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Author Topic: How do you cope with constant suicide threats?  (Read 451 times)
FaithHopeLove
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« on: September 19, 2019, 07:15:44 AM »

So here I am in West Africa getting texts from my BPD son in the states about how he is going to 'die soon" meaning suicide. He does this a lot and has made some serious attempts. He said he will "be at peace'" after he does it. I told him that I and all who love him will be in a living hell if he does it and asked him if this is what he wants. No response. This feels like psychological torture. I know others go through this too. How do you cope?
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Faith
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Swimmy55
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2019, 12:28:59 PM »

Hi Faith,
I completely know your fear as a mother/ parent.  My DS's first suicide talk/ plan was when he was in 6th grade which resulted in a hospital stay.   It is terrible we can't do that with our adult kids without their consent.  After years of my own therapy , etc, the bottom line is what we already know:
1. Their suicide threats can be real
2. Even if they are threatening just to provoke, they can still kill themselves by accident. 
3.There is no way to stop a suicide of an adult if he is hell bent on it. 

Even though you are away, suicide can happen right under our noses, so proximity means nothing.  Famous author Danielle Steele wrote about her adult son's suicide that took place in her guest house with a paid live- in therapist in another room of this guest house.  This drives home the point of how powerless we are . 

My son told me before this latest nightmare of me obtaining a restraining order , etc,  that if he decides to kill himself, it is his right and his body. 

So it is a daily coming to  that this could happen and somehow I have to make my peace  with that knowledge.  This is a work in progress and I am not sure we ever get there completely. I know I am not there.  Think about all you have done and are still doing for your DS and know that is enough.  Because it has to be.  The laws are terrible for the mentally unstable, but that is the reality we have to deal with and I am sick with anger over it.
I sometimes am convinced I will see police at my door or a phone ringing about my son, and it is agony.
I am certain others will chime in here .  Again, the only way to get through these thoughts   are to put my attention back onto me.  I am not sure if you can bear to do this, but since DS is near DH, can you block your phone against DS for maybe 24 hours at a time to get some peace for you?  Your DH will certainly contact you if there is a real issue at hand  . email in to 12 step al anon , write here as often as you have to.  We are here with you.
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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2019, 12:45:16 PM »

My husband is in Africa with me now. He came yesterday. I have no idea how to make peace with this reality.
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Faith
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2019, 12:57:46 PM »

Faith, I’m told by both my adult kids who live here that they will kill themselves on at least a weekly basis. There is zero peace to be made with that kind of talk. Swimmy did not mince words here and I’m extremely grateful for this harsh reality.

I will call 911 if I truly believe they will or are taking action. Other than that I will not call 911 every few days, I will not stand guard, I will not count their meds, I will not stay up all night watching over them. I’ve heard many stories of suicides happening IN psych wards, IN hospitals IN jails.

None of this makes this reality any easier to accept, but it proves to me that is indeed, reality. I can offer loving words, I can offer to pay for therapy, I can offer some DBT coping skill suggestions, I can try my best to take care of me.

Faith, it is debilitating living all day everyday with kids threatening suicide, but it is just a traumatizing when you are away. Please take care of you.

Last thought, last fall myDS 24 was living 4 hours away and called frantic and suicidal, I did call 911 and reported him to be suicidal. They picked him up took him to hospital and he was released the next day. Maybe it did prevent a suicide, we will never know, but I felt it had to be done.
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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2019, 01:26:36 PM »

I am debating whether to call 911. I don't even know if I can from here. My husband says no. It will only make our son angrier. If I call police will show up with the ambulance. DS has a very bad reaction to that. I am trying to get through to the suicide hotline now. I know this is reality. I can't control what my son does. I do need to know I did my best though.
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Faith
Harri
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2019, 01:33:02 PM »

Hi Faith. 

I think calling the hotline is a good idea especially as calling 911 is such a trigger for your son. 

Does he have anyone in his life you can call to go visit with him?  Not to tell him you are concerned but to just show up and maybe spend time with him?

Just thinking out loud here.

