Live and let die

I would say for those of us 35 and older, we knew of Dr Kevorkian. For those That don’t know him, he was a Doctor who assisted people with their suicides. The government didn’t care much for him because at the time it was against the law to assist someone with killing themselves.

I never really understood that. If you’re going to commit suicide, it’s gonna happen. What does it matter if a professional doctor administers chemicals into your body they will let you pass peacefully? Why does the government or anyone for that matter get to say how you go? 

When I think about this I think about the same lines of abortion. There are some people that want it banned. You’re not gonna ban abortion, you’re going to ban the safe way of getting an abortion. I mean we’re not getting rid of wire hangers or bleach anytime soon.

So what is it about allowing someone to pass on their own terms? If they are of sound mind, then why not? No I’m not saying somebody doing it right after they find out their spouse cheated or their child passed or whatever. I’m talking about somebody who is physically or mentally ill who just does not want to continue living that way.

I remember telling my dad that’s if it wasn’t for my daughter, I would probably take the Kurt Cobain route. Am I sad? No. Am I in pain? Yes. But again that’s out of the question because of the love for my daughter. I just think that if someone is in pain or if they have an uncurable disease, then they should be able to end that when they want. And they should be able to do it on their terms, peacefully. Because weather it’s chemicals shot into your veins, or a rope around your neck. You’re going to get the same outcome.

“What Do You Get When You Cross a Mentally Ill Loner with a Society Who Abandons Him ..?”

“You get what you fucking deserve”- Joker

When I hear this dialog in the movie Joker, it totally makes sense. I think about those who are mentally ill that can’t get the help they need. Then, when they snap and kill themselves or others, people question what could have been done to stop this person. Well, for starters, better mental health facilities with qualified staff would work.

From my personal experience, the VA comes to mind. You have staff there that has not dealt with or been trained to handle people with PTSD or mental illness. Of course you have a few psychologist or therapist that understand it, but even then you are pushed out into the civil sector with people who have no life experiences or can’t relate to the patient. All they have is a piece of paper or two hanging in a frame on the wall showing that they can write a thesis.

Around the later part of 2000, as Security Forces, I was in a foxhole with another SF member on our post. Like most SF members do when guarding something, you do “one up, one down” which basically means one person sleeps while the other stays awake. Of course this is frowned upon, but when you are working 12 hours shifts in the dark, it tends to happen. Anyways, one night it was my partners turn to stay up while I slept. Well, I woke up to something tapping the back of my head. When I opened my eyes, my partner was staring at me wide eyed. Then I hear “Airman Gonzales, you are fkn dead.” The staff sergeant took my loaded m16 and stuck it to the back of my head. That was the tapping that woke me up. My stupid mfkn partner fell asleep after me and could have gotten us killed. From that day forward, I do not like when people are behind me. Someone from my civilian job once came up behind me and flicked the back of my neck. Mind you I already told my coworkers not to come up behind me, yet this dumb shit thought it would be a good idea. Well, I turned around, made a fist and told him that if he ever did that again that I would fkn kill him. His smile didn’t last long when he noticed I wasn’t playing. Now of course I wasn’t really going to kill him, but I really would have jaw jacked him if I didn’t think before I acted.

The VA set me up with a therapist on the outside and it didn’t go so well. When the person says “well Robert, you know you should have probably stayed awake” it doesn’t sit well with me. No shit sherlock, I’m glad you studied a college text book to tell me that. This is why the VA needs to attract more healthcare veterans to work at the VA. You want to be able to talk to someone who possibly had the same or similar experiences as yourself.

At least the VA pays for my sessions. Honestly, I saw what they charged the VA and couldn’t believe it. How can someone who is mentally ill and homeless or living paycheck to paycheck be expected to pay these crazy amounts? Of course you may have health insurance, but you are only allotted so many times per year. You see someone for 12 sessions because that’s is all you are allowed, but a 13th session could have been the session that prevented you from killing yourself that night.

The system is not set up to help you, it is set up to help itself. When you are denied being seen by a mental health professional because you are homeless, have no insurance, no money, no means of payment, well …you get what you fucking deserve.