The Joseph Project

THE IMPACT OF CYBER BULLYING ON YOUTH

Contemplating Suicide

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Are you contemplating suicide now?

 

Promise me one thing before you read anything here.  Promise me that you will speak with one living human being before you decide what to do.  What you are feeling is real.  I would never try to convince you otherwise.  It is serious and your feelings are important.  If you are in your house with someone else now, promise me that you will speak with them first.  If not, call a friend, go next door, or speak to someone on the phone.  Here is a number you can call RIGHT NOW and someone will be there:  1-877-870-4673.  If you are a teenager (or a preteen) you can call 1-800-252-8336.  These are numbers for the Samaritans and they are there for you right now.  Here is their website too:  THE SAMARITANS

here are some things to think about before you decide

1) I know what it feels like to want to die.  I really do.  I know what it is like to feel like things are so bad, that you will never be able to make them better and it would be so much easier not to live.  I am not just some doctor, telling you what I learned in school but I am someone who has felt like you do (and maybe worse).

2) If you decide to end your life, you have no more choices.  Think about it.  You can never take back that decision and never make any other decisions.  If you live, you can still make choices.  Do you want to make one choice that will take away your right to choose ever again?

3) No matter what the situation is, no matter what seems like it will never get better, you will not always feel this bad.  I 100% promise that part.  This is the bottom, what you feel right now but there will be much better times, but if you die now, you will let the bottom feeling win when its not the winner.

4) Your parents, your family and your friends will never get better if they lose you.  No matter how good or bad your relationship with your parents, your friends, or others around you, how much you feel that you love or hate them, losing you will change their lives forever.  You do not realize how much you mean to other people.  They can be so mad at you, think so little of you or think that you are the best thing in the world, but losing you they will never get over.  If you are a teen or a preteen, taking your life will make your parents hurt for the rest of their lives. 

5) If going on for yourself doesn't matter to you right now, then go on for someone else.  People who have been hurt the most, have lost the most, have been robbed of the most, are the greatest givers to other people.  You may not be able to change something about yourself or make things better right now, but you can always help other people.  Another way to look at this:  Your life, should you decide to live it, will make a difference for hundreds of other people.  You will be a friend, a parent, a sibling, an aunt or uncle, a donor, a volunteer or you will make someone smile one day who feels like nobody in the world ever smiles at them.  You do not realize that you impact other people, but if you end your life today, you will stop that from ever happening again.  Read this short story about someone who maybe felt the way that you do.

I want to remind you again of some numbers that you can call:  1-877-870-4673.  If you are a teenager (or a preteen) you can call 1-800-252-8336.  These are numbers for the Samaritans and they are there for you right now.  Here is their website too:  THE SAMARITANS

Are you being bullied or cyber bullied?

If you are being bullied or cyber bullied, I want you to hear some other important things:

1) The internet was not always around.  It is only twenty years old.  Facebook is barely ten years old.   I know that it is a very important part of your life, but you should know that the internet is still changing.  There are still adults who need to make new laws and new ways that these websites are run.  PLEASE, don't end your life over something that keeps changing.

2) What you see written online is....

...not as TRUE as it looks

...not READ BY AS MANY PEOPLE as you think

...not BELIEVED by as many people as you think

...does not MATTER to others as much as you think

...will not be there for as long as you think

I know that today looking at what was written about you feels so bad and hurtful and permanent (and maybe it feels true or maybe not) but it will not be as bad as you think, as important as you think or as permanent as you think. 

3) What is written about you is not about the real you.  Yes, it has your name, but it was written by another person who decided to do something to hurt you.  It did not take courage. 

YOU DID NOT MAKE THIS HAPPEN.  

Another person did this and would not have done it if you or their parents (or maybe even their friends) were standing right there.  Think about it:  This was about someone else writing something on the internet. 

This problem is about the person who did the writing. 

4) THEY ARE JUST HATERS.  Go to Youtube  and watch kids looking for people to rate their videos and look at all of the nasty things that they write.  I have seen the most amazing videos, funny, well edited, great script and someone trashes a little kids fun just to be mean.  They are called HATERS.  When you think of people writing about you or believing what they read about you, just smile and say TOO BAD THEY ARE HATERS.  It's not about you.  It's about them being a hater.

5) Find your real life friends.  It's really hard to bully someone who is not alone.  Be with a friend, be seen with a friend, play with a friend.  You only need one and they do not have to be the coolest person in school.  Haters go after people who are alone.  Don't give them a chance.

I know and work with parents who have lost their kids.  They will never be healed from the empty hole in their hearts, longing just to hear the voice of their lost preteen or teen.  Please don't take away your chance to make more choices.  Your life ahead of you is probably way better than you can ever imagine.  It is just right now that things hurt so badly and it will change if you let yourself make more choices.  Remember that I know what its like to want to die.  I just wanted the pain to end and couldn't find another way, so much so that I didn't really care how it ended.  I just wanted to turn it off.  So, I have been where you are right now.  Sometimes something as funny as a picture like this one made the difference but sometimes I felt that by just trying to make me smile or laugh, that someone was not taking me seriously.  And how you feel needs to be taken seriously by others.  Maybe a funny picture is all you need, but I am going to presume that your feelings are bigger and deeper and much more serious than that.

I also know that there are times when I am reminded of a reason to keep living, but then I stop remembering it.  It doesn't stick to me for long enough, because the pain comes back and I just want it to end.  You and I, we need reminders and we need help remembering the reasons to live.  I want to remind you that there are reasons to keep living, its just hard to remember them when you are hurting.

If you are not sure whether you still want to live or not, please promise to talk to one person.  Here are two numbers that you can call any time, day or night:  1-877-870-4673.  If you are a teenager (or a preteen) you can call 1-800-252-8336.  These are numbers for the Samaritans and they are there for you right now.  Here is their website too:  THE SAMARITANS

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