When You Lose your Love to Suicidality
Article photo by pimchawee.
Trigger Warning: Suicide
When that friend suffers from mental illnesses and is vocal, you ask that friend how you can support them? If a person truly wants to no longer be alive, on this Earth, is support helping them to no longer be here? Or, is it calling the police and having them arrested for intent? If they don’t want help because they say no one can help them, and you try to convince them to go to the hospital, but they fear this option for so many legitimate reasons, what can you do?
You try to support by being there silently, by asking questions you would never ask, by reading and reading about what can be done. By rereading everything they’ve ever written to you, you try by suggesting the advice from the articles you read.
The friend pushes you away and away and you push back and back and they end up pushing you completely out of the picture. So, you are sitting on the sidelines. You’ve fallen out of the frame. The picture is still there and you can still see it from a distorted angle.
There are so many ways I am still being pulled along by the heartstring. For instance, we two had to speak about this and that, for work. I know you traveled here and there because it was mentioned in a working conversation. I know you ate this or that because I follow you on social media. I know you made a new friend. I know I am not one, in your mind. I cry. I fail. I try.
Luckily, or unfortunately, we have a working relationship. It just hurts that much more. The person speaks to you like there is no shared history. Like it was all erased. Any question that is personal is met with silence or diversion. Some people can do this, apparently, you can do this. I can’t. I try. I fail. I try. I cry. I fail. I try.
When you travel, I worry, as it stresses you out and puts you in a darker place. When you travel I smile, because you also like to discover new places. When you travel, I cry, because we planned on travelling together. When you travel I try to remember the travels we shared.
When you eat, I smile, because it’s usually a good thing. Usually, I know you ate by a posting you made to social media. It’s usually ice cream, or chocolate, or reworked leftovers you call “recycling.” Sometimes when you eat, I cry. It happened once in person. You were dealing with trauma from the election and a visa process that was exceptionally oppressive. When I picked you up, you had very little expression on your face, and very little to say. Your communication was somewhat childlike. You mentioned that you had already eaten too much food, and then you continued to eat more. I didn’t know what to do. I was scared and upset. You were frantically looking through your bag for more food. I didn’t know if I should get you more food, or throw all the food out the window. How could I sit next to you and watch you feed yourself to the point of vomiting? I decided the best way to help would be to eat the food, too.
Back to the pulled heartstrings… I know when you are online.
I know when you are online and choosing to ignore me. To ignore my questions, or the photos I send you, or the funny memes, or supportive gifs. I try to be positive. I try not to care. I’m weak and sad and alone, and this person I love, who loved me too, is ignoring it all.
I’ve slowly been cutting off the pieces. It’s a hard line to walk. Do I delete all the reminders? I’ve deleted conversations that I want back. Apps where we used to talk. Photos are gone to the abyss. Stopped following you on social media. Erased our phone texts. Packed your leftovers from my house into a bag and put it in my trunk. Then pulled it out and hung up some of these reminders of you and sent you a picture to remind you of the home that is mine, that I would share, that we talked about.
These steps I take away from you, they feel like I’m abandoning you, or losing faith that you will be in a place where we can be something to each other, again. That scares me, because I don’t ever want you to think or feel that. I want you to know, you can always come to me with any and everything. And, that’s another heart string that is being tugged.
What I thought was the last straw came this week. You had someone else text me a happy birthday message. It really made no sense and was upsetting to me. Especially because the text preview read something like “This is _____’s sister. I need to tell...”. And the only reason I could think that your sister was messaging me and had your phone would be if you were no longer alive. Happy Birthday. I was grief-stricken, my hands were shaking, my heart was in my throat. I picked up the phone and opened the message. It was some friend of yours, she said she was with you or had your phone or something, and that you were busy so she was sending the message for you. I’m relieved. But, I can’t believe that you would do that. You had all day. It doesn’t make sense. But, I don’t know the full story. In my frustration and the aftermath of these emotions, I decide to erase your number from my phone. All our words, all that history, gone. The next day I realize that I didn’t erase your number, just our texts. So, I decided to try and talk through what happened. But there is no answer to my text, so I try your phone. And, there is no answer there. Then your friend with your phone texts me. I don’t know her. Maybe you had mentioned her once or twice. Why is she messaging me? Why does she have your phone? Where are you? She doesn’t say much.
What I’m realizing is, I do need to let go, for my own mental health. You know where I am and how to find me. I won’t erase it all. I won’t give up hope. But I will let go. I will erase the immediate reminders. I will erase the apps that show me you are online or take our conversations out of them so they don’t tell me those things anymore. My aim is to leave the memories in my brain and visit them there, and let go of the now, because you and I no longer exist there.
Maybe I will erase this document, too. Or, maybe I will publish it.