Suicide as a Way Out of Domestic Abuse

When you’re in a relationship that involves domestic abuse — physical or emotional — suicide may seem your only way of escape.

 

 But there is hope and help.

 

Off the Map domestic violence

Jacquie Brown, author of the book, Off the Map: Follow me out of Domestic Abuse, certainly felt that way the day she ran to her bathroom after a violent confrontation with her husband. Her “crime”? Urging her husband not to drive his truck after drinking seven glasses of whiskey and cola in a few hours.

In Jacquie’s words:

He shoved me into the wall, yelled and called me disgusting names, criticized everything about me, searched for the words that would hurt me the most.

Fear gripped my being. My stomach tensed, and I huddled into myself, trying to disappear as tears flowed and I thought, Am I really those foul degrading words I hear him calling me? He’s right about my stupidity; I never learn. I’m always the catalyst for these explosions of torment. How do I solve it? How do I stop it? The agony and desolation is relentless. How do I escape?

Time seemed to stand still as a thought seeped into my mind. I knew a way to escape. I turned and race up the stairs to the washroom, locking the door behind me. I shouldn’t have run. Now he knows something is unusual. I hurried and swallowed several pills before he reached the door.

He yelled, “Open the door or I’ll kick it in!”

Jacquie came out of the bathroom and her husband got their two young children out of bed, and told the children “This I what happens if you try and kill yourself.” He then beat her.

After he left, Jacquie made her way to each of the children’s rooms and assured them she was okay. Afterwards, she wondered how she could ever have been so selfish as to think of leaving her children alone with their father. But of course, she wasn’t thinking clearly. She was just trying to find a way out of the constant fear and abuse. (p. 42-43)

Suicide lets the abuser win

While there may be times when suicide seems like the only way out of abuse, fortunately, Jacquie eventually found a much better way. And then she wrote a book in order to help others find their way out, and also to help friends, family, and others who want to help domestic abuse victims understand what’s going on in the mind of a person who is being abused.

Off the Map is written with alternating chapters, first giving us a glimpse into Jacquie’s life, then immediately following that with an explanation of what she calls the “underlying dynamics or aspects of domestic violence.”

In her introduction, Jacquie says: “Off the Map demystifies domestic violence. It brings to light how we are ensnared and why we stay trapped. It also reveals our self-destructive coping mechanisms and ultimately the way out of the dungeon to discover the treasure of life.” (p.xiii)
Jacquie also explains that all violence isn’t physical beatings. There are many other ways an abuser can hold someone captive.

The book has a number of helpful lists, including:

  • signs that you are in an abusive relationship
  • how abusers isolate their victims
  • different types of abusers
  • types of abuse
  • wrong beliefs of both the abusers and the abused
  • reasons why victims stay in the relationship
  • common coping mechanisms that lead to more difficulty
  • people and groups who will help abuse victims
  • practical steps to take to ensure safety when leaving

The book clearly explains how pretty well anyone could wind up being abused without necessarily realizing what is happening. Jacquie shows how abusers can mix kindness in with the abuse in a way that creates dependency and keeps the victim ambivalent about the abuser and unable to break free.

She also links long-term abuse to C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). On page 93, Jacquie says, “A woman suffering in a relationship of domestic violence is similar to a soldier’s experience as a prisoner of war. Both undergo prolonged exposure to traumatic experiences and both can develop C-PTSD.” She then goes on to explain how chemicals in the brain (such as serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline), are impacted, and how this can lead to a variety of negative things, including forgetfulness, depression, detachment, self-condemnation, loss of identity, hopelessness, etc.

Everyone needs to read this book

This book is specifically about domestic violence, and is invaluable for anyone wanting to understand that type of abuse. However, the implications of abuse go far beyond that to any long-term relationship where one person has power over another and could use it in abusive ways: either situations where one has direct power over another (e.g. a parent, teacher, coach, boss, pastor, doctor, counselor) or situations where a peer can exert power over another person (e.g. a co-worker, teammate, a sibling, close friend, roommate, classmate). Please check it out, especially if you:

  • suspect you might be in an abusive relationship
  • suspect someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, whether domestic or otherwise
  • suspect you might be an abuser
  • are in any way involved with people; pastors, teachers, psychologists, counselors, doctors, nurses, politicians, managers, parents, etc.

