Lament of a Fallen Envy

Posted: 5th November 2010 by That Ghoul Ava in Random Shit

So I received word today that a “friend” committed suicide. I’m not putting friend in quotes because the meaning lacks sincerity, but simply because I never met this person face to face. I’ve talked literally thousands of people through the various social media networks – some I’ve met, some I haven’t. I’ve talked to many for hours on end via skype or vent. We’ve gone on podcasts, written articles, played games, and conversed aimlessly among twitter and facebook – one might argue that the time spent in ‘virtual’ friendships outweighs what we spend face to face. So that begs the question: is a virtual friend less meaningful than a ‘real’ friend? And if they are less meaningful….why am I so upset?

I’ll spare the exact details on the person I am referring to, simply out of respect. Some from the WoW crowd on twitter will know who I am speaking of, given this post’s title. She was one of many people I met via twitter….I’m not one who seeks out people to follow; I just rant and scream, and for some odd reason, people talk back. It’s always odd to me, seeing as the only thing I know, is that I know nothing….but I digress. I started conversing with this person a few months ago. She’s was a young woman – old enough where I didn’t feel creepy saying the shit I say around her, but young enough to have their whole life ahead of them. She was, for the most part, a bubbly, fun girl and despite my usual hatred for such types of people, she made me laugh.

I noticed her demeanor changed sometime after I was forced to join facebook (ok ok – it’s not THAT bad). She was one of the first to ‘friend” me, so I noticed her feed more than I would on twitter. It became very depressed: No one loves me, I’m all alone, the world hates me, etc. Now shame on me for being a heartless cunt, but I simply chalked it up to melodramatic teenage angst. I remember being 19 -everything’s the end of the world then. I chatted with her, we played silly facebook games by sending ridiculous Farmville gifts – nothing out of the ordinary. I tried to cheer her up, & not to sound like a callous bitch, but I didn’t go out of my way to do much more. Going back and reading her facebook wall…maybe I should have. Maybe if I had paid attention, I would have noticed how bad things had gotten for her, how maybe any sort of validation or connection to anyone, even a random loud mouth drunk on the internet, might have made her think twice. Is it guilt I’m feeling, or is it a disgusting form of egotism, thinking there was SOMETHING I might have said or done to prevent this?

On one hand, I’m struggling with why a faceless name on the internet has affected me so much. On the other hand, I’m accepting that people are no less your friend simply because you haven’t hugged or shook their hand. And for that reason, I feel guilty. Because if someone feels so alone and out of options, anyone -even a random person on the internet – might be able to help. I won’t pretend I knew the scope of her issues, nor will I try to discredit their seriousness. To a suicidal person, the issues are larger than life, no matter how trivial they appear to an outsider. Trust me – I’ve been there.

I know there was probably nothing I could do – who the hell am I? I’m not looking for validation here, nor sympathy. I think all I’m trying to do is simply say to her, and her REAL friends & family: If there was something I, or anyone, could have done – I’m sorry.

  1. Will says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I don’t put the same divisions between “real life” and “online” friends today that I used to. A friend is a friend; it’s that simple.

    I “knew” (using quotes for the same reason you did) Envyy for a few months. She found me after someone #FF’d me on Twitter one week, and like you, I was immediately charmed by her friendly, bubbly attitude.

    I eventually noticed a shift in her demeanor too; just subtle enough for me to notice, but not bad enough to really alarm me. I Friended her on Facebook shortly after she made hers, and then there was a misunderstanding between us. The 140 character limit of a Twitter DM led to my wording a phrase poorly, and she took it in a bad context.

    If this had happened just a few weeks earlier, I’m sure that I could have explained myself, she’d have laughed it off, and we’d have gone on. But she immediately blocked me, un-Friended me, and refused to listen to my explanations.

    I never stopped liking her. I’d sit and wonder if there was perhaps something I could have done differently, some way of making things right. But when the lines of communication are cut, that’s not easy to do. And when I got news yesterday of what she did, I admit that it broke my heart.

    I’m going to miss her.

  2. Kiyoshhi says:

    I’ll miss her so much/ :<

  3. Grimmtooth says:

    Holy crap, I know who that is! I had been following her for a while on Twitter, but looks like that account is gone now. I had no idea things were going that way for her. She had such energy.

    /sad dorf

  4. Kiyoshhi says:

    Thanks alot for this Ava. :]

  5. Pike says:

    Wow, I had no idea about this. I’m not sure who it is, or even if I followed her on Twitter, but it still stings knowing a part of the community is gone. :/

  6. Lady Erinia says:

    Suicide is a tough subject and you shouldn’t blame yourself. Online friendships are just as real as physical friendships and sometimes the online friendships are more true.

    To be honest…I don’t think there is anything you could have said or done to make things better for her, but if there was anything you could have done, I’m sure you would have.

    The world will be a little darker without her.

  7. Krizhek says:

    I feel for you Ava. I too would of attributed this to teen-angst or an attempt for someone to simply gather attentions thru harmful means.

    It also shows how much a person who probably though no one cared about them and no one would miss… how much they would be missed. Even someone whom they never met is mourning their death.

    I recall having suicidal tendencies at one point in my life. Viewing everything from a shower rod to a staircase as a means of ending my misery. In the end my view of suicide kept me sane… I could never be so selfish as to kill myself. So many others depend and love me and I would cause them so much pain.

  8. Antikris says:

    Though I had already heard this terrible news, I just realized that I followed her on Twitter and she followed me. I recall we had a few tweets back and forth. I feel… very odd now.

  9. Psynister says:

    I think we all thought less of it than we probably should have. It all goes back to “the boy who cried wolf” really. There are so many people on the internet that will say or “do” anything to get attention or draw sympathy that it’s hard to judge just how serious it can be when it’s real.

    If I look just at the few hundred people that I follow(ed) on twitter I can think of at least 5 right off the top of my head that are just dripping with drama on a near daily basis. I couldn’t even venture a guess as to how many times I see suicide mentioned on a daily basis from people that you know aren’t serious about it.

    But how many of those are crying wolf and how many are actually crying for help? That’s the question, and one we’ll never know the answer to. Do you reach out a hand to help every one of them, or do you pick and choose? You can make somewhat educated guesses of course, but how much risk do you take? How do you tell if someone mentioning suicide on the internet is serious vs. raging vs. joking vs. attention seeking?