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Title.

Abusive men love to use them. I'm sure that somewhere in the spiel about how badly abused he was by her, it's that she literally tried to kill him by continuing to do/refuse to do the thing that he told her he wanted her to do/stop doing or else he would kill himself.

I'm fucking sick of abusive male tactics forcing women into silence. I hate that manipulative suicide threats are working to make people believe that words and radical feminism represent actual, literal violence. It always comes down to suicides when someone really locks them down and asks what exactly they mean when trans lives are at stake. It's never about actual murders, committed overwhelmingly by men. It's always about how we can't even talk about this or they will kill themselves.

Title. Abusive men love to use them. I'm sure that somewhere in the spiel about how badly abused *he* was by *her*, it's that she literally tried to kill him by continuing to do/refuse to do the thing that he told her he wanted her to do/stop doing or else he would kill himself. I'm fucking sick of abusive male tactics forcing women into silence. I hate that manipulative suicide threats are working to make people believe that words and radical feminism represent actual, literal violence. It always comes down to suicides when someone really locks them down and asks what exactly they mean when trans lives are at stake. It's never about actual murders, committed overwhelmingly by men. It's always about how we can't even talk about this or they will kill themselves.

68 comments

I hate it also. In my experience it is a painful, humiliating, and terrifying experience to reveal you have suicidal thoughts; results vary from possible support to outright revulsion. It is so complicated. I can't fathom weaponizing that concept to silence or control someone. Honestly it seems like a uniquely evil thing to do. It requires a person to inflate their worth to such a huge degree that the threat of self-harm would be a terrible loss, and it builds an altar of guilt upon which others are meant to sacrifice themselves. "You don't want to be GUILTY of this! YOU MADE ME DO IT!"

Which is so unlike what suicide actually looks like, from my perspective. Those people I've lost to suicide over the years were not screaming about it. They did not say it was anyone's fault; they didn't say much at all. In those cases, maybe I could say, "Why DIDN'T you scream about this? Why didn't you let me know? Why did you try so hard to protect us from guilt?"

When I felt like it would be easier if I was just not alive anymore, I didn't tell my closest people because I wanted to make them suffer. I wanted to release the thought to someone with a better perspective than I had at that time, so I wouldn't have to carry it alone. And it took me months to do so, because I was so sure the burden of telling someone something so horrifying was too much to ask of anyone. It was isolating. It was scary. It damaged relationships.

These people screaming they'll kill themselves, or that others will kill themselves, and it'll be our fault, for calling them men or keeping them away from our spaces...they hold no water for me. There should be another term for weaponizing threats of suicide against others. It's abusive, it's coercive. It muddies the water for people who need help with real feelings of self-harm--probably including other trans-identified people.

I don't know why this tactic has become acceptable on a wide scale. It's awful.

Exactly this.

There is, of course, wide variation. But my therapist friend (PsyD, if that matters - she says it’s a different worldview than MDs) said the ones she worries about are the ones who seem brittle and force a smile and insist they’re fine. When clients disclose suicidal thoughts, or tell her they don’t see a point in living because they’re hurting too much, it’s an emergency - but people who say those things are still reaching out for help, and that means that at least part of the wants help, and they give her a way in. A lot of people who are very high risk of killing themselves actually don’t want help, so go to great lengths not to ask for it nor let people see their pain.

I also know people who were intensely suicidal, and one thing that pulled them back was some variation of “I knew my mother/child/best friend would blame herself forever for not being able to help me and I don’t want to do that to her,” so I’m particularly grossed out by people who almost certainly are not suicidal but want to inflict that level of guilt on people to manipulate them.

[–] SecondSkin 12 points Edited

ASIST training (suicide prevention) says that most of the time people do say something. But that it’s normally a less direct hint or clue, like saying they don’t think they can go on like this, or similar. Like a cry for help. A way of hoping that someone will realise and ask directly if they feel suicidal. (Then there’s a direct plan to go through to address it, which helps a lot to fall back on. Both for genuine cases and for those who threaten suicide, because they get bored easily if they get asked the same routine of questions if they are just trying to manipulate). It used to be assumed that if people really want to kill themselves they don’t tell people, or pretend they don’t want to. But it’s now recognised that this isn’t at all likely given the mental state of most suicidal people.