The Friday Confessional : Romancing Suicide

 

 

Though I confess the things that are most intimate to me, I don’t know if I am accurately painting the picture of the real me.  To everyone here, I am Lulu Stark, the writer, the mother, the wife, and most importantly, the woman who bares herself in the name of mental health and disorder awareness and advocacy.  But, I wanted to put some truths out there.  The uglier side.  The real side.

I only Lulu Stark in the persona.  The one that you read about.  The antihero, the antagonist, protagonist, the victim, the perpetrator, the survivor and occasionally, the hero.

What I don’t talk typically talk about is one of my darkest, sickest secrets of all.

 

Suicide.  I regularly have suicidal thoughts and occasionally ideation.  The little voice goes through the back of my mind, sometimes as an unintelligible whisper and other times as clear as a bell, I want to die.  I want to kill myself.  It would be so easy.  No one would miss me.

I imagine ways it would play out.  I idealize all of the scenarios of suicide.  In a way, it seems I’m under it’s spell.  It seems like the only way out of this torturous world of disorder and dysfunction.  I am more crippled by my illness than I let on.  I feel pathetic in my bones, and I desperately search for my solace in this place of distress and despair.  An endless string of hopeless days and bottomless pits.

I fall deeper, clinging to my last shreds of hope.  I am flirting with suicide, with his silver tongue, soft, familiar caresses, and honey sweet kisses on my neck.

I see a sturdy rope swung around a rafter in my basement, tied with a tidy slipknot instead of an impossible noose.  I stand on a rickety chair, dressed in my Sunday best, leaving a pretty, cold, lifeless corpse behind.  The shell of a woman who never really existed.

I stand with a glass of juice and a bottle’s worth of blue pills in my hand.  I am ready, stripped to nothing but a bathrobe.  Down the hatch, the medication leaves a bitter aftertaste.  I draw myself a hot bath and arm myself with a razor.  And then, I wait.  I wait until I am almost seeing double, and world starts to blue around the edges.  I dig the razor into my wrist and drag it with all of the force I can up to my the bend of my elbow.

Or, I just await death.  I lie in the tub, feeling myself slip away under the surface of the water.  In my mind, I imagine all of the people that would be thankful that I am finally gone.  How in a year or two, I will become a distant memory that only leaves the tiniest pang.  How my sullen face starts to fade from everyone’s mind and any trace of me begins to disappear.  I think of how easy the clean up would be.

Or maybe, I would clean myself up to begin with.  I would be powder fresh in a pretty pastel little girl dress I bought for the occasion.  I would empty all of the contents of my medicine into my stomach, washed down with an entire bottle of vodka.  I would tuck myself into a warm bed, and swaddle myself in blankets.  It would look like sleep at first.  My final sleep.  My resting place.  The only place in my life where I ever felt warm and safe.

 

For the record, I’d never do it.  There is an uglier side to suicide that I’m painfully aware of.  It could possibly be the most selfish act I could ever commit.  The finality of it all is too much for me to even wrap my head around.

My son asks where I went when I am gone for an hour for class.  I imagine his confusion and sadness when he comes to see that his mother will never return. I imagine the possibilities of who would raise him if I were to be gone for good.  He would likely fall into the hands of my own parents, and I would be sentencing him to a similar fate that I experienced.

There would never be enough of an apology for my Xan.  A piece of him would die inside, and he might go mad himself.  There wouldn’t be another out there for him.  He couldn’t possibly recover.  Leaving him to his own devices at work, cutting off communication, it’s too much for him to bear for a few hours.  What if I were to be gone for the rest of his lifetime?

And then there’s the matter of the afterlife.  What comes after death?  Through my Christian upbringing, I fear the day of judgement and the sentencing to an eternity of hell, separated from my friends and family, endlessly tortured in unimaginable ways.  Ways that are beyond my comprehension.

