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More Reasons

Published May 12, 2017 by It's me!

So, I had a long talk with a friend today. It made me realize that there is so much more that I could have said in my last post, and I need to say it now.

At one point after Th1rteen R3asons Why became popular, the school district sent out an email that they didn’t believe that the show covered the real reason behind suicide well enough. They felt that it should have addressed the mental health of Hannah, not just what people are considering her “revenge.” My friend asked me, since I have been through it, how I felt the show/book covered what I went through.

Tears came to my eyes as I thought about what I went through so that I would be able to give a thorough answer to her question. Honestly, I feel that the show does put Hannah’s mindset into perspective. I don’t feel that it should be looked at that she was trying to get revenge on her bullies. I put myself in her place as I thought about it. If it were me, I wouldn’t have done it for revenge. I would have done it to let them know that this is why I did what I did. To let them know that what they did led me to kill myself. To let them know so that they could change. So that they would know that their behavior was unacceptable. Maybe it would help someone else by me outing their behavior. Bullies need to be made aware of their actions and how their actions effect others.

Do I believe someone’s mental health causes them to commit suicide? Yes, but I believe it depends on the situation. There was recently a boy that hanged himself after his girlfriend faked her own suicide online and through friends on social media. This was a boy who, according to his mother, was happy and active that just decided that he was going to kill himself because his girlfriend did. Was he suffering from mental illness? Not that his mother seemed to be aware of. It was a decision he made out of grief. It wasn’t thought out. He just did it after letting her friends know that he was going to do the same thing that he thought that she did.

I realize that mental illness is a thing. I am bipolar and depressive with extreme anxiety. Tons of fun, let me tell ya. My mental illness may have played a part in my suicide attempts when I was younger, but the bullying is what pushed me to it. Having people tell you over and over that you are worthless and ugly and stupid and a suck up and spread stupid rumors about you definitely hurts. You get to the point that you don’t want to hear it anymore. You can’t deal with it anymore. You feel that you are all of those things. You become all of those things. Someone telling you that they don’t believe you really have a boyfriend because no one could ever like you. A teacher saying that the reason people always pick at you is “Because you are standing there.” I have laughed at that comment that was made by my teacher, only so that no one knew how much it really bothered me. What really irritates me about it, is that he was the teacher that told the principal that I had attempted suicide. He knew. He knew that I had low self-esteem and no confidence in myself. He knew everything, but he said it anyway.

Returning to the accuracy of Th1rteen R3asons Why

The portrayal of her actual suicide is very real. It was extremely hard to watch. I will admit, I was rather clueless when I attempted. Did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to slit your wrists? I didn’t. I did it the wrong way. The show portrays the right way. If there is a child out there watching this show, and they don’t know how it all works, this show is going to tell them how to do it.

I fully believe that any parent that knows that their child/teen is watching or has watched the show or is reading or has read the book, the parent needs to do the same and make sure the lines of communication are open. Talk to your kids. Let them know that there is another option. Let them know they can come to you if they have problems or concerns or bullies or suicidal thoughts. WE NEED TO BE AWARE! Pay attention to your kids. Watch and listen.

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To all of the bullies: YOU need to be aware! Be aware of how you treat people. Be aware of how your behavior effects others. You know the saying. “You never know what someone is going through. Be kind. Always.” (There are too many variations–I wasn’t able to find who said it.)

Kids are mean. I don’t know why, but they are. I don’t think I will ever understand it.

We need to take control of the situation and encourage our kids to talk to us. We need to be approachable. They need to know that they aren’t going to be judged if they come to talk to us. We need to have an open mind and help them work through their issues. Bullying others needs to stop. Please talk to your kids. Please pay attention to them. There are so many crying out for help, and we just aren’t noticing.

What are the warning signs?

