Suicidal Ideation: You Are Not Alone!
Do you suffer from depression?
Where the Pain Began
It is very hard for me to decide where my suicidal thoughts began, and why they took root so deeply. I can go over my life with a clinical perspective, looking for the mechanisms of the symptoms rather than the symptoms themselves, but it is still hard to discern whether or not I am placing a different value upon a memory than I would have placed upon the actual situation when I was experiencing it. Nonetheless, I feel I have a good grasp on where my pain, the pain that first made me think to kill myself, came from.
My mom was frequently absent in the early stages of my life because she was a regional manager for now-shuttered Circuit City, and my father was an overnight worker at Ralphs so he spent much of his time sleeping while I was left to be raised by my grandparents. My mother and father would both best be described as narcissists, by my own appraisal, though only my mother truly has narcissistic personality disorder. When my parents were around, it probably would have been better for them to just abstain from the responsibilities of parenting.
When it came to my mother being around she was always impatient and irritated, as if everyone around her was nothing more than an obstacle holding her back from her next task. If I wanted to play a game of hide-and-seek, or pretend to be asleep so she would playfully wake me up, when she came to pick me up from my grandparents she would immediately become irritated and say she has no time for games. Growing up around her wasn't as if it was direct torture all the time, no, but any fun we did have was on her time and as she demanded it with very little wiggle room.
As for my father I'm not sure what his real problem is outside of alcoholism and womanizing, he won't discuss his problems in any capacity, but my earliest memories of him are me in the passenger seat of his Corvette looking over at the open beer between his legs, a handle of Jack Daniel's in the console, and a cigarette hanging out of the window. Not sure whether it is my personality or because of the way I was treated by my parents, but my dad hated how shy I was and wasn't afraid to put some bruises on my chest for not wanting to talk to every person who would give us the time of day. He was a socialite, and my cross to bear was humiliating him by hiding behind his back any time someone would speak to me, and the subsequent fingers to the chest telling me how embarrassing I am.
The grandparents were a beast apart from my mother and father. This beast was that born of religious delusions and dogma. It didn't matter what it was, something as minor as having a crush on a girl or saying a bad word like, "fart," I was deserving of a spanking, time-out, or soap in my mouth. Any friend I ever made, my own father, politicians, they had a negative opinion that they tried to instill within me about everyone. The earliest memory is them teaching me to say, "Liar, liar, pants on fire! Nose is longer than a telephone wire!" every time Bill Clinton came on to the TV. I hold every and any politician on the same level so don't think I support the man now, he had his good and bad deeds just as every other numb-skull on planet Earth; this is beside the point though. Reeducation camp would have been the best way to describe what it was like being raised by my grandparents.
All of this, before I even had the chance to really interact with others, would shape me for a bleak future without real friends.
Do you suffer suicidal ideation?
Friends No More
When I began to think about what I would be writing in this section, I thought about including my story of becoming sexual at a young age leading to me understanding the concept of love, emotional and long-term love, much sooner than most children ever would; but I'd rather not hear the judgments and opinions of others on the topic because my emotional maturity at a young age was something I held with pride and would rather not have it sullied by the ignorant. We will leave it at saying that due to my emotional maturity I did not understand the concept of living life to the fullest, and experiencing all the world had to offer. Rather, I sulked when I found myself heartbroken that a young girl had no interest in spending more than three months infatuated with me. This occurred frequently, and each time I was as baffled and hurt as the first go-around; and though I won't discuss much detail on all my relationships I do want to discuss one in particular that hurt very bad.
It was sixth grade, I was very overweight and didn't have many friends. I was struggling in private school and bullying from children and adults was more than common for my every day experience. A girl whom we shall call Madison decided it would be funny, unbeknownst to me, to ask me out when dared to do so. I'll fast forward through the gushy stuff to about two months later when we were at sixth grade camp in the mountains, she decided then was a great time to tell me it was all a joke and everyone was laughing at me behind my back because, "You're fat, why would I ever date you?"
I tried to saw through my wrist with a butter knife later that night in my cabin as it was all I could find, resulting in no death as I was hoping but severe skin burns and irritation. Still wish I had just jumped off the mountains or walked into the freezing cold snow to die, but oh well we all live and learn.
On to the specifics of the topic at hand, my distinct lack of real friends and the lack of fake friends now as well. My shyness and emotional maturity when I was younger often made me stand out as the black sheep. I didn't want to play games like tag, nor hide-and-go-seek, because my parents made me feel as if those games were stupid and immature. I'd much rather have sat down with everyone and discussed political issues and religion. This led to the majority of people around me trying to avoid speaking to me at all costs if they weren't making fun of me, and those who did not disliking how I was unable to lighten up and scared everyone else away.
Just for a general example, and for the sake of being less verbose, I'll bring up two friends I had on opposite sides of the spectrum. One we shall call Waqat, a nice boy from India who no one liked because he smelled of cooking oils and was smarter than everyone else; and the other Matthew, a wild child and class clown who enjoyed bullying and living dangerously. Waqat and I fell out of friendship because he was bullied by people for where he came from and how he smelled, and due to my quiet nature he viewed me as tacitly complying with the bullying and stopped talking to me altogether. Matthew and I fell out of friendship because I asked him to stop bullying everyone, especially punching me in the stomach when I began to cough up blood frequently.
