Getting Out : Seeking Justice
Mama Tell Me It Isn't So? I Challenge YOU!
from Jordan - Sunday, January 23, 2005
accessed 3172 times
When I was 16 I had doubts about my life in the family. I knew that after 3 attempts to commit suicide I could never be truly happy. My first attempt was when I was 12. Living in a Family home I woke up late one night took a kitchen knife to my throat and wanted to end my life. My youngest brother was just one at the time and I had 7 other younger brothers and sisters. My dad was sent away to another home. I was told it was because “he had lessons to learn” and that “he needed to be less vocal about his opinions”. I loved my father deeply and he was the apple of my eye. I wanted to like him. And I was daddy’s little girl. I had thought many times to end my life at that time. But that night when I held a knife to my throat I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave my brothers and sisters alone in this world. I couldn’t leave them knowing that their big sister had given up on life. In the home I lived in my mother was one of the leaders. She worked in the Childcare department and once my dad left it became obvious to me that she was having an affair with one of the other leaders in the home. Meetings were always kept late and many days she was always gone. I was left to look after my brothers and sisters. Most days we all had our age groups and children were looked after by different adults. But in the evenings during “parent time” there was no one for us. All the other children had time with their parents but there was no one for us. I remember I use to send my little brother in the room where my mother and her “lover” were talking. I’d tell him to tell mommy that we needed her. And we really did. My younger brothers and sisters didn’t know what was going on or why daddy had to be away. We just wanted our parents. We just wanted to be loved and not forgotten.
Then they started what they called “talk time”. Children had scheduled appointments with different adults. I was appointed to spend this time with my mother’s lover and share partner. I resented it. He was someone I had known for many years. My earliest memory of him was when I would go with him another female adult B. and another child. We would sell tapes at rest stops along the highway. B was married and her daughter was one of my peers and friends. I would sit in the back of the car and watch them flirting, kissing and making out when they thought we were sleeping in the back of the car. Some days we had to stay in love hotels and I would be subjected to hearing and watching his/hers sexual activities. It wasn’t just one woman there were various women. I had just turned 8 years old. No one told me it was wrong that a married woman shouldn’t be contact with another married man in that manner. I’ve always wonder how I knew that at so young an age. How did I know that was wrong? How could a child at so young an age know that it’s not right?
“Talk time” was a time for parents/guardians to spend extra time with their child. How was I supposed to share or even say anything to this man? In these hours I would mostly get reprimanded. He’d take me on a drive most days and I would sit next to him and just cry. I didn’t know how to say how I felt. And even if I did he wouldn’t listen. I never cried so much in my life so much so that I’d be gasping for air. One day he talked to me about how when I was 16 he would teat me like he did my mother and that he would take me out on dates. He never touched me physically. But for the rest of my life I will always ask “why”. What did I do to lose my dad and my mom at the same time, and why wasn’t there anyone who cared for me and my little brothers and sisters. The worst thing of all was knowing my mother had forgotten us. She found her new “love” and that’s all that seemed to matter. Now that I think of it my dad did too. He let the Family take us away from him. WHY? Because he believed every word they said and yielded so easily. When my dad moved back home which was such a great relief I asked why I couldn’t spend my “talk time” with him and was then reprimanded for this.
When I was 10 I heard about the Victor Program. It was just a normal morning when I was asked to come to a room and the leaders then told me I was to go to the Victor Program. I later ran to my mom and asked her why? What did I do? Why was I so bad? And I begged her not to let me go. A leader came into the room and told me that I needed to get ready to leave that morning and that they wanted to talk to my mom. I never said “good bye” to my family and left that morning. I was so scared. I’d never been without my parents and family and I needed them so much. Plus that month was my dad’s birthday and I’d never been away from him, his birthday was very important to me. I cried the whole way there and for the first few days I couldn’t eat. I didn’t know why I was there. Why I couldn’t talk to my family. What I’d done to be sent to this camp? Everything said and done was in scrutinized. There were so many things that happen at this camp. We were to obey no questions asked and drilled and drilled to be the children they wanted us to be. I was 10, I did what I was told to do at least I tried. I was here in this place were I was expected conform to an individual they wanted me to be. Till this day I still don’t get it. What was I suppose to do? Who was I suppose to be? What did they want from me? I was punished severely with a wooden paddle because I spelt milk (bare bottom). I was punished every time I spoke to my childhood friend who was also at this camp. I would work outside in the winter cold and come back with swollen feet. My shoes would be frozen and icy and my feet were purple and red and hurt like hell. But no one cared. I told a shepherd that I was cold and they would tell me just to go to bed.