But, what if there is nothing?  What if I sacrificed my life for a world of nothingness?  What if a person just dies and there is nothing behind?  What if I am condemned to walk this Earth as a true ethereal being, and not just the kind I feel as a flesh and blood person?  I stand there and watch as people file in for my funeral.  I see my family overlooking my lifeless body, consumed with grief.  Then, I get to watch my family and friends mourn the loss, as someone irreplaceable that met a tragic and unfair end at my own hand.

Sometimes, I feel as if I am condemned to life.  Sometimes, I feel like I’ve chosen life over the alternatives.  Sometimes, it’s for the sake of my family and friends.  And there are those brief shining moments where I live life as the gift it was meant to be with the promise of tomorrow.

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A Different Kind of Spiritual : 30 Days of Truth

Day 19 : What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

Again, two hot button topics.  And again, I am far less than inclined to share my personal opinions on one of these subjects.  However, I do think it is important for a person to explore their own spirituality and maybe get ideas from another when they are unsure of their own beliefs.  Not to say that I intend on cramming my own spirituality down a reader’s throat.  Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.

Therefore, I am entitled to my own, and under the First Amendment, I am guaranteed the right to express these beliefs.  I’d like to preface this post with the following.  I have disabled the comments, because of the sensitive nature of this post.  I highly discourage flame wars and refuse to provide a forum for them to happen.  I would rather remove the temptation than have to mediate later, once the damage is already done.

I do not expect anyone to be on the same bandwagon.  I have some unusual beliefs that come from a mixture of an Episcopalian upbringing, a self-proclaimed spiritual parent, and living amongst the Jewish people in their community for certain durations of time.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please address me directly at lulu.em.stark@gmail.com.  I will be happy to engage a person in a private conversation on this matter.

With that said, I will begin the exploration of my spirituality.

I will state this up front, so there is no confusion later on.  I am far beyond disenchanted with organized religion.  I do not believe in religion, and I feel that it has done more harm than good in the world.  We have seen holy wars since the beginning of time, no matter what people would like to term them these days.  Many people have been forced from their homes.  Others have been sentenced to painful deaths and were cast out into exile for what they believed in.  All over differences of opinion on religion.

This is where everyone is going to get riled up.  I do not believe that Jesus ever existed.  I believe that Christianity was an idea that was concocted by the Romans for social control.  They had a population that had a monotheistic religion and another with a polytheistic religion, the latter dying out.  It was an attempt to get everyone on the same page.  Essentially, the Romans wanted to put a code of conduct out there and make it profitable.  And that they did.

There is no historical record of Jesus.  There were many historians living in the Mesopotamian area at the supposed time of Jesus’ life and death, and no one recorded a man who could perform spectacular miracles.  There may be tomb markers, but many people were entombed as part of commonplace burial ritual.  Jesus was an extremely popular name at the time.  There would be no possible way to find him on a registry, as all of those names were rather common.  Hence the suffixes, John the Baptist, etc.

I can say this with confidence, not because I am ignorant of Christianity, but because I am well educated.   I am baptized and confirmed Episcopalian.  I had perfect attendance in Sunday school for nine years running.  I started teaching the courses myself when I came of age.  I have read the Bible cover to cover.  And I find that so many of the rules are antiquated and just plain common sense. Wash your hands before eating?  Of course.  Don’t sleep with your brother’s wife?  Of course not!!!

I suspect that my subscription rate will plummet after this.

With all of that being said, I’ll continue with my own ideas of spirituality.  First, I prefer terms like spirituality and higher power in reference, because they are broader scope, less offensive, and do not indicate that I am a member of any religion.  I am not religious.  I am spiritual.

The universe is all made up of the higher power’s energy.  Energy and matter can never be created, nor destroyed.  That means that all of the things that exist today have existed in one form or another since before the beginning of time (because you know time is a human construct).  It was at the beginning of space.  If this is true, then that means that we’re all a part of each other.  That is true too.  We are all one in the same, from the amoeba to the complex human and beyond to planets, places, and beings we don’t even know exist.

