Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Glad This Blog Is Still Set To Private

I couldn't sleep last night.  So I was awake at 3:30am when the email came through that my friend's ex-husband had "taken his own life."

After the shock and initial sadness (he leaves behind three beautiful, sweet, sensitive kids who will most definitely be scarred by this) wore off, I slipped into a bizarre kind of emotional fog all day today.

Here's the deal - I don't think I'm all that sad that he's dead.  Wait, yes I am!  Who says such a thing?!  What I mean is...he was a real asshole to my friend but I think it was more a symptom of his mental illness.  But I don't think people can just go around treating each other with such specific cruelty as he did and blame it on mental illness.  I don't think he wanted to get well.  And THAT most certainly would have left horrible scars on his children.  So although they'll be scarred just because, at some point, they'll learn how their father died...in the long run maybe they'll turn out better if they avoid the ongoing mind games and emotional torture he was putting their mother through.

Maybe this is more a treatise on our failure, as a society, to treat depression and mental illness than it is a lament that I can't muster up more sorrow that this sick man who was hurting my friend is now gone.  I really don't know what I feel.  I'm just bumbling along in this fog. 

I certainly understand those depths of depression.  I even understand wanting to check out.  But I'm always stopped from going too far down that black hole when I think of my daughter.  Would I want my mother to raise my daughter?  Um, hell no.  Would my daughter hate me forever, on some level, for leaving her alone?  I bet she would.  When we decide to have children we make that deal with the future - that deal where we try to make it better.  Raising damaged kids is no way to ensure a healthy future.

I don't think my friend's children will be horribly damaged in the long run.  Damaged? Perhaps...but aren't we all if you scratch the surface enough?  But she will surround them with so much unconditional love and support that they'll make it through.  I am very grateful to be part of a circle of very strong, supportive, loving mothers and girlfriends.  We'll gather 'round her and the kids and lift them up when she cannot.

Tomorrow night I'm making Thanksgiving dinner for 20 of my students.  Turkey thawing in the fridge...


Carrie said...

You're getting an early start on T'giving? Yum. Cornbread dressing, right? I can taste it...ahhh. Where are you having it? I like your comment about lliffting the kids up when she cannot. True friendship. Miss you. See you in Nov.

Alannah said...

Cornbread dressing...now I've got leftovers for days - just like real Thanksgiving! We had it here at the house. It's mostly decorated and ready for visitors. It should be. I'm having a housewarming party on Saturday.

Miss you too! Looking forward to dancing until we drop on Nov. 18!

ste-pha-nie said...

Alannah, I had no idea - I need to drop in a read here more often... and it's sad, but true... when I mean person goes, there's that odd undercurrent of relief. We can love a person, but when they are mean and hurtful, whether they are a sociopath or have some other mental illness or imbalance, it's tough to like them, or miss them when they are gone.