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where WERE they?

At one point there were five or six people intimately connected in this living space. Four or five plus Ki. People who lived there and boyfriends / girlfriends.

It was a transitional weekend: one official roommate leaving for New York, another official roommate coming in, who already was there ahead of time with her unofficial bf. Her name was *Shery and Ki warned me if I heard strange noises at 3 AM "the bed squeaks". Ki was a little wistful. Shery's room door was directly opposite Ki's, a distance of about 1.5 meters [told you the corridor was very narrow, two people could not pass at the same time.]

The one leaving was *Diane, whom Ki always complained about being a super bitch to her. I saw absolutely nothing of that when I was there, Ki assured me that Diane was putting on an act for me.

Then there was *Ross. Ross is gay and had been kicked out of his dorm room in another building by his straight roomies. This was the previous Fall. Ki was insistent about admitting him to live there with their overstuffed group. When the new academic quarter started, Ross got his own room next to Ki.

The afternoon faded; I left; then that night there was a farewell party for Diane. Ki was specifically ignored and not invited except to be asked to wash dishes beforehand. She posted bitterly about it, commenting that "I don't know why they treat me like I don't exist."

I can understand any freshman being afraid of Ki. Because of her attempt five months earlier which had brought the cops up there certainly once and probably twice. So if you're really bothered about it, you move the hell out, that's what you do.

However, if you don't know you have a suicidal roommate you do not belong in college at all and you are sticking your head in the sand. If you CHOOSE not to know, well, that's entirely another thing.

The thing that's bothered all of us out here is why it took so long to discover what Ki had done to herself. 24 hours plus?

How could they not have heard ONE SINGLE FUCKING THING? ... is my big point. Selective Deafness Graduate School. How completely wonderful.

There's just no distance in that submarine, people. You gotta walk by someone washing if you want the toilet or the shower, they're right in your way.

All indications are that nothing could have saved Ki this time in terms of speed. It's almost completely certain that she used multiple methods to assure that she would not wake up in some hospital again, helpless, in restraints. She would not wake up at all.

However.

I've concluded from all of this that the emotional distance of her roommates, in so tiny a "shared" space, was hurting Ki day after day week after week, just as she said it was. And they knew it. And I hold Ross especially guilty of not helping more, or any. Sure he has his own issues. As I write this, however, he's alive and she's not. In fact, they all are.

Well, good for each one of them. I hope they choke on it. Pray the Goddess that I NEVER need any of their help. I know just what I'll get.

::: ::: :::

It feels a little weird right now because I'm signing off LJ in the middle of the night too, like she did. My laptop and I are parting tomorrow in Boston for my big European adventure, specifically Israel, specifically Anna's gravesite and her hometown. It's a sad way to visit Europe for the very first time in my life, but there will be light to feel and share there too. I'm sure I won't be alone.

But if there's too much darkness for me, I'll just move the hell out. Take my own advice. Go off and party like crazy in Rome or Madrid.

Post lots when I get back. Some of you will be with me all the time.

Bye for now <3

Brad

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
65redroses
Aug. 18th, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
i send my love with you and hope that you find peace. thank you for sharing your words with us out here. i feel helpless but i want you to know that i am reading and caring from up here in canada.
silverplate88
Aug. 18th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
Please don't feel helpless, Eva -- i'm taking your caring with me. And I do have a lot of peace now [there are just flareups!]:)

The next part is over there for me to receive.
lotus82
Aug. 18th, 2008 09:13 am (UTC)
That's exactly how I felt about them right after Anna died. The way they treated her was nothing short of abuse and it was plain out malicious, being mean to her because they *could*, because Anna was meek and quiet and they felt they can get away with everything. I do hold them responsible in a way for her death; while she had plenty of underlying issues, their behavior served as a sort of "push" at that particular time. I honestly believe that had they shown at least a little care for Anna, did a little effort to get to know her, hung out with her just a little bit, things might have been different. Her dorm apartment, which was her home for the year, was turned into yet another place where she was abused, and it's their fault, and I still blame them, and if I ever come face-to-face with one of those people, oh my.
She was dead in her room for quite a while and they never even thought to wonder where's Anna and why they don't see her around the shared spaces in the apartment and whether she's ok. I wouldn't be surprised if they did hear her as she was killing herself but didn't care enough to go check out what's going on.
nurziful
Aug. 18th, 2008 09:19 am (UTC)
I did not know she died in her own room. I can't believe these people. I seriously cannot believe them.

