Stigma or Ingorance?

While sat in the canteen at lunchtime earlier today, I became quite agitated with the conversation that was going on behind me. A few of the over-50s (some, even, qualify for retirement) were discussing the apparent cause of what lead to the closure of the M32 motorway in Bristol, yesterday afternoon. We all heard something about the closure on the radio but, there was no reason given at the time. It wasn’t until later that evening when the real story began to break.

It turns out that there were concerns for the safety of a man on the wrong side of the railings, on top of the bridge. He was prepared and threatening to jump. Only twenty-four hours after World Suicide Prevention Day! Whatever it was, something in his life had pushed him so far, he found himself in a situation where he was prepared to end it all.

How do you think the old gits reacted to this news? What were their perceptions of the event?

I’ll tell you now, that I was disgusted; sat there, listening to their strong opinions and beliefs in what they had to say!

One bitter b*****d first suggested that they should “tranquillise” the sufferer, allowing him to fall to a probable death. Discussion then moved on to how surrounding roads were closed off. Not only did this create chaos around the city for all road users but, this clearance was so that the officials could bring in the cavalry to try and come to this man’s aid. It was a rescue mission but, the t*****s I work with agreed that he should be “locked up and charged for wasting valuable resources and time. Our taxes are paying for this!“.

Sorry but, who’s paying your wages while you spend half the day chatting, drinking coffee and deliberately wasting time on jobs, simply because you think it’s your way of ‘getting your own back’ on a company that’s paid you a minimal wage for all your “hard work” over the past fifteen years?!? …Well, that’s what I would like to have said but, I also realise that retaliating wasn’t going to help this situation.

Another suggested he was “probably on drugs or something“.

All I can say is that I’m glad I wasn’t sat on there table and, I’m glad that I was facing the other way! Everyone else in the room was laughing; it was one of those situations where you fear one person may question why you’re not laughing with them (they didn’t).

Clearly, despite all their suffering in their long hours at work, they’ve never been to that fearful place where the lights burn out as the walls that once protected you begin to close in. I find it hard to believe that even one of them hasn’t come in to contact with another person who has or does still suffer.

They also have a running joke and laugh about another colleague who sufferers with severe mood swings at times. I could suggest he’s bipolar (although, I’m far from a professional!). Another reckons it’s a side-effect of steroid abuse – he is a big bloke but, he also spends a lot of time at the gym, as any of his other Facebook friends could tell you.

Sad news again today is that another man was spotted on the same bridge, earlier today.

We’re often told to look up to and to respect our elders. But, they’re just as ‘guilty’ as too many others in this world of being inconsiderate when thoughts turn to someone who’s suffering and in need of great assistance. I feel I’ve kind of lost my way a bit with this one and I’ve forgotten most of what I wanted to say… It really did get to me though and, as I was typing, my thoughts started racing and I couldn’t type fast enough to keep up.

Just wanted to share the news with you really, in case you didn’t hear about it where you are.

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4 comments on “Stigma or Ingorance?

  1. Some people really do sicken me. It’s often people with opinions like that that lead people to these desperate situations in the first place!! These people are indeed very ignorant, but sadly that’s how a lot of people see these things… I hope one day this will change!

  2. WeeGee says:

    Stigma or ignorance? I expect it’s somewhere between the two.

    I try to think that people are never delibertaely bad and, in this case, suicidal feelings are difficult for many people to understand. Still. Wouldn’t the world be a nicer place if we were all just kind to one another… no matter what xx

  3. Hi, people can be so cruel, and nasty sometimes can’t they in these situations. Sadly in this current climate there seem to be more and more instances like this, while people make sick jokes, and say things like “we pay for that with our taxes”. Awful.

  4. Sadly, those old S.O.B.s represent a lot of people’s sentiments towards mentally ill people. They’re made into jokes or used as the scapegoat for whatever the latest societal problem might be, etc. It stems from a lack of compassion and loss of empathy for one’s fellow wo/man. They clearly never had to face such a situation themselves and just couldn’t put themselves in the suicidal man’s shoes.

    It’s terrible here in North America, more so in the U.S. in my opinion though. I routinely come across harsh sentiments on facebook/news sites towards minorities and other suffering types from right wing Americans. It always appalls me and I do my best to respond in a counteractive manner with facts so as not to inflame those commenting. Really it’s quite sickening. Canadians are a bit better but not much! Just as many comments are made from a place of ignorance and bigotry from Canadians too-we just seem to be a tad more polite about it! I think it’s terrible anyway you dress it.

    I want to say it’s a matter of education but clearly some people need more than a few facts to change their ugly opinions.

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