It appears you don't have PDF support in this web browser. Download PDF
This is a PDF Document. Click on DOWNLOAD [link] to Read it or Download it.
TRAGICALLY, another 14 year old gay boy, Jamey Rodemeyer, has committed suicide after years of Homophobic bullying, on 9-08-11, months after making an, "It Gets Better," YouTube video: [link] [link] [link]
JUST HANG IN THERE AND IT WILL GET BETTER.
This is a MEMORIAL for all the boys and girls who are killing themselves, most from Bullying and Homophobia in School and in the home.
I show the faces of only a tiny fraction of the kids who have killed themselves. Many, but not all of these kids are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning. Others were Perceived as Gay, even if they were not Gay, and sometimes kids are simply called “Gay” as a method of bullying and harassment. Please look and see the faces of those now lost to us, beautiful spirits gone, but not forgotten. It is a horrendous waste. Researching this and writing this was very difficult and resulting in a lot of tears. There were so very many cases and I had to trim it down.
When I was 13 years old, I tried to kill myself, and then continued to experience Suicide Ideation past 18 years old. I survived, thrived, and found Love and Happiness.
Today, right now in America, Half (50%) of ALL BOYS who attempt or succeed in killing themselves, are Gay or Bisexual. If you include girls, 29% of ALL CHILDREN who attempt or succeed in killing themselves, are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning. 85% of all GLBTQ kids have thought seriously about committing suicide.
The Social world of School, and the lack of Freedom and Independence of being under 18, will all go away once you turn 18 and graduate from School.
If any of you are feeling the need to talk to someone about your Depression and suicidal thoughts, feel free to SEND ME A NOTE.
The TREVOR PROJECT is for helping Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning YOUTH. It is anonymous and safe.
TOLL FREE 24 HOUR HOTLINE 1-866-488-7386 [ 866 4-U-TREVOR]
The TREVOR website [link] has many resources.
TrevorSpace [link] is a social networking site for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth ages 13 through 24 and their friends and allies.
Daniel Radcliff, who plays HARRY POTTER, is a passionate supporter of the Trevor Project, and has done video spots and donated a lot of money. He talks about it here: [link]
To see videos of other GLBTQ people who survived to find a much better life, check out the
IT GETS BETTER PROJECT [link]
This is a small bit of my story:
When I was newly 13 years old, I tried to kill myself by climbing over a chain-link fence on a Freeway overpass. I was almost over it when a passing motorist stopped his car, jumped out and dragged me off the fence. My mother swore me to secrecy, out of shame, and never offered to talk about it or get me any help.
I did not know what "Gay" meant, but by age 11 I had noticed that I was attracted to boys the way I was supposed to be attracted to girls. At age 12, I fell in-love with Anton Wild, an exchange student from the UK, then he had to go home and I was crushed. I was an Altar boy wanting to be a priest. Then our priest told us boys that, "Boys who are physically attracted to other boys are an abomination in the eyes of God, doomed to burn for an eternity in the everlasting fires of Gahanna." I was repeatedly praying to God to please make me 'Normal.' I could not understand it, I was a good boy, how could I be doomed for something that was not even my choice? It ended up shattering my spirituality, setting me adrift and alone.
My suicide attempt at age 13 was not my only one. Besides being Gay, I am also Autistic. Back then, people simply called you mentally retarded, idiot, stupid, spastic, etc. I was being physically abused almost every day by my older twin brothers. I came close to killing myself at age 16 (up to planning it). I remained very depressed and engaged in suicide ideation until I was 18.
I entered a Maritime Academy (Not military) at age 18, where you had to arrive two weeks early for nothing but hazing. One-third of the incoming class is typically lost in those first two weeks. After the first two days, I was ready to kill myself on Friday, the only time there would be opportunity. Wednesday night, sitting around with the guys in my division, I suddenly realized that these guys seemed to actually like me and accept me, something I had never felt before, and in an instant everything changed and the constant hazing became tolerable. Those guys became my new family. The daily regimentation worked well with my Autism and I managed to graduate number one with an accredited Degree in Engineering and a License to sail on ships.
I still had this horrible secret in me, knowing that if they found out, not only would I be summarily outcast, I might actually be killed. For the 17 years that I went to the Academy and then went to sea for a living, I lived with the fear of discovery, loss of career, and the possibility of being tossed over the side of the ship, something that was sometimes done.
When I was 24, it became too much, the hiding, the lying to people I loved, the internalized homophobia, the fear, and I sat on my bed with the barrel of a gun in mouth. I could not imagine coming-out to anyone. As I sat there, my younger sister popped into my head and I wondered if she might accept me, and decided to at least try to come-out to her, and if she rejected me, then I would die. She totally accepted me and said that my being Gay made no difference to her. It was like the weight of a mountain had lifted off of me.
When I was 34, I retired from going to sea and wrote around 50 or so letters to my closest shipmates, coming-out to them about my being Gay. I mailed the letters on my way home from my last ship. When I got home, my partner of 6 years was in the process of leaving me for another guy, and he told me that he had been cheating on me every time I went to sea. My Autism kept me very isolated when I was not at sea, and I basically lived through my partner and his friends. My life centered on taking care of him and pleasing him.
Letters started to arrive from the 50 or so shipmates I came-out to. It was horrible. There were death-threats and about two-thirds of the letters were Hate-filled, "I hope you get AIDS and die and agonizing death," "Disgusting Faggot," "Burn in Hell," "You don't deserve to live," and others far too vile for me to write here. The other third of the letters were very supportive and nice, but the horror of the hate letters was too much for me. These were supposed to be my best mates, my friends.
I tried to get through it all, but one night it became too much and I tried to gas myself in my car. The only thing that saved me was that I had taken some of my ex-partners sedatives to help me drift-off in the car, and I had an allergic reaction to them, waking up violently vomiting, which propelled me out of the car. I asked myself again if there was anyway I could keep living like this, and the answer was still "No." But I did wonder if there was any way to fundamentally change my life. It seemed very unlikely, but I decided I needed to at least try, if not for me, for those who cared about me. I called a SUICIDE HOT LINE.
I finally got the help I needed to overcome depression and started working to overcome the worst effects of my Autism. Life became very good. I made a lot of friends, learned how to dance, and met my partner of over 20+ years now. What it took was my courage to reach-out for help and the courage and determination to work on my issues.
I wish that I had reached-out for help long before, instead of waiting until I hit rock bottom, almost dying in the process. Part of the problem than was that most people knew very little about mental health issues back then, and I was raised believing you had to solve your own problems and never talk about them.
I hope you can see the message of HOPE here. Once I got help, I committed myself completely to getting better, and in about 3 months I was feeling much better, and in about 6 months I was actually having fun and enjoying life a bit. In a year my life was completely turned around and I was healthy enough to recognize Greg as the love of my life.