I wish I was going with you, Brad. Keep me in your heart when you visit her.
silverplate88
Aug. 18th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
I certainly will, Nur. You are there right now.
stac46days
Aug. 19th, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
I have never agreed with anyone more in my life.
I wonder how these people live with themselves...knowing that even if they didn't cause it, they didn't stop it. They certainly made her living situation yet another form of abuse for her. this was her chance to heal, and it didn't happen. I blame them for a lot of that.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
missingnothing
Aug. 18th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
Brad, all of us wait for your return.
kala_ayule
Aug. 18th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
I was very angry and couldn't believe how long it took for them to find her. I don't think they could have prevented it, but how can you not notice that a person has been missing for days? Or worse, how can you not care? On one hand, I almost hope they are as scarred by this event as we are, but on the other hand, I wouldn't want that for anyone. I am sure they are suffering from tremendous guilt right now. If they aren't, then something is severely wrong with them.

I hope your travels go well. Wish I was tagging along with you, like in my dream.
silverplate88
Aug. 21st, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
YOu *are* tagging along, Caylen, as far as you decide to come along. Gladly share some sweat and overcharging with you!
kala_ayule
Aug. 21st, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh boy, sweat and overcharging! Can I please? =P
silverplate88
Aug. 21st, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
You bet you can :) :) Lots of interesting new Palestinians to meet hereabouts, too. The main motive is to separate you from your money, but it's not the only deal going on. I wanna take you to the Refugee camp where the theatre school is, you can teach about plants like the rare Caylen Maximica Fedupica and we will write a dramatic piece with the kids while the army watches us from the tank turrets.
silverplate88
Aug. 21st, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
Well, bad on me. That's CAYLENICA M. F., and it's the tanks of the *other* army.

So many political moves to memorize, so little time :D
emeraldwilwarin
Aug. 18th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
Brad, I know I don't post here often. Even after your reassurance and the words of others, I suppose I still feel a little out of place among people who knew Kiota well enough to call themselves her friends. It feels like I'm taking something away from them when I interfere...

But it's very angering, to say the very least, to hear they didn't even go to check on her after several days of her absence. As you said, how could they live in such close living quarters with her and not even notice her disappearance.

Back in December I lost a very dear friend named Kimberly, and while it was under very different circumstances one thing rings very similar to how it happened with Kiota -- in the end, it came down to another person's negligent and careless behavior that led to her death. Someone else said, and I agree, that even if her death was unpreventable at least they could have tried to show her that her life actually meant something to them.

That's really the saddest part, when I think of it; that she had to die in the first place, but even worse that her last moments were spent in an environment where she felt unwanted. I know she got a lot of comfort from the people on the crisis helpline, but it's still unfortunate she couldn't have gotten that a little closer to home.

Thank you for continually posting and keeping her memory alive. She's very proud of you right now and I can tell wherever she is, she is smiling at you. And we are all very grateful to you for everything you did for her in life and what you've done for her after she left our world.

You're in my thoughts and prayers as well, have a safe journey and return.
silverplate88
Aug. 21st, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
That is just wonderful, Emerald. Please come by all you want and comment or not, as you will.

Lots of us, including me, didn't actually "know" Ki from the actual path she walked / stumbled, but we see parallels in our lives that ring thrue of at least echo.

Looking out over the whole Old City of Jerusalem from the top floor of my hostel, only a short distance from her resting place [which I haven't been to as of now], my major emotions are of peace and of being cared for a whole lot by her spirit and her presences. There's no frantic feeling at all, as there is [for everyone, really] when you're going through your first year of school.

Ki was not alone at the end, since she defined so much of her world as existing online, and the suicide counselor-colleagues she was with for hours were exactly the right people for her to share with. But if there's anyone who knows the limitations of that --- not having human hugs, cuddles, laughs, tears, bitching with, sipping tea with, shopping with --- it surely was Kiota. I was happy to stay completely connected to her for those four days, she taught me so much as we did all those human activites with each other.

That's what most destroys me at the end, of course: even ONE single real-life first-year student friend right there for her, in those ways --- she would even have settled for a single kind word form her roommmates... the result of that was simply being ignored --- "they treat me like I don't exist" ---or any words coming from them were angry ones.

So I am glad for these feelings of peace and caring and I hope everyone reading this will share in them coming from me, as you will. *Through* me is really a much better way to put it.
silverplate88
Aug. 21st, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
*that ring true or at least echo*.

this keyboard likes Hebrew and Palestinian much more than English [hostel internet cafe atm, sorry :)]
redacted
Aug. 19th, 2008 07:43 am (UTC)
I keep coming back to this post, hoping that maybe this time I'll have something to say in response, but I don't and I don't think I will. I'm still outraged at her roommates, that they could be so willfully oblivious. I'm thinking of you, and of Kiota, as you go on this pilgrimage.
silverplate88
Aug. 21st, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you. You're right here with us.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )