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#466952 - 06/24/14 04:02 PM Re: In memory of... Liri (aka Oliver Strummer) [Re: M3]
latour Offline

Registered: 06/24/14
Posts: 1
I knew Oliver/Liri from college, and I'm so sorry to just now hear of his passing. He was a tremendously smart and creative person, and for the first couple of years of college we were very close friends. We would sit around in his dorm room goofing off while we were supposed to be studying. Or we'd stay up late to watch MTV's 120 Minutes on Sunday evenings - he had such great musical taste and introduced me to a bunch of bands I still listen to today. He was funny and kind and a great writer. And sad. He also had a tinge of instability about him that grew far worse over time. I knew only a little about his past (and nothing specific about the abuse he suffered), but it seemed to weigh on him heavily. After sophomore year we drifted apart - around the time he started getting into drugs more seriously (or so I heard through the college grapevine).

We lost touch after college, until I heard from him soon after he moved to Seattle where I was living. We met up once and he seemed both more settled and much more on-the-edge in some ways. At the time, he was living in a halfway house, and only offered the most general details about what had led him there: the addiction, squatting/homelessness, struggle with depression and anxiety, etc. I never fully knew about the abuse he suffered, although I'd had my suspicions that he'd suffered some intense trauma. Unfortunately, I moved from Seattle soon afterwards, and we lost touch again.

Hearing about his passing is deeply saddening. I'm sorry that I didn't do a better job of being his friend and staying connected. But I'm heartened that he found all of you. My thoughts are with you.


#466976 - 06/25/14 10:36 AM Re: In memory of... Liri (aka Oliver Strummer) [Re: M3]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA

Thanks for the post on Liri. I'm always glad to hear more about him. I guess there will always be some element of mystery about him. I find your observations quite relevant.

A guy like Liri can often keep his childhood trauma below the level of his own conscious knowledge for many years. But then it forces it's way out and in trying to repond to it the guy can become less well adapted. I think that's what we saw with Liri. Finally he couldn't deal with it at all. It is sad.

We had another guy in MS since then who seemed to have a lot of the same symptoms and problems. We called him LAD, short for Life's-A-Dream.

I got the impression that these guys would have liked it if I were a replacement father figure to them. However there just wasn't enough interaction time to deal with their problems. And I'm not a trained therapist at all.

I started my therapeutic journey in my forties. I started by listening to a panel of radio psychiatrists. I heard a particular guy call in from a state where I used to live. I felt sure that he was my old college roommate. What I heard him say was that his roommate in college had been abused as a child (I was his roommate). That was all I heard. Then they cut to a station break. But if he was talking about me, and I feel inwardly sure that he was, then he had been able to draw conclusions from what he saw of me. I was very surprised and I wish I could have heard more. However it's taken me quite a number of years to be able to talk about what happened to me. Difficult matters.


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