On March 22, 2017 in the still small hours of the very early morning, my sister put a gun in her mouth and pulled the trigger. She was 45 years old. Her housemate/companion heard a sound, and assumed it was a problematic picture in the basement falling off the wall as it had many times recently. She found my sister’s body at 7am, and called me after dialing 911 to relay the news. “Chad, it’s Marla. Missy’s dead. She shot herself.”
My sister had her demons in the last couple years of her life. She had been obsessed with death and dark things ever since our cousin (her best friend in the world) had committed his own suicide back in 2001, less than a month before his wedding.
I suppose I feel survivor’s guilt. I suppose I think I’m selfish because I’m angry that my sister left me an only child (I turn 50 next month) who must deal with/care for two aging parents who are left bereft as a result of her selfish, stupid act. I suppose I feel guilty that I’m more angry than sad at this point, when I can manage to feel anything at all.
I suppose I feel guilty because in the last couple years of my sister’s life, I had lost patience with her. I was as absent as possible from her wreck of a life. The drug addiction, the joblessness, the self-imposed drama, the continuous hypochondria (every single medical issue with her was ‘special’; she didn’t have migraines, she had ‘triple migraines’, she had mysterious unquantifiable maladies too numerous to mention, always ‘special’ or ‘extreme’), the showing up at family functions (when she could be bothered to do so), rocking back and forth, staring at the floor as if she were not really present, looking every bit as clean and put together as a mad bag lady, always volatile and depressive. I never took her maladies and declarations of anguish seriously. My sister *always* needed a lot of attention. I needed to focus on more positive things in life. I had no time for self pity and hypochondria and drug addiction and drama.
I suppose I feel like a terrible child, because ever since she killed herself, I do not want to see or spend any time with my parents, other than the obligatory contact. My mother always encouraged my sister’s drama and defended my sister’s various ‘illnesses’. My sister found herself basically blackballed from every hospital and mental facility in the region, because she would show with one of her maladies and demand opiates or other drugs. My mother refused to hear it when doctors at endless emergency rooms and mental facilities would explain that it was obvious my sister had nothing physically wrong with her, and was obviously presenting in order to obtain drugs. She racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary medical bills, and then didn’t make any attempt to pay. She declared bankruptcy no less than 3 times in her adult life as a result of this.
My father simply gave her money every single time she went to him with a sob story. She was ‘daddy’s girl’ of course.
So I suppose I’m having trouble forgiving my parents for enabling her.
I post here today, because I don’t know what else to do. I feel nothing. My wedding was one month after my sister’s suicide, and my husband and I insisted on going through with it, with the idea that grief would not hinder our happy day. My parents both dutifully showed up, ghosts of their former selves.
Again, I wish I could feel something real. I wish I could cry, or rant. I wish I felt something other than a vague sense of anger and (even more guilt) *relief* that she finally did it. I was not shocked. I was not surprised. I’d warned and tried to talk with my parents about it before she finally managed to do it, but neither would hear of it. They insisted she was just ill, just going through a rough patch. Their perfect little girl would never….
So I suppose I feel like an orphan at a crossroads. My family will never be the same again. We will never not have this hanging over us. What should be the happiest time of my life as a newlywed who *finally* found true love at 48 is forever sullied.
I don’t know why I’m posting here today; I suppose it’s because any ‘support’ I try to look up always leads back to a suicide prevention hotline, and that’s not what I need. I’m not suicidal. I think suicide is stupid, selfish, and irreversible.
I need to feel real grief. I need to feel real love and concern for my parents and myself. I need to feel happy. I need to feel it’s ok to vent, and to be angry and sad and not the perfect sole survivor who holds it all together. I need someone who really understands what I’m feeling to help me. I need to feel.
Thanks for your ear. Thanks for your concern. Thanks for any advice you can offer. Thanks for being you. Thanks for letting me be me.
This is not a suicide or crisis resource. Please contact a counselor, family member, friend, or emergency services if you are having suicidal thoughts.
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