Rational Suicide

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by NullProposition, Mar 31, 2012.

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  1. I don't have a tale of woe that compares with some of you here. I've taken it in the shorts, to be sure, but in theory I have a lot to be grateful for. I grew up in a loving, intact family that didn't abuse me and wasn't particularly weird. Though I'm not by any means wealthy, I've never known true financial lack. My health is currently good -- in fact, considerably better than it's ever been. I could stand to lose 25 or so pounds but am not a bad looking guy, especially for my age. I am fortunate enough to be in a profession that I like a great deal and earn six figures without having to work ridiculous hours or even commute.

    Without going on at length about several personal disasters I've endured, I'll simply say that the only thing I ever really cared about in life was to reproduce the stable, intact family I grew up in, and share a lifetime love with someone without vast complications. At this I have utterly failed. I've had one divorce, been widowed, and am now in a relationship with a woman who keeps me at arm's length emotionally. I turned 55 this week and she took me out to dinner and a movie but today, apropos of basically nothing, popped a cog and said that she's not sure our relationship is going to work out. It was basically the "You're a great guy and I love you, but ..." speech combined with the "It's not you, it's me" speech. The details don't matter. It is what it is. We may or may not be able to work this out.

    My basic problem is that on top of not having ever found life particularly compelling, I am just tired of trying to be with someone and be happy without a lot of complications, and know myself well enough that life alone with my work and my thoughts is a pretty bleak thing. I really need to be with someone to keep my head out of my butt. Plus, I'm old enough to feel just plain tired of all this effort with no real connection with outcomes. I feel I'm past my "best used by" date, the women available to me are all damaged goods, and I myself am damaged goods. Kind of inherent. Goes with the territory. Call me an idealist but it's starting to feel a bit ghastly to be trying to do the Tap Dance of Love at my age. My apologies to people older than me who feel differently. I know it's just me, but I can't help feeling how I feel. It's just not empirically worth it to me.

    I feel that if this is the loggerheads I'm at after all this time, the only rational and self-respecting response is to opt out. I'm not terribly depressed, though god knows I've done my share of weeping this particular day. I think my basic problem is a defect in my pleasure feedback loops, they have never worked right. I'm not easily amused, don't get much in the way of positive emotional feedback from things as it is. Now this. Again.

    My daughter is 32 and has her own life. I barely know my two grandsons -- long story, but let's just say that wife #2 was a bit of a disaster for my daughter and our relationship is ... complicated. My son is 25 and struggling with some echoes of his mother's mental illness. I help him out some but it's kind of a quixotic effort. He's not going to end well, with or without me. My two surviving brothers haven't bothered to call in months. And my ... well, I call her my fiancee, since we have engagement rings, but we probably will never marry if she has her way ... at any rate, my fiancee seems willing to part company with me which tells me that a couple years down the pike she won't be giving me a second thought, dead or alive. I don't have it in me to endure another grieving process, find another woman, win her trust, figure out her quirks, have her discover and respond to mine, and maybe or maybe not, several years from now, have a nice relationship, by which time I'll be pushing 60 and trying to enjoy something I should have enjoyed when I was at most half that age. Even if I'm finally lucky in love I'll probably have a frigging stroke or something. It's just nuts to have any expectations or hopes in this department anymore. And I'm tired of the pain and disappointment. I pretty much embarked on this escapade under the premise that it was my last hurrah. If felt like it was a stretch as it was, but wanted to give it one more try.

    I could live comfortably and probably travel and such, but I find moving through the world like a lost shade, subsisting on superficial acquaintances and business relationships to be empty and pointless, and frankly, I it's an indignity I don't deserve.

    Philosophically, I've been disabused of all my illusions and I no longer believe in anything other than relationships, which I can't seem to get right.

    I never thought it would come to this but I really have no plan for going forward other than to set my affairs in order and wait to die. I know myself well enough that after 2 or 3 months of that I will need to end the pain. It will just hurt too much. For the first time, I'm seriously planning an exit strategy.

    I don't believe I'm being rash, or irrational. I don't believe I'm giving up easily. I just feel that I've earned some peace. I don't see how this is different from facing my eventual death which is going to come at some point anyway. Perhaps I might be ill and in pain and would want some self determination and dignity in my death, and I might hasten the end, if only by refusing heroic measures. How is this any different? I feel very pragmatic about the whole thing.

    What, if anything, am I missing here?
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    You are missing that you have an illness depression and with treatment perhaps your fiance would see a different you and you that is stronger You are missing that your children will always need you and love you and if you leave you are just setting them up to do the same.
    suicide is never rational it is depression gone so deep that all the thoughts are clouded and gray with treatment you can feel better. hugs
  3. I am another disposable man in a long list for my fiancee. Men are a fungible commodity to her. I don't think she's even capable of grasping what she means to me. That said, she's perceptive in her way and she doesn't think I'm depressed and neither do I. I'm experiencing reactive depression at the moment, of course, but clinical depression, no. If I were clinically depressed, trust me, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I'd have been gone twenty years ago. The different me that she wants doesn't exist. She is used to bad boys who abuse her. She's doesn't know what to do with a good and decent man who is devoted to her. That's primarily why she's pushing me away. She has excuses of course, she thinks it would be different "if only" I had more of a life separate from her. "If only" we had had a long distance relationship and I hadn't moved up here to advance our relationship so she had time to "figure herself out".

    What my children decide to do with their lives is up to them. I'm not setting them up for anything. Whatever setting up I did, I did by bringing them into this world. I've become an antinatalist in the intervening years and I regret that I inflicted the harm of existence on them, but I don't think they'll blame me (for that anyway) anymore than I would blame my own parents, if they were still here to blame. My parents didn't know any better, and neither did I. Neither did my daughter. The desire to procreate is far too primal. We've evolved to survive long enough to reproduce. Through technology and the trappings of civilization we've extended our lifespans beyond what we're equipped to actually deal with.

