This one requires a trigger warning about suicide. I have suicidal ideations. You can read some of my thoughts on suicide here. I wanted to talk more about this today since this seems to be a hot button discussion recently. I have thoughts and I want to get them out.
I think about suicide on most days. I consider myself committing suicide in such a variety of ways. But it is all the time. Sometimes it is worse. I don’t just think about it. Sometimes suicide isn’t just a crutch. Sometimes it is an urge. A drive. A desire. At those times I want to talk about it. I usually do talk about it. Unsurprisingly though the urge springs up at the worst times. When things are bad in life. The various stresses that cause fights to arrive in the family are also triggers for urges to commit suicide.
And that’s when I am afraid.
I can’t just talk about it. Then I am manipulating. I know it. I feel that dirty feeling deep inside my core. That sensation that I am a fucking horrible human being. Those are the times that I end up holding on to knives in the bathroom. Or the times that I punch myself in the legs till the pain makes my head less swimmy. Bite my knuckles till I can’t think of anything else but the sensation I feel.
The anxiety I feel when talking about my suicide when I most need to talk about it is the worst. Sometimes I still talk about it. Sometimes I don’t. I get to a certain point and I have no choice. Talk or risk.
I say all this because I am absolutely terrified that every time I talk about suicide I am using it as a weapon. I am terrified that the fact that I can think about it this much even when I want to kill myself means that I am definitely manipulating those I love. I am absolutely terrified I am the horrible person in my head.
But my sane self. The one who checks up one me and shares the rumination capacity of my crazy self, is there to remind me that this is always in my head. Suicide isn’t just there as a tool for manipulation. No suicide is real and present even when there is nothing and no one thing making me sad. Those are the times I need to remember when I need to talk about my thoughts.
That was a lot of rambling for the point I am going to get to next.
I am not the only one who does this, who deals with suicidal thoughts and fears talking about them because talking about it means you drag everyone else into your own horrible web of manipulation. A lot of people experience these thoughts and feels.
So keeping that in mind, accusing someone of using suicide to manipulate is a dangerous thing. Maybe they are using against others. Doesn’t mean they don’t internally struggle with the pain of doing so. I kinda don’t care if a person has a history of manipulation. I have “friends” like that. For them I don’t vest myself emotionally too much, but I would never accuse them of rigging the game.
I’ve only had one time where I confronted someone with their own threat of suicide. It was direct. It was public. That time took it to a whole new level of wrong. That time the person attempted to cause harm and did cause harm with their words. Even then my confrontation was such that I merely gave him outs from that which was causing him difficulty and explained the unfairness of his accusations.
And yes there are those who abuse through manipulation. But they don’t do it once. It isn’t an isolated incident. The threats aren’t “I can’t handle the deck life has handed me” but rather “I am going to kill myself if you don’t fix this.” There is a difference. It is surprisingly clear to an outsider even if it isn’t clear to the victim.
Maybe that was a longish point after all. Suicidal brains are tricky. They prey on our vulnerabilities. They make us shut up when we want to talk and visa versa. They convince us to do the thing we fear slightly less than what we fear the most.
I hope that people consider a little more the risk we play when we accuse someone of manipulating through suicide. Publicly no less. I am not saying that horrible people shouldn’t be held accountable for their horribleness. I just don’t think that questioning the validity of their depression, their suicidal ideations, is in anyway helpful to the person or the further reaching audience of your public post.
I don’t know if I have a good solution with all this but rather to ask people to try to be a bit more empathetic. Even to our enemies. Certainly to our friends and admirers.
This isn’t one of those “I know something” posts. So tell me your thoughts. Help me weigh the risks of pointing out perceived manipulation.