So, I am reading a friends Facebook page. From what I am gathering, my friend is not just depressed and sad, but she is posting things that make her sound like she is in full on crisis mode. These weren’t suggestions or innuendos, but full on statements like wishing death on herself. This concerns me greatly, as I know this friend has been under a lot of stress for quite some time. I worry for this friend. I want this friend to know they are loved, cared about and thought of in such high regard that the world would be a little dimmer if they were not here.
Also, there is the thought of my beloved Derek racing through my head. His suicide back in 2007 has scarred me so deeply and perhaps has made me hyper-vigilant when it comes to someone tossing around the notion of suicidal thoughts. I lost Derek and still blame myself in a lot of ways. The “should haves”, “would haves” and “could haves” still haunt me. So I will be totally damned if I am going to let another friend leave this earth without a fight.
I wrote a letter on Facebook to about 12 of this persons closest friends, asking them to rally around this particular friend. Post something on their wall, a memory of them. A photo of you and this person together. Something sweet and loving. Or, if your time allows, send this person an email just to let them know you are thinking of them. I didn’t divulge any personal information about this person. I did not disclose what was going on in their life. I just simply asked for a few friends to reach out to this person.
So, imagine my surprise when I see THIS response show up in reply:
Hey, here’s another thought. What about letting people deal with their lives and butting the fuck out. We have private lives for a reason and I for one prefer not to have people discussing mine behind my back. it would embarrass me and send me away if I thought the people I actually turn to for a little cheer on my terms thought I was a pathetic suicidal mess. Even if that’s not your intention. It would be the way I would see it. That’s all I’m going to say and I’m not going to be baited into a discussion either so I’m untagging myself from this and would prefer not to be invited back.
Nowhere in my original letter did I state this person was a “pathetic suicidal mess”. Not even remotely indicated. Just stated what I saw on their Facebook page. It was right out there, in the open, on this persons sidebar. I found their reaction (or rather, overreaction) peculiar, because this particular group of friends…well, we are sort of known for doing things like this for one and other. This past year, we had two friends lose their jobs, one had a cancer scare, another lost a beloved pet and another still went through a nasty divorce. In each of these cases, someone rallied the troops and said “Hey, let’s leave a little love and support on their Wall.” Ironically, we did the same thing for the person who took my head off for their birthday! They were feeling sort of sad…so one of our friends said, “Let’s do something special for their birthday this year.” About 17 of us got involved in a collaborative project to come up with the perfect birthday gift for this person. And, I recall this friend saying “You guys really touched me. I have the greatest friends. Thank you for doing this for me.”
So apparently, when it benefits YOU…the notion of rallying around a friend is alright?
Last night, I went to go post to this persons wall. I found a funny picture that I thought they would like and was going to post it to their page as somewhat of a peace offering, instead of discussing the situation to death. I was just willing to let it go even though they came at me in a terribly harsh manner. I get to their page only to find out I had been removed as their friend. To say I was hurt is a huge understatement. It is not often that someone can hurt me to the point where I cry, but I did. Not that I was hugely close with this person. I wasn’t. We were friends through mutual friends. But, this was someone I respected and liked a great deal. Plus, this person now had me up all night long wondering, questioning myself…
did I do something wrong?
I tossed and turned over this all night. I must have read the letter I wrote again and again. What did I say? What did I do that was so bad? I thought it was a positive gesture.
I received some letters of support from the other people I had on the list. One person even stuck up for me and told this person to “lighten up”, which was nice…because that was my thought too. But really? For the first time, I was sort of speechless. I wrote to this person on the thread the only thing I could possibly think of to say…
“And strangely the only thought that comes into my head is…no good deed goes unpunished. Thanks for that, (Friend). You rock. /end sarcasm.”
How very true those words are. Sad during this time of year, when suicide rates spike up to their highest levels, is it considered a bad thing to reach out to a friend in need. Do I think the original person would have killed themselves? I hope not. But how can anyone really ever know for sure?
I have to be honest. I still maintain a lot of guilt over Derek’s death. I will be damned if I let someone walk down that road alone again without letting them know how much they are loved, needed and wanted in this world.
Only next time…I guess I’ll just keep it to myself.
2 HOURS LATER EDIT: So, I am scrolling through pics at Imgur.com when I come across this pic. You know what? Fuck that friend who deleted me. I did the right thing. Validation comes in the craziest of ways. ~CP
(Click to open a new window, then, click again to enlarge.)