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That vacuum sound you hear? Its me getting sucked back in...

Old 06-30-2011, 06:16 PM
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That vacuum sound you hear? Its me getting sucked back in...

My STBAH texted some suicidal threats earlier today. When I called him (he is staying with his parents in another state) he also made some statements on the phone indicating his intention to harm himself. So, of course, I went into full blown panic mode, calling his mother on her cell and his brother to let them know I think AH needs to be professionally evaluated and that we cant determine whether or not he is serious so let the mental health experts take it from here. This led me nowhere but into discussions of my role in his alcoholism (they think I am to blame) and how he is just trying to get my attention since I have been very good at not responding to his previous texts.

My heart has since calmed down but I am frustrated at my immediate response to jump in and solve his problem. His mom was home the whole time and sees no indication that he is in danger. I feel like a puppet on a string, jumping to his command. It is not a good feeling especially since I feel like I have come a long way.

I hate this disease.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:23 PM
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Leaping, I know what you are going through, this has happened to me too. I HATE how they quack suicide and when we show them attention they learn that this is a good way to get us involved again. SO MANIPULATIVE. Keep working your recovery though and hopefully that will allow you to get to a point where you have no urge to respond to (or even read) his texts.

If you really think about it, he is in a different state and you can't run and help him anyway, which is GREAT. If there is any real problem he has his mom and brother there and they can deal with the problem if they actually see one and if they choose to.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:30 PM
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I don't see where you did anything wrong, dear!

Threats of suicide should be taken seriously. Better safe than sorry.

As for his mother and brother, it's a shame they did that to you, but they are sick too.

Be good to yourself, okay?
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:47 PM
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Thank you both! I had been so good about ignoring his other texts and attempts to pull me - yesterday his strategy was to text about another woman to see if I would bite, the day before it was something else so I guess he had to elevate his attention seeking behavior to get me to respond.

He has sent me almost 200 texts the past month alone. I have progressed from responding to full silence until today.

Bruin, you are right and I am VERY thankful he is not here showing up on my doorstep and acting like this in front of his children. And Freedom, thank you. I should not have expected anything less from his family, they have been very consistent in their viewpoint that I am to blame.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:59 PM
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I also have found that family members especially the in-laws are not the best to confide in. I remember one time I mentioned to A's brother that he had a problem, and wouldn't it be wonderful if he chose to get some help. His reply, "He's only drinking beer, relax and have a good time" I almost fell off my chair..................Hoping you find peace.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Leaping View Post
Thank you both! I had been so good about ignoring his other texts and attempts to pull me - yesterday his strategy was to text about another woman to see if I would bite, the day before it was something else so I guess he had to elevate his attention seeking behavior to get me to respond.

He has sent me almost 200 texts the past month alone. I have progressed from responding to full silence until today.

Bruin, you are right and I am VERY thankful he is not here showing up on my doorstep and acting like this in front of his children. And Freedom, thank you. I should not have expected anything less from his family, they have been very consistent in their viewpoint that I am to blame.
Aw, Leaping, I can relate to this so much. I agree that any suicide threat should be taken seriously. You have the option of calling the police in his area, even if you're out of state so that they can respond with paramedics.

I think a part of you wanted to verify the threat level first, and that's why you checked with his mom. It's a perfectly reasonable boundary and safety plan to set up that if that happens again, you will contact the professionals who handle such things.

I know what it feels like to be villainized by the family. And even some of the friends. It doesn't change the truth, so the best thing to do is to continue your path in doing the next right thing.

Give yourself a break!
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:25 PM
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Hey leaping... Geez, I thought that vacuum sound was my a$$ getting sucked back in!!!!

I agree with the others - suicide is no easy matter to simply ignore. You made a solid decision and are very conscience of not getting fully reengaged.

Good job! (and if you want to hear more sucking... Go read my keeping up appearances thread!!!!)
hugs,
Shannon
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:31 PM
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Suicide threat = call the police.

Done.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:55 PM
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Getting By - I have been reading your Appearances thread and I have been thinking of you because I KNOW if my AH was here, in the house, I would be jumping back on the merry go round. In fact, I would be putting quarters in the darn thing to keep it spinning. I dont know how you are able to maintain the facade when you must be screaming inside to get out. I know I was.

I think what bothered me the most about todays drama was the immediate physical reaction I had - my heartrate shot up, my chest felt tight and I had trouble getting a breath. Just like when he was home and would do something crazy. It was like someone flipped a switch and BAM there I was back in the mode of panic.

It has been been almost 8 weeks since he has lived here and I had forgotten that rush of anxiety that used to be a daily companion.

And, Getting By, divorce does suck. Someone here called it suckage on a stick. It is terrifying. But, for me, it is better than where I was. I filed in April and it will all be over by Thanksgiving, assuming something crazy doesnt happen. I will be dirt poor and will probably have to sell the house in the spring (cant bring myself to do that now) but I will be FREE (cue Mel Gibson shouting "FREEEEDOOOM" from Braveheart)
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:54 AM
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Leaping,

We can't control our autonomic nervous system responses (the adrenaline, etc.). You handled everything GREAT, IMO.

