would have had to have been so pleasurable as to have compensated and counteracted. Evidently they didn't.

You need to finally face up to your responsibilities. This horrid situation is the result of your tendency to never do so. Your responsibilities were dealing with your own pain, past and present, so that there was nothing *to* take out on another person, least of all your own flesh and blood captive, including asking yourself *why* you treated your daughter as if you believed she were a full-grown adult (by whom or what you were taught it was okay to do so). In other words, you played pass-the-rotten-parcel with your child instead of unwrapping it and dealing with it on your own when it was yours to begin with. And now that your daughter - unlike you back when you were a child - has FORCED her way out of that circle, the parcel is yours all over again. And that's the trouble with parcels that are rotten: if you fail to deal with them and waste time trying to delegate them on, they merely come back round again, bigger and even more putrid. Procrastination achieves nothing but far greater work a little further down the line.

Why don't you blame your own parents (and their parents, etc.) or modern society or the government? Surely that would be more intelligent? Or are we back to, 'half the time she asked for it'?

I could go on and on, but here's the rub: you have a grieving and learning process to go through, that your daughter by her massive action has forced you to own. There's no choice about it (in which case, welcome to your daughter's world); this is what's on your table to deal and bear with and isn't going to go away. So you have choice only about HOW you're going to go about this. (Read that again.)

Let's liken it to a massive house tidying and spring-cleaning project. Are you going to get on with it - ALL of it - so that life becomes easier, finally, to where you have nothing *to* take out on anyone else, or are you going to drag out the duration of pain by trying to deny the very existence of certain rooms in order to avoid what can't even be avoided?

Your house. Your dirt and mess. Your duty.

Luckily for you, there are people out there who are willing to assist with that thorough spring-cleaning. They have dusters, hoovers, steam-cleaners, specialist chemicals...you name it! Are you going to see sense, finally, and use the tools life lays on for you or are you going to continue with this ridiculous inherited attitude - one of the roots of all your woes to this day - that no other human is ever apt to poo their pants ergo you shouldn't ever admit to it (with the exception of on an anonymous forum)?

Maybe if your daughter had felt she had the choice to tell, you yourself wouldn't now be *in* this mess. So who's next to snuff themselves out? You? Your husband? Your son? Where and with whom does it all end?

I'll tell you: It ends with TELLING. And telling the right person/people. People who have the tools you don't.

Vis a vis the rotten parcel analogy, do you now understand the meaning in the NSPCC's slogan, 'Cruelty towards children must stop, FULL-STOP'? Are you going to tell a counsellor so that s/he can help you unwrap it, face its contents and then set light to it, rather than keep passing- nay, FOISTING it along and down your particular genetic line?

I am guilty......

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Listen SOULMATE, could you explain what you wrote in such a big paragraph. I mean, I didn't get it at all, I am a bit weak in English.....

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I hope Soulmate will, she usually does. Good luck

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Which paragraph are you referring to specifically?

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Hi soul-mate,

I had my daughter's terhavi (Rituals for the dead) recently and thus was busy in its preparations. Every relative of ours is only asking "Why did your daughter commit suicide?". I am simply unable to tolerate it when anyone says that the fault is mine or my husband. Even we are sad. Then why are we blamed? Soul-mate, the article you wrote, I tried reading it, I have understood that you are blaming me too. This is extremely wrong.

I am guilty......

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GUILTYMOM, this makes me really sad. Not for you as much, but for the life your daughter lived. You stated yourself that you tortured your daughter and that you loved your son more. Your daughter even wrote about it. She must have felt her life was so sad and hopeless that she could not live any longer...CLEARLY.

You are contradicting yourself when you come to this forum to seek help with your guilt, and then become defensive when others try to do just that.

Who knows EXACTLY why she ended her life? But one thing you absolutely should do is own up to anything you feel you did to play a part in her life that caused her misery. And then ALLOW others to help you get through it.

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GM,

It's like Jocelyn so artfully said. Me, you misunderstood WHAT I was blaming you for/what you could be said to be blamed for or I didn't explain quite well enough for one so understandably clouded. I accused you only of neglect as either exclusively or contributively caused a level of unhappiness. Your daughter could just as easily have started taking drugs or shoplifting or become promiscuous or-or-or.... I told you she *FELT* she had no other option than the one she took and that you should understand why. You need to re-read over and over, concentrating harder, to compensate for your presently impeded intellectual powers.