    My son, now, he's my hero. He figured it out. A woman broke his heart and he has not repeated that mistake. Even before that he made sure he was with someone who didn't want children. He's watched my life and learned from it. It's a sad commentary on the human condition that he had to learn such lessons. I suppose that he is the one thing that gives me pause, I may yet be useful to him, and he actually IS depressed, at least off and on. However, it may not be in the cards. I don't know if I have it in me anymore to keep slogging on, sustaining life merely so that someone else can keep slogging on. I did that for 13 years with my second wife -- one foot in front of the other, doing what I could to keep her alive to suffer another day. Eventually she couldn't take it anymore and the nice people at Final Exit helped her take care of herself. I am far too acquainted with exercises in futility.

    Purpose is what's wanting here -- some kind of story arc that reliably leads to better things. I don't mind hard work as long as it's purposeful. I can't for the life of me figure out what I've accomplished with my life other than to stir the pot. Sorry, I don't find that compelling.

    Hindsight is always 20/20. I shouldn't have married a mentally ill person. I shouldn't have married a chronically ill person. I shouldn't have tried to marry an abused, broken person. I have always been a problem solver. It's how I make my living, as an independent software developer. I should have stuck to computers, they are amenable to fixing. Software and hardware are like that. Wetware (people) is not. My curse is that I get my jollies from defining and solving problems. I like challenging problems. I should not have tried to apply that to anything but dumb machines. Now I'm getting so I can't even abide machines. I just spent two hours of my life I'll never get back re-paving my iPad with a new operating system version, an operation that should have in theory taken five minutes. That is frustration enough for me these days. And now? I don't even have someone to put up with it for.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2012
  4. IV2010

    IV2010 Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with TE...it's not something a well person suddenly thinks of ....suicide
    sounds like things have become overwhelming for you..... understandably..
    I'm so sorry you've had so much sadness in your life...

    What you're missing?
    If you take your life and your son is already suffering his own depression it's a surefire thing he will follow you.
    you said you are there for him now.....what will he do when you're gone?
    with you here to support him he may go on to live a long, full life...
    You dying of old age is a less painful grief for those left behind than that of you taking your life..

    you think your daughter won't suffer the loss of her father? it will change her and her children forever.
    there is a ''ripple affect'' with suicide...it doesn't stop when you are gone.....it transfers to everyone you know who are left to suffer your loss..

    Is it too late to improve the relationship with your daughter?
    perhaps consider some couples counseling to try and sort out things with your fiance
    don't give up without a fight at least until you've tried all options..

    you sound like an intelligent man with many achievements
    you could get to travel even if you're by yourself and might really enjoy it....
    Who knows if you don't give it a try?

    I don't mean to sound harsh and don't mean to offend or hurt you...but I do know I, and others here, have suffered the loss of loved ones to suicide and it's hell to be the one left behind....
    I don't want you to miss what for you could still be a long, productive and even happy life..
    I urge you to talk to a professional and please stay safe
  5. I had a conversation with my fiancee this morning and she has pulled back from the abyss for now. She recognizes, intellectually at least, that she's projecting and I'm not really doing anything wrong. She's stressed about work, etc. I'm sure that if I get shown the door at some point then my children/grandchildren will be a factor in keeping me going, too. But the truth is, I can only do what I can do. It is selfish for people to use heroic measures to keep a chronically ill loved one around to suffer just so they feel better, and beyond a certain point the stress of that takes away more than it gives anyway. It would be no different with emotional pain than with physical pain. I will not be guilted into living.
  6. IV2010

    IV2010 Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry Null....I didn't mean to 'guilt' you...I really didn't
    I just wanted you to know how it is after suicide...

    I know both sides of the fence...I want to die and I've lost a child to suicide..
    I understand you wanting to leave...

    i just wanted you to know there might be some hope of things improving if you stay around a bit longer

    whatever you decide you're right.... it's your decision
    I hope you find a reason to stay...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2012
  7. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    While you are here, maybe there are things you can do to make the journey more meaningful...I can think of a dozen not-for-profit organizations that would benefit from your expertise...I have found that feeling worthy anchors me more than many other things, and I get some of that from the things I do...just my humble 2 cents
  8. IV2010 >> I'm sorry Null....I didn't mean to 'guilt' you...I really didn't
    No, of course not ... I wasn't referring to you. I was referring to making decisions motivated by guilt in general. No worries there, no offense taken :)

    I have enough hope to stay around today. That is all any of us have on any given day.

    Oddly, what made my day today was my stepdaughter, who is normally a pill, and I don't mean that like I'd mean it about most 17 year olds, I mean over the top difficult to be in the same state with, much less the same house. Never seen anything like it. It was four days late, but this morning on my desk was a box of expensive chocolates and the nicest birthday card ever, with some real effort put into it. Ten reasons why I'm a pretty cool guy. Go figure. I never know what to expect around here ... but will take what I can get.
  9. I volunteer at my friendly local hospice house. It's okay, but mostly stresses me out as it's One More Thing to squeeze in. I had thought it would be more rewarding than it ended up being. The reason being, the system tends to bring people in when they are on their last legs, sometimes their final hours, so it's not like you get to provide much companionship and comfort, you are mostly dealing with people high on morphine who mistake you for some minor character in their delirium. It has been a way to support my stepchildren's extracurricular work; when the last one goes to college this summer I'm bailing and will try to find some other outlet.
  10. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    That is very difficult work, I know, as I have worked in hospice for many years...and it is a good thing to know when to leave, as it can be very trying...I am working with several clients who are at the end stages of their diseases, but direct care provides a great satisfaction
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