My father is threatening suicide periodically.

I know this is a lot to read, but please help me. It's all important. Please.

He threatened it again yesterday. He and my mother got into a argument. He started hitting himself hard on the face, and trying to move towards the bathroom. I told him I was about to have a nervous breakdown, and screamed at him to stop. I told him it would break me if he killed himself. He eventually stopped after I kept begging.
We talked for a while, and he said he wouldn't do it, but I don't know if he's just saying that because he's told me the same thing to me before, but he still threatens to do it. He told me a few hours later that he was "only" going to hurt himself badly to "teach my mother a lesson" and that it was wrong. I don't know if that's true, or him just attempting to "comfort" me by saying he wasn't actually going that far. He feels bad about it, and has hugged me twice since then.

He is the only one working so if he does kill himself, we will be without a income and transportation. I have to go to doctors appointments regularly which would be difficult to get to. We would have to move in with family.

How do my mother and I get independent from him so that if he does die we won't be a burden on other family? My mother and I don't have jobs. We both want jobs and would get them if we could, but we only have one working car. The other one has been unusable for over 5 years now. He has worked on it during this time, but he's extremely slow in getting to it and fixing each problem, and now he doesn't know what's wrong with it so it needs to go to a shop to figure it out, and we need money to do it. He has a boat worth over 3000 dollars he could sell to fix this car, but it's set there over two years despite my mother suggesting repetitively that he sell it. This among many other things has caused her and I a lot of anger, especially because he bought the boat behind her back after telling her he wouldn't when we needed the extra money for important things.

My brother said that if I move in with him he would teach me how to drive. I've thought about this, but I am afraid to leave because my father said I'm the only thing that makes him happy, and I would be leaving him alone with my mother, so I'm scared he would kill himself if I did leave and I have good reason to believe that. She starts arguing with him anytime I'm not with them, and doesn't try and stop him when he does stuff like hit himself. She has admitted to me she doesn't care if he does kill himself, and she said she's not going to stop or change even if it does lead to him doing it. She hates him and doesn't care.

My mother thinks the suicide threat is a control tactic and that he won't actually do it since he's threatened it for years and hasn't done it. I've tried explaining to her repetitively that statistically people who do commit suicide usually give signs like this before hand for years, and he has many medical problems, has low self esteem, and other warning flags, but she doesn't listen to me. When I tell her she needs to be careful what she says around him, she says she feels it's wrong to put her "on mute" because that is "not a way to live," She has gotten better about arguing with him the last few years, but she still does it every once in a while and sometimes he reacts badly like yesterday.

I know she sounds evil, but I can't blame her fully because I've seen the downright evil way he's treated her throughout the years, and she often has a valid reason to be mad at him which he blows out of proportion reacting this way. She's otherwise a nice person, he's just twisted her to become this way towards him.
She has deep rooted anger at him because of many issues and needs therapy herself, but we can't afford it for her. He and I can get it for free through the IHCRS because we qualify, and I'm going to get some, but he refuses to get himself any, and she doesn't qualify except for couples therapy, which she refuses to do because she wants to get therapy alone.

Should I move in with my brother? Should I call a suicide hotline for advice? I'm scarred they would have him committed to a hospital and we can't afford that. What should I do?


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I think calling a hotline would be a good idea. Your father needs professional help.

Are there low cost options for you? What about family therapy?
Sorry to hear that this is happening.

Are you in the US or Canada? If so, you can call 211 or visit

They can help connect you to healthcare and other services.

What is IHCRS and why do you and he qualify but not your mom?

If you dad won't go to therapy, he should at least get on medication.

It's great that you want to care for your dad, but ultimately you have a right not to be dragged down by him.

Maybe you could direct him to this site, and try to get him to take some medication.
I'm scarred they would have him committed to a hospital and we can't afford that. What should I do?
Maybe 211 could answer that question, idk.

I don't think it's that common for someone to be forced to go to the hospital. If they are forced, it seems likely that you would either not be required to pay, or have a lot of leniency in repaying
My father and I have access to free therapy though the IHCRS. We're going there tomorrow for something unrelated, and I was going to inquire about getting some therapy for myself. I encouraged him yesterday to seek therapy though them as well, but he shrugged it off. I think he's scared to talk about it with them or call a hotline because of the possibility of being committed to a hospital. That's one reason why in the post I brought up the car situation. I'm trying to figure out a way to get my mother or I a job so that we can afford the loss of work getting him help will cause if they do admit him to hospital for a extended period.

My mother doesn't qualify for therapy though the IHCRS except maybe possibly couples therapy, and she is vehemently against getting therapy with him, (she wants to get therapy alone) so I don't see her accepting family therapy if it means doing it with him. I've mentioned and offered to look to see if there's any low cost/free therapy near us before, but she politely said it wasn't my concern (?) and not to worry about it. I think I'll keep bringing it up, but she is stubborn so I don't know if she'll listen to me.


The Indian Heath Care Resource Center. I'm not real knowledgeable about it, but basically you qualify for free health care if they can trace your ancestry to a native American that enrolled (even if you are mostly white, we all look white and are mostly white but we have trace amounts of native American from an ancestor.) My parental grandmother enrolled, got my father enrolled, and tomorrow I'll be enrolled. The sad thing is my mother would qualify because she has native American in her ancestry as well, but her grandmother didn't enroll so my mother can't now. You have to have a "chain" starting with one native American person who enrolled, than their children can enroll, and than their children, but if someone behind you in the line fails to enroll (like what happened with my mother) you're out of luck, they won't qualify you. Sadly, that grandmother is dead so there's no way to fix this as far as I know.

"If they are forced, it seems likely that you would either not be required to pay, or have a lot of leniency in repaying"
I'm talking about the loss of work, not the cost of staying at the hospital.

"Where are you? What country?"
United States, Oklahoma.


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That's pretty crazy. Any reason why your dad doesn't leave? Why the parents don't split up? I mean, you kids are older and there's no reason they need to stay together. Being apart sounds like the best plan for this. Neither of them are happy.
Sorry, I had a busy day yesterday and didn't have time to respond.
Dad can't really leave because it would force my mother and I to move in with family. He can't pay for this house and another house.
Mom doesn't leave because she's attached to her home, or at least that's what she's told me before. I've wondered if she stays because of me because she knows I would be lonely if she left. She knows I'm not very close to my father. I've done all I can to encourage her to move in with my grandmother for her own sake. It would leave me lonely, but I want what's best for her. She's said before she's content here despite the problems between her and him.
We don't live on the reservation. We don't live anything like stereotypical Native Americans, we are just descended from a Creek Native American woman who enrolled and have a small percentage of her blood in us. He and I can get free health care through them because of that, but it's not as good a deal as it sounds. You have to wait for them to approve funding for what you need, which can take months or even years if it's not considered an emergency, even if it's painful.


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This sounds like an incredibly toxic situation, and I'm so sorry that these things are happening to you. I think getting some counseling for yourself is an excellent idea. I think you should also keep considering getting a job and moving in with your brother. I appreciate that you want to take care of your parents--you sound like a good son/daughter and a very decent person. But in the end, you cannot control what they do--you can't even control whether your dad commits suicide. If he does it it will be terribly sad, but it won't be your fault. If I were you, I'd go to therapy and expressly work on coming to believe that solving your parents' problems is not your responsibility or within your power. They are adults and are going to do what they are going to do.

Please keep in touch with us and let us know how things are going!

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