Over the last few weeks I have been inundated with different instances of suicide. I receive phone calls from individuals who are or have experienced forms of domestic and/or sexual violence. For some it has happened in their marriages (to their children) and for some child sexual abuse has been a very difficult past to overcome, and rightfully so. It changes you.
In addition to hearing individuals confide in me about battling depression and thoughts of suicide, I am now being slapped with it in the media, in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable. It seems that we are now celebrating suicide, some even promoting it as a way to get the media’s attention in order to make a lasting statement.
When the media covered the Connecticut shooting, they kept the cameras rolling on children who witnessed this horrible event. The parents made them relive this in front of the world as if elementary school children should feel responsible to report what they remember to the entire world. It was a big deal that a murder-suicide took the place of a school day intended for learning, however I disagree that the media treated as they always do when tragedy strikes.
I refused to watch it, in fact the only reason I was aware of it, was because it was mentioned during a radio interview that I was doing in southern states like Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana. I played it off well but had no idea what the host was referring to. Thank God he did not ask for my opinion then, as it was too fresh to be specific. I did not know the shooter’s name until the writing of this article.
Some hoax comment attached itself to Morgan Freeman. Either the real author was a coward or thought that it would go viral if someone respected and famous said it. In either case the person would be correct. The comment identified the shooter as someone who wanted to go out with a name. He committed suicide but it would make him relevant in some sadistic way if he went out with a bang instead of killing himself at home without 27 victims, mostly children.
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The Good Men Project, who publishes blogs regularly on various issues, wrote a blog about Trey Malone and included his suicide note in the article. I understand that the article writer had the best of intentions in spreading Trey’s message about being raped in college however, there were some things in the article that I found alarming.
Trey Malone in his last requests wanted his voice to finally be heard. Again, making suicide a statement. He concerned me with this part of his suicide note.
Pithy a statement as it may be, “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” is certainly accurate. I’d take my own advice, but I stopped listening nine months and six days ago. – Trey Malone
Suicide is not a permanent solution to a temporary problem because I do not believe that suicide is a solution at all. And, I do not believe that being a victim or rape or any form of domestic or sexual violence is a temporary problem. Sometimes the words used to describe something sound good put together, but when you break down those words, they are in contrary to what we should support, or believe in entirely.
Trey felt ignored, and rightfully so as his suicide note explained the response from his college:
But in the end, I’m still here and so too is that night. I hold no ill will nor do I place an iota of blame upon my family. I blame a society that remains unwilling to address sexual assault and rape. One that pays some object form of lip service to the idea of sexual crimes while working its hardest to marginalize its victims. One where the first question a college president can pose to me, regarding my own assault is, “Have you handled your drinking problem?
Trey is right, no one ever deserves to be raped whether they are under the influence or any kind of substance. While I always encourage people to be balanced in their decisions, it is never the fault of the victim when a rapist or sexual predator chooses to assault them.
Thomas Francis Malone, III (Trey)
December 19, 1991 – June 17, 2012
Trey was born on St. Eustatius, Netherland Antilles. He spent his first 7 years swimming in the sea on St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. In 1999, he moved with his family to Sarasota, Florida and joined The Out-of-Door Academy community. Trey was the Valedictorian of the ODA class of 2009. An avid musician, he played the violin in the orchestra and in all of the spring musicals. As a varsity athlete, he competed as a member of the Varsity Swimming, Soccer, and Track teams. In 2009, his 4x800m relay placed 8th in the State track meet. He attended Amherst College. He was known for his wit, his intelligence, his ease, his thoughtfulness, and his kindness. For this, he will be missed by all. – via The Good Men Project
Trey was hurting, and while the media has been unable to get the truth about Adam Lanza, it is clear that he too was hurting. It would not surprise me if Adam Lanza had experienced some form of abuse. People do not kill their mother because she does not want them to do something.
It is much deeper than the media is able to report because the family has chosen to keep silent. I think their choice is a positive thing. I am owed no explanation of Adam Lanza’s motive, however I believe that the individuals who are working his case should do everything possible to prevent this from happening again.
