Dominique King Lean in with Love

Learning to cope after dad’s suicide attempt

Dominique King Lean in with Love(July 25, 2023) — Q. My dad was the backbone of our family, my hero until he unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide on Feb. 2, 2023. In my eyes, the man who survived is not my dad. I can’t comprehend how a man with so much pride in caring for his family could fathom permanently checking out on us without warning over finances. Since his recovery and coming home, he openly talked to my mom about why he did what he did. Whenever he tries to speak to me, all I feel is rage. I feel like my dad died in that garage.
– Josie

A. Josie, referencing your father as the family backbone and your hero gives me a window into the pedestal you placed him on and the enormous amount of pressure he may have assigned himself to live up to everyone’s expectations.

In a distressing circumstance, you were ripped from a long-held belief that your father was invincible and capable of not only shouldering his family but keeping himself emotionally in check. His ability to maintain this image gave you an emotional, mental and physical safety net.

As a result of your father’s mental health crisis, it is clear it has brought rise to your own mental health struggle. Anger is an easily accessible and displayable emotion that can result in behavior detrimental to ourselves and others as we try to overcompensate for deeper feelings of sadness, grief, confusion and loss.

The rage you are feeling right now is absolute. But I strongly advise seeking professional help that can assist you in going deeper and uncovering root emotions and healing healthily.

Stress and depression

Here are the facts. Six million men suffer from depression in the United States. Men are four times more likely to commit suicide. The leading cause is stress from work and finances. Forty percent of men never speak about their mental health.

Men struggle with mental health, but due to societal, cultural and personal pressure, help often comes too late. Your dad may not measure up to your past image, but the man that he is now is worthy of you getting to know.

If you are facing a mental health emergency, dial the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988, text HOME to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line, or call 1-800-273-8255.

Be well; you are worthy.

Email questions ­

Dominique King
Dominique King

Dominique King is a blogger who centers around marriage, family, fitness and personal growth. Her insightful and practical approach to advice gives everyday couples, parents and individuals a space to get answers to their questions.