Thursday, July 10, 2014

How Suicides Can Be Prevented

It's interesting to see how we as people can be extremely judgmental towards those who are contemplating or attempting suicide. They need love and a hug just as much as you do. Let me give you some statistics.

When I was given the assignment to write Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid (which would also address teen suicide), I never experienced a suicide spell before. This was 2010 at the time. Well, in the middle of my writing (near the end of 2011), I was in a suicide spell - and I'm going to share a lot of what I learned in this in the following paragraphs. After I submitted DDBS to my first editor, I found these statistics horrifying:
Suicide is the third leading cause among 15-24 year olds (accidents & homicides are first and second, respectively). Among 5-14 year olds, it jumped from 6th place to 4th place. I am enraged by this and you should be too. I find a lot of people want to be finger pointing, rather than them getting in the water to rescue them. If you can't swim, don't get in the water! More to be said on this momentarily. 

So what causes a lot of these suicides? Before you start shouting off lack of faith, not confessing the right words, etc., those are valid TO A POINT! Here are my thoughts: lack of parental guidance, abandonment, neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, rape, incest, the occult (and parental involvement), bullying from classmates, peer pressure, breakup of a friendship/relationship. About abuse, in my opinion, the rate increases among children if the abuse occurs with a relative or someone a parent knows. It also increases when an adult knows about the abuse and they either go into denial or they indicate that their own child is lying. A vent towards the church: it's interesting that the church doesn't want to address it, but would rather let the world educate them on the matters above! Now that's just increasing the rate of suicides (not just among teens, but adults as well). And if you look at the sexual abuse statistics, this explains why suicides are high and we adults have the audacity to curse the children who won't speak out? More to say on that as well. Anyway, the statistics:
1 out of 3 girls are sexually abused
1 out of 6 boys are sexually abused
1 out of 6 autistic children are sexually abused

I said this earlier: I find a lot of people want to be finger pointing, rather than them getting in the water to rescue them. If you can't swim, don't get in the water! 
The finger pointers are hypocritical. They will be the first to point may someone thinking of suicide (whether a teen or an adult) and say, you not confessing what you feel inside is sin and manipulation. When they do confess, you blast them saying, "you are in sin. This is why you feel this way." Never mind they've suffered abandoned, neglect, etc. Let's turn the table. When you're thinking about suicide, you want us to have a prayer chain for you (or you'll suppress it)! That's not fair to someone who was forced into an introverted life. What's so difficult with getting in the water to show the love of Christ in them. They want to get their pain out, don't expect ANYBODY to share if you're going to bash them in the face with your words (I am talking to folks in the church specifically because we can be the worst at this)!

So, why do we curse children, teens & adults who won't share how they really feel? Simply put, we shut them out as if they have the plague. It's not manipulation, it's a coping means to survive. Sadly, many of have such a self-righteous attitude and judgment mentally. 

When I went through my suicide spell (even though I wasn't going to do it), I can't begin to tell you how judgmental people were to me, when the truth was I wanted to get what was on my heart out. I had to hear from many people inside the church:

But when I knew somebody going through, I was to stop what I was doing to tend to them (note: my heart is built to listen to people hurting when the world and church has casted them aside). 

It's a travesty to further condemn people who are hurting and want an escape. They don't want to die, they really want to live. Our words of judgment and continually telling them they are wrong are hurting them. So you might be asking me, how can suicides be prevented? If you are equipped to handle stories without a trigger, always be a friend and an ear (setting time boundaries  because sometimes your helping can become enabling). Parents need to understand what are the child's gifts and to encourage them in their positive dreams. And as a mother bear is to her cubs when they're harmed, parents must be the same way. If not, children will find a place of acceptance which will lead to a dangerous road of destruction and/or suicide. Discipline is needed in the educational system when classmates are threatening other classmates (whether it's physical bullying or cyber bullying). The religious institutions need to empower the congregation to show the love of Jesus and get the focus off of their position in the church. 

In DDBS, I ask this question: Why are we only sympathetic if OUR child has a mental disorder? On the contrary, if you know someone else whose child has a mental disorder, they need a beating. This is unfair, and reflects the worse part of human nature. If you know someone who is being abused, you need to let them know who to contact if they are being abused, especially when a parent sweeps it under the rug, and they don’t want to deal with it. If no one intervenes, the child could very well go on with their life through the abuse and then end up on drugs trying to cure whatever disorder he or she may have. 
It’s amazing to me, how we treat each other, especially if we say we’re Christians. A person who’s lost, depressed or has suffered under the pain of domestic, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can have a gun to their head, and we have the unmitigated gall to simply say, “I’m sorry,” or “I’ll pray for you.” That’s not helping a hurting soul – in fact, you’re enabling them. Try coming out of your comfort zone for once and stop being so selfish. Try saying ‘Can we talk about this? I want to listen to you, and you have my undivided attention.Talk to me somebody! Band-Aids and clichés and prideful statements like, ‘I'm the leader,’ or ‘come to me with every problem you have’ only to make you the poster child or for you to be chastised; though I don't have to share my problems with you unless I reveal what I want, will never heal a serious wound in a person who really needs healing for their mind, body and soul. 

Believe me, if we create an environment conducive for them to share, they will.

Please stand with me as I advocate for children and teens who are struggling with suicide due to items mentioned above. And stand with me for those who who suffered abuse and want to share their story in a non-judgmental environment.

Thank you and many blessings:

The Mayne Man