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. And the funny thing about being "dirt poor" after a divorce--you will be amazed at how quickly you can reverse that situation once you don't have someone else dragging you down.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Leaping View Post
I think what bothered me the most about todays drama was the immediate physical reaction I had - my heartrate shot up, my chest felt tight and I had trouble getting a breath. Just like when he was home and would do something crazy. It was like someone flipped a switch and BAM there I was back in the mode of panic.
That's very unsettling, isn't it?! I used to have the same reaction after I left my EXAH, he'd call me, and I'd hear his voice! That was back before caller ID, so I would always answer!

Eventually I started hanging up on him, and even though it was horribly uncomfortable to so do the first few times, it did get easier.

Eventually he quit calling and found another hostage to play house with. As a matter of fact he married her, and she was the one who got to bury him when he died at the tender age of 47.

I still think of him from time to time, but it's just a passing twinge of sadness that he never found recovery, and gratitude that I am where I am today.

You're doing great!
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:17 AM
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I feel for you......This is one of my worst fears. With my AH, his brother killed himself years ago over a "girl" when he was 18 and I'm afraid this kind of thinking runs in the family. I'm afraid that my AH will threaten the same or even do the same when I tell him I want a separation. This is probably one of the things that scares me the most, I don't want him to take his own life because of this because I don't know how I'd live with myself if he did. But....I'm learning through counseling that this line of thinking and the consequences of his own actions are not my responsibility. It's taken me a long time to get to this point and this is why I've realized I'm still "in", but I'm now to the point that I've learned I have to be responsible and protect myself and our 9 yo son. My thoughts are with you....hang in there and be strong.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:32 AM
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Leaping - great thread title, btw!

I agree with the others...I would have done the same thing, felt the same way, had the same reaction (threats of self-harm are scary) and been wondering afterward if I had been conned.

You are wise to look back and review your reaction, but don't be too hard on yourself. You did the right thing, regardless of how anyone else reacted. Be proud of yourself for that. At least someone in his life is taking him seriously!

I've been separated for 7 months and I am still working on identifying my emotional reactions to situations so I can better handle them while "in the moment". I am learning that is a fine art that takes real practice.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:40 PM
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I'm sorry that you, like me, had to deal with a suicide threat. That said, you did make what I consider to be a huge mistake (I've made, and make, them too). In my opinion when there is a suicide threat, whether you think it's a bluff or not, you must call 911 and report the threat, regardless of where he is located (your 911 will usually help you connect with 911 where the person is located).

By not doing that you enabled him and gave him what he wanted, tried to control something you can't control, and completely came off the rails.

I've only made a few good decisions about my wife, but one of the best was calling 911 when she threatened suicide yet again.

What are you going to do when he does it again?

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak

P.s. There can be hospital and transportation costs involved which is something to consider only if affects you and or/children IMHO.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:30 PM
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What are you going to do when he does it again?

Cyranoak, I have been thinking about this. He called and apologized "for confiding in me" (interesting angle, that) and said he would not call or text again. I have decided that the next time he acts suicidal again, I will call the local 911. I am not a mental health expert, I did not stay in a Holiday Inn last night and I am not trained to handle threats of self harm.

THEN his father called me and asked me to back off of the divorce. He said he has been going to Al Anon and he has learned that what my AH (his son) needs is a GOAL. And they think his goal should be that he can have his family back. IF he had that as a goal, the depression would lift and he would be able to focus on recovery. Then he (his father) told me to think about it and that he loved me. He has never told me that in the almost 25 years I have known him.

Threw me for a loop. I admit I have not been to Al Anon, preferring instead to read/post here, read CoDep no More and other self help books so I do not know the teachings of Al Anon but I am willing to bet that giving A's a GOAL to get better is not part of the plan. Am I wrong?

Shouldnt the goal for him be sobriety???

And yes, to your next question - I am planning on attending Al Anon next month when the kids are back in school

thanks everyone for your kindness and thoughtful repsonses. I am rebuilding my own trust in myself, one small step at a time.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:59 AM
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OMG, I'm reading the post and going, "AL-ANON says he needs a GOAL???"

No, fer ****'s sake (I put in the asterisks myself), Al-Anon doesn't have anything to say about what the alcoholic "needs". Sounds like his Dad needs to learn that he doesn't have any more power over you than he does over his son.

Sounds to me like the Dad is being manipulated by the son's threats, and the Dad in turn is trying to manipulate you. Look at it this way. The Dad is scared, probably, by the suicide threats. He probably thinks it would "help" for him to have his family back. Not his business, and he can't possibly know what is best for anyone else.

If I were you I'd be as compassionate as possible toward the Dad, but let him know that you will handle your own recovery.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:05 AM
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With a year in Al-Anon, I can honestly say I have never heard what your FIL told you. However, I have been encouraged by old-timers in the program to wait through the first year of my husband's recovery before doing anything drastic. But he's in AA and working the steps...

I agree with Lexie on this one. Have lots of compassion, but do what you need to do to protect yourself first and foremost.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:05 PM
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I suggest cutting all contact entirely with both him and his family. It's much easier to have someone gone completely from life than the constant torture they put us through. You aren't helping him by letting him manipulate you.
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