[ drahyv ]: After the death of Princess Diana, the UK radio station XFM banned certain songs that might upset people. Their list of barred songs included “Drive.”
The House That God Has Forgotten Part 43: The ghosts around us.
So today I heard a story. I heard a lot of stories, but one I want to bring to your mind.
The story of someone from another place that committed suicide. A co worker. a colleague. Not at The House That God Has Forgotten, but at another place not so far away.
I do not know if it is true or not, but I do know that anything is possible in our kind of work.
We live in a little society, full of people with diverse problems.
That sad girl, that is not just sad, but is dying inside. Making steps to work are the longest and hardest she will ever have to do.
I remember you Erika, and my heart bled for you the day I found out you were dead.
I remember talking to her one day during lunch in the vilorum. She was crying out of her mind and making no sense.
It was one of those moments I did not care that I needed to be back from lunch on time. Sometimes humanity needs to take over. Not just because we “are our work environment!” as our warden says, but because we are people.
I found out her father drove a taxi cab, and I forget what her mother did. I do remember the hopelessness in her eyes, the utter most despair, and the feeling that all I could do was listen.
At the time I was holding my own secret, but I told her. “I am bipolar”.
She was the first person I had ever told at work.
Then she was gone. Then she came back. I would see her, but like winds passing each other through the trees we never said a word to each other.
Then came the e-mail. She was gone.
I ran to the bathroom and threw up, and cried my eyes out.
Not because her and I were friends, but because I found out she was like me (she had bipolar too, it came out) and it scared the shit out of me.
I sat in someones office and poured my heart and they listened to me. The story still brings tears to my eyes.
I just by some odd chance saw a facebook post of a friend that had an old picture in it. It was the first tagged photo. From a day we spent where everyone from the 5th floor was there. Memories, things how they were before.
And the part of the caption that haunts me: “Two are not alive today”.
I remember one, but then I forget the other. Then the thought hits me. It was Christan and Pavel. Two guys that did not make it. They are gone. They left the world and it makes me feel awful that I forgot Pavel. Neither of them killed themselves, but they are gone just the same.
You get wrapped up in your own little world at The House That God Has Forgotten. People leave for many reasons, new love, better job, new floor, and new people come and fill their place.
I rode in the elevator with someone from my old floor and the first thing I thought (Honest to God) “Who the fuck is this?” I tried to think really hard, but I have no idea. Now he just is the guy from Skåne. That is all I will ever know about him.
I look at that picture and I knew everyone there. All of the faces, all the jokes we had. Now there are new faces, with their own inside jokes. Like there is on every floor, like there is where I work in the control room.
This person that died recently was on a floor that had their own inside jokes. Photos together from after works, and days when everyone was there. Now that person will be a cautionary tale, a story like the one I heard.
“They always seemed so happy” were the words floating around in the air. “I do not understand”
People do not understand because there is nothing to understand. It happens that people kill themselves because life feels hopeless, and they do not want you to see it.
I remember the haunting post Tony left right before he killed himself (Another old colleague).
“There are few people who mean something to me. The few know who they are…I love you all…This is me signing out of Facebook xxx”
Shortly after that he hung himself.
People struggle all around us. There is that person that sits at home and drinks to get through the night. They are alone and have that bottle in their hand and can never stop. You never smell it on them, but their steps are heavy as they walk in the door as well.
The troubled marriages. The broken hearts, the people that long to not be alone. They are all at The House That God Has Forgotten we just do not know that they are out there, but they are.
We never know before we hear about it through some gossip channel, or when we find out that the person that “seemed so happy” dies.
I don’t blame it all on life, or the job we have… I have to blame it on the fact that we have stopped looking at each other as people. (I am guilty of this too, hence “Who the fuck is this” in the elevator)
We do suicide screenings on the inmates, but never on each other. We never pay second notice to the person with their head down low and their feet dragging on the floor.
We just ignore them and turn our heads away. Too scared, or too busy in our own little worlds to do anything about it.
We care more what happens to the inmates we take care of then we do each other. It makes me sad. It reminds me of when I was at my worst, most of the people around me ignored me. I heard a lot of time after;
“You were really fucked up then. Not at all yourself.”
There was only one person who did anything about it. They made the decision to make a call. That night I had thought about killing myself. I drank a half liter of vodka. I did not think about my daughter, the one thing I worried about was if they would find my cats in time so they would not see me afterword.
That is how low a person can fall down. And when you see someone falling down, you hear them say “I am ok” you do not accept it, you say “Let’s go talk. I see you are not ok. I want to listen. I want to be your friend.”
We should take better care of each other, because even in The House That God Has Forgotten, it is not just the inmates that need attention, it is us, our crazy and fucked up group of people we spend the most time awake with than any other.
Erika had a book her parents left behind for us to sign. I waited until everyone left and I saw what everyone wrote. “You will be missed” “You were a great person” I flipped a few pages to where it was blank and I wrote in shaky text. “I know how it feels” and walked away.