We are all born with temperaments, and that’s all.  As for the rest of it, we are blank slates.  No being is inherently good or evil.  There is no black and white in those terms.  Which means that the higher power is not entirely benevolent, nor is the lower power.  They are opposing powers, as described, but they are not God and Satan as depicted.  They are one in the same, two sides of the same coin.  But, it remains the same coin.

We can take notes of our own morality from basic religion.  I do have a belief that all religions are really worshiping the same higher power, and generally all of the same moral guidelines.  However, it’s not as cut and dry as they would have you believe.  You will not be condemned to hell for failing to wash properly, although you might get an infection.  Some of those rules were made for practicality sake.  Cleanlinesss is next to Godliness, just means that we don’t want you getting sick and getting the rest of us sick with your epidemic.

As for other things that are outdated, I feel as if premarital sex is outdated.  In the days of old, the reason a woman did not engage in premarital sex was for lack of birth control and Maury Povich and paternity tests.  In those days, women relied on men to be their breadwinners and protectors.  A man is not biologically inclined to take care of a child that is not is, nor was he burdened by the responsibility that society would place on him.  Therefore, a woman would be left to do so herself.  But, in those days, women couldn’t work and take care of children at the same time.  The last thing villages needed was a whole family of fatherless children, relying on the resources of others to care for them.

Here are the things that are not dated.  The Golden Rule is the first and foremost guide for a moral compass.  If you don’t want it done to you, then refrain from perpetrating the offense onto another.  Period.  It really is that easy.  We all know that hitting hurts, robbing another is unfair and sometimes devastating, and taking another life away from someone else and their family is beyond devastating.  We all mourn the loss of those that we love.  Why would someone take something that isn’t theirs, only to destroy it for themselves and everyone else?

My belief in the process of death is rather unusual, because it borrows from several cultures.  There is no such thing as redemption at death.  One is judged by their actions or inaction,  positive and negative, the quality of their life and spirituality, and it is weighed out.  Only, the judge is not the higher power.  The judge is you.  There is no immediate heaven, or immediate hell.  We have souls that are always learning.  To be enlightened is to have a soul that is wise and open to education.  That is our point to any life that we lead.  We are here for a purpose, for a lesson.

Do you ever see themes occurring in your life?  Those themes are meant to teach you something.  It is your life’s lesson.  Without enlightenment to your life’s lesson and experiencing all of the fulfilling experiences meant for you as a part of the nature of your being (whether it’s animal, human, etc), then your soul does not get to move on to the next life.  You will repeat the lesson and the life until you have reached full enlightenment.  It is at that point that a being is allowed to choose what they would like to do with their eternity.

Gay Marital Status : 30 Days of Truth

Day 18 : Your views on gay marriage.

I am not typically one to discuss controversial topics on my blog.  Politics and religion are two subjects that I have some pretty convoluted and alternative philosophies on.  So, as a rule of thumb, I am inclined to exclude these from any social agenda that I may have.

However, I am prompted.  Therefore, I must preface this with a few things.  Comments on this particular post will be closed, not as a result of a discouragement of sharing opinion, but as a precautionary measure.  I appreciate all of the feedback I get from an audience, however, I am not interested in allowing a flame war on my blog.  If anyone is interested in an adult discussion, I am willing to do so in private.  You may email me at lulu.em.stark@gmail.com and I will screen responses appropriately.

Additionally, realize that my views are only opinions.  They are, in no way, meant to be construed as offensive or bias.  If you believe that you may find the following material offensive, please consider skipping this installment of The 30 Days of Truth : Sunny with a Chance of Armageddon.

With that said:  Lulu’s Views on Gay Marriage.