Let us know how you make out with the hotline.   Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2019, 01:42:30 PM »

He just texted me saying he wants to handle this in the family and not "outsource" it to a hotline. His sister is nearby. He says he may call her. She cant call him because of restrictions on his court issued phone. Now he is saying he is OK and going out with friends. He has a court date on Monday. His sister is supposed to drive him. I am praying he makes it to Monday. One day at a time.
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Faith
Swimmy55
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2019, 01:55:47 PM »

You did the right thing.  I didn't realize your husband wasn't there with him, I am so glad his sister is nearby.
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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2019, 01:58:10 PM »

Thank you for reassuring me I did the right thing. I was in the FOG for a minute when he said things like "You care about the whole world but you neglect your family.'
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Faith
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2019, 02:33:27 PM »

For future reference -is there a particular hotline our BPDFamily refers to? How do these work? If someone is suicidal do the hotline folks call 911? Aren’t most folks that call a suicide hotline, suicidal?
I’ve called the mental health crisis line before and they helped me with involuntary hospitalization plans for a BiPolar episode, but never called a suicide hotline.
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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2019, 02:47:59 PM »

Peacemom maybe this will help. Suicide Protocol
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Faith
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2019, 05:43:32 PM »

Hi Faith

So sorry to hear this, I'm on catch up here. I'm wondering if your H's departure is a trigger, what do you think?

A 15 minute chat can bring back to baseline. Your son needs a personal safety plan that he owns, and he can do that with a health care professional.

You mention court Monday, does DS have a care plan he's attending yet Faith? The first thing they address is suicide ideation.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

WDx

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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2019, 05:49:12 PM »

He is not functional enough to develop a safety plan yet. I dont know if he ever will be. I also don't know if he has a care plan or not. I suspect the trigger this time was court. There really is little I can do at this point but pray and hope and try to find peace through radical acceptance. It is not an easy road
« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 06:02:36 PM by FaithHopeLove » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2019, 06:07:35 PM »

I thought that too.  Virtual hug (click to insert in post) It was the DBT therapist that got her there with safety plan.

Hope x
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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2019, 06:19:15 PM »

Perhaps at some point he will find a good therapist who can help him in ways his father and I cannot. It is up to him to make that choice though. It is not in our hands.
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2019, 12:40:31 PM »

Oh Faith, it is so hard when a child swims in the deep end.

Did he call his sister?

I think it is both scary for him, and healthy, that he is managing this on his own. He is doing his best and he could do better.

Same for us.

How did you respond when he said you loved the world more than him?
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2019, 01:07:52 PM »

Oh Faith!

As I read this thread, I am speechless.  No parent should have to go through what you are going through.  I can only imagine how much harder it is being you are now so far away.  I'll bet it was a difficult decision to make to follow through with your plans.  I'm thinking, had you done otherwise, you would have been setting yourself up to be held hostage from here on in....always dependent on your son.

You write...."It is up to him......it's not in our hands."  Hard words to write, I am sure, but oh so true.  There is only so much we can do for anyone and that includes the ones we love so much.

There are times when I pick on words-of-wisdom/truth like that and repeat and repeat them in order to bolster myself and help shake off any guilt that is trying to attach itself to me.  From what you have shared over the months, it is pretty obvious that you and your husband have done anything and everything you could think of doing to help this love-of-your-lives.

I'm joining the others here in the group hug.

Huat   With affection (click to insert in post)
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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2019, 01:10:09 AM »

Excerpt
How did you respond when he said you loved the world more than him?


I did not take the bait. I just told him that I do love him and asked how I could help. Today he seems a little better.
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Faith
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2019, 09:27:24 AM »

Hi Faith

So stressful to be having this convo while you are out of the country. I feel for you. I too am dealing with these threats from my kiddo and it's painful.

I really like the Suicide Protocol link provided above and have bookmarked that for myself.

I think calling the hotline to talk with them is a good thing for you to do and also figuring out to call 911 if you have to or can.

I actually volunteer as a Crisis Responder for the Canadian texting line and I feel like it's helped me with also dealing with my situation. One thing we are taught is to really talk about with our texters is that even though they are feeling suicidal reaching out and sharing that with someone shows that they are fighting those urges and are fighting to live. Really hard. So we talk about how strong they are for fighting and for being so honest about the painful place they are in. And we try to then talk about those they love and care for and about connecting with them as a way to not be alone as they fight through those feelings. If that's not possible we then encourage them on ways to stay safe and talk about a plan doing it together.

