Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Carol Doesn't Say Goodbye


I wrote about her a while back. Here. Just over 4 years ago. Carol* moved away to the city and we stayed in sporadic touch. She finally met the man of her dreams she told me only a week ago. And sent a picture.

And then, her daughter, who gave birth to Carol's first grandchild a few months ago, messages me today that Carol took her own life yesterday.
I can only conclude that the latest knight in shining armour had clay feet too. Or Carol just gave up on her dream.

After my initial shock and a welter of tears, I am still baffled. Carol was beautiful in an exotic way. Dainty. Petite. Her childhood was one of the worst I'd ever heard of, full of foster homes and abusive men. She lost a brother she was very close to about 5 years ago and told me she could never get over it. He was her pillar of strength.

I met some of the men she was involved with but not the latest. I was not impressed with any of them for a variety of reasons.

Over the years, I got to know Carol at a deep level and understood far too well her motivation in wanting a safe life with her very own fellah and security. Security was important to her as she'd never, ever had it in her entire life.

I don't think she really understood what it meant. Apart from the fairytales depicted on television. I had suggested a few times that the only security she could ever find and hang on to was the security residing within herself.

I weep tonight for all the Carols out there.

And for all the "if-onlys" of life.


*a pseudonym

38 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I could always see the possibilities in her S JG. The magnificent potential. I couldn't stop her running down her dark alleys so often.
      XO
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  2. What a tragedy for her and another loss for you...I am so sorry and sending hugs...

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    1. Thanks E. I did the best I could for her and did love her.

      XO
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  3. I am so sorry. Thinking of you at the news of another loss :-(

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    1. I am very sad but also it was a friendship of inequality in one sense as I was the mother figure. But I did love her. Thanks Jo.

      XO
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  4. Much love to you, and Carol's family. I'm aware of your sorrow but also that you have compassion and wisdom around her choice. You speak from strength and love.

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    1. Jan she had a nightmare of a life up in the Big Land. I don't think even a person with 10 times her strength could have survived. And I know you deal with survivors all the time.

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  5. I condole with you. It takes a great deal of courage to take one's own life. Must have been a remarkable woman.

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    1. She never saw herself that way Ramana, unfortunately. I saw something deep within her that never saw the light of day, try as I might. An on and off (mainly off) friend of Bill's.

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  6. perhaps,also, a grandchild can remind you of how much you have to lose if you love, and this is a hard one to get over. ann.

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    1. That is profound Ann. The future must have terrified her.

      XO
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  7. That is so sad. It occurs to me that I know more people who have killed themselves than have died in car accidents.

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    1. OMG Hattie - me too. I believe I only know one who died in a car and seriously, I've lost track of the suicides.

      Something very wrong with these stats of ours.

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  8. Who can say what makes someone end their lives. My sister tried but thankfully she failed. Even she cannot say why she thought that dying was the answer. She did say that desperation played a part in it.
    I am so sorry for Carol and for her daughter and grandchild that will never know grandma. I am sorry for you also, WWW~

    XO
    Jan

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    1. I imagine Jan it is a confluence of thoughts and hopelessness and feeling no way out, you know? One of my kids tried to commit suicide, failed also. Sometimes life looks better in the morning. If only they could wait that long :(

      Her daughter now has all her young brothers living with her along with her own baby and she is terribly young herself. A fund has been started to help.

      XO
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  9. Oh my......So many of us make poor choices in our lives and never seem to find the LESSON in them. I'm sorry to read of this poor woman's death.

    Such sadness for all.

    Jo

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    1. Dreadful. All her dreams dashed and her youngest only 12.
      I've known far too many whose parents took that way out and their lives are forever haunted.
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  10. So sorry to hear ... and I'm afraid I agree with your belief that only security any one of us finds is the security residing within ourselves.

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    1. I wish these lessons would be taught in school Tom. That and economic independence for girls. What a difference it would make!
      XO
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  11. I hear sadness and regret in your responses. What about anger? Anger that she didn't just call you, as you certainly would have listened through that whole night or day, anger that she would upend a 12-year-old's life like that or go just when her first grandchild was born, or a thousand things. I know you know this already, but if those feelings do come, they're normal, too.

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  12. I feel defeat more than anger, Linda. Hopelessness actually. For I've known a few like her. she found it so hard to make friendships as her value (to her) was her sexuality and she alienated many women who felt threatened by her. I think another woman and myself were her only friends in the true sense of the word as we both loved her for who she was. My regret lies in being unable to help her. I don't find it in me to be angry at all.

    XO
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  13. Very mysterious that so soon after meeting the apparent "man of her dreams" she felt desperate enough to take her own life. But who ever knows why someone takes their own life? The reasons are known only to themselves, they seldom confide in other people.

    I'm so sorry you've lost yet another close friend.

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    1. He was one in a long line of "The Ones" Nick. Unfortunately. It was an unequal friendship we had so no we weren't close in a soul sister way as I doubt she could have told you much about me. I was more her mother confessor as I never judged hee.

      XO
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  14. I would rather you felt somewhat hurt and angry with her than disappointed in yourself and your ability to help her. I think/suspect we are all responsible for our own decisions and actions. I know how tempting suicidal thoughts can be but in the final [very final!] analysis it is the cowards way out. She wasn't thinking of you or her children or her grandchildren or anyone but herself. Its hard to live at times - I suspect for all if not many of us. Hopefully we are able to do whatever we have to do [pills, shrinks, friends, books, the www - whatever!] to keep putting one foot in front of the other - if only so our daughter doesn't have to phone our friend with such awful news! Our friend may just have more than enough on her plate! xxxooo

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  15. Grief is such a mixed bag, Betty. I would never judge Carol, her life was horrific. I think it normal to feel helpless when we have to stand by and let someone self-destruct. Nothing we can say or do can stop them. I remember some of those lost souls like Carol. I think it not so much a selfish act as an act of despair. Feeling so unloved and that the world would be a far better place without you in it. Feeling not up to the task of everyone's expectations.