Click to visit Jacquie Brown’s website and for information about her book Off the Map: Follow Me Out of Domestic Violence 

Finding Acceptance When Laughed At and Hurting

By Martha Bolton:

 Are you feeling laughed at? Bullied? Betrayed? We know it hurts, but don’t let those bullies win.

 

Image of sad girl used at thinkingaboutsuicide.com

Feeling betrayed? Laughed at? Wounded by others? Be your own best friend.

Whoever:

hurt you

left you

bullied you

didn’t accept you

discounted you

didn’t see your pain or your worth

laughed at you

wasn’t there for you

betrayed you

devastated you

convinced you that you’ll never be any more than the person they want you to be for their own reasons (usually to feel better about themselves)–

DON’T LET THEM WIN.

They may have labeled you, but their label is far from accurate.

They may think they’ve stepped on you, squashing any hope of your ever rising back up, but they missed you by a mile.

They may have treated you like you’re worthless, made you want to run away or go hide in a corner of the room, but don’t get sucked into their destiny for you.  Move on with your life.  You have better things to do.

Even if you’re the loudest negative voice in your own head, stop listening to it.   If you’re the voice saying, “What’s the use?” then answer yourself as though you’re talking to a friend you truly care about.

If no one else is speaking up for you, speak up for yourself.  Be your own counselor, your own cheerleader, your own best friend.

Do something else for yourself.  Seek help as soon as you can.  Talk to a teacher, pastor, parent, or friend.  It’s not embarrassing to ask for help.  Everyone needs help once in a while.  Life can get tough.  People can be mean.  Maybe a friend has betrayed or hurt you.  Maybe they’ve made your life unbelievably difficult.  You might even find yourself so injured that you have become numb and now find yourself desperately trying to “feel” again.

But hurting yourself isn’t how to feel again. 

This isn’t the day, the way, or the place for your hope to end.  It’s not in “the plan.”  What plan, you may ask.  The one God has for you.  He created you with a clear plan in mind.  No matter what has happened in your life, His plan hasn’t changed.

Your life was meant to go on until you’ve seen all you were meant to see, gone everywhere you were meant to go, and done everything you were meant to do. 

A bully can’t stop that.

Discouragement can’t either.

No obstacle that someone tries to throw in your path can truly block what God has intended for you.

I’ve had to deal with bullies throughout my life.  Like the “anonymous” Letter to the Editor writer who, after my first humorous opinion piece was printed, tried to bully me into never writing again.  I cried when I read it, shook in fear throughout the night, and contemplated following his advice and never attempting to put my writing out there again.

Then, I took a deep breath and went on with my life.

That humorous opinion piece turned into a 9 year newspaper column, and now, 88 books, numerous plays, and an Emmy nomination later, I think maybe he might have been a little off track with his criticism.

Thankfully, I didn’t let his hurtful words stop God’s plan for my life.

As it turned out, that letter was from a middle school boy probably doing a school assignment to write a letter to the editor.

Some bullies are driven by insecurity and jealousy.  Something is missing in their own lives, perhaps it’s something you’re doing, achieving, or are just being, and they can’t handle it.  Without even realizing it, you might be representing something they wish they had.

So don’t change who you are to make them feel better about themselves.  You aren’t the problem.

Bullies will try to rob you of enjoying your life, your work, and your loved ones.  Don’t let them.  And remember, your encouragement might not come from the people you expect it to come from either.  It hurts when it doesn’t, but God may, and often does, send it through someone else.  Sometimes a complete stranger.

So take a deep breath.  It may be hard to see your future right now when someone is making you feel like you have none.  It’s hard to see your worth when someone has left you, friends have betrayed you or not stood up for you, or you’ve endured any number of hurts.  But none of that changes your worth.   How people treat you doesn’t change your value.  Mistakes don’t make you who you are.  And betrayal doesn’t mean you weren’t worthy of being defended.

One more thing, always leave room for people to change.  Whoever hurt you could have a change of heart (yes, miracles do happen) and apologize to you someday.  If they don’t, you can still get over their hurt.  You can get strong enough to stand in spite of any bully in your life.  And you can get strong enough to continue standing.  All it takes is practice and the right kind of friends around you.  They’re out there, just waiting to meet you.

