For those of you thinking about it, or those of you who have ‘survived’ it either as an attempter or someone close to them, here’s my story.
I’m 30, and my husband D was 31. We were together for 11 years and married for 9 of those, with two young daughters aged 7 and 2.
I won’t lie, the first 2-3 years we put each other through hell – I would obsess and interrogate him over silly things, go on and on at him, we argued a lot, he would lash out/snap and be violent. He was immature – I remember during one argument in the car I told him I was taking him back to live with his dad, he got out and sat in the middle of the motorway! I think he’d been drinking (can’t remember) and I talked him round. He’d had an abusive childhood physically and mentally, he’d watched his dad beat his mum and siblings, he wet the bed til the age of 16 and the family were scared of his dad. His mum left when D was 16, taking 2 of his siblings. I wonder how it affected him.
Anyway…Then in 2008 we got married, the violence stopped and the arguing decreased. The following year our first child was born. Life was relatively normal from 2009-2014.
We spent all of 2014 trying to conceive our second child, a child D did not want but was willing to have to keep me happy (he’d only ever wanted one child, I was broody) but life was still normal. Our second child arrived in April 2015.
Things went downhill a few months later. He started hanging around with a new guy at work and all of a sudden was constantly on the phone to him, and then the drinking began. The odd night here and there, coming home at 3am drunk out of his mind. Meanwhile he began doing less and less with me and the kids, putting his friend first in my opinion. This continued and towards the end of 2015 he uncovered a huge amount of debt I’d been hiding from him, went mad and smashed up the house. He forgave me and we had a nice xmas.
2016 was a tough year – we spent many months ok and many months “split up” but living together. The debt wasn’t the issue for him, it was the HUGE web of lies I’d told to cover it up. He didn’t understand that the debt only accrued for living costs, like food and stuff, hardly a luxury lifestyle. He felt our marriage had been a lie. He started going out more often which made us argue. I told him I wanted a divorce and he got nasty, said vile things. We managed to work things out and ended 2016 on a good note.
Here comes the suicide bit…
Jan 2017 we argued, I told him I couldn’t live my 30s the way I lived my 20s, with him doing nothing with the kids etc. (he’d given up going out all night to save our marriage by this point). His drinking was still a problem as he drank at home, and even one drink made him nasty. On 8 Jan I discovered an order for a gas mask. I confronted him, he told me he’d researched the most painless, quick, guaranteed way to die (exit bag). I said all the usual stuff – hadn’t he considered the children, what he’d miss out on, me etc. and he said he had, but we’d be better off without him and we’d get over it. He said he felt suicidal because I was “mental” (ME not him!) and made up stuff to argue over. He said he knew he’d never see the kids if we split up (to be fair I always threatened he’d have to have supervised access). I talked him round. Or so I thought. On my birthday 3 weeks later I found he’d been trying to buy it again, this time in person paying cash. I can’t recall what I said at that time but I must’ve confronted him. I was confused, I said I thought he was happy, he seemed happy last Xmas and he said “I thought I could be”
Feb 2017 I left him for a week – we had an argument, we both overreacted and I left. I told him he’d have to take me to court for access. But after a week I relented and took the kids to see him. He was almost crying, begging for me to come home, something he’d NEVER done. I came home and he was the happiest I’d ever seen him.
March was uneventful, we moved house. End of April we argued, he “fake” called the police then accused me of calling them, then he called them for real, all because I’d accused him of having a drink and we’d argued. He called the police who came and left, said nothing wrong etc. I threw him out. He came to our youngest’s party and then announced he had to leave because Id “arranged for him to be beaten up in front of the kids” based on the fact he’d overheard me ask my friend if her and her partner were coming!!! He left. He was gone 2 weeks, and I again threatened he’d have to have supervised access but I again relented and let him see the kids at home. He moved back in the same night.
End of May we celebrated our anniverary and it was lovely – the best date night we’d ever had. We’d had a few date nights in 2016 but they’d all ended badly as he’d have a drink and get argumentative etc.