I believe that the media has a responsibility to help their viewers who are deeply saddened and traumatized by their constant dramatization of the event. They are making us keep relive it in the worst possible way. The media should offer positive forms of education and support through interviews, and positive images of healing. The do damage with reporting and then leave you to deal with the trauma without any kind of closure for open wounds.
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In both cases, the media is celebrating suicide by offering them a voice. And tonight, I turn on Twitter to see if I have any “interactions” only to see that Global Grind which is a company owned by Russell Simmons, reported that Freddy E has committed suicide and that fans blame Honey Cocaine who was apparently his boo-thang and their failed relationship as the reason for his suicide. I should mention that he was 22 and she 19 according to lyrics in a video that she is promoting since his death.
There were a series of tweets including, “I love you mom,” and “I love you dad.” Freddy E’s last words were “I’m Sorry.” There has been no formal confirmation of his death. For example, he was the artist of Tyga who is affiliated with Lil’ Wayne, yet no public announcement by either have been spoken at the time of this article release.
However, Honey Cocaine has taken full marketing advantage of this opportunity by arguing on her twitter with fans over who is to blame for his death. If you ask me, it sounds like a 19 year old’s reaction but her boy-friend just committed suicide. I’m not sure that I would be on Twitter. The truth remains people grieve differently.
Freddy E and Honey Cocaine are not household names. The media however is allowing their names to be catapulted to stardom. If we wake up tomorrow and Freddy E is alive, and this was a prank I will not be surprised (because of the way that the media and his family and friends are handling the news). He will be known for committing suicide. He will not be eulogized in any way, only remembered for his death.
His last statement, which can be located in the last line his last video entitled, “Ignorance” says, “My words are like a chemical compound and I’m just trying to get a reaction.” People are sharing it, and asking what it was supposed to mean. By people, I mean impressionable children who may be contemplating suicide themselves, or who may entertain the idea now that someone who they deem to be important has done this.
Lastly, there is a page on Twitter @ImBetterOffDead and when I initially went to this child’s Twitter page there was a picture of a man who was hung very similar to what is pictured above. You could only see his feet and it reminded me of the old man in The Shawshank Redemption who could not handle being away from home (prison) after being incarcerated most of his life. The name of her page is “Forever Suicidal”.
I sent her a few nice tweets asking her to reconsider her page name and theme as it could promote suicide in children who are contemplating it. I received negative comments back, one of which was messaged to her friend with my twitter name in it which stated, “I could handle one bitch.”
She has clearly never met me, but I digress. A few of her friends tried to chime in, and disrespect me on my page, @AJourneyToLove. When I checked them out, some of their pages were equally a promotion of depression, suicide and darkness. I handled the negative responses and blocked them all (once I figured out how).
Freddy E’s twitter death and Honey Cocaine’s virtual bar fight over being blamed of his death remind me of all the media attention given to suicide in the first place. People are dying and it’s not just a story.
If any of the above mentioned have committed suicide to promote a cause, bring awareness to a problem, or make a name for themselves the media has granted their wishes because we did not know them before now.
However, our greatest concern should be that other young people will gravitate to the grave to quit reasoning, eliminate the need for faith and bypass the years of work that it takes to build a legacy to, in microwave mentality fashion make the world change.
They have succumb to emotional and psychological injuries and I believe that celebrating people who commit suicide by murder or by social network, will create false leadership and make change something that can be manipulated by grieving, similar to the arguments over gun control.
On Twitter I wrote Talk of the Town PR and said this:
If you are empty, feel lost and alone, contemplating your life or suicide and need someone to talk to I need you to know that suicide is not a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Life works the opposite way. You will have problems that may seem not-so temporary, but there are permanent solutions. I want to support you. There are many people who want to support you in deciding to live, and do so in a fulfilling way.
Ressurrection Graves is a child sexual abuse expert and H.E.A.L.E.R. She is available nationwide for radio, television and speaking engagements surrounding child sexual abuse, adult homelessness and relationships. 202.717.7377 or ressurrection dot wordpress at yahoo dot com.
- Lead a Good Life, Everyone: Trey Malone’s Suicide Note (disinfo.com)