Suicide. The word is chilling. I recoil from it. We all do. In my world, it’s especially terrible, because I do not believe anything comes after death. So if a person chooses to die, he’s choosing to go into oblivion rather than hang out and see if it won’t get better.
It’s final. You can’t take it back or say, “Gee, that was a mistake” or get a second chance. It’s done and over.
For that reason, as a society we go to great lengths to try to prevent it. We will make almost every effort in the world to get suicidal individuals the help they need so that they don’t feel that jumping off a bridge is the only solution to their problems.
And we read and hear that we should take every suicide threat seriously. This is not an exaggeration. It’s not incorrect information. It’s true. We should. Even people who threaten suicide repeatedly or make half-hearted attempts often finally succeed.
So, it’s serious stuff. It’s not something to be blown off or discounted.
Everyone knows that.
Everyone knows it, including people who wish to manipulate other people.
And anyone interacting with or near such a person has no way of knowing if they are just being manipulative or are serious. Maybe they don’t even know themselves.
Regardless, it’s unnerving at best and irritating as hell.
I, along with some of my friends, have been accused of “driving” people to the “brink of suicide” so many times in the last few weeks I’ve lost count and have quit bothering to make screen shots of any of it. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about what it means to be accused like this over and over again.
One accusation is clearly and demonstrably false. It involves Beth Murschell and the whole DJ Forrester “she abandoned me” debacle. Regardless of what claims are made or how many times those totally false claims are made, there is first, no evidence whatever that DJ committed suicide, and second, no evidence to suggest that Beth was somehow responsible. Even if you bought into the whole “Beth abandoned DJ” nonsense, that happened in August, 2013, and DJ didn’t die until well into 2014, months later. During that period, Beth had no contact with DJ.
So, when I read stuff like this:
I have to wonder what is going on.
And I’ve noticed something while watching this unfold. The only person who seems to have been contacted by these supposed “survivors” who are on “the brink of suicide” or who have attempted suicide is Linda Fossen. Nobody else has said anything, that I recall, about actually knowing about any of this. They’ve all contacted Linda.
One wonders why she doesn’t just call Benny Hinn, but I suppose he’s busy.
Why are alleged survivors from Bob Jones University contacting Linda Fossen to tell her they are in such despair that they are going to try/have tried to kill themselves because bad people have said mean things about totally different people? Why would they do that?
Well, right here. It’s right up there, next to the bottom of the list. In plain English. I never claimed there were five of them. Fossen did that.
But this is an excellent example of what these women do. You make a statement calling them out on something. They don’t like it. They then accuse you of lying and not only insist you lied about the original stuff, but they fasten something totally fabricated in there, like five supposed suicidal people. And she won’t retract it. Watch and see.
There’s one other little story that I want to address. It’s from The Fossen FantasyLand Blog.
It goes something like this: Beth was mean. Cathy decided to kill herself, so she wrote a note revealing the names of all her alleged abusers and also naming Beth and me, along with several other people, as the reason she was suicidal. She got in her car with the note and a gun and was driving to her adoptive father’s house, planning to shoot herself on his lawn. On the way, Camille Lewis telephoned her and told her that some unknown person had started the web site informally known as 2nd Edition. Cathy then called her therapist instead of killing herself. And God is good.
Let’s get this straight now. Cathy Harris decided to kill herself because somebody said some stuff about her on the internet. Cathy Harris. This is a woman who has posted her life story on various blogs all over the damn internet, in graphic detail, and basically accused nearly every adult in her life of having abused her dreadfully. When anyone dares question her veracity about anything, even stuff not related to her alleged pitiful childhood, she goes ballistic and calls that person every name in the book. That Cathy Harris.
She’s written a note. In the note, among other people, she names me, Sally Davis, as one of the people who has driven her to do this. What an evil person that Sally Davis is! She has done this terrible thing.
And while she’s on her way to do the dastardly deed, she gets a call from Camille Lewis, who is there to save the day. This sounds a little like one of those novels where the guy rides in at the last moment to stop the duel, but no matter. Camille saves the day by telling Cathy that somebody, some unknown person, has started a new Facebook page in support of her. Seriously. That’s what she tells her.
And Cathy is so overwhelmed by this outpouring of whatever that she calls her therapist instead of offing herself.
Whew. Just in the nick of time.
This is the start date for the now defunct Facebook page called informally “2nd Edition.” May 23, 2014. Note that. May 23, 2014.
Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that Camille didn’t know it started on May 23, but found out on May 24. Surely she called her dear friend Cathy Harris the second she found out about it. Surely she knew that her dear friend was terribly upset about all the mean things that people were saying about her on the internet. Surely.
Surely, she would call her before Cathy Harris could stew herself into a tizzy and blow her brains out because Sally Davis, who is named in the suicide note, said all the awful things she said? I mean, Cathy would have to have gotten upset about what I said, along with all the other stuff from other people, and just flipped out. This takes more than four minutes. I would assume this might take a day. Maybe longer.
Oh, yes, this. Cathy needs to “address something else” and explain that she is notthe administrator of the 2nd Edition page. Nope, she isn’t. She didn’t start the page. No. The way Cathy knew there was a page was that somebody tagged her in a post, a few days after the page went up.