When you are DEPRESSED, it is hard to reach-out to others because depression is very isolating. Depression also twists and distorts your thinking. Depression will tell you that you will never get better that no one cares that you are unloved, and on and on—and it is all a LIE. You CAN overcome depression. Talk to someone, get help. Life can be Wondrous, but you may have to reach for it and work for it.
with this art, the teens that are alive with their sexuality have hope. Some people need to understand this and you hit it on the nail with this. This can help spread the love instead of spreading hate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender. Love is Love...
this should help others learn about what youth we have lost due to suicide.
-An autistic girl who waits for her story to begin.
I wrote this article about Gay Bullying to bring attention to it and to show how deadly it is, with large numbers of young people dying each year from bullying at school and at home. You can find articles on all other sorts of bullying by doing a simple internet search for it.
The more awareness we can bring to schools and parents about all forms of bullying, the better the odds of eliminating most bullying in schools and homes.
You are right about children and human nature. Compassion is something that is learned. Compassion can be taught, mostly by example, such as from your parents or role models, at young ages, which is why you can see it in younger kids, like by Jr. High School. However, usually compassion is learned in moments of empathy, such as seeing someone suffer the same things that you have suffered. As we grow up and gain more experiences, some of them involving suffering, compassion can start to grow, which is why you typically see it developing in kids in High School, although some do not gain compassion until college years, and some never do. Some kids are being cruel without knowing they are being cruel, not even realizing that saying certain things can hurt people, until someone says something to hurt them.
Basic Genetic Human nature, left on its own, and found in many different varying degrees, is based foremost in:
A desire for power and to feel Superior to others, which includes the desire to Dominate others, Subjugate others, Impose your will over others, and Control over others
Believing that you are fundamentally better than others
These can be part of Human Nature too, but are also learned:
Revenge & Retribution
- Cooperating with Others Towards Common Goals
- Some people are born with a nature that is biased towards being more social and more cooperative, while others are born biased more towards being less social and more towards individuality and independence.
Some are born with a more gentle nature and some with a more aggressive nature.
The number of customers wanting same-sex characters in the set with the other characters, must far exceed customers like you who do not want those characters. Straight female customers and gay male customers both tend to like same-sex male characters, and straight male customers and lesbian customers tend to like same-sex female characters. It is all about market demand. It is simple economics.
I have only ever seen comments against heterosexuals as a response to homophobic comments they made, but anything is possible, although it must be very rare. There are a small number of homosexuals who have been so abused by straight people that they have a hatred for straight people, but in my 59 years of experience, it is a rare thing. The worst comment I have seen against a straight person is to call him or her a "Breeder." Did you get twirls on Tubl for being Het, as a response to things you say against homosexuals, or are you completely innocent of making or hinting at homophobic things?
Maybe if you were physically and verbally abused every single day of your life, you would understand why young people kill themselves. Your total lack of compassion suggests your own homophobic bigotry,be it conscious or subconscious.
Understanding AUTISM Understanding AUTISM
UNDERSTANDING AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
Click on Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders to get more information about some of the Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The following is a simplified explanation of autism, followed by more detail. Near the end, I talk about HOW TO OVERCOME AUTISM. I will also talk about my own personal story of growing up Gay and overcoming much of my Autism. Just know that I finally got there I learned how to connect with people and make many friends, to find real love, not just people using me, and to find a measure of joy and happiness in life.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
It used to be that people were diagnosed with a specific Syndrome, like:□ Asperger Syndrome
□ High-Functioning Autism
□ Sensory Processing Disorder (Sensory Integration Dysfunction)
□ Developmental Coordination Disor
Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Common Symptoms of Some 'AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS'
PLEASE Click on UNDERSTANDING AUTISM and READ it before reading this paper.
This is meant to be a relatively Short way to help you see if you are part of the Autism Spectrum Disorders, which includes:□ High Functioning Autism
□ Sensory Processing Disorder (Sensory Integration Dysfunction)
□ Asperger Syndrome
□ Developmental Coordination Disorder (Developmental Dyspraxia)
□ DysgraphiaMost kids and adults who are in the Autism Spectrum and who do not show significant obvious symptoms, are SELDOM diagnosed. If the problems and symptoms are not glaring, no one bothers. Even Kids with obvious symptoms are often not diagnosed, since many teachers are not trained to know what to look for and of course most parents do not know what to look for
What I want you to please hear is that I survived and found happiness and love. I also overcame much of my biggest autistic challenges in life (socially, mentally and physically). Please know that there is a lot of hope for your future. More good news it that you can start the process now, if you truly desire to feel better enough to do some work. I had almost no help with my Autism or depression until I almost succeeded in killing myself at age 34. Since then my life has completely changed for the better. It would be very sad indeed if you had to wait until 34 years old to overcome depression and your biggest Autism challenges.
You may think that being able to live with your Grandmother and go to another school will make all of your troubles disappear. The problem is that you are already scarred by past abuse and this has set some negative patterns into your developing brain. These negative patterns can continue to sabotage your live for many years to come, until you reverse them. The absolutely best time to do this is now, while your brain is still forming millions of neural pathways and connections every single day, tapering off at around age 25.
I am happy to hear that you are doing better and would like to see you to even better. I know that it can be very difficult to imagine a future life that is much better than it is now, but it will get better.
Also, I have zero shame or negative feelings about being Autistic. It is part of who I am. Autism has its positive attributes. I needed to overcome some of my Autism challenges because they were isolating me and keeping me from making freinds and maintaining relationships. I also had some physical coordination problems that were preventing from doing things like playing frisbee and dancing. I overcame the challenges that I felt were limiting my life. I still find it necessary to maintain certain life patterns, but I see not negatives around that. So what if I order my daily pills a certain way, lol. that way I immediately know if one is missing. At sea, I turned out to be extremely good at solving problems, be it engineering, people, logistics, equipment, electronics, etc. I did not figure out that this was a positive autistic trait I had until age 23. When I became promoted to a higher rank at sea, and had to oversee the entire engine department and all of the people, I learned that I was too focused on individual problems and situations. I had to force myself to back-off, delegate more and see the larger patterns. It was not easy, but I simply chose to do it and then pushed past my desires to stay focused on a current problem.
In the past, Autistic were encouraged to focus on what they were good at and avoid what they are bad at. But now we know the opposite is true. You will get better at what you are good at anyway, but if you avoid working on what you are bad at, you cannot grow and develop your full potential. Autism does NOT have to ever be a limiter on your life.
I do not wish I had never been born Autistic, because I would not be who I am today without it, nor gained wisdom from the suffering from my youth. But I do wish that I had gotten help with it from a very young age. I did get speech therapy up through grade 6. I had a hell of a time with the letter R. Go ahead and say the letter R and see what your tongue has to do. I was fairly low functioning as younger boy, but I kept pushing myself hard. I think it is partly due to the fact that everyone kept calling me retarded, moron, spaz, etc, and I was determined to prove them wrong. Unfortunately, because of my depression, even when I kept getting rewards, promotions, letters of commendation and positive praise from supervisors and peers, I was constantly afraid that one day they would figure out the truth, that I was actually stupid. This was obviously my depression talking and convincing myself I was unworthy. I don't want you to ever feel this way.
