jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Valerie Aurora wrote an extremely good essay addressing what to do in this situation, and who is responsible for doing it. It starts by explaining what's wrong with telling suicidal people to "reach out and talk to a friend," as though this would save their lives and not merely be an added burden, and goes on to address things like sending the police to intervene. It argues

that we, as as [sp] society, should take more responsibility for making people’s lives bearable, and focus on supporting more concrete ways to prevent suicide, like helping people contact professional help, supporting research and treatment of depression, and fighting for social justice.

For instance, in the case of my parents of origin apparently calling a United Way suicide hotline which in turn sent police officers to my door -- as described in this somewhat visceral entry which I've now made public -- more helpful things they could have done to diminish my risk of suicide would have been:

  1. Encourage me to seek mental health treatment when I began having "emotional problems," about 12 years ago while we were living in Utah, from a licensed therapist who places my well-being ahead of adherence to Mormon doctrine.

  2. Read the Mormon version of Supportive Families, Healthy Children, a booklet published by the Family Acceptance Project. It explains how treating me the way they did when I came out to them as transgender increased my risk of suicide significantly, and shows how to relate to LGBT children in a way that the data show better upholds Mormon teachings on the importance of families.

  3. Treat my increasing unwellness and depression while living with them as our problem, not my problem, with the goal of helping me become healthy and not self-loathing (and gender dysphoric). Instead of communicating to me in a number of ways, and bringing me to a church which taught me explicitly, that if I can't live a sufficiently Mormon-y life it's better if I killed myself.

  4. Reach out to me with the intent of making restitution for the "mistakes" they admit to making and the damage they've already done. Such as my father of origin beating me as a young child, terrorizing me once I became sexually mature, and then breaking his agreement to co-sign a long-term lease and effectively raising my rent by $100 a month once I came out to him.

(Although I haven't counted, that last one is pretty easy to put a price tag on, and it is looming over every interaction or potential interaction with them. Why should I even talk to them when they directly caused me $XXX in damage, and show no sign of wanting to make up for it?)

Anyway, while that's all specific to my situation you can see how it applies to many other suicidal persons or marginalized groups of people. Instead of giving unhelpful advice, or using force to intervene, if you're concerned about someone you should educate yourself about their situation, and then (personally or as a society) take pressure off of them so that they can regain their emotional health. This applies doubly if you or your society are responsible for the state someone's in, like with young persons, victims of abuse, persons of colour, indigenous persons, poor persons, and gender / sexuality / species / romantic / religious minorities.

Whose choice is it, anyway?

The way things are set up right now, in the quasi-theocratic settler state that I live in, suicide is basically a crime, no matter how hellish your life is. The only way that makes sense is if your life isn't your own.

As Valerie says:

I want to put in a word for suicide as a legitimate, reasonable option in some cases. If you can’t imagine a situation in which killing yourself seems like the best option, you simply haven’t suffered very much. Suicide is, in a sense, the last form of protest against suffering that is too strong to make life worth living. Sometimes that suffering is purely organic – there’s something wrong with your body and it’s caused by nothing related to society. But sometimes, suicide is a protest against being forced to function and give support to a society that is so unfair and unequal that it’s not worth staying alive.

And finally,

If you really want to help, don’t do things because they help salve your personal feelings of loss and guilt, do things that lessen the suffering and illness that cause suicide.

She gives a list of these things towards the end of her essay.

Thank you to everyone reading here who has helped with those things.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Danah Boyd wrote a review of Alice Goffman's "On the Run," about the way that the poor Black community interacts with (or is fractured by) "law enforcement." She also shares her own experiences with police abuse and corruption.

Not being able to be identified as a POC, I'm shielded from a lot of these terrors by white privilege. On the other hand, I'm poor, I look kind of genderqueer even while presenting as male, and I experience mental illness. All of these things make me vulnerable to maltreatment from pretty much any institution, and I'm always surprised when I don't get it.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

And now that we're feeling a little better, aside from having ground our teeth all last night ...

I think what's more egregious than the fact that my parents of origin stalked my blog, said absolutely nothing for possibly years, and did nothing to make up for the damage they'd caused or otherwise intervene in my life until finally doing so in the most ham-handed and destructive way possible the other day ...

Is the fact that they didn't just call a suicide hotline to have the police intervene, but that they did it three times in a row. In the same day.

Thank goddess [personal profile] rev_yurodivy deflected them, for most of the times after the first. At least one of which was while I was trying to sleep.

I have to ask (rhetorically, since I don't actually want to talk to them), wtf prompted them to do that? I mean, I know they did it the first time because they have no empathy and no comprehension of the damage they've done to me, and so instead of actually addressing the issues I've brought up (to them directly and here on DW) they've tried to use blunt force methods to "fix" me. Like this, and like the time one of my brothers bullied me until I snapped and attacked my hoarder mom's innocent cardboard boxes, and her response was to get me Mormon therapy so I would learn to live with his bullying.

