Dear Pranksters,

We’re having a hearts! and love carnival on Band Back Together tomorrow, showcasing broken hearts, heart issues, and, my personal favorite, love. I’ll have a post going up tomorrow over there – I’ll link you.

If you’d like to read, write, contribute, or do a Snoopy dance, go ahead on over. We’re totally getting the Band Back Together.

xoxo,

AB

P.S. Last day to vote for Bloggies. Somehow, I’m up for a couple. So is Band Back Together.

Dear Aunt Becky,

our son is nearly 6-1/2. he was dx’d with autism back when he turned 2. he has a large, flat head, is close to non-verbal, is sensory and cognitively affected, has apraxia, and lots of gut issues… we finally did the mri, looking for craniosynotosis and/or chiari. we got back a 3/8″ encephalocele on the base of his skull. we sent mri disc to ch-boston, they said it was insignificant. we want a second opinion.

who do we go to?

Well, FUCK, Prankster. I’m so sorry. Every time I hear about someone new with an enecphalocele, like my girl, Amelia, my heart drops.

I know we’ve spoken privately, but I’m throwing it out here on my blog so that any of my Pranksters can chime in.

So, Pranksters, do you know anyone in his area that can help his son with his encephalocele?

Dear Aunt Becky,

I feel like a jerk, but there’s this girl that does everything I do online. She signs up for the same sites I sign up for. She becomes active in my communities. She’s nice, but it’s irritating. I feel like a jerk for being irritated. However, she even sometimes takes credit for my work, and even recently landed a pretty big opportunity, mainly just copying everything I do. Again, she’s always sweet. I know I should be flattered and all, but is there anything I can do besides vent? Am I a total jerk?

–Copied from North Dakota 

Sighs.

Prankster, I wish I had any good advice for you. I’d like to offer you some bullshit platitude, but it’s never helped me to hear, “imitation is the highest form of flattery.” In fact, I’d like to counter it by saying that anyone who as offered that as a consolation has never truly been copied when it matters.

Because sometimes it DOES matter.

I don’t give a shit if people take terms I use as their own. I don’t care if people riff off my blog posts. It’s only when it’s something I’ve poured my heart and soul into that I get upset.

And that’s about all I do. Sure, I could run around, doing some sort of weird smear campaign, but in the end, it would only make me look like an asshole. And while I can be a huge asshole, I’d prefer it to be for something else, like kicking kittens or mooning a full moon.

So I’m going to offer you my apologies. And my empathy. Because it really, really does suck.

Any advice for her, Pranksters?

Hi Aunt Becky!

I’ve been a follower for a while now and I have to preface this with the “omgwtfbbq,yer so awesomez!” I know that you are the ringleader here and at Band Back Together, so I have no doubt you’ll be able to answer my question. I have a cousin-in-law who recently tried to commit suicide.

This evening I stumbled upon my uncle-in-law’s wife talking to the cousin and being very awkward because he was talking about actually finishing himself off. I jumped in and tried to help and while I have extracted a promise from him to try the therapist in the morning and call me and let me know what happens,

I am not too sure that is enough.

I, of course, directed him to the suicide prevention hotline and its crazy website, but what else can I do? I told him if he felt that bad he could call 911 and they would bring him into the hospital and said that he should be able to commit himself.

I wonder if you know what the general laws are regarding being committed versus committing yourself.

I don’t have his address so I’m not too sure I can call the police and have them do anything. I’ve let other members of his family know what happened so they can help too and texted back and forth with him so he knows that I really am willing to talk. So, to recap, what’s the deal with commitment? Is there anything else I can do and if he does do something and tells me, is it possible to call the cops and have them intervene?

Thanks Aunt Becky!

Oh Prankster, you have a heart of gold – you know that, right? Because you do.

Anyway – you’ve done all the right things.

I’m sending you these links, not to pimp my (almost) non-profit, but because there’s more information that may be more valuable than the piddly words I can offer you here.

Suicide Resource Page

Common Motivations behind Suicide

Suicide Survivor

How To Cope With A Suicide

(see, I don’t watch cat videos all day long!)

First things first:

If you are feeling desperate, alone or helpless, or know someone who is, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Listen, really listen to them rather than offer solutions and help. People who are suicidal do not want help, they want a safe place to talk about their feelings. Really shutting your mouth and listening is very hard, but it is important.

Let them know they can trust you.

Let them know that you do care about them very much.

When someone is feeling suicidal, they must talk about their feelings immediately. Sometimes, just letting those feelings out can help.

If someone is actively talking about suicide, offering plans up about suicide, call 911.  STAY with the suicidal person while you wait for help to arrive. This is an emergency. Period.

