There are a lot of posts going around lately about how to help/not help someone who is depressed or suicidal.  Some of them are good, and some of them make me wonder what the writer was smoking.  Anyway, this isn’t one of those posts.

This one is about me.  Maybe it’ll resonate with other people, and if so, cool.  If not, whatever.  It’s only meant to be about my situation and my experience.  It might piss you off, but I’m not in a place right now where I can care about other people’s feelings.  I’m an asshole, I know.  I should probably apologize but I’m fucking sick of apologizing for having feelings.

I get suicidal fairly frequently, although much less frequently and much less seriously than in the past.  I have major depression secondary to complex PTSD and dissociative identity disorder (DID).  Basically, some shitty people did a lot of shitty things to me for a lot of years, which will mess anybody up.  But the trauma and the depression aren’t the primary causes of my suicidality these days, at least not directly.

The primary cause of my suicidality these days is that I’m trying to survive an impossible situation with no hope of getting out of it.  Hell, at this point there’s not really any hope that it will improve.

Because of the side effects of shitty people doing shitty things to me, I’m on disability.  Basically, I have zero ability to cope with stress.  When I get stressed, I dissociate, or I cut, or I starve myself, or I binge and purge.  Basically, I can’t function because I’m too busy being crazy and destroying myself.  So I get SSI and SSDI.  That’s designed to keep poor and disabled people out of poverty, but it doesn’t actually work that well for a lot of us disabled folks.  See, I’m supposed to live on $700 a month.

To put that in context, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in my state averages $925; average rent in my town is $820.  That doesn’t include utilities.  In the summer, electric is around $50 a month, and internet is $100.  When you add heating in the winter, it’s much more expensive because we have oil heat and a pellet stove.  Then there’s food costs, transportation costs, medical costs.  You can do the math: there just isn’t enough money.  It’s not like I’m spending money on outlandish things; I’m talking about basic necessities here.  There is no money.

I’ve done everything there is to do.  I’ve applied for subsidized housing in my town and several of the surrounding towns, but there are long wait lists.  I get food stamps, but it doesn’t cover enough because my illness requires an expensive diet; there are no special provisions for that.  I eat one meal a day, usually.  I get Medicare and Medicaid, but sometimes I still can’t afford to fill my prescriptions.  I get fuel assistance, but when I have to fill the oil tank, that’s a lump sum of around $600.  Buying pellets for the pellet stove is a similar lump expense.

I get every form of assistance offered to poor people, but it’s still not enough.  I still can’t survive.  I still can’t afford an apartment on my own, and I can’t find another roommate.  I still can’t reach public transit since they cut the stop near me and I’m too disabled to walk to the next stop.  I still can’t afford enough food to eat a healthy diet on a regular basis.  I still can’t afford to pay most of my bills every month.  No amount of budgeting is going to solve this, and although I shit a lot of stuff, money isn’t one of those things.

It’s enough, I think, to make almost anyone suicidal.  You do the best you can, but it’s not enough to survive.  You’re too sick, too disabled, too poor.  And the people in power, the people who could make it better, they don’t care.  They don’t even know you exist because they’ve made you invisible.

And yes, I’m getting mental health “services” too, but they’re laughably inadequate.  I have no therapist.  I have a psychiatrist, but I haven’t seen him in at least four months because I can’t get to his office.  I’m not even really sure I have a case manager anymore, since mine left and no one’s bothered to tell me who my new one is.  I’m pretty much on my own because my old case manager decided I was fine.  Yes, clearly I’m doing fucking great.

I don’t have friends or family I can borrow money from.  I can’t get a loan.  I can’t get a job.  Believe me, if there were an obvious solution, I would’ve found it by now.  No solutions exist, so fucking stop telling me what to do.  I’m not stupid.

And stop guilt-tripping me for being suicidal.  I think this situation would drive almost anyone to suicidality.  For me, it’s even harder because it triggers emotional flashbacks to all the times no one took care of me when I was a kid.  It feels like no one gives a shit whether I survive.  And no, I don’t need a lecture on how that’s not true, either.  I know people care, but honestly, that doesn’t do me a hell of a lot of good when the people who care can’t do anything to make my situation survivable.  I know that makes me an asshole, but there it is.

Don’t lecture me about how it will affect my friends and family if I kill myself.  For fuck’s sake, do you think I don’t know that already?  I’ve lost friends to suicide.  It hurts, but honestly, it hurts less than it did when I lost a friend in a car accident.  He didn’t want to die.  He liked being alive, and there was a lot more he wanted to do.  My friends who killed themselves were miserable, and they didn’t want to keep on living.  Now they don’t have to suffer anymore.  It’s a relief to know that they’re dead and not having to hurt anymore just to avoid hurting other people.