I was 16 when I attempted my second and third suicide. I was living away from my family. The first time I drank a large bottle of aspirins. I wasn’t sure if it would “do the trick” but I thought I’d try. I didn’t work but made me sick for a week. In which time no one from the home even came to see why I was still in bed and throwing up. The last time I wanted to jump off of a cliff. I nearly did only I couldn’t. Again my brothers and sisters flashed before my eyes and I hoped that some day I would be able to find some safe place and some place where someone really cared. And make some sense of this life.
And now I’m at the beginning on my story at 16 years old and having doubts about the Family. I came home one day to the shepherds telling me they wanted to talk to me. I found out that some of the girls in my home told the shepherds that I wanted to leave. When they asked me I said “yes”. The following day I received a letter from my dad telling me how I’ve made a terrible mistake that that I was to become nothing if I left the family. How if I left my life would be a complete waste and that I would find no skill in life but to work at McDonald’s. Of all the times where I needed support my own parents couldn’t and wouldn’t. Why I ask? Its not like had done something terribly wrong? I just needed something different in my life. Never did my parents or the Family ever help me or support me in my choice in life styles. Neither did they give any support. I could go on and on as to the endless amount of abuse. From being forced to collect money from as young as 7 (from as far back as I can remember). Being sexually molested and never given a proper education. What hurts the most is that my own parents don’t acknowledge this. Still they blindly follow the Family.
I rejoined the Family at 17. The reason for this was I didn’t know what to do with my life. I visited a home in the Family and they were welcoming warm and kind. From all the people I’d come in contact with since I’d left everyone called me a “backslider” and said I shouldn’t even be visiting my own parents. I felt very unwelcome, until I met these people. (I wish I could give names) They were so nice. And they didn’t treat me like I was a plague. I really appreciate that and will remember it always. Later I moved to another country and was shortly excommunicated for having sex with and outsider. With no evidence I felt it was an injustice as I never was given a moment to defend myself. As the CRO was telling me about my excommunication, assuming that I would attempt to rejoin said to me “and when you’re finished with your babes statues maybe you and I can share”. Pervert! Do you think that I would actually want to fuck you? Hell no! You’re an ass kissing, power hungry, sexually assault psycho! I left, and very happy too. I’ve never looked back. The Family has never once helped me. For years I spent my life collecting money for the Family. I was cute, innocent and always did very well at convincing people that what I was doing was for a good cause or just for the simple fact that I was a poor little girl begging for money. I worked my ass off for the family. Told many times I couldn’t go home unless I reached a certain quota.
Mama Maria, do you realize what you have done to us? Do you realize what harm you have caused us? Do you understand why we question so much? Its not that we want fight you or God! We want to believe that we can love and care for each other. We want to believe that God’s word is true. But you and Grandpa make it impossible. When we were young we loved you. We wanted to believe that what you were sharing with us was God’s word. But how can God’s love be so painful and so abusive? God is love! And love doesn’t hurt your own children. Love doesn’t forces us to hear about your (Mama and Peters) sexual acts. Love doesn’t force us to be in the Family. You know I want to make this world a better place too, and I do as much as I can to help others. But I will never ever use or abuse neither anyone nor my children the way you have taught so many. You are responsible for all of our lives. Everything done in the family was “cleared” by you and Grandpa.
I have never vocally expressed my anger and pain to anyone but now I’ve had it! I’ve been able to live my life outside of the Family, a successful life and I’m proud of it. But now is the time for you to take responsibility for your actions. No you didn’t emotionally and psychologically hurt me! No you didn’t personally abuse me but you never made things right. You never acknowledged that things were outta hand. You never acknowledged that there were ever such things in the Family. What world do you live in? Are you’re so power hungry that you are left emotionless. If you can’t see your faults I know there is a God that is greater and who will make things right for us one way or another.
Any of you who question my sincerity (Mama, Peter or Family members) I will tell you just to look at the evidence. Why are there so many of us? Why do we hurt? Why do we feel that there has been an injustice? I do not wish to struggle with my parents. I love my parents even though they have abandoned me. I love so many Family people even though I’ve been wronged. Why do I, I ask myself? Why would I love something that has hurt me so much? I do not wish you harm, I only wish to find justice.
God help us all!
Reader's comments on this article
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Monday, January 09, 2006 - 00:41
Its been nearly a year since you posted this. Have you received anything from your parents, anything from Maria and Peter, from any of your former "shepherds?" Any comments or apologies???
It made me incredibly sad to read your post. Hoping you'll find the strength to overcome, though you may never receive closure from your family and those who have had such an adverse effect on you.
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Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 04:09
Its going to be difficult to overcome and make positive changes in your life but keep trying.
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|from sorry for your pain|
Monday, December 26, 2005 - 13:46
The Tragedy of Youthful Deaths
"I just have this feeling that our generation is dying away." —Johanna P., 18-year-old university freshman, Connecticut, U.S.A.
