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A Sucky Situation Part Four

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Click here to read part 2

Click here to read part 3

Fast forward a year…… we find out that I am pregnant. We keep in touch with Sheri and call and give her frequent updates on the pregnancy. She tells us that she will come visit our son after he is born, but that Salar needs to figure out her accommodations. Salar told her that is fine. (YES! I heard him on the phone and he told her visiting was fine) - shocking to some people, I know…..

Nine months pass, and I have a baby boy. We don’t hear from Sheri for a while. She didn’t call to congratulate us or send a card or gift (not that we expected one). Months pass, and when Valentino is 6 months old and I am pregnant again, we start receiving phone calls from relatives asking why we don’t allow Sheri to see our baby. From the moment we started receiving these phone calls we knew she was having another episode, and it wasn’t about seeing Valentino……it was about Valentino being her newest topic of fixation. This is what people have a hard time understanding.

What turned into a few phone calls from relatives turned into a million, all from different relatives in different states. Then Sheri began to call at odd hours, and Salar then blocked her number.

At this point, Salar was at his wits end, angry, and just wanted to be left alone. He was switching jobs and going through a probation period with his new job, I was pregnant, exhausted, and looking after a baby. If Sheri were responsive to receiving help, then yes, we would have helped. But the past proves that she is not responsive to real help. She would lie about taking her meds and seeing her psychiatrist.

We decided not to talk to Sheri, as she would drive Salar crazy and he would lose it and in the end they would just engage in full blown arguments. We decided to cut communication with her for a number of reasons 1) We could not afford to go through what we went through two years ago. This time Salar has a new demanding job and I have a baby and am pregnant again. Things are different when you have two little lives depending on you. 2) in order for her to get what she wanted….to see Valentino, that would have required either us going to London (which was not possible) or her coming here (which would completely cause chaos, have Salar go mad, and result in him losing his job.) 3) in the past, talking to Sheri to resolve a problem would not work. She would simply fixate on an issue, and then jump to another issue. The problem may be resolved for a day, and then the next day there will be another problem, and the following another.

Salar was tired of dealing with his sister. Every time a relative called begging him to talk to her, he would become angrier and angrier. He even thought about changing his phone number so the calls would stop. I had to convince him not to do that. All this started due to an imaginary problem of Salar not allowing her to see Valentino, when that was hardly the case. Salar had never told her anything like that, so you can imagine how surprised he was to all of a sudden receive a million calls from relatives asking him why he is not allowing her to see his son. It was ridiculous. It infuriated him so much that he wrote 2 emails to Sheri and all his relatives telling them why he has issues with his sister. Yes he was angry when he wrote those emails. Does he regret writing them? No. Not one bit. Had he not written them we would have continued to receive a million calls from relatives trying to get us to change our minds and engage in Sheri’s nonsense.

Even after writing those emails, we still continued to receive calls from some people. They would infuriate Salar. He would always tell me “WHY ME? WHY CAN’T SHE OBSESS OVER HER OTHER BROTHER? WHY DOES SHE ALWAYS HAVE TO RUIN MY LIFE?”

Then Sheri started to call my side of the family. It started by calls to my mom’s house, at odd hours like 5am. She would tell my mom to tell me to convince Salar to let her see Valentino. Then she took it a step further and contacted my other relatives such as cousins and aunts. She told them all to swear not to tell me or Salar that she has contacted them. She would plead for help from them. But whenever someone would tell her that she needs to go to the doctors and take her medicine, she wouldn’t like that and would lie and tell them that she does see a doctor and does take her medicine, and that the only way she will feel better is if she sees Valentino.

Then she would tell people that she doesn’t know why Salar is ignoring her, as she raised him. When Salar would hear this (as she told a number of people this) he would become so angry that I would see his veins pop out of his neck and his eyes pop out of his head. He would pace back and forth out of frustration at nights screaming “That is an insult to my dad, all she ever did was make things more difficult for me growing up. Tata would have to pick me up every day from school and I would spend time with her because my sister would fight with me all the time!”

Then Sheri started to contact Salar’s friends. She would contact anyone who she could get her hands on, including people that Salar hasn’t spoke to since he was 8 years old and who live in other countries. She would contact them and honestly I don’t even know what she would tell them. Then she started telling people that if she doesn’t see Valentino she will kill herself. Upon hearing this we wrote to her psychiatrist about this and told him it’s best for her to be committed to a hospital. Soheil did his best to commit her but she would not have it.

