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What do you do when someone (in a position to know) informs you (in a… - Strolling II [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Feb. 28th, 2006|04:45 pm]
[mood |distresseddistressed]

What do you do when someone (in a position to know) informs you (in a cryptic LJ post) that two of your acquaintances--possibly your friends--tried to commit suicide last night, but won't tell you who? And everyone else in a position to know is probably going to follow his lead, because he's just that kind of guy, who makes it clear that what he does is obviously deeply noble and compassionate and if you don't agree, well, you're just wrong?

Sorry for being catty. I am more angry at the situation than the person in question. The people who are going through this ordeal have a right to their privacy, and this person has a right to do what he wants. The reason I'm not contacting other people who might know is out of respect for not only his right not to tell me, but their right not to tell me, too (and their right not to get on his bad side by acting in a possibly ignoble fashion). None of this changes the problem that I am worried about people I care about and I don't even know WHO THEY ARE.

In all likelihood I will find out more on Thursday night. Please don't e-mail me asking to know more, because I don't know more, and will probably never know enough to actually discuss what happened. If you happen to know what happened and feel comfortable letting me know, please do NOT write about it via LJ, give me a call instead. I'm in the phone book (if there's more than one J. Friedman, I'm the one in Middleton on Allen Blvd.)

One thing I do know is that the people are okay (as in, not about to die or be maimed/ill because of the attempt). The (humorous) tone of his cryptic announcement made this clear. If they're not okay, then that means his tone was so wildly and violently inappropriate, I don't even want to think about it.

Thank you for allowing me to vent.

[User Picture]From: loreleiskye
2006-02-28 03:16 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: dwer
2006-02-28 03:42 pm (UTC)
you're always allowed to vent. If you want to call, you know my number.
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[User Picture]From: irielle
2006-02-28 04:20 pm (UTC)
That's all just strange. No wonder you're worried, and I'd feel angry too. Knowing that someone you care about was hurting that badly, but oh no, won't tell you who. Please take care.
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[User Picture]From: gflower
2006-02-28 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks, you guys...your sympathy helps. At the very least it tells me I'm not completely insane to be upset about this situation.

I would like to make one more note: Those friends in Nordskogen who might read my above post and worry that I am referencing something cryptic Mikey said, please don't worry, it is not in any way related to Mikey or anything in Nordskogen. It is very definitely a local (Madison, WI) thing. But thank you for thinking of me.
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[User Picture]From: leapfaith
2006-03-01 02:17 pm (UTC)
No, your frustration and upset makes total, total sense. If it wasn't for public consumption, then it should have been posted as a totally private LJ entry, and if you were supposed to know, you should have been given enough info to act, or at least know why not to act. Good luck dealing with this in offline, and my prayers are with you.

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[User Picture]From: beckmumble
2006-02-28 05:17 pm (UTC)
No you are definitely not crazy for being upset. Hopefully things will be clearer tomorrow. A 'wtf!?' reply to that post would probably not be too amiss either.

Wish I could talk more, but I'm just getting back from spending the evening waiting for a doctor to say - yes, ear infection, amoxicillin downstairs. :/

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[User Picture]From: baron_berwyn
2006-02-28 05:31 pm (UTC)
I saw the post. It worried me too. I don't know that many people in Madison, so chances I'd know the individuals is slim. But on the off chance it was someone I know .... well... I understand your concern.
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[User Picture]From: _eithne_
2006-02-28 07:14 pm (UTC)
I hope that wasn't the person's idea of being helpful. Very, very strange indeed...I would be a bit flustered as well concerning a post like that - I'm sorry, I hope you are able to figure things out.
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[User Picture]From: aaron_pike
2006-03-01 07:49 am (UTC)
The (humorous) tone of his cryptic announcement made this clear.

