Out of Darkness
Some of you may have heard of the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walks. It is for suicide prevention, and I applaud their efforts.
But, I don’t think it has realized the problem. The Overnight is focused on depression and mental illness. At least, in my case, that wasn’t the cause of my suicidal thoughts. In my case, it was bullies, pure and simple.
When I was a teenager, I was bullied by the kids at school. I didn’t swear or drink or smoke or any of those other things that make a teenager cool. I was Mormon and I followed the Mormon principles, which made me very uncool. It also didn’t help that my family of five lived on a teacher’s salary, so we couldn’t afford the trendy clothes (I actually wore hand-me-downs from one of the ladies at church). I was teased mercilessly, and it tore down my self-esteem.
And then I went home and was bullied there. No, not by my older brother – he was great. No, it was my father who abused us. Between never having a moment during my day to think I was good enough, I only saw one way out.
When I married, I figured my life would be all better – I would be all better. I was wrong. My husband was the biggest bully I’d ever had in my life. Again, I was suicidal based on the fact that someone who was supposed to love me constantly belittled me, told me how worthless and unattractive I was, and made me feel as if I was nothing. Again, I only saw one way out.
Luckily, I survived the bullies. Years later, due to the economy down-turn, I found myself working three jobs. I was so exhausted that I was literally clinically depressed just based on my lack of sleep. And yet I wasn’t suicidal.
I think bullies are a far bigger problem than mental illness, when it comes to suicide (at least in my opinion).
I still have a bully in my life. Luckily, I am at a good place in my life, so she doesn’t really get under my skin. She is my boss, so I focus her mistreatment of me toward my desire to get published. The sooner I can support myself with my writing, the sooner I can get out of my job.
I would love it if Out of the Darkness would funnel some of their raised funds into bully awareness and treatment.