Happy to share more with you if you feel it would be helpful.

I too am struggling as even though I help others I've not been able to do so well with my own child and that's painful. They may or may not conquer those thoughts and that's something I struggle with every day.

Hugs.
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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2019, 09:50:09 AM »

Excerpt
One thing we are taught is to really talk about with our texters is that even though they are feeling suicidal reaching out and sharing that with someone shows that they are fighting those urges and are fighting to live. Really hard. So we talk about how strong they are for fighting and for being so honest about the painful place they are in.
That sounds like something I could tell my son. Yes I would like to hear more about what you text to suicidal people. I was unable to call suicide prevention from here.
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Faith
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« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2019, 10:11:38 AM »

For sure. It's about validating the valid right? Validating the pain they are in, the hopelessness they feel.

Appreciate their honesty in sharing that with you. Appreciate where they are and what they are feeling. Appreciate their strength in fighting.

And you can ask then about what kinds of things have they done in the past when they have felt that way? Who have they reached out to for support before? What can you plan together a way to keep them safe? And then work on a Safety Plan. Talk to someone - who? Person, therapist, ER, crisis line? Don't be alone. Can they take themselves to ER? Can someone else? Can they call 911 or ask the crisis line to do that.

Do they have hobbies or things they like that can help to take the focus off those thoughts - drawing, painting, watching TV, playing video games, sleeping? Distracting away from thinking those and often if they can push through they can push through.

Make sense?
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Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2019, 10:20:10 AM »

Yes that all makes sense
 My son refuses to go to the hospital or call 911. Any other suggestions meet with negativity.
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2019, 10:25:48 AM »

Okay.

1. Assess risk - do they have a plan? do they have a time? do they have the means? Ask them.

2. Have they thought about sharing how they feel with a professional? A therapist?

3. What good things can they do for themselves or what good people can they be with to distract and take the focus away?
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FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2019, 11:00:32 AM »

Thanks BlueMoon
That is very helpful
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Faith
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« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2019, 11:40:47 AM »

You are welcome Faith. It's not an easy road to navigate and you are not alone.

If you determine through asking that they have a plan, a time in mind and the means then they do need to get to the hospital or safe place.

So we call police when they have all 4 - intent, plan, time and means.

Take care and hugs.
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PeaceMom
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« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2019, 01:01:33 PM »

Blue,
This is very helpful to know. Are you taught that generally these strong feelings pass and the person you are speaking with seems to get some clarity if you stay connected long enough?

In my DD19 uBPD these thoughts seems to be a classic BPD type response to an event. I can see how a help line suggesting DBT skills can help them cool off.

My son and his BP depression and suicidal thoughts seem very different as they seem driven by true depression and hopelessness. It’s fairly devastating having 2 kids living here that struggle with not wanting to live. Meanwhile I’m usually enjoying nature, music, good books, cooking etc. I’m living in a parallel universe right next to them. My home life could be a movie.
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Bluemoon23
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« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2019, 01:18:25 PM »

@Peacemom. That's a great question. My own kid struggles with lack of motivation and hopelessness. I've done SO MUCH to get them into some kind of therapy because at the end of the day I cannot make them want to do something. So I feel you.

At the crisis line they tell you it's getting people through hot moments to a calm place. So I think they feel it's a moment in time they need help getting through. What they want us to do is empower the texter and let them see they have coped and can cope again. So building their strength and seeing how tough and strong they are because they have dealt with those thoughts and feelings before and can do it again.

So we help them see their own strengths and their own coping skills.

I like to say things like have you shown yourself compassion and love they way you do for other people? We often forget that and we deserve it too.

Does that make sense?
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« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2019, 02:35:59 PM »

Blue,
Yes, very good info to know. Thanks for explaining what it looks like from the volunteer’s side.
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« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2019, 03:04:40 PM »

Glad to share my volunteer experience with you. And yes I'm not a professional by any means, but doing this has helped me a little more with how to deal with it in my own life. If it can help others sharing then that's also a positive  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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Swimmy55
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« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2019, 08:48:38 AM »

Thanks, Bluemoon
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