CN: suicide attempt mention
I read a blog post attack the concept of “wanting attention is bad” and it made me think about when I was a kid.
Last year was the 20 year anniversary of my first suicide attempt. I was 14, miserable, didn’t see any escape from the life I had except for death. I would lay in my bed and cry out of misery.
And no, I really didn’t have anyone at home to talk about it. Well, no one would actually help.
Two years after that event, my stepmother threw into my face that the doctor treating me during my mental hospital stay told my dad that I was “doing this for attention”.
(she also told me during that conversation that if I tried to kill myself, she’d help me take the pills. I almost took her up on it, if I didn’t have plans of my own)
Annnnyway, it took years for me to process that, and a few visits to a shrink to make me realize something about kids seeking attention.
I was a kid who thought death was preferable to living. As a KID. Even if I failed at it, how wasn’t that a cry for attention? I sure as fuck wasn’t getting it at home, hence the hard hit of depression, hence the attempt. Granted, I had been depressed for years prior, but it was two years building up of lacking the attention that would help me figure out my sense of self or security.
You’re damn right I wanted attention. And there was nothing wrong with that. Kids need attention, even when their ages start up in the double digits. Preteens still need to know that they matter, that they are loved, that their needs are important too. They’re not tiny adults you can start shoving adult responsibilities onto and ignoring their needs.
And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be noticed. This is very different from wanting to be in the center of everything. Why do we treat the former like the latter? We all desire to be noticed and acknowledged by our peers and families. Yes, even you Mr./Ms./Mx. “I don’t need society’s approval, I’m my own person”. A few days without acknowledgement of those around you, and you’d feel awful. That’s why social media is a thing. That’s why I’ve written so many words on this thing over like a year.
We’re kinda human like that.
So attention me, people! 🙂