There are moments in life that leave you at a loss… for me this is one of them. When I thought up this website, my vision was to create a forum to discuss issues that have occurred in my life. Things that made me stronger in the end, and possibly could help someone else who is going through a similar situation. At the same time, I wanted to give others a platform to discuss their own issues, and open a dialogue. Like I said… I wanted to start a revolution. Due to limitations with the web design site, for now Baztards.com is my story. People can contact me through it, or connect to my social media pages, but there’s no public forum.
The Internet is a funny thing. Growing up, if I wanted to communicate with someone, it involved making a call or writing a letter. And if I needed to look something up, there was this place called the library that I went to and did research. Nowadays, with just a single click of the mouse, the world is at your fingertips. And you can look up anyone or anything.
A few days ago, I posted a blog recounting a night where I was sexually assaulted. It took a while for me to put it together, because it brought me back to that place, and it actually scared me to post. I knew I would be exposing something major that happened in my life, and I knew that it would be the catalyst to conversations regarding rape. But I also felt it was important to talk about, and that by exposing my past, maybe someone else would be able to feel safer coming forward. The day I posted it, I actually told a friend that I was worried, because I am not a therapist, and I don’t have all the answers for people.
The other day, I received an email from James Holton, a gentleman who went through a similar experience ten years ago, but was still dealing with the aftermath. We exchanged a few emails, and I agreed to meet with him for coffee to talk about what’s going on, and to be an ear for him. When we did meet this morning, I realized that I actually knew James from a support group I went to after my attack. At the time, my name was still Jack, so he didn’t realize Jack and Sebastian were the same guy.
We spoke for a while about what was going on in our lives. He started talking about an ex-boyfriend of his, whom I had met years ago, and was very helpful to me in getting myself back on track. I thought they were so great together, only to learn that James shut his heart down and pushed his ex away. For some reason, that really bothered me, and all I wanted to do was shake him. I knew he was in a bad place mentally, but I was afraid to say something to make the situation worse, so I didn’t say anything. I left our meeting with a bad feeling.
Several hours later, I received a phone call with the news that James committed suicide. They contacted me because I was the last person he reached out to on his phone. I was devastated, and felt responsible in a way… If only I would have said something differently, or had not left, or listened better. Maybe then, James would still be alive.
Why am I telling you all this? Because once again, I want to open a dialogue. Suicide is such a controversial topic. Some religions (like mine) see suicide as so taboo, the family of the person is not allowed to mourn them. It leaves family and friends behind to ask a thousand what if questions. I myself am sitting here right now asking those questions. Could I have stopped him? Was there a word that could have changed everything? Did he have mental issues greater than I knew?
There are some that believe that someone with suicidal thoughts just wants to be heard, and there are those who believe that once someone makes up their mind to kill him or herself, they can’t be stopped. There are scientific approaches to who is more predisposed to being suicidal (coincidentally I fall into two of them: people with low serotonin and people with damage to their prefrontal cortex). I don’t know the answers. I’m not a doctor or therapist.
In my own life, there has only been one time where I ever actually wished I was dead, and that was the night I was raped. I never acted on it, but I thought about it. And I really can’t tell you why I never went through with it. Am I a stronger person than, say, James? Was my rape any less significant than his? I don’t know… again I don’t have those answers. I am just here with the questions.
Here’s what I do know: NOTHING is worth taking your own life. No relationship, or job, or deal, or friendship, or problem is more important than your life. And if you do feel that way, and you are thinking of ending your life, PLEASE reach out to someone. Call a friend, call a family member or call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.
YOUR LIFE MATTERS!!!!!
I want to close this blog, with a message I received from James. After I received the news, I went for a walk in an attempt to compose myself. I checked my email, and below are the last words James said before he took his life:
Message: Hi Sebastian,
It was really nice seeing you today. Thanks for taking time out of your day to meet up and listen to my rantings. I still can't believe that you're Jack. I wondered what happened to you. You seem to be building a life for yourself and I believe that your website and everything you want to accomplish will help so many in the future. I wish I could say I was one of them. You are so brave and so strong to bounce back and see the good in life and in people but I'm not like you. I'm still stuck on all the things I messed up. My biggest regret was letting Brian go. You are right, stuff happens in life, but you have to hold the ones you love closest to you. I was too scared to stay in our relationship after what happened to me. I knew he loved me without any question and would never let me down, but that wasn't good enough for me. I didn't want to see him that way for my own stupid reasons and used every excuse to end things. I listened to you today and you are so much like Brian. Your ex is a fool if he cant just see you for who you are and be completely in love with you. You will get the happy ending because you are a wonderful, giving soul. Don't ever lose that innocence and spark that is you. You had it years ago even when you were in the middle of your hell, and you have it more now. You are a fighter and you should fight for your love and for all your dreams. Don't end up all alone like me. I'm glad we reconnected and I hope you have a happy life. Good bye.
RIP James… My deepest condolences go out to his entire family.
For more information:
Suicide in America - FAQ’s: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicide-faq/index.shtml
Suicide Myths: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-myths.html
Suicide Prevention and How to Help Someone who is suicidal: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention-helping-someone-who-is-suicidal.htm