Tag Archives: Suicide

Satan’s Suburbs

I can’t stand the suburbs. It’s where people go to die.
Let’s backtrack…

Just like residual feelings of being raised in the Catholic church, I was aware that I had plenty of bias from too much associated pain. The middle-class suburbs of the ’80’s and ’90’s hadn’t exactly been that of a culture that excepted me. Being more than a little bit of a challenge and having an outside the box personality, I had constantly been told that who I was at my core was wrong and that I needed to change. So I tried. I tried really hard. I was desperate for love.
All I ever saw of that world was close-minded conformity that was full of underlying expectations to live in a little box that got smaller and smaller. So did the thinking of the people in it. Well, if it could be called “thinking”. Sheep “thinking” where people turn into little more than a channel for what was being pumped into their brain. Work consisted of being a number in some company where someone else was getting rich for the work others were killing themselves to do. Hey, you earned $5MM for the company this month? Here’s a plaque and a $200 bonus.
It was a culture full of stay at home wives and mothers whose husbands took them for granted and were MIA most of the time. If they weren’t working 80 a week they were off with some mistress while the Mrs. was home nursing sick kids and chasing antidepressants with a bottle of pinot gris while judging others who were doing the exact same thing. Judgmental (note the irony that I call that out while writing this), narrow-minded and superficial two-faced people who couldn’t understand why they weren’t happy. Outside the box people like me were a threat. Why? Because we made them think for themselves? Or look at themselves? I kind of get it. I also kind of don’t.
Of course, that wasn’t always the case. It just was way too much of the time. The few people I did find to love me during those dark days literally saved my life. I struggled with suicide.
Saying I didn’t like the suburbs was kind of like how I would say that I didn’t like kids. It wasn’t as simple as that. Some kids really were little assholes. Some, though, were so cute it hurt. The real problem was that I didn’t like being expected to swoon at the sight of every one and that I was “supposed” to have them just like I was “supposed” to follow the other rules of that society. A society that misogynistic baby boomers hadcreated after a history that was already racist, sexist and treated those like me as witches. Sorry, no. All that world represented to me was giving up on myself. Captive to a society that didn’t even want me and for my voice to disappear again when I had only just found it.
Back to the kid thing, my mom accidentally said once that if I had them, my family wouldn’t live a traditional life. Her unintentional help with that realization put enough peace in my heart to stop thinking it would be the end of the world and that maybe I wouldn’t have to join the suburb BS if I got pregnant. What about the chemical imbalance that was a genetic monster in our family though? How could I live with myself if I brought someone into this world who I loved more than anything only to watch them grow up with the kind of pain I did? A nonstop struggle of not only being cruelly blacklisted from the world around them but also having to survive it while the demons inside were tearing them apart. I hadn’t seen any signs that my sister and brother had taken that into account when having my super rad nieces but I sure would. I was the one who went through it though and I resented it all.
I could have bet that most from the world of my past would have been shocked to find out about the community that made me feel accepted and supported for the first time. Getting away from mid-level middle-class and to the top 1% of New Money, those who had made their way through creativity and innovation, they had been the people who first seemed to understand me. More specifically, while I had found some of it in San Diego, it had been those I met working and hanging in San Francisco and later on, in the Burning Man community, who set me up to fly. They seemed bewildered by the people of my past. My ideas and the way I thought, it made sense to them. My dreams were big and plenty realistic. Even my way of thinking was indeed on the right course to make those happen. People did it all the time, so why not me? I may have never found the mentor I had so desperately preyed for growing up but I had eventually found them. It took until my thirties and a couple seizures accidentally getting me on the right meds, but I finally started to really live.
Maybe I would get over the hurt and negative associations I had. I wanted to. If I did, though, it wasn’t going to happen for a very long time. Getting older, some of the people in my life had gone back to that world and at one point had started pulling me back in. It hadn’t been too long since I had found my way out of the dark abyss that had imprisoned me for so long and it was back. I resented them for it. Not only for that but also for becoming that kind of person. I felt abandoned and betrayed. We were already understanding each other less and less, the intimacy we one had getting farther and farther away. It was only a matter of time until they started seeing me as “wrong”. I suppose until we both did.

Monster May – Four Deaths in Three Weeks

Four people died within the first three weeks that I was back in the US.

I hate May.

