Open thread: Interventions? No trolls, no MRAs.

This is for a continuation of the discussion about the ethics of calling the police when a friend is suicidal that started here.

No trolls, no MRAs, etc etc.  Trigger Warnings for discussion of suicide.

175 replies on “Open thread: Interventions? No trolls, no MRAs.”

Don’t beat yourself up Leum. We can’t always know before hand whether or not a decision will work out. It’s also only been a couple days. She can still make it out of this and realize you were just doing your best to help.

As others have indicated not being able to intervene has caused similar feelings of guilt.

It’s a terrible situation and kind of lose-lose.

I hope you won’t be too hard on yourself and I hope your friend will be OK.

Oh boy, so many feels, none of which are more coherent than a brain dump.

So, I’ve been on nearly every side of this, except actually being involuntarily committed. Threatened suicide over webcam with my then fiancé, a serious attempt without telling anyone until after (one good side of that I guess — in my fucked up state afterwards I started reading comments here BECAUSE OF how fast they can go, kept my mind busy), talked friends down, lost friends to suicide, seen what that does to people, terrified of being committed. So. Many. Feels.

On one hand, I do NOT want to be inpatient. Otoh, I fucking wish I could’ve done more for the people who came to me suicidal, and the ones I lost. Particularly my ex-FWB’s brother — my ex-FWB would’ve risked his own life to save his brother, and never got the chance. And he probably could’ve helped, because he’s talked me down before.

Idk if calling the cops is ever the ideal answer, but sometimes it might be the least shitty option of a variety of shitty options. Ideally, should I ever be dangerously suicidal again, I want a friend to just sit with me, let me cry, or babble, or stare at the wall rocking, or whatever I need to do, while keeping potentional methods out of my reach. But that’s a lot to ask of someone, particularly if they have no personal experience with suicide — we’re human, we tend to freak when someone we care about is in danger, regardless whether it’s that they’re a danger to themselves, or they’re physically ill, or a car accident (even a minor one), or what have you. And in those situations, logic goes kaput.

Of course, there are times when hospitalization, pseudo voluntary or forced, will do more harm than good — my freshman year I came dangerously close to being put on medical leave and sent back to my parents’…after the mandatory 72 hour hold that is. If the ex-fiancé had told anyone what I did, I’d have gotten myself sent back to my father, who was, then, still very abusive (this was before my brother fought back and broke a few of asshole’s ribs, funny what having your abusive victim fight back does to abusers)

And on the third hand, I had to call my BF before commenting, because he did a few stints in the local kiddie psych ward, and agreed that ideally, you do what I want (which I knew already, we had this discussion previously), but if you can’t do an at home suicide watch, or get the person stable enough to not be in danger, then yeah, you call 911. As a least resort, and only as a last resort.

I think that’s all I’ve got atm, I’m sure my brain will dump more thoughts later though.

In cheerier things, the 55g has been sterilized and set back up and is cycling its biofilter. So more fishies for me soon. Also, boiling 20lbs of sand is tiring.

Leum: Seconding the please don’t beat yourself up. She might be pissed now, but give her some time to process what’s going on.

FWIW, I still think you did the right thing in a shitty situation.

I’m so sorry about your friend, Leum. You did the best you could with the tools you had available – I hope she’ll come to realise that.


You’ve given her a second chance at life and you’ve communicated to her that you care and she matters. I hope she’ll be okay with that and find the help she needs.

Leum, my advice? Apologize, tell her you were afraid for her life and didn’t know what else to do, ask her what she would have wanted, when she says she wanted you to let her die, and she probably will, tell her you care about her too much to let that happen. Make it clear as day that you care about her, and failed at an attempt to help her, ask her what she needs, listen.

Not saying you aren’t doing some/all of that, just saying what would’ve helped me if I were in her shoes. She’s going to be mad, perhaps furious, accept that, then tell her you still care about her. That’s what’s gotten me through the worst patches — having people tell me that I’m not a burden and that I can push them away if I want, I can hide in my room and not talk to them, I can be furious at them, and they’ll still care about me. That’s overwhelming when you feel like a stain on humanity. If nothing else, it, for me, breaks the endless feedback loop of how terrible I am.

