Rant: For better or worse
**Trigger Warning: Suicide, Ghosting**
Recently a young actor died by suicide which led to a lot of furor on the social media. While I am no one to comment on how right or wrong this furor was, I can surely vouch for one thing - it is wrong to blame him for taking this step. Anyone who is/has been remotely suicidal knows for sure that our mind and body are out of our control. We cannot think rationally and hence this step.
I was into self harm for almost a decade before I quit it, never to go back. I knew I wanted to die and had tried many ways to do so. Every time I did it, I experienced a sense of relief. I felt I was one step closer to freedom. I was out of my senses, there is nothing else that mattered more than freedom from that pain and from that existence. Not even the pain, my death would have caused my loved ones. Because in my eyes and mind (maybe!) I felt no one loved me enough to mourn my death.
To make matters worse, this actor's ex-girlfriend is being blamed on internet for leaving him which drove him to suicide. Both of them parted ways amicably a few years ago, were each other's cheer leaders on internet too and had moved on, in more than one ways. It triggered my anxiety for I was blamed for walking away from an abusive relationship and tortured for months into guilt tripping endlessly as it proved how selfish I was.
Furthermore, his friends (or would it be right to call them so-called friends) posted their last conversations from years or months ago, lamenting how he should have reached them out. Oh please! It is not that easy. Reaching out is perhaps the toughest job. I did, once in my life, to a lovely lady who claimed the same things to me and she rebuked my need for help. I also used to say this to other friends but when they needed me, I know I couldn't be there due to my own apathy. Since then I stopped telling people that I am there. Because, as selfish and hollow it sounds, I am busy saving myself first. If I survive, that is when I can save someone else. And yes, I did stop reaching out to people after that.
I have a confession to make. I have ghosted people, specifically my friends. I have ghosted friends. Simply because that was the only way I could define my boundaries and save myself from further hurt. But till date, the fact that I deserted them hurts me. I wanted to be there for them, but couldn't. It is much later that I read somewhere,
'At times you hurt so much that the only way you can communicate it is by spreading that hurt. You end up hurting everyone around you, because there is no other way you know of expressing love.'
Maybe this is what was the case with all of us. I knew how in anger one lost control of words and I never wanted to utter something unimaginable to anyone. So the best way for me was to shut up and vanish, without uttering a single word. If it was a worth it, a way to heal it would be found. Strangely, none of the people I ghosted ever tried reaching me out to ask what happened and why have I suddenly gone incognito. As my healer says, perhaps they decoded my behavior as my need for space, which again is fair and respectful. I would like to leave it at that. Its just that it hurts to recollect the way I ghosted them when they needed me. Being an empath, is not easy, on heart and soul.
In the past , there have been times when I have tried talking to people, share my deepest fears and doubts to someone who call me their friend and assure me that I can confide in them, only to be betrayed in their reaction. My friend, I know my fears are baseless. But when I speak to you, in my mind they are the worst nightmare I can ever witness with open eyes. I want you to believe in my words. I want you to believe in my words and just hold my hands. The fine art of listening is seriously lost on people. Nobody wants to hear without passing judgements or giving gyaan. We all know better and we all are healers. We can set everything right in a jiffy. What we all cannot be, is a good listener who is compassionate, caring and empathetic.
On a related note, I have a friend ( and no I am not adding any adjectives here, would rather leave it for you to guess which one fits better) who hasn't messaged me or spoken to me in six months. Even before that, the conversation was mostly one sided and I silently quit as the last six months have been tough for all of us. Last week she got back in touch and started the conversation with a screenshot of a message that she had sent on my birthday which never got delivered. She tried justifying how she did wish me, and was wondering why I didn't reply. But but but, never thought something could be seriously wrong and try other ways to get in touch. This is exactly what that actor's friends did too.
After his death, they posted messages which were never delivered since months. Please people, if you really care and see someone not responding there are various ways to reach out and check on them. Either you check on them or you do not. You cannot claim to worry after sending a message years ago which was never delivered and you wondered what happened without doing anything. I understand life is busy for all of us, but some people are an important part of it and they are worth it all. So either that friend is worth or they are not. Please do not give such empty promises or fake display of affection. It hurts and it further adds to their doubt on genuine care or love around them. Like it did to mine. This conversation triggered me so bad, while my mental health was already triggered due to that actor's death and the subsequent out lash on Twitter about his death.
And, if it is not clear by now: It is not about not being there. It is about pretending to be there.