Actually, I'm completely serious. If my friends are going to commit suicide, I want to know that it was a carefully thought-out decision. I know that you know that I have had friends who have committed suicide in the past; I take this stuff seriously.

he's just that kind of guy, who makes it clear that what he does is obviously deeply noble and compassionate and if you don't agree, well, you're just wrong?

Interesting. Thank you; I was having a tough time trying to figure out why you have some of the attitudes that you have about me.

I'm still confused about one thing, though. You're totally justified in being worried and upset about the possibility of something tragic happening to your friends, but why is it my fault that you decided not to contact anyone privately to find out what was going on? You still have my number, ne?
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[User Picture]From: gflower
2006-03-01 08:50 am (UTC)
I do have your number, but I was feeling angry and overwhelmed and decided not to call you. True, it's not your fault that I didn't contact anyone to get the information. Quite frankly: other people's suicide attempts are none of my business. You made it my business by telling me (and others) that people I know tried to commit suicide, but you didn't feel comfortable saying who. It then became my problem because I was worried and upset.

The truly noble thing to do would have been to keep all of your information to yourself, 100%, no exceptions, unless the people concerned asked you to talk to others about what happened. But you felt it was more important to come on LiveJournal and gradually leak information until it was just enough to make others worried, then clam up.

You're totally justified in being worried and upset about the possibility of something tragic happening to your friends[...]

Thank you. That helps.
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[User Picture]From: aaron_pike
2006-03-01 10:27 am (UTC)
I'm confused again. I thought you thought it was okay to rant on one's own LJ. I agree with what I thought you thought: one's own LiveJournal is a journal, and other people can read it at their own option. I didn't tell you, you read it. And when you asked me, I answered that LJ is a bad forum for discussions about other people's personal issues, which is something on which I think we both agree.

I understand that you're upset by the situation, and that's perfectly justified. I'm just not sure how I became the source of the situation.
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[User Picture]From: gflower
2006-03-01 10:43 am (UTC)
It's fine to rant on your LiveJournal. It's fine for anyone to rant, where rant = discussing anything they want. But like any public forum, an LJ user rants on a LiveJournal with the full understanding that others can see it. That is the function of LiveJournal: to allow a place on the web where individuals can place their thoughts/links/rants/information so others can see them. People who wish others wouldn't read their LiveJournal, or don't like the results when they do, should use a different method to record their thoughts, one that isn't as public.

You DID tell me, by posting. I read your post and the ensuing comments, which is what I do daily with the posts on my friends page--that's what it's for. The friends page is a known feature of LiveJournal, something you must be aware of as a user. When you post something to your LJ, you are aware of who can read it.

My point: when you post information to your LiveJournal with the knowledge that others can read it, you accept that you're the one disseminating this information, and you should take responsibility for your action and its consequences. You're not the source of the bad situation--you only made it worse.

My opinion, hypothetical though it is: if I had attempted suicide and you posted part of the information in your LJ, without identifying me, and made everyone we know worry and wonder who it might be/if it might be a friend of theirs, I would be deeply angry at you and would consider your actions to be a betrayal of both my confidence and our friendship. I am not attempting to speak for those who are going through the ordeal of attempted suicide, just giving you my opinion.

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[User Picture]From: beckmumble
2006-03-01 11:20 am (UTC)
Talk to each other on the phone (or in person soon if possible) if you haven't already.

The 'won't post on LJ' is a cue to ask off-line.

The 'what happened' post is a cue to find a way (off-line in this case) to relieve some stress that has been created by the original post and comments. Surely you all know about open, friends only, and private features offered by LJ. Lots of us have friends in Madison; these posts and comments on both your LJs are public.

You two work out who calls first.
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[User Picture]From: gflower
2006-03-01 01:59 pm (UTC)
I think it might take a mom of three small children to direct us towards a simple way to get this off LJ and into "real space". Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: beckmumble
2006-03-03 09:21 am (UTC)
You're welcome. It not so much the kids, I've just watched toooo many train wrecks. Hope everyone is doing better today.
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