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Advice on how this conversation should go with my son?

I have a 2 1/2 year old son, who I am raising by myself. I am a 29 y/o man, who lost the mother of my child last year to suicide. She was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and struggled with post partum depression after giving birth, that never really went away. Our relationship struggled because of it, but I think a big factor was my changing feelings. I never cheated on her, but I began to understand that i was not fully straight, and wanted to explore my sexuality. That didn't go over so well, and without having time to discuss anything further, she took her life shortly after my revelation. No one knows that I now identify as gay, but my son is getting older, and people are always like, just let him know how much of a nice person his mom is, or tell him stories about you guys, etc, and the truth is, it was kind of always a rocky road, but inside love her. I don't know how I'd break the news to him when he's older. I know it will be a while, but I'll be thinking about this until that day, how should I tell him? I'm already a terrible parent as it is, can I save our relationship in the future if he thinks I'm the cause of his mother's death?

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    I don't think this one conversation, it's a conversation that's going to happen many times and over time as he ages. Right now and for the next couple of years, if he wants to know where mom is, be forthright that mom has died, visit her grave/memorial site if there is one. Yes, let him see pictures and hear positive things. As he gets older and wants more answers, you give him the facts... and the facts are not that you being gay made his mom kill herself. The facts are that mom was sick and struggling and felt like there was no way for things to get better and she chose to take her own life. It sounds like it would be very good for you to maybe engage in grief counseling and find some grace for yourself... definitely before you tell your son specifics.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    He's 2 1/2, way too young to process that information right now.  You cannot drop that information on a toddler and expect them to understand it.  You need to just deal with your emotions in therapy, if you are feeling guilty or confused.  Do not put all this baggage onto or into your relationship with your child.   At this time, all you should be doing is raising him with good morals and values.  

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  • 1 month ago

    You are not in any way responsible for his mothers death.  People with depressive disorders can be very unpredicatable.  She was already suffering from a depressive disorder.  This can put a big emotional strain on family relationships.  Believe me I know.  You will always have an element of guilt and this is natural when people lose someone at any age but particularly a young age.  Its the survivors guilt.  So you must stop blaming yourself for this.  You must also learn to have pride and respect for the fact that you are raising your son on your own.  I am sure you are not a terrible father as you say.  Obviously 2 and a half is too young to say anything at the moment.  Just say nice things about your relationship until he is old enough to understand the harrowing reality of depression.  Which wont be until he is much older.  Then when you feel the time is right you can calmly explain the fact that his Mum was suffering with depression and it put a strain on your relationship to the point that you felt you had no choice but to tell her your own inner feelings.  You don't need to say that you think it caused her to commit suicide as believe me, she was already thinking about it.  I hope this helps.

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