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I Dont Know How To Go On. What Am I Supposed To Do Next?


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Hello everyone. I am new here and want to thank you all for having a resource like this for me to vent and maybe get some advice. Here is my story. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. I had what I thought to be a normal childhood at the time but I didn’t know the half of it. My family was in construction and did all the big jobs such as the casinos here and anyone who knew anything about Vegas in that era I was growing up in, (I was born in 1975) knows it was corrupt as could be. My grandfather knew all the judges, DA’s, cops, there weren’t many consequences for any bad behavior. But I didn’t care. My grandfather and my dad both owned their own businesses in construction. I grew up in a huge house with everything you could want. Pool, lots of land, (in Vegas that’s big.) Boats, dirt bikes, condos on the beach in Laguna Beach, a house on the beach in Mexico, a house in northern AZ to go skiing and snowmobiling, condo in Brian Head Utah to go skiing or snowmobiling. My grandfather had a private plane we could just hop into and go to anyone of those places at anytime. We had everything. My dad had a wife of 18 years at the time (1986). I was 10. So he had a 10 yr old boy, and my sister had just turned 16. But what I didn’t know was the amount of drug abuse that my parents were involved in. I was introduced to drugs at a very early age because my sister was a little more than 5 yrs older than me and she had older friends. So I was smoking pot probably by the age of 5-6, drinking also at that age. I can remember several times going to elementary school drunk and with a joint to sneak behind the backstop and smoke. I also remember doing cocaine before the age of 10. I know I was under ten because I remember doing coke worried my dad would catch me. And I was ten when he decided to shoot and kill himself in front of my mom and me and my sister in ‘86. He threatened to kill me and my sis then my mom then himself. For whatever reason at the last second he just put it in his mouth. I was going to be 11 in a couple months for those doing the math with the years. My mom took it very hard. Understandably. She got worse into drugs than ever and started drinking so bad she wouldn’t leave the bedroom for days at a time. So she was completely absent after that happened and my sis had just turned 16 and now had a car so she was gone too. So I was on my own at ten. My grandfather saw this and kind of tried to look after me. We got very close but there was like a 3 year gap. I was on my own from ten to thirteen. If I wanted to eat, I had to ride my bike to my grandmothers and mow her lawn for money. I would ride my bike there to go eat out of her fridge all the time also. If I didn’t want to go to school, there was no one to make me. On the other hand if I did I had to make sure I got there. Like I said that went on for like 3 yrs till my grandparents noticed what was, or should I say wasn’t, going on at that house my dad killed himself in. So my grandma moved me and my sis in with her. But she was a drunk also. She didn’t do drugs but was an extremely embarrassing grandmother to have when your 13-14-15 bringing friends over and having her falling down drunk. Or worse asleep on the toilet? Pissing her pants in front of like 6 of my friends. There was food in the house, and she would make sure I got to school, but there were no such things as curfews, no one would ever get into my stuff so I could have anything from drugs to guns in my room. I had a room with a sliding glass door so I snuck out every night and got drunk and stole my moms car till the sun came up knowing she was so fucked up she would never know the difference. My grandfather tried to look after me and keep me busy and we formed a pretty good relationship. But he decided to shoot and kill himself when I was about 20 in front of his daughter, (my aunt) and my grandmother. Then my uncle decided right after to kill himself. I was married very young (21) to a girl I had known since 7th grade. We never dated until after we graduated but we were together for 15 yrs. I had experimented with drugs my whole life. But almost the whole time we were together we battled prescription drug abuse from starting with taking a few lortabs, to taking 40 a day, to graduating to snorting oxycontin, to shooting them iv. Up to 30-35, 80mg pills a day. Then to the methadone clinic. We went through the whole evolution of a full blown drug addiction. Believe it or not I made the methadone work for me. I know a lot of people dont take it for the intended purpose. But it can help. Its not for everyone though I know this.I found out after 15 yrs of marriage she decided to have an affair on me and ended up pregnant and had a baby. This was recent. The baby just turned one. We tried three times to have a child and she could never carry full term. One time she carried it for 7 months and we went in for a routine ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. So she had to have a D&C which is a surgery where they dilate her and go in and chop up the baby and take it out. Like a late term abortion. The second time she went 4 months and same thing. The third she miscarried after 2 months. Figures she has an affair and boom. Baby. So I left her. Obviously. But now I’m going to get to why I’m here. I met a friend in second grade. 