My Mind Does Not Know What to Do with This

You know, I’m sitting her rather down tonight. I’m always down but the prevailing thought that has been entering my mind in increasing abundance is this: Kaitlyn exuded happiness and the specialness of an extremely unique, gifted, kind person. I loved her with my whole entire being. For 23 years we shared such a strong bond. I can’t say I knew everything she did in her life, especially when she went away to college, but we still held a close bond. A bond not many people are fortunate to share. I’ve not had many close friends in my life. I guess it’s because I hold such different interest than most women, or maybe I don’t try hard enough, maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, who knows why, but I shared a beautiful bond with Kaitlyn, one that is hard to explain and almost impossible to experience even once in a lifetime.

Then I find out in her suicide note that she has been sad all her life. For me that puts a different light on all the scenes of her life and our time together just she and I and our family. What does that mean? All those happy times were not real? They felt too real for them not to be. Her “occasions of happiness” screams out at me, the ink of those words on that letter burrowing into my brain like a hot poker.

Losing her was horrible beyond words, but knowing she was sad all her life is almost unendurable. I would have given my life to make her life happy.

How can someone so depressed give other people so much happiness? It’s a mystery that I cannot figure out.

Was it real Kaitlyn? It had to have been. My life depends on it.


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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20 Responses to My Mind Does Not Know What to Do with This

  1. Gemma says:

    Hi Rhonda

    I can respond with reference to my friend who died through suicide. In the lead up to his self-harming act, and in the moment he did it, I believe he was in the grips of a dark, cruel suicidal trance – very similar to being possessed, although I know that comparison might offend people. I’m not saying he was evil – but the thing that gripped his soul and overshadowed all the love in his life and his history WAS evil.

    Whatever we call it – depression, psychache, suicidal trance – it is sinister, consuming, clouds someone’s current perception of his or her past and present experiences and can be deadly.

    Kaitlyn experienced genuine happiness, much love and wonderful times with you. I am certain of that. Just as I am certain that my friend had lovely times in his life.

    Acutely suicidal people can’t see their past or current lives holistically or realistically. If they could, they wouldn’t die by suicide. If someone wants to argue “rational suicide”, I’ll come back and say that maybe 1% of suicides, which are more likely to be considered euthanasia, are “rational” and the remaining 99% are the result of overwhelming despair that prevents one from thinking and behaving rationally.

    Rhonda, I mean no insult to your daughter or to other suicide victims. Because they ARE victims – victims of an insidious, destructive force (as above).


  2. catecumen says:

    Gemma, you said it better than I could. The “suicidal trance” is very real, and in the depths of it, it appears that it has lasted forever and will continue forever, and it is impossible to remember that happiness ever existed – but it did, and it was real.


  3. gatito2 says:

    Gemma, once again you have put a great perspective on things. I know how being suicidal affects the mind and memory, but sometimes I forget because it was such a horrible thing that happened. Thank you for letting me see the truth again. Nothing you said was insulting in the least.


  4. gatito2 says:

    You are right I believe.


  5. Your other readers have already said it so well, but I just want to echo that people who are depressed enough to commit suicide are usually not thinking clearly at all and have no ability to maintain a rational perspective. They do honestly believe they have always been and always will be depressed, even when this is not remotely true. It makes me so sad that Kaitlyn never got treatment, and I have to imagine that it is the stigma that kept her from being open about what she was experiencing. So glad you wrote your book…let’s fight that stigma!!


  6. Anonymous. says:

    Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I think everyone who has commented is right- I think when people are in such despair they develop a sort of ” tunnel vision”, and sometimes they interpret situations as black or white. I think they often see things in a way to fit this skewed internal dialogue. I am very sure that the happy times you had with Kaitlyn were real. I think that in that final time of pain, the pain was overwhelming and colored her view of the past. But she obviously loved you very, very much.

    I also wanted to say, introverts are often lovely people. You have a lot to offer the world. I know this is a painful journey and I’m truly sorry this door was opened in your life. But I think you will create goodness and beauty from this pain, just like Kaitlyn found goodness and beauty despite times of pain. It is my hope that you will find the voice that you didn’t know you had.


