Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just because they didn't take the handful of pills DOES NOT mean they are hurting any less.

My heart hurts today. Yesterday, one of my favorite people decided to end her own life. Luckily, she shared her plan on facebook, and there were way too many of us to let her just go. (Facebook has a way to report suicide threats. As well as a link to Suicide Hotlines all over the world.) Her father got to her and got her to the hospital. She's been in the ICU on a breathing machine, but is now breathing on her own.

My heart hurts for the friend that was hurting so much that she saw no better way. My heart hurts for how hard she's fought, and how close I came to losing my friend. My heart just hurts.

I spent the day with another friend who has been really struggling for a while. She's suicidal and depressed, and watching Kate go through all this is only adding to her struggle. I know that just because she hasn't taken the pills, doesn't mean she isn't hurting just as much. Kate's getting the love and support, because people KNOW what is going on, but other friends are not. And I'll say it again:

Just because they didn't take the handful of pills DOES NOT mean they are hurting any less. They need to be heard, to be loved, to be accepted just as much. My hope is that one day, everyone will have someone who will listen to them, love them, and accept them BEFORE it gets to this point. Kate's father went to her house when she was nearly dead, but she had told her parents for months that she was hurting. She had been trying to get them to see her, to give her the love she so desperately needed, but they wouldn't hear. (I know... there comes a point when you have to just say, "Who cares what my parents think, and go on living without their love, but that just sucks. No one should HAVE to do that.) I don't think she realized how many friends around the world she has. How many people she has touched. How many people REALLY love her. Here are some of the things her friends have posted in the last two days:
"So very sad and worried tonight about a friend who tried to take her own life today simply because she is told over and over that she can't be her wonderful self. This madness has got to stop. If you are the praying type, please pray for my friend, Kate. If you are not the praying type--positive thoughts and energy. What is wrong with our society when people think they are better off dead then being GLBT? She is in ICU."
And one more:
"Struggling today. A wonderful woman tried to end her life yesterday. She is a lesbian, and her family has been taught by their church that she less of a person because of that. And consequently treat her as less of a person because of that. They "love the sinner", which may sound okay at first blush, but at it's core is a judgmental statement, which automatically denigrates the person it's directed at.

One of her last posts before she went and took a double handful of pills stated that she wished she could be straight, because then maybe her mother and father would love her. Doesn't exactly sound like someone who *chose* to be gay, does it?

My heart hurts for her, and for all those in her position, who are rejected either tacitly or outright by friends and family because of their religious beliefs. It's almost 2012 people. Can we finally shrug off the 2000 year old prejudices? Can we simply love and accept people for who they are inside? Stop the judgement. Stop the hate. Stop the inequality. As a parent, I simply cannot fathom rejecting my children for who they are, or who they're attracted to.

This change isn't coming quickly enough for some..."
And one that took a lot of courage to share,
"For those who may or may not know, I have officially resigned from the LDS church. I haven't really talked about it publicly. One of the key triggers in my apostasy, or enlightenment, depending on your point of view, was Prop 8. I am not gay but a staunch supporter of the Constitution and basic human rights. I am a member/participant of a few post/exMormon groups. Today, a friend I met in one of these groups posted her suicide farewell on FB shortly after posting the following: "I just wish I was straight My Mum and Dad would love me if I were straight." She made it to the hospital but has been recently moved to the ICU. I'm deeply saddened and my emotions are spent as I've been following all day on pins and needles.
I refuse to allow my children to be raised with the "Better dead clean, than alive unclean" religious moral mentality. May we love our family & friends for who they ARE and not who we believe they should be."
Today, I am crying for all those that are hurting. I am smiling for all those that can see and are making changes. I'm crying for all those that don't understand the pain they are causing. I'm smiling for the progress I have made.

I've been through this before with other friends. I've called the police. I've shown up on a doorstep and insisted they go to the hospital. I've sat on the phone across the country talking someone out of taking their own lives. I didn't write about any of those things, because back then, I was barely hanging on myself.  For the first time in my entire life, I am not wishing it was me that was dying. Death (or near death or talk of suicide) has always triggered me. I didn't realize why until today, when this isn't triggering me. I dreamed of dying. I felt jealousy whenever someone else got to do it, and I didn't. And then I felt crazy for wanting to die. Who gets jealous of death?

Those feelings have changed. I can be here and present with those that are hurting, because I'm not looking for my own way out. Now, I can say, "It gets better. Just hang in there. I know it hurts. I know it seems like there is no better way, but there is."

It really does get better.


  1. You are light. What beauty you have shared in what can be so ugly.

    I am sorry that you've had to watch and experience so much hurt that it involves suicide. For those others, I am grateful that they have had you to support, encourage, guide, love when they were unable. I'm thankful that you are brave to share aspects of your journey that are painful but you can see your growth.

    I pray you feel proud of you. Proud of the soul you are no matter what another has said or done to damage aspects of your whole being. You are inspiring Jen and I wish I had a more eloquent way of saying THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU.

    With light and hopes that comfort will hold you now.

    Be well.

  2. Thank you for being so open and sharing on your blog. I don't mean to sound cliche, but I am really glad I found your site. I have suffered from bullying while I was younger. The hurt was repressed for many years. I have had my share of bad friendships, some due to my own fault. I have learned through counseling and support of healthy friends to appreciate and love myself. I too have come a long way in life. God was and still is with me through everything.

    Your writings make me feel that I am not alone, that there is someone else who can relate with struggles of depression. My depression is in remission. Counseling and a prescription has helped with that. Also, my own blog writing has been tremendous for me too.

    I subscribed to your blog through the atom link to have it in my google reader. Feel free to visit my blog at too.

  3. This post puts me all over the place. It makes me angry at the people attacking my church when it is the people in the church that do stupid things. Because my belief in the church I just realized might be the only reason I haven't tried suicide, that's a completely different story.

    It makes me angry because people can come and offend my rights and beliefs but I'm evil for fighting back even though I love them far more than they've shown to me.

    I've luckily never had to deal with someone in my life that was talking to me about their own suicide. I don't know how to handle that. I've had a friend die, I've had an only friend that I have die.

    I've been jealous of the people that were brave enough, angry at the people selfish enough, and wished I knew how to help the people hurt enough.

    Overall, this post makes me feel for you sister. It makes me think of the musical Next to Normal(for which I have the music book) Which is about a bipolar mother through her struggles, including attempted suicide, hallucinations of her dead son(spoiler alert...) and the way she learns to cope with it all.

    I'm glad you were there for her, I'm grateful for all the times you've been there for me, I'm proud of you for all you've overcome, and even more so for the lives you've affected positively. It's amazing how you've created a community for those that have been hurt in different ways throughout their lives where people feel safe to share.