Suicide

3
Lee Thompson Young

Lee Thompson Young

I hate it when people kill themselves. Even people I don't know.

I've thought about whether to mention this week's name or keep it generic, but I think more people might read this post if I spell out the name. Lee Thompson Young. Age 29. Sweet, gentle and full of grace, according to sources close to him.

Most recently, he played Detective Barry Frost on Rizzoli & Isles, a favorite show of mine because of the interaction between a 'get it done' person and a 'this is why/how/encyclopedia' person.

Didn't Lee Thompson Young know people who've never met him would spend the day or the week or the lifetime thinking about why?

Didn't Lee Thompson Young know he was hurting people he'd never met?

These are my random crazy, irrelevant thoughts.

I've contemplated suicide, but as I recall (it was a very, very long time ago), I was more interested in hurting someone else than in ending my own pain. Pain was all I knew. I cannot say pain brought me solace or comfort through familiarity. I felt tough enough to withstand pain and let me tell you: there was plenty of pain. Physical, emotional, and mental (if that's a separate category.)

I like to say the last time I seriously contemplated killing myself, I was 16. But that isn't quite the whole truth. Let me start with the unbelievable thought of why I wanted to kill myself at 16 and why I did not (obviously) do it.

Scenario: My mother had just remarried and I was home from boarding school. Age 16. She accused me of being inappropriate with her new husband. He did like me. And what's not to like about a lithe, teen-age blond girl? He liked the way I ironed his uniforms. My mother thought she did a better job than I but got far less praise. No praise. Same with putting a dinner on the table. Me good. Her no comment.

So she had me cleaning out my closet, getting rid of all the beautiful clothes my older, and rich, cousin passed down to me. Mother wanted me to look dowdy. So I'm clearing my closet of beautiful things while she runs an errand out of the house.

We have a heavy steak knife in the kitchen. My mother hates the thin boning knife. Thinks it's too dangerous. Feels more secure using the tarnished five-inch blade with the hefty wooden handle. I'm sure I can plunge it into my sternum or heart or something before I expire from its effects and be DOTF (dead on the floor) when she returns.

However, there's a problem with this plan. I want to hurt her. To see her suffer. But my religious upbringing says there is no consciousness after death. So I don't get to enjoy her weeping and bawling and rending her clothing for months because her beautiful baby girl is gone. Oh s—!

Another problem: I'm intelligent and not on medication (maybe should be) and have a clear head, in spite of my depression and anger. This is the stupidest part: As I imagine her suffering, mutilated, I cannot see myself inflicting that much pain on another person. D___!

Out of compassion for a person I am intensely mad at, and for good reason, who had no idea what I was going through, I make a firm decision not to off myself. I am mad at myself for realizing, in my own mind, that I cannot do it for reasons of compassion. Sh–!

Deciding not to kill myself gives me a modicum of peace, because I can quit thinking about 'how am I going to deal with this untenable situation'? (Run away, fight back, disappear…the latter is what got me to thinking about suicide. "If I'm so effing much trouble [I did not talk/think in those words in those religious days of mine]), why don't I just disappear? Then you'll be sorry!)

But I give it up. I give in. I cave to staying alive so I won't hurt the people around me who are hurting me so much.

That's my story, and the event I rarely mention anymore that turned me away from suicide for once and for all.

Except 30 years later when I hurt a close friend very deeply. By then I was sophisticated enough to know most suicide attempts do not succeed. And then there's the mess. (Several friends had killed themselves, and it was always messy.) I won't detail my plan here, because if I do, someone will copy it and do it, and I do not want ANYONE, no matter how alone and despairing you are, to kill yourself. I will say my plan involved a complete disappearance including burying the body (mine). I do not recall how I was saved from this fate. Perhaps my friend forgave me. Maybe I forgave myself. I was old enough to know better, and I just hate hurting people.

And that's probably what bothers me about hearing of other people's suicides. They do not know how many people they hurt, how many people cannot think of anything else for a day or a week or a year. Did they want to hurt that many people, or just end their own hurt?

