Suicidal prevention awareness month thoughts and review of 13 Reasons Why

Obvious trigger warnings*

I was awake all night due to ongoing symptoms of the grand mal seizure and its after affects. I watched all 13 episodes of 13 Reasons Why. My daughter told me it was not anything like the book. I have read reviews that said the series “glamorized” suicide and that it was far too triggering to watch. I have read reviews that it was targeted to teens who were vulnerable to suicide and many boycottted the series all together because they felt the show took the scenes of rape and suicide too far. 

I find it interesting that individuals will watch horror movies like Saw where people torture each other, or zombie movies where the gore is profound, but watching a rape scene is off limits. It seems ok to watch the Law and Order Special victims unit on tv but not a series whose intent seemed to be to educate. 

The series was very hard to watch. No one wants to watch someone attempt suicide or to be raped. This series was very real life. I felt its sole purpose was to show where everyone went wrong in saving a life. I felt it summed up exactly why individuals commit or attempt suicide in a very deep and profound and real way. It is a difficult but very real topic. 

I felt exaclty how many of the characters in the show felt. I have felt that there is no escape from the pain. I felt hopelessness. I felt that nomatter how hard I try I keep getting hurt. I have felt unheard, invalidated, and abandoned. I felt the exact same feelings the girl in the series felt when she killed herself and those were the reasons I attempted suicide as a teenager. I have felt similar feelings of wanting to not be alive anymore in the last few months. I have struggled with self harm and suicidal thoughts that have waxed and waned. I have been very open with my therapist and my psychiatrist about these thoughts. I had no plan to kill myself. I simply feel overwhelmed, hopeless, and as if I do not have the coping skills I need to handle the challenges I am facing. The accumulated stress and the amount of medications my doctors were trying me on to help to stabilize me all contributed to the grand mal seizure, along with a trigger of PTSD. So yes, I watched the series and felt like they hit the nail on the head with absolute accuracy of why someone wants to end their life and what circumstances can push a person to end their life. I could relate to the victims.

The rape scene I watched. It was the most real rape scene I have ever watched and the actress portrayed how it felt and the after affects very accurately. That person easily could have been me. Yes it would be hard for anyone to watch but unless you have seen it you may not know what a girl who has been raped feels like. If you have been raped it will be very triggering. If you know someone who has been raped it will show you the sheer terror of how it feels to be raped. 

The suicide scene was brief and I don’t know how it could have been filmed any differently. It shouldn’t be easy to watch something like that. People can watch brains being eaten and they are numb to it in horror shows but they cannot watch something so real because it is a reminder that this happens. I understand why it can’t be watched by many whole heartedly. I also believe it can educate many on the depths of depression, on the depths of suffering and hopelessness. I also believe the show can teach adults how to stop being robots and plug in to their kids, listen to their kids, watch for signs with their kids, and act on it.  The show focuses on why there needs to be a change in how we handle rape, ptsd, suffering, etc. 

The actor who loved the girl who commited suicide said he believed she could have been loved enough and held enough to have been saved. I believe that 100%. Throughout the series he was a stark contrast to the others who were stuck in their lies, secrets, bully roles, and coverups. He reacted with rage at the knowledge of every bad thing that happened that pushed the main character to end her life. He reacted appropriately. There should be rage over rape. There should be rage over bullying. There should be rage over accountability. But there is not. Even in this suicide prevention awareness month I have not seen a truly honest thing writtten yet. The series talked about that too. Putting up a sign is not going to stop suicide. It’s going to take more than that.  This series is about showing the world that unless things change, reactions change, and rape stops being a secret to cover up, then this will be a probable outcome. The show is not just about rape. It is about bullying, secrets, lies, and the power of all of those things combined. A person can only be pushed so far, take so much, and not be heard and then the outcome may possibly be a suicide. Not always, but there is that possibility. Which is why there needs to be awareness. Which is why that starts with honestl.  With everyone walking around with blinders on I am not surprised at the number of suicides. Not at all. There are many opinions on the person who has commited or attempted suicide that they are selfish. I have heard this everywhere. We are looking at the wrong thing. It is not about if they are or are not selfish. It is about saving a life that could be saved. I believe all lives can be saved. I do. I know how it feels to ask for help, seek help, reach out for help, try medications, and come home feeling like there is no way out. I know how it feels to be hopeless. I also know how it feels to be loved and how that love can transform hopelessness. 

