My Dad had what we now call the Bipolar dysfunction. At first the super active side of his problem was most evident. As time passed, the depressed side took over. During that phase he took my .22 rifle and shot himself. The previous Christmas my uncle had given me the gun. I never shot it at all. I had no interest in shooting as a pastime.
Today, at least in some states, it would be illegal for a 15 year old to have a gun. I wish that had been true back then. I was afraid of the gun. My fear was that my darling little sister Ruthie would get the gun and hurt herself. As the result, I broke the gun down and hid the stock in one place and the barrel in another place. The bullets I hid in our car,
A few days before he died NY dad asked me where I kept my gun. I was thrilled because I thought dad was showing signs of caring and wanted to make sure we were safe. I proudly showed him how careful I had been.
A few days later while the family was gone to a wedding except for my Mom he had a row with my Mom the result of which was he killed himself. I was very blessed to have been left with one parent. It easily could have been a murder suicide. Not that having my Mom was not a bed of roses. I felt her vicious anger day after day, month after after month. I understood how she damaged my dad but could not accept and be forgiven for her role in the tragedy. The result was she wanted me to be her companion and to accept responsibility for his death.
IF I tried to gain freedom from her she would bring me back under control by subtly threatening me with herself commiting suicide. If it had been a direct threat to kill herself I feel I would have been driven to seek help. However, hinting at it like she did just gave me a sense that I had another paralyzing problem I had to solve her suicide.
As another means of controlling me she said “You are just like your Dad. To me that meant that ultimately I would kill myself. As an adult I lived in terror that when I became the same age as my father was when he died, 53, I would kill myself.
Once to the terror of my family I bought a gun. When the gun was discovered it served to fill my family with fear I would die, That happened when in 1986 I had huge suicidal depression.
However, God used my fears to give me a good perspective when I ended up as CEO of Union Rescue Mission on Main Street in Los Angeles. No man or woman stretched out drunk on the sidewalk in LA seemed hopeless to me. I felt if God could pick me up and begin moving me toward emotional health God could help any one.