Aug 2013 14

by Laurelin

There are lies that we tell ourselves to keep our minds from wrapping around the truth. In our heart of hearts I genuinely feel like we always know what is right and what is wrong. When we make a tough decision and someone is hurt, a lot of the time the pain is manageable because you know it was the right thing to do. Whatever pain you or the other person is going through, it’s okay because you made the right choice. Other choices we make because they are easy or because they are fun. Some choices that we make will be wrong.

When it comes to the people you spend your time with you would think the choice would be easy, and always right. That’s not always the case. Lies come easier than one would think and sometimes the wrong people get a little too close. I know I can’t be with anybody right now because my mind is elsewhere. I made that choice. I push away the people who want to get close to me, but I still want them by my side every day. They are the shoulders I want to cry on. They are the ones I want to call when something amazing happens. They are the ones who I will miss once they open their eyes and realize I am a broken mess and they deserve better.

What I gravitate towards is something to fill the right now; the men who are on the road year round who stop and see me when they’re in the area and who make me feel so special that I am happy while they’re gone. I find that I like men who appear to have other lives, and I tell myself that they’re just busy (like me). But really, they have girlfriends or wives. I find that I don’t care, and I hate myself for it. Eventually they all disappear and I comfort myself by telling myself that next time I’ll choose the good guy, though I never do.

I like to think I find the good in people. That guy on the road with the girlfriend, he does amazing things for people, he changes people’s lives and he changed mine. I don’t think I could ever believe that he is a bad person, but he’s still a liar, a cheater, a mean boy. The alcoholic, the drug addict, the steroid user, the married guys, they are all broken and I suppose part of me thought I could fix them. Part of me thinks I don’t deserve any better and the other part of me literally can’t stand the thought of someone getting so close. I lie and tell myself I love the broken ones because they know just when to leave; just before it gets real.


Jul 2013 27

Let us answer life’s questions – because great advice is even better when it comes from SuicideGirls.

Q: I am a hopeless romantic that cares more than most, but one-sided relationships have taken a toll on me. I have been emotionally abused in my past four long-term relationships and I’m tired. I need to bring that spark back into my life. Having so much to give and nothing in return has been my curse.

I enjoy spoiling and tending to the needs of the one I love. However, it seems as though I find women who are negative, abusive or unfaithful. Why do women take my kindness for weakness? What does a man have to do to be happy and find the missing piece to his puzzle?

A. I once fell into the categories of ‘under-appreciated’ and ‘doormat’ until I read Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov. While I don’t have a men’s version to recommend to you, I can tell you the basic premise: Take care of yourself first.

More specifically:

1. Don’t always be available. Don’t always pick up your phone when she calls or text her back right away. Don’t agree to meet up with her last minute. You’ll become her back up plan if you’re at her beck and call for when she has nothing else to do.

2. Don’t neglect yourself or your friends to meet up with her. If you’re in the middle of fixing a shelf or watching football or whatever guys do when they’re single, or if you made plans to go out with the boys or help your friend move, and she calls you to go out, tell her you’d love to but you’re very busy and give her a couple of other days and times that would work and let her pick one.

3. Have a life! Have interests of your own. Go out with friends. Pick up some hobbies. Don’t you find it attractive when someone has passions and interests and activities? Yes, you do. So be one of those people.

4. Don’t act like every woman is The One. Not every relationship is going to work out. Don’t hang onto her because she’s filling a void. Fill that void by having a life, and if she’s not fitting into it, don’t be afraid to leave.

5. I know I just said it, but DON’T BE AFRAID TO LEAVE. Remember how I said you need to take care of yourself first? If it’s not working for whatever reason, breaking it off is doing just that.

6. Be good company when in her presence, and have minimal contact outside of that. Give her the space to show you who she really is. Will she treat you and your time with respect? Will she be okay with you having friends and interests outside of her? Does she have friends and interests of her own? Not smothering her will allow her to show you her best self.

7. Did I say don’t be afraid to leave? I did? Well, let me say it one more time. If she shows that she is lacking in any of the areas above, cut her loose. If she wants to monopolize your time when things first get going, imagine how crazy she’ll become once things get serious. Does she have a problem with your female friends? That doesn’t just go away with time. Does she expect you to drop everything and drive to see her at a moment’s notice all the time? You are her backup plan. Don’t try to convince her that you’re the one for her. Don’t tell her she should spend more time with you. Don’t do more things for her to make her like you more and show her how much you reward her for mistreating you. Cut off contact and carry on with your life. Don’t settle. You teach people how to treat you.

I highly recommend finding a book for men along the same lines. You don’t have to play games or be conniving. You have to take care of yourself and give her the opportunity to show you who is she and how she’ll treat you. Do that, and you’ll start attracting the right women while the wrong ones weed themselves out for you.