Give yourself the gift of your future.  Don’t be one more person walking out on your potential.  You, more than anyone else, should give yourself another chance.  And another.  And ten thousand more. 

You’ve let the negative voices in your life have the stage long enough.  Replace them with voices of truth.  You are loved by God.  You have value.  Your life is worth living.  You are accepted.  Don’t let anyone, any hurt, or anything else convince you otherwise!

 

Bullied No More! a Poem by Martha Bolton

By Martha Bolton:

How can you experience victory over bullying? Part of the solution is how you choose to react and seek support.

 

Recently a young jewelry designer took her own life,  leaving behind notes describing how she’d been bullied by some co-workers and classmates in the fashion industry.

It’s a tragedy when someone takes his or her own life because of ill treatment by others. But everyone who is bullied can make a choice. If only that young woman could have turned her terrible experiences around, and positively helped herself and others who face similar circumstances by standing up, standing firm, and reaching out for help.

We believe God could have helped her get through that dark moment and find her way back into the light.

          I’ve been bullied myself; I know it’s no fun.

          So what can a bullied person do?

Image by imagerymajestic  FreeDigitalPhotos net

I will be bullied no more!

 BULLIED NO MORE

Say enough is enough by your standing; not by your retreat.

Say enough is enough through your triumphs; not by your defeat.

Say enough is enough with your faithful friends standing up for you.

Say enough is enough by telling your mom and dad and teacher, too.

Say enough is enough by being you, not by returning hate.

Say enough is enough by rising above, instead of biting their bait.

No one can make you be less than you are.  So remember when things get tough,

The ones who matter will have your back ‘cause enough is enough is enough!

© 2013 Martha Bolton

To be bullied NO MORE, and find hope when you are suffering from bullying, these articles may help:

 

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How to Stop Cyberbullying

Cyberbullied: Handling Mean Texts and Online Posts

 

 

Yes, There is an Anti-Bullying Day

by N. J. Lindquist:

Today is Anti-bullying Day in Canada. It’s also known as Pink Shirt Day.

 

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pink Shirt Day started with an anti-bullying stand taken by two Grade 12 students in Nova Scotia about six years ago. They witnessed a Grade 9 student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school and rallied other students to wear pink as a message against bullying.

Two of my sons were bullied for very different reasons when they were roughly 12-13. As a parent, I felt angry and determined to stop it, while also a bit helpless – no one can live in another person’s shoes. Nor can you be with your child all the time.

Our sons survived and weren’t injured by their experiences, but I wonder if there were other kids who ran into the same bullies, and the bullies themselves – are they still bullies as adults?

Far too many of the people who commit suicide or attempt to do so have been bullied. The death of Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old from B.C. who committed suicide in October after posting a video detailing how she was bullied both in person and over the internet, brought attention to the newest for of bullying, cyber-bullying. But bullying has been around for a long time.

For more information on Pink Shirt Day and what you can do about bullying, read this article.

You can also read here on our site:

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How to Stop Cyberbullying

Cyberbullied: Handling Mean Texts and Online Posts

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

By Linda Evans Shepherd:

For National Bullying Prevention Month we asked author Shannon Perry (with Master’s degree in education and counseling) some tough questions about bullying.

 

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What do we need to teach our kids about bullying? What should a child do if they become a bully’s target or witness an act of bullying? And what do you do if you find out if it’s your child who is bullying others?

Shannon Perry offers some good bullying prevention tactics:

Linda:  Shannon, I’m glad, as you are a certified instructor in crisis counseling, that you’ve taken the time to talk with me about bullying.  Can you describe to me what the act of bullying actually is?

Shannon:  Bullying is a form of behavior used to negatively affect others where there is an “imbalance of power.” This “imbalance” may be perceived social or physical power and may be based on the grounds of race, gender, sexuality, religion or other perceived positions. Bullies like to dominate others and are very “self” focused. While some bullies believe they have the right to treat others as they choose, many bullies are simply insecure. Some bullies are victims of bullying themselves and others suffer from mental disorders and need psychiatric attention.

Linda:  As responsible adults, what can we do to help prevent bullying?

