Crazy Mothers Club III

Sylvia Plath was a crazy mother, but what should we make of her son’s suicide? We know that depression runs in families, but most of us manage to hang on, even if our mothers were crazy.

Maybe when a family member commits suicide, it presents itself as an option that wouldn’t otherwise be considered. My own mother liked to threaten suicide, but her theatrics only went as far as rattling her pill bottles.

I had a phase, a few years ago, of routinely announcing that I wanted to put my head in the oven. I still think it’s a funny image. I am hoping to find a jeweler who will collaborate with me on my vision of a gold medallion depicting a little oven with legs sticking out of it. In memory of Sylvia, the feet would be wearing low-heeled pumps.

The other day, my ex noted that his uncle and a cousin had committed suicide, but he had an excuse for both of them; they didn’t really count, in his opinion. Men can be funny about depression, because it goes against their gender description.   Yet they kill themselves far more often than woman do, in a ratio of 4 to 1 in the US.   Are women more adept at suffering? My feeling is Yes.

When a famous person commits suicide, it’s always a blow. It makes me wonder why they didn’t wait another day, or call their doctor, or just stay in bed. Nicholas Hughes seems by all accounts to have been a vibrant, talented and lovely human being, who didn’t suffer from depression until his father died from cancer. It sounds like the loss broke his heart, and he simply couldn’t recover.

When Hunter Thompson killed himself, my prevailing reaction was resentment. How could someone so pugnacious just give in like that? What a quitter!

People who commit suicide are not only depressed but impulsive, apparently. Most important, they have lost all sense of humor. Sylvia Plath should have waited around, until the image above struck her as funny. I’m glad my own crazy mother set a better example by sticking around and tormenting us until she was 73.

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22 Responses to Crazy Mothers Club III

  1. What a lot of wisdom packed into a few paragraphs.

    Men are bigger cowards than women.. and sometimes suicide is a form of aggression, too ..”I’ll show the bastards! They’ll be sorry!”

    As for Hunter – imagine living with being Hunter 24/7? When the pills stopped working only a shotgun remained.

  2. OMGGMAB says:

    I am deeply saddened by Nicholas Hughes death. His mother, with whose writing I am well familiar, was a lovely woman with lifelong demons. Her marriage to Ted Hughes was simply tragic, in my view. Her son may have had a stable looking psyche to the public, but I suspect it was stormy in private. I have no words for explanation, just a heart-swell of mourning for this family. May the life they experience now be full of peace.

  3. What an interesting post. A friend of my family committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, which happened to be caught on film as part of a documentary movie project. His partner was then able to see his suicide again and again as part of the film’s trailer, played on TV a few years ago.
    What infuriates me most about the whole scenario is the failure of witnesses to interfere. Studies show that most people (I’ve forgotten the actual statistic) who are stopped, physically prevented, from bridge jumping, are still alive 5 and 10 years later. So it IS a very impulsive act, and maybe that’s part of why men are more often “successful” at suicide.
    I also think you’re right about their being a connection between suicides in families that goes beyond the genetic. It seems to put the option on the table for the survivors.

  4. hammie says:

    In Australia men use guns, ropes and cars – so they succeed more often than women who use pills or blades. It is also a much worse problem in the country where you have legitimate access to guns (for shooting vermin etc)
    If you change your mind or get found, you can hopefully undo an overdose or cut and then get the help you so obviously need.

    You’re right Janet. See something, Say Something. Don’t be concerned at pissing the person off. Tell someone and get them help.

  5. Film Upstart says:

    Despair is understandable but suicide is so selfish – it suggests that you care about nothing or no one but yourself – although the torment of depression and other related mental health illnesses must be unbearable, so in that context you can understand it.

    I prefer the idea of hope prevailing but then I’m all for the positives even at my most viliest – pre period.

  6. Sister Wolf says:

    Iheartfashion – That is really horrible about your friend. I was beside my self with rage when I first heard about that documentary….it’s still one of the most obscene film projects I’ve ever heard about. So sorry for your friend. xo

  7. ^^what a horrid story, horrible louts should be forced to remove such an image. in my family history the suicides are men w/drinking problems. Luckily in recent generations they’ve managed to find therapy and sober up and not leave their families behind. Whoever thought it was a good idea to get Irishmen drunk?

  8. K-Line says:

    Wow, this post is fascinating. The idea that suicidal people are both depressed and impulsive makes so much sense – but it’s something I’ve never considered. Fortunately, I’m anxious and lazy. 🙂

  9. Suebob says:

    I think about suicide as a coping mechanism, instead of doing drugs or drinking. I think “Ok, this sucks, but I’m going to kill myself tomorrow so all I have to endure is this one stupid day.” Then I rinse and repeat. I actually know somewhere deep in my heart that I won’t do it – at least not for a long time – but in an odd way it cheers me up to feel like I have a choice in the matter.

