Posts Tagged ‘suicide’


Do you know what an ACE is?

This is no small question. Understanding this might improve your chance of understanding … well, everything. Read more…


Yellow ribbons for life

Something was wrong with me when I came home from Japan.

The wrongness sat with me for months, unidentified and unidentifiable until I sat waiting to turn at a T-intersection and saw a big rig barrelling down the street toward me.

I imagined taking my foot off the brake, and the subsequent peace of no longer having to struggle.

Thanks to that brief vision, I was finally able to identify what was wrong: depression.

I couldn’t name it–or work to ease it–until I could really see it.

Someone I love has been struggling extra hard recently.

This friend told me today that last weekend they were closer to suicide than ever before.

My heart caught, hearing that. “Please call me,” I entreated. “Please call.”

As I drove away from my friend, I thought about what I’d said.

I thought about my very first webpage, and a program I’d once featured as inspirational. Lights for Life distributed–and continues to distribute–cards with yellow ribbons on them. These cards are an alternative to having to try to explain. They give youth who are considering suicide a way to reach out for help without needing to focus on finding words.

Sometimes, there are no words adequate to express what someone is feeling. Sometimes, they can’t be found. Sometimes, the act of reaching out itself can seem so monumental the thought of adding words on top feels impossible.

Sometimes, words are not the answer.

Today I will send my friend this picture, and say it’s OK to text me this image if words won’t work.

I don’t need words to listen. I don’t need words to hear.

For all the words I pour out endlessly, I know well words’ weaknesses,

and hope that my friends know they can
always, always, send a yellow ribbon,
and that I will understand
and lend heart and hands
without judgment and


Please see for more

My bully pulpit

I do not understand how parents can see pictures of kids like Ashlynn Conner and still say “kids are just being kids.” How can any parent not imagine what it would be like to never hold their own child again, over something that could–and should–have been stopped a hundred times over?

Taunt. Bully. Beat. Molest.

Ugly words for uglier actions, all inspired by the same beast: want of power.

These words aren’t just words for me. They’re images and memories, heartbreak and resolve.

When I hear the word “bullying,” I think of the parents who told my mom she was a horrible mom, comfortably and confidently in the vicinity of me and their own children.

When their children taunted and belittled in turn, it was hardly surprising. Like parent, like child.

It was clear to me that it boiled down to power. “Power” was being able to do these horrible things and just call it the natural order of things.

Someday, I vowed, I would be so powerful no one would dare try establishing dominion over me by coercion or cruelty.

I was in sixth grade the last time I was bullied by anyone who knew me.

I wasn’t bullied often before that thanks to what the class clown deemed my “hurkin’” muscles, but a few boys were undeterred. Read more…

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