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kiota and a mourning career

In 2003 she wrote "Let yourself mourn, and don't try to keep it inside like I did -- but let yourself get over it too. Please. My death cannot be reversed. I'm dead and that's that. Just remember, I'm not suffering anymore."

Not too sure about the "that's that" part, imho my experience is not one of termination but of transformation and very active presence. As is many of ours.

There's such a thing called a "suicide career", labeled by the pdocs, to describe the ups and downs of a long-term set of suicide attempts. Six years of them certainly qualifies, in Kiota's case.

A couple of specialists comment that "I believe that people who are actually committing suicide are ambivalent about death at the very moment they are committing it. They wish to die AND they simultaneously wish to be rescued." [Exactly what Ki posted to us late on Saturday night, just before ...] Suicide, when it starts happening to you, is "undoubtedly a fearsome thing, and people on the verge can be brought back for this reason." IF help is there in time. The street language for this is the "Oh, shit" moment talked about by some attempters who did not complete: suddenly they saw all their problems as very small and solvable in the face of the final solution they'd started to implemement.

I love this one too: "If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself but to put myself back together again." Quite a different POV and one that dumbfounds the interveners.

My own mourning has been pretty public. I'm honored with the gift of being able to share parts of Ki's last days face-to-face with me, and it's a gift nobody else on here had the privilege of receiving.

My "mourn career" is moving toward a close, largely on this Wednesday, April 30: Ki's 19th birthday and the 30th for our local Take Back The Night march and Speak Out. As a former Rape Crisis Center Advocate and newly-minted Ally, I may have a chance to talk about her path to lots of folks who will know exactly with their hearts what I'm talking about. Then again, maybe not, just [as now] in small clusters of survivors who have become friends.

So probably soon I will be going back to non-Anna posts but that does not mean for one moment that I want to disconnect from any of you. Each of you who's written me is really a new gift that I cherish.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
miafedup
Apr. 29th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
Not sure how to say this, since we are new friends...and I certainly don't mean offense.

But I'm happy (?) to learn you are moving to some closure. I have been too. I find grieving to be utterly exhausting and, well, I'm just ready for my own closure.
silverplate88
Apr. 29th, 2008 11:19 am (UTC)
I read that meaning perfectly, Patty. And thank you. The closure for me is a process that feels like it's almost complete, tomorrow will be a big day. My life is now changing to honor Anna each day by committing time and energy, in her living memory, to the causes we both believe in. All by itself, that is a daily blessing for the future....

Lin just told me she's mailing Fae's gift out from Europe this afternoon!! [It's twenty past twelve PM where she is.]
lwithmin
Apr. 29th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
I've mailed it a few hours ago - the lady said it should reach you in 5 business days (registered). So you should expect it wednesday or thursday, we all know how these things go.
I've checked it as a gift, I hopehopehope they don't open it on customs. Let me explain: they didn't have bubblewrap. Sending a snowglobe, something really fragile, on a box... without bubblewrap. I bought instead a pack of tissues (kleenex type, except not exactly kleenex), and me and a friend were filling the box up with tissues (really tight). The globe has a little cellphone sock around it (not sure how it's called in english) that I had lying around, and that one's *full* of tissues too to protect it. I'm afraid if they open it on customs they won't fill it back with all the tissues and it'll break getting to you. :/ Or maybe they'll add bubblewrap for the rest of the way, that'd be nice.

I had a few pictures of the package, but they're on my friend's cellphone and we couldn't get it to connect to his computer. If he ever gets them on his computer, I'll be sure to post them (not that they show much...).
silverplate88
Apr. 29th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
Lots of caring work, Lin. Imagine, Customs seeing that it might be a problem and helping with bubblewrap!

Another real gift is being created here, too, obviously by Kiota: considering the three of us, before now I knew P only by her cute screen name, and L somewhat less distantly as a fiery flame-opponent usually coming down on a side of any issue involving Ki that was exactly opposite from the one I took, with whines and growls and sarcasm, friendly things like that.

And now we are meeting to celebrate a part of Ki's life through exchanging some small but quite special gifts. Coming with a lot of love and caring. The day before her birthday.

I am more honored still. No day goes by when I don't feel a wave of gratitude for all the words that you are embracing me with, all of you in my new LJ-friends family and some of you who just pass by, stop a moment, read, leave a comment in my mialbox or here.

Ki and I only got on webcam one time. I thought it was somehow so intimate and cute that she was perched in her chair in front of the computer, with her knees drawn up to her chest, at the desktop level, so they peeked up and over the edge of the cam. It made her seem like a little bright ball of energy.

I have spent myriad hours in front of mine, probably more in this one month of April than in this whole past year or three, so Ki is giving me a feeling of what *that* was like in her cyberlife.. However, no way can I match the knees-to-desk-edge position. I'd get wedged in there and my legs would go to sleep and I'd totally have to get lifted out of there by a derrick or something.

Ki would be all "OMG get over yourself, Brad!!" I wish she'd pipe down! Well ... uhm ... no I don't.

So: Wed or Thurs next week is 7th or 8th May. The plan will be to take my gift out of the bubblewrap and then repack yours and send it right on, Patty. I'll probably Express it so it would be another two / three days to your door. I'll keep everybody posted on what is happening in real time.

