Thursday, September 1, 2016

Those left behind by suicide.

During a series on PTSD, The Establishment printed a piece called The Secret World of Suicide Survivors by Cindy Lamothe. Cindy's sibling committed suicide, and she discusses the loss, the PTSD and trauma:
One of the core tenets of trauma is the self-protective impulse it instils in us to fight or flight. The mind starts to shut systems down, causing us to lose contact with important functions such as the ability to plan, to reason or think, even to formulate words.
This is how I lose a decade of my life. Through an absolute shut down.The brain adapts ridiculously complex ways to protect you from what you're feeling. As does the ego. Maybe even the id. We will fall down a rabbit hole to avoid what we're feeling.

Lamothe also features other writers who have survived the suicides of loved ones.

This wasn't what I was expecting from that article. I expected the stories of those who tried to take their own lives, failed / were saved, and then continued to live their lives. 

Of course, it seems evident that those close to a suicide would see themselves as a survivor.n They're (in this case) someone living with  PTSD of the trauma of that death. In my own life, my brother's best friend's little brother committed suicide very violently, and it shook my brother terribly. His best friend, A, is someone I grew up with, and he also lives with mental illness, so no doubt he lives with the repercussions of that suicide daily. I can understand seeing all of those affected as survivors, but I don't entirely see it. Not clearly. 

Suicide is self-inflected. That doesn't mean it doesn't affect others. That there isn't a ripple. I tend to lean towards those with the suicidal ideation. I just see suicide through a graph. A peak of pain. The apex of suffering when it's seen as the only solution / reprieve. 

It's terribly sad. There's something so sickening about the living ending their own life. Does that exist anywhere else in nature? Animals can lay down and die, maybe sacrifice themselves, but willingly manipulating their bodies in a way as to cause harm to the point of death, is that possible? 

There are types of passive suicide, but active suicide of a violent nature, is so loudly traumatic. 

The times in my life I was suicidal, I couldn't imagine traumatising my mother to that degree. I could bear the pain, for her. Had I lost her too during that time, I don't know if I'd still be here.

So I have mixed feelings. I can see that someone close to you dying by suicide would be deeply traumatic. I can see the trauma and grief of that causing PTSD. I wouldn't necessarily say that they're the survivor though. They're the survivor of their grief, the survivor of PTSD, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they're the survivor of suicide - suicide is self-inflicted. And if I commit suicide there is only one victim intended. 

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