Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deeply Disturbed...

Today I just finished a long conversation about the problems of a young woman. Normally, the heartaches of a late teen wouldn't bother me, but this was different. It was different because it wasn't just her story I was hearing, it was mine. And unlike mine, her story is nowhere near a happy ending. Indeed, hearing it has brought me to the stark and difficult realization that my story is by no means unique. And the even more sobering thought, it is that this is a story that often doesn't end well.

To hear that someone is being medicated for psychiatric issues is difficult. To know that those issues are being exacerbated by circumstance? To know that Doctors need to be made aware of these issues? South Park used dark comedy to show a facility meant to cure gays resulting in suicide. But this dark comedy is REAL. Today, I heard the cry for help of a young girl, on medication, viewed as mentally unstable. Leaving the Church nearly killed me. Literally. If it wasn't for an online community, that would listen to me yell, and shout, and cry, .... I know beyond any shadow of doubt I would be dead today. But through whatever providence, luck, or chance, or fate - I fell into the hands of good and caring people that lifted me up. Today, I am a respected engineer at one of the leading technology companies in the world. I like to think, that as I work at my job, I make people's lives better. That I contribute to society.

But, what about the people that didn't have that hand? What if I hadn't have had the blind luck to fall upon people that would open their homes?

I shudder with the sad knowledge that my life would be relegated to a statistic. One more young college student, socially maladjusted, a loner, problems with parents, good, conservative parents. Life was too much for him, so he killed himself. The obituary would call the death a tragedy - so much potential cut short. The parents would cry. The media might make a mention on one of their "stress of youth in today's world" pieces. All because there wasn't someone there. I don't have to imagine much here, because such obituaries have already been written.

This news today has awakened me once again. I can not sit by and watch while lives are destroyed and lost. If you have followed this blog, you'd know that leaving the Church for me has been an emotional roller coaster. Recently, the questions keep popping up in my head - who am I? What is my moral code? Where do I claim that this code comes from? How do I want to live? Who do I want to be? What do I want to do with my life? In working to leave the Church, I became something of a blank slate. No answers, but lots of questions.

I do not know the answers to any of those yet, but I do know, that under whatever moral code I have, it is my obligation to use my knowledge and experience to help those in my situation before. Someone needs to fight for people just starting out in life, the young adults out there.

We have a President that has selected a Surgeon General that has described being gay as a disease. And then we wonder why gay teens kill themselves? Even the most conservative of churches teach love thy neighbor. Don't they?

Here's what Jehovah's Witnesses have to say in an article dealing with Suicide, in the subheading, "No More Youthful Deaths":

Many youths who were once at risk have come to understand that drug abuse and immoral life-styles are nothing but a long and winding road to death, to which suicide is but a shortcut. They have come to realize that this world, with its wars, hatred, abusive behavior, and loveless ways, will soon pass away. They have learned that this world system is beyond redemption. They have taken to heart that God's Kingdom is the only real hope, for it will usher in a new world where not only youths but all obedient mankind will never have to die—no, nor even want to die anymore.
Is it any wonder that these sentiments lead to mass murder? Imagine what a young 21 year old has to think reading that, with their faith in doubt already. That particular Church would argue that suicide doesn't happen there. But they'd be lying.

So now, I face the very real question yet again - what can I do? It is time to draw a line in the sand, to lend a hand, and to speak out and make the medical community, political leaders, and public aware of the issues. For now, I write, but I think more can be done.

1 comment:

Spyder said...

Fate-You have done more than just write about this problem. By listening to this young woman you have become apart of the solution, apart of the community that helped save you. Letting her know that someone cares, enough to listen, enough to share their story with her. Not always is being medicated wrong. Medication won't change a person's sexual preference. But it can help depression, anxieties ( that may be a result of the preference). Once a person can learn to love themself as a creation of God, a God who does not create "junk", then there may be some some movement forward in Life. Otherwise the person is at a stand still, or even losing ground, that could lead to suidice. I don't have a PhD but am speaking to you from my heart. If you sit quietly God will tell you, in your heart what to do. I know that many people have turned away/and against God. And the reason that they have may be other people. How they were treated by them. Not God turning from them. We have "Free Will", God given. It's our job to "Do unto others as we would like to have done to us." And what is that but Love. So simple, but so hard. You're a beautiful creation, Fate, inside & out.