Thank you some more, Lin. It's the only thing I seem to be saying to you these days, repeatedly!

*goes off to wiggle Patty to read this*
silverplate88
Apr. 29th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
YIKES
That's ME with the "whines and growls and sarcasm," Lin !! !! !! *fears watching fire + brimstone rising over Europe again* Damn I have to proofread better ...
blackempress
Apr. 29th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
"If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself but to put myself back together again."

that is just beautiful and insightful. especially through the eye of reincarnation. i've thought this myself before, but not in such perfect language.

i am amazed at your ability to grieve so publicly and with such clarity. it is quite a thing to behold and i am honored to have been allowed to watch and take part in my own way. i will be sending you energy from the feet of Shiva on the 30th. may others be touched by you and the story you share the way i have.
silverplate88
Apr. 29th, 2008 11:21 am (UTC)
Thank you, Empress, you are a gift. I will feel that Shiva energy, I know it. And yours.
silverplate88
Apr. 29th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)
Actually, I misquoted.
What she said really was "My death cannot be turned around."

Specific choice of words. She invented her LJ handle, KIOTA, by taking it from the Korean verb KIOTARA, which means "to turn around".

Which was exactly what much of her life was all about: helping others turn away and turn around from the damage of child sexual abuse and from lots of other kinds of pain. she was always there and always compassionate. This power in her will be deeply missed on earth; it is right now.
stac46days
Apr. 29th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
*Which was exactly what much of her life was all about:helping others turn away and turn around from the damage of child sexual abuse and from lots of other kinds of pain...*

Anna amazingly always encouraged. After dealing with rape and self harm I had no one, sometimes I still don't. However, she was always there to offer something. She understood the need for something organic almost, innate if you will to heal the emotional damage that refused to fade.
I miss her most during the night when it is just me and my thoughts. In the quiet stillness of it all I wonder if her pain is gone.
silverplate88
Apr. 30th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
And it's very easy and endlessly sad to process where that came from. Her terror, and isolaton, and bewilderment had become organic and "almost innate" almost from that first night. She'd been raped; Leah was in the same room asleep, both were nine. There was no way she felt she could tell Leah [or anyone] anything because Leah would be so hurt it was her father, [and almost certainly Anna would not be believed;] the family would perhaps be broken up; it would be all Anna's fault. She also felt that if she just co-operated in future sleep-overs, she could protect the others if Leah's dad would just take his satisfaction with her. Everything had to be secret. "He didn't need to cover my mouth -- he should've known I wouldn't scream."

Ki wrote that last sentence a week before she died, as part of a paper she read in class at school. It has a lot of symbolic tragedy as well as literal tragedy. Ten years had run off the clock since that night but it was as vivid as last night, as her most recent nightmares. As her daymares, too.

It developed that the dad had attacked both of his own daughters, for years, in addition to Anna.

Anna completely understood being alone, scared, cornered, hopeless, terrified. She lived it. She connected with each and every other survivor on this gut level. Timelessly.

After years of connecting with others and helping them heal, I think the pleasure she took in this started to be unequal to the pain she would take into herself and not be able to process any longer. Perhaps she began to doubt her capabilities and offerings. She began to realize what it was costing her, in terms of her own balance, to keep on going in a counseling capacity. But the need to reach out never left her. We know, both here and at TH, that her last shared words were advice to colleague counselors about who needed help, and gratitude for knowing about the healing of at least one other person on LJ with whom she was signing off.

She was both her terrified inner child of nine and the ageless savior safehugging that child.

She needed desperately to find a way of living that would yield the same benefits for her that she could see happening in her clients. The result was, she couldn't find that way. "I just keep being more and more sure it [my own suicide] is the right decision. I don't even know what it's like to be happy. Like a normal person." She wrote this six days before she left us.

The isolation she felt, resulting from inability to make close friends [not just acquaintances] at school all during this first year, brought back nightmares of isolation with only her rapist, there ...inside her psychologically. He never left. In a fiction piece she wrote, "His tongue is in my mouth. It feels like he's eating me up from the inside." This isolation, even from the people she was living with, was most terribly painful to her in her last two days.

I think it's certain that she moved away from all kinds of pain, as we understand pain on this level: ALL pain, physical and mental. If there's any scrap of joy at all in any of this, it's the painlessness that occurred for her immediately. "Just remember, I'm not suffering anymore".

The new challenge is for us to be able to go on receiving the gifts when she's living in our hearts in a new form. She's still giving them. Minutes / seconds / hours / years are all human inventions to do our little measurings. She's now here for eternity.

On the East Coast of the US it's a little after 9 at night as I'm writing. In the skies over her home in Israel it's a little after four tomorrow morning. It's her birthday. A new birthday. For looking forward or just relaxing into timelessness and into the comfort of the many words and images she created for us. I like to think of it as a family of bridges for us. She's traveling on any bridge with us, with her arms around our shoulders, one by one. She IS the bridge, at the same time. It's the ecstasy of being everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Words break to frame the images.

No more pain. She took it all out of herself and she is taking it from us also.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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