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Part 3 of 3: How to Feel Safe When a Gunman Threatens Your School (and how to feel safe when you return home)
How Kids CAN Survive an Abusive Adolescence and Potentially THRIVE - Without Giving Up Through Life-Harming Things Like Suicide
So really... in exploring this subject from every angle I can think of and a few others I hadn't via research and conversations with good friends... This article kind of misses the point of what I had originally intended to do, which was to try and give you young ones some REAL, concrete information that would HELP you get through life with your head AND your heart intact.
But, I'm sorry to say... There is probably NOTHING parents or educators can OR will do to help - simply because they THEMSELVES are too scared, overrun, underpaid, under-trained, irresponsible and/or busy to care about extra-curricular things like your HEARTS and LIVES.
They are simply there to guide you and educate you and keep you 'relatively' safe - but no one can really protect you or keep you even SORT of safe from the ugliness of people in the world whether they are strangers, your parents, fellow students or whomever...
The ONLY THING that sticks out at me that can REMOTELY make you semi-safer is doing what everyone SHOULD do in ANY phase of their lives - find GOOD friends of ALL ages (develop relationships with your teachers and parents of friends who seem to care), form alliances, watch out for each other and take care of each other as much as you can.
You would OFTEN see Mr. Moser's very well behaved daughters laughing and joking around with a FEW good friends that they hung out with - and as soon as their father would come into view OR earshot (they were very good about "keeping an eye out") - they would instantly transform back into the automatons that he had obviously trained them to be IN HIS SIGHT.
Stick together, you little Monsters - but be smarter than many adults are about it, ha!
Make SMART friends with people who will COMPLIMENT your life and HELP you through it - and recognize and APPRECIATE that people who are different than you - are just that, DIFFERENT.
These days, teachers are bullied themselves - they have a hard time protecting you from being bullied. And the debate continues... whose job is it to teach kids about LIFE?! Everyone is so concerned about making sure you can read and write, when LIFE skills are EQUALLY as important!!
But, when it really comes down to it, you're ON YOUR OWN no matter where you are, what you're doing or who you're with.
For the children in Sandy Hook and Columbine, it was school...
For others of you it's HOME or some other place that you SHOULD be able to feel safe in...
Just Fyi - SUICIDE shouldn't be an option anyone considers at ANY age, really - but especially before the age of THIRTY because life is so porous, still bends easy, and it still constantly CHANGES - it's like giving up before it even gets STARTED no matter what's going on.
Feelings are TEMPORARY things that EBB and FADE. They are TOOLS to help you navigate through life, and they tell us alot about ourselves - but they DO NOT define who we are.
Life DOESN'T have to continue and end the same way it starts and/or is NOW for whatever reason - NOR is it permanently irreparable when things like abusive peers and elders inhibit us; NOR when you hit a bump in the road at ANY POINT in your life - like when someone close to you betrays you (maybe a cheating partner), or being so in dept that you can't see your way out of it.
I was reading an article the other day about how suicide deaths among soldiers have SURPASSED actual combat deaths - GUYS, do you have ANY IDEA how MANY of us girls are LOOKING for our DREAMBOAT and can't FIND HIM?!!
Aside from that... If you're someone who is in an abusive situation that you can't escape - do what you can to get help and HANG ON until your life becomes your own.
You hang on for that long BECAUSE the RULES you grow up with become OBSOLETE, and THEN you can start living by your own damn rules!!
There IS HELP out there - and the Child Welfare System DOES WORK for many families struggling with domestic violence and abuse issues. Of course, it could help MORE and work BETTER if it was properly funded, staffed and utilized.
For SOME kids (this is a LAST resort) - "hanging on" means LEAVING the UNSAFETY of your abusive parent or guardian's home on your own, sometimes for awhile and sometimes forever.
The world calls them "runaways" - but MANY runaways are just kids doing what they feel they need to in order to escape from unbearable (and sometimes life-threatening) family situations. Many of Seattle's street kids are PROUD of labeling themselves as SURVIVORS.
They are kind of funny to listen to while you're standing waiting for a bus to arrive... Their conversations really are NOT conversations children that age should be having; and they sound so silly talking about all these grown-up things in their "adolescent talk".
But, in a big city like Seattle there are places for runaways to go - AND, it should also be noted that not EVERY kid who runs away does it for VALID, family-abuse issues. Sometimes young peeps really ARE just being young, silly and NOT doing the "right thing" for themselves (discussing THAT would be another article, ha!).
But, in Seattle - and in probably most other cities - there are youth shelters that you can go to. Places where you can sleep, eat, take a shower and STILL go to school - and MANY of them DO! Some of Seattle's most talented musicians are homeless kids who take care of themselves AND form alliances to stick together and help each other out.
But, it is NOT a glamorous or easy life (this is older from 1983) - ANY of them will tell you that. But every one of them feels they are better off "for now" until they can get on their own "adult feet".
Because when you can't get through life by the rules that are given to you - you change the rules so that you CAN get through it.
For MANY parents out there, children are nothing but PROPERTY to be possessed and ruled over - they aren't necessarily "real little people" you created to share and enrich your journey through life with. It is a very OLD-SCHOOL ideal and one that is becoming as OBSOLETE as WOMEN being property.
Children are your responsibility, NOT your property... They are YOUR'S and they are A PART OF YOU.
Stop treating them like their tender hearts don't matter, and start PROTECTING them from people who DO - and maybe their hearts won't EXPLODE LATER in mindboggling rampages nearly as often in our society.
There is LOTS of HELP Out in Internetland for BOTH Victims & Abusers
This is a really good movie from the '90's that I remembered as I was writing all of this... Rebecca DeMornay plays a woman who was abused as a child, and this story is her struggle to "come to terms as an adult" with how her life started, who she is, and where her life is going.
A wonderful, feel-good about ANYTHING in the end movie that goes THROUGH the hard stuff instead of smoothing it over or ignoring it.
VERY helpful story about clawing your way through life, finding yourself and being able to breathe free with a smile in the end no matter what.
Yes, it IS possible... More help below!!
Btw, these are all GOOD places to donate to if you're looking to help out kids struggling to grow up in this crazy world - LOTS of volunteer opportunities, too!!
Get Through Tough Times:
What you go through, we've been through.
Your Life, Your Voice
Boys Town National 24/7 Hotline
Email, Chatline or Phone Help
Evening PST Hours - Phone or Text
The Hotline for Teens by Teens
Child Abuse & Neglect:
worldwide hotline numbers
types of abuse
effects of abuse
HELP for abusers
breaking the cycle
reporting child abuse & neglect
DreamCatchers for Abused Children
Educating the Public on Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting
Health Questions for Tweens
Health Questions for Teens
© 2013 Catherine Mostly