Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Onward and Downward...

 First off, let me make something abundantly clear. While I disagree with the "marketing" of the fight against homophobic bullying, I support any efforts that teach young people to find the strength to resist those taunts, attacks, and worse. 
I fear that my attempts to grapple with my feelings around the subject of suicide have somehow implied that I was saying that those kids deserved to die somehow, or stepped on the toes of people who are working to keep all the freaks out there... the gays, bisexuals, transgendered, and (likely) whole categories that they just haven't gotten around to creating a slur for yet... alive and thriving despite all of the morons who believe it their god given right to show people the "error" of their ways.
Considering a recent conversation I had regarding the triggery nature of my posts I am struck by the irony: That the constant barrage of those images promoting this day of action on FaceBook and LJ were, in fact, pushing my buttons at pretty primal levels. As she told me on the phone, the problem was not only the topic, but how strongly and well I was wording my entries.
That should always be a tip-off to me, or anyone who knows me. The more passionate I am about something, the more deeply it touched me, the more likely I will express myself intensely and with feeling. Mind you, this doesn't mean I am right... it just means I'm saying what's on my mind, whether it's what I really believe at the core of it or not, with conviction.
This can come across as intractability. It is, in fact, my process to determine what the "truth" is, as I see it. It's in quotes, as I do not purport to possess The Truth of anything... just as it pertains to my life and perspective.
That's what this journal has always been for.
LadyBear, you're right that you were showing respect by not automatically commenting on my posts directly, any more than I would go to one of your or Ardyn's journal posts and rant there in this way. I am not seeing very clearly about a lot of things these past few weeks, and, as such, I had some knee jerk reactions that were not at all called for. My only defense is complete honesty... even if I were completely wrong.
That's the hardest thing for me to deal with -- the sense that people thing that shifting a position or changing one's mind is an indication of nefariousness or a weak will. It's why the republican party has been imploding lately... even if you realize that your plan's have gone awry and conditions have changed, the worst sin, pride, keeps us from saying "well, I was wrong about that..."
As I sit here, trying to keep myself from falling apart at the seams, I try to count my blessings. There are literally too many to count. As a very dear old friend (Has it really been 16 years, SJ?) recently pointed out, even as I stopped being a complete wild-man, running around as if I, my heart, and my dick were invulnerable to the capricious whims of people who took advantage of me, I still have the kind of life that many people would envy.
I try, and occasionally find myself a bit cheered, a bit elevated. But when the heart is weighed down with worry, and I begin to sort through myself, performing that personal inventory so popular with 12 steppers, I find aspects of myself I'm not happy with.
One of those pertains to the subject at hand: Suicide.
When I'm having a really, REALLY bad ADHD day, when nothing I do seems to go right, and I seem to be alienating anyone and everyone around me, no matter how well they know me, and the trains of thought are all ramming into each other in my head (I always laugh at the phrase "train of thought", singular. Just one? I wonder what that would be like?), and there's nothing but smoke and madness and confusion...
Damn right I think about it.
I think about falling asleep, and not even dreaming. Screw Hamlet and his wishes for wonderful dreams. I used to be frightened of "nothing" until I grasped that would mean I would STOP THINKING.
In all of my rants about "others" attempting to (and occasionally succeeding) at killing themselves, I never refer to my own attempt when I was 17. Succumbing to the despair that I couldn't seem to do ANYTHING right, that I was already an abject failure at my life on apparently every level, a really, REALLY bad summer week (summer's were almost the worst by then... it meant I didn't have any way of avoiding my step-father for 8 hours more a day), ending with my mother snapping at me unfairly. No, really... she even said so herself, later... after I took more than 500 mg of Valium.
For reference, the "little yellow pills" the Stones sing about were 5mg. Under the category of odd but true, in the 30 years since that incident in August of 1980, I had never taken a look at what that dosage does to a person. For one, I never noticed when Valium became Diazepam. Nor that LD50 was between 720 and 1240 milligrams, which means I was no where near as close to killing myself as I thought I was at the time.
What I did find out after the fact was that I should have chugged some booze to finish the job -- ironic, considering how much of it was just sitting in the bar in the basement.
Obviously, I survived. For one thing, my mother apologized to me. I don't think she realized how close to the edge I was when she screamed at me for... you know, I can't recall what she was mad about. I just thought I had lost the last bastion of security, my own mother. I don't know if it would have made a difference, but after she left, and I realized what I had done (and NOT knowing what I know now), I freaked out at what a stupid choice I had just made.
As a result I told my sisters, who told my next door neighbor (who was a nurse), who realized I was in no danger, but sat by my side as I ranted for hours. I have literally no memory of anything I said... apparently she was impressed I was conscious at all. The wiki page on the topic notes a 1978 patient who went into a coma for two days after taking 500mg, so the fact that I awoke the next morning, feeling sheepish and confused (my last memory was of an almost slapstick attempt on my part to brew a lot of tea, so I had NO idea how I wound up in my bed... nor why I wasn't in a hospital with a strait jacket on) was likely also a bit weird.
Put another way, I didn't so much not jump when I came to the abyss, I just didn't realize I had a bungee cord tied to one ankle by whatever guardians watch over me.
To this day I can't shake the shame. Remember, this is two years before I became pagan. At best I was a bad catholic who hadn't been to church weekly since I was 14. Is it any wonder I get a little pissed when someone actually succeeds at it... especially since I now know what I almost threw away for the next 30 years, good and bad?
There's more, but this is exhausting. I'll continue later.
Tags: personal
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