A GRISLY sight met the eyes of police officers on a farm just outside Hobart, capital city of Tasmania, Australia's island state. Inside the house were four girls ranging in age from 10 to 18. All were dead, killed by their father, who lay nearby, with a mortal rifle-shot wound to his head. He had severed his right hand with an ax. This murder-suicide rocked the entire population of Tasmania. And it left a puzzling question in people's minds—Why? Why those four innocent girls?
Belgium is still reeling in the aftermath of the sexual abuse of six girls and the murder of four of them by a rapist who was out on parole. And the same question—Why? In Argentina some mothers believe that 30,000 people, many of them their sons and daughters, disappeared in what is now known as the dirty war.* Some of these unfortunates were tortured, drugged, and then flown out to sea and dumped into the ocean from a plane. Many of them were thrown out while still alive. Why did they have to die? Their mothers are still waiting for answers.
In 1955 the World Congress of Mothers denounced the futility of war and declared that the congress is "above all a great cry, a cry of warning from all women struggling to protect their children, big and small, from the evils brought by war and the preparations for war." Ironically, the number of youths who have died in bloody conflicts since that congress continues to mount up worldwide—a huge loss from mankind's genetic pool.
Long History of Youthful Deaths
The pages of history are saturated with the blood of young people. Even in our so-called enlightened 20th century, racial and tribal conflicts have made youths a prime target for slaughter. It seems that youths have to pay with their lives for the mistakes and ambitions of their elders.
In one African country, a band of religious teenage soldiers calling themselves the Lord's Resistance Army have been indoctrinated to believe that they are impervious to bullets, reports the journal The New Republic . No wonder the article is entitled "Teenage Wasteland"! Families bereft of sons and daughters—who were not bulletproof after all—therefore rightly ask: Why did our youths have to die? What was the point of it all?
Added to all this misery and suffering is the suicide death toll among youths.
* The so-called dirty war took place during the rule of a military junta (1976-83) in which thousands of people suspected of subversion were killed. Other estimates of the number of victims give figures between 10,000 and 15,000.
Suicide—A Scourge of Young People
AS IF war, murder, and atrocities were not enough to devastate our youths, there is self-destruction in the form of youth suicide. Drug and alcohol abuse ravage the minds and bodies of youths, causing many deaths among young people. An increasingly familiar epitaph is that the victim OD'd—died of a drug overdose, either deliberately or accidentally.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of April 28, 1995, said that "suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents aged 15-19 years in the United States." Dr. J. J. Mann writes in The Decade of the Brain : "More than 30,000 [in 1995 the figure was 31,284] Americans commit suicide each year. Tragically, youth are commonly the victims . . . Ten times more than those 30,000 people attempt suicide, but survive. . . . Identifying patients who are at risk for suicide is a major clinical challenge because clinicians cannot easily distinguish between patients with major depression who will attempt suicide and those who will not."
Simon Sobo, chief of psychiatry at New Milford Hospital, Connecticut, U.S.A., observed: "There have been more suicide attempts this spring  than I have seen in the 13 years I have been here." In the United States, thousands of teenagers attempt suicide each year. Every attempt is a cry for help and attention. Who will be there to lend support before it is too late?
A Worldwide Problem
The picture is not much different in many other parts of the world. In India, according to India Today , some 30,000 youths committed suicide during 1990. In Canada, Finland, France, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and Thailand, suicide rates among young people have increased. A 1996 report from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) states that the highest youth suicide rates are in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Russia, and Slovenia.
Australia also has one of the world's highest youth suicide rates. In this country in 1995, 25 percent of all deaths among young males and 17 percent among young females were suicides, according to a report in The Canberra Times newspaper. The rate of "successful" suicides among Australian boys is some five times greater than among girls. A similar ratio is found in most countries.
Does this mean that boys are more likely to attempt suicide than girls? Not necessarily. Available data shows little difference between the sexes in occurrence of suicide attempts. However, "about four times as many young males as females commit suicide in the industrialized nations according to the latest figures from WHO [World Health Organization]."— The Progress of Nations , published by UNICEF.
But even these horrific statistics may not tell the full extent of the problem. Statistics on youth suicide, couched in clinical and analytic terms, are surprisingly easy to read. However, often not appreciated or seen behind each cold statistic are the shattered families and the heartache, misery, pain, and despair of those left behind as they search for reasons.
So, can such tragedies as youth suicide be prevented? Some key factors have been identified and could prove helpful in avoiding this sad situation
When Hope and Love Vanish
A 17-YEAR-OLD Canadian girl wrote down her reasons for wanting to die. Among others, she listed: 'Feeling lonely and scared about my future; feeling really inferior to fellow workers; nuclear war; the ozone layer; I am really ugly, so I'll never get a husband and I'll end up being alone; I don't think there's really too much out there, so why wait around to discover it; it'll take the burden off everybody else; I'll never get hurt by anyone again.'
