Recently on a freezing winter night we were visited from my neighbour and good friends other half, he arrived very upset, my friends 14yr old daughter had decided to run away.
We live on bushy farmland in the middle of nowhere, so running away from home in the middle of winter is at the very minimum inviting hypothermia. I went looking and found her on the side of the road about half way between her house and ours (we live about 5km apart). She had a jacket and a backpack with all her most loved worldly possessions in it including lap top, iPod and a few clothes.
After a hell of a lot of convincing I managed to get her and her 45kg bag to come into my warm car and talk, she eventually opened up to me and apart from the usual teenage mother/daughter clashes I was saddened to hear how she has been bullied mercilessly at school. She has been very down for a long time and I think she would most definitely fit the criteria for depression.
As we talked, I told her how I was bullied horribly in school, and while I will never forget that things will get better and that even though it doesn’t feel like it now, high school is such a small part of life compared to the rest of adulthood. I made some suggestions of different coping strategies she could use while thinking in the back of my mind what a complete and utter hypocrite I am.
I tell her how it’s all going to get better yet the other part of my mind is still plotting my impending suicide. I remember thinking of her as I drove home after taking that overdose and hoping she wouldn’t find out why I had died, I felt guilty for lying to her – it doesn’t always get better.
Perhaps things will be different for her, perhaps she will be able to find the happier parts of life and cling to them. There is a window of opportunity where people will still look for and see the good things when they happen – you see this particularly in children - No matter what awful circumstances they are living in they grab onto the little sparks of light hoping everything will turn around. Unfortunately after enough times of your hopes getting dashed and nothing changing you eventually give up, your spirit broken and resigned to the fact that some things can’t be fixed.Even as an adult, I have thought of running away often, mostly to save my family from the burden of living with me. But I also know that running away wont fix anything, I can't runaway from myself sadly and it would make the kids feel abandoned in a different way to the way death would.
*Sigh*.... I hate being like this,