Meanwhile, Salar became even more infuriated and was a complete mess. He even asked me if we could all move to the middle of nowhere Africa in the desert with no internet or telephone or anything so he could just be left alone. He wasn’t even joking.

And then she killed herself overdosing on pills.

I often wonder, had we let her see Valentino, would she still have committed suicide? Talking to her older brother, she committed suicide shortly after he arranged for mental health services to visit her house a few times a day to make sure she takes her meds.

Maybe if she did see Valentino, by coming here to visit us, she would not have killed herself. But she sure would have driven my husband crazy and they would have constant arguments and I would have become a ball of stress.

And then I think to myself, suppose she did see Valentino, and suppose that were no longer an issue. I guarantee you, the next day there would have been another issue and crisis that she would fixate on and stress over. Just like we have repeatedly seen in the past. It all simply just does not end when she gets what she wants. She does not simply become better and her illness does not go away. This is what some people don’t seem to understand.

So right after she killed herself, we started getting phone calls from people we were surprised she had contacted (like my side of the family and many of his friends). This made Salar even more angry, having them tell him the kinds of things she would say about him. Many family and friends blamed Salar for her death.

Funny how they blame someone who lives on the other side of the world who is just trying to get along with his life and trying to work hard to provide for his family. Is that a crime that he put his family first and would not give in to Sheri’s craziness? I don’t think so. Salar did more than his share of helping Sheri. Time and time again he would offer solutions to her issues. She would complain about being lonely, and he would beg her to come live close to us and offered to do all her paperwork for her to legally move to the US. He even invited her to parts of our honeymoon. She would complain about people stealing her house and that she needed him in London, he would go and help her. She would complain about not feeling well, he would take her to the psychiatrist and oversee her taking her medicine every day. She would complain about being alone, he would have her visit us and stay with us time and time again. But this last time he just could not do it anymore and he could not handle it anymore. Having a baby, new job, and a pregnant wife is not easy. It is not reasonable to throw your life upside down every time Sheri has an episode just because she refuses to seek real help. People may think a phone call or two or a “ghorboonet beram come stay with me” will make it all better but it DOES NOT. With someone that ill the only thing that will help is being committed to a hospital, regular therapy, and regular medication. All of which she would never do.

Sheri’s funeral came and went, and Salar didn’t attend. There were multiple reasons for this. He was still angry at her and that anger completely made the grieving process easier. There was no grieving process. Salar would tell me that when he heard of her death, he felt like the shouting in his head had finally stopped. We didn’t attend the funeral because I was pregnant and unable to fly, and Salar was on thin ice at work and could not afford to take off. The only time he could afford to take off was for the birth of Caspian, which was fast approaching. And he needed to help me take care of Valentino since it was getting harder and harder for me to lift him due to my pregnancy.

When I think of this big mess I think of a boyfriend / girlfriend scenario. The boyfriend breaks up with the girlfriend, and wants her to STOP harassing him. Then the girlfriend turns psycho and starts calling all the boyfriends friends and family playing victim. The boyfriend still does not get back with her. Then the girlfriend kills herself. Now people can blame the boyfriend all they want but it’s not his fault that the girl committed suicide. The girl committed suicide because she has a mental illness, not because her boyfriend broke up with her.

Anyways, my main point is that sometimes you can try your hardest to help someone who is sick, but when they refuse real help over and over again, and instead seek superficial help, there is not much you can do for them (especially if they are older, stubborn, and live in another country.) Sometimes when it starts to effect you big time, you just need to let it go and concentrate on your own life. That is not unreasonable.

All this being said, it is sad that Salar is still angry about the whole thing. I don’t blame him. It’s a sucky situation. I feel sad for Sheri that she could have lived such a great life, could have been pleasant and involved in our lives. But her illness blocked any and all paths to happiness. I hope she is finally at peace in heaven with her parents and grandparents.

About: Leila Rahmanian and Salar Rahmanian

Leila Rahmanian is married to Salar Rahmanian. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have three wonderful kids, two boys named Valentino Rahmanian and Caspian Rahmanian and a beautiful daughter named Persephone Rahmanian.