Dave and I have been doing better. Dave’s been working on finishing a post for my blog. I asked him about authoring a post when I first set my blog up. I let him know, no pressure, only if he felt ready.
Making public disclosures, is hard, even for myself, it’s hard to self-identify as the partner of a person who made a suicide attempt, hence the “private pain,” as the key words in my blog’s name. In my posts I don’t use my real name, or Dave’s partly to protect Dave’s identity, but also to protect my own.
I was on Facebook’s, American Association of Suicidology page, and found a link to this NY Times post
about the hidden population of attempt survivors. The article reported that one factor in the “invisible” nature of this population was the stigma and shame in self-identifying as an attempt survivor. Another factor was the concern by mental health professionals of the stressors involved in sharing one’s story–that the negative reaction of the audience (or perceived negative receptivity of the audience), for example could trigger an attempt.
Another hidden population not identified in the article, are the people whom are are the primary audience for this blog–the partners of the individuals that attempt suicide.
I haven’t written a piece for awhile. I’m going through an intense professional period in my life, and spare time is hard to come by. But I do want to make a quick report that things have been going well for Dave and I. There have been ups and downs for both of us, but we’ve weathered them well. We’re still going to couples therapy once a month, and we both go to individual. Right now I would say–that the individual sessions have really helped us to grow ourselves, and that helps to strengthen us as a couple.
I’m trusting him more now. I didn’t think there would ever be a day that I would say that.
But even though this has been a pretty rough period for us, as I’ve gotten very busy, and Dave has had to do a bit more for our family–Dave hasn’t tanked. There were times when we felt overwhelmed, but we got through them.
Dave still went to his automatic, “I should kill myself,” thinking, but he disputed those thoughts quickly, not allowing them to escalate into increased berating of himself and decreased self worth. Those thoughts will probably always be the first thoughts he has, they’re so ingrained, his knee-jerk response–but he seems to have developed some skills to fight those thoughts off (more later about the deeper changes he’s made regarding his value).
I’m almost through this intense period in my life and it will be nice to be able to give Dave and Beth more attention. Even though Dave misses my attention, we do quickly kiss each other on the forehead and reassure each other of our love for each other. That Dave can feel tired, overwhelmed but not tank is increasing my trust in him. I don’t feel as scared and panicked anymore.
Note: This post was created on 8-10-12, before the previouspost , but has just been fine tuned and posted.
We are fast approaching the anniversary of Dave’s attempt last year. I am acutely aware of this anniversary date, even though the sixth year anniversary date of his previous attempt passed without a thought.