Shannon:  Teachers and parents have the responsibility to teach children how to recognize bullying and employ tactics to deal effectively with it. There are many steps that parents or educators can take as preventative measures for bullying:

  • Teach zero tolerance for any type of bullying behavior.
    • Show positive examples of acceptance of others via family time, the newspaper, magazines, tv, etc.
    • Discuss appropriate ways to handle/display anger.
    • Teach words of reconciliation and empathy such as “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”
    • Discuss movie scenes that involve bullying. As a family, discuss the appropriate behavior that should have taken place in bullying situations.

Linda:  If a child is being bullied by his peers, what steps can he take to stop the bullying?

Shannon:  Here are some practical things to do when confronted by a bully:

  • Hold your head up and look confident. Refrain from having a hurt or fearful look on your face.
  • Keep your arms to your side and stand confidently on both feet. Keep your hands out of your pockets; not folded or held up as if you want to fight.
  • Keep non-threatening eye contact with the bully.
  • Don’t run away unless you are in danger.
  • Don’t get physical with the bully or argue in return.
  • Do something that brings you confidence in your everyday life by developing a skill you are good at or taking a class.
  • Find good, true friends and share your pain with them once they can be trusted.
  • Tell trusted adults that you are being bullied. Talk to someone UNTIL YOU GET HELP! If the first adult does not take you seriously, keep going to adults until someone believes you and does something to help you.

Linda:  If a child realizes that his behavior toward others is bullying, how can they change their behavior?

Shannon:  Behavior modification starts at home with the parents. If you find out that your child is being a bully, stay calm and meet with the adults who have witnessed the behavior. Apply clear and significant consequences and require (and witness) your child to apologize to any he/she has offended. If necessary, “shadow” your child at school for a day. Go everywhere he/she goes and monitor behavior. Immediately reinforce positive behavior when your child does good and immediately seek professional help if the bullying behavior continues for an extended period of time.

Linda:  If a child’s peers are bullying a classmate, what is the best way for a student to stand up for the classmate without being bullied himself?

Shannon:  If you are a by-stander and see someone being bullied, you can also use the strategies listed above.  But, for example, if someone is being bullied about his hair, you can say something like, “I think his hair cut looks like Justin Bieber, and I wish my hair looked like his!”

Next, ask the victim to walk away with you.

Some counter-bullying tactics include getting a third party involved. For example, the victim may wish to confront the bully who has been spreading rumors about her. To do so, it would be wise to discuss this action with an adult then have others present when the interaction takes place.

 More About Shannon Perry  – Shannon is an author, recording artist, conference speaker and radio host who often tackles issues such as bullying. Her brand-new conference, “In Her Shoes,” is designed specifically for mothers and daughters, tackling issues such as bullying, self-esteem, body image, social media, dating as well as other topics affecting tween and teen girls. Shannon holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Counseling and is a Certified Instructor in Parenting Classes and Crisis Counseling. For more information visit www.ShannonPerry.com.

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How can having self-confidence stop bullying?

 

Nothing attracts a bully like lack-of-confidence.  In fact, showing good self-confidence is a great defense against being bullied.  But how do you get self-confidence?  Do you find it in the mirror or  in the words of your peers?

That would be nice, but that won’t always work, especially if you dislike some of your features, or if your friends (or non-friends) sometimes tease or harass you. But no worries, you can still show self-confidence to stop bullies with these 5 simple steps.

 1. Know that You are Loved

Confidence cannot be combed into place or wiped away with blemish cream.  In fact, you can be confident no matter what you look like, especially  if you know this one little secret — God loves you.  (Yes, there really is a God and he really does care about you.)  You can learn more about how to have a relationship with God at:  www.GodTest.com.  But before you  check out the ‘test’ or helps on that website, try saying the following out loud.

God loves me and if God loves me, I love me too.

Was that hard to say?  If it was, try saying it again.  Next, try writing it down on a post-it note or note card and put it where you can see it several times a day.  For the more you see it and say it, the easier it will be to believe it.  This believing will have  a big pay-off because the more you believe it, the more confidence you will have.

2. Look Confident

You can learn to project confidence even when you don’t feel confident, but it may take practice.  A recent article reported, “People are less likely to be picked on if they walk and sit with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence. Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means keeping one’s head up, back straight, walking briskly, looking around, having a peaceful face and body, and moving away from people who might cause trouble.”

