She’s Right and She’s Wrong

I don’t like to be serious, but there’s something I really want to talk about.

On the 1st of January, I posted about possibly being in love with my pen pal from the United Kingdom. While this post isn’t exactly about her, she’s a part of it.

My friend hasn’t been dealt the best hand in life. She has gone through a lot and still is. Back in December, she was having a really bad day. I don’t think anything in particular happened on that day. She was just fed up and feeling very frustrated with a few things. But that was the day she told me she was planning to commit suicide in the upcoming months (I know which one, specifically). As her friend, and someone who cares about people in general, I was horrified when she told me that, but moreso when she said the plans were made in October. I didn’t start speaking to her until November, which means she could’ve been dead already. That thought scares me. Fortunately, she was feeling better the next day and we were able to have a funny and friendly conversation.

Suicide didn’t come up again until last weekend. I brought it up by mentioning a post on one of my Tumblr blogs. I wasn’t intending to make her mention it, but she did and I asked her how she would carry her plans out if she were to follow through with them. Bleach and sleeping pills obtained from her doctor while her family was out. Smart girl.

One of the things I’m big on with friendship is trust. For me, that essentially means I don’t gossip about my friends and tell their business to others, even if there’s no chance they will find out. However, I was worried about her, so I mentioned her suicidal ideas to my own psychologist. I had told her before my friend was depressed and suicidal, which was a mistake because it got her called a drama queen. Today, I told how she would go about carrying her plans out if she wanted to. Now, here’s where the reason for the title of this post comes in.

Telling my friend’s plan proved how serious she was, but my clinician gave me a bad suggestion in response. She told me to tell my friend’s mother about her intentions. In any other circumstance, this would be wise, but not here for the simple reason that my friend’s mother doesn’t care about her. At least, not her mental health. She knows my friend is mentally unwell, but doesn’t help her. In fact, she harms her. I wouldn’t be able to talk to her anyway, but if I could, I wouldn’t do it. Unfortunately, my clinician didn’t understand this. While I do only have one side of the story (my friend’s), the fact of the matter is that nothing my friend could do would make her deserve being treated the way she is.

My clinician’s second suggestion was not any better. She suggested I trick my friend into giving me her address so I could tell her mother of her intentions that way. Ignoring the break in my friend’s trust that would result, I don’t trick my friends unless it’s April Fool’s Day. Of course, she said betrayal was better than death and while she may be right, there is something she just does not understand.

If my friend really wants to kill herself, she will and no one will be able to stop her. However, she doesn’t want to die. She wants to get out of her current situation. Why would I do something that could make her situation worse? She’s already hit rock bottom and is trying to climb back up. Why would I knock her back down and pull her under?

Also, as someone who’s dealt with depression and feeling suicidal, I can honestly say betrayal is not something to be taken lightly if you want to help someone. Someone who’s depressed already feels like the world is caving in on them. Broken trust is the absolute last thing needed. You can’t force someone out of depression through any means, not even professional assistance. I was forced into therapy and counseling and all that resulted was a hatred and distrust of certain authority figures. Now, yes, I’m one person, but it happens more than you might think. If it’s absolutely certain the help will be beneficial, then risk it, but otherwise, find another way unless there is imminent danger.

Simply put, this is one case where my clinician is wrong. She’s right in that my friend needs help, but wrong in her suggestions to go about it. If I can do more for my friend than talk to her and she lets me know, I will do it, but I absolutely refuse to do something that involves breaking my friend’s trust. As I said, if she genuinely wants to die, she will kill herself, regardless of who interferes or tries to and I’ll only prolong her pain. I have told her she can talk to me if she needs or wants to and if I should ever receive a “goodbye” email from her, I will be sad in knowing she won’t be here much longer, but I’ll be happy with the knowledge that she’s not in pain any longer.

And, whether or not I am in love with her, I will tell her I love her and will miss her. It wouldn’t be a lie because, platonically, I love all my friends and she is no exception.

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