A Loss That Is Deeply Felt

A Loss That Is Deeply Felt

I believe this thought didn’t randomly pop into my head. It wasn’t a simple process either. My suicide attempt was directly related to the bottled up resentment and rage I felt toward my father. When he died, I lost my opportunity to express these feelings to him and I turned the rage inward.

Source: © Idelll Bernstein

Now, my aunt Bumblebee is dying. She is my mother’s sister and I’m close to her, especially after my mother passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2002. It was her I called after my mother died when I had unanswered questions and when I hung up from that phone call, I was hysterical and had to call my then psychiatrist, Dr. Lev. That phone call was one of the rare times she stayed on the phone with me. She typically liked to keep phone calls very short and to the point. During the call with Dr. Lev, I recall sobbing and saying that I killed my mother.

My mother had unexpectedly come to visit me in the eating disorder unit when I was hooked up to a naso-gastric tube because I was refusing to eat. She looked me up and down and had one comment. “Nice.” Dripping with sarcasm.

My aunt told me she ended up in the emergency room that evening, having had too much wine and Klonopin. We will never know if she had too much on purpose. Her boyfriend found her. The hospital let her go home. I had given her the Klonopin. I felt responsible in more ways than one.

My aunt isn’t my only connection to my mother. I have my brother and my mom’s best friend. But the connection to my aunt is special because the relationship with my mom she had was special. My aunt is the one who told me my mom was bulimic and how and why her eating disorder started. My aunt was the one who told me she first spotted my eating disorder and alerted my mother. There are so many things I wouldn’t know about my mother if it weren’t for my aunt.

My aunt’s impending death made me think of my own mortality. And that brings me back to the last suicide attempt I made in 2014. I was hurting so badly. I always take the opportunity to educate any medical student that emotional pain hurts more than any physical pain.

I try to stay mindful, in the here-and-now, but sometimes I wonder if I ever fall into another intractable depression, will I become suicidal again? Because there are no guarantees. Especially with my DNA.

I’ve experienced several milder depressions over the years which warranted medication adjustments, but not going back into the hospital. For which I remain grateful.

I’m grateful for a great deal and Aunt Bumblebee, you’re on the top of the list.

Thanks for reading


© Andrea Rosenhaft

Source: © Andrea Rosenhaft

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