Thursday, December 2, 2010

Done with Giving a Damn?

I am tired.  I am heading to bed shortly after I post this.  There's the problem right there.  Being tired and cranky often makes things seem worse than they are, but I can't help how I am feeling right now and so, I write...

I am tired of giving a damn.  More specifically, I am tired of giving a damn about people who don't seem to give the same level of concern about me.

I am often left wondering with many of my friends, "if I didn't ask, would you offer?"  If I didn't ask for help, would you offer?  If I didn't ask for your shoulder to cry on, would you offer?  If I didn't ask for advice, would you offer?  If I didn't ask you to call me, would you offer?  If I didn't ask to be included, would you offer?  I could go on with more examples, but I think my point is clear.

 It's hard to sit back and feel as though we don't matter to people.  In fact, I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that it is probably a number one reason behind alot of suicides, although we'll never know because we can't ask the dead questions.  And PLEASE--do not interpret my bringing up of the subject of suicide as a threat!  They are NOT one in the same...read on...

About a year and a half ago, I was sitting at a little restaurant in Bamberg, Germany with a group of ladies--friends--from church.  We were fare-welling a member of our small group and engaging in a hundred different little conversations, when somehow the entire table got latched on to the same topic--the news of a recent suicided of an Army wife in the nearby town of Schweinfurt.  Now before I go any further, please know that I do not know the victim--her name, her husband, his rank, his unit, their hometowns, NOTHING, so if you are reading this and DO happen to know more specifics behind this "case" just know that I did not and do not know anymore than what I am writing here, and I prefer it stay that way.  We all expressed our sympathies, concerns, etc. when one amongst us says rather boldly, "How can a person be so selfish!  She had a husband and kids and to take her own life...  She HAD to be selfish!"  I didn't say a word in response.  I couldn't.  Because words were not want I wanted to "do."  Lunging across the table and slapping her up-side the face was more along the lines of how I really wanted to react to her verbal response.

Selfish?  That is all she could say?!  Now, I know many people have different takes on suicide.  Fine.  We are all entitled to our opinions.  So here's my opinion: there are 2 types of suicide; they differ only in how the person gets to that point, unfortunately the end result is the same.  The first type is what I would classify as the, well, selfish type.  A person gets caught with their pants down--whether literally or figuratively--and they take their own life so as to avoid the embarrassment or burden that being "found out" would bring them.  We see this played out in Hollywood scripts quite often.  The politician who is about to be caught in the middle of a scandal.  The charity head who is caught embezzling millions from a good cause.  The "average Joe" who about to be found out by the cops as a horrible criminal and refuses to be taken in alive.  I believe those are selfish reasons yes.  I believe the Bible is referring to these as sinful.  I also believe that they account for a very SMALL percentage of the total suicides committed in our society.  BECAUSE...the second type is the majority.  They are not selfish suicides.  They are committed by people who have fallen into such deep mental illness, be it depression or some other form, that they really are no longer the person the world knew and the pain they felt was so unbearable they could no longer carry on.  In the end, they felt SO alone--no, they felt so  LONELY--that they fell into a vicious cycle that ended tragically.

So what really bothered me when that lady said that the deceased was selfish, was that truthfully, I have been LONELY and I have been DEPRESSED...it is a HORRIBLE feeling to have to endure.  I am thankful to God multiple times over that He "threw me the rope" necessary to get out of that cycle.  That "rope" was usually a person--friend or family--who called me up, visited me, sent me a card to let me know I mattered.  Something so small to them, literally meant the world to me.  And I was no where NEAR suicidal; just think about the difference it could have/would have made if I had been?

Maybe that is why I try to go out of my way to let me know I appreciate them.  Could I do better?  Absolutely, I have much room for improvement.  But 99% of the time, when someone pops into my mind, unless I am COMPLETELY unable to, I pick up the phone, jot a note, or swing by their home.  I take a bit of my time to let them know I care.

So it hurts when I feel like I don't get the same thing back.  I'll get by.  I'll suck it up and move on.  But sometimes I want to scream and just be rude as hell and say the first thing that pops into my mind: "Glad you can spend all your time with so-and-so," "I see on FB you've been in touch with so-and-so lately," "Thanks for inviting so-and-so shopping with you everytime you and not me!"  Again...you get my point. 

We've all been there.  Feeling left out.  Feeling second-best.  Feeling like we just don't matter and wondering what on earth we've done that is so "wrong."  So do me a couple of favors: if I (or anyone else) pops into your mind, let them know that AND...if you promise someone you'll do so, keep that promise because you never know when that may be the one promise they need fulfilled more than anything.

I'm off to bed now.  I feel a tad better.  Thanks for listening to my ranting and raving...

2 comments:

  1. I remember hearing about that spouse and have always felt so sad that she felt such despair. I'm in the same mind thought as you that most suicides are not from selfishness, but despair. I wish we lived closer, so many of the things you write I have felt (and do quite often). I don't know about you, but I'm not one to invite myself over to others homes or out with others when I know they're going either because they post it all over FB or even talk about it in front of me. It hurts my feelings that they never even consider asking me to go with them, to go shopping, just hang out, to a movie, etc. I try to suck it up, but it still hurts.

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  2. I've been there too, Amanda. Please know you can call anytime. Lonliness and I have been good friends these days as well...

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