A Comment on Glamorizing Suicide & Abuse In Poetry

Have you ever been raped?

Have you ever attempted suicide?

Spent time in a psych ward?

Been on chemo, near death?

Or, had a friend take their own life?

Or, perhaps worse, a family member?

Have you lost someone to drug abuse?

No?

I figured.

 

Stop glorifying death. Stop glamorizing abuse. Stop romanticizing hell. We have enough Lana Del Rays and Stephanie Meyers in this world. We don’t need you propagating such unhealthy behaviors and ideas.

 

I’m all for discussing “taboo” subjects. Hell, if you read my work I’m a muthafuckin’ shitty trauma poet. I frequently discuss mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, sexual abuse, chronic illness(es) and other depressing subjects. I do so to stop the stigma, connect with others in similar situations and begin a dialogue. I always say to my few readers, “you aren’t alone”. It’s important they know they aren’t alone. Living under such dreadful circumstances and then the aftermath can be very isolating. I’ve lived it and am living it and feel, currently, very isolated most days.

 

Now, all too often in my reader I am reading this “emo” (for lack of a better term) poetry that makes such experiences sound desirable. Beautiful! Abuse as a reflection of affection. A source of passion. Idealistic. Dream-like.

Being raped is horrible.

Being molested is horrible.

Being beaten is horrible.

Losing people to suicide and drugs is terrible.

It’s not passion.

 

These aren’t beautiful things. They should be discussed. They should be written about. But, they aren’t good things. The tracks they leave on the mind of us, the abused, stay with us forever. They haunt us. They torture us. And, at least in my case, make me want to go away for a long time by any way possible. To get lost in my own mind and forget what I’ve been through.

 

Before I end this post, I want to apologize now if I ever came across as glorifying such behavior. It was never my attention. No one ever told me I have done so. But, just in case I have by accident, I want you to know it was not my intention.

 

And now, I’m going to start calling people out who write this way through my only way- comments. They’ll probably get deleted. Or ignored.  But I will, nonetheless. Why? Because I don’t want some impressionable pre-teen or teenager to be influenced by such sick thoughts. I posted a few days ago that I rarely comment on posts. And I never write anything rude.

Now is the time.

I’ve had enough

of you

putting lipstick over cigarette burns.

 

 

xoxo

Drem


16 thoughts on “A Comment on Glamorizing Suicide & Abuse In Poetry

  1. That’s really important to point out, and underline. I’ve probably been guilty of it myself, although practically everything I write I at least feel and remember has happened to me. But the line between using and abusing was never narrower.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mils,
      Tis true. I hope I didn’t do it myself. I can see in my work where in one section I would write how lovely it was, i.e. seemed to me at the time. But, then at the end flip it to reality. I did that in Gagged Marriage now that I’m thinking about it. I should go back and make sure I made clear distinctions.
      A cousin of mine who is younger started reading stuff on here. And I suddenly thought- oh fuck. there are some unhealthy messages here or messages that can be misinterpreted.

      You are so right about the narrow line.

      See you soon. xoxo

      -Drem

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the phrase “lipstick on cigarettes.” When I left an abusive situation, a part of me wondered if I could be creative without the pain. I know now that I am so much more without it. You’re not alone.
    Keep writing:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and connecting with this work! I actually like the line, too! I can’t believe I came up with it lol. It wasn’t in the original draft.

      I’ll try to keep writing if you do ❤

      I hope to see you around again. I'm going to go read your work to support you as you write to heal. (I have a #WriteToHeal thing on my site. I try to support others who have been through trauma.)
      xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! And yes, a good word for it is pop culture fad. I remember it was big between 2003-2007. remember that song “You make me suicidal. Suicidal. Oooh. You are a beautiful girl, suicidal. suicidal”. It was a pop song on the radio that these kids would sing to! Makes me sick thinking about it.
      And now I feel it’s back in full swing.

      Like

  3. It actually IS a fad, by pop culture, what with the popularity of goth, vampires, zombies and weird “Hunger Games” stuff. I’m not into any of it. There is suddenly a whole genre of poetry, which people call “dark” poetry, or “black” poetry, as well. Those writers also admit to having issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Randy,
      Get ready for a long reply.

      The goth and vampire thing goes all the way back centuries. People in Victorian times did really sick shit. The birth of the “gothic novel” came here. “Freak shows” which took people with physical differences and put them on display as animals in a cage for people to pay to see and the advertisements for it were totally sick. Some sexualized women with physical deformities.
      See: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/70/5a/d0/705ad056e0f7addeeed51c88167b1c0c.jpg

      There’s more I’m sure. Please Google.

      The zombie I disagree with. One show that I watch religiously, The Walking Dead, explores what happens when society falls and the protagonists fight for survival. Some lose hope. Some get lost. But they come back and keep fighting. In fact, my favorite quote comes from this particular show. The quote is “Just Survive Somehow”. I have it tattooed on me. Setting: A young girl loses both her parents who always told her, for strength, those words. She finds shelter and a new family. Gets a boyfriend (she’s like 14 or 15). And as the settlement begins to be taken over, she writes to him those words for strength.
      This was also the theme in Zombieland, and the book/movie World War Z.

