Friday, December 18, 2009

Being Suicidal (Trigger Warning)

Kateryna Fury is a 25 year old writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy. She advocates for equality with a focus on Women with Disabilities. Of all the things that could be stated in a biography it is important to stress that her diverse experiences color her outlook just as yours do.

Before I share my writing today I am giving a bit of a prologue. This is serious, and this post is a long time coming. My scooter is repaired thanks to your support, and that is one of the better things. I have a full time caregiver who is fantastic, and I am working on getting better.I will write about the good stuff soon.

Please read more, I am covering this due to the serious trigger warning. I don’t do that often.

I turned the world off for a while. Everyone knows I was drowning, struggling. My existing issues have grown beyond what I am strong enough to endure long term. That said, I am extremely suicidal. Yes, you can be less suicidal and more suicidal. In the end, I still know I won’t kill myself. That is actually the point of writing this. I may want to die, but I keep reminding myself of one thing in many ways. I don’t really want death, I want relief from my pain. If I am dead, then there is no relief.

It sounds stupid to me, the closer I get to that edge. When I close my eyes the vibrant garden I live in is dim, it’s dark in there. All there is is me, and this darker space that sucks at me, tugging me, the voice whispering, “If you die, then no one will care, so why care?” or “You know the only way to truly be free of pain is to die. You’re just a fat disabled woman, no one loves you.” There are a thousand variations, and all of that? Lies. I live in physical pain and always have. I probably will for the duration of my life. I am tough, I can take it. If I couldn’t I would’ve expired from ouch long ago. Ouch is not a prescription for death.

So why am I reliving the darkest parts of my life? Why am I unable to stop playing the most painful moments? Why am I unable to get the word rape out of my head? Because I was. Because it is trauma. I have been traumatized again. My doctor today said some powerful words when we talked, as she helped me fight my insurance for a therapist. I still don’t have one and I am scared. We went over as much as I could talk about with the previous incidents and I finally said out loud what I can barely think. He raped me. I didn’t write it here, I did report it, then I shut down. I accused myself of backsliding into the behaviours of my past, which I have struggled hard to over come. I mentioned I am afraid I may be becoming agoraphobic like my mother claims to be, and may really be. I was being cruel.

“Stop. You can’t backslide from new trauma. You can have the same reaction to similar trauma but this is fresh. You have more progress to make now, but you have skills from surviving and healing before. It’s a new wound.” It’s a new voice in my darkness. I am not the same person I was when I began this life, I am far different. I feel old, I feel tired. I feel like dying. I came very close. November is always difficult for me.  That post has a trigger warning. It triggers me to live through Thanksgiving day. I cannot eat turkey and if it is offered at times become irrationally angry. Maybe it is rational, but it is hard to explain. It took me years to get to the point where for three months out of the year (October, November, December) I was not shut off and suicidal. I am still ahead of the game. I only shut down for the month.

I also know the extenuating circumstances in regards to my physical existence, environment, whatever you want to call it contributed. I had no bed again, the mattress I had was defective. I wasn’t sleeping, I kept forgetting to eat. I also endured the struggles of eating disorder anew. I haven’t had to fight myself on food like this since I was a child. I have eaten. Twice today, after this I am going to make myself eat a third meal. I can’t do it without effort. Food appears to me to be disgusting. I have been dealing with Bulimia Nervosa since I was 8 years old. Being starved is a trigger. That would screw up anyone.

Food makes me want to die. Food is also killing me. My cholesterol is high because of my will to live. Yes, in this rambling post written as fast as I can type and almost as fast as I am thinking I have the contradiction. I am suicidal with a will to live. Of course I am. Everyone who wants to die is human and human comes with that will to live. Sometimes we choose a slow way, bad food when we know it hurts us, bad people, drugs. Slow death is appealing because we can deny it. I can’t. I am consciously choosing to live. My heart is beating. I want to keep it that way.

I am writing this because I often receive little emails or big ones from some of you, mentioning how my ability to endure reminds you that you can and you don’t want to die. So here is my plan for living until tomorrow.