I feel, just from what you wrote and what I see your your DA page/art/literature, that you are really talented and smart for your age. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise, including yourself. I failed 1st grade and was diagnosed as Mentally Retarded, and was to be put in an institution for the Mentally Retarded (what they called it back then). My mother refused and had me checked by a special doctor, who diagnosed me with Central Processing Disorder, now know as part of Autism spectrum disorders. They missed the other disorders, like High Functioning Autism and Dyspraxia, because they did not know anything about those things then. I could not read because each of my eyes was reading by itself, but my brain was not putting them together, so I was basically seeing double. They had me pace back and forth on a balance-beam hours a day. My father raised it higher every few days to make it hurt more when I fell off, to give me more incentive.
Eventually, I had to read flash cards being held up at each end, as I paced, and then flash cards with words. I then did so well that I skipped 3rd grade. In 9th grade we were all given IQ (intelligence) Tests and various Aptitude Tests to determine what career you might be good in. My parents and I had to meet with a counselor who said I tested in the Mentally Retarded range and could not possibly go to college. I protested that I was on the Deans list (top grades in school), but he said, “Test don’t lie.”
Actually testes do lie, a lot. I do badly on multiple choice questions because I over-analyze them and see too many possibilities. I had to work really, really hard to get good grades. I have memory problems. I learned how to work around bad memory, which actually gave me skills others did not have. My life was defined by studying. After graduating High School, I went to a Merchant Marine Academy, earning a 4-year Degree in Engineering in just 3 years, and graduating number one in my class. I went to work for Exxon, going to sea on Supertanker ship and was promoted rapidly, worked up to the highest rank possible of Chief Engineer. I saved and invested care fly and apparently skillfully and was able to retire for life at age 34, after only 13 years of working. I then went into Volunteer work to feed the hungry, care for the dying and learned how to be a Peer counselor, which I still do now. I also went back into art and formed my own Graphic Design company, which was mostly for enjoyment.
Do you see now how you cannot and must not believe people who tell you what you are not capable of and what you cannot do and how you might be insufficient? The world is full of idiots who believe they can look at you and classify you in a box and know all about you. They usually have college degrees purporting to say that they are experts. The things these people said I could not do or was bad at, I proved them all wrong. Whatever you desire to do, it is mostly a matter of will-power and determination.
DEPRESSION: It sounds like you have been depressed and probably still are depressed, although it might be low-grade depression. There are some things you can start doing right now to turn that around, to reverse the negative patterns in your brain. If you are interested, feel free to write me a Note.
Please, any time you are feeling bad, or want to talk, feel free to write to me. You can send me a Note through DA, which is private and confidential. I will send you a Note, to continue this conversation a bit more, as soon as I get a chance to write it.
All the best, Matthew
Then I met Greg . We are married now and have been together going on 25 years.
I know it feels depressing for you right now, but please remember that you will find love again. Each time I lost the man I loved, I was able to love the next man even more. Please don't give-up. It will get better. I tried to kill myself when I was 13. If I had died, I never would have found the love of my life, or my friends and the fun things I have done in my life.
Please consider seeing a counselor about your depression. If you want to write to me privately, you can send me a NOTE on DeviantArt, which is private.
It sound like you have had depression problems for a long time, going up and down. I was like this also. Boyfriends gave me some happiness, but I was not happy from myself. I did not get help until age 34 and then I was finally able to feel happiness on my own. When I finally felt happiness, it attracted men like a magnet. Men kept asking me for dates.
Almost all homophobia is rooted in Christianity and Islam. Not all Christians and Muslims are against Sexual Minorities, but worldwide, most are. We have been hunted, murdered, executed, tortured, imprisoned, isolated, condemned, hated and discriminated against for hundreds of years, all almost exclusively by Christians and Muslims. Christianity religions and Islam basically grant permission to be a bigot and discriminate against Sexual Minorities, all sin-free. You don't even have to feel guilty about it. In this way, religion shares a great deal of the responsibility for the horrors committed again Sexual Minorities over the history of mankind. Before Christianity, homosexuality was widely accepted in the Massive Persian, Greek and Roman Empires, as well as in the aboriginal peoples of the Americas, Australian continent, Island groups, Asian peoples, etc.
Christianity was not homophobic for hundreds of years. The New Testament, written in Coptic Greek, does not say anything against homosexuality. It was not until AD 1100 that the Story of Sodom & Gomorrah was reinterpreted for the first time, to see the story in terms of homosexuality. This was done by choosing to interpret the word "KNOW" in a sexual way, instead of the interrogative way it was intended. Then, when the Bible was being translated in languages like Latin, English, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish, etc, in the late Middle Ages ages, biased translators completely mistranslated two words in the Letters of Paul (Romans, Corinthians and Timothy), claiming they meant homosexual sex.
Someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats or views other people with fear, distrust, hatred, contempt, or intolerance on the basis of a person's opinion, ethnicity, race, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.
Preconceived unfavorable judgments toward people or a person because of gender, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, language, nationality or other personal characteristics. Prejudice also refers to unfounded beliefs.
Many people simply use religion as an excuse to be bigoted. Bigotry is founded in certain Human traits. People tend to want to feel that they fundamentally better or superior to others. This is often done by trying to tear others down, like picking on Sexual Minorities, or boys picking on girls, or looking down on someone for being Jewish or Muslim, etc. If homosexuality did not exist, then some other group would be picked to tear down.
OBJECTIFICATION & STEREOTYPING: When boys and men look at girls and women as sexual objects, it means that they see girls simply as objects for providing sexual pleasure, not seeing girls on a personal individual level. Objectification takes place in all forms of bigotry. For example, a homophobic person sees all Gay men as perverts, promiscuous, child molesters, disgusting, immoral, substance abusers, etc.
IGNORANCE is also a founding block of Bigotry and Prejudice. Typically, a bigot knows very little about the people, religions or subject that they are bigoted against.
The day my ex-partner and I moved into a conservative neighborhood, a neighbor visited and warned us that there had been a meeting about how to get rid of the Fags moving in, talking about fears of their children being molested, property values dropping, having a derelict home in the neighborhood, etc. Our response was to go next door, knock on the door, introduce ourselves and invite them to dinner in a couple of days. We kept doing this, sometimes invited multiple couples over. Each dinner went very well.
Once people meet you and see that you are not the monsters that they thought all Gay people were, and saw that we were very much like them, saw that our relationship was just like theirs, then the bigotry disappeared. We even did some babysitting of kids. There was only one couple, in the house across from us, who would scream things across at us, like "Fucking Faggots." I would should things back, like "And Proud of it," or "Every change we get." They sold their house and moved.
Another big source of bigotry comes from FEAR.
