Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lady Gaga Bringing Her Anti-Bullying Campaign to Maryland!!??

Maryland Governor, Martin O'Malley has invited pop icon Lady Gaga to Maryland to speak on eliminating bullying in Maryland.  So, what does that mean?  To me, it means that this issue is finally getting the attention that it's deserved for years.  It means that people in powerful places are now taking notice and making an effort.

I can tell you this much:  If our Governor can pull this off, I will be right there in attendance when Gaga comes to Maryland.  And, if it does happen, I will be on the front line (what's new?) attempting to rally more people to attend, take notice, and make a difference.  Either way, kudos to you, Mr. Governor, for even making the attempt.  It's definitely a step in the right direction.

In another piece of fantastic, positive news, facebook has launched its own suicide prevention chat service!  With just over 1/10th of the world's population being on the social networking giant, that's potentially a massive tool!  I know from my own brief experience at this that, whereas funneling these people to the right professional so that they can get the help they desperately need, being able to have somebody to chat with it their moment of crisis has proven over and over to be so vital.  So, thank you, facebook, for stepping up your efforts.

I  want to acknowledge my very dear friend and fellow front-line warrior is this battle against bullying and to prevent teen suicide, Maureen.  Thanks for posting this information.  You're the best!

When Does it End!!!?? REST IN PEACE Isabelle Guyler (AGE 12!!!)

This time, the story comes from the U.K.  No less devastating.  This time, there are conflicting reports as to whether there was bullying involved or not.    It does not matter.  What matters is the world has lost yet another young person to suicide.  Isabelle Guyler was found hanged in her home in Nottingham Friday.

The police say that their "...investigation found no evidence..." of bullying.  However,  one of the memorial pages set up on facebook strongly suggests otherwise.  These are friends and family of the young girl.  And, some are naming names.  I will revisit that in days to come.  Now is not the time.  Right now is the time to mourn yet one more young life lost to bullycide.  I'm going to take the family and friends word over the police.

I saw a picture of her.  I could only look once and for a short period.  She's far too beautiful, far too young to be gone.  Rest in peace, Isabelle Guyler.

A Sense of Hopelessness

Since I've started down this path of trying raise awareness to the troubles and issues dealing with teen/gay-teen suicide and bullying, I've come across quite a few young people who, for lack of a better term, exuded a sense of sheer hopelessness.  I have a problem with that.

When you're 18, 19, 20 years old and feel hopeless, there's a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.  With some, I'm sure that depression plays a huge role.  As adults, and as parents to these young people, it is imperative that we not only know what depression looks like, but know exactly what to do when we see it.    We can never lose sight of the fact that teen-aged depression is at the root of many of the teen suicides.

Today, on three separate occasions, I heard from young people who sounded thoroughly defeat.  None of them were over the age of 21.  One quote was "what's the point?".  Another defeatist remark was "whatever happens, happens...I've grown tired and careless."  Is it just me, or is there a deep-seeded problem here?

I've said this several times before, and I'm sure I'll say it many more:  it's the adults, THE PARENTS, who need to be educated first and foremost.  In two of the three "cases" I mentioned, I know that the home environment is hostile at best.  One, an 18-year-old, is making plans for just leaving home and trying to make it on his own.  Not necessarily a bad idea, all things considered.  In another case, the youngster is constantly "bullied" by his parents, belittled and even laughed at because he's gay.  When I was in my deepest depression, following the sudden death of my closest friend at the time, the best my mother could offer me was "get over it."  That doesn't work. (and, again, thank God that I'm a resilient person.  Even though it took a couple decades, literally, for me to honestly be at peace with the loss, I did survive)  When there's little-to-no home stability, when there's no support system in the home, when taking it to the streets as a means of rescuing oneself, the issue is clearly that of the adults in their lives or, more specifically, THE PARENTS.

What's at stake, clearly, is the lives of thousands of young lives each year.  With their emotional stability in the balance, it's foolish to think that we can begin to lower the number of teen/gay teen suicides without also addressing the home environment and the parents.  There has been cases where the teen was fully supported and greatly loved by his parents and family, and he still committed suicide.  So, what, then, is the risk factor for the teens who live in hostile or non-supportive (which is equally damaging) home environments, who has parents who range from just not giving a damn to being actually emotionally abusive?  Where does that leave them?  That's an easy answer:  It leaves them with a sense of hopelessness.  And, out of that sense of hopelessness, rarely does anything good come.