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Author Topic: Never thought I'd end up here (suicide trigger warning)  (Read 306 times)
turtleengine501

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« on: February 02, 2023, 10:56:00 PM »

I was married to my BPD husband for 21 years, we were together a total of 27 years. I left our home in 2019 with my two children - nothing else. Things had become so bad and I knew that staying was only damaging my girls (13, 10 at the time). I was to the point where I prayed that one of us would die so that there would be some relief. My body was physically deteriorating because of this relationship that had stolen every ounce of my confidence, self-worth, and dignity.

The last straw was one night when he went after my oldest daughter in a  rage and kept her confined in a room for 4 hours keeping her from me and screaming at her because she asked for fast food for dinner. That was the straw that broke the camel's back - I "chose" this life (as much as I could since the BPD diagnosis didn't come until 2013) but she had done nothing to choose this life. I have never told my kids that was my last straw, and I never will because I don't want them saddled with feeling any responsibility for what happened.

He refused to leave the house and told me that I couldn't divorce him. He was terrifying when he would rage. I planned for two months to escape - I had the support of my family, this message board, and friends. I rented a house and had it ready to go. He had been going through my things - car, phone, papers from work, work bag and had found a realtor's card. He went completely insane. It was before I was ready, but I had no choice and basically had to flee with my children to an empty home with no furniture and nothing but a laundry basket full of clothes. I consider myself lucky that I had the resources and support to get that far. I have had 3 1/2 years of intense therapy for C-PTSD and I have worked so hard on learning about myself and why I stayed with this man for 27 years of my life. I have done more self-work in the past three years and have learned more about myself than I was ever allowed to do during my relationship. For the first time since I was 18, I have figured out who I am.

Since September 2019, we had been in court. The post-separation abuse was intense (but I was prepared because of this community) and he used the court system to punish me every chance he could get. It took a process server 18 attempts to serve him divorce papers. He held 100% of the marital assets and I held 100% of the marriage debt because of the financial abuse that occurred during our marriage. He ignored court orders to pay child support and alimony and paid what "he thought was fair". COVID hit and our hearings just kept getting delayed, some because of the courts, but most because of him asking for continuances the day before every scheduled hearing. He lied on documents, and refused to provide financial documents.

He got 50/50 custody of our girls even though they told the child custody investigator that they were scared of him and didn't want to be with him (at that point they were 16 and 13). They hated being with him and made excuses to not go over to the house to be with him.

Our judge did grant a dissolution of marriage in Nov. 2021. My ex still would not come to the table on finances. I waited another year and in Oct. 2022 we had a court-ordered mediation session to resolve the finances - he wanted to argue CA community-property law should not apply in our case since he always made more money than I did. Then suddenly he relented after the 8 hour mediation session and signed the papers. I was shocked. He was acting very aggressively during the mediation and made everyone uncomfortable.

As is common in BPD relationships, there was infidelity and he had a new girlfriend less than a month after I left - all while he was stalking and harassing me. The new girlfriend provided him a lot of stability and we all prayed she would stick around and keep him busy for awhile. She was the new center of his BPD universe and he dropped harassing me and stopped engaging with his children completely. When they were with him, he would disappear for hours - or even overnight, without telling them where he was going but they knew he was with his GF.

She stuck around until July 2022, then broke up with him because he had become controlling and jealous. She caught him going through her phone on several occasions. (I only know this because of journal entries I have read in the time since then.)

From July - October he had a downward spiral. He bought a 130K car while he was 189K in arrears on support orders. After our October mediation date, he started calling and texting me constantly, telling me I had to meet with him so he could "show" me that he couldn't pay what he agreed to at the mediation. He was crying all the time, looked like he wasn't eating, and told me he wasn't sleeping. Over the course of a weekend, he texted me 74 times, begging me to agree to waiving any support orders. He begged me to meet him to talk about money, which I refused. (Working on boundaries). I told him he was worrying me and I think he needed to get in touch with his therapist and doctor. At one point he was telling me he wasn't "going to be around much longer" but wouldn't elaborate no matter how hard I tried to get him to be specific. At one point I asked him if he was suicidal and he started yelling at me that he couldn't believe I would ever think he would consider suicide.

