Suicide is Painless…IN WHAT WORLD???

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I will never understand the utter desolation, despair, anguish, fear, shame or whatever it is that it takes to actually drive someone to that place of final acceptance of knowing they are going to take their own life.  And then to actually carry it out.  Oh there have been times I have struggled with feeling “blue” or even mildly depressed but there has never been a time I thought I wanted to end it all.  There has never been a moment that I didn’t know that this “feeling” was just fleeting.  Sometimes I feel that person is the most selfish, self-centered person in the world.  Because if you think about it they certainly were not thinking how their awful self-inflicted murder would affect their loved ones and they obviously were not thinking of the …  “who’s going to find me?” aspect.    This is a pretty graphic and burdensome thing to carry for a loved one.  I have been wishy washy because of the pain and my anger towards my own family members who have taken their life but I have come to the conclusion that most people who do this are so deep in depression they can’t see anything else but their own problems, pain, illness that they can find no other options, no other way out.  So deep down I know it’s not selfish, it’s a sickness that needs to be treated.

The first time I had any real connection to suicide was when I first became a Paramedic.  We were called to a Possible Suicide.  It was my first time dealing with a suicide and my first time dealing with the grieving family of a suicide.  It wasn’t a normal grieving family over a “regular” death like a heart attack, this I’ve seen, this I’ve dealt with.  Oh no, this was much different, much worse.  We had just found their father, husband, grandpa, friend with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  But what really got me was when we found his slumped-over body on his knees, he was grasping his rosary.  At the time I wasn’t quite  “with God” yet.   I couldn’t understand why this man who had this huge seemingly loving family, who had been out looking for him and was now so very indescribably distraught and inconsolable would do something like this.  This man who seemingly had a faith to grasp onto and cry out to, even unto death.  It haunted me in my dreams picturing this man on his knees crying out and praying to God right before he shot himself.  At what point do you stop talking to God and just do it?  It haunted me for a long time and this wasn’t even my family.  We didn’t know these people from Adam.  My partner was an Evangelical type Christian and he was going around praying with and trying to console the family and really doing an amazing job helping them in their grieving process, even if they didn’t realize it then.  I just felt so awkward and useless.

This family had a little something my family didn’t.   A little something that might have helped with the grieving process if only the slightest bit.  That little something was a note.  An answer.  A reason from their father, husband, friend on why he felt he couldn’t go on anymore.  If only a selfish one, at least they had something.  Most people don’t even get to have that much.  The rest of us just have our wild imaginations to run with.  They will never know how much that little bit can keep someone from going over the edge with all the questions WHY.  The forever asked question WHY, but never answered.

When my Uncle Ben killed himself it was a terrible tragedy that this family has still not gotten over.  The grief that his self-inflicted murder sent through this family was like shock waves with after shocks and after shocks, never knowing when the tidal wave of crazy is going to come crashing down.  Then, as if one suicide in the family isn’t bad enough my Uncle Lynn killed himself the same way his brother Ben did.  These deaths were years apart but they may have well have been only days.  Suicide never goes away.  Both these men left behind devastated children, significant others, sisters, cousins, a Dad, the list goes on.   Family who’s lives have been altered forever.  Fractured.

I don’t have many words of wisdom about how to get over something like this because my family is still such a tattered mess.  However we are a family of Faith in the Christian God.  I won’t lie though this has shaken some of the strongest Christians in my family but I see God working in the lives and deaths of this family.  That is the only way I know how to cope.

This is a permanent, life-ending end.  All you kids, young adults in school who are thinking or have thought about suicide…please tell a friend, teacher, neighbor, MOM or DAD or SIBLING, OR ME.   Point is TELL SOMEONE how you’re feeling.  There is more to this life than what you are going through right now at this moment.  Whether its sex, drugs/alcohol, pregnancy, sickness, divorce, abuse, breakups, bad grades, things get better, things change, this is just a small minute compared to the rest of your life.

I get a physical sick feeling in my stomach when I hear of another suicide anywhere let alone our county.   God please bring comfort to those who have lost loved ones to depression and help those who are dealing with it now and help them to have enough strength and courage to come forward and get the help they so deserve and need.  Amen.

God Bless,

Lori

Please seek help if you are contemplating suicide.

