********* TRIGGER WARNING*********
I used to think there was no such thing as a stupid question. However, I was proved wrong.
Now what I am about to say is not to hurt anyone or to make people mad at a certain person( who will absolutely not be named). I am telling this story to use as an example of what is happening with society and the lack of human value when talking about suicide.
Thursday night, I was working at Bunnys. I was working on the end where the “regulars” sit. I have worked at Bunnys on and off for 15 years. Some of the staff is actually my family, and other staff members, feel like family. It’s the same with the customers. One of the things I love about Bunny’s is it has a “Cheer’s” type of feel. “Where everybody knows your name.” Since Bugs passing that dynamic has had positive and frustrating aspects. Sometimes I feel like everyone is starring at me and knows, whispering behind my back as I walk away. Other times people genuinely ask how I’m doing, and I just don’t want to answer, not when I’m working. Sometimes I want to be asked how I’ve been doing? Bc if people ask me how I’m doing, they haven’t forgot about how tragic the loss of Aria and her physical presence is. So it varies, but, I sure as hell wasn’t expecting this……….
I was standing in the wait station, waiting for my bartender to make my drinks. The guy to my right, who I know and am also Facebook friends with said,
“Hey Britt, how you doing?”
While sticking straws in my drinks and grabbing limes for vodka sodas I said,
“Ya know, living the life here at Bunny’s”
(My typical sarcastic server banter)
He then said,
“So, you want to kill yourself too then?”
Stunned and in complete disbelief that I heard him correctly, I said
He repeated the same question and chuckled and then looked at me for a response.
I couldn’t process or wrap my head around what he just said to me. I looked at him and the only thing that could come out was,
Hopefully stern enough that he wouldn’t try to continue talking to me! I went in the back to take a few seconds to breathe and process what just happened. I told my manager and I literally had to step in front of him to stop him from kicking him out. I begged him not to.
I don’t know what he was referring to. Was he referring to Aria? Was he referring to himself? Did he think it was a funny response? I don’t know!!
But what bothered most was knowing that these are common things people say all the time without thinking about the ramifications it could have on someone who is suicidal.
Before Aria passed I was definitely guilty of it,
“Aww man, I’d kill myself if I had to do that.”
Referring to something small and insignificant like taking a calculus class.
“Shoot me now” referring to folding 3 loads of laundry.
I’m sure in my lifetime I’ve turned my fingers into a gun and stuck it to my head and shot over 500x.
We are all guilty of saying something to the extent at one time in our life. Prior to Aria, I wouldn’t think twice. Now, I am hyper aware because referencing self harm and suicide is MORE THAN WORDS. It’s an action, a fatal one.
As the suicide death toll rises, primarily in teens, I can’t help but think our talk and our lack of human value plays a role. A 13 year old cant process that type of content. Say this guy said that to a child? Which I hope he wouldn’t. Or what if you said it around a child? Would they believe that’s an option? Like I said in past blogs, these kids are in the Identity vs. Role Confusion phase. They are trying to figure out where they fit in. It could change at the drop of a dime. Depending on friend group, sports, academics, what’s “popular” and many many other factors.
There is an actual music group called “SuicideBoys” and one of their songs is called “I hung myself for a persona.” This song was on Aria’s playlist. How many things do you have to hear and see before you start to find ways to relate?
When did suggesting suicide become so normal? When did it become popular to not value human life?
I’ve said it 100 times, it is more than just mental health. It is a society problem. It’s already become an epidemic. Until we address it and find ways to prevent it, it will only get worse.
Parents, please stop and think before you say anything. They are listening, they are sponges. They pick up everything we do and say. You only have to say it once. Regardless of how much I love Aria and showed her how much I loved her, I told her “I don’t care” once and she was dead before I woke up the next morning.
Buggy was so present in my life this week. She kept leaving me little messages. I could spend another whole blog talking about it, just instead I’ll quickly tell you a story. I spoke last week about me starting to sing at church again. As I was waiting in line to get my choir robe, I was starring at the chart of what person belonged to what robe and it’s number. It’s officially my turn and the woman turns to me and says,
“Brittani, why don’t you take Robe #21”
I said “Of course, Id get robe #21”
Thanks for always showing that you are with me, Bug. I miss you so much!
What strength you had not to rip that person a new one. I’m sorry that someone said that to you and thought it was okay.
I couldn’t agree with you more on this. I also feel the same way when ppl say FML.