Those are my thoughts on the subject. My blog is about real feelings and real emotions and absolute truth. I felt the series captured the truth in many stages of my life and I could have easily myself written 13 reasons why I attempted suicide as a teenager but mine would have been more like 100 reasons why. To prevent suicide and bring awareness, there has to be honesty as to how that person got to where they are and why. As I was watching the series I wrote 25 reasons why I liked how the series was made:
1. Accurate depiction of rape

2. Accurate depiction of ptsd

3. Accurate depiction of the harm in secrets

4. Accurate depiction of those capable of cover ups

5. Accurate depiction of how a secret can tear you up

6. Accurate depiction of how bullies can affect an individual

7. Accurate depiction of how a person choosing to do nothing can affect everything

8. Accurate depiction of how many people stand on the wrong side and don’t stand for the victim

9. Accurate depiction of suffering 

10. Accurate depiction of the after affects of rape and trauma

11. Appropriate rage at the discovery a rape happened and accurate depiction of those who will fight with everything they have to deny it.

12. Accurate depiction of the power of keeping secrets and how those secrets destroy lives

13. Accurate depiction of how the signs of a depressed individual are missed/ignored/ not acted upon

14. Accurate depiction of being conflicted on telling the truth and how hard others make it for that to happen.

15. Accurate depiction of a low income teen living in a domestic abuse household being overlooked and the consequences of that. 

16. Accurate depiction of accountability or lack there of. 

17. Accurate depiction of suicidal thoughts and how they get there and how life circumstances accumulate to create those suicidal thoughts. 

18. Accurate depiction of a predator 

19. Accurate depiction of how it feels to have your parent care more about their life than your suffering. 

20. Accurate depiction of the consequences of rape. 

21. Accurate depiction of the way it feels to be raped and the actions an individual may do after being raped. 

22. Accurate depiction of pain

23. Accurate depiction of how it feels to be a victim being a victim. Oh maybe I already said that but it cannot be said enough.

24. Accurate depiction of how you think revealing the truth will set you free but after a repeated offenders, repeated bullying, and feeling abandoned, it does not always set you free but it just makes it all so real how badly the secrets and lies have destroyed you. So by the time you reveal the truth, you feel beyond repair. 

25. Accurate depiction of how devastating it can be to try to get help one last time but to be shrugged off as if you don’t matter. 

26. Accurate depiction of why things need to change for victims.

27. Accurate depiction of how powerful and life changing the truth can be

You may have a completely different opinion on the topic than I do and that is ok. I just wanted to share my own thoughts on this very hard subject in as honest and real format as I could. 

My psychiatrist asked me a few weeks ago if I thought I needed to be inpatient. I said no. I had not come up with a “plan” to end my life I simply hated being alive. I was very honest about the crisis I felt I was in and my inability to cope with the stressors that were before me.  Why be inpatient? For me,  I cannot take antidepressants because they all have made me worse or sick. It would make things worse as it would take away the little control I have left in my life. I have been inpatient before and it did not stop further suicide attempts because I always went right back to the same complications that I did not know how to cope with. My therapist simply said my life was hard. My situation and circumstances were hard. They are. I have a very ill daughter. I am very ill with a myriad of symptoms, diagnosises, and diseases. I have severe PTSD and do not handle stress or anxiety well at this time hence my grand mal seizure. I mean, what does it take to see that I am screaming for help? My therapist saw I was screaming for help. She watched me sob uncontrollably at the lack of control I had over my life and the suffering I was feeling. It took a person in the waiting room to hug me tomake me feel like there was hope.  My psychiatrist is trying to hook me up with a new therapist. She also wants me to reach out to others for help. She doesn’t understand that fundamentals of that. I am a person who cologne triggers a seizure. I have smell triggers. I have found only a few recently that I can trust will take that seriously. So, no, I don’t need to be put in a mental hosptial but for real life people to see the suffering I am going through and the strain that has put on me and show kindness.  How hard is it to show compassion, love, and understanding? It seems very for many. It leaves those of us in the depths of depression very alone, very isolated, and very hopeless. So it is up to us in most cases to advocate for ourselves. Medications are not and have not helped me. Therapy has not helped me. I am still right where I was one year ago in fact I would say I am worse. I am aware. I know what I need. So I am seeking it out. I am actively looking for a new therapist who will help me cope with a life that I absolutely cannot change or control or manage on my own. There is nothing I can do about my circumstances and what brought me to this point. I can only look for someone to help me cope with it and move forward.

I watched 13 reasons why becasue I wanted to know if anyone could ever truly know how I felt. How it feels to be raped. How it feels to feel trapped. How it feels to want the suffering to end. How it feels to want to be saved and want people to listen and care. This show made me feel understood. It did not make me feel suicidal. It made me angry at the 13 reasons why she felt suicidal and the 100’s of reasons why I have felt that way. It made me angry at those who could have chosen differently and save me instead of burying me. But I cannot focus on them and to live you cannot focus on what they didn’t do. You have to focus on what you can do. 