6-7 yrs old? And we became best friends and stayed best friends our whole life. He was my brother. No secrets. Always had my back. Would kill or die for me. We were inseparable for life. He had two children with two moms. His boy is now 14. His boys Godfather is his blood brother. They were only a year apart so they were very close. And I have known his brother as long as I have known him but me and my friend were just like brothers. We were inseparable for life. And he has a daughter who is now 9 and he made me the Godfather of her. And anyone who didn’t know him, doesn’t understand what an honor that was. He would rather her not have a Godfather than to just pick someone. He was always a very loyal person and expected the same. When it came to friends it was about quality not quantity. I know everyone says that but he lived it. We got a house recently and were roommates again since May of this yr. ‘10. One night I worked till like 2 am which is normal because that was my shift. We hung out for like 4 hrs and were eating and watching TV for a while. He had major issues and a lot of demons. He talked a lot of s*** about suicide and stupid things. But he always knew what I had been through and promised on his kids that if he ever did have too much and wanted to kill himself he would never do it in front of me or anywhere I would find him. So I know because of that and because of how it happened that it was initially an accident. I was a very safe gun owner. He never grew up around guns so he didn’t have the same respect that I did for guns. And he knew my buttons and would love to push them. One was him playing with the gun he had. Especially drunk. It was a .45. I got home like I said about 2 am. We sat and watched tv for about 4 hours, we ate, he put the dish in the dishwasher and then sat down on the couch and put the gun to his chin, like I said it was his way of pushing my buttons. And I don’t know if he thought the safety was on or what but before I could say a word, he had blown his whole jaw onto me and almost shot me. He put it to his chin and gave me a grin, and started to say something and it was instant. I know it was an accident. I know him well enough and was there to see it happen and see his mood. He was not trying to kill himself that night. It was August 1st. Sunday morning. They said the 911 call came in at 5:09 am. When he shot his jaw off, I think he knew how bad it was and decided that unfortunately this was it. So he shot again. He went to put it under his chin, which he didn’t know was on me at the time, so it slid forward against the roof of his mouth and went through the roof of his mouth and destroyed the rest of his face, went through his upper mouth and sinuses and went through his left eye and popped it out, and then lodged in his left frontal lobe giving himself a lobotomy. He shot a third time but it just grazed his lip and cut his nose in half as he was falling back. I called 911. When I realized he was still conscious I took the gun and threw it as far away from us as I could. He had the strength to raise up to his knees and give me a look like “please finish me”. He had no face, no tongue, his left eyeball was out lying on his cheekbone. I couldn’t do it. I got him a towel and wrapped it around his face to slow the bleeding and keep the tissue that was hanging together. He had blown his whole jaw, his tounge, his upper mouth, all teeth, his left eye, and had given himself a lobotomy. He was rushed to the trauma center at UMC Hospital here in Vegas. He was in a coma for 30 days. He came to and there was brain activity. Despite all he did, he was conscious again. Within a few days he started writing so we could communicate. We did a lot of communicating through writing and me talking. He had no recollection of that night. But despite the multiple surgeries he had, he was recovering extremely well. He only had one eye, and needed major reconstructive surgeries. We went from not knowing if he was going to make it at all, to the doctors saying he would need reconstructive surgeries and a prosthetic eye. But they said he would be ok. Then on the 21st of September, he had a major surgery that was about 9 hrs long. He was fine through surgery, and was in recovery for 4 hrs. When they went to move him from recovery to his ICU room, he crashed. He was out and considered dead for 25 minutes. Without oxygen for 15 minutes. So he was brain dead. He was walking and communicating the day of his surgery. We had his room back in order so that he would be ready to move back home. And just lights out. They got him back after 25 minutes just to put him on life support long enough to get his kids down from Reno to say goodbye. So on the 23rd of September we took him off life support. This loss is the hardest and most intense that I have ever had to go through. Even knowing my history. I had 28 yrs of best friendship with him. Best of best friends. Brothers. And the roller coaster of not knowing if he’s going to make it, to thinking he’s going to be ok, to him dying. Its unexplainable. I have such a void. And now I have a 9 yr old Goddaughter to take care of and not to mention keeping tabs on his son. Ive never been a parent and now Im tossed into a 9 yr old who just lost her dad, and to try to do it while im grieving harder than I ever have. I love her to death and dont mind taking care of her, I actually love it. Im her connection to her dad because of our friendship, and she is my connection to him. Its just so much so fast. I lost my dad at her age. So I can relate to what she is going through more than anyone. I miss him so much. I have never felt this way throughout my whole life and the other losses that I have come into. Does anyone have any advice for me or anything? I am a mess. Sorry this is so long, but if you made it through it, thank you. Please help.