Illinois Suicide & Crisis Hotlines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline




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Fr. Barron comments on Morality, Character and Relationships

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Missouri Senate Bill 54: “Facebook Law”

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OK.  So, have you all heard by now about the  SenateBill54 in Missouri, signed by the Governor on 7-14-11?  It basically says that all educators effective Aug. 28th can no longer be friends with their students on any social media websites.  Past or present students of the teacher, as long as the student is 18 years of age and under.   It says some other things too but this is the gist of it.  I am totally in favor of protecting our kids and I understand the need to do so ( at the appropriate times) but, is this going to far?  I mean if you don’t trust your kids teacher enough to be their “friend” on Facebook then I think they shouldn’t have ANY contact with your child at all.  I think definitely schools should have their own guidelines concerning the social media and their teaching staff but to actually make it against the law to befriend a student on FB??  This is one of those areas where I think THE PARENTS should be 100% involved in their child’s life.  We are so quick to put the blame and responsibility on someone and somewhere else.  These are our children, pay attention!!  It’s like the old saying, ” It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your kids are?”  Well now-a-days its Facebook, MySpace, Chatrooms, etc., ” Do you know who your kids are talking to and friends with online?”  If you have kids and they have a computer or a smart phone, iPad, Nook, Kindle, whatever fancy electronic toy it is, chances are it has WiFi and they are getting online whether you know it or not.  My point is if you don’t know who your kids are talking to or what they are doing online, or what they are doing anywhere for that matter, then that is where the problem lies, not with the teachers.  Most of our teachers are wonderful educators doing a great job with our kids in sometimes less than ideal conditions, and for crappy pay.

This seems like a no brainer to me.  Parents, know what your kids are doing and who they are friends with.  Do not let them have a social media site that you do not have access to.  Know the passwords.  Have your computer in the main room of the house so you can see what they are doing.  Have a time limit.  Password protect your computer so only you know it.  And one of the easiest and my personal favorite is open communication.  Keep the lines open.  Common sense stuff.

I would like to borrow this quote from this great blog at americancatholic.org by Katie Carroll.  She says ” We have to take that extra step mentally to remind ourselves that not all Muslims are terrorist extremists, not all Southern pastors are irresponsible book-burners, and not all priests are a disgrace to their vows.”  Well, I would add to that and say not all teachers are sexual predators.

All that being said, I think if I was a teacher, I would have to draw the line at my personal web page not letting the kids I teach into that world.  Mostly because of the judgmental and sue-happy place this world has become.  Plus you know occasionally I like to let the expletives fly and I would hate to have to watch my mouth all the time.  😉  Just kidding, seriously though I wouldn’t want them in my world 24/7.    It’s like the good advice I learned the hard way, not to friend people you work with, it can really bite you in the butt.   Same in this situation.

Other questions about this…What about the many youth group leaders who are friends with and keep in contact with their YG  through social media?  Also the teacher/parent, are they exempt from being labeled a sexual predator if they are friends with family/own kids?  What are your thoughts?   In Missouri now, is it headed to Illinois?  Is it really that big of a deal?

SEMissourian

Lori

 

Edit on 9/7/11

Ladies, come on, really? And men too.

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Not long ago there was a conversation on Facebook that took place about this song by Toby Keith.  The guy who posted the song prefaced it by saying what a great song it was and he didn’t care who you were, the lyrics were FABULOUS and you had to love it!  So of course this caught my attention because like any lover of music I’m all for hearing a “fabulous” song.  So I listened, even though I’m not much for country or Toby Keith for that matter.  It didn’t take me long to know that I didn’t like the song and to know, exactly why, I didn’t like the song.  Number one, simply because it’s just a bad country song.   Number two and probably the most important reason was because of the lyrics.  Which he had just got done claiming were FABULOUS…  Now, I don’t consider myself a prude by any means but the guy who posted this song AND several of his “girl” (and guy) friends would have had you thinking otherwise.  Just because I didn’t agree with his assessment of the lyrics and voiced my opinion about the song in a much condensed version than this.  If you actually listen to the words of the song though, he is singing about date rape, or the threat of it.  He is trying to force a woman to have sex with him because he has “put in his time” she owes him at least that much.  I mean come on, “Girl, you drank all my beer and the whiskeys all gone” and he took her dancing and she even had the nerve to kiss him… ”  we’ve already come this far get out of your clothes or GET OUT OF MY CAR”.  (Mmm yeah, that is a real Prince Charming right there).   He threatens to kick her out of the car if she doesn’t “put out”, it really doesn’t matter to him, NOW he has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t care about her as a person he just took her out hoping to get lucky.  The song doesn’t tell you where in the geographical world they are but you can imagine that they went parking somewhere in the country, a young girl who drank too much, who is out with some guy who she thought was nice, who is now being threatened by a sexual predator.   “Either you sleep with me or I’ll dump you off here.   Either you have sex with me and pay me back for all I’ve done for you tonight (insert eye roll here) or just get out of my car because I’ve wasted too much time on you already.”  They could be out in the middle of nowhere, or in a strange city, no way for her to get home,  I know all this is a hypothetical situation but what if that was your daughter or sister or even mother he was singing about?   These situations actually do happen all too often.  This is not the kind of “man” I’d want my daughter to run into anywhere, I wouldn’t want them dating, I wouldn’t want them to be friends, I wouldn’t want her dreaming about or singing to or idolizing or having her first intimate encounter with.

