Happy Birthday to me

So today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me. Only thing is, I can never truly be happy about anything ever again. I’m 53 years old today. Where the time went in my life, I don’t know.

So since it is my birthday, I’m going to post a totally selfish entry into my blog. It’s the only present to myself and I guess it’s ok that I do it. I want to take this post and whine and blabber on about just how miserable I am. I know I’ve done this so many times in my posts, but now I want to do it deliberately and methodically just the way my daughter did when she took her life….deliberately and methodically.

The day my daughter took her life (or the day I found out about it the next day) was without a doubt the worst day of my life. Nothing I’ve ever been through has come close. The next thing closer to how I feel is many lightyears away, and if you’re the kind of person that knows how far away a lightyear is, then you know how far away that is. I want to say right here and now for those that don’t know, I have suffered depression for a number of years which started in 1999. Then miraculously, for the next 10 years, it went away. I was happy. Then I started a stressful job and after almost 3 years of that it came back with a vengeance. From 2009 I have had a horrible time with depression and have tried many medications, many psychiatrists, many counselors and on and on. The thing is, I had no reason to be depressed. I had a wonderful husband and children, I had a good job a comfortable home, we lacked for nothing, we weren’t rich, but we had enough and life was good. But for some reason, I became depressed. That is the myth of depression for so many people. People think that if you have everything going well in your life, how could you be depressed? But that belief is a falsehood. There are chemicals in your brain that if they are not working right can cause depression. Yes, some depression is situational, for instance if someone is on drugs, has a bad family life, is a victim of bullying and things such as this, people can become depressed. But so many times one can seem to have everything and they are still depressed. This is where some cruelty comes in. People think they have no right to be depressed, so many people have a reason and they should not be depressed. I’m here to tell you, you can have it all and still be depressed. This is what apparently happened to my daughter Kaitlyn. The world was hers for the taking. She seemingly had it all and I so foolishly thought that the happiness she portrayed to me showed how she really felt inside. But I was wrong. I showed my depression and got help for it, she did not. I try not to blame myself too much, because she showed me what she wanted me to see. I don’t know why. Maybe she was worried that since I had my problems with depression, she didn’t want to make things worse for me by admitting her own. I just don’t know.

But for the past year, I have been maintained on medication and have had a good year. Me and Kaitlyn even spoke about that very fact when she was home the last time. Then in a few days she goes and kills herself.

I am so very thankful that so many people came to her visitation and funeral. It’s a testament of how well she was loved and what her friends thought of her. I was so glad people showed their love for her.

I’m also very thankful for all the many, many people that have reached out to me on Facebook, email, my blog, that know me and don’t know me to try to help me through this. So many people have also lost loved ones to suicide and know the horrendous pain it causes. So many people have not experienced this and yet they still comfort me with kind words and it also helps me immensely. For all of you, I am so thankful. Not once has anyone said anything inappropriate, or something that would hurt me because my daughter killed herself. For this, I’m also thankful. I would have never tolerated anyone saying anything bad about my daughter and what her depression caused her to do. Thankfully, I did not have to endure that.

My husband has his path to travel with his grief. My daughter has her path. My parents and my mother in law, and all of Kaitlyn’s other family and her friends and her boyfriend and past boyfriends, they all have their own paths to walk in this path of grief and disbelief. I do not diminish anyone’s feelings. So many people loved Kaitlyn because quite honestly, she was one of the most special people I have ever known in so many, many ways.

But my path is the one of a mother’s. My bond with her was so special and what I have lost is immense. I have lost part of my soul, part of my being, and my future has been so horribly altered. I wrapped myself up in her and her happiness was of extreme importance to me. I was in awe of my own daughter and I admit it. If I am guilty of anything, it was that I may have loved her too much. If that is possible, then I’m very guilty of it.

A major part of my life was watching her achieve, marveling at her intellect and her drive and her accomplishments. I looked so forward to the times when we were together and we could have our wonderful talks and I could enjoy the beautiful personality that she had. I loved her beyond anything I could have ever imagined. And now she is gone. Just what am I supposed to do with that? How do I live this piece of life that I have left? People say take it one second, then one minute, then one hour, then one day, then one year at a time and just remember to breathe. Good advice, but not pleasant to think about. All those seconds that turn into years that I breathe is the same as the last, something miserable and indescribable and inhumane. To think of them stretched out in years is unfathomable.

If losing her was not enough, it’s how I lost her that I can’t come to terms with. She is the last person on the face of this earth that I would have ever thought would take her own life. To me, this was never something I thought about with her. Yes, every time she drove out of our driveway in that black Honda Civic, I worried so much for her. I worried about her living by herself in this evil world and all the things that could happen to a young woman, but I never worried about this.

Funny though, I once read an old proverb that I can’t remember verbatim, but it goes something along the lines that our children are never really ours. They were given to us to love and to nurture until they are ready to go out into the world. I always felt this with Kaitlyn. She was mine, but not really mine because she was so talented and gifted and had so much to offer the world, she would one day leave me and go far away. I was totally prepared and accepting of this. Only thing is, I didn’t know she would go THIS far and it would not be this world that would benefit anymore from the wonderful person she was. I was totally unprepared for this and I cannot accept it.

My grief is indescribable but oh how I try as evidenced by the many, many blog entries I have here. It still does not even come close to the depths of my sorrow.

Happy Birthday? I don’t think so, but thanks for all the well wishes just the same. They do mean so much to me.

To Kaitlyn, I love you and I know you would wish me happy birthday if you could.

I miss my friend Kaitlyn. I miss you.

In black


About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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17 Responses to Happy Birthday to me

  1. Ellen Ross says:

    Thinking of you today.