Could these be some of the reasons why young people are killing themselves? In Canada, "except for motor-vehicle accidents, suicide is now the most common cause of deaths among them."— The Globe and Mail .
Professor Riaz Hassan, of Flinders University of South Australia, states in his paper "Unlived Lives: Trends in Youth Suicide": "There are several sociological reasons which bear on the question and appear to have significantly influenced the increase in adolescent suicide. These are the high youth unemployment rate; changes in the Australian family; increasing drug use and abuse; increasing youth violence; mental health; and an increasing disjunction between 'theoretical freedom' and experiential autonomy." The paper further states that the results of several surveys have revealed a sense of pessimism about the future and suggest that "a large proportion of young people regard their future and that of the world with fear and trepidation. They see a world devastated by nuclear war and ravaged by pollution and environmental degradation, a dehumanized society in which technology is out of control and unemployment rampant."
According to a Gallup poll of 16- to 24-year-olds, additional causes of suicide are the expanding gap between rich and poor, increasing numbers of single-parent households, the growing gun culture, child abuse, and a general "lack of faith in tomorrow."
Newsweek reports that in the United States, "the presence of firearms may be the most pivotal factor [in teenage suicide]. A study comparing adolescent suicide victims who had no apparent mental disorders with kids who didn't commit suicide found only one difference: a loaded gun in the house. So much for the idea that guns don't kill people." And millions of homes have loaded guns!
Fear and an uncaring society can quickly push vulnerable youths to the edge of suicide. Consider: The rate of violent crimes committed against 12- to 19-year-olds is more than double that of crimes against the population in general. Studies found that "young women from 14 to 24 are most likely to be assaulted," reported Maclean's magazine. "Women are most often attacked and murdered by the people who say they love them." The result? These and other fears "erode the confidence and sense of security of these girls." In one study, almost one third of rape survivors interviewed had considered suicide.
A New Zealand report offers another perspective on young suicide, stating: "The prevailing materialistic, worldly values that equate individual success with wealth, good looks, and power make many young people feel quite worthless and cast out by society." In addition, The Futurist says this: "[Youths] have a strong propensity for instant gratification, wanting it all and wanting it fast. Their favorite TV programs are soap operas. They would like their world to be filled with the same good-looking people, dressed in the latest fashions, with lots of money and prestige, and without having to work too hard." The sheer volume of such unrealistic, unfulfillable expectations appears to cause a measure of despair and may lead to suicide.
A Life-Saving Quality?
Shakespeare wrote: "Love comforteth like sunshine after rain." The Bible says: "Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:8) In that quality there is a key to the problem of young people prone to suicide—their yearning for love and communication. The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine states: "Suicidal people usually feel desperately lonely, and the opportunity to talk to a sympathetic, understanding listener is sometimes enough to prevent the despairing act."
Youths often have an overwhelming need for love and a feeling of belonging. Satisfying this becomes harder as each day passes in a loveless and destructive world—a world in which they have little or no say. Parental rejection because of family breakup and divorce can be a contributing factor in adolescent suicide. And this rejection has many faces.
Consider the case of parents who are rarely at home with their children. Mom and Dad may be totally tied up in their jobs or given to some form of recreation that excludes the children. The indirect message to their offspring is a not-too-subtle rejection. Prominent journalist and researcher Hugh Mackay notes that "parents are becoming more and more self-centred. They put themselves first in order to preserve their lifestyles. . . . To put it brutally, children have gone out of fashion. . . . Life is tough and it all gets a bit self-absorbed."
Then, in some cultures men with a macho self-image may not wish to be seen in a nurturing role. Journalist Kate Legge puts it well: "Men with a public service bent generally choose lifesaving or firefighting over the nurturing tasks . . . They prefer the strong, silent heroism of battling external forces to the people-intensive jobs." And, of course, one of the most people-intensive jobs today is being a parent. Poor parenting is tantamount to rejection of the child. As a result, your son or daughter may develop a negative self-image and poor social skills. The Education Digest notes: "Without a positive image of themselves, kids don't have the basis to make decisions in their own best interests
Hopelessness Can Result
Researchers believe that hopelessness is a major contributor to suicide. Gail Mason, a writer on youth suicide in Australia, observed: "Hopelessness is considered to correlate more highly with suicidal thoughts than depression. Hopelessness is sometimes defined as one symptom of depression. . . . It commonly takes the form of a general sense of despair and despondency concerning young people's futures, and in particular their economic future: and to a lesser degree a feeling of hopelessness regarding the global situation."
