My mum asks me all kinds of strange questions, most of them do not make sense at all, like how a smelly sock land on your head affects your brain functioning? well, obviously the answer is nothing will happen. Some of them are heart-wrenching ones like why people commit suicide? That’s my mum’s question after she saw students killing themselves on the news. Why are children nowadays so fragile? Are they spoiled? Can you explain it using psychology? Do they know that no problems can be solved? My mum’s questions are like bullets, and there are so much more coming to me. The news report did not give any details on why it happened. Maybe they are under pressure, maybe they have a problem with their friends or/and family, maybe….I DON’T KNOW
But I am certain, only when you are desperate and you have no other way out you would try to kill yourself.
Lately, I watched ‘Castle in the Sky’（天空の城ラピュタ) and have a little thought on ‘killing oneself’.
The movie is talking about a secret castle called Laputa up in the sky with higher technology than we do. There is an army chasing a girl with a magic stone, and a boy wants to be a pilot.
Long story short, many people joined the party searching for the castle and they found it. At the end, someone greedy tried to take over the world with the power of the castle and the princess of Laputa decided to destroy the castle for its own good. Here is my point, when someone is trying to destroy the thing that you hold tightly, you may well destroy the whole thing, which is yourself when the last straw comes, in an attempt to protect it ultimately from hurt, also to get back the sense of control. What will you do to your identities or your own self when they are being attacked continually?
Same as the castle, some people will choose to destroy themselves in order to protect them, even when it means you would lose everything.
Somehow I asked the wrong question, the right question should be how can we protect ourselves from attacks?
‘The most terrible fear we can experience is the fear that our identity, our self, is going to be
annihilated.’ (Rowe;382, 2007)
Here, please let me make an assumption that committing suicide is the ultimate act to relieve oneself from annihilation. According to Dorothy Rowe, in order to let annihilation of our identity happens, we have to let others have the ability to attack us, let others have the power to create or destroy our own identity as they please.The right question should be how can we protect ourselves from attacks? When we can not be independent and are entirely depending on our parents, for example, we are open to attacks without protection. More, when we BELIEVE we have to live up to someone’s expectations, like being a good student is having good grades and well behaved; when you have to pass some sort of examinations in order to get the job title you think you deserved,etc., are the traps to make us believe we have to live us to our society’s standards, which are made of cruel expectations and rules. If we believe that those rules and expectations are how we earn love, we are meant to be annihilated when someone tells you you’re not worth loving because you haven’t met the requirements.
All in all, rules and expectations are made up by men, they are how the system works. Understanding rules and expectations are nothing but just for convenience and efficiency and productivity. We have to able to tell ourselves, they are not measuring our self-worth. No matter how bad is the end result, the result doesn’t define who you are. It is one big strong pin that holds us from falling down to annihilation when the low time hits us hard. Also, the understanding that we do worth unconditional love, we do not have to live up to people’s expectations, is the best shield that I have learnt from Dorothy Rowe.
‘Beyond Fear’ by Dorothy Rowe