  7. gatito2 says:

    As I said before anonymous, I don’t know who you are but you always find a way to make me feel better and try to make some kind of sense of what happened. Kaitlyn did know enough to tell us in her suicide note that she loved us very much and we were the best parents in the world. With that, I know our times were real. Thank you for your insight.


  8. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Sharon. I think you and everyone else is right. But sometimes I forget and I need to be reminded. I loved her and still do so much that I can’t even begin to explain the depth of my hurt. But I hurt for her even more. She was so special. What a beautiful person that we lost on 4-11-13. I know all mothers love their children, but she was truely special in so many ways. My life is diminished without her even though I have others that love me. Thank you. May I send you a free book? If so, please email me your address at Maybe you can help me pass the word on about this problem. I get a few copies free and get some at discounts. Most of them are promised out but I would love for your to have one and anyone else that can help me get the word out. Thank you.


  9. mewhoami says:

    I second the previous comments that were made. There is nothing I could add. This is such an amazing support group.


  10. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. I think so too.


  11. Uncle Spike says:

    I agree… I have seen that trance, like an all-engulfing cloud that takes over for that moment (whether for an hour or a month). Think menopause dark clouds x 10,000. That is not meant to trivialise this at all, but having lost someone years ago who was so gentle, happy and kind until that dark cloud appeared, and with someone else who still struggles, I can see it time and time again (albeit so often hidden deep within so that their nearest and dearest have no clue). So, could Kaitlyn be happy and also so sad, yes, I believe that. Both are real and neither are questionable.


  12. jmgoyder says:

    I echo the other comments.


  13. gatito2 says:

    Thank you for those comments too. I believe you are all right. Menopause x 10,000, my gosh how horrible. I suffer from depression too and it got it’s worst when I went through menopause (I know, too much info), got an extremely stressful job, and experienced the empty nest all at the same time. I’ve not been the same since. Mental illness. So much more needs to be learned and done about it….


  14. eewhite85 says:

    Rhonda, from the many things you said of Kaitlyn, I see her as a very giving person, and as one determined to transcend her limits. In fact, I see her as one of the rare people whose true joy comes from giving deeply and continuously, to the point that she gave everything. If I’m anywhere near right about this, then she gave to the point that she felt hollowed out and empty.

    People can and do believe and act simultaneously on seemingly contradictory things, so it is no stretch to see Kaitlyn as happy and depressed all at once. It’s just beyond sad that she ended up in such a dark and destructive place.


  15. Kate says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while now. I don’t remember how I found it–it was something totally unrelated to the topic–but it kind of struck a chord in that a lot of the things you say about Kaitlyn are things my mom says about me. Very high achieving, valedictorian, was/am pre-med, and physically I’m even blonde, have almost the same name, and am less than a year younger than her. And I know what a shock it was to my mom when I attempted suicide at the end of 2012, when I told her I had felt sad my whole life despite what everyone else saw in me.

    As for my story, my parents were furious at me, which made me feel worse and made talk to them even less. I got out of my last hospitalization on April 8, 2013 determined that no matter how I felt, for the sake of everyone else around me I was not going to end my life. It was awful wanting to be dead and illogically actually resenting my family because that was the reason I was staying alive, and I was constantly battling suicidal thoughts. It got worse and worse and harder to not act on them until late December. I had read something you wrote about how you wish she had told you and that you would have done everything possible to help, and it kind of sunk into my head that as afraid as I was of talking to my parents, them being mad at me was nothing compared to how they would feel if I died, that for their sake I needed to do the incredibly difficult thing of trying to save my own life. So on New Year’s Eve 2013 I went to the hospital and got to the psych ward right before midnight. I hated it, but the new medication actually started working. When I got out a week later I had gone from literally constant suicidal thoughts to just a few an hour, which I thought was amazing, and the world seemed a bit brighter. I did a therapy program for a few months that helped a lot and today I haven’t had a single suicidal thought in weeks and actually want to keep living for my sake too, not just for my family.