Poor examples of honesty by civic leaders do not inspire youths to raise their own levels of ethics and morals. The attitude then becomes, "Why bother?" Harper's Magazine comments on youths' ability to detect hypocrisy, saying: "The young, with their keen noses for hypocrisy, are in fact adept readers—but not of books. What they read so acutely are the social signals emanating from the world in which they will have to make a living." And what do those signals spell out? Author Stephanie Dowrick observes: "We have never been more deluged with information about how to live. We have never been richer or better educated, yet there is despair everywhere." And there are so few good role models in the upper echelons of political and religious society. Dowrick asks a few pertinent questions: "How do we salvage wisdom, resilience and even meaning out of meaningless suffering? How do we cultivate love in a climate of selfishness, petulance and greed?"
When Hope and Love Return
PARENTS, teachers, and others who deal with adolescents realize that neither they nor youths nor any other person can change the world. There are forces at work that are like tidal waves, which no one can halt. Yet, there is much that we can all do to contribute to youths' being happier, healthier, and well adjusted.
Since prevention is better than cure, parents should think carefully about how their life-style and priorities may shape the attitudes and behavior of their children. Providing a loving and caring environment in the home gives the security that can best prevent self-destructive behavior. One of the most desperate needs of youths is having someone who will listen to them. If parents won't listen, perhaps less-desirable people will.
What does that mean for parents today? Make time for your children when they need it—when they are young. For many families this is not easy. They struggle to make ends meet, with both parents having no choice but to work. Those who have been willing and able to make sacrifices in order to have more time with their children have often reaped the reward of seeing their sons and daughters make a better success of life. However, as noted earlier, sometimes even with the best of efforts on the part of parents, serious problems with their children can develop.
Friends and Other Adults Can Help
Wars, rape, and abuse of youths call for extraordinary efforts in damage control on the part of adults who truly care for them. Youths traumatized by such negative experiences may not react well even to efforts to help them. It may mean a great investment of your time and effort. Certainly it is not wise or loving to belittle them or reject them. Can we dig a little deeper into our own emotional resourcefulness and show the needed kindness and love to reach out to those at risk?
Not only parents but friends and even siblings need to be especially vigilant to note tendencies in young ones that may indicate a fragile and possibly unbalanced emotional state. (See the box "Qualified Help Needed," below.) If signs are there, be quick to lend a hearing ear. If possible, try to draw troubled youths out with kind questions to assure them of your genuine friendship. Trusted friends and relatives may be able to support parents in handling difficult situations; but, of course, they should be careful not to take over the role of parents. Very often youths' suicidal tendencies are a desperate plea for attention—parental attention.
Qualified Help Needed
The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine says that "more than 90 percent of suicides occur as the result of psychiatric illness." It lists such illnesses as severe depression (about 15 percent), schizophrenia (about 10 percent), alcohol dependence (about 7 percent), antisocial personality disorder (about 5 percent), and some form of neurosis (less than 5 percent). It counsels: "All suicide attempts should be treated seriously. Twenty to 30 percent of people who attempt suicide repeat their attempt within a year." Dr. Jan Fawcett writes: "More than 50 percent of suicides [in the United States] occur in individuals who have had no contact with a mental health professional." And another source says: "The most important aspect of treatment is for the person to see a psychiatrist as soon as possible to help resolve the underlying depression."
Rescued From Would-Be Suicide
From Japan, a young woman who often contemplated suicide has this to say: "How many times I have longed to take that road. When I was a toddler, I was sexually abused by someone I trusted. . . . In the past, I have written so many notes saying 'I want to die' that I have lost count. I have since become one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and I now serve as a full-time evangelizer, but this urge still comes over me from time to time. . . . But Jehovah has allowed me to stay alive, and he seems to be telling me gently, 'Keep on living.'"
A 15-year-old girl from Russia explained: "When I was eight years old, I started feeling that nobody needed me. My parents did not have time to speak with me, and I tried to solve my problems by myself. I withdrew into myself. I quarreled constantly with my relatives. Then the thought of suicide came into my mind. How happy I was to meet Jehovah's Witnesses!"
And from Australia come these encouraging comments from Cathy, now in her early 30's, which show that despair can really turn to hope: "I constantly dreamed about different methods of ending my life and finally attempted suicide. I wanted to escape this world, which is full of hurt, anger, and emptiness. Depression made it difficult for me to get out of the 'spiderweb' I felt I was trapped in. Therefore, suicide seemed to be the answer at the time.
"When I first heard about the possibility of the earth's becoming a paradise, with a peaceful, happy life for all, I really yearned for it. But it seemed just an impossible dream. However, I gradually began to understand Jehovah's view of life and how precious each one of us is in his eyes. I began to feel confident that there is hope for the future. At last, I found a way out of that 'spiderweb.' To get out of it, however, proved to be difficult. At times depression would overcome me, and I would feel terribly confused. Yet, making Jehovah God my focal point allowed me to draw very close to him and to feel secure. I thank Jehovah for all that he has done for me."
