Suicide and the DSM

I was extremely depressed after my sister died in 2006, plus I had PTSD.  I had heard like everyone else about flashbacks, but when they were really happening while I was wide awake anywhere at anytime, it was deeply disturbing.  I became horrified of going anywhere because I could be with my sister dying just like it was happening all over at anytime.  It was dangerous when I was driving and disconcerting.  Sometimes after a flashback I didn’t know where I was or what was going on.  I wouldn’t know how to get home or how to get help.  I would just sit and stare.  Eventually I asked for help at work.  I worked at a municipal health department, so surely someone there could help.

Well, first I was obviously put on suicide watch with people walking around telling me to ask for help if I felt I felt suicidal all the time.  Every time I burst into tears at work I was talked to about depression.  I was given books, articles, affirmations, and tons of useless conventional advice.  I was doing what supposedly I was supposed to do.  I was reaching out, but no one would be friends with me or even just supportive.  Everyone was constantly making sure they were in a place of plausible deniability.

At lunch once some of the lead staff was sitting around discussing suicide in front of me like I wasn’t even there.  They said there was nothing you could do if someone was going to kill themselves anyway.  It was a waste of time to even worry about it, was their sage conclusion.  I was shocked at their cruelty.  If they didn’t want to help me, they didn’t have to.  They didn’t have to act like I was some monster they had to ostracize.  They were telling me basically that if I killed myself they would just say there was nothing they could do about it.  It was chilling looking at those cold faces, knowing that if I killed myself they would consider it getting rid of a pain in their necks.

Then co-workers started walking by and saying things under their breath, like “move on”, “time to go”, “this isn’t for you”, “you don’t fit in here”, “we’ve heard enough”.  It just went on and on.  I would turn and look at them and they would just keep walking like they didn’t say anything.

Today with all the people saying they tried to help people who have committed suicide I wondered who would come forward if I killed myself.  I imagine it would be quite a number of people who pretend they are part of my life, but they are all plants, except for my husband and my nieces.  I can imagine my mom “acting” like a mom, while in private she criticized me mercilessly my entire life and made fun of me when I cried all the way through my teen years.  I will never kill myself.  If I was going to I would have done it back then.  Looking back, I am amazed I ever got out of Alaska.

But I will say that after reaching out at my lowest moment in my life and being attacked like that, I would never ask for help.  I mean I might try to talk to someone and see if they were nice and not a total plant, but I would never tell anyone I was thinking of suicide.  And the best thing I did to save myself was pulling away from energy wasting relationships.  They would pretend to be friends, but were basically just talking about themselves non-stop.  I wouldn’t say a dozen words.  They didn’t care about me at all.  I was just an audience for their skits.

I had no idea about this targeting culture, though.  I was trying to treat actors like real people in my life.  That’s a  mistake.  They will never break character.

As soon as I told someone I felt really depressed and didn’t feel I had much reason to live, it was like they pulled out the DSM and went down the list trying to force a pop-culture diagnosis on me which the community took seriously because it was coming from people working at the health department, although they had no qualifications to be diagnosing me with mental illnesses.  They literally went alphabetically.  I would have some street theater or plant every week going on about one mental illness after another and for a week everyone would try to convince me that I had that by treating me like I had it.  They actually convinced me for a time that I had Asperger’s, but I was just shut down with grief and all the abuse I was getting from these people.  They kept acting like I was anything but grieving or had PTSD.  (Eventually a real doctor for federal level appeal on my disability found for me in almost every criteria of PTSD, all criteria A and most of criteria B.)

Here’s a partial list of mental health accusations I survived week by week while dealing with full blown flashbacks and complicated grief:

Common Disorders: Alcohol/substance abuse/dependence (I don’t drink or do recreational drugs and never have), adult deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism/Asperger’s, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, idiot savant, obsessive-compulsive disorder, opioid use disorder syndrome, panic disorder, schizophrenia, social anxiety phobia

Personality Disorders: antisocial, avoidant, borderline, dependent, narcissistic, paranoid, schizophrenic

Other: delusional, hysterical, hoarding, hypochondria, pathological, psychotic, sociopath

What I call urband legend disorders: drama queen just wanting attention, several kinds of sexual deviancy one of which was that I was obsessed with the size of my breasts, harpy, nag, critical and unable to ever be happy, snitch, liar, buzz kill (which was that I was ruining the high they get from attacking me when I started figuring it out), not a team player, friend of management, friend of rabble, beastiality, lazy, uncaring, not patriotic, too religious, not religious, too nice, too mean (they seemed to like to do a complete reversal of how they were treating me as often as possible)….

I don’t know how much more I could list, but there were a lot of these lies going on about me, usually many of them at one time.  For certain periods of time every day I was defending myself from new mistreatment for something I had never done or dealt with.  But I was never treated like I had the real problems I had.  I made the mistake of believing these people cared for me since they were nice while my sister was dying, but afterwards…everything I shared with them, they pretended wasn’t true.  They acted like I shouldn’t show any grief over losing my sister.  They said stupid stuff like getting back into the swing of work was the best thing for me, like nothing even happened.  And then every week at least if not more, they were treating me like I had some serious mental disorder and was a danger to the community.  They more or less told people not to worry about it if I killed myself.  I was too much of a mess for anyone to save anyway.  I’m completely convinced they were hoping I would kill myself.

And with V2K they were putting suicide thoughts in my mind when I had no idea anything of that kind of technology even existed.  I was drowning in “targeting” when I didn’t even know what that was.

I survived it, though.  It’s still happening, but it’s all different when you know you are in a sick game with psychopaths.  I curb my natural empathy and protect myself, especially emotionally.  They really want to say, “If you were a good person you would give me all your attention,” while at the same time not giving you any of the kind of attention you need.  Back to the whole abuse scenario.

They can use any terms they want, it still comes down to abuse.  These people have no right to abuse other people.  That’s the bottom line.

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