I am about to share a very personal story with you. This is something that I rarely talk about due to its upsetting nature. However, after what transpired yesterday, I feel compelled to blog about my experience.
Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of one of my friends. We will call him *Jimmy. In 1999, Jimmy took his own life because he was being bullied at school. No one knew that he was being stuffed into lockers daily. He was such a quiet person that he rarely shared his feelings with anyone.
As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last night, I saw a very interesting post from one of my “friends.” *Jessica had posted a picture of Jimmy on her wall along with the following:
“I love you, Jimmy and you will be in my heart always.”
I was enraged upon reading this post. Allow me to explain why. Jimmy and I became boyfriend/girlfriend at the end of our 8th grade year. We “dated” that summer (although we never actually went to each other’s house). We would talk on the phone for hours, say “I love you” and hang up. Hey, we were new to the dating scene.
Before beginning our freshman year at high school, we “broke up” via e-mail. We still remained close friends and even had a class together. I then began dating my first “real” boyfriend, *Mike.
I found out about Jimmy’s death at school that day. It was like everything was moving in slow motion. I kept thinking it was some horrible nightmare that I would eventually awaken from. But, it was very real.
My fellow students kept coming up and asking me if I was okay since they knew we had “dated.” To be honest, I just felt numb. I wanted to go home and cry and throw things around.
I spoke very briefly with the school counselor. I was raised to be a strong person, so I mumbled that I was fine because I really didn’t know how I felt (or what I was feeling, for that matter). The topic of suicide never came up at home or in any discussions with my friends. It was only discussed briefly in health class along with the lesson on depression.
Getting back to Jessica’s post, when Mike and I left school early the following day to attend Jimmy’s funeral, she was nowhere to be found. When I attended the wake and was sobbing uncontrollably after Jimmy’s cousin (who was also in the same year in school) told me how much Jimmy cared about me and that I had made him happy, Jessica was not there.
Jessica and I had been best friends in grade school, but when I began to gain more friends (and the attention of boys) in high school, things began to fizzle. She became a major drama queen and even threatened to kill herself because I ended up dating a boy that she had been obsessed with. My mom had to call her and tell her to quit with the nonsense because I came home from school in hysterics fearing that I would see the death of another person I cared about.
Jimmy’s passing has left numerous scars on my heart and mind. I still suffer from flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety attacks when someone even mentions the word “suicide.” But, Jessica, who barely even knew him, feigns as if she lost her BFF.
So, now here she is, 15 years later acting as if she and Jimmy were inseparable. They only hung out once: at my birthday party. She never talked to him at school, but yet, he “will always be in her heart.” And she is claiming to be a supporter of suicide prevention, but she would ALWAYS threaten to do herself in if she didn’t get her way. Talk about a hypocrite!
I truly cannot understand people who join in on a tragedy simply to get attention. I find that most of these people tend to be girls, so I call them Drama Divas. They are addicted to anything dramatic and love to start rallies, post, tweet and be at the forefront so that they will be noticed. Personally, I think that this behavior is shameful. Why pretend that someone’s death affects you when it does not?
Case in point, there was a girl, *Emily, that I went to school with. We were even in the same Girl Scout troop. She was killed in a car accident in 2004. I did not attend the wake nor was I present at the funeral. When people post touching memorials on Facebook on the anniversary of her death, I do not enter a tearful tribute. Why? Because Emily and I were not friends. In fact, she tormented me at every single Girl Scout meeting. I certainly did not wish Emily any ill will, however, since she had never been a part of my world, why would I pretend that her death greatly affected me and my life?
Please understand that I was upset to learn of her passing. I want everyone to be able to live a long and happy life, no matter what path they choose. But to act as if I thought about Emily every day thereafter or that her departure from this world changed my life would be a cruel lie. And to try to seek attention from her death would be absolutely despicable.
I believe that there is a fine line between showing your support for someone and attempting to steal the spotlight, so to speak. I also find it exceedingly disrespectful to the family of the deceased loved one. There is nothing worse than having to deal with a fake person while you are in the midst of a personal tragedy.
While I have not un-friended Jessica, I find that I am greatly disappointed in her. It appears that she is still up to her old tricks and tactics to get people to notice her. In the end, I simply feel sorry for her that she feels she must use the tragedies of others to make herself feel happy and wanted.
*Names have been changed