When Kaitlyn’s father and I used to go see her at her apartment in the town she went to medical school in, every time we would leave to go back home, before we would even get out of the apartment complex driveway, we always looked at each other and we would talk about Kaitlyn. We would always look at the apartment complex and were so thankful that Kaitlyn had such a nice and safe place to live. Her car was paid for. We always, always talked about how good we felt that Kaitlyn was living her dream, she was in the middle of medical school after all, something she had wanted to do since she was a little girl. She was good with managing her money on her own and was living on her student loans like all medical school students do. She had long ago asked us to quit giving her any money. She had nice furniture that she had perfectly matched to everything she had. She had such wonderful taste. She was a great cook. We always talked about how glad we were that this child of ours was living her dream, and living it comfortably and doing well in school. God we were so proud of her and happy that she was so happy.
We were so thrilled that this child of ours never once caused us heartache, grief and trauma. She was never on drugs or got into any kind of trouble.
Now that she is gone by taking her own life, it calls into question the things that we saw and makes us know that what we saw, in part, was not true. The happiness part was not true. And it makes me feel bad.(which is the greatest understatement in the world). All the times we bragged on her, telling her how wonderful she was, I wonder if we should have carried on so. I wonder if by saying that it put even more pressure on her to try to be perfect.
But I always thought that a parent should praise their children for their accomplishments, and she deserved all the praise she could get. I have heard tales of talented children not getting any praise at all from their parents and their parents always concentrated on any child in their family that had troubles because they were so consumed by them and trying to help them, that the children that were never any trouble got no attention at all. That is not good either.
I often thought of how lucky we were with her that she had not been the victim of drug addiction and all the things that our children so easily fall prey to in this world of ours that we expect them to grow up to be normal in. How can anyone be normal in this world? How was I to know that one of the most dangerous things that could ever happen to someone was happening to my child’s mind? That instead of a drug overdose, she would kill herself on purpose? I never cease to be confounded by the difference in what we perceive to be true, not being true at all.
So what is one to do?
Kaitlyn herself would often tell us how lucky she was by mentioning the very things she had going for her like I stated above. But sometimes I wonder now if she was just trying to convince herself that she did not have any right to be depressed because she “had it all.”
I wish she would have told me.
A dear friend lost her middle son the same way. Our accountant’s step son struggled for years and sadly succumbed. So many stories such as these cross our paths daily. The professor sends hope your way as time marches on pain dims memories do not… one day at a time is all…..
She hurt and
But you couldn’t see
in her eyes
because she just
It wasn’t your fault …you didn’t brag to much too loud
the disease of depression is no ones ‘fault’
it just is….
I know, I just feel I should have seen it.
Thank you. It happens way too much.
Even mothers or maybe especially mothers don’t see it because we view our children as children no matter thier age. We don’t ‘see’ the pain or hurt of depression because we look through eyes of love.
As one that suffers this debilitating disease I can tell you I wear the mask of smiles quite well. I am so sorry for your pain, wish I could give you a hug and hand you a box of tissues over a cup of coffee and just listen.
You loved her completely – you did nothing wrong – you couldn’t possibly have known. xxx
I know….it’s just that….
I have been where she was in a way. I’ve tried to kill myself many times before. Let me tell you it was NOT your fault. You could not have known. When in that position, we try to hide our grief from everyone, especially our loved ones. We are very secret about what we are planning and we sort of become masters of disguise. When dealing with depression, some of us start to become the best liars in the world in order not to hurt anyone we care about. We don’t want them to see our pain and worry.
I know that the fact you didn’t know kills you, but like I said, in that position, some of us, we become masters of disguise and the best actors or actresses in the world. We can fool anyone into thinking we are just fine, especially our loved ones. I know this may not help, but it’s the truth in how I see it having been there myself, this is what I did. I became the best actress in the world. For me, my eating disorder helped this along, but I would’ve been the best actress without it too. I taught myself long before my eating disorder started to hide my pain from my loved ones as to not hurt them. It was kind of an automatic response for me.
I hope this maybe helps you understand a little bit. *hugs* I’ve been where she was in a way, but I’ve also lost loved ones to suicide. Being on both sides of the spectrum… I don’t know. Just know I’m thinking of you and sending good, healing vibes your way. The pain doesn’t go away, but it does get easier. That’s probably not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth.
Thank you. Your comment does go far in helping me understand. She told me in her letter that she had hid it from me all her life. I just have a hard time with realizing she hid it to keep from hurting us, but the reality is, it hurt 1 billion times more to lose her. It is so complicated.
I hope you continue to find peace and
relief from your depression and eating disorder. So many things many of us go through in this world.
I’m glad I could help you understand a bit. In having lost people, it does hurt much more to lose someone than to witness their pain and suffering and be able to try to help them through it. It is very complicated.
Thanks. I am working on it in outpatient at the moment and trying to get to inpatient for everything I struggle with(they’re looking at drug/alcohol rehab that also treats other mental health along side).