Three Weeks

Another throw back Thursday post. – These posts are things that I wrote at that time, so the sentiments may or may not still be applicable as time moves on.

Three weeks out and his house still smells like him.

I wandered around, smelling the air and crying and talking to him. I went from telling him he’s an asshole, to apologizing for not noticing, to asking why he didn’t call.

Maybe I’m a bit of a masochist. Going back there. Smelling his hat. His shirt.

One of my friends, who is a therapist, was talking to me about PTSD, and the theories surrounding it. The generally accepted view is that if you’re in a life or death situation, and it changes your world view suddenly, that’s what causes it. The more recent theory is that any time ANYTHING suddenly changes your world view, that can cause it. In which case, any social or spiritual or whatever life-changing event can make any of us susceptible. Vulnerable.

Looking through the pictures of him on the memorial site, there’s a change in him. About five years ago. He went through a really bad time. He was betrayed or let down by not only one, but two people he trusted. Afterward, you can see the change. His pictures change. His expressions. You can just tell something changed in him.

Maybe he had a form of PTSD. Maybe that’s why he was so afraid to let anyone get that close again. Maybe if he had actually tried to work through it with a therapist, he would have figured some stuff out, and I (or anyone) would have been allowed in.

I am trying not to assign blame. I’m really trying. I honestly don’t really know who to assign it to, even. Him, for not putting forth any effort to get help? One of the ones who betrayed him for stringing him along and hurting him again and again? The other one who betrayed him for not just getting out of his life and continuing to stick around in their toxic semi-relationship? Myself for not pushing him harder to get help?

I want to hate someone for it.

I want a million things. Or maybe just one. I want a time machine. I want him back.

Written 3/10/2014

Post script; added 7/17/2014.

This was written when I was still reeling. Now, when I am doing well, when I’m centered, I know that Depression is to blame. That the disease that made Ian believe that there were no options is the reason he’s dead. He didn’t believe that therapy would help. He didn’t believe that antidepressants would help. He was convinced that he was unfixable; that he was irredeemable. I can’t say that I’m always in a space where I’m centered enough not to want to hate someone physical, but I’m finding more and more that I’m centered enough to know that it’s Depression.

I needed to publish this post because I’ve found that everyone with whom I’ve talked who has lost someone to suicide feels like they need someone to blame. This is normal, and I felt like omitting the ugly or mean things I thought and felt would be disingenuous. If my purpose in writing this blog is to provide a place where people are able to see what grief is like, what is normal, then I need to put everything out there.

What I’m mad at now, when I’m centered, is the culture we live in, that makes depression a weakness. That men, especially, are inundated with the idea that asking for help makes them less than manly. I’m angry that the system in which we work is set up so that people can’t get help if they’re too poor, or live in the wrong area. I hate that people don’t have the support they should have.

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4 thoughts on “Three Weeks

  1. This must have been a hard post to write, especially since casting blame would be satisfying and allow you to stop searching for an answer. It’s all X’s fault, solved, don’t have to think it over any longer.

    I also wanted someone to blame – got reeeeeeally angry at the internet for a while. I think you’re right that ultimately it was depression, but of course there were contributing factors, but there’s no way to know if one thing or another was truly the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Oh Ian.

  2. I applaud you for deciding to post this, Iris.
    Your well-stated explanations make it clear that it’s your desire to be true to the concept and purpose for the blog.
    Maybe someone, somewhere will realize that the feelings they’re going through are a normal part of the grieving process.
    It’s not easy to bare yourself.

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