“I’m going to kill myself.” I hate this saying. I hate it a lot. You’d think with greater awareness placed on the epidemic of suicide, people would be more aware of what they are saying – even in jest. Some people just haven’t thought it through.
I didn’t use to think twice about this saying. In fact, I said it quite often myself.
Then June 15, 1997 happened.
A knock on the back door brought the news that my brother Aaron had shot himself
in the head with a gun. Add to this the two uncles who also committed suicide and several others I know that have come pretty darn close. Let’s just say my experiences have led me to loathe this saying.
The first time I heard someone say “I’m going to kill myself” after my brother’s death, it left me numb. The person who said it also used his hands to reenact someone placing a gun to his head and pulling the trigger. It shook me quite a bit. Now, every time I hear someone say “I’m going to kill myself”, I cringe. I don’t get mad at people for saying it, heck, I used to say it a lot when I was younger too. It’s one of those things we say because everyone else says it. It probably has no affect on your and you have never even considered it as being offensive.
But I’m asking you to stop saying it now.
You probably haven’t considered it, but if you do use this saying around someone who has had a loved one commit suicide, guess what thoughts your words are triggering? For me, I think of my brother, how I felt when I heard the news, I envision him and how he acted out his last moments, and I remember shutting myself in my room and yelling at my now dead brother for what he did to his family.
Not exactly the thoughts you’d want your words to induce, am I right?
Aren’t words powerful? It’s amazing the influence they can have on people. It’s incredible the emotions they can trigger.
I’m sure there are certain words or phrases that you have heard that are offensive on a personal level, but might be widely accepted. Take some time to review the words you speak and be more sensitive to the experiences of others. On the flip side, let’s be understanding that perhaps people who say offensive things don’t even realize they are doing so. If more of us speak up and share our experience, I believe it creates a beautiful harmony.
So, next time you do something silly or fail at a task, find a different way to express your frustration – because people are listening.
Let us know in the comments below if there are certain words and phrases you would like to see done away with.