THIS is what I know about involuntary commitment:

Involuntary Commitment is the act of admitting someone who is a danger to him or herself (or others) to a psychiatric hospital for 3-5 days. Laws for involuntary commitment vary from country to country to state to state.

If, after 3-5 days, the person is still determined to be a threat to him or herself, a court order may be obtained to detain the person.

Let me know if this helps, Prankster. I love you and your big gorgeous heart.

——————–

Pranksters, please fill in where I left off in the comments. And, as always (now that I’m off my ridiculously large ass and back to posting), send me your most important questions. I will answer them as uselessly as possible.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

13 Responses to Go Ask Aunt Becky

  • Grace says:

    Wow. Just wow. My heart hurts for you Pranksters. I don’t have any advice to offer, just love. Lots and lots of love.

  • I must say that the most difficult thing I have ever had to do was to have someone committed-she was crying out for help, and had two attempts under her belt. What I did began a very stressful, but necessary time in her life.

    My feeling is that, when someone tells you something like they are planning on taking their life, the words, “please don’t tell anyone” should be ignored. It is one of the few times it is imperative you betray their trust.

    Good luck!

  • TheBeerLady
    Twitter: TheBeerLady
    says:

    Suicide…oh, there are so many things that I want to say. Aunt Becky has provided some wonderful resources, and absolutely wonderful advice. Especially the calling 9-1-1. So many times, people hesitate to do it because they’re thinking “But what if he’s not serious? What if I’m overreacting?” You know, maybe he’s not serious, and maybe you are overreacting, but you know what? It. Doesn’t. Matter. If it’s just ‘begging for attention’ (something we’ve all heard said), then that’s OK. If someone’s life has hit the point where they need attention so badly that they’ll make idle threats, the operative part of the statement is the ‘need attention’ part, not the ‘idle threat’ part. And if they’re serious, well, that one doesn’t need explaining.

    But the other thing about someone talking about suicide? There’s something else that’s very important to remember, and I’m gonna say it very, very slowly.

    You. Can’t. Fix. It.

    You can offer all the help in the world. You can turn your life upside down, and move heaven and earth. And while there’s no such thing as offering too much help, in the end, you can’t change his (or her) mind. If someone doesn’t want to be helped, refuses help, and has made up their mind that suicide is the only option, you ARE NOT responsible for their actions.

    Over the years, I’ve seen so many of the family & friends left behind that have just totally beat themselves up after a suicide. All they can think is “I could have done more.” Know what? No, they couldn’t. Unless you completely and totally ignored the infamous ‘cry for help,’ and put the gun or the pills or the noose in their hand, then you also can’t take the responsibility for their actions. And you notice I said responsibility, not blame. No one is to blame, and the only person responsible is the person that made the decision.

  • Laura Warden says:

    I’m probably going to be unpopular here after this comment, but I don’t care… I think the worst thing you can ever do is have someone committed against their will. If you really care about the person, then be there for him/her. Let him talk, listen, and let him know that he is not alone. But do NOT try to make him go somewhere that he doesn’t want to go. People have done that to me and it just pissed me off. Killing yourself is really not easy. Most people won’t be able to follow through because we have this sort of built-in mechanism that makes it very difficult to kill ourselves. However, if a person is truly hurting so badly that the only way to end it is to end his life, I also respect that decision. I would try everything in my power to talk him out of it, but in the end, a person’s life and death is up to nobody but himself and God. That is a choice that should be respected. I truly wish that nobody ever had to come to that point, but if they do, it is not my place to say they are wrong.

    • Kathleen says:

      Laura,

      I think the thing that struck me most about this post was your stating that being committed just pissed you off. I was committed a very long time ago, and yes, it pissed me off, too. But, you know, we’re both here to talk about it now. So something about that experience, anger-making as it was, helped. When a person is suicidal, they are not thinking clearly, and often not really listening to their God. I can understand the person with terminal and physically painful cancer choosing to take their own life, rather than wait another week or month to die, anyway. But committing someone to a psychiatric facility will often give them the help they need when they are sure there is no other way to deal with the emotional pain. I’m glad that someone loved me enough to piss me off and commit me. It means, all these decades later, I’m here to talk about it.

      • Laura Warden says:

        Kathleen, I really am glad that it helped you. Maybe I’m wrong. I just know in my situation, the last thing I wanted or needed was to be locked up. I will fight for my freedom, and I hate that people can take that away from other people.

  • Linda Sand says:

    Voluntary commitment means they can check themselves out again. Only involuntary commitment MAKES them stay. But, I would find it very hard to commit someone else.

