Aubrie Mindock

Professional skier, author of "When I Saw Heaven" and "Back Up On Skis," Olympic hopeful

Blamed for suicide

People tell me that I am to blame. They say that had I loved him that he would not have killed himself. I have been told that I was the cause of his death and that I belong in the ground, not him. There are people out there who hate me because my ex boyfriend made the decision to take his life after I broke up with him. 

The truth is, I had to leave him. I had no choice but to run. Eric was extremely abusive and he was a raging alcoholic. Whenever Eric drank he became violent and there was nothing I could do except leave. If I wanted to live then I had to get out of the relationship and fast. 

Some people assume that I never tried to get help and I am often asked why I did not tell anyone about Eric's abusive behavior or why I did not reach out to his family about his drinking. I do not like the assumptions. I did not run away without trying to get help first. 

Eric and I went to his cousins wedding in California July 19th, 2014. We came back to Colorado on July 21st, 2014. Anyway, The wedding was July 20th, 2014. It was a beautiful wedding but it was not a lot of fun for me. I did what I had to do to make the most out of the situation though. I did my best to have fun and dance and celebrate but there was a massive problem, Eric.

After the ceremony Eric made his way to the bar and that is where he stayed the entire night. He chose the alcohol over me and he drank the night away, leaving me alone. I was Eric's date. I was his fiancé. What he should have done was gone around introducing me to his friends and family but he chose not to. Eric chose to stay at the bar, leaving me all alone to introduce myself to his relatives. 

After the wedding I met up with Eric's sister. She looked at me and said, "We have all talked with Eric about his drinking but he doesn't listen to us. Maybe he will listen to you." I looked at her like she was nuts and I replied back, "He doesn't listen to me. He has a problem. He won't stop." She did not believe me and she said, "He will listen to you. He does not have a problem. He will stop if you tell him to." I tried to tell her that I have begged Eric to stop on multiple occasions but she rolled her eyes. 

The following morning Eric was too drunk to drive us to the airport so his dad had to take us out there. It was literally the most awkward time of my life. I sat there sober in the front seat next to Eric's dad. Eric was in the back seat. He did not want to sit in the front because he didn't want to be near his dad. He literally cowered in the back seat of that car. His father was pissed. The entire 40 minute ride to the airport I looked out the window and prayed that there would be no traffic. 

We got to the airport and Eric had the nerve to blame me for his drinking. He literally said that I caused him to drink that much because I made him nervous at the wedding. He said that he was scared to introduce me to his family and he was ashamed of me. He told me that he would not have drank had I not been there. I did not respond to him because we were in an airport and I did not want to cause a scene. 

There was one other time I tried to tell. It was November, before Thanksgiving. I tried to tell his father and sister about his drinking after I ran from Eric. It is my fault that I broke up with Eric and I felt like his family had the right to know the reasons why I left him. It was me that left Eric and I did not want his family to be left with questions as to why I ran so I reached out. 

Back then I had Facebook. I no longer have Facebook. I find Facebook useless. Anyway, I reached out to his sister and his father on Facebook and I explained to them that I was not ready to be in a relationship and that Eric had a massive drinking problem. I told both his sister and father that Eric was an alcoholic and that he needed help. I do not remember word for word what I said but I did go into detail about his drinking and I apologized for breaking up with Eric. I told them that I was sorry but I had enough of the alcohol. 

His sister responded with something nasty and his father did not respond at all. His sister was in complete denial that Eric had a drinking problem. She did not believe he was an alcoholic and she definitely did not think it was right for me to leave him and end our relationship. I felt guilty for breaking up with Eric and I did second guess my decision but I needed to be free from his violent, alcoholic rages. I could not take it anymore. I was done. 

Eric's violence kept escalating. He went from stalking me to trying to murder me. Late on the night of September 14, 2016, Eric brought a gun to my home in an attempted murder/suicide. He shot himself on my doorstep when he realized he would not be able to reach me. I later learned that there was a bullet in his head and another bullet in the chamber. 

Upon finding his suicide letter the police told me that he called himself the devil and he said that he killed himself because I did him wrong. Later, I would hear from people that when I broke up with him that is what drove him to suicide and it was me doing him wrong by leaving him. Instead of him being the devil it would be me that people would call the devil. People saw Eric as the innocent victim and me as the villain who drove a man to suicide because of a break up. 

I want to just say that it was Eric who made the decision to kill himself that September night. Eric was the one who popped a ton of prescription pain medications, drank, then drove to my home with a gun. It was Eric who came to my front door with that gun and it was him who pulled the trigger. 

Eric's death is not on me. I was home minding my own business and relaxing when he pulled up. I was in my room streaming for a movie to watch with Jason when Eric pulled up into my neighborhood. Eric got out of his car and came to my front door with that gun and had it not been for Jason that night I would have been dead. 

Jason literally stepped between the window from the upstairs bedroom and me. He faced Eric from that window, looked Eric in the eyes and shouted loudly for him to leave. Jason literally stepped between Eric's gun and me to save my life. Eric could have easily shot Jason but that bullet was not intended for Jason. It was intended for me. 

Had Jason not been there I would have run downstairs, opened the door and then been shot. Then Eric would have shot himself, completing the murder/suicide that he most likely had planned. Fortunately, we will never know that Eric's true intentions were that night because of Jason. 

When someone commits suicide it is always their fault. The fault never, ever, lies in the hands of the ones who are left behind. It is never okay to blame a surviving person for someone else's suicide. The suicidal person did the final act, no one else. The decision for Eric to kill himself was all on him. No one but Eric is to blame. That goes for all who kill themselves. Only the one who takes their life is to blame. It is cruel and nasty and evil to blame someone who is left behind, whether that be family, a friend or an ex. The blame only goes on the person who committed the final act. 

Accusing someone of murder and blaming someone for a suicide is wrong and unjustified. It is never okay to judge anyone who lost someone to suicide. Judging, being angry and blaming survivors does not answer questions about why the act was done. The anger and the blame and the judging goes to the suicide victim, not the survivors. 

I know that there are a lot of women who broke up with their boyfriends and the boyfriends become suicidal. I want to point out that if your boyfriend does commit suicide it is not your fault. You had every right to leave him for whatever reason and if he takes your life it is not your fault. It is his fault and only his fault. Blaming you will solve nothing and it will only make the situation worse and more painful. Suicide is only in the hands of the person who did it and no one else.