Here’s the lengthy suicide note left by Tanvir Towhid, 21, and Farhan Towhid, 19, brothers who made a pact to kill their parents, sister, and grandmother before killing themselves.
A mass killing where two siblings are the perpetrators is rare, and my opinion is that they were full-on psychos, as depression can lead to suicide but not parricide.
Hey everyone. I killed myself and my family.
If I’m going to die, I might as well get some attention. I’m going to cover four very important issues I encountered throughout my life. Who knows, some good might come of it.
For those who don’t know, I’ve had depression since 9th grade (2016). Not the “damn, I failed my test” depression everyone says they have, more like a “I only cut myself twice today, that’s better than usual”.
I remember the first time I cut myself. It was on August 22nd, 2017, and I did it with a pair of craft scissors. The blades were pretty dull so it was more of rubbing the scissors against my arm instead of a clean cut. Eventually my skin gave. After a couple more lines, the relief started to kick in.
It didn’t take long to become addicted to the feeling. Unfortunately, scissors made for kids aren’t very good at cutting flesh, so I had to move onto knives. It was pretty easy just taking one from the kitchen. They were dull, but they worked much better.
Initially I would cut myself every other week, but the frequency increased drastically as junior year progressed. I moved on to cutting weekly, every other day, daily, and finally multiple times a day.
The need to cut leaked into the times I was at school. I can’t count how many calculus quizzes I turned in blank since I was too busy in the bathroom cutting myself.
To make matters worse, my three best friends dropped me. They tried to help me before, but they eventually realized that dealing with a depressed person is a lot of work. I was angry at first, but in retrospect, what were they supposed to do?
In comes my first point: getting help. Everyone says “you can talk to me” and posts those useless mental health links on their stories, but when you actually interact with someone who’s depressed, you realize how impossible fixing them is. I’ve never benefited from telling someone about how depressed I was; it always ends with them having to leave me. The only people who really stick around are those obligated to. Just pretend you care and never directly offer to help. It’ll only waste both of our time.
I hit my breaking point some time in winter that year, when I cut myself until I physically couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t hide being depressed anymore.
Once I told my Dad he worked his ass off trying to help. Eventually I was thrown in some teen mental health camp where I was finally diagnosed and got medication (25mg of desvenlafaxine if you’re curious) which seemed to help. They also gave me coping mechanisms like journaling and whatnot along with therapy. Things were looking up.
Second semester of junior year (as some of you know) was a big change; I became fucking cool. By the time summer came around, I lost most of my fat and stopped being the cringey awkward kid I used to be.
End of summer rolls around and in comes senior year: the best year of my life. I somehow managed to get a girlfriend who was far out of my league, become a programming god, and made a solid new friend group. Things got even better when I got into Computer Science at UT Austin, which is supposed to be a big deal. I never really cared about school, but it felt good having something others cared about. My life was starting to sound perfect right?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. My life was perfect. That was the issue. My life was perfect, but that didn’t change the fact that I was depressed. I would still have the urges to cut myself or end up crying myself to sleep. I tried doubling my medication which worked, but only temporarily. Every solution was always temporary.
Fast forward to college. I moved in with three of my best friends. Going to college was going to be a fresh start, where I could start putting in effort, get good grades, and hopefully become normal.
I couldn’t do it. I swear I tried, but I just couldn’t.
For the life of me I just can’t comprehend how you people do it. You people are okay with spending hours upon hours listening to lectures, doing homework, and studying for at least four years so you can get a job and make some money. You plan on working at that job for a third of your life, sleep for the other third, and do god knows what for the last. How are you satisfied with that? Don’t you ever get bored or upset with the menial stuff? Doesn’t it feel like you’re wasting your time?
It’s not fair. I did everything right, every little fucking thing right, and I’m still just apathetic. Everyone’s allowed to worry about their future and I can’t even think about what I’m going to do tomorrow without enduring an existential crisis. It’s not fair how everyone can be so content while I can’t even fathom being happy. No matter what I do, I just can’t be happy.
It bugged the hell out of me. I started doing poorly in my classes and at the end of the semester I had my first breakdown in months. I only cried, laughed, and talked to myself while punching a wall for hours. Compared to the other times I broke, this one wasn’t so bad.
