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once you get used to it

Last day in Vermont. Holy Procrastination, Batman! Well, needed to take care of some stuff, and have been through Texas, Seattle, NYC, and Boston, twice, where I'm going to move for now.

Soon, Europe. OMG. First time. First the cam shop in Harvard Square.

Was going to post some music quotes that are moving me at the moment, but it's Saturday night here, and the end of Shabbos there, so it's peaceful to remember this:

"I'm going to college in September -- I'm going to be living on my own, and I know I can. I'm going to study to be a social worker ... help kids who're like I was, kids living on the streets, whoring, trying to leave it all behind, thinking there's no way anyone in the world truly loves them...I have people I can trust, and for once, they're not the only reason I'm living.

I'm actually living for me. Because life's kind of fun, once you get used to it.

I *did* survive. And it was worth it. There is good in the world, and there is beauty in the world.

I once thought there was no chance in hell I'd ever want to live --- not because I was scared to die, or not because I didn't want to hurt my family... but because *I* want to live.

And yet I do.

So. Hang on. It IS worth it in the end."

This is peaceful to me because at first I saw a totally downward trajectory starting from age nine. Especially during her last April. And I know lots of the rest of us did too.

But I was wrong. There were flashes of light and sun and hope, all over her life. And I am feeling some of them right now.

Even though she wrote what you just read at the end of July 2007, and the world is much different in July 2008.

My response to that in real time was that I told her she was a beacon and she was now lighting her own path. And ours.

It is the well-remembered Light at the start of her world.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
logicalargument
Jul. 20th, 2008 11:15 am (UTC)
The way it ended doesn't cancel out all the times she chose to live for a little longer. I need to remember that, about her and others.

It's so difficult for those of us who are not experiencing daily suicidal thoughts to understand that the hopeful, uplifting statements which give us so much relief and reassurance are not the end of the story, and that the most intense suicidal despair comes back so easily. It's not that the people we care about are deliberately lying to us, I know. The emotions are real at the time.

I have an online friend who has said on several occasions that he has made a firm commitment that he is neither going to kill himself nor threaten it again, and yet the next time things go badly, it seems that all the despair comes rushing back like it has never left, and he's back to talking about how tempting it is to embrace that solution to all his problems. I get frustrated, but if it's tough for us on the outside watching these ups and downs, how much harder it must be to live them.

As I've mentioned before, I'm going to do the Day of Blogs (blogathon) this year for the American Federation for Suicide Prevention. I'm planning to make a post about it later today. I hope that you will pass the word along so I can get a few sponsors, remembering Anna, and Krystle, and all the others.
silverplate88
Jul. 21st, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
"How much harder it must be to live them." Yes.

I hope your friend feels that he has someone to reach out to --- you, a team, someone special in his life --- since isolation is one of the big suicide triggers: whether you really are or not, if you *feel* you are, it's damaging ...

One thing that terrified Kiota was the feeling of being out of control with her despair, it would return because it's evident it never really went very far away despite the good times she lived and the successes she earned. It's the 'out-of-control' fear that so damaged her, from way back to the helplessness she felt at her first rape, up to ten years later, to feeling unable to control her dissociations, which had a long history in her life and got quite a lot worse in that last week ...

I will love to pass the word along ... as I recall, you got to meet Krystle and spend a little time with her before she left? [if I'm not mixing her up with someone else you had that with]

I'll watch for your AFSP post. I just got unpacked [a little] in Boston!!
logicalargument
Jul. 21st, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
Yes, I did get to meet Krystle. My husband and I traveled to Canada in June 2006 and spent a week with her. (She completed her suicide in September 2006.)

There is so much frustration in wondering if there is something more that we could have done, but I know that each person must find his or her own destiny. I try to remain as available for my friends as humanly possible, to avoid that feeling of isolation, but beliefs become so well entrenched that reality and illusion change places; that which a person believes becomes a superseding ultimate reality, not to be compromised by the intervention of mere facts. It's like religious faith, in a sense. The person defines himself/herself as alone, unloved, unknown to everyone - "if they knew what I am really like, they would reject me" - and evidence to the contrary is simply rejected, because the belief system is too strong.
silverplate88
Jul. 21st, 2008 08:08 am (UTC)
I'm a big fan of parallel realities -- in a positive sense, that we can be living simultaneously on different planes at the same time, surrounded by love and comfort and positive reinforcement even though we might only experience *direct* flashes now and then. Indirectly, these are star patterns that guide and fulfill our direct existence.

But there is a negative aspect to the parallel reality idea too, and suicide is one dramatic example. We look with our eyes and they look back with theirs and we just don't see the same thing: for example, with the same glass of water, the cliche' "Is the glass half full or half empty?" is a close approximation. Our reality and their reality are both bsically the same set of conditions but we see hope in continuing mortal life and they see no hope at all, just pain.

"I don't see this ever improving" is what Ki said, and from her viewpoint that is precisely true. And bewildering to the rest of us, and she knew that, and posted about that very point.

Ellen, you're restating the theory "There Is No Alternative" -- TINA -- very well! "Superseding reality", right on.

I suppose the big frustration, the big barrier for psych and med researchers, is that if they *fully* understood the mechanics of what causes suicide they would be dead too!

And that's a barrier also, for non-professional [= non-degreed] helpers like us.

The beauty for Ki, and I hope for Krystle also, is that Ki knew how much she was loved, on some level she knew this, although it did not make any difference to her final act....she felt that this was only coming through her online life [us] and not through her immediate physical one [roommates, classmates]. I have that conclusion, about how much she was loved, from three counselors who worked with her in the last hours through TeenHelp. They also became convinced that Ki was very very much at peace, not agitated at all [unlike perhpas a bit later on, when the last moments had arrived for her on her LiveJournal.]

And knowing that is very comforting for me. Also to know that her physical suffering, at the end, was intense but quite brief.

These days I feel her very strongly in her new life within my heart, at peace and full of love and excitement and guidance for me.

And I guess *that* must be obvious.

I think that once we have an extensive knowledge of our own limitations and possibilities, we can be of real help to others in despair. I think it comes down to the loving, positive powers of the Goddess / Universe / eternal / working through us.
(Deleted comment)
silverplate88
Jul. 21st, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
Thanks, Mari. I don't see *you* as a "total opposite", but then, I just take what you share with me, and you know yourself best ..... And I hope you will begin to see, little by little, the things that you have that are positive in yourself. There are some. I admire what you, as a "freaking girl", did to straighten out those delinquents tormenting you ... :) and what you've achieved at school :)
silverplate88
Jul. 21st, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
It's really sweet of you to say that ... just hitting me more deeply now <3
(Deleted comment)
silverplate88
Jul. 22nd, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
*sends transAtlantic huggles*
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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