I don’t want to commit suicide. I want to find a way to live in this life that I have been given with this hand I have been dealt. I need a good therapist that can help me navigate. I need the love and understanding of those around me with unconditional compassion as I try my best to just find my way back to myself. After the seizure I felt like the world stopped and everyone kept on moving. It is how I felt after I attempted suicide as a kid and came home and nothing stopped. It is how I felt each of the hundreds of times I was molested as a child. Like my world had stopped but no one noticed. Sometimes, you have to stop. Others have to stop maybe just briefly so that the one suffering knows they are worth a moment. My husband stopped. My daughter stopped. They have been showering me with vigilant “how are you” questions and “is there anything you need” questions for the last few days. It’s not very hard to make a person feel like they matter. It is not very hard to make a person who is suffering feel loved. I think that was the point of the series. Had just one of the 13 made her feel like she mattered and was worthy of being loved, she would still be alive. 

So my thoughts on this month deemed suicide prevention awareness have been spoken. I could close the comment section so as not to receive any negative feedback on my feelings as negativity right now would only add to my stress. But I would then stop the ability of those to share their stories and their truth and I will not do that. To prevent we must have truth. So please speak your truth whatever it may be and you will be heard. 

Poetry

The light flickered through my blinds.

Morning had finally arrived.

It created  a white butterfly.

Her wings grew 

As more sun came in.

Staring at her there

Next to my closet light,

That gets turned on at midnight.

Every night.

I felt

Her life.

In my bed,

Twelve years now, I awaken,

And stare,

Typically at the hawk photo

Framed there.

Yet this day

A butterfly 

Shines for me

Bringing 

Long overdue

Serenity.

Mindful mush Monday

Sunday I ended up going to the Emergency physicians because more seizures were coming. Thankfully they took me right back and got medication in me right as another seizure was coming. They also gave me two bags of fluid to get rid of any after affects of my body violently shaking such as lactic acid and CK which can damage muscle tissue. I completly  hate ER pictures where people have the IV in. Like NO. So I took this cute photo 


Did I not swipe the cutest sandals on the way out of the door from my daughter or what!!! And I bring my own sheet because I don’t want to lie on ER tables. It was a completely uneventful trip which was fantastic because that was the last place I wanted to go. I was put on a seizure medication that I seem to be tolerating, so that is great news. 12 years of seizures and now 2 grand mal seizures behind me I think I’ve put in my time there. 

I was told I would be confused, and may have hallucinations for a week as my brain has been in an “electrical storm”.  I am and I have. I put a list up to document my eating and drinking because I’ve forgotten if I have. I made my daughter lunch that I did not even remember and I probably won’t remember this post until I read it a few days from now.  Today my husband called and I said HI MOM which immediately made me want to cry. One, because I have not spoken to my mother in 2 years and two because it is so upsetting that my brain is mush. 

I decided enough was enough and it was time for my mindful walk. So I went out on my walk. I ran into a very kind woman who gave me an impromptu hug at hearing of my challenging few days and I took a few pictures. I then saw a girl waving at me with her dog. I then waved back. I then saw another woman with three dogs one of which came up to me. I told her as I pet her dog that she needed to hold onto her dog because there was another dog across the street at which point she informed me that there was no dog on the other side of the street and she wondered who I was waving at. AND at that point I knew my mindful walk was mush and I needed to go home and rest. She had the, “HOLY CRAZY” look in her eye when she told me this. It made me really think of the stigma on schizophrenia. On ALL mental health. The judgment, the eye rolling, the true misconception and unsympathetic nature of some people is astounding. It is no wonder that individuals keep their diagnosis to themselves. Well I am not one of those people and that is not what my blog is about. My blog is about keeping it real. So I hallucinated a girl and her dog. The doctors were not kidding! 

Now, I will say that I have had small seizures for 12 years. But this particular seizure was brought on by a component that is directly related to abuse, flashbacks, and PTSD. THAT PISSES ME OFF.  Some fucking pedophile preys on me and at 45 years old he is still affecting me. And NO TAMMI or any other reader of my blog, I am not “playing the victim”. I am allowed to be furious that I had a seizure that was related to something that a child abuser caused 30 years ago. I will not be denied. Neither should anyone else.  I am speaking THE TRUTH. This is real life. There is NO PLAYING HERE. Sayeth the doctors that I have encountered in the last 3 days, PTSD triggers and huge stress levels can cause seizures and did. The medication I was on was not helping ALSO a direct result of being abused. So when I write this blog of what I go through it is not because I want to stay a victim. I share what happens as a result of BEING A VICTIM AND TRYING MY HARDEST TO BE A SURVIVOR.  

