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Multi-generational suicide

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Throwmeawayout, Aug 18, 2012.

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  1. Throwmeawayout

    Throwmeawayout Active Member

    This is actually a repost from reddit's suicidewatch subreddit. I enjoy the reddit community, but from my time reading here, I think this is a more appropriate place to talk with others.

    Does anyone here have experience with suicide among multiple generations of their family?

    I guess maybe I'll start with a little back story (edit: seriously, it's super hard to tell just a 'little' of your life history); I have known most of this story for at least 10 years or so.

    Many years before I was born, my maternal grandfather abandoned his family (my grandmother, mother, and mother's siblings). A few short years later, he committed suicide. I gather that he had struggled with alcohol addiction amongst other problems.

    As all suicides do, this had a profound impact on the future of my family, despite the fact that my grandparents had been long since divorced. Even though they had been estranged for a time, my mother was deeply affected by her father's death.

    I don't want to go into too much detail about my mother and her life, though I have been able to piece together enough to gain some insight into her troubles.

    Not too many years after the death of my grandfather, my mother met and married my father. Actually I'm a little fuzzy on this part of the timeline, but it's close enough.

    Both my mother and father had struggled with bipolar disorder and attempts at self harm. My mother had always been troubled by the death of her father and the associated family issues. My father might have already had issues, but probably owes most of his distress to his service in Viet Nam and a long-term illness.

    Despite their problems, they made things work long enough to have two children (I have one older sibling). From what I know, we were both planned and wanted - though I'm sure any couple with children knows that the timing wasn't exactly planned.

    Unfortunately, all was not well in our family. Psychiatry was still in the dark ages, at least so far as medication was concerned. My mother did not have available to her the modern resources that therapists today possess.

    Sadly, my mother took her own life to escape the mental turmoil she had dealt with for so long. She was only 25 years old. I was too young to even remember her; though my sibling has never said so, I believe they may still have some vague memory of her.

    Sorry, I know this is getting long winded.

    For a variety of reasons, we were split up to be raised by different families. I grew up with my grandparents (my grandmother remarried), and my sibling grew up with my father. Happily, in recent years, I have had a chance to spend time with them.

    I know that my sibling has also suffered with depression - sometimes severe. They have attempted self-harm at least once, but thankfully it was quite unsuccessful.

    I have hidden my own struggle with depression for at least a decade now, though I'm sure my problems have been blatantly obvious to family and friends at times.

    I can't remember when the thought crystalized in my mind, but I have known for some time that I would likely take my own life at some point. I have never attempted suicide, knowing all too well the consequences of a failed attempt.

    The desire to end my life has waxed and waned over the last 10 years, reaching a peak a few years ago. I went so far as to procure materials and put my affairs in order. I was perhaps a day or two away from the act itself, but where the two paths diverged, I took the other one...

    I left my life behind for awhile, and have only recently returned home (the home I grew up in).

    What has disturbed and disappointed me lately is that the urge to end my life has been steadily increasing. Years ago, I had thought that if I made it this far, the feeling would go away, or at least diminish.

    It is odd how deeply the actions of the past affect the path our life takes. Because of my mother's suicide, I have long known that I would never have a family or children of my own. I did not want the possibility of continuing the awful legacy of suicide, should I choose that end for myself.

    Sometimes I take small comfort in knowing that my detachment will diminish the negative repercussions when my time comes.

    So far, I have outlived my mother by five years. I'm not sure whether or not I will make it to six.
  2. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    Both of my grandfathers committed suicide. My last surviving grandmother has struggled with suicidal thoughts, as have my sister and I. I guess it skipped a generation though, as my parents, aunts and uncles don't seem to be suicidal. I've always blamed my depression on the traumatic events in my life, though even that sort of trauma seems to be more prevalent in my family than in most. Destiny, heredity or coincidence? I don't know for sure.
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