Trigger warning: suicide
TLDR @ end
Title says it all. He committed suicide less than a week after I broke up with him.
We were together for over 8 years and this was not his first attempt at taking his life. He suffered from mental illness and refused to try to help himself. He attempted four years ago in 2016 but survived. Our relationship changed after that. He was very depressed and suicidal prior to his first attempt and after he got out of the hospital it seemed like he truly changed and was back to his normal, happy self. However after a few months, his dark side came back and while he wasn't “as suicidal” as before, throughout the years after 2016 he seemed to be pretty stable. He would make a few suicide jokes throughout the years, but that was just his dark sense of humor. He knew that it really upset me when he would joke about these things (because it was not a joke to me – he was in the hospital for about a month when he attempted the first time, and was a medically induced coma for half of his stay; it was very traumatic for me to go through that and see him like that in the hospital.)
He would sometimes make more than jokes about suicide. A few times he had told me that he just “didn't want to live,” and that he wasn't mentally ill because he thought that. I also remember when the youtuber Etika had committed suicide, my boyfriend told me that he was happy for him because he got what he wanted and that I just didn't get it.
His family, friends, my family and myself have always tried to get him help through the years or try and encourage him to help himself. He never wanted help and he never admitted he had a problem.
I broke up with him because I found out he was cheating on me online with a girl we had gone to school with. This wasn't the first time that I had found he had been talking inappropriately with her. I am not getting into the details of the relationship between him & the girl because it obviously does not matter anymore; while he did not physically cheat on me he emotionally cheated on me for a long time. After I broke up with him, I left his house and we did not speak again. A few days later, in the middle of the night he dropped off a bunch of his things and a suicide note in the middle of the night. After reading it, I got in contact with his family who he lived with and told them to check on him. I went down to his house and the paramedics and fire trucks were already there. I went into his house and his family was up and there were police officers asking them all questions; he was dead. I got picked up from his house by a family member and went home. This was in March 2020, and a few weeks after this happened the world basically shut down.
Losing him was the second biggest loss in my life. I lost my mother when I was very young.
I guess the advice that I am seeking is… I just feel lost. I don't know what to feel, or if I feel anything at all. I want to be mad at him, because I broke up with him because he cheated on me. I was angry and upset as anyone would be. But, now that he is dead I feel like I cannot feel those feelings. I also feel horrible that I don't feel worse than I do… I know that I have not been in love with him for a long time now unfortunately, our relationship was very hard especially after his first attempt. But, I feel like I should feel something more. There is so much guilt I have in so many of my feelings that I have, guilty about anger, sadness, happiness. Looking for any kind of advice on how to deal with something like this.
There is also a double narrative that I feel like I am living. When I broke up with him, we did not blast it over social media. I only told 2-3 friends and he told nobody. So, when he died, many people assumed we were still together. Sometimes I tell people we were, because saying “no, we broke up,” and then having to tell them it was only a few days prior, or having to shit on his character for telling them why we broke up – is a lot harder to do.
I've reached out to my local mental health resources/crisis lines etc. etc. Many of these services are not available locally to me because of the pandemic. I try to talk to some of my friends about it, but they can't and don't really know how to help me or what to say and I obviously cannot blame them. I usually don't reach out to counselling services/etc. but this is something that I really want to deal with, and heal from so I can move on and be happy again one day. I did not process and deal with my mothers death at all and I still struggle with that loss every day, and I want to deal with this death in a more positive way.
TLDR; boyfriend killed himself few days after breaking up; history of mental illness w/ him & him denying it and never getting treatment, rough/toxic relationship the last ~2.5-3 years, broke up because he was emotionally cheating on me. Feeling lost/not really feeling anything at all, guilty for feeling mad/anger towards him after breaking up