Since writing out my feelings about Dollys suicide I have not been able to lift the feeling of sadness in my chest. It just doesn’t seem enough, it doesn’t cast a spotlight on this issue, it doesn’t hold the people accountable, in a week it will have past and Dolly, whilst always remembered amongst us, is just another victim of bullying.
I know that if it doesn’t affect us personally then it really doesn’t resonate that youth suicide is a problem, as I have said on more than one occasion it is an epidemic. It is common, just like a cold it is spreading and rather than making the headlines like poverty and terrorism, it is shunned and hidden and brushed over.
My own son suffered such beatings at his high school that he flinched when I tried to hug him, back then it was all about the hazing that occurs in a new school, a right of passage and because he was a boy in an all boys school it was par for the course, but the reality is that it then turned my son into the punisher as he got older, because he earned his stripes, he took the beatings and then earned the right to issue them. This caveman mentality is still rife in our school systems. In the end my son begged me to move him from this school, he begged me and told me that if I didn’t he would leave and never come back, or harm himself so that the craziness would stop. In the end the endless roundabout of school bully tactics and peer pressure broke him. In the eyes of some parents at the time my son was weak, he was the problem in a few instances and therefore he was just running away from the issues. He was even making up the level of suffering and loneliness he endured. He was left in a situation without support and was not listened to. Luckily for me he spoke up and we moved him for his last year of schooling. He became the boy I knew so well, the boy we lost years before to a city based, tall poppy school system that didn’t listen. He became the happy, country friendly soul he was always destined to be, but as a parent I will always feel remorse for what we put him through, for thinking that a first string school would be the best decision.
I know there will be many that rise against my comments, I have family and friends who’s sons and daughters attend such schools and I certainly do not pidgeon hole all children in the category my son was in, just like those that commit suicide to escape their bullies, their demons, the pain, there are some that can not endure the rigors of these schools.
So what do we do? How do we make a definite change? How do we get it out into the schools in a real way? I do not want another child to take their own life because the darkness is to great, I want these children to see there is a way out, the days do get better, the darkness does lift in time and that they need to believe this in order to attain it. You see they get stuck in the negative and can no longer find the positive, they cannot find the happy moments, they cannot see that everyday they are Loved and they are Important beyond measure. Our children need to be told, reassured, taught, hugged, reminded that they are the future, they are the reason people smile and they have a journey ahead that will lead to greatness.
People are coming forward and telling their stories, people who like the Everetts have lost a shining light in their own lives, beautiful children all over our country are choosing to not live another day, another moment, another second. People are choosing to escape the torment, they are so sad, so lost and broken and we cant see it.
I want you all to look at your children, your neighbors, your friends and family and imagine for one moment that they will be gone in a moment, less time then it takes to inhale a breath.
A death in a movie does not show the reality of dying, the stopping of a heart, the lasts draw of a breath, the blood ceasing to move in the veins.
It does not capture the emotional fatigue.
So what to do?? Another campaign, a hotline for the kids to call, a facebook page thats private they can contact. Tell me what’s going to stop the spread ? What one thing can we do to make a permanent change?? Suggestions anyone?