LJ suicides and whatnot

A friend of mine posted about this guy who just killed himself after some particularly nasty LJ discussions, amongst other things. Personally, I think this other guy made the most convincing argument in a follow-up post. There’s no finger pointing necessary here; suicide is called suicide because you do it yourself, not because someone else convinced you to do it, right?

I recently stopped an old friend from committing suicide…and about a month later told her I couldn’t handle speaking with her anymore because it was just too difficult for me to do so without feeling like I was the only one supporting her life. I simply wasn’t prepared to have those kinds of discussions anymore, and told her she needed to stabilize before I could continue being her friend. Hearing her tales of woe simply magnified my own depression about the world, and in a self-preservationist way, I needed to cut that off temporarily so I could get a grip on my own life before trying to deal with someone else’s.

She responded angrily, accusing me of being a fair-weather friend and a turncoat, and that it wasn’t my responsibility to stand up for her, but at least to just listen to what she had to say. I doubt I’ll hear from her again.

I didn’t tell her to go ahead and kill herself already as some of stars_pyre’s acquaintances did, but I did say that I simply wasn’t strong enough to be her friend.

Am I a bad person? What would you have done in my shoes?

4 thoughts on “LJ suicides and whatnot

  1. Sometimes, Joan, you just have to say to someone “I don’t have the {time,energy,strength} to be the kind of {friend,lover,partner} you {deserve,need,want} right now”.

    And there’s nothing wrong with that, and you are certainly not a bad person.

    In your shoes I would have run away crying and screaming and have refused to acknowledge that person’s existence anymore.

    I’ve done it.

  2. actually, I was in a similar position to you a year+ ago, a close friend of mine was suicidal at the same time my marriage ended (in fact I found this out the day after meeting you in St Louis!). I didn’t have much energy left but I did the “this is a friend, how much can I give” equation and turns out I could still give a lot. Not as much as I would have liked, not as much as I could have years before, but I could give something. Now, he was also trying to help himself and had others around him to help as well so that did take some of the burden off me. If he wasn’t trying well….I don’t know

    Since then though, I’ve decided I will no longer become friends with depressing people, and I have written off potentially new friends because they demand too much emotional support that I am not willing to give (old friends have been grandfathered and I will do anything I can for them lol). So whats the correct answer? Who knows. As long as you are, well not happy, but can live with your choices (and this is neither praise nor condemnation), thats all that really matters.

    Another side note, there are certain groups of people (who I am associated with) who tend to be seriously depressed and bitter at the world (perhaps with some justification). I’ve tried to help and make friends in that community and 99% of the time I’ve gotten my ass burned. I really don’t trust others in that space (with like 2 or 3 exceptions). That is an area where I have traditionally given up on people, typically if a person won’t help themselves, and is blaming everyone but themselves, well that gets to be too much and really annoying and after a certain point I will write them off as well.

    And I guess right there, that last statement, will be the deciding factor for me on how much I can or will give (again with exceptions for older friends cause if they are older friends of mine, they are among the coolest people on the planet and I can’t see them not trying)

  3. Sorry! I’m not a LJ user so had to pick anonymous. ^_^ Hi Woh! You’re not a bad person, sigh, you’re just human with a lot on your plate already. And you were honest enough to admit you can’t handle another burden now. Nothing wrong with that.
    I would’ve stuck it thru the bitter end, but that’s just me; my conscience won’t allow me to give up before trying my damndest. ;-)


  4. You did the right thing – period, full stop.

    I get really, really tired of drama queens.

    Here’s my solution: when they whine about how hateful and horrible life is, I chamber a round, hand them my nine, and promise to mop up.

    Curiously enough, I never get any takers.

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