a sad longread linkdump

Triggers: suicide, death, violence, heartbreak. (Basically a harsh and tragic dose of reality.) Please don’t read it if those things will trigger you.

As I read these articles, I kept thinking of the survivors of suicide that I read and talk to on WordPress. They are mostly mothers who have lost sons; all of them are (completely understandably) grief stricken and often they examine, analyse and berate themselves for ‘letting it happen’. Only, they didn’t. They loved their children, they tried their utmost. I’ve tried to explain that suicidality is a sneaky and cruel bastard, that impulsivity can come into it, even when someone has probably been plotting their own demise on and off for ages. A lot of people I talk to (and me too) have been suicidal since childhood. It’s vile and unjust and any parent in their right mind would want to fix, help, change it – I’m so sorry, but the truth is that our (we the neurobiologically ‘mentally’ ill) suicide stats are shocking for good reason. Not everbody makes it.

He reads stories all the time about how people “missed the signs” after some tragedy involving a person with mental illness, only here he is, not missing the signs. Everyone sees the signs, only there’s nothing anyone can do.
(From Behind the Yellow Door)

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The articles aren’t all about suicide, but they all have tragedy in common and often, desperately lonely survivors. And they all tried so hard, as all good parents do, to make the world safer for their fragile children. But the world and the disorders we have, are not compassionate things. They’re not even malevolent. They just happen, life and joy and suffering and death.

“I don’t want to ruin your life anymore!”

If you only read one of these, make it A Father’s Scars. It’ll break your heart, but it will amaze you and teach you too.  If you can stand two, Behind the Yellow Door is distressing, but will give you a good idea of the impact an unmedicated man has on his family.

I can’t die before my son By Lorenza Munoz
After raising a severely autistic son to adulthood, a single mother’s brush with death raises the horrifying question of what will happen to him when she’s gone.

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The voices in my brother’s head By Maria Lazzati
After schizophrenia upended a young man’s life, the notes he left behind offer clues to the horrors that haunted his mind.

My son is schizophrenic By Paul Gionfriddo
The ‘reforms’ that I worked for have worsened his life.

The woman in 606 by CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Aftermath of a Stranger’s Death and the Puzzle of Psychosis

Your Son Is Deceased BY RACHEL AVIV
The city has one of the highest rates in the country of fatal shootings by police, but no officer has been indicted.

A Father’s Scars Stephanie McCrummen
Virginia state senator Creigh Deeds, a year after his mentally ill (bipolar) son stabbed him multple times before committing suicide.

Behind the yellow door, a man’s mental illness worsens by Stephanie McCrummen
Unmedicated SZA shut-in (no death).

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