For homophobia, oddly, some homosexuality can cause a person to be bigoted against other Sexual Minorities. They hate the the attractions they feel to the same gender and blame these feelings on other Sexual minorities.
So thanks for posting this. Because now I feel like I'm going to actually try to help myself and beat my depression.
I hope you saw the TREVOR Toll-Free Hotline and web page I listed on the teen suicide deviation. It was created for Sexual Minority Youth, but it is open to ALL youth who call. They do not have caller ID, so it keeps your call completely anonymous. You can call just to talk about problems, or especially if you are feeling like cutting yourself or killing yourself. [TOLL FREE 24 HOUR HOTLINE 1-866-488-7386, and the Trevor Web site: [link] ]
Also, check out the IT GETS BETTER Video Project [link] to here from thousand of others how life gets better after you get out of school. But I would rather see you happy long before then.
Here are two deviations of mine to help you with your depression:
I can tell you that the suffering you are feeling now will help you a lot later. How can you appreciate goodness if you have never experiences badness? How can you fully appreciate love, until you have lost it? How can you appreciate warmth, unless you have been freezing? Suffering allows you to better appreciate and enjoy the good things in life. The deeper into the pit you fall, the higher you can later soar high above.
Right now, you look at the misery of your life, then look forward at the future, and maybe only see the same misery for the rest of your life. You may never have even experience unbridled joy, deep love or an exuberance for life. So, you have nothing to look forward to. All of that can be yours, at least for periods of time. No one is ever happy all the time. Life is up and down for the vast majority of humans. Some of us may go a lifetime and never see but a few ups, due to depression. But please take it from me, depression can be overcome. I actually got over the worse of my depression in 3 months, and in 6 months my life was completely changed for the positive. This was after almost succeeding in killing myself, and after having my partner of 6 years leave me, and two-thirds of shipmates hatefully rejecting me when I came-out to them. So I was pretty deep in the pit.
I can also tell you that once I got out of High School, life got much, much better for me, although low-grade depression, with occasional dips into deep depression, stuck with me. School is an artificial environment completely different from real life. After graduating from HS, I actually went to a Merchant Marine Academy (not military, but looks like it), pushed there by my father, and had to go through an initial week of continuous hazing (like boot camp). I planned on killing myself with a flare gun I spotted on the bridge of the ship, but would not have access until Sunday. But then the unexpected happened. The guys completely accepted me and even liked me. Months before, in High School, the same guys would have made life much worse for me. Anyway, if you have an interest, I could tell you the fuller story.
I finally got some help after barely surviving my last suicide attempt at age 34. I decided to give life one more shot and put everything I had into trying to overcome both my depression and the worst of my Autistic challenges. If I then failed, I could die with a clearer conscious. No matter what you may think in depression, if you choose to die, you will cause suffering behind you. Death is final—there are no more possibilities for you after that. Suffering is not so bad when you know that it will eventually pass and life will get much better.
Depression distorts who you are. There are chemical changes in the brain that distort how you think and feel. The depressed version of who you are is not the real you. By doing some cognitive and behavioral self-therapy, you can overcome depression and correct your brain chemistry. But remember that if you have been depressed for a couple of years, with negative thoughts constantly repeating in your brain every day, which is what programs your brain into a depressive pattern. It therefore takes a big effort to reprogram your brain into a positive state-of-mind.
I found that when you are depressed, you ooze negativity and do not attract good people to you. When I overcame my depression and was having a grand time, I was getting asked-out around 3 times a week. We project how we feel. I then met the man who has been my partner for 23 years.
If you walk, stand and sit slumped in negativity, looking downward most of the time, this projects negative energy to those around you, who often interpret this as you being a 'loser,' and unfortunately can be like an invitation to bullies to, "Kick me." Even if you are very depressed, you can still force a smile, stand taller and try to engage with others around you. In psychology, we know that if you push yourself to act like you are a happier person, it actually helps the brain shift to a happier mode.
Basically, the more you think and behave negatively, the more depressed your brain gets and the more negativity the brain then produces. You can change how your brain works by changing how you think and act.
You can start your road to recovery by forcing yourself to start watching for negative thoughts percolating up into your conscious mound, then STOPPING the thought, not wallowing in it, and replacing it with a positive thought. Yes, this is a pain in the ass to do, but necessary to get better. For example, if you see the thought, "My life Sucks," bubble up into your mind, stop the thought and refute it, reminding yourself of the positive things (which is where I and others can help you).
Depression FEEDS on isolation and causes isolation. Push yourself to get more socially involved, try to make more freinds (e can talk about how to do that), maybe volunteer for charity, join a club, etc. Laughter and social connections release endorphins in the brain, which make you feel good.
Doctors give-out antidepressant like candy, but they are actually very dangerous for teenagers and can actually trigger suicide, so if you are on one, be sure to watch for any changes. Drugs are very missed. Antidepressants cannot make you feel good. What they do is flatten out your emotions, both bad and good emotions. They are only meant to help give you enough ambition and energy (pull you out of the deep-end), so that you can do the cognitive and behavioral therapy to overcome depression. You can take antidepressant drugs all your life, and still have low-grade depression the ant ire time, never feeling really bad, but also never feeling really good.
If you are very depressed and suicidal, and you cannot motivate yourself to work on overcoming your depression, then a drug might help in the short term.
If you see a professional counsellor or psychologist, remember than many of them do what we call 'churning,' which means dragging your treatment out indefinitely to keep collecting money for years. If you go to a counselor, tell him or her that you want to be proactive and work on getting over your depression as fast as possible, and want homework to do each day. If all you do is see your shrink once a week and talk about what happened that week, you won't make any progress.
I wish you all the best that life and love can bring you. Again, feel free to Note me if you want help working on your depression, or just to talk. All the best,
Thank you so very much for the suggestions.
All the best…
A study was done in the United States on Bullying. But the most amazing finding was that if just one student speaks out to stop a boy or girl being bullied, then other kids usually join with that person to stop the bullying. It takes courage to do this, because you are afraid of becoming the next target of bullying. Bullies usually only bully if they feel they are supported by other kids around them. Bullies go after kids they feel are more vulnerable and less likely to fight back. Interestingly, it is also common for bullies to be victims of bullying at home.
I did not get bullied for being Gay (too many girls chasing me around). I got bullied for being Autistic. I got beat-on, pushed around, kicked, called a retard, moron, spaz (as in spastic) and so on. I was very uncoordinated and could not play sports well, so even the coaches in Physical Education called me names.
I also faced deep discrimination from the Catholic Church who said that I was an Abomination in the eyes of god and would burn in hell for eternity, just for being born Gay. I tried to Kill myself at age 13, by jumping off a Highway overpass, only to have some man grab my feet as I was going over. I came close to suicide again at ages 16 and 18, and thought about dying every single day for about 5 years.
When you are bullied, adults tend to blame you for being bullied, like it is your fault for not being able to stand up to the bullies. After the Columbine school killings, some schools created programs to help kids cope with being bullied, rather than trying to stop bullying.