You're not ready to accept culpability for the part you played in this individual's *misery and sense of powerlessness*. You fear it (the pain and self-questioning followed by the mentally taxing self-betterment processes) and are struggling furiously against it, except for those intermittent periods when you fall exhausted into a chair, so to speak, whereupon it mutineers you. Your struggle also represents your wish to somehow keep your daughter alive and not file her away, now that you realise what you had before it was gone. But struggling, playing tug-o'-war over her with Reality Level 1, won't keep her here on earth by proxy. It's not an option. In fact, if you wish to 'bring her back' then the quicker you let her go, accept she's gone elsewhere to where you as yet have no access, the quicker you will get handed the huge psychological photo album fashioned to remind you, or possibly teach you, who she was in isolation of her latter mental state, i.e. how she was in weather other than heavy cloud and rain. Currently, all you're seeing of her is her doing the dreaded deed, and that funeral pyre. And that wasn't her. It was just a chain of consequence, one outcome, what happened AFTER her.

Not only is a forum woefully inadequate as a treatment when up against that amount of denial, but any in-person counsellor likewise is going to have a long wait before you two and she can get down to the business of selecting some suitable, earthly, cathartic form of atonement to compensate for your grave mistake(s) both to life/nature and yourselves and her brother.

I told you - you're going there whether you like it or not. You can make it far more painful for yourselves than need be by pointlessly struggling for all you're worth (including bothering about what other people think) or you can give it up and go where and at what pace Nature decrees. That compliance (or refusal to) will get taken into spiritual account.

Say it and keep repeating it until it sinks in: My daughter chose to get off this ride and get onto another, and the fact she DIDN'T *REALISE* SHE HAD OTHER CHOICES is however much our fault.

Because I actually agree that you can't "make" someone take their own life, same as, say, you can't make a spouse cheat on you. The decision to react in that way to their unhappiness with the state of that aspect of their life, rather than choose any other, more life-embracing course of reaction, was theirs. Your daughter could have been one of those types who was strong enough to withstand it, for all you knew. But that's the trouble, isn't it. You *didn't* know. Because you didn't take the time to get to know her enough, to see that she was weaker than you were at her age when it came to that specific form of hardship, that her particular strengths lay elsewhere (with talents happening not to lie in academic intelligence). So what I'm saying is, what you are responsible for is for having played a major role in causing that extent of state of unhappiness itself as well as for not having understood any subtle signs emanating from her as suggested she had this drastic course of action in mind as her idea of the most obvious or easily attainable solution. You were a major CATALYST.

Plenty of people have crap childhoods but don't end up committing suicide. If what you did CAUSED your daughter's suicide then HOW COME *ALL* OF THEM AREN'T DEAD? Doesn't compute, does it.

This already has been an exceedingly difficult and disturbing thread to face (in which case I think DaveyB, !!! and Jocelyn deserve a round of applause for their strength and courage to wade in). But it is what it is and is real life, Level Numero Uno. It's also spilt milk. Now is about the clean-up job, as I said before. You can clean *as* you grieve (it's much better for you).

But for all you know, for all ANYONE knows, your daughter is now in the CORRECT place for her, having the time of her life - Phase Whatever (in fact, some do say, 'Life is just a phase I'm going through', right?), in which case you were instrumental in perversely doing her a huge favour, with her getting to show where a GARGANTUAN strength of hers specifically lay. It's only our negativity and fear towards the whole concept of death - the greatest unknown there is - that makes this a "bad" thing, yet were we to NOT fear it we might all be gleefully leaping like lemmings, meaning, that fear serves a purpose to this earth/level. We might all end up kicking ourselves for our stupidity one day. Or maybe concluding self stupidity would be the stupidity under the 'fact' of this life being a necessary part of a whole process that stretches far further than our little pea-brains can conceive of. It's also equally possible to claim that since your daughter was capable of such a GOBSMACKINGLY courageous decision and follow-through, she must have been capable of settling on some alternative course of action(?) as her form of protest(?). There are different conclusions to be drawn depending upon which depth of reality you choose to view it from.