    I’m not joking, BTW. Suicide is a sucky and hurtful thing – one of my friends killed himself in February and I am still having a hard time with that. Also 2 uncles. But still I persist.

  10. Valerie says:

    Sister W.,
    If you do find that jeweler, sign me up. I don’t care about $– that is a brilliant idea. Oh, and I always love, LOVE to read your posts.

  11. Dorthy Parker also had some wise words about death and disappointment:

    Razors pain you;
    Rivers are damp;
    Acids stain you;
    And drugs cause cramp.
    Guns aren’t lawful;
    Nooses give;
    Gas smells awful;
    You might as well live.

  12. annemarie says:

    When severely depressed people are put on medication that succeeds in pepping them up somewhat, there is a window of six weeks or so when the likelihood of suicide actually goes up. The lethargy and inertia that comes with depression can act as a block for the exerting the act of suicide. The meds, operating on primarily a physical level, lower the inertia, but in doing so actually facilitate impulsiveness, and thereby, possibly, suicide.

  13. Deni says:

    Annemarie, I’m glad I read your post. I’m on meds, not antidepressants, that have caused me extreme fatigue, depression, insomnia, and a host of other symptoms. My doc wants me to stay on them for a while longer and suggested I take antidepressants to assuage the side effects of the other drugs (didn’t Kat Williams do a skit on this type of over medicating?). Anyway, I’m in so much pain and discomfort that sometimes I think, “Oh, I don’t really have to endure this.” But now after reading your post I dare not take any of the antidepressants for fear that they will “actually facilitate impulsiveness.” The medical community is the most un-holistic aspect of our modern day lives. It treats parts and not wholes and seems to despise anything natural. My cardiologist actually laughed when I suggested acupuncture and poo-pooed my taking natural remedies for colds.
    And paying for “naturopaths” and holistic doctors is way out of my budget! And it pisses me off that “they” don’t take health insurance and charge $350 and upwards for one visit (not including any tests).

  14. Imelda Matt says:

    Gawd…you I should tell you the horror story of my mother in-law and her pre-christmas run in with a bottle of weed killer…a cry for help, mixed up with some darker shit.

  15. Sister Wolf says:

    Dexter – True.

    OMGGMAB – Amen.

    fashion herald – Three cheers for sobriety!

    K-Line – SAME HERE.

    Suebob – I know you won’t. I understand, though. xo

    Valerie – Thanks! Maybe a like-minded jeweler will volunteer!

    annemarie – Yep, I’ve heard that.

    Deni – Hang in there. The less drugs the better, probably, at this point. xo

    Imelda Matt – TELL ME! I LOVE weed killer stories, they remind me of Isabella Blow, god rest her poor soul.

  16. JoolzGirl says:

    Definitely agree that mental illness runs in families. All I need to do is look at my own. And I knew two brothers who at different times attempted suicide. One of them succeeded.

  17. Juri says:

    An estranged friend of mine finally managed to kill himself in January. I hadn’t seen him in 15 years, and I’ve had lots of old friends who have died over the years from different reasons, so it didn’t really matter to me, but her ex was devastated, and as I’ve stayed in touch with and care for her, the incident made me mad as well.

    The guy had travelled all the way to Portugal just to hang himself in some stupid hotel. The fucker! His family had to pay for the corpse to be shipped back to Finland and make all the arrangements. All because the self-centered fuck wanted his death to be a spectacle. Originally he had planned to do that last Christmas in Japan, but he chickened out, which at least was cheaper for his family.

    I like the head-in-the-owen medallion! I think the UN should run a campaign going “If you’re going to kill yourself, do it at home, or somewhere nearby – it’ll be cheaper for your loved ones.” I’d by one to support the cause, even though I plan on living as old as my hepatitis C challenged liver allows.

    As for HST, as much as I enjoy some of his writing, especially the stuff from his last 20 years from Reagan onwards, I can’t really read him without going “yeah, and then you went and killed yourself because you were too scared to become old and weak.” He pretty much ruined himself for me.

  18. My own mother suffered depression and first threathened suicide by throwing herself into the harbour on New Years Eve 1999 and actually went as far as walking down to the harbour. She threatened it several times after that. When I found out I was livid. I lived in constant, stressful fear from that day in 1999 until she finally died of cancer. It is such a selfish act and it was only her complete love for me that stopped her…I hope.

