It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of someone who is about to commit suicide. My GAD sometimes makes me think about it. Would life be easier if I just ended it? Of course it would be easier for me. It wouldn’t be easier for anyone else. Yet, I know one thing and that is when you are considering suicide to the point when you are going to do it then you really feel that everyone’s life will be better if you are not there.
These words are coming in the wake of TV presenter Caroline Flack ending her own life on Saturday. It’s so very sad that Caroline got to this stage and if only she knew how much she was loved. Well, it wouldn’t have made any difference, she had made the decision.
Caroline was arrested after allegedly assaulting her boyfriend. The long and the short of it is that he dropped the charges but the CPS, as they are entitled to do, decided to carry on with the case. There followed a social media frenzy and an actual media frenzy. Caroline was due to appear in court in March. The media hounded her. Dredged up her past, ridiculed her and tore her down. A decade just about on from Leveson and the gutter press haven’t changed. The won’t either. Yet we live in a country of free speech but how far should that go? Does it mean that trolls on twitter get to say what the hell they like to you?
Absolutely not. A few hours after the news broke of Caroline’s death I was getting abused on Facebook by “fans” of a football team that shall remain nameless (the really are though). I was sceptical about a couple of decisions they had made regarding playing their game. I replied to a post about that. Now, I like a laugh but I never comment on someones looks or make derogatory comments about them, I wind them up using their football club. However, in doing that I was a “fat cunt”, a “spoon burner” (means drug addict) and a variety of other things. Personally, none of this bothers me. I know they’re frustrated twats sitting on their phone necking cheap beer while their wives sext other men.
In all seriousness though, if they need to write this then it shows their own weaknesses and none of mine. It means I got to them by having a dig at their football club – not them personally, yet they reply with derogatory remarks about me – and it’s always men.
Here’s me, a relative nobody, getting these sorts of messages, and through private messages on Facebook as well. Imagine getting that on the scale of a celebrity. Imagine having people tell you that you deserve everything you get simply because you’ve got a bit of fame and you did something wrong. Imagine having the newspapers telling you that.
People have said that Caroline played the celebrity game and it played her back. Come on now, we all the play the game at some time or another. Maybe not as a celebrity but certainly in work and in life. It doesn’t mean a person is wrong for doing that.
What Caroline did was have an argument with her boyfriend that ended up in a mess and he called the police. Well, someone called the police. We now know that he dropped the charges, they weren’t allowed to see each other because of the up and coming case, and the CPS continued on the with case. Caroline feared a show trial and, I have to say yes, I think she was right to think that. While the CPS do have the right to take the case to court, this was one case where they didn’t have to because the charges had been dropped – not because Lewis was afraid of Caroline, entirely the opposite. I do think that they wanted to make an example of Caroline.
I have found, in my own struggles, that family and friends are amazing. For support for than anything, I tend to write all my problems down and get them out that way, but I’ve never asked anyone for help and been told that I was draining on them. Caroline did. You cannot over-estimate how devastating this is for someone who has taken the courage to reach out. You were that person she felt she could talk to and you turned her away. Yet, I can’t blame that person either. The wording could have been different but the fact is, when you’re down as well, someone else telling you that they are down is draining. It’s so very hard to get it right and no one should think they’ve got it right and they shouldn’t think they’ve got it wrong. There are people to blame for this and yet no one is to blame for it.
I do agree that social media companies need to have a better look at what is being slung out on their platforms. They created them, they need to be accountable for them. No one should be hounded for making a mistake for which they’ve already been forgiven.
The UK has a very potent tabloid media. It’s toxic and, as I mentioned before, hadn’t changed since Leveson.
Caroline reached a point she couldn’t get back from.
I don’t remember her from Love Island. I’ve never watched it and never will. I remember her from Dancing on Wheels. She was amazing there, brilliant dancer and the programme only lasted a series which was a shame. I loved her in it. I’ll remember her amazing dances with James.
What I really want to say with this blog is just be nice. Be Kind. You don’t need to comment on the lives of others, not really.
People aren’t snowflakes because they are having a tough time mentally, they’re strong, really, because we don’t treat mental illness like physical illness. Imagine if you went into the hospital with a broken leg and they said “we can’t fix this for three months, take these pills and call your GP if it it gets worse” you’d be kicking the bloody doors down knowing how quick a resetting of the bone was needed. Yet a brain needing levelled out can’t be met for three months.
It has to change and it must change soon.