So I repeat: what you and your husband should be focusing on is the fact that you denied yourselves the opportunity to discover, in what you didn't know was a far more limited time than would ordinarily have been expected, a 'different fruit' to that of your son and his particular make up, and realise that the world machine NEEDS a variety of cogs with a variety of functions/tasks/duties in order for it all to work. Maybe the powers that be decided your daughter's individual skills and talents were wasted in this particular existential place and was vitally needed elsewhere (despite retained the choice to find a place for herself on this plane if she preferred)? Again, we don't know and *can't* know. But under that basis of human ignorance, that your daughter has ceased, in whatever form or format, to be, per se, is a wholly human-arrogant presumption, which itself would mean that your daughter didn't so much give up (as in quit) as give *in* (to the call aimed specifically at her in the form of the keen motivation). What you're therefore stood in Nature's dock for, with Fate its magistrate, is not manslaughter but neglect of awareness, duty, appreciation and gratitude - of and towards a side of yourselves as well as as resided and showed in her. And you would remain guilty of that had she indeed 'merely' started drug-taking or shoplifting or whatever else. Understand? So know what it is precisely that you're admitting to and accepting having been in this whole event. CATALYSTS.

Now, then, who's taking care of your other child? You've handicapped him with an artificial sense of superiority, a sense that will disappoint and serve him badly in his adult life, all areas. Now there's a room that requires urgent attention with the hoover, right?

You will need at some point soon to cease dwelling and start to take actions. ANY action is positive action, and a darn sight healthier and cathartic than lassitude and paralysis. (Just 'ask' your daughter.) Don't sit on your behind, lamenting, just because it seems easier than getting off it and tackling this workload. It is short-term easier, long-term- FOREVER-term *harder*.

'We over-estimated thus neglected our daughter and are eternally thankful in our abject sorrow and guilt that she pointed it out to us in no uncertain terms so that we can ensure never to make that same kind of stupid mistake again, and hopefully to be able to spot it in others in time to warn them.' Aside from fleetingly, people tend not to stay angry at those who readily admit their mistakes and prove it by embracing the consequential workload. Think The McCann's. So that is what you could say in response to these heavily-suggestive enquiries, isn't it.

Now, then. I'm no stranger to danger, including suicide (teens). So let me answer an unspoken question of yours: As I stood there, going, 'One, Two, Three...HHHHH!...' in readiness to jump, was I crying in misery and despair? No, I wasn't. I was euphoric and filled with HOPE. I even giggled like a kid about to open a Xmas present! The drop was THE most beautiful, mesmerising view I'd ever clocked eyes on in my life and I could not WAIT! Course not.... when things change, FEELINGS AND OPINIONS change... Different rules entirely. "Stupid bloody mother" grabbed me (by the hair) in the nick of time. See? You can't win! You're not that powerful that you can "make" someone kill themselves or call preventing them the right thing to do for them (for some it isn't, for some it is, for some it's instant promotion, for some it's them quitting lazily). If you exile someone to independence of mind or they're so independent-minded to begin with that you couldn't parent them if you tried, and they act accordingly, then you have to wonder why Fate allowed this state and allowed them to position themselves on that ledge in the first place. And here's the rub for me: I've been 'here' and I've been 'there', in all arenas, and neither place and state was ever worse or better, just DIFFERENT. Same joy, different location/Same sh*t, different location...bit of both... *always* bit of both. So even over-reactively rejecting this mortal coil, it being ALLOWED to happen, would have just resulted in DIFFERENT. In my case, instantly promoting myself would have meant starting the new job devoid of prior, adequate training, meaning, I'd have had to have trained on-the-job. So logically you can appreciate that you can't avoid having to train, right? But I got "told", NO. Not you. Not yet. You're a crap multi-tasker (which was true) and you're needed down here, still, so - training first, promotion second... whereupon I got well and truly involved (clever Fate, manoeuvring my mother like that).