He then went silent on me and the kids. It was a relief to all of us and we thought we were giving him time to get himself together again. The kids started texting him Thursday and I texted him Friday.

That same Friday, two hours after I texted him, the coroner and police showed up at my house to tell me he had been found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. He shot himself in the master bedroom of our family home, in bed, where my children could have easily found him as they often go from house to house when they leave things behind, etc.

His work had requested a welfare check and it was the police who found him. As I type this, I still feel very numb from the whole thing. I am grieving his choice, I am grieving for what my children are going through, I am grieving the 27 years I spent with him as his partner in a very dysfunctional relationship.

Had this happened 3 1/2 years ago when I left, I would have blamed myself. I have been insulated from that thought because of the work I have done on myself and understanding his agency as a person to choose this route to end his pain. He wanted to be different, but couldn't. That is the saddest part of all of this. He tried therapy, EMDR, medication - nothing made a difference. I think he was staring down the rest of his life being a series of unsuccessful relationships (terrified of abandonment) and always ending up alone and gave up. The reading I have done said that suicide completion in BPD middle-age is around 10% of BPD adults as they realize nothing is ever going to change.

I can't say I don't feel relief that it's over. I don't have to be scared of him anymore, of him hurting me physically or emotionally or hurting our children emotionally. I am shocked that this is where we are and every minute of time I have is spent making sure our girls will be ok.

The road we are staring down in terms of probate is daunting, but I focus on a few things each day that I can accomplish. His mother and I still have a good relationship and she has declined to be administrator of his estate and has nominated me. It's overwhelming but I want to do what is in the best interests of our girls.

All of this just speaks to the never-ending impacts these relationships will have on our lives. I wish everyone well in their journeys and thank you for reading and bearing witness to our story.
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"When you enter a relationship you become part of a story, many times you are given a role in a play you did not sign up for." Esther Perel
cranmango
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2023, 08:52:34 AM »

Turtleengine--thank you for sharing your story. I am overwhelmed by your bravery as you navigated this years-long storm. You've done an incredible job protecting yourself and your girls. It is heartbreaking to hear how things ended with your ex husband. It is so, so good that you are not blaming yourself for his decisions in the end. 'Insulating' is such an appropriate word for this. All that work you've done on yourself these last few years is protecting you and your family. The road ahead is daunting, and yet you are taking steps forward every day. Keep going. Sending positive thoughts and support your way.
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kells76
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2023, 10:37:46 AM »

Hi turtleengine501, I remember you -- glad you decided to come back and let us know what happened in your life.

It sounds like such a mix of shock and relief, like you were talking about. It makes a lot of sense that your number one focus is your kids. I'm guessing they are in counseling?

I'm also glad for you that you and his mom have a good working relationship. I hope that can help your girls process their thoughts and feelings about their dad -- they will still have an open connection to his family if they need that.

You're very right that the actions and behaviors of pwBPD have ripple effects long through our lives.

Keep coming back and posting whenever you need to -- we'll be here.

kells76
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SaltyDawg
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2023, 03:29:58 PM »

I am so sorry for your loss.  It is not your fault.  You have my extreme condolences.  Sending you virtual hugs  Virtual hug (click to insert in post).

I am glad you and your children no longer have to fear him.  

Thank you for the 'trigger warning,' I didn't heed it, and I cried like a baby reading your story seeing how many parallels there are to mine [I am not at the divorce stage, but it is a planned contingency if my wife does not continue to improve].  Thank you for sharing your very powerful story - albeit with a very sad ending, it moved me to tears, and triggered the fear in my own relationship with my pwBPD.

Your story has inspired me to work even harder, so I wont, and our children will not experience what you have experienced with the loss of a parent/spouse/daughter as I do occasionally fear my wife could possibly take her own life for really minor irrational reason.  She has gotten much better with therapy; however, she still has an occasional ideation that she was able to quickly dismiss [less than 2 minutes each time].

While my uBPDw has raged towards our children, she has not 'intentionally' physically hurt them; however, they have suffered much emotional damage, and my daughter has had severe anorexia nervosa which I suspect was triggered by my wife while I was out to sea [literally] - she has recovered from that; however, which I am actively trying to reverse other emotional damage as well.

