My name is Janet. I am so sorry that you're having a hard time right now. It is NOT your fault that your Dad died. We all say things that we regret later. Unfortunately for you, you are unable to take it back. That doesn't mean though that you should hate yourself for it. Nicole, do you think that you could be subconsciously "punishing" yourself by what you've been up to? Counseling would be a very good idea for you. Something that I do when I'm feeling bad about my past is to pretend that someone else did the exact same thing I did and think about what I'd tell them. I might tell MYSELF that I'm a terrible awful lousy human being, but when I think of someone else in my situation, I'm a lot more reasonable. Maybe you could try this: Pretend that your niece has just done the exact same things you've done. Her Dad is dead and she'd said what you said. Her grades have dropped. She's partying, etc. Would you judge her as harshly as you're judging yourself? What would you say to her? Would you still love her? We are all our own worst critics. I should know. And although my case isn't exactly like yours, I have regrets about my Dad's death...the night that the doctor told Daddy that he was a gravely ill man (in other words, "you're dying"), I felt overwhelmed...After the doctor left the room, Dad looked at me and said, "That doesn't sound too good, does it?" I stood there by his bedside and all I said was, "I am so sorry." I didn't hug him...the bars on the hospital bed were in the way...I should've tried anyhow...when Mom and I left him that night I was thinking of me and Mom. What were WE going to do? He was our sole support. Mom hadn't worked since she was a teenager. So there I was, with my Dad dying, worrying about me and Mom...I should've worried more about him...how he felt. I had a good Dad, Nicole. You didn't. Of course you were hurt and angry at him! He CHOSE his life. He was laying heavy stuff on you, his own flesh and blood, that was still a child, HIS child! He was the irresponsible one. What I'm saying is that whereas your Dad wasn't there for you, mine was...and I still let him down. My Dad died the next day. I'm the one that found him, laying there in the dialysis chair, his eyes still open. I can still see him in my mind's eye...should I hate myself, Nicole? What would I have accomplished by ruining my life? He wouldn't have wanted that. Nicole, you're going to have to cut yourself some slack. Please think about it. Your Mom loves you and I can tell that you love her. You can't undo yesterday, but you can make tomorrow a better day. It will be hard and will take time and no, you'll never completely forget, but things can get better. Take life's reins and go, girl, go!!! And remember, there's no shame in getting professional help to deal with this! Perhaps if your dad had done the same years ago, his life would've been happier and longer. His death, you see, isn't your fault. Take care and know that I'm sincere. HUGS!!!!
I was okay until that flock of bird dogs flew over...