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I’m not sure which is worse… saying those words to keep someone from leaving you… or letting them leave and then taking that path. And yes, I realize I sound perhaps insensitive saying this… especially as I can see both sides of both his coin and hers.
Ah… yes. This hits close to home, both in my case and my boyfriend since we are both depressed.
I’m afraid that he’ll suicide or engage in self harm if I have to end our relationship (one day, if that day ever comes) and he’s still in love with me.
And I can’t guarantee that I’ll be perfectly healthy as well if he ends up leaving me first.
I’ll feel forever guilty because my other voice and I said so.
Oh, and, this is my first time commenting as a new subscriber. Clay, thank you for drawing, expressing yourself, and sharing your feelings and experiences with others.
Thank you for the kind words. Please feel free to comment on anything here and share your experiences.
Stephen Landry says
I spent years trapped in a relationship because of that kind of blackmail. Eventually found out she was cheating on me too. This sums up my situation/feeling perfect.
Derek Blakely says
Sad thing is, I actually know someone who got guilted into it so badly that he ended up marrying her.
Owen Godfrey says
Been there, done that … managed to escape, but guilt meant that some connection still remained 🙁
My first impression of the first panel was that it’s a window ledge/balcony and OUTTA HERE means something more final than stomping out of an apartment.
Then I saw the light switch, read the rest, and was dragged back to the point of the rest of the piece.
This is awful, but ultimately can be the nth degree of what two people who are depressed can be like with one another. I hope that people in this situation can find the support they need.
I guess this is part of why those in medicine tend to not approve of depressed people getting together, friends or otherwise, out of therapy groups. I don’t agree with that policy, but only time can tell if a person is “too much” for another to handle. It’s a catch-22.
Michael Bischoff says
This reminds me of a situation I’ve been in, a situation I still call the “suicide party”. We were a close circle of friends revolving around this woman which suffers from severe depression and bonding disorders. She’s been in a suicidal mood for weeks and one evening she talked about finally doing it which resulted in a very weird situation of 5 or 6 people coming to her house trying to talk her out of it, including one friend that witnessed the suicide of her father and was in serious distress about this.
It came to the situation in which she hid in her kitchend and I blocked everyone from storming in. I was just so tired of this theatre and this ill relationship in general. I didn’t believe she was going to do it and – honestly – at this point I was willing to take the risk. I told her that I wouldn’t stop her if she wanted to climb out of the window and “flee”. And so she did.
Then we waited. The others weren’t happy, but also didn’t want to call 911. The plan of the suicidal friend was to jump from a nearby bridge over a highway but I knew it was just so unlikely. She had a pattern of half-assed attempts of trying to hang herself and this method wasn’t just likely enough to fail. The bridge is high enough to break all your bones and even at night there is enough traffic to ensure the next step.
An hour later I got a call from a another friend living nearby which left the “suicide party” earlier because she was getting panic attacks from the situation. The suicidal friend woke her up from sleep, told her about another failed attempt with the rope and was already on the way back home. That was the end of that surreal night.
I left the circle in the course of another drama incident a few months later. I sometimes still feel THE GUILT – her depression and disorders are real and we are supposed to help those in need, aren’t we? Sometimes I also miss the drama, like many people who used to be in abusive relatinships do. All those strong feelings, the deep downs and the high ups, the nights spend consoling, feeling needed, the tears, the blood. But I have my own life to get in order and that always needs to be the first priority.
Guy Smiley says
If someone wants to kill themselves, seriously wants to, enough to actually attempt, then their problems run deep. If you leave for your own sanity, you are not guilty of causing the suicide. That person had many, many other things wrong in their life, and it is rare that you can actually fix someone else’s psychological problems, if it is even ever possible.
Although, perhaps I am just speaking out of distaste for this sort of cry for help. My attempts have all been preceded by a long period of trying to make sure nobody would suspect it was coming, and thus have a chance to stop me. I like the idea of suicide as a right, deriving from the ultimate right to control one’s own life, and it being used as a bludgeon to influence people bothers me. That said, I am sure there are tales of people doing this sort of thing in a deep, dark moment of weakness, but then managing to crawl back up to a far healthier place on the path to recovery.
Just read all in one sitting. Thank you.
I’m so confused by this one. Is it saying that people threaten suicide for the sole purpose of emotional blackmail? Because when I’m suicidal that’s never why.
It’s telling a story about two people. Any meaning attached to it is what the reader sees in it, and so are any generalizations about the greater population. Furthermore, it says near the top in the About page “not all comics are meant to apply to everyone; everyone’s experience is different.”
Well, I suppose a better question is, is the person who says they’re going to kill themselves actually trying to blackmail the other person, or does the other person just think they are?
I basically just don’t understand what it’s saying or what precisely is happening (that is, I understand that one person says they’re leaving, the other person says they’re going to kill themselves and then the first person feels blackmailed, but I don’t know if the blackmail is intentional or the second person was lying or what).
That’s all there is to it. You understand the strip. I think you’re hung up on whether the other person is intentionally emotionally blackmailing or not — it’s not important, the strip isn’t about that, it’s about how the woman feels. And she feels a load of guilt is being placed on her so that she can’t leave. Whether or not it’s intentional doesn’t matter. If you read the comments here or in Tumblr regarding this strip, you’ll find that a lot of people feel very similarly to this woman, so it’s not an uncommon experience.
For the record, I don’t think anyone thinks they are intentionally doing something bad when they do it; they are doing what they think they need to do at the time. To the person in the other room they believe they are doing their best to survive; the woman sees this as manipulation.
Been depressed/suicidal for *years*. About this time last year, I was completely ready to commit suicide — had a full plan and everything. Randomly, I made a great connection with a close friend who was going through all the same stuff. He talked me out of my plan. He never knew that it was because I knew that my suicide would tip his over the edge, and I could see the good he could do. (Funny how we never see that in ourselves.) He walked out of my life tonight. It’s 5 am, and I’ve spent the past 5 hours since he left trying to find a reason to keep moving forward now that he’s gone. I know that it is never fair to lay this on someone else — there’s a reason I let him walk out the door instead of saying something about this — but sometimes, that person really is the only light in your life that keeps you moving forward each day.
I really don’t know what to say. I hope and pray that you find a reason.
I can completely relate to this one, as I became acutely suicidal following my 2nd divorce 2 years ago… those feelings still surface from time to time, when I am have ng a particularly bad day… Ultimately, it is my responsibility as a parent that keeps me from “pulling the pin”. And on any event, I am aware deep down that my suicidal feelings are the cumulative result of many factors, not just a single traumatic event (divorce). I do agree that it is very selfish and wrong to threaten suicide ( or harm of any kind) in order to keep someone else from leaving. That aside, I stop short of passing judgment on those who end their own lives, as I believe that those who do die by suicide do so not because they want to die, but because the sheer act of living has become too painful to bear…
Sometimes the bear says
Spot on again.
I was in a long-term relationship with someone whose chosen(?) method of suicide/acting out was refusing to see a doctor for narcolepsy or take medications even after 7 asleep-at-the-wheel car accidents. I felt like I couldn’t leave because there was always a chance of convincing him to save himself, thought that my behavior was causing his depression but leaving would be worse, and was too depressed to believe anyone else would have me. Picking him up at the emergency room or answering police calls at three a.m. usually turned into a mutual “I can’t live without you” festival.
He believes to this day that my going into therapy caused our breakup, but it was genuinely better for both of us (he did finally get treatment).
honestly if one reaches this point just leave them to die at least it’ll not only let you free but also will stop the unreal suffering altogether