I am not at the divorce stage yet, I have enough planned to go through with one.  I am now retired from my job, and I am marshalling every resource I possibly can to help my wife and children.  She is still in denial; however, her individual T is aware of my concerns, and I am seeing progress there.  I also feel very trapped, as I was the partial absentee dad [due to my career] and my wife has portrayed herself as the perfect church lady.

My uBPDw has attempted suicide 6 times in front of me, two with 10" kitchen knives holding them at her wrist, twice with pills, once with old school scissors [as a 12" dagger holding it against her chest], and once with threatening to drive off a cliff.  Each time, I was able to remove the instrument of death from her hands before she was able to execute - I don't think she really wanted to do it, as it didn't require much physical effort to pry the knives, scissors, pills, or keys from her hands.  I didn't want to report it [except for the last time] as it would bring shame to her and trigger her even more, I was too afraid to do anything.  If this happens to you, please call for help.

Anyone reading this, suicide by BPDs is real, their emotions do get the best of them and if they are threatening it, at a minimum let their therapist know [this is what I did], ideally call up the suicide hotline, give them their contact information, or call up the local emergency service 911 / 999 / or whatever it is for your locale and get them into the system.  I was given explicit instructions to ring up 911 if it happens again, by the couple's T at the time.  Anyone who experiences a suicide attempt call up 911.  Anyone who experiences a suicide ideation [thinking about it] call up 988 [in the US].

The reasons for suicide is irrational by a borderline, my wife took pills since I informed her as part of couple's therapy homework, I calmly informed her that I would be doing more self-care for myself - which she interpreted as I was unwilling to meet her [un] 'reasonable' demands 24/7, I told her I would do it 20/7, but in reality it is currently 19/7.  I am not kidding for the reason for the most recent attempt, it was literally doing a homework assignment to improve our relationship which caused her to go off the rails and take pills, I got all but two of the pills before she could take them [fortunately I already had read up the overdose instructions from the previous time, and realized that two pills was still inside the safety zone for her heart medication] before I grabbed the remainder of the pills and hid them.

I feel for your loss, I know it will be incredibly difficult for you.  Be sure to get therapy for yourself, and your girls.  Ask your MIL to help you with the estate, or another close friend if she is unwilling.

Your story has really been impactful for me, and has driven home how irrational BPD really is for those that suffer with it and their caretakers who love them.

Thank you & my prayers go out to you.

Take care of yourself, your girls, and your MIL too.

P.S.  Been together 22 years, and approaching our 20 year anniversary.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2023, 03:41:39 PM by SaltyDawg » Logged
Woolspinner2000
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2023, 04:49:19 PM »

Turtleengine501,

I'm so very sorry that you've had to go through this. Here's an extra hug for you.  Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

My heart breaks for you and your children, for all the years of inflicted pain. It's a daunting journey to walk ahead and yet needing to process the past too. I find that I'm not in a hurry to go back and revisit the past hurts; the healing and processing comes in the right time. Be gentle and kind as you courageously face each new day.

You are brave.

 With affection (click to insert in post)
Wools
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bluebutterflies
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2023, 05:19:21 PM »

Thank you for sharing your story. I am in tears reading it. Sending so much love and hugs and light. <3
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MeandThee29
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2023, 03:06:29 PM »

I can relate. My ex had a near-fatal suicide attempt during our first separation and then left the second time, talking again about not having anything to live for. He was retired, and we had a long-term marriage with college kids. At times, I truly had no idea where he was because he wasn't in communication with me for days at a time.

He still seemed unstable from what little I knew, and he refused all mental health treatment from that point on because of his very religious family, who was blaming me. I noted that his mental state was declining in many ways. He returned to get his stuff so we could sell the house, and I was horrified at how off his thinking was. After a while, he refused to talk to me on the phone because I asked too many questions.

Ultimately, I took reconciliation off the table and ended all relationship discussions. I probably should have done that earlier, but thankfully I was finally clear that being with him was out. Of course, he tried to negotiate, but I was firm. I had done a lot of therapy and coaching by then, and I had processed more of what his NPD/BPD formal diagnosis meant.

