Question: Dear Luise: I was in a live-in relationship with a wonderful woman but she had a terrible time with alcohol. There was so much violence, I finally moved out. The following week, she killed herself. That was over a year ago. I’ve relocated and have done my best to move on but I’m floundering. Do you have any advice to offer people who get left behind? Thank you. Sam
Answer: Dear Sam: You can’t hurry the process I know that. It takes a very long time, even though we’re all very different, to put such an experience in the past. Find a capable counselor to help you, if you haven’t already.
We pick people who are wounded because they are loveable, wounds and all. Also, some of us are so wounded ourselves that we are the most comfortable with others who have traveled similar paths. Unfortunately two broken people seldom make a whole relationship.
I would suggest that you look closely at how you are presently living your life to see if isolation is a component. If it is, see where you might begin to mingle with others again. Consider church, hobby organizations, or a group that focuses on suicide survivors. What’s available in your area that you are interested in? Healing often accelerates with contact.
I have a friend who started writing her thoughts about her spouse’s suicide in a notebook. She soon realized she had to find a way to separate her husband’s problems from her own. It was, for her, the way through the unfounded guilt that was crushing her.
What have you learned from your experience that you might be willing to share with others? Would you want to volunteer on a crisis hotline after some training, perhaps? It’s hard to make viable suggestions when I don’t know your age or education, but one thing that is true for one and all is the pain will lessen, even if it never goes away…and helping others helps us.
Sometimes relocation can make it harder. You have friends you left behind, doubtlessly, that could give you some much-needed support. Since it’s been over a year, have you considered returning to the familiar? It’s a thought.
No matter what you do, it’s a long tough haul. Blessings, Luise