  19. Sister Wolf says:

    Joolzgirl – So sorry to hear this. I hope it will strengthen your own resolve to stick around. xo

    Juri – Jesus. What a fucking cunt TM!

    Queen Michelle – That sounds terrifying. Welcome to the Crazy Mothers Club.

  20. Yessie says:

    – No. Sylvia Plath was not a crazy mother. The crazy mother was the dirty shameless disgusting of that Assia Wevill. Shame on her for moving into the apartment where Sylvia committed suicide and living in her belongings, better yet sleeping on her bed while making love to Ted. Shame on you both bastards! I can’t believe Assia killed herself too! and murdered her own child! (for the fact that Ted cheated on her as well! WTF?) That’s some crazy B****!

    -Anyway, Sylvia Plath has given herself another day plenty of times so I’ve read. She had a blow after her father perished for giving up and not wanting to get better. She view his situation like he didn’t care about living anymore. She saw Ted as a frightful image of her father. She fell for him deeply, the man whom she thought would fill in the barren holes her father had left in the dark while growing up alone with out the warmth of a man; had broken his promises and betrayed his love to her.

    -Yes! a lot of people can handle to live another day, but not all people can deal with depression. She had plenty of fail suicide attempts before growing up, she learned to deal with life thereafter, but after learning Ted had an affair made the whole situation much difficult. Sylvia needed a lot of help and she seeked for it but taking pills was not helpful enough to her anymore. She must of felt very alone and didn’t want to be responsible (she was afraid of responsibility, you see?). Remember, everyone’s different. Only because some can manage, don’t mean others can.

    -Assia was following Sylvia’s shadow. Now I believe Assia was extremely rather-what crazy! I mean, she went to far in murdering her own child. Now that’s called her being selfish. Ted, that man lived life till the end. I wonder what he’s going through in the other world. Perhaps in wretched, I hope.


  21. Steve says:

    Fuck You! Sylvia Plath was a loving mother. She took good care of her children and she loved them.

    A crazy mother is someone like my daughter in law who abandoned her 9 month old and 2 1/2 year old in the middle of the night without even saying good bye. She ran off with another man because she is definitely a sexual addict, and probably a nymphomaniac.

    Over the past nine years she has heaped one atrocity upon another against her little boy and girl. Both of these children have been emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, mentally, physically, and sexually abused at theeir own mother’s hands, and those of her endless string of men. These children have been locked up in their rooms from the time they arrive home from school, until the time they are awakened in the morning to go back to school. They are locked up in their bedrooms so that their mother and what ever man is available that evening can watch porno on the big screen in the living room and fuck their brains out while the children wail, and beat on the doors, begging to be let out to go to the bathroom.

    The mother dressed little jade up in a short little girlie dress at the age of four and allowed her boyfriend to place the little innocent one on his bulging crotch, seated in his pick up truck and let this little tiny child drive the steering wheel.

    This same mother has custody of the children, and the ex husband(who is also a complete immature idiot) is only allowed supervised visitation one day every month. but the mother foists her children off on him, so that she can be free to sext and suck and fuck her brains out every single weekend. The father also locks them up in their bedrooms because he doesn’t really want to be bothered by them. When Drake was a toddler, Andy refused to give him bottles of water, even in the hot summer because he did not want to be bothered with changing his diapers.

    One of the many men in the mother’s life was an asshole of the sort who believed that the only real dog fit for a man was a pit bull. And he teased the shit out of that dog and made him mean. The mother would take the kids over to his place and the dog, towering over little Drake, would menace and growl at him, and both the mother and the boyfriend laughter and laughed because this was hilarious to them.

    I could go one and on and on. I as their step grandfather tried at least a dozen times to call CPS to report these abuses, but my wife, the mother of the slut, threatened me with divorce if I dared call CPS..

    What I still cannot understand is why a grandmother would not intervene to stop this never ending abuse. I mean, one one level, I do uderstam.nd that both she and her daughter are evil. And I mean truly Evil I guess someone like me who is not a psychopath is totally unable to wrap my mind around this. My therapist advised me to not even try to understand these people. She told me that psychopaths are actually considered as a different species by psychiatrists and therapists. She told me that to dwell on it to try to figure out how they could commit such crimes will only weigh me down because it is impossible to know why these people act thje way they do. Even psychiatry does not have a good understanding of why these people act the way they do.

    This is a bad mother. This is a bad grandmother. Slyvia Plath was depressed, but she did not torture her children as these two women in my life have.

  22. Sister Wolf says:

    Steve – Call the fucking police, NOW. Just lie to your wife if you have to and say it wasn’t you. It is a sin to let this go on. Please call the authorities. I will call them myself if you can’t.

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