Suicide Survivors: Coping with Rumors and Gossip
by Kevin Caruso
Some people have nothing better to do than to gossip. Yeah, it’s a pathetic life, but, for some, they get some sick satisfaction by spreading B.S. about other people instead of helping them.
Keep in mind that people who gossip have VERY low self-esteem. Think about it; why would someone brimming with self-confidence who possesses a strong self-image spend their days gossiping and spreading rumors? Well, they wouldn’t of course. They have too many POSITIVE things to focus on, like helping other people and being productive.
And please remember that the gossipers and rumormongers are unbelievably lazy. They are not productive at all. They have a lot of free time on their hands, so they dawdle away their pathetic hours spreading bullshit about others.
But wait, there is more. People who gossip are IGNORANT. Yes, big time. As ignorant as they come!
And although such ignorance and idiocy may seem benign, it can actually be rather disquieting and consequential to suicide survivors.
I have talked with countless suicide survivors who have returned to work or school after a suicide only to be subjected to the gossip mill. And when the gossip hits, it can hurt.
“Her husband killed himself because she was going to leave him.”
“She was having an affair and so her husband killed himself.”
“No one could stand living with him. No wonder why she killed herself.”
“Her sister killed herself because she was crazy.”
“She was a drug addict, and so she killed herself to end her habit.”
I could go on and on, and many of the rumors are MUCH more vicious than these, but you get the point. This is some pretty SICK stuff that comes from some awfully SICK minds.
But when comments like these circulate, a vicious cycle can commence in which utter bullshit can take on a life of its own and grow to unimaginable proportions.
Some of the “gossip” can be viewed as people trying to “understand” the suicide. But, still, openly conjecturing about causes and doing so in a pejorative manner serves NO positive purpose whatsoever.
Countless young suicide survivors have been subjected to gossip at their schools. And gossip can lead to bullying. And bullying can lead to suicide.
So, hell no. Gossip is NOT benign. Regardless of where it occurs – at work, at school, or at any other location – it is vicious, mean-spirited, ignorant, and hurtful.
So, what can be done?
First, all schools and work places should consult with their students/employees after a suicide has occurred. It is very helpful if a psychologist can be brought in; but somehow, EVERYONE at the school or workplace needs to be informed about what happened and provided with information about suicide and the best way to support the student or coworker.
And supporting a suicide survivor starts with this: love, understanding, caring, support, concern, knowledge, and ACTION.
How difficult is it to walk up to someone after they have been through the worst experience of their life and say something like this: “I want you to know that we love you and care for you very much, and that we want to do everything that we can to support you. If you ever need to talk, we are here; and if you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to ask. We love you very much.”
But you must ACT.
SHOW your love and support.
And make yourself available.
And if you are a suicide survivor and there is malicious gossip occurring at your workplace or school, tell your teacher or your boss about it IMMEDIATELY and demand action. And if they will not act to ameliorate the situation, consider changing jobs or schools. Period.
Malicious gossip can hurt. And there is NO place for it in schools, at work, or any place else. And if you are a suicide survivor, DO NOT let it occur without responding. Stop the rumors immediately.
And for the rumormongers, listen up: Grow the hell up and get a life!
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.
I love you.