The Silences We Keep

Blogger Bill Zeller took his life last Sunday. In his suicide note he wrote that his "first memories as a child are of being raped, repeatedly" and that this "darkness, which is the only way I can describe it, has followed me like a fog". He continued:

The darkness is with me nearly every time I wake up. I feel like a grime is covering me. I feel like I'm trapped in a contanimated body that no amount of washing will clean. Whenever I think about what happened I feel manic and itchy and can't concentrate on anything else. It manifests itself in hours of eating or staying up for days at a time or sleeping for sixteen hours straight or week long programming binges or constantly going to the gym. I'm exhausted from feeling like this every hour of every day.

Julian Sanchez calls the note possibly "the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever read":

[Zeller] had never told a soul about [the rape or darkness] both because he was convinced that nothing could help and because he couldn’t bear the prospect of being “forced to live in a world where people would know how fucked up I am.” ...

First, if there’s anyone reading this who’s living with the kind of pain Bill writes about, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has an anonymous online hotline that is designed to be absolutely confidential, and staffed by people specifically trained to help people work through the consequences of sexual abuse. It would be too glib to say that reaching out will help but lots of survivors who once felt as hopeless as Bill did have found that it did for them. It’s presumptuous to think one can judge what is too much for another person to endure, but it seems doubly tragic that Bill made his decision without at least trying to talk to someone first. I can’t pretend I’m able to imagine how insanely hard it must be to take that step, but given the alternative, I have to believe it’s worth the gamble even if the odds seems slim.