As I was trimming my hair tonight (which is something I don’t normally do, but goodness knows I am BAD need of some curl – my hair is so straight right now it takes three turns of the whole head with the curling iron to get it to do anything…but anyway, I digress…as I was trimming my hair, I was thinking of Brittany Spears and the whole fiasco when she cut all her hair off and shaved her head and media went crazy about it and made her out to be a real whacko…but as I was thinking about her and all her problems, it made me think about a few people who have touched my heart…

about 20 years ago I had a friend who had a little boy who had recently given birth to another child…her bladder was messed up after her second child’s birth and she had many medical issues – along with being out of a recent extra marital affair, being left by her first husband because he didn’t want children and she had no support from her family because they didn’t like her second husband and the list of her “issues” goes on and on.  About six months after her second child was born she committed suicide.  Before that though, it was clear she had reached out and reached out and exhausted all her efforts to be heard.  As I thought of her, I thought of another very close person in my life – who I love with all my heart – who shared her story (knowing I was a psychology major in my past and find the realm of psychology fascinating) who was a survivor of child sexual abuse, was in a very abusive first marriage, before that she had dated her very first boyfriend and was raped by him, discovered she was pregnant after they broke up, told him about it, and he beat her to the point of losing the baby.  During her marriage, she had a baby who was ill, but stayed with her husband until her child was better, she was struggling with an eating disorder, left her husband – was ridiculed because of leaving her husband, moved in with someone who she loved with all her heart and soul, and went on to make many more mistakes that would scar  – not only her – but everyone around her. As I listened to her story – which she was more then willing to say I could share my thoughts and feelings,  and I completely thank her for that – I got to thinking about just how deeply hurt people can truly be.  Just think – most people really don’t suffer any tragic events in their life.  And then there are others that when you hear their life story you wonder just how they can still be walking and talking.  I guess the ones who continue to persevere have a faith in something higher, something stronger then we can ever imagine.  Their hearts must be so full of love to share and their need to be loved and accepted has to be overpowering even to them…but as I was thinking about Brittany and her hair and my friend who lost her life and I have another friend who’s child also took their life, I wondered – and yes, I have very deep thoughts 90% of the time (when I talk to people I am often asked “how do you come up with that stuff”) but here is my thought…maybe those that take their life, or alter their appearance in some way feel they don’t have anyone on their side they feel so totally alone – and their past mistakes are thrown in their face, or maybe there is a constant fear of how they have hurt someone else, and their thoughts are consumed by who they hurt, why they hurt them, how is everyone around them reacting to their actions now – that the actual – who what why how and when – consumes them more then the actual healing process they need to take.  They alter their appearance so that everyone can see on the OUTSIDE what they feel on the INSIDE – they may be told they are a beautiful person, but all they FEEL is ugly.  What if all they really wanted – and I asked my friend this – what is it you want?  What would heal the hurt you feel?  What can I do to make this better?  All she could come up with is that she wanted to be able to admit her mistakes so she could move past them.  

My close friend said after admitting to everyone what mistakes she made, she forgave herself and tried to move on, but the thoughts kept creeping into her brain.  She never felt fully accepted and the more she tried to seek approval the more self destructive she became.  She stated she would have a wonderful day one day and then the next her thoughts would consume her..she would try to stop them, but sometimes she just couldn’t.  She said every time she tried to be happy and feel she was getting back on track, the more she doubted herself.  The more she doubted the deeper into a hole she became until she couldn’t see the good – the happy – the excitement – she realized there were people around her, but she constantly wondered if she was living up to everyone’s expectations and her constant fears, doubt, hurt, etc. consumed her.  She said she had ideas and things she wished others would do to help and felt she was constantly feeling she was in whirlwind of trying to explain how she was feeling and why she felt that way and being shown how all her feelings were her fault anyway because of the mistakes she had made caused the hurt she caused others and while forgive could never be forgotten.  If the mistakes can’t be forgotten, then how can they be forgiven and it was a constant circle of knowing you weren’t really forgiven and it would never be forgotten so how could she heal and be whole again?

When you look at the big picture that way – it’s no wonder hurt and pain can truly beat someone so far down that they would need to dig six feet deep to pick themselves up again!  As I think about all this I try to comprehend a pain which is so deep and so indescribable, so huge it cannot be overcome.  The only way to escape it is end it.  I think of those who have lost someone to suicide and my heart goes out to them and I know there is a special place in heaven for those who have ended their pain.  To know you love someone in pain and nothing you can do can help – and I KNOW my thoughts go to the ones in pain even more – hurt, mistrust, loss of faith, loss of hope for the future, loneliness, insecurity, overwhelming emotions of despair – how hard it must be to continue to try to live with a fake smile, a fake persona of “life is good” and to be in your own quiet pain and dark existence.  I don’t know what to say to that – I think of the song by the Christian group that has the words “break my heart for what breaks yours” and I like to think the world is full of people who feel this way too.  My heart hopes that people see someone in pain and instead of giving the patent comments of “see the good in life” – “it’ll get better” – “everyone has tough times”  – I hope we are or become a society who not only sees physical pain, but can recognize and be compassionate and sympathetic to those with mental anguish or pain so deep – and a loneliness so strong – we become a society and a body of people who would surround someone in pain just as we would someone with cancer or a broken limb, so that all people – no matter what their issue – would find the hope and healing we all so deserve.  My wish for anyone touched by suicide is for them to know, I am here – I will listen to their story, try to understand their pain, their loss, insecurities, and their sense of loneliness.  I will reassure them moment to moment they are loved, they are lovable, they are beautiful, worthy of love, and have many gifts to offer – even if I repeat myself 1000 times.  It’s certainly what I would want someone to do for me…

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