Yours in Agony,
A Mystery Suicide Girl


Got Problems? Let SuicideGirls crack team of Agony Aunts provide solutions. Email questions to:

Jul 2013 14

by Laurelin

Disappointment is a part of life, there’s no doubt about that. It takes many forms; it can be predicable, it can surprise you, it can be laughable, and other times it can be enough to bring you to your knees. In some form or another I think we feel at least a little twinge of disappointment every day. Maybe not the kind that catches your breath like a lump in your throat, but the kind that’s just enough to make you crinkle your nose. Like when the coffee shop on the corner of Harvard and Brighton Ave is closed by the time I walk home from work on Sunday and I have to get an iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts instead of a loose leaf iced green tea.

Disappointment goes hand in hand with people letting you down and you yourself letting down others. The look in that boys’ eyes as I told him I didn’t want to be with him, having to shout it because we were in a crowded bar and there was a band playing. His brown eyes usually danced, turned up at the corners with his big smile. But as I shouted they crinkled and the weight of my words changed him. Part of me screamed, “You’re making a mistake, this boy would love you.” The other part told that part to shut up even though I was so sad: I knew I was making the right choice. But still, I was disappointed for letting the nice boy go. I always let the nice boys go.

I was disappointed in the one I did choose, a disaster of a human being who intrigued me more than anything. I willingly walked into some strange dark forest, the trees so thick they blocked out the sun, and I know I will willingly stumble through this darkness until I’m so broken I have no choice but to fight to get out in one piece. I can’t bring myself to smile as I type this even thinking about the mess I’ve gotten myself into, but I know I will continue to wait for his name to pop up on my cell phone, and when it does I will see just that one ray of light through the trees, and I will think it’s enough. It won’t be.

Disappointment can crush a person or inspire them to do better next time. Long term it can break your spirit, short term it can ruin your day. Either way, it’s a part of life, and sadly, a part that people come to expect even when they shouldn’t. Right now I’m disappointed in my job; I am sitting behind an empty bar at 12:30 PM on a Sunday afternoon in the city. While it’s nice to be able to get some work done I would much rather be at the beach or down by the waterfront drinking sangria. Over in the corner my cell phone buzzes and I run over to see if it’s him. It’s not, and all alone I don’t have to hide my disappointment.


Jun 2013 27

by Laurelin

There comes a time in everyone’s life when there has just been too much work and not enough play. This is usually not a problem in my life, no matter how many places I’m working I always seem to find the perfect thing to do on a night off. In that one night, it’s all been worth it: every last long hour and late night is wonderfully and sometimes painfully perfect. Some nights are relaxing and help you recharge your drained batteries, and other nights are not like that at all. Some nights you just know that a storm is brewing; the perfect storm.

I don’t know what it is about Faneuil Hall in Boston that just makes you wild. I think it’s just that foreign concept of having weekends off. I don’t usually have them, so when I do it’s like this whole other world can be seen, a world I usually only see from behind the bar. This Friday was like that. We could be those people, the ones who go out with no abandon, who rack up a hundred dollar tab that’s just a couple beers and a million Washington apple shots. We could be the loud ones, the crazy ones, the dancers, the wild.

The cover band might as well have been Guns n’ Roses in the flesh and the friendly faces behind the bar telling me this round was on the house soon led to things starting to blur. The guys I was with all started looking like dinner and then dessert, and with a wink and a smile we gallivanted off to the bar next door for one more shot and then to yet another bar where I realized that I was in trouble. Things were happening in slow motion. I pulled down my friend’s dress while she danced against her guy with her underwear hanging out, watching a conversation between two people I don’t know. Not being able to shift my gaze, I came to an all too slow realization that my roommate has gone home in a cab by herself and it was my own voice that told her I wasn’t going with her.

The next morning, as I am frantically searching for very new and very lost earrings in a sea of wrinkled sheets and bad, bad decisions, I can’t help but think that none of this is really my fault. Faneuil Hall and having a weekend night off is what’s to blame here. I just get too excited, too thirsty, and at the time nothing seems as bad as it is as that first sliver of light is hitting your face through the shades. It all starts coming back, like a giant wave cresting and crashing against my lifeless hungover body, and I close my eyes as the waves of nausea roll over me, just another repercussion of last night’s perfect storm.


Jun 2013 05

by Laurelin

I still think about him all the time. His name is still often on my lips although we don’t speak much these days. At first every time my cell phone lit up I would imagine his name being in the center of my screen and sometimes it was, and my heart would leap. He doesn’t reach out so much anymore, and I don’t expect it. It was silly, what we had. It wasn’t real; he wasn’t real and neither was I.