Before all this death it was an expensive and chaotic month but for reasons that I loved. Tons of celebrations with my pup’s birthday on the 1st, sister’s on the 4th, mom’s on the 5th, dad’s on the 11th, brother’s finance and two other buddies. Last but not least, who can forget Cinco de Drinko?

It was a constant and happy party. That was until May 5th 2015, my mom’s birthday, when my dog was hit and killed by a car. I still replay every moment of thinking it strange to have gotten a call from a 408 number when in a meeting in my SF office and then begging the woman on the other line, the one who had hit my girl, to not leave her body until I could find someone to pick her up.

I had told my family not to let Layla out without watching her because she was little, would eventually get out of the old beat up fence and get hit by a car. My sister swore she didn’t do it but I don’t know how it would have been possible otherwise. My parents were in Tahoe but our mom had long-since set the precedence of not listening to me. Her excuse later was that Layla was part of the family and I was never there so she had the right to ignore me. From what I remember they never took responsibility nor apologized. There are three sides to every story and I still hope I missed something that will allow me to let it go.

Layla was my everything and it was the worst loss of my life. Even now. Even with the four people I lost in that horrible month of 2017. It was also when I made the decision to go for the lifestyle I am currently living. Losing my fur-baby, I didn’t have any fear left in me. I didn’t care what happened to me.

The current lives lost all impacted me in different ways.
umber of years, and we hadn’t been lovers long, but we had a permanent bond that deserves it’s own blog post. It had an affect on me that messed with my head. Not emotional so much as losing a connection to my body.

The most traumatic loss was a buddy who I had known as not only a close friend for a time, but also a sweet and loving man who had been one of two who saved me when having a grand mal seizure. He also had sat by my hospital bed through that night. Months later, I noticed he acted a little off when I saw him and guessed it was from a bit of trauma from my seizure. Also possibly due to a tiff with my friend, his girlfriend. I had no idea what it really was until he went on a rampage, shooting people and killing one, while waiting for the police to get to him for a police-assisted suicide. He kept my friend on the phone blaming her at the end of it.

Next was an old Vietnam vet bud in Thailand. Just a couple weeks before we had been sitting around for hours with a couple more friends telling stories over drinks. ‘Ol dog had even managed to steal a kiss. Losing him was sad but also beautiful and happy in that he was no longer in the pain of old age. My only regret was planning to record his stories to write the next time I am there instead of doing it then.

At the same time my social media feed was flooding with pictures of his funeral, I got a call that my closest girlfriend in the Bay Area had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. To make matters worse, her best friend, a self-absorbed and uber dramatic older woman, thought it a good idea to run her mouth to others who continued passing it on to a large community of whom many (not all, some are rad) love to gossip and find what ever outlet they can to get attention. The multiple messages I was getting from these people within hours of finding out destroyed me. Losing her was the most heartbreaking of all those lost. While I don’t blame myself, I was also the one who understood and saw the signs. My family’s history with mental health made it pretty easy. I didn’t see that she was so far along but I knew those demons well and that they were after her.

Saved by those there for me once finding out but still destroyed a bit by the one who ghosted after telling her in person. Then there’s the people who would never have been expected to be there and were. Thank God for my sister being there in person at the beginning.

I understand that for others, it’s much easier to go into denial and run than face someone who is going through so much all at once. It can also be a trigger and bring out strange reactions from people fighting to be supportive. Relating a little too strongly, my sister (who has been awesome) told me about something horrible that happened to another loved one as well as telling me multiple times about how one of her worse fears has always been that I will commit suicide.

At the beginning of it all I was in shock. I couldn’t handle thinking about it and was threatened by anyone who tried to make me. It wasn’t real yet. Then I got angry. Angry at the world and more than anything, at mental illness. Somewhere stuck between enraged bitch-mode and denial, there were moments like when I almost collapsed on the floor of a grocery store. Unable to cheat the grieving process, I am now just so sad that I can barely function. I pray it will move on quickly and that I can skip the depression stage, but I can already feel it creeping in.

For now, I’ve spent a little time with another friends dealing with the same loss of the most recent and will soon be going to group grief counseling with another friend mentioned earlier. I’m also looking into volunteering in the mental health field and am desperately looking for some pups to snuggle. Two of the only things that have been able to save me in my darkest times in the past.

We’ll see what’s tomorrow. For now, one foot in front of the other.