American schools are basically socially structured around bullying. Often this bullying is subtle. For example, excluding a girl from invitations, from sitting with other girls at lunch, stuffing nasty attack notes in her locker, online attacks on your Facebook page, spreading false rumors around, and on and on.
What I can tell you, and I hope you will others, is that it really does get better after school. School is often a false and sick environment for many. Once you graduate, it changes. I went into a Merchant Marine Academy (not military), expecting even worse bullying, but to my surprise, I got complete acceptance from the same guys who six months ago would have been bullying me in school. Life got much, much better for me. I also felt that I would never be able to find love, but once out of school, I found love…
It does not look like any of the kids I presented in the deviation were Emo, but with the many thousands of kids killing themselves each year, some of them are bound to be. If anything, my guess would be that being Emo might allow a person to express their emotions better and connect to others within their group better, which would tend to help prevent suicide, but then I don’t know much about Emos. Emos were not a clique, group or classification that existed when I was in school. There were Jocks, Nerds, Geeks, Normals, and those rejected by all (me). Although I grew up Gay, I was actually victimized for being Autistic, both at home and at school.
I personally do like the labeling of people. We all do it constantly in our society to some degree, but most people seem to see only the labels. For example, you could say I am a 57-year-old Gay married man. This would convey a fir amount of information, yet that information will mean very different things to different people, from good to disgusting. While I am 57, a man, and Gay, these things do not define who I am as a human being. I w as labeled by a State as being Mentally Retarded, and when I was in High School, another State that said I was not intelligent enough for college. Yet I got my 4-year Engineering Degree in 3 years and graduated number one in my class, then did so well that I could retire for life at age 34.
Our society wants to pigeonhole each person in fixed known slots. If a young person says that he or she is a Goth or Emo, how much does that really tell you about who that person is inside? I say not very much at all. Why do both youth and adults want to label themselves so badly, as well as others? I keep seeing young people trying to label themselves by their sexual orientation, and the more exotic sounding the better, like Pansexual, Amoeba, Biromantic, Cisgendered, Genderqueer, Homoflexibility, and on and on.
Fear of the unknown is about the most powerful of all fears. Being young and not knowing who you are yet can feel scary. Labels can lend you a temporary identity or to give you status. There is an innate desire to identify yourself in some way, such as by association, like saying, “I am an environmentalist.” Humans also want to label others and make them a “Known Value.” Others can label you to put you down. Why do people desire to put others down so much? The reason is that it makes some people feel better about themselves if they tear others down. If you cannot lift yourself up, then tears others down so that you can feel superior to them.
Labels have whatever power we as individuals and as a society give them. In other words, someone can call me a Faggot in a disparaging voice, but it has no power over me unless I let it. Someone once shouted at me, “Fucking Queer,” and I shouted back, “Every chance I get.” Another time someone called me a “Fag,” and I said, “Thanks, it’s wonderful isn’t it?” People have no idea how to respond to that. At Equator Crossing, I was dragged (near unconscious) before King Neptune’s Court and had my crimes read to me, which were, “You are an Average Raiser & Curve Breaker” (Grading Curves). I shouted out, “GUILTY, AND PROUD OF IT.” Alas, they made a mess of me after that. Labels can be thrown at you, but it is up to you how you catch them and reply to them.
If a Society says there are only two Genders, and some people get together and show that they are a Third Gender, then society can try to exert its power and refuse to recognize the Third Gender, but those of the Third Gender can EMPOWER THEMSELVES with a new label.
Labels can also hurt you, shatter you, or destroy you, or they can empower you, give your pride, courage and sense of belonging. It is all a matter of how labels are used and received.
What we do that is very wrong in our society is to look at people, make assumptions, and then assign a label to them. If you see that someone is Muslim, you may make huge false assumptions about that person. In my generation, if a person was labeled as a Fag or Queer, it meant (to them) that you were a pervert, child molester, promiscuous slut, drug addict, alcoholic and an evil blight of society. You can look at a person shabbily dressed and living on the street and make horribly wrong assumptions about that person. Street kids become invisible and people look right through them, labeling them as non-entities.
On the ships I sailed, when I was a Third Engineer (lowest officer rank) everyone treats you like an idiot and with no respect. On one ship, the Second Engineer got off and I was jumped-up to Second Engineer and was suddenly treated much, much better. Two months later a more senior guy came on board and I was bumped back to Third, and was again treated like crap again, by the same people who treated me better just the day before.
CONCLUSION: We are what we are. Some things about us we can change, like being a more honorable person, while there are INHERENT things about that we cannot change, like the gender of our brains and our sexual orientation. Learn to Accept and Love that which is Inherent in you, and find the will and courage to Improve those parts of you that you can change.
People have asked me how you can kill yourself and cause so much pain to those you leave behind, like you are a bad person for doing it. The answer is very easy, it is called depression, a disease which can be deadly. You are not yourself anymore when depressed, your brain chemistry changes, your thinking is no longer logical, you don’t see options or possibilities, and it makes you want to isolate yourself and not contact anyone.
Society makes suicide a crime and Christianity makes it a sin. Both society and churches do a great injustice to those who are suicidal. It is an attitude totally lacking compassion and is based in ignorance. In Christianity, they say that if you are in despair and want to die, then you lack faith in God, and are therefore in sin and will be forever damned to hell for killing yourself. You are not even permitted to be buried in a Christian graveyard. I hear people say that suicide is a selfish act, and such statements are made by those angry about someone who committed suicide and cause pain.
There is nothing selfish or sinful about suicide at all, it is the result of an ILLNESS of the brain, called depression. Sometimes you have no power over it. When I was 34, I thought I was recovering pretty well from some terrible things that happened to me. Then late one night I found myself going through the motions of suicide. I was not consciously thinking. I was like a robot or zombie and felt detached and watching from the outside. I had no “woe-is-me” thoughts, no saying I want to die. I did not call anyone because the thought never occurred to me. Then I watched myself turn the key, then drift off. I suddenly woke up vomiting violently, which saved my life. By the time I cleaned everything up, I was thinking and feeling again, thinking about my sitters and owing them a last chance.
When you talk of your Grandfather, I sounds like it is with compassion. By now you know how painful life can get at times. It is your connections to those you love, hope and faith that things will get better that help you survive the bad times. But depression robs you of all of those things. Kids are especially vulnerable because they have no life experience or evidence that life WILL get better.
If you know what to look for, you can help save a life. Notice those around you and notice when you see isolation, negative changes and other signs of depression. Then have the care and courage to try to connect with him or her. Sometimes it takes very little to make a big difference, and if not, at least you tired.
I can promise you this, when you graduate from High School, life will change dramatically, almost always for the better. The world that you know in school is artificial and not like real life. When I went into the Merchant Marine Academy, they guys who would have made life miserable for me just a few months before in HS, now fully accepted me and became friends with me.
