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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Living with the Threat of Suicide

As I have alluded to in a few recent posts and in recent times, I have begun to pay more attention to the reality of the aging process, growing old and to the preparation and reality of dying.

One of the effects of that attentive preoccupation and study is that it makes me want to live what time I have left in life with that much more activity and purpose.

I want to Live My Life.

Not Take My Life.

Which is the subject of this post -

The Act of Taking One's Life aka....


When I told a friend of mine that I have been thinking a lot about Death lately and recently about Suicide, she made it clear that she was available and willing to talk about both at anytime.

I got her drift and explained quickly that I was not a candidate for suicide as I loved me far too much to ever kill me.

But I do want to talk a little about an aspect of Suicide that is potentially far worse than Suicide itself - if that is possible.

And that is the Threat of Suicide.

And that is something I can talk about because I've been on the receiving end of it.

This is a subject and content I have revealed to only a few people in my life for what will be obvious reasons.

In a nutshell, I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional family.

My Dad was pretty much a rage-a-holic and my Mom, either because of my Dad or some congenital contributions, was a Depressed Suicidal person.

I have 2 older sisters, one 9 years older and one 10 years older, and because of my Dad's domestic mental, physical and emotional abuse, my Mom sent my sisters off to a parochial academy for high school.

Which left me home with the 2 dysfunctional parents starting at age 4 or 5 - I don't remember exactly.

But what I do remember was the frequent and consistent depressed bouts of crying that my Mom displayed during which she espoused her desire to kill herself.

I guess that was back in the days before there was readily available material or counseling on the effects that this sort of maternal behavior has on a 5 year old kid, but suffice it to say I remember vividly to this day hugging my mom and crying with her and begging her not to kill herself.

It scared the shit out of me and made me feel even more insecure than my dad's angry, abusive tirades.

This went on for years until I got old enough to realize that this kinda shit was neither normal nor proper.

I don't remember what age it was - probably 12, 13 or 14 - one day my mom went into another one of her depressed suicidal episodes and I just stood over her and said....

"Hey - why don't you just go ahead and kill yourself and put us all out of your misery."

Maybe things got better after that - I really don't remember, but at least I got loose of the stranglehold that the threat of suicide by my mother had on my emotions.

She ended up never killing herself but died of congestive heart failure at age 74.

Well - she really did commit suicide but just did it over most of her lifetime by not eating right, not exercising and not taking care of herself, which is basically the recipe for the soup of congestive heart failure.

It's kinda funny, some years back, I talked to my sisters about this whole subject and their reaction was -

"We don't believe you.  Why are you making this up?  Why would you say such a terrible thing?"

I was shocked.... for about 10 seconds. And then responded -

"How the fuck would you two know what went on at the house after you were 14 years old?  You were 200 miles off at a parochial high school.  I lived this shit. I know what happened."

Based on my experience and the relating of similar circumstances to me by others, the biggest takeaway for me on the subject of suicide is not what it does to the self-executioner but more importantly how it affects those around them.

And perhaps the most negative and destructive effects are seen and felt from the threat of suicide even more so that the realized act of suicide.

Death, of any kind in any manner, brings closure.  There is finality and there are memories of the lost but there is not the present and living mental and emotional abuse that the threat of suicide offers.

In many cases, the threat of suicide is a plea - for help - and it should be addressed as such.

But in other cases, the threat of suicide is a ploy - for manipulation - and it too should be addressed as such.

And in fact, it may be the worse of the two because it bastardizes and belittles the real act and meaning of a suicidal threat from a person who is actually suicidal and just trying to ask for help.

For those that practice either type of suicidal threats - get help.

Seek counseling, communication and support for whatever the source is inside you that creates this behavior.

Because Life is Precious and should be shared with those you care about.

But the Threat of Taking Your Own Life is the best way to destroy the relationships with those same people and leave them with emotional scars they will carry for a lifetime.

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