Now the really sad part is a couple of his lady Facebook “Friends” who had jumped in on that conversation attacked me personally and defended this song and it’s lyrics.  They loved this song.  I only had to look at their profile pictures to get my first impression and to understand why they attacked.  No judgment intended here, seriously but I think it kind of adds to my point.  You don’t put up a profile picture of yourself in a string bikini or a low-cut shirt with all your cleavage showing, because you DON’T want that kind of attention from men or (insert intended audience).   To them, I was just an under sexed prude who wouldn’t know how to please my man even if I landed…well you get the gist of what they were saying.  There was no intelligent debate, it was an immediate attack against me as a “real woman”.  I must not be a real woman if I don’t let men degrade me or objectify me.  I must not be a  real woman because I care enough about all women, even those who degrade themselves to speak up when I think something like this song is wrong.  I am not going to go into all the specifics of my sex life because it’s no ones business but lets just say, 17 years going strong and only getting better, we do just fine ;-).  It sounds cliché but I’ll still say it, marriage is like a fine wine, it only gets better with age.  Love, communication and mutual respect between a married couple is a level of intimacy that cannot be had or reached by mere one night stands.  Sorry, I know you think you’ve found the ultimate sexual experience but I can tell you, you haven’t.   I’ve been to your side, you haven’t been to mine.  You may think its nice to be free to roam about the population but the sad thing is what you’re searching for you will never find.  Ladies, how can you expect men to give you any respect if you don’t respect yourselves and demand it from them all the time? 

Maybe common sense does come with age and being a parent and actually wanting to be a part of something other than yourself. 

My question to those women who would like this song and excuse it as “just a song” is, why would you celebrate a man and a song who degrades women like this?  What is it about this song do you like?  Can you tell me something specific I may be missing?  I mean if you are claiming to be a strong independent woman this is definitely not a song I would claim as my “fight song”, my “proud anthem”, I am woman hear me {{{{ROOAARRrrr}}}}..er…wait…what?

The point I am trying to make is it’s not just a song.  It is a societal and familial attitude that keeps getting passed on down through the generations from father to son, like a cancer growth and as I’ve described, sadly in women too who don’t stick up for themselves and allow the name calling and songs and general attitudes like this to continue unchecked.   What you are really saying is its OK for them to treat you as an object.  You do realize what happens when women get treated like they are objects?  They get beaten, raped, murdered and thrown away like yesterdays garbage.  You might say, I am over reacting or if you don’t like the music I don’t have to listen to it.  Well, yes and no.  It’s not just about the music though, it’s about the attitude behind it.  It’s also in movies and bars and the work place and in everyday life.  Yes, I won’t listen to the song if it offends me.  But then no there are people out there who keep on sweeping what they think are “minor issues” like being objectified, under the rug, when in reality those “minor issues” explode into things like domestic violence, rape and murder and they will all continue to happen and get worse and that is when I Do have to listen and to deal with it.  That’s when it does affect me and my life.  And I have to wonder why this is happening and what I can do to try to fix or prevent the ever-growing problem.  When I have to get you in the back of my Ambulance and in my ER and take care of you after you have been beaten and abused all because of the desensitized attitudes of  “IT’S JUST A SONG”.

Now, I am not just attacking Toby Keith or country, because I love Rock n Roll (of Sex and Drugs).  Good Ole Classic Rock.  And I have to say I absolutely cannot listen to some of my “old favs” any more, at least not without making me cringe before I just turn it off.  Now that I have actually realized what some of the lyrics are actually saying (even though I had every word memorized),  I am like, is that what I’ve sung about all these years!!!???!!!  I guess I AM becoming a prude in a way.  Although I am not really sure what that means.  If it means I’m not OK with women being treated with disrespect or as sex objects, even if they are, then I’m OK with that.  If it means I am changing into a different mindset than what I used to have as an immature child, then I’m OK with that.  If it means I am doing everything in my power to teach my son to be the best man that he can be, even if he falls and makes mistakes like I did so many times, then I’m OK with that.  If it means I lose a few friends along the way, I guess they weren’t really mine to begin with, Christ  said “come follow me” and that’s what I’m trying to do…Then I’m OK with that too.

I hope I didn’t offend anyone that was not my intention. 

Peace,

Lori