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Carolyn Duncan
11-11-2003, 07:46 PM
I would like to make a request of everyone who reads these forums. But before I make my request I'd like to tell a quick story.
This past weekend I went to a funeral for my 15 year old cousin. She hanged herself in her family's living room. At first, everyone was in complete shock (some of us still are) of what had happened. None of us could understand anything of what happened for days, she left no note and no signs of a child in trouble. Apparently she was the 4th of 5 students, thus far, at her high school to have done this. The fifth hanged himself on the night of her wake. It seems there is an epidemic at their school. After the whole family gathered to lay her to rest we learned of a few disturbing facts. The kids who came to say goodbye to her told her parents that she had tried to hang herself a few days before but the belt she used broke. None of the kids bothered to tell any teachers, parents, or other adults until much after the fact. Then later on we were told that she had been cutting her arms, not trying to slit her wrists just self-inflicted wounds which were covered up by her sleeves.
My request to you all is that, no matter how minor you think something may be tell someone. Even if you are afraid of being branded as a snitch, I know kids can be truely mean, you may save the life of a person and you will save a family from much heart ache, grief, and expense ( a basic funeral is almost as much as a year of college). I didn't tell you guys about this to make you sad or to get responses of pity. I just hope that I can help save someone else's family from what I have just, needlessly, had to go through.

KenWittlief
11-11-2003, 08:52 PM
that is so tragic. People need to realize if you are aware of something like this going on, or about to happen, and you do nothing about it

you are assisting that person to commit suicide.

often when people tell someone else they are thinking of killing themself, subconsciencely they dont want to go through with it, and they are hoping you will do something to stop them - tell your parents, tell the police, tell their parents - tell SOMEONE

and if you do nothing, then they figure you really dont care if they die or not.

I know people who have gone through this - and yes they do get mad at you for breaking the confidence they shared with you. But in the long run, they are thankfull that you did.

and even if they do stay mad at you for the rest of their life, then I hope they have the opportunity to be mad for a many many years.

D.J. Fluck
11-11-2003, 09:27 PM
That is terrible...

The one thing I have learned over the years is you never hide mental pain. You will be worse off by doing that. All I can say is suicide is never the answer to anything, no matter how bad the situation is. My condolences to Carolyn & her family.



-D.J.

generalbrando
11-11-2003, 11:29 PM
Those who know me know that I like to turn things into a joke (especially at dinner time). I do this all in good fun. The one thing I never joke about is suicide. The reason is simply that if you pass a friend, aquanitance, or even just someone who sits in your calculus class and you say 'hey what's up?' and they reply, --jokingly--, that they are off to kill themselves: you may very well be the last person they ever see or talk to. It would make sense for them to not say anything about their plans, but as Ken pointed out they may be reaching out. Just because a person kills themself doesn't mean they didn't think it was a horrible thing to do. Having someone stop them at that point in the hallway and tell them "don't do it" might just keep them alive. Of course if they really were joking, it's no big deal and you can go on to class and laugh it off. However, if you laugh instead and keep walking, you may never be able to get their words out of your head if they are dead the next day.

Suicide is often treated as a dark and maybe even taboo topic. Some people try to stop others from even talking openly about suicide. When someone opens their mouth to talk about it, many people who mean well tell them not to think like that and change the subject. Talking about suicide is not a bad thing - it can actually be very helpful. For anyone who has thought about suicide - it is more common than you may think for people to think about it. Talk about it with your family, friends, or (if you're uncomfortable with them) a psychologist. There's no shame in getting the help you need and you may not be able to solve the problem on your own.

My condolences.

melissa
11-12-2003, 09:13 PM
I am so sorry to hear about that. I also want to thank everyones contributions to this thread. Recently, my friend has aquired many of the characteristics described in here. Slitting his arms, talking about suicide. None of my friends knew what to do. We all knew that his parents needed to know, but none of us wanted to tell them. Now I know what I have to do, no matter how hard it might be. So thank you to the person who sent me this thread and to all of the replies to this thread. Carolyn I will pray for you and your family.

Jeff Zampieron
11-15-2003, 06:06 PM
It's been a while now, but I think I'll share a story also, just so people can start to see this isn't an isoloated problem.

I went to a co-ed prep school for high school. A school that considers themselves to be, like
most private schools, one of the finest educations
available anywhere. No one quite expected the
kind of life lesson we got one thursday night.

That afternoon I had seen the senior class president, a class mate and friend, joking around with friends in
the library after classes. I didn't think anything about it, as its a fairly normal thing to do.

That night around 7pm there were some police cars and an ambulance at one of the dorms. Most people
were rather confused, as this wasn't exactly a normal sighting around campus.
Well around 8:30 our house councellors (like an RA, but faculty) called everyone down to
the common rooms for a dorm meeting.

Our class president was dead, he had hung himself. The story goes that his roommate found him hanging in a back stairwell of the dorm.
The event actually made the regional newspaper, I still have the article, almost 4 years later.

It was so incredibly tragic that the entire campus was paralized. Classes were canceled for the rest of the quarter. The Head of School, to this day, is still haunted by it.

The terribly tragic thing is, that had someone been there for him at the time he decided to do this horrible thing, it probably won't have happened.

No one knows why a popular kid, class president,
going off to an Ivy league college would do such a thing. No note, no warning.

C is right. Don't worry about being a snitch, the life you possibly save is worth far more than just about anything else.