This may mean you need to practice in front of a mirror so that you will learn to walk with confidence, head up, as you stride purposefully.  You may need to practice how you sit in a chair so you don’t look small or afraid, but instead look sure of yourself.  You may even need to practice how you smile and say hello to others.  Notice how others who seem confident greet others and take some pointers.  Practice speaking in a clear, calm voice when you are in private so you can do so when you are with others.

3. Learn to Walk Around a Bully as Well as His Reach

What are the best words to say to a bully who confronts you?  Imagine this; with confidence you say in reply to a snide remark, “Have a nice day,” or “See you later.” Next, calmly change seats, step out of line, or just walk away.

4. Don’t be afraid to say, “Stop, I don’t Like That.”

If someone is physically tapping, kicking, or hitting you say, “Stop. I don’t like that,” and say it loudly.  Try practicing this with your hands on your hips, with a clear firm voice.  This practice will help you be ready if you really need say it to a bully.  If that time should come and more help is needed, go get an adult.

5. Take a Stand For Yourself

Practice telling yourself the opposite of a remark meant to hurt or insult you.  I found good advice on how to do this in a great article in Kid Power which advices,  “If someone says, ‘I don’t like you,’ you can throw those words away and say, ‘I like myself.’ If someone says, ‘You are stupid’ you can throw those words away and say, ‘I’m smart.’ If someone says, ‘I don’t want to play with you’ then you can throw those words away and say, ‘I will find another friend.’”

For more help, watch what teen Macbarbie has to say about how to get self-confidence, stop bullies, and develop inner-beauty.

 

How to Stop Cyberbullying

 How can parents help stop cyberbullying before it starts? If you’re a teen, how can you prevent this dangerous virus from spreading?

 

 

Cyberbullying is like a virus that spreads from one person to another though comments, photos or videos texted on a cell phone, or by hurtful messages entered into a social media outlet. This virus needs a cure because as it spreads from host to victim – it causes not only depression, but can lead to suicide. You can help stop cyberbullying!

I’ve listed a few cures for this deadly virus below.

Parents Can Stop Cyberbullying:

 

If you’re a parent, talk to your kids about the dangers of cyberbullying others because there’s a 50 percent chance that your child has participated. I know this may be hard to believe, but even sweet, wonderful kids have been known to cyberbully, especially when they are caught up in peer pressure. So even if you think your kids don’t participate in cyberbullying, talk to them. Let them know that cyberbullying is wrong and that it can cause permanent harm or death to the one being bullied.  Discuss Psalms 19:14:

 May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and and redeemer.

One concerned youth group in Oklahoma took this message to heart and created thumb bands to wear that read WWJTXT?  (What would Jesus text?)  Consider getting one of these thumb bands for your child, his class, or youth group. For more information on these bands, go to:  wwjtxt.com

Another thing to discuss is that bullies can reap more than a few penalties. For example, criminal charges can incur, phone companies can void phone contracts, online privileges can be terminated by providers, and worse yet, if sexting is involved, your child can be permanently labeled as a sex offender.

Consider getting your child or youth group a graphic help, to make them think before they post something that might hurt others.

Pray: 

Dear Lord, show me the truth in this matter when it comes to my kids, break any lies off of them, whether they are bullying or whether they are being bullied, in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus.  Protect my child and grant them peace, grace and favor, in Jesus’s name.

Also, when you talk to your child, find out if your child is being bullied because there’s also a 50 percent chance this has or could happen. Read  the recommendations below so you’ll know what to do if you find out this is happening to your child.

Pray:

Dear Lord, please don’t let evil words or images stick to my child and become their identity.  In fact, I cancel any of these lies, the cyberbullying, as well as depression, or spirit of suicide, off my child in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus.  Lord, I ask that you replace these things, with your love, joy, peace and favor, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

How Those Who Participate in  Cyberbullying can Stop:

A lot of children are involved in cyberbullying because of (1.) peer pressure or (2.) because they don’t realize the harm they are doing.  But then again, maybe they need a few ideas on how to stop:

  1. If you write a mean message, don’t hit send.
  2. Better yet, don’t write the mean message to start with.
  3. Don’t spread the cyberbullying virus by participating in a bully attack, even if all  of your best friends are involved.
  4. Ask God to give you guidance on how to avoid these situations and to give you a way out.
  5. Memorize Psalm Psalms 19:14, see above.
  6. Get the wwjtxt? thumb band to remind you to be careful what you text or post.
  7. Pray this:

Dear Lord, Forgive me for being mean. I now block and cancel the hate, harm, and lies that I have spread in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus.  I block and cancel the fear as well as any retaliation I may get for taking this stand to stop.  Please give me your strength to stand strong, Lord.  In Jesus name, Amen.