At this point in time, my two suitemates knew I was extremely depressed; I mean, it would’ve been kinda weird if they didn’t. My roommate on the other hand gave me the impression that I was a joke. Apparently he thought he also had depression and the only reason I needed medication while he didn’t was because he had willpower. I guess in a way he was right?
My second point starts with a question, mainly directed to anyone who thinks they’re depressed: why? You had a bad breakup in 10th grade? You flunked your physics exam? I swear at this point you could claim you’re depressed if you shed a tear after watching a “try not to cry” compilation. I remember senior year when I arrived at school after a little cutting session, and one of my friends said “I’m going to kill myself” because they had a physics test that day. The best part is, they KNEW I had depression. The real kind.
Before people start claiming I’m gatekeeping being sad, that’s not the case at all. Of course it makes sense for people to be bummed out after forgetting about a quiz or not acing the interview. My problem is that while many people feel sadness, it just isn’t depression. Depression is when you feel that same sadness to the point where it interrupts your sleep or prevents you from doing your hobbies for over two weeks. It’s a real illness, and if calling someone retarded as a joke is considered wrong then treating depression the same way should be too.
Also, I don’t get why mental illnesses are treated so differently from physical ailments. No one expects someone without legs to walk, so it shouldn’t be so much of a surprise that someone depressed has a hard time being normal. I think this stems from the idea of a consciousness separate from the physical structure of the brain, but if someone took out a fundamental part of your brain, you might become a completely different person. Off the top of my head an example would be cases of people with epilepsy who, once they had their amygdalas removed, were reprieved from their seizures but acted much more reckless as they seemed to no longer have a natural fear response. I’m sure that there are plenty more examples. Neurons are just the biological equivalent of transistors in computers; ATCG instead of 0s and 1s (that’s DNA but you get the point). Consciousness is nothing but a byproduct of evolutionary luck.
Winter break came along and I tried to get reinvested in school by programming. I made a 3D Graphics Engine with my brother which was pretty fun (check it out on github.com/FarTow). I was ready to give school another shot. I never really had a choice did I?
It didn’t work. I just couldn’t care.
I tried my best to keep it together, but my closest suitemate noticed I was extremely off. He offered to talk to me, and I made the mistake of accepting.
I told him everything. He knew most of my ideals already, but there was one new thought I shared that haunted him. Don’t worry, I’ll reveal it in a bit. All you need to know is that a few weeks after our talk I was kicked out of the dorm. I can’t really blame them, but I do wish they would’ve at least made the decision with me.
A short week after getting evicted I dropped out of college; I needed to get a will to live before I could get motivation for some piece of paper.
I spent the first few weeks of being a dropout by just watching shows with my older brother. If you think my situation was fucked, his was much worse. The dude is a fucking genius but is too depressed and socially anxious to do anything with it. He had to go through the same shit I did except by himself. I would’ve killed myself a long time ago if he weren’t there.
The first and most important show we watched was The Office.
This leads me to my third major point: The Office should’ve ended when Michael left. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of good episodes afterwards (seasons 3 and 7 were my favorites), but eventually it went to shit. The whole point is that it’s people in funny but plausible situations, but then they introduce Robert California who convinces the owner of a MULTI MILLION DOLLAR COMPANY to make him the fucking CEO. Then this stupid British chick who’s name I can’t even remember takes Andy’s fucking job and NOBODY BACKS HIM UP. THE SHOW HAS THEM ALL BOND AND NOBODY BACKS HIM UP. What the fuck is that. It’s not realistic at all and it spits in the face of all the character development we’ve had. Speaking of which, why does Andy have to go insane in the last season? Out of every character on the show, he grew the most. He had anger management issues and was a god damn sycophant but grew into someone really caring and genuine. His family gets destroyed and he’s the one who cleans the mess up, but then randomly decides to go on this stupid boat trip for no reason. This is the character who traveled all the way to Florida for Erin, but he just leaves her to ride a boat without her? What the fuck? And to top it all off, he gets the worst ending of the group. Great. People say the finale makes up for it, which is a complete lie. Sure it was cute, but it doesn’t justify the last few shitty seasons we had to deal with. Yeah Michael’s there, but only for 2 scenes. There’s a lot more I want to say but hey, life is short.
