If you read this website regularly, you know that in 2018, I had ovarian cancer at the same time my mother had colorectal cancer. You also know that prior to that, my grandmother Stanka was dropped by Hamilton paramedics and they caused her amputated leg to burst open, broke her teeth, broke her arm in two places that never healed, and gave her a brain bleed.
I am very tempted to post photographs of what were the consequences of that act of negligence because tending to all of that was my daily mundane reality for almost two years.
That was stressful and the stress was the portal to cancer. The oncologist gutted me, and the wound was bleedy and I remember being soaked in my own blood in the hospital bed.
And then I had to look after my mother after her gutting and chemo as my wound caused me severe pain, but I refused morphine or any painkillers because getting addicted to them would just cause me more trauma, and to top it all off, as if the gods didn’t kick me around enough, I was a victim of a hit and run car accident.
It is fair to say that I was repeatedly traumatized on a daily basis for about five years.
Notice that I did not commit suicide.
This declaration is not to brag or judge, but I did not take my own life, even though I went through a cascading catastrophe with no guarantee of an end date or that even worse things wouldn’t come no matter what I did. Pavolv’s dogs broke under that kind of training. I did not.
And I would like to officially add that people from Western cultures did not offer me much in the way of sympathy. I had more than one person smirk and laugh at this story, as if suffering was funny, and I have had people with psychopathic dispositions try to minimalize what I went through, saying that the mere mentioning of this burden was selfish, and their lies and narcissistic made-up stories took precedence over my trauma.
My favourite was one minimalizer who suggested that since everyone knows someone who had cancer, it is not a big deal to have it.
To those ugly, worthless trolls, go fuck yourselves. You have zero value as a human being — and your selfish stories suck.
I am not going to shut up about my traumas. I am not some servant you can talk down to or control. Don’t insult your betters.
So, not only did I have a long bout of bad things happen to me all at once, it is not as if I had any real outside support. I had my mom. The end. People would rather talk about their pathetic drunken weekend than wonder if I am still alive unless they wanted to have something to gossip about or feel superior to someone who was going through a rough time.
None of that caused me despair, however. What that did was force me to take an inventory of human beings around me, and many of them have been cut out of my life as a result, including relatives. Many of these people were shocked, and still do not know why I kicked them to the curb. This is how heartless they are and I have no room in my life for heartless.
I am working a lot on personal reinvention because for years I had to completely ignore my own wants and needs. I have changed and cleaned up a lot of things I could not touch before, and I still have a ways to go.
I did not go kill myself.
Which brings me to the vile and morally corrupt article in the CBC:
'It doesn't feel human': Students angered by U of T practice of not acknowledging campus suicides
I do not know which one of these players is worse: the administration who are behaving like impotent cowards — or the students who obviously have no sense or any schooling in basic logic.
If students are killing themselves at universities, acknowledge it. Lots of young adults do commit suicide for a variety of reasons, mostly because of undiagnosed mental conditions that tend to begin in early adulthood as the brain is about finished developing. Many students have no idea that they require treatment and medication — and many foolishly try to medicate themselves with alcohol, pot, and illegal drugs, which actually makes the problem worse.
Depression often begins in early adulthood, but it is a misconception that circumstances bring it on. As we have seen over the decades, rich, famous, attractive, and powerful people who have everything going for them still kill themselves. Depression is an emotional cancer, and it is the cruelest of burdens because people do not understand it and get angry at the person who cannot be happy when everything is going great.
They can afford to hire a staff to look after them. They have access to psychologists, life coaches, spiritual gurus, the whole gamut of wellness experts.
And still kill themselves. None of it works.
And then you have people like Alexandra Kitty who go through a series of horrific traumas and come out of them ready to devour the universe as if nothing had happened.
You either are predisposed to self-harm or you aren’t. Depression isn’t contingent on positive or negative circumstances. That is the reason it is called depression. I have known many who suffered from it, and the proactive steps they took required unbelievable bravery, ingenuity, and the willingness to do extraordinary things. I know people who moved to other continents, changed careers, went through medication, hospitalization, therapy, and repeatedly as they removed toxic people from their lives, went back to school, and worked through it all.
And some of those people didn’t make it. No one can fault them for not giving it their very best shot until there was nothing else left to give.
Depression is a beast. It is the emotional equivalent to cancer.
And yet students are making long lists of offensive diva demands from the university, looking for an excuse to not be stressed at school.
How dare you trivialize it and exploit it for your own selfish ends?
Homework and exams did not cause death to your fellow classmates. Shame on you for your ignorance. Take your list and shove it.
Do not go looking for excuses to make school even easier than it already is. Studying is nothing more than an intellectual wellness spa. There are scholarships that never go claimed; you can appeal failing grades or re-take classes; so the myth of academic stress is just that — a myth.
That is not what caused these students to end their lives. They needed to be flagged early on and get psychiatric intervention. That is on multiple parties: the university, the parents who often do not disclose pertinent information to schools out of fear or shame, placing ego above the well-being of their offspring, and other students who make fun of and dismiss the warning signs that another student is in peril.
Yes, university is a new experience, but it is not suicide-inducing. The vast majority of people who go come out of it alive and well.
But for those who take their own lives, they would have done so regardless of where they were — in university, at a job, in a mansion, or in a shelter.
What the university has failed to do is have a better system of detecting vulnerable persons. What students don’t realize is that their parents do not want suicides publicized. I gave a talk last year about my book and mentioned that universities don’t publicize student suicides — and the group thought this was a good thing because if a university got a bad reputation, it would taint the value of the degree, and as it is mostly likely the parents who foot the tuition bills, the unis listen to their demands.
But the students are equally horrid. Where the hell did society go wrong? They are jumping to self-serving conclusions, and assume that what they are experiencing is stress. They should switch places with 2018 Alexandra Kitty or 2015 Stanka Puharich and test their theory again.
If it were up to me, they would get much more stress, but a different kind to better prepare them for reality.
Universities have become too me-centred. Students strictly focus on themselves, and they become little Olivia Jades in training, or worse. They need more stress, but you-centred stress where they have to learn empathy and hone in on their emotional intelligence to be able to do something other than vogue with their ugly selfies.
The fact that not a single student is actually using their university training to find out the reasons for the self-harm tells you that they do not actually bother with education. It is just about being pauper divas, always making demands of others while passively expecting the world to clean up their messes.
Enough is enough.
I was a university student who saw injustice — and then promptly used what I learned to find solutions on my own.
I didn’t go running to a grown-up like a child throwing a temper tantrum.
You all were in the same classes or dorms as your fallen classmates. Didn’t any of you do something to reach out?
Or did you expect some They to do it instead because you were too important having UN meetings creating global policy?
No, you all are just staring at your phones and laptops letting life pass you by. I go to universities. I see what you’re not doing — paying attention to your surroundings.
My sympathy is with students who had untreated mental illness who took their own lives. It ends there, too. They were failed, and everyone around them let them down.
U of T needs to get its act together, even if they get slagged for it. The students making demands should grow up and stop looking to authorities to live their lives for them.
Because one day they will be under real stress, but then they will be the adults that everyone will demand to fix the mess, and they will have no clue how to do it because they were dependent their entire lives on someone else doing their thinking for them.
Now is the time to stop asking What can the grown ups do for us?
And it is the time to begin finding out what they can do to keep their fate in their own hands before someone takes it away from them and controls their lives…