At the least, talk to her enough to tell her that you’re sorry you broke her trust, you thought you were doing what was best, and that you care about her too much to just stand by while she kills herself.

I know I don’t post here, but I’ve had to deal with this situation a few times and usually in those cases in a sort of months long thing where the person would absolutely kill themselves if the cops showed up. To protect myself and be able to keep giving them help, I put up the following boundary: I will not call the police on you, if you promise me that I won’t be the last person you call. It’s not ideal, but it made it possible for me to function without the fear that I’d be the one who failed to talk them out of it in the end. Take care of yourself, and purrs and fur from my cats.

Oh dear.

Leum: all the hugs, and for what it’s worth, I think you did the right thing. I think it was like Argenti said, you did the least shitty thing from a choice of very shitty things in a very shitty situation. I also think that Argenti have you very good advice for talking with your friend. Again, for what it’s worth, I would have made the same decision as you did.

Robert: All the hugs for you, too! I hope your son gets the help he needs and gets better. Sending good will and strength vibes to your family.

I ended up writing an email to apologize, since she hasn’t been online. Haven’t heard back since then, but that’s okay, because I don’t really have the spoons to do have a conversation with her just now.

@ Leum

It’s not surprising that your friend is angry with you right now, but the thing is, a. she’s still alive and b. the fact that she’s still alive means that there’s a possibility of her being able to work through this. At which point she may or may not still be angry with you, but I really feel like “alive” is the most important factor here. Also, you already knew that her mental state wasn’t good and that she’s not quite herself right now, so keep that in mind too in terms of her being angry with you.

@ Leum I can’t say it better than Argenti did. You did the best you could in a horrible situation.

I just wanted to say thank you for that, and for your support in the open thread. Made me feel better and I really appreciate it (and needed it).

Tracy, you’re very welcome. Extra hugs and kitty furs if you want ’em.

Jane’s story (and her dog’s) are so sad. That’s the other thing with intervention: there are often enough other people – human or otherwise – depending on that person, and non-intervention can cost more than one life. Reducing it to a matter of the loss of that person’s autonomy at that time as the only thing that counts is ignoring SO many other issues, other lives. There is an element of Donne’s “no man is an island” in this.

Not caught up, and not on topic, but kitteh, 13~14C works out to mid to high 50sF — it’s summer here and that’s what I’m looking at for tonight. I have no sympathy if that’s what you call winter! Winter here? It’s a blessing if it’s over 0C, and often less than -7C~ (rough conversions are rough)

Strewth, Argenti, sounds like you’re getting Summer Fail over there!

It’s a fierce day here today. The sun’s out at the moment – must be a gap in the clouds somewhere, because the view out the front is solid steel-grey, and it’s only just stopped raining. I should nip out and empty the bin, it’ll have lots of water in it by now.

Lots of extra hugs for everyone: so many terrible things.

But that’s a lot to ask of someone, particularly if they have no personal experience with suicide — we’re human, we tend to freak when someone we care about is in danger, regardless whether it’s that they’re a danger to themselves, or they’re physically ill, or a car accident (even a minor one), or what have you. And in those situations, logic goes kaput.

Exactly, Argenti. (You call that an incoherent brain dump? Pffft!)

…and here I was worried I was going to be poking a hornet’s nest!

Kitteh — it’s about 18C here currently. Looking at 14C later. Yes, summer fail, but I hate the 100F shit, so it works. If this is your winter though, it almost, almost, makes me think the huntsmen could be worth it.

But that’s a lot to ask of someone

This. I had a whole, long thing typed out, but it got incoherent, so suffice it to say that Argenti nailed it. Leum, you have to choose the option that is the least bad for you.

Argenti is also right about the weather. This morning at 7:00, the weather network person was noting that it was already a very warm 14 C. SUMMER! (It got up to about 25 today, in between thundershowers.)

Update – we brought our son home today. He’s doing MUCH better, is on new meds, and is very glad to be home. We got In n Out burgers (take out) for dinner to celebrate, and my husband and he went to see the new Transformers movie. Tomorrow I’m making eggplant parmesan, which is one of his favorite dinners. While he was gone, husband and I cleaned his bedroom. It’s the cleanest it’s been this year. He graciously forgave us.

“He graciously forgave us.” XD

Other than your unconscionable decision to clean his room (I kid), that’s great news!

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