(Which, the therapist and I actually ended up discussing ways to get me to stop touching myself instead, and he's the one who asked me to describe my sexual fantasies to him in detail. Thankfully, I declined.)

But the second and third times? Seriously?

What even gave them any indication that I was in danger, those times? Was it that I deleted my Dreamwidth? The message I left there was "Dreamwidth is no longer safe," which I wrote because at the time I thought someone I trusted here had done this to me. How does leaving an unsafe situation somehow equal self-destructive behaviour?

Oh wait. These are Mormons we're talking about. Never mind! Mystery solved, carry on folks.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Content note: Some swearing (understandably).

me ‎6‎:‎12‎ ‎PM Please tell us what they did was unreasonable. We tried to talk to [our] aunt, and she was telling us how they were just worried about us and stuff.‏

We feel like after those entries we posted somebody ought to have called the police, or something, and we can't tell if it is because we've been gaslighted.‏

Alias ‎6‎:‎12‎ ‎PM people who are 'worried' do not fucking call the police based on a blog post without contacting the person who made it in any way‏

me ‎6‎:‎13‎ ‎PM My aunt was like "they don't have your number or email address"‏

of course, it occurs to me they could have left a comment.‏

Alias ‎6‎:‎14‎ ‎PM if they are watching your fucking journal they know how to contact you‏

‎6‎:‎15‎ ‎PM and if they are watching your journal and are paying any attention and are capable of feeling empathy (doubtful) they would know that there's no way calling the police would help >.>‏

me ‎6‎:‎15‎ ‎PM Jewelfox giggles.‏

Alias ‎6‎:‎16‎ ‎PM i think calling the cops is appropriate for like, less than 1% of suicidal blog posts >.>‏

and in vastly more cases than that calling them is really, really dangerous.‏

me ‎6‎:‎16‎ ‎PM Please explain‏

Alias ‎6‎:‎18‎ ‎PM if the suicidal person is acting irratically the cops could hurt them >.> if they get hospitalized they might not be able to pay the bill, if they're experiencing psychosis they could get forcibly institutionalized‏

‎6‎:‎19‎ ‎PM if there's questionably legal or illegal stuff going on at their house they could get arrested >.>;‏

me ‎6‎:‎19‎ ‎PM Jewelfox nods and hugs.‏

‎6‎:‎20‎ ‎PM May I reblog some of this‏

I feel it's informative.‏

Alias ‎6‎:‎20‎ ‎PM also if it's the people responsible for hurting you in the first place calling the cops because they're "concerned" about you, well ....................‏

‎6‎:‎21‎ ‎PM okays >//>

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

So a couple of hours ago there was a *BANG BANG BANG BANG* on the door, and these big guys with big guns in their holsters (interpret that however you like) wanted to talk to me.

I immediately went into "scared and compliant" mode so fast that one of the officers complimented me on how polite I was.

They wanted to step inside. "If you must."

They wanted me to step outside. "If I must."

They wanted to see what calls I had made on my cellphone. "Okay."

They talked to me and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy separately and wrote down some notes. I was shaking the entire time (another thing one of them noticed). I didn't stop shaking for hours afterward.

The first thing I did when they left was crawl in bed and go catatonic, shaking so hard it was like having a seizure. Thinking, over and over again, "this is how society treats a person like me. This is how society treats a person like me. This is how society treats a person like me."

Someone had called the police, and had told them I was posting things on the internet that showed an intent to self-harm.

Just now, my aunt called and told me who'd done it.

They won't apologize for anything they've done to screw my life up. They've made zero restitution for turning me into a wreck and a shell. But they'll stalk my journal, and send literal men with guns to drag a PTSD victim out of her apartment and interrogate her in broad daylight, because that is the best thing to do when your daughter is suicidal.

Not call and apologize to her. Not say "I'm sorry I treated you like shit, hate me if you have to but go on living! You are more important to me than my ego is!" Just call and tell the police they need to go talk to this person, which in no way resembles punishment or intimidation and could in no way be construed as a threat along the lines of "if you ever talk about how much you hurt again I will lock you away forever."

I'm so angry right now that if I could harness it into a ki blast I'd blow up the fucking moon. (Sorry, [personal profile] aliaspseudonym, we'll just have to buy you a new one.)

What angers me more than that is the thought that they have been reading my journal this whole time, and using it for narcissistic supply. My mother of origin's been crying her face off sharing every damn entry with everyone, going on about how "he hates me! he doesn't even consider me his mother anymore!" Well, damn, woman, I wonder why that is!?

I hurt so badly I wish I had killed myself. I wish I were brave enough to. But I'm not.

Just like I wasn't the day that my father of origin threw me out of his house, for throwing down the knife I was going to kill myself with. Which is the last time I couldn't stop shaking like this.

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~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~


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