Much of bigotry is based in ignorance, and in this case, people making those comments about Emos are doing so in ignorance. It is also so much easier to put down people you see as objects instead of human beings (objectification). It is easy to put-down or hate Blacks, Queers, Jews, Muslims, Emos, etc. If they get to know a person in the group they objectify, then those people can now be seen as actual human beings, and it is harder discriminate against people, compared to one of THEM, one of those Jews or Muslims. Education about groups being discriminated against really helps. Like most Americans are down on Muslims, but they know almost nothing about them, other than the behavior of some Arabic Muslims. Many people like to target other groups because it makes them feel superior to those people.
I have two other deviations you might find of interest:
With online bullying, there are other kids who will bully to the point of saying things like, "Just kill yourself now and do us all a favor." Tracking down the actual person who says these things is not easy.
Bullying goes on in the adult world on a regular basis, as does bias intimidation. While we can work to reduce bulling and intimidation, we will never eliminate it. Therefore, we need to also focus on helping our brothers and sisters in the community deal with it. This is really hard to do when you are young.
As an adult, someone can call me a Faggot in a disparaging voice, but it has no power over me unless I let it. Someone once shouted at me, “Fucking Queer,” and I shouted back, “Every chance I get.” Another time someone called me a “Fag,” and I said, “Thanks, it’s fantastic isn’t it?” But when I was a boy, I was mostly bullied because I am Autistic, and I absorbed most of the hatred into myself and hated myself. Society's hatred of homosexuals was obvious back in the 1960s and 1970s and I hated being homosexual and hated myself even more. When we are young, we don't know any better unless there is someone around to explain that you are Ok and good, it is those that hate and harass who are the bad ones.
Human nature is based foremost in:
A desire for power and to feel Superior to others, which includes the desire to Dominate others, Subjugate others, Impose your will over others, and Control over others.
Believing that you are fundamentally better than others
These can be part of Human Nature too, but are also learned:
Revenge & Retribution
We are also genetically programmed to be SOCIAL Beings, but also seeking Individual Identity.
This includes Cooperating with Others Towards Common Goals and Mate-Bonding, which includes things like Kindness and Self-Sacrifice.
- Some people are born with a nature that is biased towards being more social and more cooperative, while others are born biased more towards being less social and more towards individuality and independence.
With CREATIVITY added to the mix, this is the mix which drive humanity to dominate the planet, and may perhaps someday destroy it.
The Pell Research Center was commissioned by the American Catholic church to survey how American felt about Torture, broken down by religion. See Christians Approve of Torture [link].
They found that Christians are actually far bloodthirtier than those who do not even have a religion or believe in a God:
- 72% of Catholics Approve of Torture
65% of White Protestants & Evangelicals Approve of Torture
63% of the Total American Public Approves of Torture
51% of Seculars Approve of Torture
The United States is the only nation on the plea net to reduce to sign (ratify) the "Rights Of the Child" section of the human rights treaty, because we are wine of the biggest violator in the world of peaceful nations. We refuse to ratify the rest of the Human rights Treaty as well, due to our many violations, such as Super-Max Prisons. We even refuse to Ratify the "Rights Of the Woman" and "Rights of the Immigrant Worker." The United States refuses to codify the equal treatment of women. The United States refuses to sign treaties on Land Mines and Chemical Warfare, as well as the Kyoto Treaty (global Warming), even though we are the greatest contributor of greenhouse gases in the world. 45% of Americans do not believe global Warming is real, despite 98% of all scientists in the world agreeing that it is very real. Americans choose not to believe in it out of greed, because they think in terms of how it could cost them money. We have one of the worst Juvenile Justice systems in the industrialized world, where we give draconian sentences to kids. We put give people high prison sentences for drug offenses than we do for rape and murder.
What spoke volumes to me was when the voters in Washington State voted down money for the homeless and hungry, and to repair our schools and buy new books, etc, then voted 1.1 Billion dollars for two brand new sports stadiums, although we already had a perfectly function one we were still paying for. The voters cared more for their sports than for the suffering of other humans. A Billion dollars would have housed all of the homeless we have, fed them, a repaired our schools, etc, for years to come. Now they will be building a third Stadium. These stadiums make a few very wealthy and are a drain to police overtime, cleaning, etc.
In a Democracy, the people get exactly what they deserve, but unfortunately, the minority do not get what they deserve. It seems very odd the Republican, who are big on Conservative Christianity, are the cruelest of all and the greediest of all, and the most violent minded
Despite this seemingly pessimistic view, there are a lot of very good people who work hard to make-up for the greed and cruelty of others. However, at times it feels like you are pissing into the wind.
I apologize for getting on a soap box and getting carried away with this.
If you go into the Midwest and Southern US, into Idaho, the Southwest, liken Arizona and New Mexico, and even parts of the Great Lakes area, there are extremely conservative areas. Therefore, it depends not only on the region of the country, it can be right down to one school compare to another in the same city. The Principle and teachers can make a big difference.
A lot of the bullying, like what drove 14-Year-Old Jamey Rodemeyer to Suicide, was on-line homophobic bullying. He had been able to cope in Jr. High School, but his first semester in his new High School turned into a worse hell than before. He was getting bullied and harassed at school, but the cyber bullying was new to him and especially vicious.
Once you are marked, Christian kids from around the country can gang-up on you and attack you, even though they live far away and do not know you at all.
These "Christian" kids should start acting like who they are, because they aren't doing anything god would want us to do hating anyone - Transgender isn't even against the bible if you asked me. But I hope that one day will be like Taiwan and Canada and all the other countries that can have equal marriage rights.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
If you have any questions about being Gay, about the Gay community, male health, your body, safe-sex, etc, please feel free to send me a Note, which is private and I am also fully confidential. I have been doing volunteer counseling to the GLBTQ community for over 23 years, both adults and youth, plus I've obviously been Queer a long time, LOL. There are things worthwhile knowing, like I imagine you have not been told that it is important to start self-checking for testicular cancer at age 15 (it is a cancer that mostly targets boys and young men).
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
I live in Washington State and we are about to vote for Gay Marriage in our State. Alas, even if we get it, the Federal Government won't recognize it, or any other State. This is due to a Federal law called DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) which forbids the Federal Government from recognizing Same-sex marriage laws of States, and forbids other States from recognized same-sex marriages allowed in other states. If Obama gets reelected, there is hope for repeal of DOMA, but otherwise it could be another 4 or 8 years, unless the Supreme Court rules DOMA illegal, which seems unlikely, considering it is so conservative now.
When I spoke of Christian kids, I should have said Conservative Christian kids. There are Christian churches that do not teach that homosexuality is a sin.
If you have any issues around your faith (Christian, Judaism, Islam) and your sexual identity, I can help you reconcile them. I am actually well educated in Christian Theology and other Faiths. However, I personally am a Humanist (I choose to be a good man out of desire, not from the threat of a Hell, promise of a heaven, nor belief in Gods or subservience to a God). However, I am spiritual.