Again, to be clear, I’m not about to off myself right now, so don’t anybody freak out and call the cops on me.  But don’t fucking tell me to swear I won’t do it, either.  I won’t make that promise.  If I hit a point where I truly can’t survive, I’m not fucking going to force myself to live through hell just to keep other people from being uncomfortable.  And honestly, I’m not sorry for that.



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28 responses to “

  1. You`re not an asshole and am pleased you didn’t feel the need to apologise for saying it as it is.

    Have heard it called economic genocide….the western worlds governmental choice to further punish the poor and disabled and where those people end their lives, are killed or are institutionalised which leads to earlier death.

    Like you…have lost people to suicide and none of them were selfish; but they were left with no viable choice, other than suicide. People who didn’t know them calling them selfish….it is cruel since the dead have no voice and no way to fight back.

    Much of what you have written here resonates very deeply and so thank you for writing so honestly about the realities.


    • Thank you for understanding. That’s what I need most of all, I think.

      Economic genocide is the perfect term for it. I think I’m going to use that. That’s what it is, really. They want us to shut up and die quietly so they don’t have to face the discomfort of acknowledging illness and disability. It’s easier for them to turn us into something less than people than to see us and acknowledge us.

      It is cruel to call suicidal people selfish. I think most people want to live, but when the suffering is too great, how can we blame them for opting out? I also hate the line “It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Sometimes the problems [i]are[/i] permanent, and refusing to acknowledge that erases those of us who are incurable. “There might be a cure tomorrow.” Yeah, well, tomorrow a giant space dragon might eat the sun, too, but I like to plan my actions based on [i]likely[/i] possibilities, not astronomical chances (pun intended).

      Honestly, I believe suicide should be recognized as a human right regardless of circumstance. But saying that to most people is enough to get me locked up in a psych unit, so I keep my mouth shut.

  2. Understand completely how you feel. I am on ssdi and it totally sucks living off of it. I am trying to go through vocational rehab right now to get a job even though I don’t even think I can handle one just because I need the money.

    And I don’t think anyone who kills the elves is selfish. I got into an argument with a friends friend on facebook about this the other day. It created some lively discussion to say the least!

    • Okay, serious subject and all, but you win the Best Typo Ever Award. Kill the elves! (Apparently I’m an orc now.) 🙂

      I don’t even discuss suicide with “normal” people anymore because it always makes me want to hurl things at them. People who’ve never experienced enough desperation to feel suicidal just don’t get it. The ones who really piss me off, though, are the people who’ve “recovered” from suicidality and then go on to contribute to the same destructive dialogue. I really want to punch those people.

      I’m sorry you’re in a tough situation too. I really do believe that TPTB basically want disabled people to just die quickly and quietly so they don’t have to deal with us. It’s horrific.

      • haha oh man!!! I really shouldn’t reply to these things on my phone anymore! I try to type and It automatically tries to do the “swipe” texting when I am trying to do normal texting so it changes my words.

        Yeah, I mean I really want to kill myself a lot of the time, and I don’t really think it is normal or right… but I also understand why people do it and I don’t think it is selfish – it is something that they don’t understand themselves. I have lost people to it and sometimes I really feel jealous of them, I feel like they are in a better place and not suffering and I wish I could be where they are. As bad as that sounds. And my therapist (or anyone, but I dont generally tell people for obvious reasons) just doesn’t understand that. Of course, her job is to keep me from doing it, so I guess she cant just agree with me either.

  3. Yeah, Robin’s death has created a lot of stale, hot air about suicide. My wife has d.i.d, but I’m the one who struggles with suicide, and I’ve found most of the arguments the experts use against it to be pathetic. Let’s blame the victim, guilt him into not causing us any stress from our lack of involvement, sigh. But like you, the threat of losing my freedom simply means I keep it inside.

    • Yeah, I don’t understand why everyone’s solution to suicidality is YAY HOSPITAL. I don’t know anyone for whom hospitalization has actually improved their situations. I mean, most places do nothing but warehouse you, and they cut off your entire access to the outside world. How is that supposed to make anyone better? I think we need a complete overhaul of how our society deals with suicide, but I doubt that’s going to happen because mainstream psychiatry has us all by the throat, basically.

      I’m sorry you’re struggling with this too.

  4. You are living a nightmare. It is horrendous. I’m so sorry things are how they are. Im not going to give you a lecture, or say you shouldnt kill yourself, but I will say I hear you, Im listening, and I care. I care about you because you’ve become a good friend to me us. XX

  5. Hear, hear, sista! I understand what you are saying. I actually have been helped by the hospital, I’ve been there multiple times. However, not all of those visits have been helpful, and each experience will be different.

