Searching for Compassion

Recently in the news there was a girl that committed suicide in front of her family. Her name was Brandy Vela, and she was a victim of cyberbullying for years. This story really affected me, and not because I was bullied. It was because I felt sad for her. She was so close to finding out that none of these people will matter in the long run.

Then I started reading the comments from people on the internet about the story. Some of them really broke my heart.  They lacked compassion. They spoke of ignorance. Cyber bullying and bullying in general is a real thing, and it’s a real problem in this era. It’s not so simple to just turn off your social media page. She was sad and scared, and she didn’t know any way out but death. She was helpless. Suicide is not the answer, but I give her compassion for what she went through, for why she felt this was the only way out. I also want to give compassion to her family, and what they must be going through. I desperately think this world needs more education on mental health.

This story prompted me to post the following post on my Facebook.

“I think maybe I’m far more empathetic then I realize. I try to see things in different angles. I always wanted to get my MSW, but I was worried I would take the job home with me. I also would love to teach high school English or Social Studies. I truly believe the childhood years and teen years help mold kids. So I hope some day to help them.

I have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks since I was 15 years old. Sometimes depression because the idea of stepping out the door scares me, and I wish I didn’t feel that way. I literally would sit in the parking lot of my school crying my eyes out because I just could not get myself out of the car and into that school building. There was no reason. I was just scared and sad and struggling. I dropped out of school for a full three weeks. It felt like so much longer. I wanted out, and today I still deal with that feeling of panic. Like being stuck. Like there’s no door out. I still have to sit in places with an easy exit.

When I finally went back I had a doctors note that said I could get up and leave if I have to without asking. The sad thing is I was afraid to use that. I panicked about that. I often called my mom to come pick me up because I couldn’t handle it. I made sure I had change to use the pay phone because we didn’t have cell phones.

Today I still struggle. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I wake up at 3 AM almost regularly because my brain doesn’t want to shut off. My heart will be pounding for no reason at all. I get up and watch TV, usually Friends or I listen to an audiobook. Just so I stop thinking irrational thoughts. Just to calm the extra loud beating of my heart I hear.

Yet…I graduated high school. I graduated with a bachelors degree from the U of A. I met and married an amazing man. I have amazing supportive friends, not a lot but definitely ones that I hold close. have a beautiful child. I held a full time job and a part time job while I was a mother. My family has ALWAYS been supportive of me. My parents pushed me to be independent and at the same time let me know they would always be there to fall on. That they would love me and lift me up. They taught me not to judge.

So I hope to do the same for my son. I want to raise him to be independent and loving, but to never be afraid to come to me. But also….I want desperately to be able to some day help other kids. Maybe I’ll get my MSW or maybe I’ll teach English, because reading is my passion. I truly believe the fact that I read regularly is what gives me regular knowledge.

Anyway this was probably too long, but I needed to get it off my chest.”

 

It was something I needed to get out, and so many people said thank you for sharing it. People want to hear this stuff. They want to hear they aren’t alone. This is also the post that prompted me to start blogging again. I have so many thoughts running through my head, and I decided I needed an outlet again, a pensieve if you will. This is only the beginning.

 

Please share this number: 1-800-273-8255

It’s the national suicide hotline. There’s also a chat option on the internet. You could save a life. This beautiful life is worth living.

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