The New Testament does not actually say anything bad about 'same-sex sex' (gay sex) or homosexuality. Jesus never said a word about it in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, nor did God in the Ten Commandments. Translations of the New Testament, starting with the King James Bible era, claim that Paul is talking about same-sex sex being a sin. HOWEVER, this is NOT TRUE in the original Coptic Greek scriptures. The scriptures may not lie, but Translators sure did. The original Scriptures written by Paul in Greek (by his scribe), never said anything bad about same-sex sex.
There is no word in Coptic Greek for homosexual or same-sex sex. This is because same-sex sex was culturally part of general sexuality, and not seen as a separate thing, and it was openly practiced and accepted. Bible Translators took a pair of words in Greek and claimed the two words together meant same-sex sex. Yet the same word-pair is seen elsewhere in the bible, without that meaning.
Sodom and Gomorrah was never associated with homosexuality until 1,100 AD, and the Jewish Faith never interpreted it that way.
Jesus was born and raised in the Roman Empire, in Judea, which had many roman citizens and Roman Garrisons (soldiers). Jesus and his father Joseph lived in a city and worked as carpenter. The City was densely populated by Romans (according to recent archeological discoveries). Since same-sex sex was openly practiced by romans, and especially by soldiers, Jesus was bound to have heard about it in his 34 to 35 years of life, yet he never once mention it as being bad or wrong.
Anyway, if you have any questions about it, let me know. I wrote three deviations about it, to help GLBTQ people reconcile their faith with orientation:
- New Testament + Homosexuality [link]
Old Testament + Homosexuality [link]
SODOM DESTROYED ON 6-29-3129BC [link]
If you have an interest in my other GLBTQ related Deviations, here is a list of some of them:
- Coming Out Gay Age 13, 1968 [link]
CELEBRATION of GAY PRIDE [link]
The Science of Homosexuality [link]
The Science of GAYDAR [link]
Are You Straight, Gay, or Bi? [link]
History of The Pink Triangle [link]
HIV AIDS Immunity [link]
IRAN EXECUTES 2 GAY TEENAGERS [link]
LOVE, FINDING A MATE, RELATIONSHIPS, INTIMACY
What Is Love All About? [link]
What To Look For In A Mate [link]
THE CHEMISTRY OF LOVE [link]
HUMAN INTIMACY - 101 [link]
I was never bullied over being Gay, since I kept that a deep secret. I was mostly bullied for being Autistic. I was obviously different, shy, difficult to socialize and make freinds. I was in speech therapy up through 6th grade. I remember trying to join the chess club in HS, just as a way to try to make freinds, but even the Nerds very openly rejected me and told me to get lost. I was a true outcast and very isolated. However, I was also stalked all of high School by a girl, which made my life a worse misery. She arranged dates through my Mother, and I had to go or be beat and punished.
I was working with a boy who went to his school counselor with depression. She did not tell him that what he said to her was not confidential and that she was obligated to report certain things. When she reported he thought about suicide, he felt so betrayed that he would not deal with any other adults, professional or not. Word gets around and kids don't trust going to school counselors for serious problems, unless it is a way to get counseling, forced intervention in the family, etc.
Schools are easy to blame, but most are simply overwhelmed and have very limited resources in concealing and intervention. Kids who are in trouble are often obvious when you know what to look for, so many interventions could be done. Isolation is the biggest clue to trouble.
With homophobic bullying, many of the kids called a faggot, queer, etc are not even GLBTQ. Such insults are used as a general weapon in bullying. But if you are obviously homosexual, then the attacks can be merciless. However, some schools are relatively friendly to GLBTQ kids. It totally depends on where you live. In WA state, some schools are hell on the East side, and very good on the West side. conservatism is what marks intolerance and hate, starting at home and taken to school.
I still wonder if kids so young just pick up those words and think it's funny to call people them, while barely even knowing what a faggot actually is. It's rather sad children can be so needlessly cruel without even caring what the end result is.
I was involved in a case of a 9-year-old boy who was suicidal. I had not even though a child that young would even think of such a thing, but I was wrong. What saved him was his very close relationship with his father and feeling like he could say things to his father without fear. He told his father that he had thought s of jumping in front of the train, at the train stop. His father was actually not taking what hiss son said literally, but wanted my advice. I asks him to talk to his son immediately about he should live and about the wonders that were to come (etc.) and to take his son to a counselor the very next day. I told him to take this extremely seriously and that depression is deadly. The child was being badly bullied at school and the school was able to take immediate action to stop it.
When you think of depression in terms of brain chemistry, some people are brain with brain chemistry biased towards (for want of better words) sadness or happiness, and therefore some of us are very vulnerable to depression, compared to others. Depression in a child is especially bad, because if left untreated, the brain can basically forget how to correct its chemistry and the person has depression problems all their life.
Longterm depression in childhood has another very bad result. When human are under stress, a stress hormone Cortisol is produced. Cortisol negatively affects your Hippocampus, your memory center in the brain. This means that stress has a very negative affect on your memory, which makes learning in school difficult. In adults, once the stress is removed, memory function returns to normal. In children, stress is MUCH worse. Cortisol actually inhibits the development of the Hippocampus. I have an undeveloped Hippocampus and a lifetime problem with memory, due to 18 years of abuse at home and school, along with growing up gay in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and being Autistic, but treated. 16 of those years involving physical abuse.
Stress in kids also affects the conversion of White matter to Gay matter, and formation of new neural connects (lack of sleep, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs do this too).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Very young kids do pick-up things like swear words and often use swear words to get attention and for fun, because they are taboo. However, with bigoted words, kids also pick-up the underlying derision, hatred and intolerance used by parents, siblings and others in their lives. This is even picked up before very young children even learn to speak.
CRUELTY: Children can be naturally cruel because compassion has not been learned yet. HOWEVER, parents can immensely influence this in either direction. Babies and young children are like sponges and they mostly learn by observation, NOT by words themselves. In other words, parents can flat their lips all they want, but kids mostly learn by the example, from their parents and others close in their lives, they learn by observing the world immediately around them. In this way, the basic 'VALUE SYSTEM' of children is set by age 7.
Compassionate parents teach compassion to kids amply by the way they live their own lives. People with cruel streaks teach this to their kids, even if they do not want to.
Compassion is also learned. When kids go through bad things themselves, lit can result in them gaining compassion for others, at least concerning that one thing. Unfortunately, sometimes kids react the opposite way. For example, a child who is bullied at home might react by bullying other kids at school. A child who is being raped is much more likely to rape someone else.
The most common mistakes of parents is that they do not change their parenting techniques along with the development of their child. In the very young years, when a child is completely dependent on the parent, the adult is like a God and fully autocratic, which is necessary to tach boundaries. But once Puberty hits and a child is starting to form individuality, the parenting stye needs to adapt to this and be less autocratic, giving more responsibility, and recognizing the child's growing need for recognition as an individual. Most parents (more than half) do not do this. The result is that the bridge of communication between parent and child breaks-down. this triggers rebellion, reduced respect, and worse of all, mental isolation of the child. This child will only go to his or her parent with a problem as a last resort, if it all.
