Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Teen Suicide

I went to a candle light vigil last night for a gay teen who committed suicide. As a mother, nothing gets my anger up quicker than knowing someone is picking on my kids. Nothing brings out my protective nature quicker than knowing my child is suffering. I wish I could just activate a giant hug for these teens who are suffering, protect them, counsel them and help them through this. The kids who got up to speak last night were a very diverse group, both gay and straight, both religious and not. One girl spoke of surviving her suicide attempt and how important it is to pay attention and reach out to those around us. Sometimes it's hard to know that another person is suffering. Some of us keep it well hidden. The solution then must be to create a society that embraces all of us, regardless of who we are. We must create an environment of acceptance and erase the stigma of depression or mental illness. It is so hard to be a teenager with the hormones racing and your brain re-wiring itself, let's not add hate and intolerance to the mix. We're losing too many promising lives.






4 comments:

tweetey30 said...

I cant say enough of this subject as being one of those children who was picked on religiously and also had one girl try and corner me with a bunch of the school watching and tried to fight me. I just stood there screaming until the custodian stepped in and asked what was going on. I wouldnt fight her. She was calling me a pussy and all that other good stuff. name after name because I wouldnt fight.. so i know this mothers pain but I also know how her son felt. I dont know what its like to lose a child but I know what its like to want to die and never go back to school because of the bullies. there have been changes in the school system up there since I left but there was nothing the principal would do for me when I was in school. My mother talked ot her many times and she did nothing..

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Like all kids, we laugh at or pick on others who are different. Who among hasn't laughed at another's expense? That said, I've also been bullied, but whereas these kids felt helpless, I fought back. How horrible for a kid to feel helpless, unwanted, unloved. My children have been bullied as well, especially my son for having a gay mom. He wouldn't open up about it, but I could tell it hurt him. He eventually excluded most of the bullies from his life and found a better calibre of friends, he also learned about intolerance and how to stand up for himself. There wasn't a lot I could do, since my life was the problem. He unfortunately had to deal with this bullying in his own father's house. I did talk to him about making up his own mind. Without saying your father and his in-laws are hateful creeps I told my son to look at the bigger picture. Which household was happy, which was angry; which was full of love and acceptance, which was hateful and bigoted? His best example to me, that he understood was when he said, "Granpa Z loved Ellen DeGeneres until he found out she was gay, now he just says nasty things about her." I asked, "did knowing Ellen was gay change anything about Ellen?" He said, "no," the only thing that had changed was Grandpa's attitude. So he saw, Ellen was worthy of love, respect, admiration before Grandpa knew, and Ellen didn't become less talented, or less funny, just because Grandpa now knew she was gay. What changed was my son saw a very ugly side to Grandpa.

Anonymous said...

Think that was best advice you could have given B. Do believe, picking on one another, is nothing less than human nature, It does not matter who you are, if another person wants to pick on someone they will. They will find a reason. Do not think it even matters what could be something as simple as a freckle on the end of a nose, to someone, being gay. Think most of us first see it in families. If you will a way to one up another sibling. And sometimes it's fun, to pick. It has been looked at as a way to tell someone they are noticed. However- bulling is something very different. A different level, and for pure torment of another. Why do not understand however, we also need to teach our children, that suicide is not the way to solve any problem, be it bulling or lost loves, or because they are gay. Never knew anyone, who was picked on because they were gay, because they were poor, or dirty, lived on the wrong side of the tracks. And yes, someone along way always decides, it's too hard and takes the easy way out. Parents, Teachers, clergy- peers of other teenagers. Should always be on the lookout or be alert, that someone is depressed. AND Tell someone to get them help... suicide in my belief is brought on by depression, regardless of reason, and a mental illness, and needs to get more attention. And education is the first step. For all of us a nation. Many years ago found a younger sibling, had taken everything she could that was in a medicine cabinet. To this day, it still pisses me off that she could even think about doing that to herself and family. She was a teenager, and she did it because she was told she could not do something. She got to do most everything she wanted any way I never did understand.
p

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Yeah, I remember the paramedics coming in that night and taking her away. I didn't understand it at the time, and didn't even think of it when I was in that frame of mind myself years later. I think when you sink that low, you aren't thinking rationally and you can't see beyond what is bothering you. Luckily I had super friends to talk to, and one spectacular friend who emptied my apartment of things I could hurt myself with, and stayed with me until I got past the worst of it. Years later in another state, I returned the favor to another friend that I didn't even know was suicidal at the time. She only told me afterwards, that my talking to her had stopped her that day. I sometimes think of all I would have missed out on had I succeeded. What a waste it would have been.

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