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Walter,

Well, you have been through a lot of very serious trauma. So much so I'm cracking open a dictionary to make a point about the meaning. Trauma: A disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from mental or emotional stress or physical injury.

Repairing the damage from trauma isn't simple stuff. I think it's complicated, requires lots of work, takes lots of time, and probably requires professional help.

My advice, since you are asking, is to get psychiatric help. If I were you I'd wouldn't just settle for the first shrink I found; I'd try to get referrals to a shrink who specializes in dealing with severe trauma. You will probably be able to find someone you can work well with.

I want to be clear on one thing; I am not saying in any way that you are crazy. Only seriously traumatized. And you have new parenting responsibilities, taking on your friend's son and daughter. That's a lot to deal with.

Talking about your issues in these forums will probably help you. And, you can probably assist in helping others; that too is therapeutic.

Glad you found us. I hope we can give you some kind of guidance.

Ron B.

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Hello Walter, and welcome to the forum.

You have sustained so much more than anyone should have to in a lifetime. This has caused so much internal trauma to where you should get some serious professional help. I can tell you are composed in your writing, but I know there are the internalised aspects of what you have dealt with that needs to be unlocked and managed so you can be a better to yourself, and a better parent to the kids. At least, you should talk things over here on the forum. You are not alone. Seek out professional help though. Take care, and God Bless.

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Thank you both. I have an appointment my dr. referred me to with a grief councelor but she is on vacation and cant see me till the 28th. And I have had the appointment for a week or more. I cant put my mind on pause. Thats why I seeked you out. And I think that this is the only place that will keep me sane for the time being. I work in a strip casino resort. And I work from 6pm to 2am. So any other friends that I have that I think I can talk to, his kids, his ex's, his blood brother, his parents, they are all sleeping when I need them the most. I sleep from like 7-8 am to like 3-4 pm if I am lucky enought to sleep at all. Then I get up, get ready for work then work till 2, get home about 3, so my only ME time, when I need to talk and am missing him the most, Im all alone. I feel like Im the only person on the planet. So thank you and anyone else who comes here to give me a nudge in the right direction. I am just so lost. I dont know how to move forward. Its been like 3 weeks and I have such a void I feel like I cant breath. But I will be here more often to try to find anything I can to help me through one more day. Thank you both again.

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I have had many issues in my life but never been a drinker. But I just got home from the bar and this has been a pattern I have developed since Ryan died. I have no one to talk to because of my shift at work. I know its a cop out but its been getting worse. I cant end up an alcoholic. I have had too many in my life. I know how shitty it is for the kids. But I cant find any other way to occupy my long long nights. Its 8:30 am and I just got home. I cant keep this pattern up. I am so f****** lonely.

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Hello, John. I'm so sorry to learn of all the turmoil and horror you've endured, and I cannot imagine how traumatized you must feel. You've found a wonderful group of very caring, compassionate individuals here, and I hope you feel the warmth and safety of our collective arms around you. I'm also very relieved to know that you are planning to see an "in person" grief counselor next week, as I think what we can offer you here should be seen as a supplement -- and not as a substitute for -- the professional help you need and certainly do deserve. I've often said that I believe professional therapy and / or counseling is a precious and powerful gift we can give ourselves, and it can change our lives for the better.

Given all you're dealing with, I don't know where you are with your ability to concentrate right now, but if you're willing and able, you might consider using some of this time (before you see your grief counselor on the 28th) to do some reading about normal grief as well as grief that is complicated by suicide and traumatic loss. This will give you a better understanding of your own reactions and what you can do to manage them.

You'll find links to all sorts of carefully selected and relevant articles, books and online resources on the pages of my Grief Healing Web site.