      Vampires have also been romanticized as early as the 1800s in The Vampyre by John Polidor, which I read. The later issues with Vampires in bands, notably My Chemical Romance have some very harmful lyrics (like in the song Cancer) and some uplifting ones for people who feel alone (I’m Not Okay). I’m Not Okay came out when I was a pre-teen. And for the first time in my whole life I felt like- whoa. It’s okay to not fake it. It’s okay to say “I’m not okay.”
      Lyrics to this song which I found helped me: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/mychemicalromance/imnotokayipromise.html

      Overall, though, I think the band did harm, specifically with their Black Parade album.

      (Note: when I was a music reporter I covered them extensively. I went to over a dozen shows before they broke up).

      Black poetry/dark poetry goes back to Edgar A Poe. Yeah he was fucked up. No argument there.

      Also, one may look at the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. I realize it’s a remembrance of loved ones, a cultural tradition, etc. And, who am I to comment on it? Still, been going on a long time. And pretty looking skulls are freaky to me. This started way before Spanish colonization.

      So, as you can see, this “fad” has been going on for hundreds of years.

      My focus lately has been on music, such as the song I mentioned- Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston.
      Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm9gScNe_ug

      A notable song before that that comes to mind is The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me.
      Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPudE8nDog0

      Lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/humanleague/dontyouwantme.html

      The song itself discusses targeting a woman who a man sees is weak, purposely changing her to his desires, makes threats including to kill her and himself “You’d better change it back or we will both be sorry.” This bad was active in the late ’70s and ’80s and is just one example I thought of just now. I’m sure I can go back further.

      As for the Hunger Games, and the rest of the apocalypse type shows- I believe this is a reflection on the current state of terrorism here in the United States. As a born and raised New Yorker and saw 9/11 first hand it’s no wonder this is being produced. I was locked in a church basement for safety. Then my family tried to stockpile but it was too late. There was no food left. Look at all these natural disasters- Hurricane Katrina. The later Hurricane Sandy (lost my house, no food, no clothes, no police, no FEMA for 3 days). This is in society’s consciousness because many of us see it on the news and have either experienced it first hand or know someone who has.

      Like

    2. Also- as girl with an American history degree, of course I went overboard 😛 And I would have continued but stopped myself because I was like- this is wordpress. omg who wants to read such a long reply?!?! lols

      Like

  4. Totally awesome reply. And you’re totally right about the long history of dark stuff. But we seem to be dumbing down and becoming debased, in my estimation. The “lost arts”. You’re also right in feeling that transparency, and losing the stigma, and education are essential in the subject of helping people with these issues. You’re right; it’s essential. I think, also, though, that the negative influences of glorifying it, like you said, causes others to emulate dwelling there that may not need to. So, rather than establishing better thought patterns, i.e. behavioral therapy, which might cause the brain to retrain and refocus and reinforce positive associations, we’re desensitizing people to violence and the thought that abuse is the normal paradigm and everyone joins gangs and shoots each other up at the drop of a hat. Obviously, there are many people that aren’t able to change due to biological issues beyond their will. We learn as we go. Most important is the input of the people directly involved who need as much say in their lives as possible. It’s a horror when you get into the legal tangles of representation and when the person’s will is ignored. There’s trickery, willful disregard, endless problems. But, there are organizations made up of people who gather to create laws and awareness and do what needs to be done. Normally, these groups form due to experience with whatever issues are being faced. A really important concept to realize is that everybody has situations in their lives, some more than others, and not to think that just because
    someone seems to act well-adjusted, that they really might have experienced some of the same things you’ve mentioned. True, everybody is unique. No-one experiences the exact same things as another, ever. But it might be similar. No-one but the person going through it can know exactly what that’s like. Sharing helps. Other people have their problems, too, so it shouldn’t be an assumed given that they don’t, or couldn’t possibly relate. Family members also share in the illnesses and its effects, to a different extent and in a different manner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, especially with the aspect of desensitization. For example, my mom can’t watch The Walking dead (even though imo the special effects suck) because of the zombies which are decaying. To me they just look fake. Though, if I see it on the news I throw up and it’s completely different. Like- if I know it’s fake I’m okay. But if I know it’s real I am like OMGOMGOMGOMG. But for a lot of people there is no line any more.

      Like

    2. At the same time- remember the war films? Like the Vietnam was the first televised war (I know there was propaganda films shown in theaters in like WW2 and such but that was, like i said, propaganda). And look what happened- people were like holy fucking shit war is so scary and people die! War is dangerous! OMG.
      So, showing some horror isn’t a bad thing. It’s showing real life.
      So showing real life horror isn’t bad, I’m thinking right now after my last comment.
      Showing constant bullshit “gore” is a totally different situation.
      And there is a difference between horror and gore.
      I can’t watch gore films. Walking Dead, world war z, zombieland, those are not gore. A lot of the horror movies in theaters where they take people’s skin and turn them into lampshades- gore. I can’t watch that but people do.

      Like

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