Quite honestly, gay marriage is really none of my business.  I realize that it’s my civic duty as an American citizen to fight for the causes of others, and believe me, I do.  However, this is a subject that I shy away from.  I am not gay.  Although I have fallen in love with a girl once, I do not believe I would have ever considered marrying her.  I have a history of experimentation with members of the same gender, however, I am not generally attracted or romantically interested.  Therefore, I have proven I am not gay, therefore gay marriage is not on my list of crusades.

However, if I were to be coerced into taking up a social issue beyond my own scope, I suppose gay marriage would be on the agenda.  I believe that every American should be free to make their own choices.  We do live in America, one of the freest countries in the world.  We have made so much progress in human rights and freedoms.  We are guaranteed equality.  Anyone is permitted to legally join with another person of the opposite gender.  Why do we have to limit it to opposing genders?

Now, being from an Episcopalian background, I do have one objection to gay marriage.  I believe in marriage as a ritual between man and woman in front of our higher power.  Marriage is not just a legal union between two opposite gendered entities.  It’s a spiritual thing.  Now, while I believe that homosexual folks should be entitled to the same rights under the higher power, I also believe that a distinction should be made.

The distinction is the same as the distinction between a heterosexual relationship and a homosexual relationship.  Gay and straight are necessary terms to describe the nature of a relationship, just as married and single.  It is important to define relationships in terms of our higher power and our legal status.  Marriage implies that the union occurs between a man and a woman.  Therefore, a different terminology should be used.

I do not mind any terminology that can be synonymous with marriage.  Union sounds nice.  Matrimony, minus the holy part is good for any kind of wedding.  Wedded, and anything else, seem to fit nicely.  Any combination of those would be effective.  I actually find it rather offensive to call it “gay marriage”, just because of the terminological distinction.  However, this is not my decision to make.  Again, I am not gay.  I don’t know what is offensive in the gay community, therefore I avoid the topic altogether.  I think the rest of the public would probably be okay with homosexual unions if they were called something other than “gay marriage”.  It’s possible that it offends much of the religious population.

That’s just my opinion.  If anyone has anything to add, I would be glad to hear it.  However, no flame mail or hate mail.  I’d like to clarify that I support any consenting union between two adult parties that are not adulterous or incestuous in nature.

Thank you.

The Open Mind Policy : 30 Days of Truth

Day 2: Something you love about yourself.

Following up on the subject of self-love, I embody some admirable qualities.

The Open Mind Policy
“I’ll try anything once.”

Truthfully, that was once my motto.  Except, I found myself in too great of a number of undesirable situations that I would have preferred to not experience.  We live – we learn.

This is the basis of my Open Mind Policy.  It is truth when it is generalized that all humans have certain biases.  That is part of the human condition, and not exactly shameful.  It functioned as a survival mechanism in primal humans.  Hence, we are fearful of unfamiliarity.  Unfortunately, this fear typically turns to hate, and that is one emotion I tend to keep at bay.

Throughout my last year at my job, I have noticed different attitudes in the African American community.  Much of their community is now highly diverse.  These divisions are no longer even regarded as anything.  They’ve helped me understand a world and a culture beyond my own.  And they’ve really opened my mind.

Through my eyes, people are people. Divisions of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, political orientation, socioeconomic status, mental and physical health, age, and lifestyle do not matter to me. Those differences have no bearing on how I view a person.

A person is who they are, not how they are labelled.  Humans have a particular penchant for categorizing everything within their world.  While this organization is important for cognitive function and development, it does not function as segregation of people.  It is not meant to emphasize differences among peoples, their behaviors, and their cultures.

In recent years, I have noticed that racial tolerance has become the norm. Tolerance is not acceptance, and is by no means synonymous. Acceptance is when those divisions dissolve into an unrecognizable remnants of past prejudices.  I have learned that by working in a community of people unlike any I have ever been exposed to.  I see children and adults alike regarding people as just another person, another friend.  Despite color, culture, heritage, quirkiness, and what-have-you, we act as if we are in a family system.

