Guilt and sadness after daughter's boyfriend's suicide(7 Posts)
I don't really know where to start.
Three months ago my daughter's boyfriend hung himself, aged 16. My daughter had just turned 15 and had been going out with this boy for 18 months.
At first we welcomed the boyfriend and treated him like a member of the family. But their relationship was very intense for their age, they had been having sex since she was 14 and there were problems, including violence- within the family home, which were of huge concern to myself, my husband, my daughter's father and stepmum. Her boyfriend often talked about suicide and being depressed and he reported to my daughter that his father had hit him and the younger children in the household. I know the family well and tried to talk to the father about this but came up against denials and a brick wall. After a particularly worrying run of incidents I called the NSPCC last May, and social services and the police were involved. The police warned the boyfriend about his behaviour towards my daughter, but social services did not seem to put anything in place for the family. It caused a great deal of conflict between my daughter and me.
We allowed her to see her boyfriend again but with strict ground rules about him coming to our house as we concerned about both his behaviour and the unstable family environment in his house. he hated the restrictions and seemed to want to my daughter to himself but we persevered with it. To cut a long story short his worrying behaviour and talk of suicide continued and we contacted his father on many occasion, I also spoke to the boyfriend directly, both to bring him to book on the way he was treating my daughter and to encourage help. His father did not seem to take anything seriously and sadly his son ended his life.
It came out afterwards that he had been drinking and taking drugs, without my daughter's knowledge. She was in a terrible state at first but is coping now, she has good support, counselling, talks to me, and our relationship is back on track. Privately, I am struggling however. I feel so guilty, because I didn't do more, because I contributed to the stress in his life, and because I didn't like him because of the way he treated my daughter. His father blames me entirely and banned me from attending the funeral. I feel responsible for this death, even though social services and the boy's family did less than me to help, because I could see he was unhappy, but I could also see he was making my daughter unhappy. I don't understand why his father didn't take the suicide threats seriously, and now he blames me.
I feel really low.
I'm so sorry to read your post you have all been through a awful time. From reading though it sounds like you did as much, if not more than you could do. Your daughter is your first priority and you did the right things by her.
You said you tried to help her boyfriend, you spoke to him and his father, you contacted relevant authority's which it itself must have been difficult. I know none of what I'm saying will take away your feelings I understand, that you blame yourself but it sounds like the boyfriend had a lot of problems so this would probably be the end result anyway.
I'm not trying to say you should just say well I did what I could and get on with life, you need to look at all you tried to do, you, didn't ignore the problems. It sounds like you would benefit from some counselling too, can you talk to your GP? you and your family have been through a life changing event that wil mean things will never be the same but, they can improve. Do you have support in real life how does your daughter feel now? Does she say she blames you?
It sounds like you did everything you could- protected your daughter (your primary responsibility) and sought help for him, which failed. Having worked with abusive men, the fathers response sounds typical to me- refusing to take any responsibility for his violent And abusive actions and emotionally abusing you by suggesting it was your fault.
If you let him come over to your house more he still would have been abused at home and you would have been teaching your daughter to accept his ill treatment of her, which was totally unacceptable regardless of his backstory. You did everything you could. Stop blaming yourself.
Thank you for the kind messages.
Lily my daughter is doing well, she still struggles and gets angry and upset but she hasn't once said she blames me. She has said she blames her boyfriend's dad. She actually seems to have processed it all better than me, and has reached the conclusion you suggest, that this might always have happened whatever anyone did.
Cookie thank you, what you say rings true and is of comfort, the father seems quite unable to look at how his own actions contributed to this.
It's been suggested I should contact Cruse for counselling but I suppose I feel like a fraud, I'm not the main person bereaved here and my daughter is the priority (she has counselling at school which is excellent and we also have a referral to CAHMS to help with anxiety which has got worse since her boyfriend's death)
OP you are not a fraud for accessing counselling you have been through a really tough time, anyone with depression or other MH issues may feel the same, you don't have to qualify your reasons for counselling you sound like you might be heading for the depression route. The good thing is you have recognised the signs and are seeking help, just don't leave it there. I have recently had the need to access counselling for reasons I won't go into but, it works on changing your thought processes I feel a benefit already.
Good luck I'm glad your daughter is getting help, take heart from the fact your daughter places no blame with you and try to remember that you are not to blame. Mental health is complex and simething we should talk about more.
Take care and update if you feel you would like to, would be lovely to know how things are progressing with you.
I am already on fluxotene for mild depression, I've contacted Cruse by email as I think I could do with talking to a professional.
Good although you are on fluoxetine it does not mean you won't become more depressed. Good luck.
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