June was full of arguments. First week of July we went on holiday which was stressful – he drank a lot, did nothing to help me with the kids, moaned all the time etc. Drank so much he was vomiting then tried to say it was food poisoning when he hadn’t even eaten that day. It reminded me of the previous year when he told me he thought I was poisoning his food, and kept feeding some of his dinner to our kids to make sure I didn’t poison it!
The day we came home, our 7 year old was playing up (her behaviour for over a year at night has been hell, screaming all night, refusing to sleep, refusing to let me leave the room, screaming things like YOU’RE KILLING ME, SOMEONE CALL THE POLICE to make us give her what she wants. I’d argue with D as he would say leave her to scream but I’d do anything to stop it as I didn’t want her waking up her sister or the neighbours calling the police. It was soooo stressful! This past 6 months both me and D have been awful to her, called her names,, yelled and I’ve smacked her a few times out of pure despair and sleep deprivation. I’m not proud of it.
Anyway that night D smacked her, HARD. It left a handprint. I yelled at him and he accused me of yelling so that he got arrested. He was vile to me, calling me names. I stayed upstairs and I swear I could hear him pacing up and down. He slept on the sofa.
The next night I stayed in a hotel, emailed him explaining he had to leave due to smacking our eldest that hard, and the fact I might as well have gone on holiday alone as he did nothing and never does, listed some of his historic violence and told him to admit it to himself, then leave so we could live in peace. I returned home the next day which was a saturday. He spent all weekend in bed, literally didn’t move. When I asked him to leave, he switched his phone on to record himself and recorded himself the whole weekend.
Monday he went to work, by this point I should mention we’d been emailing back and forth, the usual arguments and accusations, but this time him accusing me of hurting our daughter (things that weren’t true as well as mentioning the light smacking). I thought nothing of it, he even said he’d recorded himself that weekend to prove his innocence so I couldn’t accuse him of anything! (I’d told him to leave or I’d get the police). I told him his bag was outside.
What I know now is gathered from various pieces of information.
That Monday night he went for drinks with his friend, only a couple, then picked up his bag (I was out) and checked into a hotel at 9pm. The next day he went to work as normal, but left early, drove 1.5 hours to collect ******** and a hose at 5pm. I don’t know what he did from that moment.
He emailed me at 1.30am on the Wednesday telling me he’d failed to protect our kids and was paying for it, that he’d had 11 years of my abuse/control and couldn’t take it anymore, that he’d now finally be free as there’s only 1 way out, that no matter how good a liar I am, I can’t get out of it this time.
He was found dead at 6am.
He left 1 note which basically said DNR and that he couldn’t go on living in fear of false prosecution or being attacked. That I’d taken the kids from him and I was the abuser, that he had nothing left and I’d won. He goes on to say his “escape money” is in his wallet (£1300) and he wouldn’t be needing it etc, that all his money goes only to his kids, then he says that whoever finds him should check his phone for emails/messages as they will “tell you all you need to know”. He then begs “please save my girls from that monster” and finally to the kids that he’s sorry he couldn’t protect them from me but he’ll always love them. He then left 2 sheets of paper with lists of domestic abuse that I’d apparently done to HIM. Some true (minor stuff like not letting him cook/clean as I’m OCD), some lies (threats to kill him, saying he smashed up stairs when it was me) some bizarre (I’d sold his house from under him, impossible and he dealt with that all), some calculated lies (he’s not allowed to look at women in underwear. Not true, it was naked/porn I had issues with, but he knew that didn’t sound anywhere near as bad as underwear). Things like he’s not allowed friends/family etc. all stuff that is “typical” abuse but not entirely true. Phone numbers of male domestic violence helplines.
He’d wiped his dash cam and phone. All we can recover is that he searched for the correct grammar to use in his suicide note (he searched whomever v whoever” for example) and how to make a DNR for suicide, where to get gas etc. I suspect most of it was done on private browsing.
So you’re wondering why I wrote this?
Well I do blame myself. I do think I drove him to it, emotionally abused/tortured him to death. I did constantly threaten to have him arrested (and in his mind, it wasn’t for the old violence, I’d make up lies about it continuing) and I did constantly threaten that he’d only see the kids supervised. But in my defence, I never followed through – he always saw the kids at home or out for a meal (we only split twice and it was only for 1-2 weeks each time!). He was only removed by the police when he smashed up the house, never arrested. I don’t know why he was paranoid about being beaten up or attacked, he said this often, but my friend’s partner had never met him, and I don’t recall ever threatening to harm him! I do recall repeatedly telling him I’d never let that happen etc.
