Hurt PeopleJun 21, 2021
Not all Father’s Days have the same meaning. Not for my friend anyway.
*Trigger warning: Addiction/Partner Suicide
She was married to someone who was mentally ill. He had depression and anxiety and he would self medicate: Only in a way that he was self destructive. He was loving and kind but somehow could not manage to pull himself away from alcohol and drugs. This addiction led to them falling apart month after month. . She felt like as a mom she had to take a stand and set an example for her kids.
That you ask for people to change behaviors that are going to adversely affect them and you. If they don’t, you take a stand and either ask them to get out or you leave. It will not be easy, but it will be important. There is no way to sugar coat this. You don’t want your children exposed to the emotional hijackings of living with a drug or alcohol dependent individual.
I really don’t know the back story. Reportedly, that is why Angelina-Jolie filed for a divorce from Brad Pitt. I imagine this is a lot more common than just my friend’s story.
Here’s what’s different. On father’s day following the time that she had set out to split from her husband, he committed suicide. This was in the house that he was staying in with her three children. The kids found him and called her.
I can’t begin to understand how this must have felt to her or her kids.
I can tell you that she felt horribly guilty. As if her severing ties with him led to this.
That is why I am sharing this with all of you here today.
People are unpredictable. Mostly hurt you back when they are hurt. In a case like this, they even go to such extreme measures to have the last word. It will feel awful and miserable. There is no way to sugar coat this. It is suffering. It is nothing less than that.
But it does get me to the point I want to share here. As all wisdom, it is not my own. Eckhart Tolle talks about how so much of human suffering is optional. I mean, when we lose someone, it is sad. We also get to choose how we will feel about it afterwards.
What was good about this person’s life? Anything? How about the kids that are now the result of that life? Can you latch on to that? Can you celebrate his life? Can you find it in your heart to recognize and accept that he was ill? Can you see how this is exactly the result of the fact that he was mentally not well?
You did nothing wrong.
He was going to end up here because he was not well.
You did not push him over the edge.
I am not trying to minimize her experience. It would SUCK to have Father’s Day be a reminder of your one special person you married, had children with, created boundaries and when they broke those boundaries you chose to stand up for yourself and walk away only to have them end their life.
People will do a variation of this to other people all the time.
It’s hard to know what went through his head. Was it an intentional or accidental overdose? Did he mean to teach the world a lesson. There were no notes. So we will never truly know.
As I tell my girls: Hurt people hurt people.
You get to decide. If you want to make it mean intentionally. If you want to actually experience additional suffering because you are choosing to somehow believe you had anything to do with this outcome.
Truly, you get to decide what thoughts will create what type of experience for you.
My love to all of you that are carrying the burden of a broken relationship with your spouse and have to be reminded of it every single father’s day.
Have awareness of the suffering. Separate what’s optional and what’s actually there. Take only what you absolutely have to carry on that cross.
With so much love and Aloha.
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