The Site Map page would be a good place to start, but see especially these pages:

Suicide Loss

Traumatic Loss

Death of a Friend

Death of a Sibling

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John,

I have a couple of suggestions for you. From your initial post I saw pretty clearly that you have an ability to write well. Somehow you were able to communicate the recent trauma in your life and your feelings about it. That's very good, because a lot of people just shut down after something like that. I'm actually a bit amazed that you can focus and be articulate about your thoughts and feelings at all. I don't think I could do that after what you have been through.

So here is one suggestion. Maybe try keeping a journal. Many people here do that so they can navigate through complex thoughts and feelings. I did it for the first 3 months after my mother died, and it helped. The journal kept me busy for an hour or two each day, when I really needed something to focus on. Somehow my issues managed to find their way into words, and that was a release of the tension I felt in those first weeks of grief.

If you don't feel like writing to yourself in a journal, well then just keep posting here. Sometimes the traffic on this site is a bit slow, with only a handful of posts on some days. You many not get immediate responses, but you will generally get thoughtful and caring responses. It just takes a couple days for threads to run their course; some threads last for weeks, and even months. I think this site works so well, because the community is small, the topics are serious, and the moderation is done by a professional grief counselor. You will get to know the various people that post here and their issues. Seeing how the rest of us struggle to cope should help pull you away from that feeling of being stuck with constant rehashing of your own issues.

I have another suggestion to help with loneliness. About a decade ago I was very active in chat rooms on Yahoo. The community there wasn't nearly as solid; there were always a few rude people thrown into the mix, and a lot of the people were kids without much of a clue. Still I was always able to find good people at all hours. That was a great resource for me when I needed to talk; I spent countless hours in those chat rooms. I know that chat rooms and online forums are not a substitute for face to face interaction with people, but they can help ameliorate loneliness.

About alcoholism, I have seen it first hand in my own family; my step father fought it all his life. He attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and that really helped him. That might be a resource for you too, if you decide to tag your drinking as a problem.

There are just so many issues to face, that it can be completely overwhelming. The advice that gets passed around here is simply to take one day at a time. Add to that one issue at a time. Please keep us regularly posted on how you are doing.

Ron B.

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Thank you for the links to those sites Marty. Im sure they will give me a better idea of whats normal and what isnt normal as far as whats going on in my head. And being here has helped. I dont have time to explore them right now because I really should be sleeping,, and sleep right now is such a huge gift for me when I get it. But I have 3 days off this week to try to occupy so I will definitely check them out. And your ideas Ron are all good ones too. I will be looking into those also. I cant thank you guys enough. As far as the alcoholism goes, I know its not the answer. Like I said before, my mom was a total drunk as were both my grandparents. And everyone else who is currently left in the family that keeps shrinking. And Ryan battled alcoholism his whole adult life. He never got the chance to tackle it. It was the alcohol that ended up making him just sloppy enough to have this terrible accident. Not to mention the turmoil I have watched him go through with his kids and legal trouble. I sit there and see more and more of him in me. I was never a bar person. By the time I was of legal age to drink, I was pretty much over it. I had my share during my childhood and my teenage years. That was something me and Ryan always bickered over. He always wanted me to go to the bar and have a drink with him, now I cant. I have never missed someone so bad in my life. And everyday seems to be getting worse not better so I need to try out both of your ideas. But God bless you guys and everyone else who comes on to try to help out someone when I know your also grieving. Thats a gift no one can give but someone who has been there. Again I cant thank you all enough for just being there for me. Thats a major thing for me. Im having dinner with a good friend from work who lost her 18 yr old boy one yr ago yesterday to a drug overdose. He was also a little nephew so to speak of mine. Just someone I tried to look after because I was closer to his age than his mom. But I am going to have some very deep conversations with her about how she has made it though this last year. That cant hurt. But anyway I really need to try to get a couple more hours of sleep. I will be back frequenting this site.. I still feel kind of drunk, lol, and I cant go to work that way. Again, God bless all of you. Talk with you soon.

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Hello John,

I am usually up all night as well. If you catch me here, lets talk. It helps to get the stresses of your chest. You are not alone. It does help. However, keep to the directive of going to those dr's. I am sorry you experienced all that. Just get through it. I'll be watching. Take care, and God Bless.

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