We kept watching until February 21, 2021. That’s the day my older brother came into my room with a proposition: if we can’t fix everything in a year, we’ll kill ourselves and our family.
Allow me to explain. Anyone who knew me knew that I operate on pure logic. Every decision I make is based on a pros-cons list, including the one to kill my family.
Let’s start with the meaning of life. Everyone thinks the meaning of life is this deep unsolvable mystery, but the conclusion I came to is really simple: the only reason for existence is happiness. In fact, every decision you make is solely because it contributes to your overall happiness. I know many of you will disagree with me, but hopefully I can convince you with a few examples.
There’s the obvious choices we make like watching movies or playing video games which make us happy directly, but then there’s the more obscure and less obvious decisions. Students don’t attend school for direct happiness, but they view the alternative as worse for their happiness, whether it be disappointing their parents or not having a future, so they go, thus contributing to their total happiness. The others who skip view school as the worse decision, and feel that short-term happiness is more valuable. Some of you religious people might say you only live to please God, but the act of worship is yet another decision that makes you content. Even some “selfless” things, like going to your annoying friend’s birthday party, is something to make you happy, because all your other friends knowing you skipped would make you feel worse. Going to work, taking drugs, even taking out the trash are decisions we make for happiness and happiness only.
If the only reason to live is for happiness, then logically, you shouldn’t live if you aren’t happy. That makes sense right? Imagine waking up, being waterboarded for an hour, electrocuted for 20 minutes, forced to watch the first half of season 9 of The Office, and finally put to sleep. Now imagine repeating that cycle daily until you died. In this scenario, I’m sure that every single one of you would prefer death, whether you want to admit it or not. Although I’m not in quite as bad of a situation, it’s bad enough to warrant suicide. I live in so much pain and turmoil that it isn’t worth living anymore. I’m aware that my death will bring sadness to everyone else, but I guess I’m just too selfish to care.
Not selfish enough, however. There’s my family: the one reason I forced myself to live for 19 years. I know I said I operate on logic, but the one emotional aspect of my life is the only reason I’m here. I love my family. I genuinely do. And that’s exactly why I decided to kill them.
If I killed just myself, they would be miserable. They would spend the rest of their lives feeling guilt, despair, and a multitude of other adjectives that mean sad. Even after they got over it, it would’ve become a permanent facet of their lives (i.e. someone I love killed themselves and I couldn’t do anything about it). Instead of having to deal with the aftermath of my suicide, I could just do them a favor and take them with me. None of us would ever have to feel sad ever again.
My brother and I tried for a little bit. There were small improvements, like me doubling my medication again diagnosed with ADHD, but we eventually realized we were just biding our time. Waiting a year was way too long. Why not wait a month?
The plan was simple. We get two guns. I take one and shoot my sister and grandma, while my brother kills our parents with the other. Then we take ourselves out.
I would say the only hard part of the plan was getting the guns, but that would be a lie.
My fourth and final point: gun control in the US is a joke. All my brother had to do was go to the gunshop, say something about wanting a gun for home defense, sign some forms, and that was it. There was a question asking if he had any mental illnesses but—get this—he lied. He literally just said no. They didn’t ask for proof or if he was taking any medication (he was). Just a yes or no question. Literally anyone can get a gun if they haven’t been officially diagnosed. Thanks for making the process so easy.
In my last few minutes, I realized I needed to get rid of all my money and decided to do so by helping out some people on GoFundMe. I would just like to say: what the fuck. The fundraisers are organized by MOST RAISED. Why the fuck is it organized in THE most ineffective way of raising as much money as possible. How are you supposed to start your project if the top ones are the ones with the most money? That doesn’t make any sense. Literally no sense. I literally scrolled for 20 minutes and the least amount raised I found was $35,000. This shit is pissing me off man.
It pissed me off to the point where I’m just gonna donate to charity now. I know it’s less effective but I don’t care. Fuck the people who programmed the filter on GoFundMe. I don’t care how many lives you changed, you could’ve changed even more if you just made multiple filters.
And now we’re here. Well I guess my family and I aren’t, but you get the point.