    My best friend committed suicide and I actually understood why but was powerless to give him the hope he needed to change his mind. I have accepted that but I think of him often and still miss him years later. I am living proof you can survive a friend’s suicide.

  • Courtney says:

    Thanks for the help everyone! I figured I would give you an update on the suicidal cousin-in-law. He did not go through with the act and he is seeking treatment. I know he’s not the most personable of people, but everyone deserves a chance. If he’s that unhappy then there is nothing I can do no matter how hard I try, so I just do my best to be there for him. Laura, I stand on that side of the fence with you too. Suicide is a very private thing and can only be decided upon by the person involved. It’s hard not to say ‘give it another try’ though.

    I am not sure how well his treatment is going, and this worries me more than his threats. He was admitted to the hospital and dosed up pretty well the very next night (right after I asked the question), but seeing as it is a hospital they told him he had to go. He did not try to have himself committed and gave every indication to me and others that we would have to do it for him. I’m many states away and his mother can barely handle him being the center of attention, so it did not happen. Everyone else just ignored it as an option altogether. I’m very glad it did not go that far, but now I know what to do if this should happen again. Instead of commitment he got to stay in the hospital overnight. Apparently the drugs that they were giving him helped him to quell the beast within, but now he is really gung-ho after them. He’s on anxiety meds, depression meds, sleeping pills, etc. and has a breakdown every time one does not work right. I’ve told him that drugs take time to come into their full power and it often takes months to get the dosages just right. Until then there is not much he can do but grin and bear it. I’ve also kept my mouth shut and tried to just be there and listen, but that is so far the hardest part. It’s frustrating because the things he says are more suited to an (please forgive the stereotype) emo teenager than a man in his 30′s. Things like he prefers to avoid people, and he’ll live by what he wants to do and not what others want him to be, he’ll stay away from people because they’re all sheep, not live by society’s rules and so on and so forth. I’m not sure if this is just his personality or an attempt at garnering attention now that the hoopla has waned. I may agree on some level, but I understand that we have to fit in to some extent so that we can go about our daily lives. Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on. I am totally bookmarking those links and passing on any info that might help him.

    Thank you so much for taking time out of your day, Aunt Becky, to help me out. I really, really, really appreciate it. It is nice to know that people care even if they’ve never even heard of you before. If only I could show him that it’s true. And thank YOU pranksters for treating me like a human being when so many others would be cruel. You are an amazing bunch. <3 <3 <3

    • Tara says:

      Your comment about him acting like an emo teenager struck me. I went through a similar situation with a friend, and noticed the same thing. In his case it was the depression making him behave that way. I’ve been told (but not by a medical professional) that self-centredness and irrationality are common effects of depression. For me that was one of the hardest parts of helping my friend: No matter what I said, he just kept repeating ridiculous statements and refused to listen to logic.

      I think you’re doing an amazing job helping your cousin. Just being there for him and listening to him is incredible, and is not something easy to do. I hope that you are not forgetting to take care of yourself in the process – it can be easy to get overwhelmed by someone else’s intense emotions. I hope you have people who will support you during this difficult time!

      Sending hugs and what support I can over the internet!

    • Laura Warden says:

      I think I would get along very well with your cousin.

  • Amy Sauls says:

    I know what it’s like. I’ve never actually attempted suicide but there is such a fine line between having control and not. I’ve been to that point. There is nothing he should be ashamed of if he goes and I certainly hope he will. I have been twice to the “Nut House” as I call it because I can laugh at the amount of my craziness. I went more or less to get my medication straightened out. They can even change it daily at the hospital or mental health facility where even an immediate dr.’s appointment and a diagnosis or prescription is nothing more promising than to say just hang in there a few more months. This will help you or make you feel even worse. It takes years sometimes. He could probably go to the local ER and they would admit him in the nearest facility. Once I stayed 4 days, the last time 8. I was fully cooperative and chose to go both times and I would go again if need be. I wish your family the very best.

  • Mayor Gia says:

    Ooof, that is a tough question about suicide, and a great answer from Aunt Becky.

  • Amy Sauls says:

    I can’t speak for anyone but myself and from my experience, which was only minutes but it is those minutes that people take their own life. When all reasoning is gone, no amount of love or words could change it. I can say that facing those minutes is not a joke, it’s not even a decision at that point. That was far scarier than any situation I’ve faced at the hospital. I’d go as far as to say being there was a relief If someone is seriously suicidal, they are not thinking clearly and if it pisses you off about being committed, and you still aren’t thankful for it by now, then you, in my opinion, were never to the point of needing or accepting the help… one or the other.

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