No More Youthful Deaths
By studying the Bible, a young person can come to realize that there is something better to look forward to—what the Christian apostle Paul calls "the real life." He counseled the young man Timothy: "Give orders to those who are rich . . . to rest their hope, not on uncertain riches, but on God, who furnishes us all things richly for our enjoyment; to work at good, to be rich in fine works, . . . safely treasuring up for themselves a fine foundation for the future, in order that they may get a firm hold on the real life."—1 Timothy 6:17-19.
Paul's counsel, in effect, means that we should get involved with other people, helping them to have a solid hope for the future. "The real life" is what Jehovah has promised in his new world of "new heavens and a new earth."—2 Peter 3:13.
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.—Revelation 21:1-4.
Motivations for Suicide
There are many theories about the motivations for suicide. "Suicide results from a person's reaction to a perceived overwhelming problem, such as social isolation, death of a loved one (especially a spouse), a broken home in childhood, serious physical illness, growing old, unemployment, financial problems, and drug abuse."— The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine .
According to sociologist Emile Durkheim, there are four basic types of suicide:
Egoistic suicide —This "is thought to stem from an individual's lack of integration into society. Largely left to themselves, victims of egoistic suicide are neither connected with, nor dependent on, their community." They tend to be loners.
Altruistic suicide —"The individual is overly integrated into a group so that he or she feels no sacrifice is too great." Examples given are Japanese kamikaze pilots in World War II and religious extremists who blow themselves up while killing their supposed enemies. Other examples would be those who have died by self-immolation in order to draw attention to a cause.
Anomic suicide —"The victim of anomic suicide is not capable of dealing with a crisis in a rational manner and chooses suicide as the solution to a problem. [This] occurs when the individual's accustomed relationship with society is suddenly and shockingly altered."
Fatalistic suicide —This is "thought to be caused by excessive societal regulation that fundamentally restricts an individual's freedom." Such victims "feel that they have no viable future."— Adolescent Suicide: Assessment and Intervention , by Alan L. Berman and David A. Jobes
Some Indicators of Suicide
- Problems sleeping, loss of appetite
- Isolation and withdrawal, accident proneness
- Running away from home
- Dramatic changes in appearance
- Drug and/or alcohol abuse
- Agitation and aggression
- Talk about death; written messages of self-destruction; artwork depicting violence, especially against self
- Guilt feelings
- Hopelessness, anxiety, depression, crying spells
- Giving away personal possessions
- Shortened attention span
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Sexual promiscuity
- Sudden drop in school performance, school attendance problems
- Cult or gang membership
- Euphoria after depression
Based on Teens in Crisis (American Association of School Administrators) and Depression and Suicide in Children and Adolescents , by Philip G. Patros and Tonia K. Shamoo
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Monday, December 26, 2005 - 13:34
"GIVE a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back." So wrote the 19th-century English writer and critic John Ruskin. Probably most parents will agree that it pays to love one's children, not only because of the love received in return but, more important, because of the positive effect this love will have on them.
The book Love and Its Place in Nature observed, for example, that without love "children tend to die." And Ashley Montagu, noted British-born anthropologist, went so far as to say: "The child who has not been loved is biochemically, physiologically, and psychologically very different from the one who has been loved. The former even grows differently from the latter."
The Toronto Star reported on a study that reached similar conclusions. It said: "Children raised without being regularly hugged, caressed or stroked . . . have abnormally high levels of stress hormones." Indeed, physical neglect during infancy "can have serious long-range effects on learning and memory."
These findings emphasize the need for the physical presence of parents. Otherwise, how can strong ties develop between parent and child? But sorry to say, even in affluent parts of the world, the tendency now is to try to supply a child's needs apart from his or her parents. Children are sent away to school, sent away to Sunday school, sent away to work, sent away to summer camp, and given money and sent away to places of recreation. Thrust out of the family nucleus, circling in orbit at a distance, as it were, millions of children naturally come to feel—if only subconsciously—neglected, unwanted, and unloved, surrounded by a hostile world of grown-ups. Such a prevailing feeling among children may be one reason why there are an estimated 3,000 street children in Berlin. Typical is young Micha, who said: "No one wanted me anymore." A nine-year-old German boy similarly complained: "I would rather be our dog."
Mistreatment of Children Takes Many Forms
Child neglect is a form of mistreatment that betrays a lack of what the Bible calls "natural affection." (Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:3) And it can lead to more sinister forms of mistreatment. For example, since the International Year of the Child in 1979, more attention has been directed to the problems of physical mistreatment and sexual abuse of children. Of course, accurate statistics are difficult to come by, and they vary from place to place. But there is little doubt that the scars sexually abused children carry into adulthood are difficult to erase.