    XO
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  16. I have a wonderfully dear friend whose only son stepped out in front of a lorry last year. He'd been through years of depression counseling, of trail drug programs, and had all manner of help and support from family and friends. Still, the day before his suicide, he told his dad, "I don't want to die. I just can't bear to hurt anymore." I don't think of this young man as a coward. He did his utmost best to live and still could not. None of us can occupy the minds and hearts of another, nor can we spend any amount of time at all in their shoes, so to speak. And our own justifications still don't give us the right to judge. I'm sorry for all the "Carols" too. I hope they no longer hurt. And if I have to hurt in their stead, I'm willing to take it on.

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    1. And we sure don't know the contents of their hearts before the moment when they decide to end it all. The only way out of the pain and hurt that is unbearable. I am so very sorry for your friend's unbearable loss Pauline.

      XO
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  17. I wasn't trying to judge Carol - sorry if it came across that way. I do realize she probably convinced herself the world would be a better place without her. However, I feel she was wrong. I think the world is not a better place without her. She hurt a lot of people when she ended her pain which is why I feel you have the right to be somewhat hurt and angry with her rather than disappointed in yourself and your ability to help her. If you feel disappointed in yourself aren't you walking the same road she walked? aren't you saying "I wasn't good enough to help her? I was helpless and useless" when in fact you most likely did everything you could to help her and she [through absolutely no fault of her own - fate decides these things IMO] was incapable of asking for help or accepting help or knowing where she might find help or even that she needed help. My comment was to you Wise.

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    1. No Betty. More like sadness on the world for the way that the Carols are treated through no fault of their own. She saw her mother butchered by her father when she was 3 years old. And that was only the beginning of her life. Foster homes and pedophiles followed.

      Love was simply not enough to sustain her. Her self worth was almost invisible.

      It was tragedy after tragedy.

      If I am angry at anything it would be the cruel and inhumane system that fosters male violence and harbours important pedophiles.

      XO
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  18. I think it's often hard for people to understand what a chaotic or abusive childhood does to a person and how damaged it leaves them. Sometimes people, at least in a moment of despair, really believe there is no other way of ending the pain. I feel so sad for people like your friend when they reach that place.

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    1. One of my friends is a therapist who specializes in children, SAW and she's told me a few times that sexually abused children never recover as their forming psyches are permanently damaged.

      I do believe that. I have a close friend (one of the few I have left) who is living proof of such permanent damage.

      XO
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    2. I was a sexually abused child as was at least one sister and certainly one brother. By our mother and her father. We were all abused in many other ways including not getting enough to eat and watching her [the poor thing] put my 6 year old brothers tiny hand on the hot woodstove to teach him "not to play with fire"! Not that that compares with watching your father kill your mother - I expect both cause physical brain damage.
      We came from what looked on the outside like a fairly middle class family living in a large house in a small town. One brother was killed playing hockey, the other spent most of his life in jail and was a heroin addict who died in Vancouver. My sister was manic depressive [as I now know my mother was although never treated] and died in an institute for the criminally insane last year. You don't want to hear about my nephews!
      I agree with your therapist friend but with a lot of help here I am a functioning 81 year old reasonably happy human being in most areas although an observant person once mentioned "you carry a lot of sadness". Indeed.
      I still see a psychiatrist once a month and will as long as he will have me. I took prozac for 5 or 6 years but haven't taken any mood altering drugs for 10 or so years. I am very interested in psilocybin and may take it if ever becomes legal again. It seems to be a more or less direct road to our unconscious and I would like to know whats in there before I die.
      My point is - I could have been Carol and Carol could have been me. Don't think I haven't made many many mistakes as a result of my abuse and watching the abuse of my brothers and sisters. I have! However, I think I may be living proof that our psyches can indeed be healed with Luck and Pluck. Not to mention genes. I wish she had been able to recognize and accept your help and any help she was offered along the way so she could keep on putting one foot in front of the other. She has closed that door on herself and I hope anyone reading your blog and feeling tempted to suicide will think twice about it and realize they will kill large parts of a lot of other people along with themselves.
      I understand Pauline's friend's son as it seems he tried every avenue and found no relief from profound pain. What a shame though - a magic med may have been right around the corner for him.
      Sorry to have gone on for so long Wise! xxx

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    3. Not at all Betty, we learn from others. I know the Black Dog intimately having been victimized as a child myself. Everyone's story is different. You are made of strong stuff Betty and your sense of adventure and dedication to your art inspires me all the time.

      I had attempted, with Carol, to inspire her in a creative direction as I had a strong sense that this was locked way down inside her. Art therapy would have been highly beneficial for her (IMO) but unfortunately, there is no such programme here. I remember taking paint and paper way back and drawing and painting, quite fiercely what had happened to me as a child and sobbing with relief to get it out as a large canvas type drawing.
      I do believe the full realization of what they are doing to others is very far from a person contemplating the final act.
      So sorry for all you have been through Betty. You are a star. So good to know you.

      XO
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  19. and XXOO to you too Wise.
    Take care, Betty

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  20. Poor Carol. I imagine there were many angels with broken wings along the way (if mostly women) who tried to save her from herself. Then again, many depressed women cannot accept a man who treats them well if that is not what they (deep down) believe that they deserve and I have met cases of those too, where the man really is the dream man - they just cannot accept him and so sabotage the relationship, one way or another, despite themselves.Tragic, whatever happened in Carol's case.

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