    I’m writing this because I know you have mentioned wanting to help with suicide prevention, and you in fact already have. I don’t know what it was, maybe your blog just made it seem more real, but this actually was the impetus for me getting help that night and because of that I don’t think I will ever forget you and Kaitlyn. It just isn’t fair that she isn’t still here and I cannot express how sorry I am for your sake, for hers, and for everyone she did and would have affected that she isn’t.

    I am grateful for my own treatment, but it’s heartbreaking now to realize that so many others never had that chance. I thought I had been sad all my life and would always be sad, but I was wrong, and I think about how many thousands of other people were wrong too but never got a chance to see it. When you’re in that suicidal space you really don’t think logically. I truly believed that it was the only option for me and in the long run everyone else would be better for it too. Now that I think back on that with a clearer mind I am horrified that I thought that way, that death seemed like the reasonable choice. I did have depression since I was a child, that was true, but I had happy times too. I couldn’t remember those times when I was suicidal, but that didn’t mean they weren’t real. And people don’t understand this, but even in my most suicidal I still loved and cared about everyone else in my life just as much and even had a fairly positive view of the world in general, it was just my life that I was absolutely incapable of seeing accurately.

    This will sound a bit silly, but I watch Doctor Who and my absolute favorite episode is called Vincent and the Doctor. It’s about Vincent Van Gogh, who killed himself never knowing how successful his art would be. The Doctor and Amy, the girl who travels with him, go back in time to visit Van Gogh and of course deal with the requisite alien of the week, but at the end they decide to take Van Gogh into the future to the Van Gogh museum. He sees how successful he’s become and hears that some people think he is the greatest artist ever. He cries, having never thought he would be anything but a failure as an artist but now seeing instead how revered he and his work are. It’s a very touching scene, and then they all return to bring Van Gogh to his original time and say their goodbyes and he tells them how grateful he is. The Doctor and Amy return to the present, Amy thinking they had saved Van Gogh and there would be years more of his art on display at the museum, but she is devastated to see that he still died the same way. His illness still killed him.

    Anyway, all this to give context to my favorite quote, which is right after they find that Van Gogh died after all.

    Amy Pond: We didn’t make a difference at all.
    The Doctor: I wouldn’t say that. The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. Hey.
    [hugs Amy]
    The Doctor: The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.

    That is how I see life now. I have had a lot of amazing things in my life, but that never kept me from being severely depressed, but then my depression didn’t erase or lessen the good things in my life either. Those happy times were real.


  16. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much Eddie for your very wise words. I do believe them to be true. I thank you for your insight. It makes total sense. And like you said, it’s a tragedy that her bright light burned out so quickly on this earth….she gave all her light away.


  17. gatito2 says:

    Oh Kate, what a very moving comment you have written! I feel like crying, not all because of sadness from the loss of Kaitlyn, but for the fact that I somehow made a difference in your life by what I write. To me, that is Kaitlyn working through me to help others, even though she is not here to do it physically like she dreamed about.

    I don’t know which part of your comments to talk about the most because each and everything you wrote has impacted me a great deal and you have much wisdom in what you wrote. I’m so glad you did not die from that attempt and even though you didn’t want to at the time, you got help and now you are feeling better. I don’t know at what point in your education you are right now, but just remember, in my research there have been many professionals, even MDs that had been depressed, suicidal and even attempted suicide to go on to very successful careers. Please don’t ever forget that.

    I love that story about Dr. Who and Van Gogh. I’m going to have to see if I can’t look up that episode. I love the song long ago about Van Gogh called “Vincent” or “Starry, Starry night.” There is a video on youtube with so many of his paintings and that song. It is beautiful and I have watched it many times after Kaitlyn’s death. She was an artist as well. So many talents.

    Thank you so much for telling your story to me. You don’t know how thankful I am that you are well on your way to feeling better and that you did not cross that line that my daughter crossed and could never cross back over again.

    I am so grateful for your comments. They mean more to me than you can ever know.



  18. I appreciate the offer but I would rather buy your book and support the cause! Have been caught up in a crisis with my mother-in-law, but will be ordering your book tonight. I will definitely be working to get the word out! Please give the free copy to someone who will also help. I so admire what you have done to channel your grief in a positive direction!


  19. gatito2 says:

    Thank you! Thank you for buying my book and getting the word out. Every bit helps so much.


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