The day before yesterday I learned that Sara, a WordPress blogger, took her own life. I’ve been bereft since then, mainly because I feel I have no right to feel this way. For a period of time, Sara and I corresponded after she posted about her experience at Sheppard Pratt. In that particular posting she ranted in that brilliant and funny way of hers about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). I resonated with her rant because I also find it exhausting that too many of these places that treat PTSD and DID put all their eggs in the DBT basket. DBT is not a bad concept, it certainly has its’ good points … but please it is not the be all and end all cure for PTSD. I had completed a stay at Mclean Hosptial’s residential program for traumatic and dissociative disorders, and it was interesting for both of us to hear about each other’s experiences in what many consider the top two psychiatric programs for PTSD in the country. From our correspondence you could see that we both found our programs acceptable, but way too ballyhooed for their own britches.
Sara was much more articulate than I was in ranting about it. I wish I could recall the specifics of what she wrote.
I am most disappointed in myself because I fell out of contact with her. It’s one of those things that happens when life gets in the way.
I will further admit that I became aware that Sara lived less than a 3 hour drive from me. In the back of my mind I planned to tell Sara that I lived close enough to drive to her, and I would ask if she would like to meet. But, it never came to pass. My own life struggles take center stage far too often, and that plan never got off the back burner. Now it will never be.
I sit here stuck now in front of my laptop computer, immobilized from disappointment and undeserved grief.
I am so sorry for your loss – it is a blow to loose a friend, and especially when it is one that is part of a small community of understanding.
Thanks, Sarah. Always good hearing from you …
I wish we had a way to help each other. I have come too close lately too. Forcing myself to write or post something that I made helps. Exhausted now. Good night.
Hi Martha, yes, I do wish we had more ways to help each other. I hope today is better. I do the same, forcing myself to write can be helpful. Take care.
Thanks, if I had not said it before.
I get it.
Thank you, Jan.
Be as kind to yourself as you would be to anyone else in your shoes. Don’t beat yourself up . . . because, as you said, life often does indeed foil the best of intentions, and we do whatever we must to take care of ourselves in response. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Hi Katherine, I’m starting to feel less disappointed with myself as days progress, and as I speak with more people about this. Thank you for stopping by …
I am so very sorry for your loss, Beatriz. It is a hard thing to make peace with the choices one makes in the past. It is a part of healing as well as living. However, it sounds like you and Sara had the exact connection that each of you needed at the time you made it. It’s natural to wonder what might have been, but it serves neither you nor Sara to dwell on it. What was, was. This was a really hard thing for me to accept. I wanted to keep everyone I met in my life, but how? Life pulls them away, just as life pulls me away. I’ve also had to accept that as I’ve healed, I’ve changed, and I am no longer the person that all those people in my past knew. We no longer have a connection.
I am also very sorry that Sara chose suicide. It is not a productive solution despite the fact that it is one solution. Death is painful for the living and suicide compounds that pain.
“Undeserved grief” — are you saying that Sara does not deserve your grief? Or that you do not deserve to grieve for her? I would challenge either. The grieving process is also a healing process that leads to acceptance. It is a human response to loss. Honor your feelings. You have every right to feel them, whatever they are. And it sounds like Sara deserves someone to grieve for her…..
Be gentle with yourself, take care of yourself. You’re in my thoughts.
By “undeserved grief” I meant that I felt that I did not deserve to grieve for her. I would never say that someone taking their own life does not deserve my grief. I would never say this because scarily I understand the desire all too well. I hope it never comes to that for me, but because I understand it I don’t hold back any grief or love. It’s more that I felt I didn’t deserve to grieve because I felt that I wasn’t really a friend to her since I hadn’t been around as much.
Thanks as always for the support.
Hi, Beatriz — thanks for clarifying. But I still emphatically believe that you do deserve to grieve, to feel your feelings and sense of loss. You honor Sara and her presence in your life in that way. I understand that you are disappointed in yourself for not staying better in contact with her. Why are you so hard on yourself? Each of us can do only our best at any given time with the information that we have at that time. Let go of the disappointment and guilt. Remember Sara as you knew her, honor her presence in your life as it was.
You deserve to miss her! Sara was a friend of mine, online and off, and she would have loved to know you cared. She had a huge heart and I dont think it mattered how often you spoke, you know?
If you cared about her too, please, feel her loss. It makes something about losing her better.
I’m so sorry that she is gone.
Thank you, Grainne. Seeing your reply is comforting to me, especially since I know you were friends with her. I recall you helping her with her previous blog when she went to Sheppard Pratt. (if my memory is serving me well)
I am sorry as well that she has left us.
You recall correctly…I still have proxy on that old blog of hers. 😦 I am glad my comment wasnt too personal. Xx
No worries at all. Good to know I did recall correctly. Thank you for the connection. It is much appreciated.
I’m also sorry for your loss. I agree that we are a small community with very little other good support, so we want to help each other all we can.
I do believe we have other lives and “between lives” (at least I’ve experienced things that seem to prove it). So I put my faith in the hope she’s finally free and being supported and loved by others wiser and with more resources than us.
Not to say we shouldn’t keep working out things here. I think there’s a lot of potential soul development to figure out this sh**!
Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I certainly agree that there’s a lot of potential soul development in figuring all this stuff out. I have to keep remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day.