But, as you see, other people are allowed to at least TRY to exert their influence. That's what you failed to do IN THE RUN UP, when you could have. The RUN-UP was your cue, and you missed it or were allowed to miss it OR BOTH (despite both were inter-reliant units of the whole). And the run-up consisted of you emotionally EDUCATING your daughter so that she was aware of the choices open to her when 'stood there alone' without your being manoeuvred. Just neglect, not manslaughter. Just failure at having made any attempt. Atonement for that is perfectly do-able. You're only being punished for having been a mentally lazy cow that just so happened to catalyse one decision over any others. :-) Easily remediable, yes?... despite you can't bring her back and make her the direct benefit of your learned lesson (and if you could, who says she or the universe would thank you for it?). Tell yourself your daughter is perfectly okay, possibly as happy as Larry, not least because the one alternative choice she DID know was open to her yet DIDN'T give into was... SITTING ON HER ARSE DOING *NOTHING - EVER* - BUT WHINGING.

If it's possible then logic dictates it must BE permissible. Look at what ISN'T possible. Let me just flap my arms furiously...see if I take off........................ NOPE.... There you go, now you know what's not human-permissible, and there must be a very good reason for that despite you aren't allowed to know what it is. "Somebody" LET you be a lazy cow because it served "their" purpose as well as your daughter's plus AT THE SAME TIME was going to have the highly efficient side-effect of FOISTING onto you a seriously overdue LESSON that YOU needed, as much as your daughter needed to get off this ride in favour of another and as much as "they" could see she'd be far more useful to THEM anyway (because they don't allow wastage).

You don't have to see things the way I do but I TELL YA, there is NOTHING like being stood in that gateway situated in Reality Level One to be instantly shunted onto the right track towards eventually working out what life must be all about. TRAINING/BOOT CAMP. Ready for working your way up the ranks. "Someone(s)" spotted that your daughter was not a grunt but officer material, a cut above the majority, and took her out of training straight into the officer's camp. That your inactivity allowed rather than prevented Fate's wishes or permission coupled with your daughter's wishes when it came to that 'ON switch' getting flicked (teamwork), made you the Sergeant who failed to assert either her protest or sign her agreement to that order form from head camp. It's like your corporal tried to hand you the form and you said, 'Oh, I haven't got time; just stamp it as Read'. That act as constituted a neglect of duty was noted as a separate entity to whatever your daughter was on her way to deciding, whereby the CONSEQUENCE conveniently contained in your daughter's 'acceptance' of that offer - specifically, your loss of a secretly, quietly star troop without you being given any replacement AND an order to send you back to re-train on your own time for that job aspect - was your lesson to in future DO YOUR JOB BETTER, BE MORE PROACTIVE, KEEP YOUR EYES ON *ALL* OF YOUR AREAS OF DUTY, NOT JUST THE ONES YOU PREFER. Even if a protest had got declined or your sanctioning never capable of having made any actual difference to head camp's decision, you were still duty bound to have LODGED your reaction to it in either of those two ways.

Back to boot camp evening class, 2-5 years, take it 'like a man', see the good it'll do you, end up grateful, thank your daughter for having been instrumental, see her in a new, admirable light for her gobsmacking will and determination (never mind if you feel it was aimed in the wrong direction), mark that with a shrine (be it mental or material), realise (like the McCann's) that the human sector of grievers had been deemed to need an added member (of your shape and colour), breathe a sigh of relief you weren't booted out of the army altogether (thus realise you must have usable potential), embrace that new role, do your bit to change an aspect of this plane for the better, turn your daughter's relocation lemons into lemonade and thereby MAKE IT COUNT DOWN HERE TOO, MAXIMISE IT. Like the giant hints all around are telling you to do.

See that process as akin to a snowy, slippery path. It can take roughly 2 years for you to walk it (get over the worst of it), or 5 to flail and fall your way there. The difference is SNOW SHOES (face-to-face counselling) versus bog-standard ones. Are you [a] life-smart or someone who was also due a prior pending reward (meaning, an easier lesson), or [b] a bit of an idiot or someone who deserves that lengthier lesson (for other past misdemeanors)? What you do next will tell you which.

Hopefully what I've relayed might kick start you or pull you out of or prevent your falling into inertia (...assuming you read it again and again until it goes PING!).

You see, we're catalysts too. And of ALL the forums in ALL the ether world, you happened to walk into ours.

This thread has expired - why not start your own?

B-7