  • Talking About Dying — any mention of dying, disappearing, jumping, shooting oneself, or other types of self harm
  • Recent Loss — through death, divorce, separation, broken relationship, self-confidence, self-esteem, loss of interest in friends, hobbies, activities previously enjoyed
  • Change in Personality — sad, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, tired, indecisive, apathetic
  • Change in Behavior — can’t concentrate on school, work, routine tasks
  • Change in Sleep Patterns — insomnia, often with early waking or oversleeping, nightmares
  • Change in Eating Habits — loss of appetite and weight, or overeating
  • Fear of losing control – acting erratically, harming self or others
  • Low self esteem — feeling worthless, shame, overwhelming guilt, self-hatred, “everyone would be better off without me”
  • No hope for the future — believing things will never get better; that nothing will ever change(http://www.apa.org/research/action/suicide.aspx)

Need help or know someone that does?

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK 

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/#

 

 

My Reasons

Published April 23, 2017 by It's me!

I John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Suicide. It is a very ugly word. It is an ugly word that if turned into an action leaves behind a lot of questions, hurt, anger, confusion, and many other emotions.

Recently, Netflix introduced a series that is based on the book Th1rteen R3asons Why. I have watched the series as well as read the book. Both actions by me brought a flood of emotions and memories.

I say this to confirm that, yes, as a teenager, I did attempt suicide. There are things that I remember that I have expressed in the past, and there are yet other things that I have never told anyone–or if I have, I didn’t let it be known that it bothered me. Throughout school, I was teased and made fun of. I was picked on and called names. My belongings were taken and hidden from me. The more you are told over and over how worthless and pathetic you are, the more you believe it. When you are told that since no one knows the boyfriend that you say you have,he can’t be real because no one would ever like someone as ugly as you, it wounds you very deeply. I once asked a teacher why everyone always messed with me. He laughed and said, “Because you are standing there.” So…because I am me, I am made fun of? No other reason but because of who I am? For someone that I respected, looked up to, and trusted to say that to me, took me to rock bottom. Ridding everyone of me, getting out of everyone’s way, seemed like the only solution to me.

Obviously, the attempts didn’t stick. This only depressed me even more. I couldn’t even kill myself right. Could I do ANYTHING right?! A friend ended up finding out what was going on, and told a teacher. Then, of course, it went to the principal, who called my mom. My mom took me to the doctor. There was talking. There was medication. There was crying. I saw what all of this did to my parents. I can’t say I never thought of it or planned it out again, but here I am.

Back to Th1rteen R3asons Why. The plot is simply this: girl records self telling the reason why she killed herself before she does so. She has 13 reasons, and in these recordings, she tells each person what they did that led her to take her own life.

I am addressing this for a few reasons:

  • Many teens are watching this show. This is something that we need to talk to our kids about. We need to be involved in their lives. We need them to know that, no matter what, they can come and talk to us if they are being bullied.
  • I read an article in which the writer of said article stated that she felt that the show was glorifying suicide and showing how to get revenge on those that caused the loss of life. I guess it really depends on how you look at it. It could be seen as her taking revenge on her peers, but I look at it differently. The way I see it, kids can watch this and, maybe, see the shameful behaviors that led to this girl taking her own life and relate to themselves or those around them. I see it as raising awareness. Kids are mean. There is no question about it. It seems to me from what I see and from what I hear from my kids, that it is getting worse. There are things that my kids tell me that they hear or see that I never would have thought of at their age.
  • It really can be a snowball effect. One person starts in on someone, and everyone else follows. The more people get in on bullying someone, the more weighed down the subject of the bullying gets. It can be overwhelming. The person can feel like they are drowning, and there is no way to get out of the abyss of despair that they find themselves in. They feel that their only choice is to end it all. That would make everyone happy…right?

Before I go any further, I would like to throw out a few statistics from the CDC. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth aged 10-24. There are approximately 4,600 youth suicides annually. Although girls attempt more often, boys are more likely to succeed. (https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/youth_suicide.html)

These statistics are scary. That children think there is no other option than to end their lives is one of the most frightening things I can think of. That this is being caused, at least in part, by the way that they are being treated by others, make me want to cry. What are we teaching our children when we don’t discipline them for being hateful toward others?

