My Twelfth Rose: A Story Of Love, Bipolar And Suicide With Pastor James Ford Jr. – Part 3

WRT | Story Of Love

Leave a well in the valley. Pastor James Ford Jr. believes it is his mission to help others who have lost someone they love through his own experience of losing his wife to suicide. In this final episode of a three-part conversation, he talks to Tina Fornwald about the importance of talking about the pink elephant in the room: mental illness. Through his story, he has helped lighten the load of others. Join him as he shares his grief journey, the role of faith in the process, and where he is finding joy now. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: How To Contact Pastor James Ford, Jr.:  Pastor Ford:  Christ Bible Church of Chicago:,at%20Trinity%20Evangelical%20Divinity%20School  Pastor James Ford Jr. YouTube:  — Watch the episode here Listen to the podcast here My Twelfth Rose: A Story Of Love, Bipolar And Suicide With Pastor James Ford Jr. – Part 3 This is part three of our final conversation with Pastor James Ford regarding the conversation of the death of his late wife, his love of many years. I want you to know that you are not alone. Let’s get into the discussion now. You mentioned something important. Thank you again for having this conversation. I know this is not easy. Not even being a year, why would you want to talk about this and share this? Why is that important to you? It’s the pink elephant in most Black communities, especially in Black churches. Even while I was going through this separation, I was still speaking. People were coming to me, asking me questions, and looking for answers for the situations they were going through with primarily bipolar. For example, I had a marriage conference. There were about 200 couples in 4 days. In those 4 days, I had 4 different pastors approach me saying, “I’m going through the same thing with my wife.” I had one pastor’s wife who said, “The church drove my husband crazy. I don’t know who he is. Can you talk to me?” I talked to all those people, and God seemed to be saying to me, “This is going to open up a new avenue. Now you know what the pain is when someone loses their spouse through suicide, and you’re able to leave a well in the valley. You can’t totally alleviate, but you can make an effort to lighten somebody’s load.” That one pastor’s wife was still amenable to him getting guardianship. He called me up, “My guardianship went through. It took a couple of months, but I got guardianship now.” If she gets to the third or fourth stage, he’s able to say, “My wife needs to be in here. She does not want to come, but I have the paperwork. I need her.” You helped somebody. Even in my congregation, people were coming to me and saying, “I never told anybody, but my son, my daughter, my husband, and my wife committed suicide.” They’re coming to me, and I meet with them and share. I’m not a “professional.” I always encourage them to find themselves a good Christian counselor who knows about these mental illnesses. It helped me with my seatbelt. There’s a thing called DARVO when you deal with people who are bipolar. They go through Denial, Anger, Retribution, Victim, and Offender. My wife went right through it. He told me, “I was struggling. I don’t want to do this. I made the slip earlier because everybody was trying to get me to do an order of protection because my wife said she wanted to kill me.” I said to him, “What does an order of protection mean?” “She can’t come within 500 feet of you. How is that going to work? How am I going to take care of her then? That means I can’t go within 500 feet of her. I’m not doing that,” but then when he explained it to me, I was struggling. He said, “This is what will happen. I’m not the one that’s sick. You need to get up off of me. You have some issues you need to deal with. You’re trying to take it out on me because it’s you who had the problem.” Seeing a psychiatrist helped because I learned some things like DARVO where they will go through a phase, and you will hear it. First, there’s denial, anger, and then retribution. They become the victim and then the offender. It all fell into place. I said, “That’s what she said. I’m not sick.” The anger part or the venomous spurred out, and then the retribution, “You are this, that, and the other.” She becomes the victim now, “You are the one that’s doing this to me.” She’s then the offender, “You need to do this. You need to do that. You are the one that has the problem.” When he shared that with me, he said, “You’re mighty quiet, Pastor Ford.” I said, “This happened. This has been happening, and I didn’t know it. You’re telling me this. I wish I had known the things that you were telling me early on. I should have done my homework early on.” That’s what I would say to anybody who’s dealing with anyone that you even suspect that they have mental illness. If they’re amenable to it, get them evaluated and checked. You learn as much as you can about that illness. When we were taking care of her mom, I learned everything I could about Alzheimer’s. I learned that there are seven stages to it. All of this stuff made a difference. I said, “If I would …

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