Step 1. I look at the consequences. The most important thing in my life is my Service Cat, followed by my Silly Cat. No one would take care of Sprite and William if I died. They would be pushed into the same world that hurt them. They would be separated at best, and William likely would be put to death because he is disabled. Sprite would likely be poisoned due to her allergies. The images in my mind are horrid, likely overly dramatized, but effective. I must not die because of them.

Step 2. I remind myself that if I die, then I can’t FEEL the relief. I crave it, but I have to work for it if I want to enjoy it. I don’t really want to die, I just want the pain to stop. I want to stop hurting, regretting, fearing. I want my front door to stop making me want to scream when I am alone if I open it. I want to stop thinking of my father of my abusers beyond him. I want to stop it all. I want to live in this garden of light again. I can’t be there if I am dead.

Step 3. I call a crisis line. I cannot do this alone, and since I have no corporeal support network, I reach out. This is the hard part. They don’t want me to do it either. So I talk, sometimes I just cry. Most areas of the US have crisis lines. I’ll list a few at the end.

Step 4. I call my (insert someone I care about here). I’ve called my mother, just to talk to her. I’ve called my sister who is as important as my cats. I’ve called my friend in California. Him mostly, because he isn’t a trigger for my issues. Sometimes I call my own voice mail.

Step 5. I promise myself to wait until tomorrow and reassess. Things are getting better, because I am trying.

The important thing that I am doing now, to keep living, is trying to get into therapy. I shouldn’t HAVE to fight the insurance or discrimination though I am. I should  have what I need. I am even open to taking an antidepressant. I haven’t needed help for years, but I really do now. The point of anti depressants is to help you get undepressed. That does mean they are a tool and not a forever patch. So, I can someday get back off of them when I am okay again. I have spent about half my life on them, when it was used to control me. This terrifies me. I also know that I can’t do this without help.

Reaching out to someone, anyone is the hard part. Society stigmatizes suicide. We are shamed for feeling this way. i am sure this reads like a PSA now. Shamed for feeling, shamed for needing, shamed for our pain. A lot of my suicidal reasoning comes from oppression anyway. Fat shame, slut shame, rape shame, victim blame, suicide. I am far from alone. I am not going to google statistics to prove it. I am going to look at my world full of hating, stupid, Bush voting bigots. I am looking at the others who are oppressed, disabled, persons of color, persons of alternative sexuality, persons who are on the sexual spectrum and identify between woman and man despite their bodies. People who are oppressed likely have the highest rates of suicide because it is hard to find people that give a damn.

I don’t want to tell people I am suicidal because they will almost inevitably spew out some myth about suicide, “It’s selfish.” Sure. So are you (censored). Selfish is human. It’s perfectly natural to want pain relief. It’s prescribed like candy for everything. Go take your Tylenol and get rid of a headache. Selfish. “Only bad people do it.” Hardly. Suicide can effect anyone anywhere on the spectrum of society. “But don’t you love (insert thing).”

Anything you hear about suicide with that kind of tone, that is full of shame is best kept to yourself. I don’t want prayer. I want relief. Some people may actually feel relieved by your prayers, you have to assess that one for yourself. I don;’t want your god. I don’t want your pity. I just want to stop hurting. I want the abyss to shrink away, and my flowers to return. So if someone reaches out, offer them something better. Just listen, suggest therapy if you know that won’t send them screaming off.

Most suicidal people don’t necessarily need to be committed. Some people like me, live for years with it. I spent the span of 10 years feeling suicidal. 8-18. I can do it again.

If someone does commit suicide, it’s easy to blame them since you can’t ask why. I am sorry if they did. Just remember, they hurt. They wanted relief.

I am not drinking, smoking, or reaching for any crutches this time. I am afraid. i don’t want to fall. I don’t want to deal with the world. I am making myself. I am tired of fighting and hurting just to get basic human needs. I am tired of feeling threatened. I am tired of BEING threatened. I am tired of society and the lies they tell me. I just want to breathe.

Those promised numbers:

Suicide Helplines: 1-800-273-8255
Agora a New Mexican Crisis Center (The one I call) 1-866-Help-1-NM
1-800-SUICIDE
1-800-784-2433
1-800-799-4TTY (4889) (TTY for those with hearing challenges)