This week, a young man I know, a beautiful, talented, upright and compassionate young man, took his own life. He was set to attend college in the fall. The grief and sadness in our community is overwhelming. I have always thought the worst possible thing that could happen to someone is that they lose a child.
I was speaking with my daughter last night, the one who had her own depression crop up after her car wreck, and she was asking ,”why?”. She is aware that so many young people take their lives nowadays, that it seems like an epidemic. Why would such a bright young man with a loving family and a truly hopeful future take his own life?
Depression distorts the love and hope in your life and twists it into something unbearable, something unthinkable. I completely understand wanting to check out. A Psycholobitch has lost a child, alienated through the willful manipulation of her ex husband and even her own family. She has been constantly demeaned and berated by her children’s father and her boundaries ignored. A Psycholobitch has been financially bullied and completely rejected and scapegoated, also berated and ignored. A Psycholobitch’s grandfather was a pedophile, and the whole family literally pretended he didn’t spend two years in prison for molesting a four year old, making them just as harmful as he was. There really are people in this world who want to cause harm to others, who want to add to other’s pain and suffering. The more sensitive of us will be deeply affected by this.
There is also the larger truth of neoliberalism. Bear with me here….making corporations into people has had a two-fold effect on our culture: the increase in materialism pigeonholes people as mere commodities, and takes away their human value. Then the structure of neoliberalism, with a corporate “taker”-the rich get richer- and wholly exploited consumer “givers” can trickle down into personal relationships. Narcissism is neoliberalism, and any relationship with a narcissist sets you up to be a mere commodity in his or her life, merely an object to be used. Again the more sensitive in this world will be deeply affected by this, and take on the sadness of this mistreatment of our fellow man.
Sometimes I think, there is not something that has gone “wrong”. A romp through history shows that we have not really learned how to not make each other suffer. The ancient Chinese used to bury the whole court alive once an emperor died. Men seek wars, and no one makes restitution for those wars. It’s just a war. Research colonialism and how that has affected cultures. Look at the trauma of the American Indian….to have your whole identity smashed and commodified…it’s a horror to think about. And the government resistance to making amends…terrible. All for money. These days, while there are real wars, for us, the lesser wars are waged in family court, the messes of ensuing poverty and relational destruction are never cleaned up. The reality of the world is incredibly sad.
And that makes me think that during my own days of intense grief and sadness, where I wish I would just go away, that I can’t change history or the world, but I can tolerate my own powerlessness and drive my sadness into contributing to the compassionate healing of this world.
My heart aches for this young man and his family.
Keep going, Psycholobitches. No one escapes abuse without having those thoughts, the thoughts that you want to check out and be done with this hurtful life. But our children need us even more in that case. Keep your sanity. Clear yourself. And grieve, grieve, grieve. Then hug Life and thank her for all of that teaching. There are the good parts, too…and the grey ones that are just part of life. It’s still worth staying here.