Wait. I thought she found out about the page when Camille called her and told her and stopped her from killing herself. And before I hear the argument that of course, she lied about how she found out about the page because wouldn’t you do that rather than admit you were trying to kill yourself, all she had to say is “Camille told me about it.” But no, she was tagged in a post. I mean, if you’re gonna lie, why not embellish it nicely? And we would be shocked to know who it was. I guess. We’ve never known, of course.
This is the evil, awful thing I said in private to Dan Keller. This got my name in the “suicide note.” This. Which I wrote on May 24 at nearly midnight. Only wait. That is Central Time. Dan’s screen shot of the same conversation reads May 25. Dan had to forward that entire conversation to Cathy, and it was lengthy. Cathy had to read it all, get upset, stew a while, decide to kill herself, write a suicide note, get her gun (what is a suicidal woman doing with a gun?) and get in her car.
My guess, looking at that whole conversation, is that doing all that would have taken several hours. Did Dan forward it all to her in the middle of the night? Did he pick out the juicy parts and just send those? Why did Dan forward such inflammatory rhetoric to a supposedly dying, suicidal woman? Was he trying to goad her into killing herself? Remember, I made the comments in private. He gave them to her.
But more importantly, how did Cathy put my name in a suicide note saying I was one of the causes of her wanting to die when I didn’t say what I said until two days after 2nd Edition went live?
Is Cathy Harris a mind reader? Did Camille Lewis withhold the information that 2nd Edition had started for two days? Don’t try to tell me that nobody told Camille that it existed for two days, because that’s just ludicrous.
Years ago, a friend of mine (“Mike”) was talking to another friend of mine (“Bill”). Mike was totally peeved with me for some reason. It’s been so long ago that I don’t remember what it was about, and I bet Mike doesn’t either. In course of Mike’s anger, he called me a pretty unflattering name. Bill then came straight to me and told me about it.
Decades later, I cannot remember what the argument was about, but I remember the unflattering name. I’m not obsessed with it, but it’s there, in the back of my mind, whenever I have an interaction with Mike.
In contrast, when we left the Fundy Church From Hell, we began getting anonymous letters. They were quite obviously from church people, and were basically hate messages. (Leaving that church was seen as a huge sin and just wasn’t acceptable.) Anonymous letters are terrible. Like fake identities, they often leave the target bewildered and suspicious of everyone around them.
Suddenly, they ceased. It was a relief. We went on with our lives and the sting subsided. When Dave was confident that I no longer cared, he told me what had happened. There were more of those letters, but I never saw them. He got rid of them. He didn’t even read a couple of them. He just burned them.
He did it because he loves me and didn’t want me to feel badly.
I point you back up to the comment I made in private about Cathy Harris. The one that her dear, dear friend, and champion, and supporter, Dan Keller, like my friend Bill, forwarded straight to her.
As far I have been able to see, nobody has mentioned suicide at all (until now) except Cathy’s dear, dear friends and champions and supporters. And they have hammered away at it almost nonstop. Is it possible that repetitively suggesting the possibility of suicide can become prophetic?
Ultimately, if someone chooses to kill themselves, it’s nobody’s choice but their own. When we interact with other people, we are going to run into folks who disagree with us, sometimes vehemently, and folks who don’t believe us. That is just the nature of life. We’ve all been dealing with it since we were children. Using some supposed status as a “victim” or as a “survivor” does not give one license to pull out the “I’m going kill myself” threat every time you don’t get your own way or somebody doesn’t see things from your point of view. I refuse to take responsibility for somebody else’s mental health or their ability to adjust to life in society. If you’re too fragile emotionally to be on the internet, you probably should get away from it.
The bottom line
Suicide threats are serious. And I don’t take them lightly. Nor should anyone else.
Suicide is the legal term for killing oneself. Homicide is the legal term for killing somebody else. Both involve violence. And
very often sometimes suicidal people are homicidal people before they commit suicide. So, there’s really a very good reason from a purely selfish viewpoint to make sure a suicidal person gets some help, pronto.
And by pronto, I mean really quick. Like now.
Little teensy update
Well, Linda Fossen is just terribly upset with me because of my sentence about the incidence of murder-suicides. And that’s just awful. I don’t like getting her upset. After all, she’s such a reasonable person generally. But that comment of hers made me go look this shit up.
I found figures slightly at odds with hers, like triple the rate. The article’s rates come from 2010, Linda’s from 2011. Who knows why there is so much difference.
But this is case where I will concede. My use of the words “very often” was wrong. However, know this. If you start threatening to kill yourself around me, where you can get at me, if you’re carrying on about bringing a gun to my house and blowing your brains out on my lawn, believe me, I’m leaving. I’ll get you some help, yeah. I’ll do what I can. And then I’m gone. Linda can do whatever she likes, as can anyone else.
But this illustrates what these folks are so good at. Do they address the issue of why my name is in the alleged suicide note two days before I ever wrote anything? Nope. Not a word. Just some bitching about two words that are wrong.
This is why I’ve made a new commitment. The next time somebody tries to tell me that Cathy Harris, or anyone else, is suicidal because I’m mean and nasty, I’m going to find the phone number for the nearest police station to that person’s house and call them. I’m going to tell them I want to forward them a screen shot of the suicide threat this person seems to have made, along with as much contact information as I can find for the person who posted the information about the supposed threat, and ask them to do a well check.
I would suggest that all of you commit to the same thing. If you’re such good friends with these folks, surely that’s the least you can do.