  2. Lucia Woody says:

    You and your family are navigating this uncharted, unchosen path bravely, with honesty, compassion and so much love. God be with you in every way.


  3. Anna says:

    I too lost my son Daniel to suicide, every word you wrote is me, Daniel past 7 years ago, but it is just as though it was yesterday, You will get to a place where you feel more debilitated, never give up, hold on to the word HOPE, Your mind will tell you silly things, hold on, please contact me, even if it is with one only stroke of a key, I will be here to help you. You don’t have to say anything, I will know where your at, I am 51, we all need to help each other, I don’t want to say sorry for your loss, you know exactly where Kaitlyn is. If I can help with the grief ,depression and the loneliness of loosing your precious daughter, I’m here, Love and compassion to your family.


  4. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Anna. Those are some of the kindest words I’ve ever read and I appreciate them. Some days I don’t know how I’ll get to the next. Then for a few minutes I may feel peace, but it never lasts. Then I’m thrust even further into grief. But I’m sure you know.


  5. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. Oh how I wish I had never known this path. It’s filled with too many thorns and jagged rocks.


  6. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Ellen. It’s hard.


  7. Rebecca Benton says:

    Rhonda, you are the bravest person I know. You wear your heart so all of us can know your precious daughter. We are all in this with you. You are never alone dear. One comment from you that you need us and we will be there. God Bless you and your family.


  8. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Rebecca. The great love I have for my daughter is what compels me to write. It is my outlet, the only one that helps in the slightest. Thank you so much.


  9. katriter says:

    I really appreciate what you said about being depressed when there was no outward cause. That was my depression too. My Mom couldn’t understand it (I was 44 I’m now 62) because I had every reason to be happy. She said i just had too much time on my hands and to just shake it off. I know you would have listened if Kaitlyn would have given you a chance. But that chemical imbalance was there for all of us. I only felt more guilty and depressed knowing my life was great. Your baby girl and you and I were victims. I am so sorry you are dealing with this tragedy. You are helping so many people with your blog. I’m sure your daughter is proud of you.


  10. gatito2 says:

    I hope Kaitlyn is proud of me. Sometimes I wonder if it’s her that is driving me to write all I do. So many people don’t understand depression and they think people can just shake it off. It doesn’t work that way. It’s a disease that needs treatment just like heart disease or diabetes. People need to know this.


  11. katriter says:

    Yes! And you my friend are opening many eyes to that fact. Thx


  12. katriter says:

    I think you are right. I feel Kaitlyn working through you. Still helping others.


  13. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. I hope so.


  14. luciddream85 says:

    I’ve been reading for the past few days, and back-tracking through your blogs. I can’t even imagine. I have a nine year old daughter, and I just can’t even comprehend this. You don’t live too far away from me, either. I was watching the video you posted before Kaitlyn when to college, and you mentioned Campbell, which is in the area of my old stomping grounds.

    I attempted suicide years and years ago, as a teenager. I will never quite figure out if it was for attention, or if I just wanted to the emotional pain to stop, so physical pain was a better alternative.

    Are you ever angry with Kaitlyn? I can see how sad you are, and how you feel so empty and void since she passed. I just wondered if you were angry that she took her life and left you in such pain. Though as hard as it is to understand the how’s and why’s of an action, it’s also known that depression is nothing to take lightly.

    You’re in my thoughts. Saying sorry does nothing for someone who has lost everything. I just hate you have to go through it.


  15. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much for your comment. Losing a child, no matter what their age, is the worst pain any person can go through. I’ve heard many people say this, and it’s true. I thought that when she died, I would die soon thereafter from the sheer heartbreak of it, but here I still am, I don’t know how. Losing one of my children was always the worst thing I could imagine and would push that thought out of my mind immediately if I ever thought about it because it was too painful to even think about it. Now I live it.

    When she took her life we were grief stricken, in disbelief, horrified, and every horrible feeling you can imagine, but we were never, ever angry with her. She said in her suicide note that we would probably be angry with her. She said she would have died years ago but the thought of the pain it would cause us made her not do it. She said she was going to wait until we lived our own “beautiful lives” many years into the future before she would do it, but to please forgive her that she could not go on anymore. We were never angry with her because we know how far depression can take someone and many times the pain that they know they will cause their loved ones is overtaken by the desire to end their mental pain. When someone takes their own life, they are not thinking rational. Kaitlyn has always been the most rational person I have ever met in my life. Depression in the end overtook that.

    Sometimes when I’m alone I will cry out “you left me!!!” But I only mean it when I’m in the depths of sorrow and not in anger.

    I appreciate your asking this question because many times people are mad when someone takes their own life. They think they are cowards and how could they just leave like that. But the only thing they are doing is trying to end their horrible mental pain. They are not cowards, they suffer a disease. I hate knowing Kaitlyn suffered this pain for years in silence and did not tell anyone. Oh how I wish she would have told us. I love her and miss her so much.

    Thank you for reading my blog. It means a lot to me. Yes, she went to Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC about 2 hours away from our very small town of Clarkton, NC. (towards Wilmington, NC).

    Please keep in touch. I really do appreciate your kind words.


  16. waywardweed says:

    I read your blog and will be following you. You have a lot of supporters which is good, but, of course, that will not stop the pain. It may help a little, however. I mentioned yesterday, I, too, lost a child (to a birth defect), but what has been worse for me is accepting my son’s (who is alive) mental illness since it doesn’t end. It has been going on for twenty years, and I daily grieve the “what could have been.” I have another son. It helps, but not completely since I have chronic depression. Anyway, I’ll be thinking of you and your beautiful daughter.


  17. gatito2 says:

    I am so sorry for all the sadness in your life. I wish for you to find happiness. It’s a hard world to live in.


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