He hid things. I pretended not to know things about him and whenever I wanted to ask, I would open my mouth and something different would come out. He often left me speechless, breathless, weak in the knees, yet somehow, I was sure of myself with him until he was gone. With his absence suddenly those feelings turned to powerlessness; I was unsure of the world around me. The world was hazy, veiled.

I wore color contacts; he will never even know the real color of my eyes. Going out with a different guy the other night for drinks I had to laugh, because when I caught him staring at me I felt the words finally bubbling to the surface, a string of the many things I had never said. “Green,” I almost shouted, “my eyes are green.”

“Okay….” The new guy said, and it didn’t matter, but I felt better, almost.

Going home that night I knew that maybe it was best for me to be by myself for a little while. The cobwebs in my head needed shaking, I needed a reality check, not someone else to lean on.

Still, I think about him all the time. Some people come and go like a summer breeze, and others leave wreckage in their wake, loving and leaving like a storm whipped up off the ocean back home in Rhode Island. The sky turns black as night and flashes with lightning, splintering the sky like cracks in ice just before it breaks. The thunder is so loud you can feel it in your chest; you can breath it in. The storms are over as quickly as they began and when the clouds clear you are acutely aware that while it felt like time stopped, it in fact, did not.

Whoever I was with this guy doesn’t matter now. The clouds have scattered and time has left him only in my memory. The only thing that’s clear after this storm is that going forward from here, I can’t settle for anything less than total devastation.


May 2013 05

by Laurelin

I’ve never really thought of myself as a tough chick. I don’t know why exactly, because when I think about it, I’ve always wanted to run wild with the boys. In elementary school my best friend Stephen and I would run around the school yard pretending we were Indiana Jones, swinging sticks as whips and tumbling. The girls played hopscotch. I never did.

When I was a little older I remember watching my neighbors Robert and Anthony wrestling on the playground. I said, “hit me!” but no one would. I yelled at Robert until I was blue in the face and all he said was, “My mother says I can’t hit a girl.” I was enraged. The boys could play rough, why couldn’t I? I ran around outside and turned brown in the sun, had skinned knees and collected salamanders from underneath rocks. I played with matchbox cars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But I was never one of the boys.

This was always my mindset growing up as a tall girl. I wasn’t one of the boys, but I wasn’t one of the girls either. When I was younger, I didn’t notice, but when junior high and high school started people were cruel. Until I developed the confidence to rock my height I was pitifully self-conscious. I tried to hide it, but I cried whenever the girls in the hall in school called me a man. I had never worn make-up or pretty clothes but suddenly I found myself wishing I owned anything besides flannel shirts and baggy jeans; for once I wanted to be girly and it seemed like no matter what happened I couldn’t find my place.

I almost wish now that my parents had pushed me into sports. I was a weird kid with not many friends, and at six feet tall in high school I had the track, volleyball and basketball coaches foaming at the mouth to get me to try out. But the kids at school broke my spirit. I wore black, moped around, and listened to Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine. I didn’t think my height served a purpose being a magnet for other people’s insults and ridicule.


It’s been well over a decade since those days…As I slip into the wrestling ring and square up with my opponent he pushes me off almost immediately. “Do it again, Laurelin,” he says. “You’re taller than almost everyone here and you’re supposed to be scary. Stand strong, stand tall, you’re bigger than me. Do it again.” We square up again and grapple, arms wrapped around one another’s necks and I stand tall and look my opponent in the eye. “Good,” he says. “Again, then hit me.”

I hit him, but not hard enough. “Again,” he says, and I hit him once more. “No,” he says. “Like this,” and CRACK, right across my back he hits me. The wind is knocked from my lungs but it doesn’t hurt, exactly. I think of my younger self, screaming at Robert on the playground, “HIT ME!” I don’t flinch and I stand tall, facing my opponent again. I nod and tell him I understand and he takes the hit and I toss him out of the ring. He ducks back in, smiling. “Good,” he says. “Again.”

Waking up the next morning I am so sore I can barely move. I swing my legs out of bed and I stare at them, black and swollen with mat burn. My elbows, purple and scraped, my shoulders and knees, back and hips the same. My cheek is tender from a ring rope snapping back in my face and my upper inner thighs are whipped with rope burn.

I’ll wear these bruises until they fade, badges of honor for finally feeling like I’m able to live up to my height. I don’t play volleyball, I don’t play basketball, I don’t run track. I don’t model. I am the only female in a men’s professional wrestling school, and I don’t get treated any differently because I wear eyeliner in the ring. I stand tall and take hits.

I guess I can be a pretty tough chick after all.


Apr 2013 23

by Brad Warner

Every once in a while I meet someone who says she became interested in Buddhism because Buddhists were never involved in religious persecution or holy wars. I always hate to break the news to them that this is, unfortunately, not entirely true.