Also, I feel like a lot of parents don't know what to do when their kid is being bullied or other issues, so they may end up giving bad advice like to just ignore it - bullies don't just simply lose interest, they want to see you crack.
It's reasons like this that I want to be really close to my kids, it seemed like my parents didn't spend all that much time with me and my siblings growing up, so they felt kind of distant. And with that much distance leads to the parents eventually not even really knowing the child at all, or not knowing what's going on in their lives. I want to be the kind of parent that my kids would actually be able to talk to.
You have a good goal as a parent, although it is also challenging. Parenting can get habitual and kids grow up very faster than parents often recognize (time flies). There are some things to help you as a parent. First, do not overreact when kids do things wrong. Do not react with rage or great anger, or with severe punishments. In stead, show hurt & disappointment, then go over possible consequences and make it a learning experience, and give a reasonable punishment. If you react with rage, it tells the child to never tell you if something goes wrong,s and to lie to you and hide things. Punishment is to teach consequences of doing wrong, so the punishment should reflect the mistake.
Something critical to parenting is maintaining an open line of communication, and this depends on building mutual TRUST & RESPECT. Something I did was to set special time aside once a week where any of us four could raise any topic of discussion they wanted, any questions, and complaints or problems, with ought fear of being thought less of, or having anyone be angry, and without punishment. We all got to agree to the rules.
I also had the kids participate in setting their own punishment. This worked out amazingly well. At first they wanted no punishment, but I made a deal with them and that if they had a reasonable punishment for themselves, then I would let it stand, and if it was too much, I would lessen it to make it reasonable, but if it was much too little, then the punishment would be worse than usual.
Instead of teaching right and wrong by rote memory, I tried to teach values from a place of compassion. I started immediately by trying to get them to think in terms of how it would feel if that thing was done to them, if someone stole your badge, or if someone lied to you, or just stopped being a friend, how would you feel? I taught values based on a desire of doing the right thing and being proud of being a good person, and how good it can feel to help others (without expectation of anything in return). This is in comparison to teaching values based on a threat of a hell and the promise of a heaven.
Alas, I did get to keep them into their teens, but we had already started them of shared responsibility. Being responsible earned more freedoms and being irresponsible lost freedoms. I know how hard this is to do. We went on walks each nigh (weather permitting) around the lake, usually with them on their bikes. They were told to always stay within eye-sight of us. A girl had be snatched in some 30 seconds of being out of sight around a bend, with just her little bike left behind. When the kids would disappear from site, my heart would leap into my throat, and if you pick-up speed to regain site, but don't immediately see them, the feeling is downright terrifying.
But consider the consequences of not teaching responsibility. Kids go to college unprepared, and go wild with the new almost unlimited freedom they feel, and too often die. By the time kids turn 18, they should be as ready as possible to care for themselves, be responsible for themselves, etc. My kids were rewarded for hard work. They had chores and responsibilities. I also started training them in managing their money and had them participate in the house budget and grocery shopping. Time management was also emphasized, as was self-discipline.
We started with two kids who were very damaged. The girl would stand in the middle of the living room and just scream and scream and scream (think of chalk on a blackboard screeching and your spine shivering). They both responded to to love and stability well. though fought with each other constantly, so I was trying to teach them to negotiate, not fight, but fighting was deeply ingrained. They also had no imagination and could not even play. They were raised by a TV. It was very challenging.
I learned later in life that Bullies feed on your pain, anger and humiliation. If you do not shoe those things, they get bored with you quickly. Bullies are often cowardly and often victims themselves. Our schools have become based in a bullying system, according to a study of Boston schools. They found that the worst bullies in school also felt bullied. The way to gain status was through bullying, be it social bullying, snubbing, isolating you (being shunned), verbal, physical, online, etc. On the good side, they found that a handful of kids could effectively stop most of the worse bullying. One kid speaking-up can quickly requite other kids to rally against the bully. Therefore, teaching kids to speak-up against bullying, drinking, smoking, drugs, etc, can make a big difference.
TheUnited States has one of the worse sex-education systems in the industrialized world, and we have the highest pregnancy rate and STD rate also (vastly higher). Parents seem to believe that if you say nothing about sex, they won't have sex, with is stupidity. Can't they remember themselves at that age? In a study off 12 and 13 year-old kids, many were engaged in oral sex, but telling their parent that they were virgins. I hear the same thing here. Many kids think that oral sex is not sex. I watched an HBO special on this subject and saw 12-year-old girls talking about how giving boys blow-jobs completely controls them and makes them like puppets in their hands.
Telling kids that having sex too young is bad, is way too little. I explain about how HOOKING-UP is so dangerous to their future love-life. Hooking-Up is very popular now, and this is where you text or make a call to hook-up for sex, sex with no strings attached, no emotions, no talk, Hi, Bye. Doing this very often causes a disconnection between Love and sex, which can easily become permanent and tragic. Love has extremely important roles in sexuality and relationships. Love is what keeps your lover looking hot and sexy for 50 years, despite the ravages of tome and gravity. Love is what keeps sex with the same person from getting boring, even after 50 years. Love adds incredible passion to sex. Therefore, indiscriminate sex, without emotional connection, can cause major intimacy issues for the rest of your life. This is even reflected in long-term faithfulness in relationships. Kids who stay virgins until 18 to 25 years old tend to be much more faithful around not cheating in their relationships.
I tell kids that if you are going to be sexual at a young age, please make sure you have a strong emotional connection with that person, and this should avoid future problems. I also suggest going further in their sexual education. I have found that 17 and 18 year-old kids know very little about safe-sex and what to look for around STDs. There is ZERO GAY SEX EDUCATION and a great deal of FALSE information.
Now we come full circle back to communication. If sex is part of a regular communication in your family, it is not so taboo with you (the parent), and if you are non-judgmental, then it is easier for your child to feel FREE to talk to you about ANYTHING.
In the last US Census there were questions about time spent with your children. The amount of time spent in meaningful conversation (more that how was you day and make-up your bed) with your child was like 10 minutes per week (don't remember exact number). This is downright horrifying. Parents get very busy with their own carriers and lives, making time with the kids challenging, but they only have 18 years. Even if it sets your career back, I believe it is a sacred duty to do your very best to be a grey parent, and that means a major commitment of time.
we have a group at our school called amnesty for girls (all girls school btw) who were gay or unsure about their sexuality to talk with some of the teachers and other students, I haven't been yet but I think its great Idea and lots of schools should have something like that.
Having a positive and accepting environment for LGBTQ youth in schools can truly save lives.
Have you been feeling suicidal or having any problems with bullying or isolation? If so, feel free to write me a Note.