I’m now in therapy. His family hate me and blame me (despite the fact he cut them off 6 years ago for their abuse, threats and the fact one brother is a pedo). I carry the burden of guilt, knowing that he blamed me.
Did he love me? Well he was wearing his wedding ring (he never took it off, even when we split up he’d keep it on and say he was still married even if I wasn’t) but could easily have forgotten to remove it. Did he mention he loved me at any time in the last week? No. I hadn’t seen him since he smacked our child, the last things he said to me were vile, the last thing he said to her was nasty, he’d not even seen the kids or said goodbye.
Could I have done more? I recognised he was shutting down by being in bed all weekend but because he was recording himself I assumed he was just being stupid and trying to set me up for something. I realise now he was doing something he did in January when I found the order for gas mask – he was distancing himself from the kids to make it easier to kill himself, he said this in January and he said it worked. So I know that’s why/how he didn’t say goodbye.
He didn’t tell me he loved me – the closest he got was in his last email to me he says he gave me everything he had, built his whole life for our family, did everything I ever wanted but that it wasn’t enough, nothing ever was.
He didn’t say goodbye, sorry, he loved me – nothing. In fact he did the opposite – he carefully wrote that short letter blaming me, desperate plea for the kids to be taken from me, it was all calculated to hurt me and he KNEW I would obsess and torment myself over it. He didn’t take an inch of responsibility, just put it all on me.
Well done if you got this far.
If you’re suicidal and you have kids let me tell you this – my two year old will never know she had a daddy, she’ll never remember him, she will only have the memories I give to her, and that breaks my heart as she adores him. At her age, out of sight is out of mind, and every day I have to show her his photo to remind her who he is. At his funeral she was excited to see his photo and said “look it’s daddy” in sheer delight. That little girl will grow up wondering why daddy didn’t love her enough to stick around and do all the things he did with her sister.
The 7 year old sobbed from beginning to end of the funeral. Can you imagine what it is like to sit your child down and tell her that her father, who she hasn’t seen in a week, has died? To answer her questions, to hear her sob about how she didn’t even get to hug him or say goodbye. To watch her break down, to watch her cry for her sister not ever knowing her dad, to watch her sob and break down. I wanted to die myself. Somebody will be breaking that news to your child and TRUST ME they do not “get over it”!
Yes, I’m to blame, and I look at those girls and I feel guilt that I still have them, that he is missing out on their lives because of me, that he was so worried about being arrested or not seeing the kids that he took his life. Yes logically he could have fought to see them unsupervised, but I guess he just didn’t think he’d win, maybe he thought I’d lie to make sure he didn’t get to see them unsupervised. Maybe he thought they’d be taken from me if he sacrificed himself, who knows. I do know that I am a good mum, and it was only ever during arguments that he would say otherwise – every argument would be how I abuse him/them emotionally, how he couldn’t protect them but would do everything he could, that he hated himself for not protecting them etc. Then we’d make up and he’d say I was a good mum and too soft on them!
The devastation of his death is unreal. I have spent weeks obsessing over how he did it, where and when and every last detail. I have an inquest coming up just after my daughter’s birthday. I’ve had to sit my kids down and tell them daddy’s dead. I’ve had to cremate my husband. I’ve had to pick a coffin. And you know what? It makes me want to join him. But you know what stops me? My kids. I could never ever do that to them. So now I’m angry, why didn’t he stick around to fight for them, if he thought they needed protecting he’d damn well be here to do it, why not wait to find out if his access is supervised or not and then fight against it? Why not just LIVE because at least then there’s hope, now he’s dead he will DEFINITELY never see them again.
For all of you considering it – don’t. Don’t do it to the kids. My daughters are having to grow up without their daddy, no daddy to walk them down the aisle at their weddings, see them at school plays, he’ll miss our youngest’s first day at school even. One day they’ll have to know how he did it, and then they’ll forever have to wonder why he didn’t love them enough to live.