My ex kicked off the divorce, and he and his attorney were soon at odds because my ex insisted on constant attention. Ultimately, the attorney began digging his heels in, and my ex became suicidal again. His attorney told mine that he was getting spooked by how unstable his client was and my ex's talk of "knowing how to kill my wife and get away with it." Thankfully, the two attorneys had known each other for decades and got it done, but it was messy and long. Closeout was just as bad, especially after his attorney died of COVID, and my ex went pro se. I had an outstanding legal team who completely got the situation and had no custody issues.

I know where he lives (a good distance away, thankfully), but I truly have no idea how he is doing. We still hear from him periodically. He still believes he deserves a relationship with us based on the past. No, he doesn't. Our adult children and I have had to process a great deal of trauma and don't want to go there. A therapist friend once asked how I'd feel if I got the word that my ex was gone. I think I'd have mixed feelings, both sad and relieved.

Anyway, I'm so sorry that you have to work through this. This very scenario has been on my mind for years now.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2023, 04:37:53 PM by MeandThee29 » Logged
turtleengine501

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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2023, 06:19:47 PM »

Turtleengine--thank you for sharing your story. I am overwhelmed by your bravery as you navigated this years-long storm. You've done an incredible job protecting yourself and your girls. It is heartbreaking to hear how things ended with your ex husband. It is so, so good that you are not blaming yourself for his decisions in the end. 'Insulating' is such an appropriate word for this. All that work you've done on yourself these last few years is protecting you and your family. The road ahead is daunting, and yet you are taking steps forward every day. Keep going. Sending positive thoughts and support your way.

Thank you for the amazing support. It always feel so great to know that there are others out there that really "get" what we are all going through, even if we are all going through it (the not great part). I do like that word, 'insulating', I have tried my absolute best through the years to insulate my children from their dad's BPD and hopefully I have given them the foundation that while this has been completely traumatic and horrific, it may have not traumatized them.

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"When you enter a relationship you become part of a story, many times you are given a role in a play you did not sign up for." Esther Perel
turtleengine501

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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2023, 06:29:42 PM »

Hi turtleengine501, I remember you -- glad you decided to come back and let us know what happened in your life.

It sounds like such a mix of shock and relief, like you were talking about. It makes a lot of sense that your number one focus is your kids. I'm guessing they are in counseling?

I'm also glad for you that you and his mom have a good working relationship. I hope that can help your girls process their thoughts and feelings about their dad -- they will still have an open connection to his family if they need that.

You're very right that the actions and behaviors of pwBPD have ripple effects long through our lives.

Keep coming back and posting whenever you need to -- we'll be here.

kells76

Thank you so much. I appreciate the kind words and encouragement. My oldest (and I) are in individual bereavement from suicide counseling through our county health department (great resource!) and she is part of a general grief support group at her high school that she feels very connected to. My youngest (14) is an introvert and isn't ready to talk yet. She knows that the resources are there when she is ready and she thankfully isn't showing any signs of trauma. She will listen when her big sister and I talk about his suicide, but uses her art as her way of coping right now, which I am so happy she has. I feel that I have to honor what each of them needs individually and not push them to do anything they are not ready to do.

They also have his mom to talk to and great support from my family. She is very angry about his choice and is scared the girls will blame themselves. She talks a lot to them about it not being their fault, and they are worthy of not feeling abandoned by him, which is good because they are getting that message from all of us. (The worst part is he never told her about his BPD diagnosis and I don't think it's right for me to be the one to tell her. Part of me thinks it would ease her pain but part of me thinks it would cause additional pain about his childhood. His triggers were from her abandoning him as a young boy so he never wanted to damage their adult relationship by telling her.)

My fear, that at the end of the day, he's their dad, flaws and all, and they are going to feel less than because he chose to leave them.

Thanks for being a part of a great community. xoxo
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"When you enter a relationship you become part of a story, many times you are given a role in a play you did not sign up for." Esther Perel
turtleengine501

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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2023, 06:30:17 PM »

Turtleengine501,

I'm so very sorry that you've had to go through this. Here's an extra hug for you.  Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

My heart breaks for you and your children, for all the years of inflicted pain. It's a daunting journey to walk ahead and yet needing to process the past too. I find that I'm not in a hurry to go back and revisit the past hurts; the healing and processing comes in the right time. Be gentle and kind as you courageously face each new day.

