The Deepest of Despair

As a trauma specialist and therapist, it hit hard when I heard my cousin had taken his own life this morning. He hung himself and was found by his mother, that’s all I know at present, we’d lost contact as families sometimes do.

Of course, I thought to myself, what would have happened if we’d stayed in touch, could I have helped but then I have to acknowledge that he might not have shared his darkness with me. His father, my uncle, also tried to hang himself but was found just in time by his own mother. I remember at his funeral, my cousin saying how thankful he was that his father didn’t take his own life, that the fatal heart attack had prevented another attempt.

My cousin and his elder sister had difficult childhoods with their father an alcoholic who would go into the darkest of places at times. A dysfunctional childhood doesn’t give you the best grounding for your future. I’m an apple that fell in the same orchard and I know only too well the craziness of my father’s family.

As a therapist, I want to help people, I want to lead people towards recovery as therapists do, I want to make good where I can, but I can’t heal the world. I can only hope that the people who are suffering are heard where they can be and get the right support, even if it is the love of their families.

The purpose of this post is to ask that we don’t let people suffer if we can do something to help them. Listen to them and encourage them to talk, to friends, family and a therapist if they will consider it. Give them a space and give them time and show them love. Recognise that the emotions we see on the outside might be covering the deepest pain.

If you don’t know how to help, speak to someone and get advice yourself.

Even with all the love and attention in the world, people will still continue to take their lives but if we can prevent just one, this post was worth it.

In loving memory of Nicolas