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SOS
January 13, 2002
11:12 am
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scherza
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I am a trauma and intensive care nurse and my colleague committed suicide this week. The SOS means "survivor of suicide." I am also an academic that intellectualizes the hell out of a needle in a haystack...which keeps me fucntional to perform my duties...but not something I want to rely on as my primary mode of living. It is a survival tactic and not a lifestyle.

I came home from work and totally forgot to talk about this event with my husband. I enjoyed the dinner my husband made...and went to bed and had screaming nightmares. I talked about it with him at that point...and he was dissappointed in me that I didn't talk about it with him sooner. Last night, I had nightmares again, but at least I wasn't screaming.

There have been those very rare moments in my life that I have felt like taking my own life...but I never actually tried to DO it! I had no idea how badly my colleague was feeling. She is a veteran nurse...a supervisor. She has been a nurse for over 30 years. She was tall and thin and blonde and bubbly and a rascal! I joked about her getting her Full Deck...and being the only one that had one now in this place...when she turned 52 last November.

Her death is such a shock to everyone. Even the technicians and cafeteria staff were crying in the halls. It was Bedlam. What was worse: we had three more codes after that and they ALL died. It seemed like a blood bath there. Everything was handled professionally...and these codes were traumas that weren't likely to survive anyway...nothing was done out of neglect or bad judgement. I kept my head through the whole thing and even went home and had dinner and forgot to talk about it! Lots of people were like me. Like machines, we made it through our hell day.

I am not sure where I am going with this....

I write papers about grief and pain control and end-of-life processes. I know a lot about "what to do," but I guess I just have to take so time out and go through it.

Thanks for reading.

January 13, 2002
12:20 pm
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Molly
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It is so damn hard to live with the trauma of others day in and day out, with our own lives tossed in there as well, we do become so machine like in the process, and then something happens, to that machine, that just can't be ignored, and the machine breaks down. You are human, and can only process so much, can only take in so much, before we break down. Providers most likely need more counseling than the patients, we take it all in. Take care of your self, get that stuff out. Don't read the paper, don't watch the news, take a day and be with nature, try to off set all the bad realities with good realities. Thank you for doing your job, thank you for being there for those that needed you, and so sorry about the loss of your co-worker. We are all so very fradgile, even when we look and appear to be so strong.

January 13, 2002
3:46 pm
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scherza
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Thanks so much Moll. You are right about caregivers needing more counseling than the patients!

I have a wonderful counselor that I call "my ace in the hole." She is a true ace of spades that can dig me out of a jam with her no-nonesense direct-yet-nurturing approach with me. I can be and feel whatever I need to do without fear. I knew her when she was doing her LPC hours...I was her patient...years ago...and I moved more comfortably and left therapy. She left that agency afterwards and I lost contact.... I sought help from a string of others in a bunch of bungled rotten tries. I almost completely gave up on counseling even having any possibility of being helpful to me. I did a database search and found her...after about ten years...and decided that she was my last one...and then I quit trying anymore. (This was last Sept.) What is especially cool is that I feel really close to her AND I am comfortable with the boundaries. She has seen a HUGE global change for the better in me and it is always nice to hear that...though I know I have been working hard to accomplish this. Our r-ship has so many earmarks of a really healing and healthy one.

I used to read this little kid book to my child (I now read classics to her) that was from Africa...about a little girl traumatized by the dark...that met this older wise woman in the jungle who helped her to not be afraid anymore. She loved her like a grandmother...and the woman loved her like a child...and then she ran back to her village and lived her life happier because of this wisdom the woman imparted. This is like my therapist. She is only about 15 years older than me, but she really is a wise woman...for me. I run to her hut whenever the shit starts hitting the fan for me...and then I run back to my village when I can do it effectively again for myself.

January 14, 2002
10:18 pm
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scherza
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Thanks Blondie!

You are a treasure.

I don't feel responsible at all for my colleague's death...I feel pissed that she did this and left us all hanging with the mess all around us. I am pissed because there were so many other choices she could have made that would have been more satisfying to her and she didn't take them! I want to go into the afterlife and kick her ass! Atleast for the teenaged daughter that she left an orphan!

On a little different note: You speak of your father incesting you. I had the same bull shit in my life. It was so hard to forgive. I did it...after a monsterous confrontation. I cut him a new asshole. I decided that I didn't want to revictimize myself anymore by carrying this around inside me forever...so I let him have it and then forgave him. I still have the damage...but the daily dysfunctional rage has abated quite a bit. I also had others in my mom's hippie paradise that abused me. I thought I was so grown up...and sure wanted to be...I was intellectually gifted...and so I naturally related well with adults and I appealed to the freethinkers that were 20+ years older than me...and I slept with some of them...when I was WAY TOO YOUNG to really know what I was doing. I even got an STD before I was 10 years old. I recall acting so cool and how much it hurt to sit down in my 5th grade history class with those hard wooden seats. I recall the pressure...and the appeals to my pubescent/adolescent vanity. Most of those people are dead now. And I am older now than they were then! I still have trouble thinking of myself as a kid back then. I was younger than my own sweet 15 year old daughter for christ's sake!

****Deep cleansing breath*****

Hugs to you, sister survivor Blondie!

January 15, 2002
8:58 am
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scherza
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Never stop making jokes! I do this continually...and sometimes it gets me in TROUBLE! I understand this.

Please please PLEASE let the law handle this for you. I know he needs killing...and I would help you, but then he would be dead and our lives would be shit...and our end goal is lost...that is to be rid of the bastard and get on with our lives. Our lives are forever changed anyway.

If you ever DO decide to kill him, bag him and do it in Texas! The words "he needed killing" are a true legal defense here! Hell, if a woman's rapist can say "she was asking for it," then we should be able to say "he needed killing," right? 🙂

I want to clarify that the "father" I mentioned in my last lengthy missive was my step father. My own father faded away for 25 years...and then we got back into contact again and he is a pretty cool guy...just stuck in his generation...the need for a wife to make him complete and no coping skills when this isn't happening...which is why I lost him about 33 years ago.

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