Sunday, August 17, 2014
In light of Robin Williams death there has been a lot of people asking what happened? Why did he make that choice? Why didn't he ask for help? How could this happen.
My answers easily.. it happened because while he asked for help no one listened. When he finally realized that no one was going to help him, he made the only choice he could. I know there was more, I mean I am not part of his family or his intimate circle. But I have lived in that darkness for most of my life.
It's not always a chemical thing, it's an emotional thing. Sure people want to diagnose it and treat it with medication. Of course that is our way. Take a pill, whatever you do, don't take responsibility or reach out and help..
It starts early.. A child is born but it's not exactly what you want, it's too sensitive, too emotional, too, brash, too loud, too silly. Too something. Instead of embracing that joy you insist it conforms to your expectations. Lower your voice, don't be so sensitive, stop crying, it's just a movie don't get scared and the list goes on. Their lives are filled with don'ts.. Constructive criticism over and over.
Eventually they learn, put on a mask and perform. Smile, laugh, be perfect. Don't rebel, don't yell. Take what is tossed at you. Even when they are loved and they know it they still need to conform. In many ways that's worse, if someone who loves you finds fault with you, your very personality. Then it must indeed be you. So the mask gets stronger. Slowly encasing your entire essence.
Over time you are lost an image in the glass. Not a reflection in the mirror just the image you see out of the side of your eye when passing by a window. Never even close to what is real. But because the mask is so strong no one ever looks beneath it. To see a person who just wants to be loved, to be accepted, to find someone who will fight for them. Someone who wants the real them not the image.
As it doesn't happen the person becomes a caricature of what they could have been. Always trying to be what they "should" be what they are "supposed" to be. Making a life for everyone else and becoming angry, bitter, lost. Then something will happen and the glass breaks... Now what?
We can't ask for help.. we aren't important enough. No one wants to hear us whine.. so we try to put the pieces back together. But it's hard. We are broken. All we lived for is lost and those who are supposed to love you, the ones you sacrificed all of you for. They are the harshest. They are the angriest. How dare you fall apart? How dare you fail? It upsets them.. Still never looking beneath the mask.
And your children? They see strength crumble, they see failure, they don't see the person who did everything to make them strong. To believe in themselves, to love themselves. To chase their dreams. Who doesn't judge them even when they make choices that she wishes they wouldn't. They don't see the darkness you live in. Nope they see their strong parent refusing to live. Hiding out in the darkness.
Resurrecting yourself gets harder and harder. Eventually you have a choice rip off the mask and try.. and try... and try again to find the person beneath the mask or just give up.
The only guarantee you will have is that you will have to do it yourself. Your friends and family? Most of them will love you from afar (if that) but they can't see what you need. They don't understand how you have been dying inside for years and years. How your very essence has been suffocating.
And one day if you can't rebuild yourself.. you chose to let it all go. There are reasons some insist on nightlights, living in the dark is hard.. now imagine living there all the time.
I've been in the darkness and I will be one of the first to say that suicide is selfish. But sometimes it's because you have spent a lifetime of being selfless and you need to do just one thing for yourself. And if it's permanent, sure your loved ones are suffering but finally you aren't.