 

If you are being bullied, please refer to our article about what to do: Click HERE.

Watch this great video as a serious example of the virus Cyber Bullying and it’s disease-like effect below:

Cyberbullied: Handling Mean Texts and Online Posts

It feels awful to be cyberbullied! What can you do when you receive or see cruel texts or wall posts?

 

Cyberbullying feels awful. Deal with it with the tips below. Remember, God loves you and can cancel the lies.

You shiver before you look at the text that beeped in, afraid it could be another assault of words.  You can’t believe the horrible things people posted about you on your social media page.  You’re shattered because something you texted in private, spread like wildfire at school, and though everyone is laughing, it is not a laughing matter.

This is a snapshot of cyberbullying.

The website, Momlogic said in a recent article on cyberbullying:

According to recent surveys, 90 percent of middle-school students have had their feelings hurt by something posted online. One hundred and sixty thousand kids miss school each day because of it. But despite these statistics, only 15 percent of parents polled have even heard of cyberbullying.

According to the nonprofit group Make a Difference for Kids, 43 percent of teenagers have experienced online torment. Girls are twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators, using e-mail or social-networking sites to engage in social sabotage. Bullying used to happen only in school or on the bus; in this high-tech era, cyberspace is the brazen bully’s new frontier. Read more of this article, click HERE.

If you are being bullied:

 

  1. Never ever respond, no matter how tempting. It only invites more insults.
  2. Don’t delete the bullying evidence, as  you may need to prove it really happened. Do hide it on your social medial —  so others can’t see it or add to it.
  3. Block the bully, and report the comments as spam or ‘abuse’ to your social media provider.  For instructions on how to block, click HERE.
  4. Tell an adult, your parents, a counselor, or a teacher. Don’t carry this alone.  If you are being threatened, tell the police.  For other ideas on ways to tell, click HERE.
  5. Ask God for help and protection.  Pray prayers like, “I am loved by God and I ask Him to protect me.  I also cancel the enemy’s assignment of bullying off of me  as well as the enemy’s assignment of lies being told about me, in the power and authority of the name of and the blood of Jesus. Though the power of Jesus, evil lies do not stick to me.  I cannot and will not believe them.”
  6. Do not retaliate by bullying someone else; that only spreads the virus.
  7. If you see a name or number of someone who is harassing you, do not open it. Either delete it, or save the message for an adult to read. Do ‘hide’ it from being viewed by others. Insults can inspire more insults.

Staying safe

 

Kids Help Phone also shares some following ways to protect yourself from being cyberbullied.  But be sure to watch the video below to understand why these rules are so important.

  • Keep your passwords private, even from your friends.
  • Don’t make it easy for strangers to track you down. Keep your personal information to yourself. Personal information includes your name, the names of friends or family, your address, phone number, and the name of your school.
  • Don’t accept friend invites from strangers.
  • Be careful about who you share your photos with online.
  • Remove tags on photos that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Create a fake email account, and use it when asked to submit it to websites you don’t trust.
  • Secure your profile information by making sure that only friends can see it.
  • Trust your gut. If you don’t recognize the name of a sender, don’t open or answer the message.
  • Kids Help phone suggest that if you are too upset to do anything, just turn off your phone or computer and take a deep breath. Then you can:
    1. Call Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
    2. Do some breathing exercises
    3. Call a friend to talk about what happened
    4. Do something that will calm you down, like taking a walk, watching music videos, or reading a book
    5. I would like to add that you can also continue to pray the prayer you learned above.

To email questions or comments to Kids Help Phone, click HERE, but know that it might take a couple of days to get an answer.

Watch this video below to help understand why its important to follow the rules above:

 

Kill Myself? Grief and Forgiveness for Stupid Comments

By Dianne E. Butts:

 Grief from Stupid Comments: Lesson 4 in 10 Things I’ve Learned About Grief.

 

Words are powerful. Words can lift us up and encourage us or make us feel so low we don’t want to go on. It can enter our minds to think, The stupid things people say make me want to kill myself!

