Holding On Without Letting Go- A Family Suicide


I have always been a very emotional and sensitive person, my name is Donna and I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I have a 4 year older half sister who has Cerebral Palsy and numerous other disabilities, I also had a 2 year younger brother who was born very prematurely, he also suffered from C.P., Hydrocephalus and had numerous strokes, he was paralyzed on his right side after a massive stroke when he was 8 years old. His name is Charlie and I loved him dearly. He never complained, even though there were numerous surgeries, shunt revisions, strokes, and never ending suffering. I was told that I was a ‘miracle baby’ and I am the middle child.

My Mother was born with a hole in her heart and told to never have kids. She had open heart surgery when she was 9 years old, and again in 1980. She was in the hospital for months, and I was taken to the hospital to tell her goodbye multiple times. She had a bovine valve to replace her own damaged valve, and was on high doses of Coumidin, a blood thinner, otherwise used as rat poison. She was given too much, and she threw several blood clots, she was never expected to walk again, but she made it.

After months and months of rehabilitation she did walk with a walker, then finally a cane. I was a caregiver from an early age, I didn’t speak until I was 5, but my parents were told it was due to being premature. My Daddy was a long distance truck driver. He was home one day a week at most, my Papa (Momma’s Daddy) and I took care of my sweet brother, and my demanding sister. Her name is Carla and she has resented me all of my life, she has always thought because I could walk, my life was perfect. I resented pretty much everyone. I didn’t understand why my Mom didn’t pay any attention to me. I understand now, but as a little girl I felt invisible and like a slave. I struggled in school because I was so shy and introverted. My Mom was told that I had ‘autistic tendencies’.

I’m not complaining about my childhood, my Mom did the best that she could, my dad ran away from the sickness and sadness, I get it. Financially I had everything I could want, and when my Daddy was there I was over the moon. I felt loved and like I mattered. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my brother with every fiber of my being. It was more complicated with everyone else.

I left home when I was 19. I went to Utah with a guy I barely knew, I wanted to be rescued. He did love me and then he didn’t. I was infatuated with him but I’m not sure if I even knew what love was, romantic love anyway. I had one real boyfriend and I intended on marrying him. I ended up marrying Mister Utah, and to my complete shock and disbelief I got pregnant after having sex once or possibly twice.

We got married because I was pregnant and my southern Daddy threw a fit, My son Kyle was a beautiful baby boy, then we had a daughter named Kerri, who came into the world kicking ass and taking names.  We were ‘happy’, or at least I thought so, blessed with another beautiful baby girl named Jennifer just a year after Kerri. I was on the pill and got pregnant anyway. I considered it a miracle, my husband didn’t agree. We separated and I went home to Oklahoma with Kyle and Kerri. I went back in time for the birth of our daughter, he lured me back, he said he loved us, I believed, that’s how it’s supposed to be right? I was wrong, very wrong.

My Momma who sang to my belly, who threw me a beautiful baby shower (with help from my Grandma and Great Aunt, because she was dying) was in terrible shape. Her circulation was cut off and when she got gangrene, she went into a coma and died. My baby girl never met the Grandma who loved her so much, who helped me so much, and who wanted her to be born as much as I did. Jenny was just 3 months old.

There were affairs. My husband I mean, one even with the 13 year old baby sitter. I stayed because I had 3 little babies. I was beaten, physically, emotionally and every way. I was told by my husband he needed to have sex with other women and he needed to watch me have sex with other men. I did it, I’m ashamed to say.

Eventually I left. I found out my husband had a child while I was having brain surgery, I had a near fatal car accident, after being hit head on by a drunk driver, I had to be cut out of the car with jaws of life. I’m not a miracle, I have Arnold Chiari Malformation, a Malformation of the brain that most likely I have had since birth, but the wreck caused symptoms. I had a cranial decompression, my husband had a (supposedly) one night stand, and 9 months later a bouncing baby girl, who he has never seen.

I met the love of my life in 1998. We were friends first but eventually more, I moved to Florida to be with him, he served in the Air Force for 23 years. He was in special Ops. We got married in 2000 and it was one of the happiest days of my life.  He adored my kids and they adored him.

Here’s the point of the story, my beautiful, loving daughter Kerri killed herself June 15th 2010. It was absolutely the worst day of my life, I lost my mom, my beloved brother and now somehow I had lost my precious girl. I wanted to die. my husband dropped his retirement papers and I trusted he would take care of everything. I stayed in the house Kerri shot herself in for months while he had and recovered from back surgery. then we moved to his home state of Arkansas. I tried so many times to kill myself, his whole family is here, he’s happy. I was drowning. I survived. Day by day, sometimes hour by hour.

I have a beautiful grandson named Jaxx, I have my son Kyle, my daughter and best friend Jennifer, my mother in law, who I call Momma, and as of right now I have the love of my life. It’s been hard, but I will never give up. I will never ever forget my Kerrbear, she’s gone from this earth but never from my heart, she has never left me, and she never will. I know Kerri would want me to live and be happy. I have many Guardian Angel’s. My Momma, my brother Charlie, who passed away in 2002. And a huge part of heart and soul, my precious Kerri. Please note matter what you are facing, you can get through it. Live, Love find happiness in the little things.

Love is always the answer.


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