    I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but you might want to check out a forum called There’s a lot of really nice people there and they understand what you’re talking about. I’ve been thinking about you a lot even though I know I don’t comment much. I do read all of your posts by email, though.

    Take care and be well.

    • Thanks. I signed up over there yesterday, but it’s a little overwhelming. I tend to have that issue with forums–I feel like I’m not really supposed to be there, which is why I prefer blogging. My own little corner of the internet, you know?

      I appreciate the support.

  6. Hope, thank you for such a brutally honest post. I know it may be unrealistic but I really hope things will get better for you soon, somehow someway.
    It’s nice that hope is part of your name – without it we don’t have the energy to go on.

  7. mandy

    Hope, please don’t apologize. When we feel our situation is hopeless, it’s natural to feel the way you do. You need support in the worst way. It’s so frustrating, society’s neglect on issues in situations like yours. I wish I could do something. I can only listen and hope for something to change drastically for you.

    • Thank you. I keep hoping for more support, but I’ve stopped believing it will come. For better or for worse, I have to take care of myself.

  8. No one deserves a lecture for feeling crappy or speaking the truth. And I get why a lot people respond with encouraging words or sometimes empty suggestions. I think suicide and feeling hopeless are things that scare us all and we tend to respond in ways that depend on our own level of accepting that fear. Especially when we hear any level of rationality in those thoughts. It’s hard to read what you are saying and know that I DON’T have any real solutions to the problems you are facing. As someone else said, hope sometimes is all you have and it’s hard to cling to that sometimes.
    I think a lot of people struggle with these feelings but there is so much pressure to keep silent. We NEED to say these things more often. Even if they are hard to hear and hard to find solutions to. If nothing else, I hope you know how powerful your words are and that sharing them is hope that we can move in better directions. I know it doesn’t pay the bills, but know that I value your words and have hope for you in my thoughts.

    • It is hard when someone is struggling and you can’t fix the situation. It’s intensely uncomfortable, and our culture teaches us to do just about anything to avoid discomfort. But I’ve found a lot more value in learning to sit with the despair, my own and other people’s. But most people never realize how important that is to learn because it’s so buried under all our distractions and avoidances.

      Silence is not something I’m good at. I’ve always had a big mouth, and my childhood has made me someone who doesn’t like to have to hide or pretend to be someone I’m not. So I say what I’m experiencing…I guess sometimes that’s beneficial.

  9. Pingback: Kill the Elves! | Living, Breathing, and Surviving, and Coping with Mental Illness

  10. It seems quite perverse to click “like” on this post, but I’m hoping you understand that a “like” on a post like this one simply indicates that I feel a connection to you via your words. I empathise with your situation a lot, for it is very similar to mine, and although your general grasp and use of the English language, grammar and paragraph formation is entirely superior to mine, I just wanted to say a couple of things..

    You are NOT an asshole by any means.
    I am truly sorry for the situation you find yourself in.
    I understand a lot of what you’re saying here, especially regarding being suicidal.
    I hope somehow something changes for you, for the better.
    You deserve better.

    • I use the like button the same way, so you don’t have to be afraid of offending me by liking a non-happy post.

      I’m sorry you’re in such a difficult situation too. There are far too many of us, but nothing changes because society makes us invisible. Then we internalize the shame and keep ourselves invisible.

      • That is absolutely true. Society does make us invisible. I’ve spent a lifetime honing my invisibility skills as it is, I’m good at it. Probably the only thing I’ll admit to being good at actually.

        Will it ever end? I wonder this many times per day..

  11. Ditto Laura.

    I hear you. I often believe this Earth is both Heaven and Hell, and for me often mostly Hell – but not always.

    I pray you find something to make the difference.

  12. Hope, I have really struggled whether to leave a comment or not. To me I lack the adequate words, because maybe there or not any, or I do not have them. I do know everything you so eloquently and rebelliously wrote. Living in poverty and everything that comes with it. If nothing else know that.

    I feel like with this, it is like when someone dies. I never feel the words “I’m sorry” or anything else status quo, is enough. I don’t attend funerals, but I send flowers. The families seem very happy with them. This does not call for flowers or flowery words in any way. Just wanted to say I heard you.

    • I know what you mean. A lot of times, I don’t comment of people’s blogs because I feel like my words would be so meaningless in the face of such pain. So know I won’t get upset if you ever don’t comment. At the same time, though, I really appreciate when people do reach out and say something, even though no one can fix this for me. It means a lot to know people hear me and care.

  13. Wow, such powerful words; I’m glad you came out and said them. I appreciate what you have to say. Mental illness is such a battle in our society, and physical illness on top of it- you’ve had a really tough road. I wish I could say something brilliant, or offer words of wisdom that would make it better in any way. All I can say though is that I hear you, and I care. xoxo

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