11-05-2018 09:45 PM - edited 11-14-2018 06:00 PM
I came across this site whilst looking for answers. I will keep it brief but some help and guidance would really go along way.. I have 2 children of my own however this is not about my kids. My boyfriend and I have been together a while and he has 2 teenage daughters. We do not live together. Everything was going fine until 2 weeks ago when his eldest daughter, 15 years old, tried to commit suicide. He has sole custody of both girls. I can very much understand the trauma that this creates for the girls. My boyfriend now is experiencing extreme guilt and has shut me off to spend time with the girls. Now while I understand the reason for it and they need him 100%, he is very sad and withdrawn and I just want to make them all feel better. I want to look after him so he can look after his girls. I don't know if anything I do will make things better or worse. I really just want to hear from others who have been through it that it will get better and what my place in all this should be.
11-05-2018 09:51 PM
Hey there @Just-WantToHelp no doubt this is very traumatic and taxing on yourself emotionally as well as your partner. Is the eldest Daughter receiving support for the suicide attempt in the form of counselling etc? Has your partner considered therapy as well? I would recommend also giving SCBS a phone call, they're really good at supporting loved ones who need further strategies around helping families manage suicidal ideation and attempts. There's also Kids Helpline who can be a great resource for parents and partners. We're also here to listen I will tag some members for you too.
What do you do for yourself in the way of self care?
11-05-2018 11:20 PM
Thank you so much. Yes she is receiving the care and medication she needs. Her Dad is very protective and has done all he can do to ensure her wellbeing. Its taken its toll on him which I understand. I just want to know what I can do to make him feel better without getting in the way of their personal family time. His daughter told him not to tell me so I don't want to betray anyone's trust. I just want to make everyone happy again. I am scared I push him further away if I keep pushing.
11-06-2018 09:58 AM
It is really good to hear that she is receiving care and support! Getting help early can make a world of difference.
Feelings of suicide within a family are really hard, particuarly when there is a young person involved.There is a grief period where each person in the family takes their own time to process what is happening and work out what they can do to support each other. It sounds like that is the space you might be in right now, is that right?
It sounds like you are really trying to do everything you can to support your partner, including knowing when he may need some space to work out how to support his daughter. We often see young people scared to let people know what is really going on, and letting everyone in the situation know you are there to support them if they need it can go a really long way. Sometimes people may not want to talk about something directly, but just knowing you are there if they need a listening ear can be reassuring.
One thing I do really want to emphasise is that recovery does happen for a lot of young people having these thoughts. With the right supports from families and professionals, young people can work through experiences of trauma and move forward with their own individual recovery. We are holding hope that your partner's daughter will also be able to take steps forward with her recovery
11-06-2018 12:09 PM
A suicide attempt is such a scary thing not just for the individual but for the family. I can say it really turned our world upside down. Guilt, shame and sadness doesn't even begin to cover it. I know that after my daughters attempt I could not leave her alone for even a second and that went on for a couple of months. Maybe if your BF has a family member that she could hang with for a couple hours he could meet you for coffee. He will really need you for a sounding board when he is ready. But I know right now he is probably still in shock. It will take time before he will feel its safe to break free for short periods of time. I actually took a leave of absence from my job for several weeks.
Hang in there. Just let him know you are there when he is ready.
11-06-2018 08:38 PM - edited 11-06-2018 08:52 PM
Thank you so much for your kind words and replying to my message @Jess1-RO. I am relieved that pulling away from me is normal and the way he is processing it. This happened only 2 weeks ago and its still very fresh. I am really not sure of the stages they will go through?
I will continue to give him the space he needs but be around in the background if he needs to talk. I send him a message every second day just saying that I am thinking of them all and here if he needs me. I also drop off lunch at his work once a week, just to make sure he is eating. I feel its a personal family issue that they need to deal with and I feel its not right to be in their space at this time.
11-06-2018 08:42 PM - edited 11-06-2018 08:53 PM
Thank you so much for your kind words and replying to my message @sunflowermom. I will stand by him at all costs but I am also very confused by it and am trying all I can to understand it all better to know where his head is. I will take your advice and give him the months he needs to process it and hopefully by then both him and her are a bit stronger and we can slowly get back to what we were. I really helps me to know what you felt so I can put it into perspective.
11-07-2018 01:59 PM
I really admire your self awareness and commitment to your partner He is very lucky to have you- I can hear just how much thought and love you are putting into supporting him
ReachOut has some resources about suicide prevention and teens that might be helpful to give you a sense of what the family might be going through right now. We have some articles here if you are interested.
We are thinking of you today! Feel free to post again if you need to chat over the coming weeks- this is a stressful time for you all and I want you to know that we are here for you