Regardless of the form mistreatment takes, it sends children the message that they are unloved and unwanted. And this problem seems to be growing. According to the German newspaper Die Welt, "more and more children are growing up to be social cripples." It adds: "Children lack the warmth of the nest. According to [Gerd Romeike, the director of a Hamburg child-guidance center], the emotional bonding between children and parents is becoming weaker, or it is never established in the first place. Such children feel neglected, and their desire for security goes unfulfilled."
Children who are denied their right to be wanted and loved may become bitter, taking out their frustrations on those who have neglected them or possibly on society as a whole. Fully a decade ago, a Canadian task-force report signaled the need for immediate action lest a whole generation "who think society doesn't care about them" be lost.
Unloved and unwanted youngsters may be tempted to run away from home to escape their problems, only to find bigger ones in cities plagued with crime, drugs, and immorality. In fact, over 20 years ago, police estimated that 20,000 runaways under 16 were living in one U.S. metropolitan area alone. They were described as "the products of broken homes and brutality, often inflicted by alcoholic or drug-addicted parents. They take to the streets, use their bodies for survival and then, beaten by pimps and bereft of self-esteem, live in fear of reprisal if they attempt to escape the racket." Sad to say, despite honest efforts to change this deplorable situation, it still exists.
Children growing up in the circumstances described above develop into unbalanced adults, often being unable to rear children of their own properly. Being unwanted and unloved themselves, they later produce more of their own kind—children who feel unwanted and unloved. A German politician succinctly expressed it this way: "Children without love become adults full of hate."
Of course, millions of parents are doing their best to make sure that their children know that they are wanted and loved. They not only tell them so but prove it by giving their children the loving care and personal attention that every child deserves. Still, problems remain—problems clearly beyond the ability of individual parents to solve. For example, in some parts of the world, imperfect human economic and political systems fail to provide children with adequate health care, suitable education, and sufficient food, as well as protection from the scourge of child labor and deplorable living conditions. And all too often these conditions are amplified by greedy, corrupt, selfish, and inconsiderate grown-ups.
Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations, mentioned some of the major problems children face today when he wrote: "Millions of children continue to endure the dreadful indignities of poverty; hundreds of thousands suffer the effects of conflict and economic chaos; tens of thousands are maimed in wars; many more are orphaned or killed by HIV/AIDS."
But not all the news is bad! UN agencies, such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization, have worked hard to improve the lot of children. Annan noted: "More children are born healthy and more are immunized; more can read and write; more are free to learn, play and simply live as children than would have been thought possible even a short decade ago." Still, he warned: "This is no time to stand on past achievements."
Those Deserving Special Attention
Some children deserve special attention. In the early 1960's, the world was shocked to hear reports from over a dozen countries about the birth of thousands of so-called thalidomide children. When taken by pregnant women, the sedative and sleeping pill thalidomide had an unanticipated side effect that resulted in their giving birth to children with withered or nonexistent limbs. Arms and legs were often little more than flippers.
Four decades later the culprit most likely to maim children is the land mine.* Some estimate that from 60 million to 110 million active mines lie scattered throughout the world. Some 26,000 people are killed or maimed each year—including many children. Since 1997, when Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign to ban land mines, much attention has been given to this problem. But minefields still exist. A German politician said regarding efforts to rid the world of land mines: "It's like trying to empty a bathtub with a teaspoon while the tap is running."
Another group of children needing special attention are those who have been deprived of their parents. Jehovah God, man's Creator, purposed that children grow up with the loving attention of both a mother and a father. A child needs and deserves such balanced parenting.
A child needs and deserves the love of both parents
Orphanages and adoption agencies try to address the needs of children deprived of both parents. Sad to say, however, some of the underprivileged children most desperately in need of adoption are the very ones most often ignored—those who are sick, have learning disorders, are physically disabled, or are of foreign parentage.
Organizations have been founded that encourage individuals to contribute money on a regular basis and thus "adopt" a child living in a less affluent country. Donated money is used to educate the child or to provide life's necessities. If desired, pictures and letters can even be exchanged to strengthen the relationship. Though helpful, this arrangement falls short of being the ideal solution.
Another interesting example of what has been done to help children deprived of parents is a movement that in 1999 celebrated a half century of activity.
The SOS Children's Village
In 1949, Hermann Gmeiner founded in Imst, Austria, what he called the SOS Children's Village. From this small beginning, his organization has grown to include nearly 1,500 villages and similar institutions located in 131 African, American, Asian, and European countries.
Gmeiner based his undertaking on four guiding principles—the mother, the siblings, the home, and the village. A "mother" forms the basis for a "family" of five or six—possibly more—children. She lives with them and tries to show them the love and attention expected of a real mother. The children remain together in the same "family" and with the same "mother" until the time arrives for them to leave "home." Children of different ages are included in the "family." Having both older and younger "brothers" and "sisters," the children learn to care for one another, thus helping them to avoid becoming self-centered. Efforts are made to integrate the children into a "family" at as early an age as possible. Fleshly brothers and sisters are always kept together in the same "family."
