Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Hesitated...

...before I posted about this subject. I thought long and hard about it. Then I thought, "it's my blog and anyone who doesn't like what I have to say can fuck right off." So here we go.

I am the child of a parent who committed suicide. This information will inform the rest of what I write. So last night one of the people on a board I frequent post what appeared to many people to be a serious intention to commit suicide. So we mobilized.

The person who made the post is OK. That person is not the subject of this blog post.

Here's the subject: As a result of the threat the person who made the it got a welfare check, That's what happens when someone makes a suicide threat. That person is very angry as a result of the welfare check. I understand the anger. People who are actively suicidal are selfish by definition. What I find surprising is the number of people who pivoted from "Are you OK? Are you alive?" to "we are so sorry that we ruined your safe space to vent." Frankly I was shocked that there were any people who reacted that way.

Because that reaction is crazy.

The concept of a "safe space," or "private conversations," in a public internet forum is mythical. With the advent of the Wayback Machine every single thing you type on the internet is there forever. So the suicide threat is just out there and if the person making the threat had been serious, our failure to act would have been out there forever.

Aside from that there is the actual tangible concern for the life of someone in need. And, you know, the direct knowledge of what happens when someone you love offs themselves.

I found the act of watching people get scolded for making sure someone didn't die to be shocking and horrifying and utter bullshit.

I realize there's an element of "don't poke the crazy here," and I get that but there's got to also be an element of personal responsibility that some people just dumped as soon as they got the opportunity.

If someone says something that strongly resembles "I might kill myself," in such a way that you can't hear them or see their faces moral people have an obligation to take that information on its face. Anger about that fact is clearly misdirected as is sympathy with that anger.

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