The seizures have brought on terrifying nightmares all of the past abuse. Do I want this? No. do I choose this? No. my brain is going there when I sleep and it is the last thing I want. 

The good news is I have a new seizure medication that will hopefully take one thing off of my plate. The seizures are the most trigggering of helplessness and vulnerability, so if I get rid of that component I am one step closer to having less episodes of dissociation due to PTSD. Here is to hope.

My arm is healing from the horse bite very well. I put a picture of today. Barely a bruise. While in the ER I was looking through my old photos and found this one of my sweetest baby boy Jess who passed away of cancer a year ago. My seizure alert dog, my loyal, ever loving, ever faithful, baby boy who I will miss forever and a day.  So here I am with my mush of a mind Monday trying hard to be mindful. This is what I found. 



Being mindful after having a group of seizures, sleepless nightmare nights, and ER visits is NOT easy. I made the choice to do it anyway. I will not let the childmolester win. I will persevere and find joy. Here is to all of my friends out there trying to make the most out of their challenging days. I honor you!

The bite of betrayal.

I have not had a pleasant week. 

Yesterday the horse I adore grabbed my arm in her teeth, bit down and yanked me down. Now with my osteoporosis and muscle disease I just assumed, wrongly, that everything would be broken. It was excruciating and she would not let go. She just kept looking at me while pulling and biting. 

I immediately poured alcohol on it. Because I didn’t know if it broke the skin. I carry things in my car, thankfully, then wrapped it tightly with an ace bandage, also kept in car, and kept it elevated for an hour as I screamed out right there in pain. It felt worse than a broken bone. I was sure something was damaged badly. My ribs also against the fence. 

What was most upsetting: I was so shocked she did it that I just froze. I did not say anything. I did not move. I froze. I cannot remember what happened right before or after. That upsets me. One could easily say, well what were you supposed to do in an unknown situation. That wasn’t it. It was my fear/freeze that upset me. Second, I feel betrayed by an animal that I loved with all of my heart. So I immediately made excuses. She was showing dominance. She was establishing the pecking order. She was angry I didn’t have food. She didn’t mean it to be aggressive. She was aggitated with the goat and donkey. The list goes on. I was going to go back today and not let one bad moment ruin my “happy place.” I was going to just love her anyway. Then I told my daughter and husband about what happened. They spoke logically about what she did and how me going back to pet her again was not wise. So I questioned myself. Why would I go back to someone who hurt me. Do I so desperately want to ignore the feelings of betrayal and hurt. Why do I let others hurt me and just take it. Why do I give second chances when that will result in the same outcome. Pain. A few days prior she grabbed my ipad and bit it and i thought it was funny. I didn’t put it together until my daughter did, that this was the second time she has grabbed at me. So I am incredibly upset at myself most of all. That after everything in my life I am willing to still not set up a boundary for my own protection. The list goes on about why I am upset about her. Her reasonings don’t matter. My lack of ability to make a wise choice does. Now I could go back and not touch her but touch the goat. That option is there at some point. But for now. My place of true joy and happiness is on hold perhaps permanently.  After I got up, from her, I was determined to still find something good. I almost ran over a squirrel, could you imagine my dismay if that happened, and I almost got struck by lightening.  I could NOT go home on this note. So I drove with my “bad” arm, horse hurt the good one, to search. I found nothing. I came home and got into my wheelchair and was determined to find something good. In my wheelchair I made it halfway around the block and lightening struck so close to me the hairs stood up on my arm. I learned that sometimes you cannot find good! You have to make it. I took a hot shower and decided that was my good and spent some good quality time with my daughter watching some seriously offensive yet entertaining tv Bachelor in Paradise. 

Today, the good news was, my arm was not broken. So the fragility of my body is not what I have been told OR a guardian angel was watching over my body. Who is to say. It is bruised and there’s is a lump and I am sore. But otherwise the positive was that my body is stronger than I imagined. And when you can find a positive that is a victory. 

