Why am I so Angry?

Good morning Faithful Reader – 11/7/2021

Why am I so angry?

My name is Bob and my son Anthony killed himself a little over four years ago at the age of 35. I say this to claim my seat here and show my connection with a club that no one wishes to be a member of.

When I first arrived here I was honestly too far into my own despair that I had lost the ability to be angry about anything, except for maybe with myself. That was two years ago and I have been actively seeking a way out of this shared adventure that we are all walking together. I am sorry that you are even reading what I have to say because that means you have experienced a truly profound and life-shattering loss and like I once was, you are lost and have no idea where to turn. I understand your pain and your confusion, along with every other member of this group all too well. While I am sorry that you are my brother or my sister in this excruciating exercise, I would honestly not want to speak to anyone else this morning.

Part of my recovery, and that is what I call if for I know no other way to describe this experience other than to equate it with a disease that wants to kill me, has been to learn acceptance and tolerance. If you ever see me putting it into practice I probably look like a toddler taking his first steps, but I have kept putting one foot in front of the other. Anger was the first true emotion I felt and when it hit it was like a hurricane, wrapped in a tsunami with a sprinkling of volcanic overflow attached. What really hurt, truly and deeply, was that my anger was directed at my son who had been dead for almost two years at this point.

I slapped my son across the face once, I am not proud of it but it is nice to know I can only remember using corporal punishment on him once. He was 17 and all of his friends were over for Thanksgiving dinner. It was just me, my two sons and all of their friends. I had just been released from the Brockton VA Hospital after a year of being locked up and this would be around 1995 or 1996. Anyway, we were all laughing and I was taking the trash out and my son Anthony picked up the bird carcass and threw it over the fence into the neighbors apartment enclosure, a matter of a few feet. I was stunned when I heard the slap, I don’t think I had ever hit him before but there I was and we were just looking at each other. All his friends were standing around and you could hear a pin drop. I told him we were not like that and to go over there and knock on the door before picking up the carcass, apologizing, then returning here with it.

He did it without a glance and he truly felt bad, so did I. But, this was the memory that filled my mind at the moment I became angry in my grief and I wept for what seemed like hours. Deep, wracking sobs that my wife was unable to console and I felt like I would drown.

I got up that day, two years ago, and went online to find something. Anything really and eventually I found this specific group after a long and arduous search. I am angry because my kid is dead and when you come right down to it, I think we all have a right to feel that way. I am not saying this as a license to be less than your better self my friend, no I am not saying that at all. Perhaps, it is a reason to embrace that better self and to try to be the person your child would want you to be. That is how I feel, and that is what I try to say to myself when I am angry. I also try to do it when I am swimming in all the tributaries of anger such as jealousy, paranoia, self-loathing, self-doubt and hopelessness. These are the dangerous waters to me because they all lead to anger and anger leads to, for me, self-destruction.

I personally will not give in to this and now that I have found a voice, I intend to raise it and do whatever it takes for me to speak about this with whoever will listen in the hope that I might give one person a moment, a minute or a day where they believe that there is hope. I know there is hope and there are great gifts to be found in grief if you open yourself up to them. I got to spend twenty minutes with you this morning, talking about my greatest struggle and you listened. That is a great gift and one day I hope you will pass it along to someone else, for that is how this whole thing works.

If no one told you that they love you today, then please know my brothers and sisters in grief, that I do and I pray that you keep coming back.

My name is Bob, Thank you for letting me share.

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Who Am I, now?

My friend called me last night and I won’t use his name but he is the reason I am writing this today because I want the world to understand something. He wept, literally like a child sobbing and I felt such sorrow for him. He was crying “Bobby, I had no idea, what did they do to you”?

Acceptance & Tolerance

I wrote for several months, as others in this group can attest to. I started sharing it on my public timeline and with my family. I then continued to expand as I moved farther and farther away from the shock of my son’s suicide and into the realm of grief. Grief was actually like a calm pool of warm water compared to the raging oceans of shock that I had been riding on. Each day, I asked for help quietly and each night I said thank you. I didn’t start quoting books or attending a church or converting anyone. I did become open to the discussion about God, which I suppose is only fair since I was asking people to be open about the discussion about suicide.

We Have No Choice

People see the life rush out of us. Some have the luxury of speaking to us over the phone as they place us into a state of shock. I feel empathy for the first responders who come to our doors, into our lives, attempting to dissuade us from seeing the pictures, the autopsies, the drug reports or listen to the stories heard from the friends and family they investigate.

Comedians And Suicide

I watched a comedian perform the other night and I said something to him, via the world wide web. I made a comment on a video and I honestly just didn’t think about it again. Now, late at night I get a message and he says, “Hey, did you post on my timeline?”. Now, amazingly enough I have no idea who this guy is and it turns out he is a pretty famous guy in his own right, and I will not say who he is. Anyone who knows me, knows that my celebrity friends enjoy a great anonymity with me in public.

Scrambled Eggs

Please know that there is hope, but if you do not carry that message it may not be heard. I am a soldier and I know no one is coming. That makes me responsible. I could not do it alone, I went a long way with the help of others but there were days that nothing on this earth could save me from shock and grief. I had to turn to something greater than myself, some people call that ‘God’. Some people simply call it service to the community because sharing our experiences, strengths and hope with each other is how this works. Others among us feel that no spiritual component is necessary though I do believe that road must be filled with a higher degree of difficulty.