Just for consideration: Girls attempt suicide far more often than boys. But the boys who attempt, more often succeed.

My Condolences, C.

Kiwi_queen
11-15-2003, 08:50 PM
My condolences to you in your time of grief. I know exactly what you're going through...one of my close friends hung herself close to two years back (Nov 23 is the date). It was so tragic, especially since she had been improving. We knew she had been suicidal before, but then she seemed to get better and stuff. And then her family moved and her family forbade her to see any of her friends...and treated her like trash. I still think about it all the time.
I agree with you that warning signs should not be taken lightly. If there are any possible signs of depression or suicidal tendencies, it must be brought to the attention of an adult immediately. And if you can, try to be nice to the person, make them feel wanted and appreciated...I know from personal experience (I suffer from depression) that a simple act of kindness can mean a great deal...and can even mean the difference between life and death.

Ryan Albright
11-16-2003, 04:33 PM
C,

I am sorry to hear what you just went thru. About two years ago me and my neighbor where hanging out and he started to joke aobut sucide and bellls went off in my head. I went and told his parents and they got him help. I did not talk to him for about a year cause i guess he went to some special school. Well one day he came and knocked on my door and he told me that night he was gonna commit sucide. He said that no one could of stopped him and he would of done it. I know i could not of talked him out of it alone and thats why i went to his parents. It proves to be better to tell someone that can get teh proper help then trying to do it by yourself cause you might not have enough time to do it by yourself

Carolyn Duncan
12-22-2003, 03:17 PM
Now that the police investigation has been wrapped up our family has been given a bit more information. Apparently the kids at school, I cringe to call them her friends, were part of the reason she died. As the police discovered this particular circle would chose 1 kid to continuously tease, exclude, razz, fill in similar term here. It was kind of like a hazing. Not only had kids hanged themselves but they attempted to overdose on sleeping pills and had drank themselves into alcohol poisoning. When they decided to to turn on my cousin she was an easy target because her best friend, whom she had been trying to help get clean and sober, had just recently died. All they had to do was continue telling her she wasn't worthless and a horrible friend for not helping him and preventing him from killing himself, she truely lived by the saying "failure is not an option" and was more than devestated when she did fail. I can only imagine how hard it was for her when her "boyfriend" said "Kim quit crying over a dead guy I'm tired of hearing about it. If you miss him so much why don't you go kill yourself too, none of us will miss you."
So I guess in addition to my previous request I'd like to add this, remember that everything you say can hurt someone. You never know when it may be the last thing they can take before they do something stupid. In a time when everyone is trying so hard to fit in and be accepted, such as in high school, it is very important that everyone remembers what it feels like to be hurt and not let others feel that way too.

MissInformation
12-22-2003, 05:25 PM
As I've said before sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can rip your heart out. I seriously hope the parents of those kids have been contacted and advised to seek help for their children regarding their behavior. Ideally, I wish there could be criminal charges brought against them, if only to make them realize what they are doing in wrong (something they should have known, and at least should have learnt after the first "casualty"). I'm not going to say what else I wish, it wouldn't be very nice. Bullying is not acceptable, no one should be afraid to report this to an adult, and if that adult does nothing about it, go over their head. And if a parent suspects something like that, they should get involved. It might embarrass their kid a bit, but sometimes that's just the way it has to be.

I lost someone very special to me because of bullying like this. He didn't commit suicide, he died trying to prove to the other kids that he wasn't stupid, or a sissy-baby, chicken, wimp... The world lost something amazing with him.

Every single one of you matter. You count. You're worth it. And no one has a right to say otherwise.

Heidi

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Raven_Writer
12-22-2003, 05:46 PM
My condolences to you Carolyn.

This is something people should discuss more often honestly. In today's society (at least for me), it seems that whenever you bring up anything about suicide, depression, or just being down you're pushed away from that person (or people).

I find that even if you have to talk to a stranger about your problems, it helps atleast enough to get to the next stranger. If something is wrong, discuss. Weither it be friend, foe, or neutral party member(s). If you find it hard to talk to someone face-to-face, write it down in a note, hand it to that person, and wait on from there (not sure the last strategy is useful).

I know a couple of friends that have slit their wrists (but they didn't die, didn't cut far enough). When school comes back around I'm gonna tell some adult (I don't know where they live).

Gabriel
12-23-2003, 12:08 AM
My deepest sympathies Carolyn.

When I first read this thread I had a lot on my mind, but now I find I have very little to say. I will try to keep this relevant.

I spent about six months last year in a state of severe depression and I attempted to commit suicide several times. I honestly don't know how serious I was, but I got pretty close once. My FIRST team was nice, but not particularly supportive and it became very clear that my team leader had completely lost faith in me. At the time I was doing programming as well as strategy/scouting and in Houston he limited my responsibillities and then undermined me in front of other teams. I was crushed, since at the time that was the only thing I really considered myself good at or particularly cared about. Most of my friends distanced themselves from me and after getting fed up with my erratic behavior, my school essentially kicked me out.

I only say all of this so that I can offer one bit of advice. Suicide and depression seem to be epidemic among teenagers. I don't know why that is, but chances are that at some point in time each of us will find that someone we care about is depressed or suicidal. No matter what happens, stick by your friends, family members, students, whoever. Even if they are being a jerk, stick with them and don't trust your assumptions about their behavior. Always remember that there's a reason you liked and respected them in the first place and you might just be the only person they have.

~Gabe