You are brave.

❤️❤️Thank you so much.

 With affection (click to insert in post)
Wools
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"When you enter a relationship you become part of a story, many times you are given a role in a play you did not sign up for." Esther Perel
turtleengine501

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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2023, 06:42:34 PM »



Thank you for the 'trigger warning,' I didn't heed it, and I cried like a baby reading your story seeing how many parallels there are to mine [I am not at the divorce stage, but it is a planned contingency if my wife does not continue to improve].  Thank you for sharing your very powerful story - albeit with a very sad ending, it moved me to tears, and triggered the fear in my own relationship with my pwBPD.

I am so sorry you are still in the middle of your journey. It is a very painful place to sit. The eternal hope of wanting things to be better then have them not be is the worst game in the world to play.



While my uBPDw has raged towards our children, she has not 'intentionally' physically hurt them; however, they have suffered much emotional damage, and my daughter has had severe anorexia nervosa which I suspect was triggered by my wife while I was out to sea [literally] - she has recovered from that; however, which I am actively trying to reverse other emotional damage as well.

My situation was much the same, the emotional damage is heavy on the children. I tried too to reverse that damage but it's tough when you are still in a relationship in your pwBPD. They rule the house and take peace away from everyone.

I wish I had left sooner, but the timing of my leaving had a lot to do with what custody would look like. When I was with him, I could be there to protect them. Once I left, I knew that they would be with him alone. Once my oldest started driving, I felt a bit better, knowing they could leave (maybe, if he didn't prevent them) if there was an issue. There is no easy answer.

I am not at the divorce stage yet, I have enough planned to go through with one.  I am now retired from my job, and I am marshalling every resource I possibly can to help my wife and children.  She is still in denial; however, her individual T is aware of my concerns, and I am seeing progress there.  I also feel very trapped, as I was the partial absentee dad [due to my career] and my wife has portrayed herself as the perfect church lady.

Same here - mine was Father of the Year from the outside looking in.

My uBPDw has attempted suicide 6 times in front of me, two with 10" kitchen knives holding them at her wrist, twice with pills, once with old school scissors [as a 12" dagger holding it against her chest], and once with threatening to drive off a cliff.  Each time, I was able to remove the instrument of death from her hands before she was able to execute - I don't think she really wanted to do it, as it didn't require much physical effort to pry the knives, scissors, pills, or keys from her hands.  I didn't want to report it [except for the last time] as it would bring shame to her and trigger her even more, I was too afraid to do anything.  If this happens to you, please call for help.

I was so sorry to read this. This is so sad, and so abusive. It's unfair that you have had to deal with this and I think you are brave for trying to keep your pwBPD safe. In my reading, 75% of pwBPD attempt or threaten to attempt suicide. In my case, that never happened - it happened with nothing but that one vague phrase the week prior, but if I had had to live through what you are going through, I think I would have been broken.

Your story has really been impactful for me, and has driven home how irrational BPD really is for those that suffer with it and their caretakers who love them.

You are so right. And we suffer right along with them. I hope that you are able to see there is a light on the other side. It's the most painful thing to get there, but the other side is pure peace. Even dealing with my ex during our divorce, I was able to compartmentalize his abuse because he wasn't with me 24/7. You really don't realize how stressed and hypervigilent you are all the time until you don't have to be anymore. It took me 2 years to not be tense anymore. It's a calm and peace that make you cry and I remember feeling at first that I didn't deserve it for leaving him. You are not going to be able to fix your pwBPD, sadly. But you can fix yourself and you can save your children. I am thinking of you and I hope you find strength in this community. You will know when you are ready to make a decision.
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"When you enter a relationship you become part of a story, many times you are given a role in a play you did not sign up for." Esther Perel
turtleengine501

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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2023, 06:43:17 PM »

Thank you for sharing your story. I am in tears reading it. Sending so much love and hugs and light. <3

❤️❤️
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"When you enter a relationship you become part of a story, many times you are given a role in a play you did not sign up for." Esther Perel
SaltyDawg
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2023, 11:34:51 PM »

TurtleGreen,

   Thank you for your individual response.  It means the world to me. ❤️ Virtual hug (click to insert in post) ❤️

Salty

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