We need to take control of the situation and encourage our kids to talk to us. We need to be approachable. They need to know that they aren’t going to be judged if they come to talk to us. We need to have an open mind and help them work through their issues. Bullying others needs to stop. Please talk to your kids. Please pay attention to them. There are so many crying out for help, and we just aren’t noticing.

What are the warning signs?

  • Talking About Dying — any mention of dying, disappearing, jumping, shooting oneself, or other types of self harm
  • Recent Loss — through death, divorce, separation, broken relationship, self-confidence, self-esteem, loss of interest in friends, hobbies, activities previously enjoyed
  • Change in Personality — sad, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, tired, indecisive, apathetic
  • Change in Behavior — can’t concentrate on school, work, routine tasks
  • Change in Sleep Patterns — insomnia, often with early waking or oversleeping, nightmares
  • Change in Eating Habits — loss of appetite and weight, or overeating
  • Fear of losing control – acting erratically, harming self or others
  • Low self esteem — feeling worthless, shame, overwhelming guilt, self-hatred, “everyone would be better off without me”
  • No hope for the future — believing things will never get better; that nothing will ever change(http://www.apa.org/research/action/suicide.aspx)

Need help or know someone that does?

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK 

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/#

It is possible that I may return with more. I guess we will just have to wait and see!

Quiet No Longer

Published January 27, 2017 by It's me!

I have been very quiet lately. I have been watching everything that has been going on and absorbing it as it happened. I have to admit that this is not coming easily to me. I am one that expresses herself through writing. I have been having a hard time trying to come up with the words to express myself right now.

I am sickened by what I have been seeing. Prime example: I saw a post the other day posted by a guy that was just trying to sit in his seat on a plane. He was wearing a Trump shirt. The woman who was in the seat next to him went crazy. She was rude. She was ridiculing him over his choice. She was yelling at him like he was less than human because he was a Trump supporter. (Before I go any further, I am going to say 1 thing–this has nothing to do with who I voted for or who I support/ed.) Everything she said was uncalled for. She ended up getting kicked off of the plane by the captain. I respect the captain’s choice. Moving on in the post, I looked at the comments. I knew better, but I did it anyway. All I read in the comments was hate. Hate from both sides. Trump supporters bashing the woman and those that don’t support Trump and vice versa. How is this hate going to “make America great again?!” I will answer with this:

IT’S NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How does anyone expect anything to change if all we are doing is spewing insults at each other? I had someone tell me that it shouldn’t be considered an us vs. them situation. Everywhere I look, that is all I see. You are either a Trump supporter or you are wrong on one side, or you are not a Trump supporter or you are wrong on the other side. There doesn’t seem to be an in between. There will never be unity as long as this continues. I don’t see anyone trying to unify anyone. All I see is bickering about who is right and who is wrong.

That being said…no, I am not a Trump supporter. I will respect him as I have been taught to do. I will respect him because he is in authority over me, and God has asked us to respect those in that position. Do I like what he is doing? No. Do I feel that he is creating more of a division in our country than I remember ever seeing in my lifetime? Yes.

I have never seen as much hate in my lifetime than what I have seen over the last few months. If I weren’t a Christian, I would truly be scared at the turn that humanity has taken. Not fearing the end of my time on this earth doesn’t keep me from wanting to change things. It doesn’t keep me from wanting to make things better while I am here. I want my children to grow up surrounded by love. Right now, the love is not as rampant in our country as the hate is. I just don’t understand. I wish I did.

Although there is so much more I want to get out, I am going to en here for now. I am at that point of writer’s block that is preventing the words to come to express myself again.

I pray that something changes for the positive very, very soon.

Who am I? (Part 2)

Published May 5, 2016 by It's me!