What may bother me more is realizing these people have pains and problems they believe they have no way of solving. And for every celebrity who grabs suicide headlines, there are about 20,981 self-inflicted deaths in the United States yearly that you will never hear of.

  • If you believe your soul survives death, killing yourself does not resolve your pain or solve your problem. You're conscious. You have the same challenges.
  • If you believe you have no consciousness after death, killing yourself does not hurt the people you would like to see suffer. You're not conscious. You cannot enjoy their suffering—and believe me, they will suffer. Sorry. You don't have a ticket to this event.
  • If your only goal is to relieve yourself of existential angst and pain, find a doctor who will give you some soothing, caliming drugs. Better living through pharmacology. It works for millions of people. It might have helped my mother not drive me to the brink. Just make sure you aren't listening to 'old school'—whatever that is. This is a crazy world we live in with polluted water/air/food…and even genes.

You have pain? You have no idea the pains you arouse in tens of thousands of people around you if you take, what might be described, and I don't want to be trite here, an easy way out. You do not know what is on the other side. You do NOT know this is easier. It is not.

___

Please share your stories, experiences and thoughts below.

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Comments on Suicide Leave a Comment

August 21, 2013

Christie @ 9:41 pm #

Although I do agree with you that you leave behind people who are hurt and/or left to clean up the mess, and you don't really know whether what is on the other side will be better or not. HOWEVER, not everyone who is contemplating suicide is in the right frame of mind, has been helped or even tried drugs (prescribed or not), and just can't get their head above water. Yes, there is always a way for it to get better, but I believe it is a mental health issue. And, some don't know how to get the help they need. I don't know what the answer is. I wish it was an easy formula. I wish we could reach out to every human in need. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy. And, those not of sound mind just don't see the way out. Although, I've never met someone whose survived an attempt at ending their life who has regretted living. Solace is usually found.

Heather Molans @ 11:10 pm #

We spend a lifetime making choices. The choices we made yesterday will affect the person we are today. Most of us feel we are victims of the actions of others. However, we are the only person to think within our head. If we decide that someone else can hurt us, and allow it, it is our decision, and we will be hurt. Yes, even in the case of abuse.
These days anyone can report or leave a situation. The reasons we give ourselves for continuing to receive punishment are nothing more than a decision to give away our power. We come into this life to live OUR lives…
At the root of not being able to live a productive and joyful life is a self image issue. If we are confident in who we really are, we can choose not to be affected by the actions of others.
In the above case, a juvenile without self-realization feels the drama of inflicting injury on others as retaliation. It is unfortunate that so many young people have no one to turn to when they need counsel.
However, in the case of Lee Thompson Young, it was a matter of choice. He knew how to find help. Had he a strong self image, he would have overcome whatever circumstance he faced.
If we choose to follow scripture, there is a time to live and a time to die. Many subscribe to the idea that life is a classroom, and we face a variety of lessons on earth. The passing of a life gives pause, in some circumstances, for the reflection of those whom the deceased did not know. Others reflect on their own experiences, or grieve for the loss of a life, when perhaps the loss was part of a divine plan.
As for those who knew the decedent personally, a variety of lessons are offered which usually include guilt. Is guilt beneficial? I think not. It is just another lesson to be learned.
Finally, we must ask ourselves why we are so overcome by the idea of death. It is nothing more than a release of consciousness from physical to spiritual, which enables the entity to experience sublime peace and love. Why do we grieve?

August 22, 2013

Linda McCabe @ 11:59 am #

I too thought about it at one point, years ago. Not to hurt someone else but to just make it stop. Life was way to complicated with no end in sight. I am glad I did not. And it drove me to get help, which was the start of a lot of much better things for me!

Good points, Lin. I know of someone who is headed that direction, and nothing anyone can do can convince them to get the help they need. No, they are not thinking straight.

A song always comes to mind when I see this. "How Do You Get That Lonely" by Blaine Larsen. Great song…

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