Then tonight something was off. Smells were bothering me. They were too strong. Food. I was smelling deodorant. It was irritating me. I was nauseous. I started feeling jittery and thought ok I am having a panic over these smells so I asked for help instead of dissociating. I asked my husband to help me through the moment. I sat down next to him and I had a grand mal seizure. It was horrifying. My peripheral vision closed in to darkness and everything was black. Then poof it just came back with light of the tv. After it passed I took valium at the level I was told for seizures. I had 2 more seizures before it worked. During that time I felt demons were coming for me. I felt paranoia, fear, vulnerability, and every other emotion under the sun, or rather darkness. I started crying for no reason. My husband comforted me and held me and told me everything would be ok. He assured me no demons were there but it didn’t make me feel any better. It is now 4 hours later and I know the demons are not there. What is scary is that seizures and the brain and the wiring can create some scary shit! And I have no idea what caused it. Sresss, PTSD/smell/dissociation. No clue. It is the second grandmal seizure I have had in a year. The last one developed high Ck levels and lactic acidosis so they pumped me full of fluids at the hospital. This time I was told how to manage this at home. It requires large amounts of fluids but I can do it and that makes me feel better. The more vulnerable the more stress and the more likelihood this will happen again. Hospital equals all of that. So I have no answers. 

The positive is my husband was home. I was cared for. I was loved. I am being closely monitored. I will have no recolection of writing this blog and I know that but I am writing it anyway because it is distracting me from sitting here pondering they why’s of seizures and what I will do next with my health. The positive is that although every single square inch of my body hurts (my husband said it was a very violent seizure), nothing broke and I am just in pain. 

So my week has been unpleasant for many reasons. But I have learned some lessons. I have also seen that my body, even though it looks and feels like it is weak and breaking down, still has fight left in it. 

AND I was only able to walk to the garage but on the door were all of these moths and bugs. Not everyone would find this “good” but if you have read my blog you will know that I find this as good. So today I was able to find the good. Even if just for a moment. This moment I am here at home, forcing gatorade down, with my daughter and husband safely here with me. Nothing better than that. 

Volume of FOOTBALL! YESSSSS!

I decided on the word volume for stream of consciousness Saturday. I immediately knew what I would write about and then that changed. I WAS going to write about the volume of sadness I felt over an incident with my horse BUT since it is stream of consciousness writing I will just write this as it plays out, and as my fingers type the words. The volume of sadness and betrayal turned so quickly to the volume of faith, so that is where this is headed. 
I just watched the final play in a football game: Florida Gators against Tennessee. The VOLUME in the house was phenomenal. I loved it. Hearing my husband scream, the fans scream, and volume of my own voice was so profound. There was so much volume it drowned out everything else that had been ruminating in my head. 

The Gator quarterback threw that football over 50 yards (sorry I don’t know the specifics as I don’t even know what 1st and 10 means no matter how many times my husband explains it). The runningback ( I think that’s his position) AKA guy who caught the ball, just ran. What I loved so much about this ending is, whether this was a planned move or not, it didn’t matter to me. He seemed to be running to that goal line in pure faith! So many things COULD have happened. The quarterback tackled. The ball thrown and intercepted. The ball thrown to someone closer who then got tackled. Nothing could have happened and it could have gone into overtime. But the running back had faith if he ran to the end zone that he would catch that ball, so he ran. AND the quarter back threw the ball to him and he caught it and they won the game in the final seconds. Tears came to my eyes at football!!!! The volume in my brain of faith had just increased because a man ran to the end zone in a football game, because he believed there was a chance. Just a chance, and he took it. Out of all the probabilities and possibilities there was only a win because one man believed. Ok and the quarterback was freaking superman. 

I am thankful that the volume was turned up in a good way because of a football game and the volume of all the bad was drowned out! 

What do I need to believe in, take a chance on? What is my end zone? Who is going to take a chance on me and throw me the ball for the win? 

I need to take a chance, believe, and find my own end zone. Yes, that is what I will do. Change the volume. 
The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Sept. 16/17

Poetry


A poem from my book of poetry : The Secrets of Lilly lake *trigger warning


I saw a Snoopy doll, 

and remembered him on my bed. 

As a little girl, 

he sat next to my head.

 Watching, 

so I could sleep.

 Standing guard on the ship, 

my bed on the sea

Just Snoopy and me. 

We floated away and tried to forget, 

all of the nightmares you put in my head. 

I tried to stay a little girl in spite of what you took. 

I tried to hide in places I thought you’d never look.

 I hoped that Snoopy and I could sail across the world,

 and find a place of solace, 

an island of rescued girls.

 The sun rose and he came again, 

So I left my Snoopy there.

 I don’t think what was about to happen

 he could even bare. 

It’s OK Snoopy, 

I’ll be back, 

I swear. 

We’ll get away one day. 

Some day, 

Somewhere.

*after I wrote this poem I bought a stuffed animal snoopy doll, online, that got me through those years of abuse