When I wrote part 1, I never intended a part 2. Then, a couple of days after I wrote it, my devotional was along the same line. The title–“I am ____.” Same thing Sunday at church. Same message. Same question. I am thinking I should probably continue and answer that question.

In Exodus 3:14, after being asked by Moses whom he should say sent him to request the release of the Israelites, God told Moses to tell them that “I am” sent him. How does this explain who God is? Because God is. He is everything. He is in everything. Now, why does this need an explanation? Because we are anchored by our perceptions of what we are. We need another word to follow “am” to identify ourselves.

So. Who am I? I have thought about this a lot over the years. I have identified as many things. Most of the time, I have identified with the things that people have told me that I am. I am worthless. I am stupid. I am a horrible person. I am hateful. I am a bad mother. I am fat. So many identities that were given to me by others, and I believed them. I believed them to the point of attempting to commit suicide. I believed them to the point of wanting to run away and never come back.

What was said during Sunday’s sermon hit me. “You are not defined by what others say. You are defined by what Jesus says.” That is so true, but I have never chosen to look at it that way. I have always chosen to see myself as others have. But they aren’t important. What they say isn’t important. What God says. What Jesus says. THAT is what is important.

I am a daughter of the King. I am beautiful. I am smart. I am a normal mom doing the best I can with what I have. I am blessed. I am loved.

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We all struggle with out identity because of the ridiculous standards placed on us by society. I am choosing to ignore who society says I am and who I should be. I am choosing to focus on who God says that I am. I am His creation. I am here for Him, not society. I am here to show His love to society by being who He made me to be–a daughter of the King.

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Who am I?

Published April 27, 2016 by It's me!

That is really the question,  right? The question that we have all been driven to discover the answer to about ourselves. I have made it no secret that I am a Christian. To me, this means that I strive to follow my God and be an example of His love to those with whom I have contact. No matter how that contact is made.

Yesterday was a very rough day for me. I was called hateful by someone that I had considered a friend. It doesn’t matter how long you know someone, you never really know them. Do you ever really know anyone? The recent controversial bathroom topic came up. She posted an article that explained that people are using their children as an excuse to be hateful to the transgender community. I want to make it very clear before I continue that I have no issue with a transgender human being using the restroom of the gender with which they identify. I have a friend that is transgender. I love him dearly. To meet him on the street, you would never know he is transgender. He is a great person, and I have learned a lot from him in the time that I have known him.

The issue that I do have as the mother of a child who was molested by her own father, is that making the case that transgenders being able to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify has opened a big can of worms. Before you jump to any conclusions, let me clarify. We have been using the restroom with transgender people for years. Guess what?! You didn’t realize it! Why? Because you didn’t know. Because you couldn’t tell. Here is my biggest problem: by broadcasting this and causing a controversy out of it, we have given molesters an opening. The way this is being understood, is that if someone identifies as the opposite gender, they can go into that restroom. Ok. I get that. So, what’s to keep a random guy from taking advantage of this and going into the women’s bathroom because he says that he identifies as a woman, when he has never done so before? The same goes for a woman going into the men’s bathroom. Nothing can be said to them, because it is discrimination. It isn’t right. It isn’t safe. I know that public restrooms aren’t safe to begin with, but I feel that this has made them even less safe. How do you tell a child that has a problem with men anyway because of what her father did to her that she could walk into a bathroom and see a man standing there, and it is perfectly okay for him to do so?

I am not hateful. I don’t hate. I don’t judge. As I have stated before, it is not my place to judge. I am protective. My daughter and other people’s children have been through enough. They don’t need their fears confronting them in a public restroom.

This “friend” has decided that I am no longer needed in her life because I don’t agree with her. She made sure that she had the last word on her detrimental post. It is what it is. I am hurt, but I will recover as we all do. All that I can say of her is that I love her, and I will continue to pray for her. One thing that we all need to realize is that we can agree to disagree. Not everyone agrees, and we never will.