Those last two examples are great figures to reference for all the subsequent friendships I would have and lose in the future. Now I only have three friends in the entire world; those friends are my girlfriend, my son, and my best friend whom I'm not sure even really likes me because his personality is so shifty with everyone he could be one-hundred different people in one body.
The combination of abuse and loneliness has led me to having serious emotional problems, and I struggle to overcome them every day to no avail.
Have you ever attempted suicide?
Living With Myself
Do you ever wake up and wish that you weren't conscious? Like, as soon as your eyes open you let out a big sigh and dread what is coming in your day? Yeah, me too, every day without exception. Wake up and immediately feel as if I haven't slept in three days, the thought of what I posted yesterday about my sadness at the forefront of my mind because no one is checking on me nor cares, and I'm going to be having random PTSD flashbacks all throughout the tired slog through my day. The cherry on top is having to cover this with a feigned high-energy attitude and a smile for my son, which I struggle through happily for him as I should, but it takes a heavy toll nonetheless.
With everyone on social media posting hateful stuff, stuff that is made solely to get under the skin of people they disagree with in their own equal-ignorance, and actually reading and looking into what people say, I'm a great example for why you should think before you speak and seek to be educated and accepting rather than ignorant and hateful. Every post that generalizes people, every post that seeks to attack someone else, every post that couldn't take the time to care and do some research before attempting to subjugate the opinions of others... it cuts me to the core every time. Sure I could just let things slide and maybe not care so much about the overall degradation of society as a whole, but then I'd be just like everyone else and I'd want to end my own life even more.
I hold myself back from expressing myself, which is said to cause nerve damage among other serious health effects, all for the sake of letting others have their say regardless of how ignorant it may be. This leads me to also let people emotionally, sometimes physically, abuse me without any sort of defense on my part. Further down the line, and as more trauma occurs, I find out that this is actually damaging my nervous system which is why I have uncontrollable responses such as twitches and wincing. When someone goes to high-five me I don't excitedly reach up and slap them some skin, I recoil as a natural instinct as if they are about to hit me. Hostile words act in the same manner as hitting me, I mentally and physically am forced to uncontrollably recoil from them. Even though I'm a big, strong man, who could put you face down in the dirt with little to no effort, I'm insecure about these things I can't control and people attack me for it.
Have you ever been laying in bed and remember an embarrassing moment that makes you roll around in discomfort, sometimes even expressing that discomfort of embarrassment audibly? I get that all throughout the day in the form of PTSD flashbacks, flashbacks of all different kinds of events that force me to relive terrible moments and sometimes cry out with anger or fear, and even worse lash out violently. All of this, every second of my day, makes me want to die.
There isn't a second in the day that goes by where I'm not thinking about killing myself. The culmination of all my traumas and the state of the world as a whole leads me to want to overcome this fear of self-imposed death that I have and finally just end it all. I frequently find myself with a blade pressed to my wrists in the bathtub, crying silently so that no one knows what I'm doing, calling myself a coward because I won't just end it all. I look at the different pills I have available in the medicine cabinet as if it were a candy store, and I wonder to myself why I don't just swallow all of them and then go lay down and wait to finally be released from this horrid life. Not being able to just do it, being too scared, it makes me hate myself so deeply that I can't enjoy anything. It makes me hate everyone and everything who made and continues to make me this way, including the transgressions I commit against myself.
Do you consider yourself as being accepting and compassionate?
How Can You Help?
If you want to help some stranger like myself to not feel this way, first and foremost shape up. Yes, that simple, shape up and stop thinking that the things you say and post don't affect others deeply. Go and read my article that discusses the real range of everything you post and say, or even this one here. Most of all, take the time stop and ask yourself if you are trying to hurt or otherwise subjugate someone with what you are about to say. If you can't do something so basic, something so simple, something so sympathetic and compassionate, something so mundane as thinking before you speak then I hope you feel my blood inevitably upon your excrement-stained hands. Then again, if you're the type to want me to feel this way because I disagree with you or don't hold your same views then I guess you're getting what you want and I'm oh-so-happy I could oblige your bitter and sadistic desires.
Other than shaping up, I couldn't say how you could help. It is up to me to overcome my own traumas, and to put that burden on anyone else more so than asking everyone to be mindful would be bordering on delusion best left to religious zealots. I suppose you could share my articles so that I make more money for luxuries we couldn't have otherwise, leave a nice comment on them, or just check in with me every now and again. It'd be nice to have someone to talk to outside of the ones I see every single day, and if you are able then you could always come hang out with me in person. I don't have anyone, despite searching, to keep up with me while hiking or in intellectual conversation so if you could provide that I'd have something I seek that I do not currently have.
Just start being better people, I suppose is the gist of this final section. I'll keep trying to live and be better for you all, if you all give me the same effort in return.