*Swearing – rant*
So yesterday was the first birthday of the most wonderful friend I ever had, since she ended her life last year. It was a very difficult time for me. I stupidly reached out online, to tell the world I was struggling with it. Can you guess what happened? The same as what always happens for me….. silence. I was ignored. I was invisible. My pain went unnoticed.
At a time when I’m feeling trapped in isolation, I needed people to give a damn for once. But they seriously don’t and never will. When I had my group at the Wellbeing Centre, I cared less about these neglectful online people. But now with this lockdown crap I have no other support. I needed the online support. I’m more aware of how utterly alone I am and how little I am valued by people who should care, and the wider population in general.
I can understand all my usual bumph being ignored like it is. But grief?? Seriously?? Everyone knows how it feels to lose someone. How hard is it to send a thoughtful, kind and supportive message to say you’re thinking of someone?
I get that there’s the possibility that seeing someone’s grief might tap into your own, and bring you pain… so you would want to avoid that. But I’m not asking for someone to lean on. I’m not asking for someone to talk to. I just needed a damn bit of compassion. To have my grief noticed. To hear ‘I’m thinking of you today’. That’s all. For fuck’s sake… if that’s asking too much then I obviously really don’t deserve to live in this fucking world.
This is nothing new to me. Anytime there’s an anniversary date, or a birthday, I write in the hope someone will hear me and validate my pain and respect the person in question by reaching back to me, to show they see the importance of that person to me…. every time I’m left on my damn own… the silence showing me how little I mean to everyone and how unimportant the person I lost was. It’s fucking rude and disrespectful.
Other people get support at times like this. I even give support to people. Even if I can’t say anything more than ‘Thinking of you’, I still do it, because it matters more than you’d think. To witness someone’s grief and stay silent, leaving them totally alone and unsupported is about the worst fucking thing you can do… especially to someone with serious mental illness… and especially at a time when isolation is putting a strain on people.
Do you know, the only person who ever really supported me in my previous grief, was the person who is no longer here and who I was grieving yesterday……. she would send her thoughts to me…. she’d tell me to be gentle with myself… she’d recognise how painful certain times can be. She guided me through my first case of grief. Now there’s nobody there to guide me through this traumatic loss of her.
I don’t have friends. She took her life. The other one abandoned me. After that there was nobody else. People don’t seem to understand how much I relied on little words of support from them…. I relied on the ‘acquaintances’ because I had nobody else. Their kindness would have made such a difference. Their silence was and always is destructive.
Things to say to someone who is grieving, without having to take on their feelings:
- I’m thinking of you.
- I’m sorry you’re in so much pain.
- I can see this is painful for you. I wish I could take the hurt away.
- I can see how much they mattered to you.
- They’d be so proud of you for carrying on.
- You’re not on your own. I’m here for you.
- I care about you.
- Be gentle with yourself.
- Sending you love today.
- They’ll never be forgotten.
- They were a special person.
- Wishing you the best today.
I could go on…. but you get the idea….. words. Actual words make a difference. They say ‘I see you…. I understand…. you’re not alone and worthless… this person mattered…. so do you’. Other people get it from each other. As usual I’m left on the floor begging for things like this and still being denied them. Doesn’t matter if it’s people who know me (Facebook), or people who don’t (Twitter)…. it doesn’t matter how privately (Facebook) or publicly (Twitter) I share my feelings of grief and sadness, the result is the same….. nothing. The most anyone will ever do for me now is ‘like’ my posts. And that’s a miracle if they do that!
The only time I communicate with others is when I pretend everything’s fine. When I focus on things like photography on Twitter. So that’s what I’m going to do from now on. Pretend I’m not grieving. Pretend I don’t have a mental illness. Pretend I don’t want to kill myself again now. Pretend, pretend, pretend. Fake smile. Fake positivity. Clam up and never talk about my feelings again. Nothing is worse than opening up about your most inner feelings and hearing only silence in response. Nothing.
So I am on my own with the pain, the sadness, the loss, and everything that comes with all of that. I’ll be one of those statistics…. where ‘nobody saw it coming’… because I put on an act. I pretend I’m fine, because nobody cares when I’m not. So I will focus on the good. I’ll pretend nothing is wrong. They’ll never see it coming. One day I’ll just disappear from the world and if they even notice, they’ll wonder why I never said anything or reached out for help. They won’t realise the amount of times I did, and was met with frosty silence. They’ll never understand it was their doing.
No it’s not imminent, but yes I’m back to believing I will die by my own hand, eventually. It feels certain again. During this lockdown people are probably fearing the virus and thinking that will kill a lot of people. It won’t be the virus that kills people like me, it will be our mental health. It will be the isolation and the hurtful lack of care from others during this time. It’ll be our own minds. I’ve gone a long way backwards since losing my group. I can’t see myself getting back to where I was. It’s all so hopeless right now.
Yesterday was Liv’s birthday. Next month will be the first anniversary of her death. People will support each other in the mental health community. Nobody will support me. I’m a nobody. I dread next month. I will probably opt for staying offline… that way I won’t see everyone supporting each other and mentioning it. And I won’t have to face the pain of reaching out and not being noticed. It’s better to keep it all to myself.
I had hoped to reach out for bereavement counselling before these two dates, but this damn Coronavirus thing cocked that right up didn’t it. It’s too late now. I needed the support before, to be able to cope with it on my own. But never mind. Just got to try and survive it now, in silence. Nobody wants to hear my grief. That’s what I’ve come to realise. People don’t care. They don’t want to know. It’s probably a case of ‘we all experience it…. suck it up buttercup’. But if we all experience it, then why not show a bit of human warmth and compassion when someone speaks out about their suffering? That’s the bit I don’t understand. If I knew how upsetting something can be, and I saw someone else experiencing it, I would reach out to them to let them know they’re not alone. Why won’t anyone do that for me? The answer always comes back to…. because it’s me. Because I’m worthless. Because they all want to neglect me to my death. It has to be. The way people treat me, or rather don’t treat me…. consistently…. as a larger society…. the only thing they all ever communicate to me is my irrelevance and their desire to see me dead. Otherwise they’d speak to me. They’d make an effort. They’d care.
I know everyone has a lot to think about right now with this pandemic, but it would be nice if they could not entirely forget those who need them. You see all these posts about reaching out for help…. or checking in with your friends etc. – I reach out = silence. I have no friends to check in on me. Nobody else will check in on me. I’m a casualty in all this. I’m the forgotten one. And nothing I do will change this fact. It doesn’t matter how loudly I scream… it doesn’t matter how many times I tell people what I need from them…. it doesn’t matter what I do – I could post a video of me with a knife to my own throat – these people will never care, never support and never reach out to me. I will die alone without any one of them giving a damn. This is not depression speaking. This is not my mental illness tricking me into thinking nobody cares. This is consistent evidence that they don’t. And I’m powerless to do anything about it. You can’t make people care. Not without being controlling and manipulative. And I am neither of those things. So I just have to accept I will never matter to anyone. My grief will never matter to anyone. My illness will never matter to anyone. I could literally have a terminal physical illness and these people still wouldn’t talk to me. That’s how worthless I am in this world. Why the fuck am I here? I give up.
I miss you Liv. I wish you were still here. You’re the only one who ever cared about me. Now nobody does. To be honest right now I don’t even want anyone else – I just want you back. Without you nothing else matters anymore. But I’ll see you again, in time. It’s just a question of when. Until then I live this nightmare I’d started to escape before the pandemic. I speak into the void, talk to myself and matter to no-one. I’m done with this world and the people in it. Life just isn’t for everyone. You’re always in my heart Liv… until we meet again xx