It is true that Buddhism has been largely free of really large scale wars and persecutions based directly on religion such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the conflicts in Israel and Northern Ireland and so on. In fact, if you go to Wikipedia’s page on religious persecutions and religious wars, you find no major persecutions by Buddhists, and the only religious war listed involving Buddhists is an uprising of the Buddhist majority in Vietnam against the pro-Catholic policies of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1966. Not exactly a war in which one religion sought to conquer or convert another by force.

But that doesn’t mean that just because someone declares him or herself to be Buddhist that the person is free from ever behaving like a dick. Brian Victoria caused a lot of people to question their belief in perpetually peaceful Buddhists when he published Zen At War, a book that examined how Buddhist institutions in Japan were co-opted by the government to support the cause of nationalistic violence during World War II – much like the Catholic church was similarly co-opted by the Nazis. Even today similar stuff keeps happening.

The latest of those who would try to use Buddhism as a way of promoting intolerance and violence on a national level is U Wirathu, an ultra-nationalist Buddhist monk in Burma who has been accused of inciting violence against Muslims in his country as leader of the “969 movement.” He has become known as the “Buddhist bin Laden” for his activities. In Sri Lanka, Sinhalese Buddhists have formed what they call the “Buddhist Strength Force,” another group seeking to persecute Muslims in the name of Buddhism. Just last week three Bhutanese Buddhist monks were accused of raping a teenage girl in India. You can read about all of these incidents in detail here. I’m sure this won’t be the last we’ll see of violence and stupidity in the name of Buddhism.

The easiest response to all of this would be to say that those involved weren’t really Buddhists, even if they were legitimately ordained since they failed to understand the most basic teachings of Buddhism. Some people have argued that certain verses in the Qur’an or the Bible can be used to justify violence and religious intolerance. But it would take a lot of work to find anything similar among the Buddhist literature, although the Buddhist sutras far outnumber the canonical religious writings of Christianity or Islam, so I’m sure someone could dig something out of there if they tried hard enough. There’s nothing I’m aware of but there are mountains of sutras out there and you could probably find some little snippet that sounds nasty if you wanted to sift though a lot of stuff.

Even so, none of the reports I’ve seen have mentioned any of these Buddhist bully-boy organizations citing the scriptures and teachings of Buddhism as a justification for their actions the way other religions often do. The closest thing I’ve come across to that is that the Sri Lankan group apparently opposes the Muslim practice of halal butchering and meat preparation as being against the Buddhist teachings of non-violence toward animals. But this seems to me like a real reach for some kind of scriptural justification. And I don’t see how you can enforce non-violence against animals by engaging in violence against humans.

Some folks were getting upset over the fact that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was not speaking out more strongly against the Buddhist based violence in Burma and Sri Lanka. However, this is actually a smart move on his part. Most Buddhists in Burma and Sri Lanka don’t regard the Dalai Lama as their leader. Far from it. They regard him something like the way Irish Protestants view the Pope, as kind of an interloper who has no business telling them about their religion. It would only incite more violence if the Dalai Lama took a strong stand.

Generally we Americans and Europeans don’t know much about Buddhism, so we make a lot of incorrect assumptions. This is excusable because all we have to go on is what we get from our woefully ill-informed mass media and cartoonish references in pop culture.

But interestingly it’s we Westerners who seem to grasp the basics of Buddhism enough to see the innate absurdity of stuff like the Buddhist persecutions in Sri Lanka and Burma better than lots of the folks in those countries. While I’m sure there are plenty of Burmese and Sri Lankan Buddhists who know how ridiculous this is, this stuff wouldn’t be happening at all unless there were also plenty of people in those countries who consider themselves Buddhists but really have no clue at all what the whole point of Buddhism is.

That’s pretty sad. But it’s no sadder than Christians murdering Muslims in their quest to spread Jesus’ philosophy of love or Muslims murdering Christians to spread Mohammed’s message of brotherhood. Religions divide people. And when Buddhism is viewed as a religion, it can be used almost effectively as any other as an excuse for viciousness and just plain human foolishness. You have to stretch things a bit, but it can be done. Human beings are good at that. We’ll find a way.

But the rest of us don’t have to accept it. We can and should point out how ridiculous this is. If we can shame the assholes persecuting others on the basis of Buddhism by knowing their religion better than they do, then we ought to do just that. Not in a malicious way, mind you. But it might be useful to subtly make some of the folks over there who are participating in this kind of nonsense aware that there are people far away who actually take “their” religion more seriously than they apparently do.

It’s disappointing to discover that even those proclaiming themselves to be Buddhists can still act like real jerks. But people are what they are. Acting like a jerk, however, is definitely not what the Buddha taught.