Suicide Survivors

This post by Kristen Bauer (True Blood woo hoo) inspired me to write this. Not for the easily upset. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

For the New Suicide Survivor

You’re probably pretty confused right now. Your loved one checked out, offed him/herself, committed suicide (or my personal favorite, COMPLETED suicide, as if it was some fucking goal), ended his/her life, shuffled off this mortal coil, whatever. Trust me, if you’re not engaged in maniacal laughter now, you will be later. You have NO CLUE yet how gruesome your humor can go.

But you will. Oh, yes, you will.

Oh, and that’s normal. Don’t freak out about it.

You’re one of us now. The SURVIVORS.

Welcome to the club. You’re in good company here; the vast majority of us are everyday, average, ordinary people with one deep, dark, burning secret:

One of our loved ones committed suicide.

Oh, I’ve read all the psychobabble PC/happy crappy. We’re supposed to say completed suicide now. Or some other happy-smiley-crap.

I call bullshit. Let’s call a spade a spade, you and I. They COMMITTED suicide. They planned it, they waited, and when their particular trigger hit, they did it. They COMMITTED it. It was a rational act, as far as they were concerned. You and I probably disagree.

Were they really rational? Probably not. What person in his/her right mind thinks suicide is rational?

Were they in pain? Obviously. A pain that most of us cannot fathom. Most of us would not take our own lives, no matter what crappy cards life dealt us. Our loved ones did.

So, how do you explain this?

You can’t. Look, I’ve been there/done that/bought the t-shirt. You can second guess yourself to hell and back, and you know what? YOU STILL WON’T KNOW.

Stop saying shoulda/woulda/coulda. You shouldn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t. You weren’t thinking like they did. You had no idea. Stop blaming yourself. There is not one survivor on the planet that would hesitate to stop a loved one from committing suicide IF THEY HAD KNOWN.

I didn’t. I couldn’t. You didn’t. You couldn’t.

Let me let you in on a little secret: people who plan to end their lives might broadcast it in a general sense, but when they REALLY decide to do it? Yeah, you won’t know.

Know why? They don’t either.

They plot and plan. For months, years maybe (and yes, some are impulsive and just do it, already, but I suspect that is the minority) but ultimately, you will not know what the LAST STRAW is. Nor can you. Because they don’t, either.

Stop freaking blaming yourself. I know it hurts. I know you can shoulda/woulda/coulda yourself into the nuthatch.

It wasn’t you. Did you hear me? IT WAS NOT YOU.

You’re going to be upset, at first, and then righteously freaking angry, and probably a million other things I can’t predict. What I will say is, the best piece of advice I ever got was this: whatever you are feeling is normal. And trust me, there will be days (and nights, especially) where you won’t believe that. But it is. Normal, I mean.

Be as crazy as you want to be. You will certainly not be the first person to think and feel as you do (but you will think you are). You’re fine.

Oh, and those people who tell you you’ll get over it? Fuck them. You’ll NEVER get over it. You’ll get through it, though. You really, really will. I won’t lie to you, it’s going to suck hardcore for a long, long time, but you WILL come out the other side. You’ll get through. But over? No. No, no, no.

Everyone has scars. Ours are just invisible. And they will pop up at the weirdest times and eat at your soul.

This is the price we pay for loving them. And I suspect we pay it willingly. Because we loved them.

3 thoughts on “Suicide Survivors

  1. Well said Dags, you know I’ve been there too and the “if only I said/did…” is the worst thing you can do to yourself after.

    Doesn’t mean knowing that it’s pointless and untrue will stop you from doing it, but it doesn’t help…

    …not unless you allow yourself to go right into it and say, “Ok, let’s say I did have a warning (I did, it happened twice before the third time was the one that worked) if I said or did – insert thing you think would have made a difference – what would have happened?” And what happens is, you come to the realisation that all the kind or loving words and actions are just putting a band aid on a gaping wound. Unless you were physically and mentally able to be with that person every second of every day, live their life step by step with them…forever…there’s nothing you could have said or done that would change a thing. And let’s face it, they didn’t want you to do that.

  2. Truer words were never spoken. I had some “glimpses into the future” myself, but quite honestly, unless you’ve actually been right there at the edge of doing it yourself, you really don’t ever believe someone is serious about that. Oh, you do in the abstract, but if you really, TRULY believed they were serious, you’d never sleep again. Because YOU wouldn’t do it, you think THEY wouldn’t either, and that they kind of sort of mean it, but not really.

    And then later you spend hours and days looking back on all that and mentally kicking yourself for not seeing it.

    I truly believe if our loved ones knew what they were doing to those of us left behind, they wouldn’t take their own lives. That said, I can only imagine how much pain someone has to be in to even consider taking his/her own life. At that point, they don’t see us. They only see them. They get a sort of tunnel vision where they can only see how hurt they are, and can see nothing else.

    So you really have to try and not take it personally. Because they didn’t mean it that way.

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