I am proud to say that I have rid myself of religious biases. I am personally weary of claiming my own religious affiliation, though very interested in the religions of the world. However foreign, and however devout, I am accepting of others who may not share the same sentiments on spirituality.  I realize that everyone has their own interpretation.  At this point, I refuse to make a statement at this point in time concerning my own spiritual beliefs. There is no better way to lose friends and alienate people.  So, I mostly avoid the subject anyhow.

The same goes politics. In past years, I groaned when a person started in on the opposing side of a subject I felt passionately about.  This created a serious schism in interpersonal relations.  Many friends were lost in the heat of debate.

I’ve learned that it’s not worth it.  I may disagree with where another person stands, but I refuse to judge their character by it. Different lifestyles and socioeconomic standings create different opinions.  I promote unity and balance, without digging my heels in too much.  I’ve never walked a mile in many people’s shoes.  I cannot know their journey and where they are coming from.

As for my own journey, I am not one to set my own choices up as the standard in which everyone strives. My own lifestyle choice is likely not fitting for everyone else. There is no such thing as “one size fits all”.  People are more content when they don’t feel societal pressure to live a certain way.

Therefore, I am not exclusively friends with the population that is married with children.  Marriage and children are not a lifestyle choice for everyone.  As a matter of fact, I applaud those that resist the societal pressure, when they know that is not what they want for themselves.  Many recognize that they have a preference for living solo.  Some have a different sexual orientation, and that’s fine with me.  I’m not homosexual (I can’t say I didn’t try in college).  But attraction and love are beyond anyone’s control.  It’s not up to me to decide.  It’s up to the individual.

Individuals have different biology, right down to the molecular level.  We are unique, atom by atom.  We look uniquely, function uniquely, think uniquely, and behave uniquely.  I have a special place in my heart for those that suffer debilitating physical and mental debilitating disease and disorder.  I find a certain kinship within the group of people with unique mental health concerns.

This is a preference, and I’m now careful to not reverse a discrimination against those who do not carry a diagnosis, or norms, Non-Dx, as I may refer to them.  I sometimes use norm(s) as a derogatory term to refer to people who are especially ignorant to the topic of mental health.  Although I am still outraged, I have come to understand that these people are victims.  They are victims of widespread ignorance and fear.  I cannot wage war when my ultimate goal is to bring education to the general population.

I am also guilty of occasional gender discrimination or man-bashing, as it’s typical referred to in the female community.  In all honesty, I do not mean it.  I am not a feminist man-hater pushing the female agenda.  In fact, quite the opposite.  However, I am aware that it perpetuates a stereotype that others could buy into.

The point is, one bad apple does not ruin the whole bunch.  The gender war has been present since the beginning of time.  Only now, in the 20th and 21st centuries are we progressing toward equality for both genders.  That does not mean that stereotypes and biases are erased from existence, much like that in race.

Everyone has heard about the “crazy bitch” or the “pigheaded jerk”.  Women are moody largely in part of a constant cycle of ever changing body chemistry.  Men think sexually because testosterone is essentially the hormone responsible for sexual impulses.  (It’s also responsible for aggression).  That’s fact.  Again, because of the extreme individuality that humans have through by nature and nurture, this can be more or less prevalent.  Accept the fact that it’s possible.  Learn to live together.

And most of all, socioeconomic status. I share in the plight of the working poor. Although I am an avid Occupy supporter, it’s less about the 1% and more about the abuse of power through corruption. That is about justice.

I’m not saying I don’t judge at all. I am human after all. We all judge. However, I will only judge a person when they have proven to commit heinous acts.

I greatly detest people with hate and malice in their heart.  With those two emotions, people have waged unnecessary wars (what war is necessary?), committed vile acts such as genocide, and perpetuated more hate and malice through organizations such as the KKK.  If these people would stop for one moment, think of The Golden Rule, and open their minds to the possibilities, the world would be a much better place.