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Please consider…

Published November 20, 2015 by It's me!

Back again. I have a feeling this may cause some issues with some of you that I love, but I feel God is leading me to this. I am not doing this on my own. I have the love and support of my heavenly Father, and that is all I need. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31b. 

That past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of craziness on my Facebook feed. I have not been offended by some of the things that I have seen, but rather disappointed and confused. With the attacks against Paris last week, I saw a side of people that was very disconcerting. I said in my last post that a small group of Christians doing and saying things that go against the principles of the Bible make the entire Christian faith look bad. Before I go any further, I want to clarify that I am not judging anyone, I am simply stating facts from what I see. 

A very close friend of mine is an atheist. I love her, and we get along great. Do we have a difference of opinion? At times, yes, but who doesn’t? She is an amazing person, a wonderful wife and mother, and a great friend. Atheists are treated poorly by some Christians because they don’t believe in God. Why? She is a person like you and me. She has family and friends that she loves and would do anything for. I am not going to push my faith on her. I don’t believe in bullying someone to believe. She knows where i stand as I know where she stands. We have a mutual respect for each other and our individual beliefs.

Another amazing friend of mine is gay. I love him like I love any other person in my life. I can talk to him about anything. If he needs to talk (our “venting sessions” are epic) he knows where to go. Yet another person just like me–except for the whole being a guy thing.

How about this one? I have a friend who is a devout Muslim. Guess what? He is not a terrorist. Not all Muslims are. I have seen and heard people that claim to be Christians spewing hatred against all Muslims. They are people too. They have feelings like you and I do. The few extremists give the world a poor opinion of all Muslims. Guess what else? The way people are looking at all Muslims because of these few is how people look at all Christians because of a few that are hypocritical and trying to start problems. 

Matthew 22:39b “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus wants us to love everyone.

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” Jesus loves us unconditionally. He wants us to love others the same way.

I Corinthians 10:21 “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of the devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of the devils.” Saying that you are a Christian, but yet not practicing what you preach is wrong. It is serving God and not man or serving man and not God. You can’t have it both ways.

God does not discriminate. Neither should we. That is not what he wants from us. What is classified as discrimination? Discriminating, according to the dictionary, is making an UNJUST or PREJUDICIAL distinction in the treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age. I would tend to add religion to that also. 

We all need to take a look at ourselves and work on us rather than focusing on what we THINK is wrong with others. It is not our place to judge. It never has been, and it never will be. 

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

I am disgusted

Published November 11, 2015 by It's me!

Ok. I have sat here quietly. I am done being quiet. I am so frustrated by the idiocy. Since when is removing a snowflake or a reindeer from a cup considered a hatred of Christmas? Christians are being told to go into Starbucks and tell their barista that their name is Merry Christmas so that the words come out of the barista’s mouth, thereby bringing Christmas “back” to Starbucks.
1) Christmas has never been mentioned on a Starbucks cup. #itisjustacup
2) Starbucks never declared a #waronChristmas someone trying to cause a “stir” (pun intended for humor purposes) declared a #waronStarbucks
3) If it is THAT much of an issue, why go into Starbucks to purchase a drink at all? Just stay out! Don’t give them your money if you have a problem with them.
4) Some Christians wonder why we are looked at as psychos. THIS IS WHY!!!!!!! I am tired of being looked at negatively because others feel the need to start problems. #iamproudtobeachristian
5) If the design of a cup is what a Christian is worried about, they need to take a good, long look around. We have homeless children and adults needing help. There are countless people that need psychological help, both veterans and civilians, that aren’t receiving it, and it is leading to suicides across the country.
There is so much that needs to be addressed in this country that is far more important than a piece of recycled cardboard. Grow up, wake up, and tackle the issues that need to be tackled. Don’t be so up in arms about something that someone made up to fit their own agenda.