Thursday, July 20, 2017

This may just be word vomit

As I start to write this post, the Facebook is blowing up with shares of articles about the suicide of Linkin Park's singer Chester Bennington, a friend of Chris Cornell, who's suicide I wrote about back in May. Today, apparently, is Cornell's birthday. Today's post was going to be about suicide before I even heard this news.

Over the last week, I watched the Netflix series, "13 Reasons Why". Wow. Stop now if you don't want spoilers. So, so many thoughts. Let's get some of the minor issues/pet peeves I had with it out of the way.
  • Hair and makeup was not good; the bruises and cuts left much to be desired to be believable; Hannah's haircut wig was also not believable.
  • Except for Bryce, these kids were sophomores in the flashbacks and then juniors in the current time. How were some of them so heavily tattooed. I'm guessing parental sign-off was no big deal or they had serious connections. 
  • The 25-year-old (I looked him up because I thought he was the least teenage looking cast member. To my surprise he was only 25. I was guessing 30.) omniscient, omnipresent, gay, Latino, with the classic Mustang Tony. 
  • Clay's mom being the defense attorney for the school. Total conflict of interest in my book.
This isn't my first suicide based post and, sadly, I'm almost certain it will not be my last. I will not stop writing; I will not stop sharing.

What brought me to watching the series was an article I read about two families suing the show for the deaths of two girls who killed themselves after watching the series. And, then, in the show the parents of the girl who killed herself are suing the school for causing their daughter's death. These lawsuits really got to me. I was riled up. 

One of the stages of grief is anger. In my opinion, did you catch that? In my opinion, that anger stage is greater in the case of violent deaths and suicides. That anger is being acted upon through these lawsuits. The stage of anger gets drawn out in the legal process. 

Here's the thing, shit happens, terrible shit happens in our lives. The person who commits suicide makes that choice. Perhaps there are cases where someone can get them help and they will grab that lifeline. But, no one should feel guilt or should be blamed. 

This brings me to you, Hannah. Your suicide wasn't a whim; it was thought out. The tapes show just how much you thought it out. I had moments of feeling unsympathetic toward you. I was annoyed when you pushed Clay away and said on the tape that you wanted him to turn around and come back. That is not fair. Don't put that on him. He did what you wanted. You said, "No" and he listened. That is what boys are taught to do. And, then, the Guidance Counselor, stop being vague with him and expecting him to know what you are seeking help for. And then expecting him to come after you. Yes, things were really shitty. You, in my opinion, misread things sometimes. Zach liked you and tried. You went off on him because of an awkward teenage boy moment where he said something that didn't come out in the best way. He brought up the whole "best ass" thing, but he was trying to say that he knew there was more to you than that. Not everyone is an eloquent speaker, especially high schoolers.  

So, here I am, in anger; anger for putting blame on others; anger toward expecting others to know what you want/need from them. In the end, suicide comes down to the decision of the person.

In the moments of my life when suicide was trying to make its way into my psyche, I don't recall blaming people. Most of my ideation was passive. I just wished I would stop existing, not wake up. Typically, I don't develop plans. It doesn't tend to get that far, mostly because I fear failure. Things like, the gun will jam or not hit me the right way; someone will come in the garage; the pills will make me vomit before killing me; the razor blade thing always freaked me out. 

One thought that I often had years ago was on I-271 in greater Cleveland. I was just visiting family and actually happened to be on that stretch of I-271 I'm talking about. This thought usually happened when I was in college, but whenever I drive it now, I have a moment of discomfort. Where I-271 North mergers with I-90 West, it's a pretty significant turn, not 90 degrees, but kind of sharp. I always would think about driving straight, not taking the turn. Again, though, I always figured I wouldn't succeed. 

So, here we are. Someone's suicide is their choice. As always, you NEVER, EVER, EVER know what is going on in someone else's life. 

And, in the words of Ellen, "Be kind to one another."   


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