Kehlani Could Be You, Why Kindness On The Internet Is So Important

You Should Be Here - Kehlani
You Should Be Here – Kehlani

I didn’t know if I wanted to write about this at first. I fantasized about driving down to the nearest beach and chucking every piece of technology I owned straight into the ocean. I wanted to drown the entire internet, to watch the grossest parts of humanity disappear to depths I’d never again have to see.

I’d drive away knowing I’d never sign on and see something that makes me sick. The sky would be a little bluer, birds a little louder. I’d remember how it feels to believe people are fundamentally good.

But considering my salary is dependent on using my laptop, I nixed the idea. Your girl’s got bills.

If you don’t know what I’m referencing, you can (unfortunately) Google the name “Kehlani” and not only find her Instagram explaining her recent rumored suicide attempt, but also THOUSANDS of tweets, memes, and articles sharing judgmental opinions about the matter.

Listen, I’m not about to waste my time speculating about a 20 year old woman’s personal life, relationship status, etc. So if you want the details on what happened, this won’t be the place for it.

What I do care about is the reaction to someone in serious pain. What I do care about is the terrifying ability people seem to have to place celebrity in front of human being.

If you do not have personal experience with mental illness, depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, etc. quite simply, YOU. DO. NOT. UNDERSTAND.

I know it’s very jarring for some of you to be left out of something, but I promise, you’ll be okay. You don’t need to jump in on something you clearly have no empathy for.

There’s a very serious narcissism in assuming all of our opinions should constantly be shared. We’re all a little guilty. Hell, any time we tweet, we’re shouting, “HEY, LISTEN TO ME AND THINGS I THINK!” Sometimes, it’s totally funny and benign. Other times, people have opened up important dialogue that way. Social media has given voices to those who have often felt voiceless. I get it. I participate just as often.

I tweeted a serious of things about the situation:

And I was met with responses like:
“Nah, I’m good.”
“She’s a thot who did it for attention.”
“Lmao, ya’ll hoes sticking up for another hoe.”

And I was shocked. Which perhaps shows that I still assume people default to compassion and kindness. I was hoping to see a part of the internet I rarely do.

That’s not to say people out there aren’t sending love and sharing their struggles. But hate seems to shout louder. Hate crawls into bed with you, and as hard as you try to focus on all the love, hate has the ability to tuck itself in with you.

You wonder why there is such a stigma to mental illness? You wonder why if suicide is successful, they didn’t ask for help first?

You Should Be Here - Kehlani
You Should Be Here – Kehlani

Look around. Look at how people treat this situation. A young woman’s pain is up for jokes. People are more concerned about Kyrie Irving and details they STRAIGHT UP DO NOT KNOW. You are strangers to these people, you know that right?

Like, sincerely, I’m asking.

You’re aware you don’t know Kehlani, right?

Being a fan of someone does not mean you know them. Listening to someone’s music does not mean you know them.

And I genuinely, genuinely hope no one you know goes through this kind of pain. Especially publicly. Because there is nothing attention seeking about seeing no other alternative to death. And until you’ve been there, do those of us who have a favor and kindly shut the fuck up.

Kehlani, what happened to you breaks my heart, but I hope you realize what you did was not selfish. What you did by sharing your survival just inspired so many others out there struggling. That if someone like you, who they idolize, can hit a low, they aren’t alone in hitting theirs. I hope you realize your survival may have just saved other lives too. And I, for one, am so glad you’re still here with us.

Heal however you need. We’re rooting for you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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