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.And one that took a lot of courage to share,
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..."
"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.