My Twelfth Rose: A Story Of Love, Bipolar And Suicide With Pastor James Ford Jr. – Part 2

WRT | Bipolar Suicide

  Losing a loved one from suicide is a profoundly painful and complex experience that leaves those who are left behind grappling for answers. Pastor James Ford Jr. lost his wife to suicide after a long battle with bipolar. In this second part of a three-part conversation, he talks to Tina Fornwald about the experience of loving someone who is fighting unknown battles within themselves. Tune in and listen as Pastor James shares those difficult moments of persevering in love through it all with faith. 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: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide How To Contact Pastor James Ford, Jr.:  Pastor Ford: https://www.facebook.com/pastorjamesfordjr/  Christ Bible Church of Chicago: https://www.christbiblechurchofchicago.org/pastor-ford-s-bio#:~:text=Pastor%20James%20Ford%20Jr.%20has,at%20Trinity%20Evangelical%20Divinity%20School  Pastor James Ford Jr. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@PastorJamesFord  — 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 2 We’re going into part two of our conversation with Pastor James Ford regarding the unfortunate loss of his wife. I know this conversation will be helpful for you. Let’s get into a discussion now.     What are some things that people don’t know about Pudgy that drove you to want to have this conversation? A lot of people didn’t know that she was bipolar, that she was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, and that prior to her successful attempt at suicide, she had made seven other previous attempts. I’ll tell you about the first one because here I am. I was raised by my mama and my grandma. I was raised by women. There were a lot of things missing because there wasn’t a man but you get things when you’re raised by women that you can never get from a man. That is what I call a sensitivity. They call it empathy now. I don’t like empathy. Let me tell you why. Empathy means to fill in. Sympathy means to fill with. I like compassion because it means to be surrounded by. In other words, if you have an issue, I’m surrounded by your issue. Compassion is your pain in my heart. That’s why I like that word. God set the tone. As a pastor, one time, I saw a man jumping on a woman. I didn’t care whether he had a knife or a gun. I ran to protect that woman because that’s what you learn when you’re raised by women. You learn to connect not first to what a woman says, even though you have to listen, but how a woman feels. I do things for my Sugarbabe. For example, every third year in the first 100 days, I would do 100 ways and 100 days. I would get seven greeting cards and write original poems on them because that’s what she loved. I would make the poem up and stuff like, “I’m arrested by your godly personality and locked up in the prison of your love. The governor tried to give me a pardon but I turned it down. The parole board wanted to give me early release but I am forever a prisoner of your love.” She loved it. I’ve got hundreds of them because I would try to write her once a week or once every two weeks. That’s because she was my caramel mocha latte, hot, yellow, sweet, and smoking. How long have you been together for the first time? We were here in Chicago. We had been married for 24 years before she made that first effort. She slashed her wrists. I had come home, and she was sitting in bed. She put her hands down. I said, “What’s wrong?” She did that. I grabbed her, threw her in the car, and took her to Trinity Hospital. They got her sewed up and everything. They said, “We have to report this.” Once she was released and we got home, I was like, “What’s going on? Why would you want to leave me? Am I not loving you the way you need to be loved? I don’t understand it.” She said something so very profound. I know it had to be God giving her those words because it set me free. One of the things I found now that this has happened is as I’m dealing with individuals, most people look first at themselves, “What did I do that would cause them to want to take their life?” It’s the guilt and the idea, “I could have changed it.” Is there something I could have done? No. Let me tell you what she told me. Without missing a beat, she said, “Why are you making this about you?” That arrested my attention, “What do you mean? This is about me. This is something on the inside of me that’s eating me up.”     At this point, did you know she was bipolar or suffered from this? Not until after this incident that we found out she was bipolar. She didn’t even know that. She just knew that this aching was happening. She said that cutting herself and watching the blood flow made her feel better. She said to me, “Why do you want to make this about you? There’s something on the inside. If Jesus can’t fix it, what makes you think you can?” It freed me up. I was more attentive after that. I’m going to be honest. My whole family knows. If you talk to Jerry, she will tell you. Her sister was spoiled rotten. We already figured that out with the roses, poems, and everything else. I could probably count on one hand how many times I told this woman no. If she wanted …

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