TW: Suicide and self-harm
After being diagnosed with PTSD for a couple months now, I have found what may be an even bigger stressor than the reason I was diagnosed. This one I don’t mind talking about.
I wrote a post a while ago about my last attempt to help people over Twitter, Our Ears Are Open, or OEAO to most of us working together. Let me explain a little, as I was just starting out Beautifully Bipolar when I wrote it.
OEAO was a program I intended to help people by letting them have a person to talk to when they just wanted to talk. I had several people helping me out, including several people from my college, a friend of one of the college student, a person I went to high school with, and a couple I met on Twitter. I made a Facebook page, one for the people we helped and one for the team to talk in. Twitter was where most of the action happened, There was also a website, where we had resources, weekly songs, and a few other things. I was pretty well set up.
We went for a while. Several people signed up, using an online form maker. Volunteers talked to the people, normally at a scheduled time. We told them that we were not therapists and couldn’t replace one. We had around 200 followers, which at that time was a good number for me. It was going well, as each of us had our people to talk to. Then things turned downhill.
All of my volunteers were good with their people. Our very first signup decided she wanted to be with me. I was fine with that. She seemed like a good young lady. We talked for a while, about simple things, food, hobbies, books, and so on. We even wrote a poem together, with her giving me different answers to questions, which I then wrote the poem around.
She talked to me about her school. She talked about how much she hated it and nobody listened to her. Sometimes we talked about her strictly religious parents. I promised that we wouldn’t talk religion unless she wanted to. She confided some very private information that I will not share. I thought she was just a struggling young girl.
Then, in one of our many conversations over Twitter, she started talking. She was talking about how much she wanted to hurt herself or die. Then she disappeared. I would wait 5 minutes, then 10. If she didn’t answer in that amount of time, I would ask her if she was here. I would start freaking out, as I didn’t know what she was doing to herself. Eventually I told her that I was going to have to find her help if she didn’t come back. She would immediately come back and begged me not to call for help. I didn’t.
I think most of our messages went that way. She would act upset, or angry at something and then disappeared. This became stressful to me, and every now and again I’d have to have one of the other volunteers talk to her. They would report back and tell me either she was fine with them or wouldn’t give super long answers.
I was confused. Why would she do what she did to me, but no one else? Was something wrong with me?
Then there was a whole mess with her Twitter friend from another country. The person I talked to was upset because her friend hadn’t messaged her in days. She was freaking out about how the person was suicidal and was in danger. I told her to call somebody to help, which she said she couldn’t without her parents hearing. I prompted her to go to a crisis chat sites She didn’t want to because she thought it would take longer. When I asked her if I could use the chat and tell the staff that someone was in trouble, she didn’t know where they lived. I couldn’t figure out what to do.
Eventually, I moved into my dorm room at school. We made a schedule that we would talk to each other at that time. I made the mistake of telling her that if she really needed to just talk, I’d try to talk to her.She messaged me at random times. I had to cancel my plans a lot so I could talk to her. Each conversation went the same. Positive, suicidal messages, not answering for several minutes, then an “okay” with a frowny face when I said goodnight.
During this whole stretch, I was not eating, not sleeping in case she messaged me, and calling my parents every night in tears. They kept telling me to stop OEAO. I would always say no, because I didn’t want to leave the girl. I felt like if I left her, she would kill herself.
One night, an unscheduled night, she messaged me and told me she was going to kill herself and I couldn’t stop her. I stopped for a second and told her that I couldn’t handle it any more. She needed to get help from someone who could actually help her. I never talked to her again.
That night, I called my parents and told them I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t keep talking to her, and I couldn’t stay alive any longer. They told me to sleep a little bit and see if things got better. It didn’t work.
I went to the hospital the next day.
Just now as I write this, I see how manipulating and emotionally abusing she was. I stopped what I wanted to so I could help her. I gave into her need for attention by asking her to stay with me when she disappeared. She knew I would freak out if she didn’t respond. She had me worrying about her when I should have been studying or having fun. I was not able to have fun because I was worried if she was alive. She told me about her self-harm so I would feel sorry for her. I would send her kind notes, and she would dismiss them, just so I would tell her that she was wrong.
I let her take control of me. I let a young girl take over my life. Yes, I know she was struggling as well. I was not the only one hurt by this. She didn’t have a good home or school life. I still feel like I shouldn’t have left her. I often wonder if she is still alive.
I also wonder if she knew she was hurting me. Part of me tells me she didn’t know. She was young and wanted attention. She found a way to get it through me. I was her only support at that time, and needed somewhere to let it out. Part of me though, feels like she knew what she was doing. She knew I was worried about her, and used that at her advantage to make me feel like I was her play toy. I bent over backwards for her and she knew this. She wanted to control something until some control came into her life.
I am sad for her. It feel’s like her life was in my hands,and I threw it away. While she was hurt, I was also sad for myself. I fell for her tricks. My heart get in the way of my mind. I just wanted to help her, and we were both in harm’s way. She controlled my life then, and still sometimes now.
Falling for those who need help is a big problem for me, but this was a much bigger situation.
I will not hurt myself over someone I don’t even know well. I will let her live her life, while I live mine. She will not hurt me any longer.
I am safe. I’m not sure if she is, but that isn’t my problem. I hope she is well, but she doesn’t have me caught anymore. To answer the earlier questions, I have two answers. The reason why I she chose me instead of someone else is because I was the only one who gave into her. I should have known that my high levels of wanting to help would get me in the way. The other question asked what was wrong with me. It took me a while to figure out that question, but no, there is nothing wrong with me. I trust too easily and let others take control. I need to work on those qualities. I might have some struggles, but I am not wrong. I tried my hardest until I couldn’t anymore. That is okay. I learned my lesson. What can be more right than that? Nothing, except complete perfection. Since that’s not possible, learning a lesson is as right as we will ever be.
I will be fine. Emotional abuse and manipulation have been hard to deal with. There are two things I’ve learned. One is I’m allowed to feel uncomfortable. Two is I am allowed to change it.
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”