After we lose a loved one, we’re already deep in grief. When people—especially friends—say stupid things, it just kicks us lower. But you know what? It could be they didn’t mean to say something so stupid. It could be they had no idea how their words sounded to you.

I was a teenager when my brother, riding his Harley Davidson, was hit by a drunk driver and killed. I remember one friend telling me, “You just need to forget your brother and move on.”

Forget my brother?! I thought. I don’t ever want to forget my brother! Plus, at the time, he hadn’t been gone twenty-four hours!

I really don’t think my friend intended to say something mean to me. I really think she was trying to help. She just said something really dumb, probably without thinking through how it sounded.

So here’s the fourth lesson I’ve learned about grief. (See our other lessons in the category: 10 Things I’ve Learned About Grief.)

#4 Forgiveness:  Some of your friends may say dumb things…but they mean well. Other people don’t say anything at all or disappear from your life. Any of these actions can be very hurtful.

(See also grief lessons: #1 Exhaustion, #2 Guilt, and #3 Anger)

When I was grieving the loss of my brother, I finally figured something out. I discovered I did much better when I gave people a break—when I chose to forgive them for hurtful words and to assume that their intentions were good.

Some people disappeared and didn’t want to hang around with me anymore. I finally learned it was because they didn’t know what to say to me. When I decided to let it go even though they weren’t the friends I needed them to be, I could move on and find stronger friends who could help me through my sad time.

There are no magic words. If you’re trying to comfort a grieving friend, realize you don’t have to say the perfect thing. Just your presence, a touch, or a tear communicates your love and concern.

You might think a lot of suicides are caused by mean things bullies say. According to the article “Bullying And Suicide: The Dangerous Mistake We Make” by Katherine Bindley, further investigation often reveals other factors were involved in the suicide.

Madelyn Gould, a professor at Columbia who studies youth suicide and prevention, said in the article “If someone is being bullied, they should not jump to the conclusion that one of [their] options is suicide. What they should jump to is, one of the options I have is to get help.”

If you’re thinking, stupid things people say make me want to kill myself, it’s time to find a stronger friend and ask for help.

Video: Please take a few minutes to listen to this beautiful song.  It talks about thinking and sinking so low and then says “lift me up to higher heights than I’d ever known before”! Take time to listen to: “Thank Him for the Miracle” by the Booth Brothers:

Why Live If Everyone is Out To Get Me?

By Lisa Copen

 

If you are having thoughts about suicide it can feel like everyone is out to make your life harder, more of a challenge. Sometimes it even seems like people want you to fail! Does it ever feel like people are just pushing you around (emotionally perhaps?) and you are sick of it?  Making you think “Everyone is out to get me?”

I saw this video on two penguins–one who is minding his business and just going for a little walk– and BAM! Take a few seconds to watch and see what you think.

 

Ever have one of those days? Though this video is meant to make us laugh, too often we can relate to it all too well. When we start having suicidal thoughts, it sure doesn’t help to have someone like this in our life who just reaches out and–whack! It is easy to start to wonder, “Why live if everyone is just out to get me anyway?”

What can you do to feel as though you can gain some control when you begin to think, “Everyone is just out to get me”?

  • Talk to a physician or psychiatrist to see if what you are feeling is normal for your circumstances or above average paranoid-type thoughts. if they are severe, they may recommend medication.
  • Remember, it is not all about you. Most people are concerned about their own challenges in life and you may be misinterpreting their actions or words.
  • Life is difficult and sometimes it seems as though the bad stuff just keeps happening. Consider keeping a journal and rather than focusing on the challenges, write about what you are learning through the process. I know. . . it’s cliche. But it also works.
  • See a good counselor. Suicidal thoughts because you feel targeted need to be addressed. Get a recommendation of a counselor who can walk you through the feelings of wondering if the world is out to make you miserable and where these emotions came from. We all have days when we feel this way, but if it is impacting your life, find some help.

When you are going through those dark moments, a simple “slap into the mud”–like this penguin received, can feel as though life is never going to improve. But it will. And while the slaps keep coming, learn to laugh at them. Search for the humor in the chaos. When you do, you will find people who laugh alongside you who want the very best for you.

Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for nineteen years, and has found purpose in her pain by reaching out to others with chronic illness. Her organization, Rest Ministries, serves those with chronic illness or pain through daily devotionals and other programs.