Villages are composed of about 15 "families," each living in its own house. All the children are trained to assist their "mother" in doing the necessary chores around the home. Although a father may be missing, provision is made for male support to give fatherly advice and to administer necessary discipline. The children attend local schools. Each "family" receives a set monthly allowance to cover expenses. Food and clothing are purchased locally. The aim is to introduce the children to typical family life with all its problems and joys, enabling them to lead, as far as possible, a normal life. This prepares them for founding families of their own once they reach adulthood.
Still in Search of the Ideal Solution
Adoption agencies, orphanages, SOS Children's Villages, UNICEF, and similar organizations or groups serve a good purpose when they try to provide support to underprivileged children. But none of them can do away with the fact that some people are underprivileged. As much as they might like to, they cannot furnish the crippled child with healthy limbs, activate the mind of the mentally disabled child, reunite a child with his separated or divorced parents, or place him back in the loving embrace of a deceased parent.
Try as they may, humans cannot provide the ideal solution to the problems of children. But they will be solved! Yes, and possibly sooner than you may expect. But how?
The Solution at Last!
IMAGINE a world in which every child is truly wanted, is truly loved, and is blessed with caring, loving parents who have a sincere desire to provide the best possible guidance and direction for their child. Imagine a world where every child is both physically and mentally sound, where street children are nowhere to be found, and where children are no longer robbed of childhood by the economic need to work!
Desirable? Of course. Believable? Jehovah's Witnesses think so, and this for two reasons.
Parents Can Provide Part of the Solution
You will no doubt agree that grown-ups do have the power to solve—at times even to prevent—some of the problems of children. Of course, this is provided that they, the adults, are willing to do so. Yes, parents themselves hold one of the keys to the problem.
For example, grown-ups who are able to follow the Bible counsel that "a wife should not depart from her husband . . . and a husband should not leave his wife" do not have children who suffer because of living in a home broken by separation or divorce.—1 Corinthians 7:10, 11.
Grown-ups who are willing to follow the Bible counsel to "walk decently, not in revelries and drunken bouts," do not have children who suffer the distress that goes along with having drunken or drug-addicted parents.—Romans 13:13; Ephesians 5:18.
Grown-ups who are willing to follow the Bible counsel to "abstain from fornication" help reduce the risk of their children growing up unwanted, possibly in a one-parent family.—1 Thessalonians 4:3; Matthew 19:9.
Grown-ups who are willing to follow the Bible counsel, "Do not be exasperating your children, so that they do not become downhearted," and who "love their children" will not have children who experience the physical or mental pain of abuse in any of its various forms.—Colossians 3:21; Titus 2:4.
In summary, if all grown-ups were willing to follow the Bible counsel given by Jesus, "All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them," would there be millions of unwanted and unloved children?—Matthew 7:12.
Happily, there are many grown-ups who are willing to do all the above. But, sad to say, not all are, and therein lies the problem. And even those who are willing find that their efforts are often frustrated by human imperfection and things beyond their power to control. Humans can provide part of the solution to the problems of children, but they are clearly incapable of providing the complete solution.
A Divine Government to Provide the Complete Solution
The writer John Ruskin, mentioned in the preceding article, strongly believed that "the first duty of a State is to see that every child born therein shall be well housed, clothed, fed, and educated, till it attain years of discretion." Ruskin admitted, however, that "in order to [effect] this the Government must have an authority over the people of which we now do not so much as dream."
Only a government with divine backing could have the benign authority about which Ruskin spoke. And just such a government has been promised—the one that Jesus mentioned at Matthew 6:9, 10. Once this government of God's making has taken total control of earth's affairs, it will exercise its authority over all peoples—housing, clothing, feeding, and educating all its subjects, including children. (Isaiah 65:17-25) But this perfect government will do even more.
Under God's Kingdom humans will be enabled to rear children in a balanced way. (Job 33:24-26) Young folks will be raised in the spirit of peace and universal brotherhood, the ideal set forth in the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. (Psalm 46:8, 9) Never again will there be the need for an International Year of the Child or for a Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Restoring perfect health to parents and to disabled children will be a simple task for Christ Jesus, the King of this heavenly government. The miracles of healing that he performed while he was on the earth are a guarantee. (Luke 6:17-19; John 5:3-9; 9:1-7) Even resurrecting dead children and dead parents will not be beyond his power to accomplish!—Matthew 9:18-25.
What a joy to know that the time for God to act in behalf of earth's children is near!
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|from Indian National Creeps|
Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 01:46
How could The Family (and our PARENTS) make us live in such closed confined spaces with all kinds of strange men??? We lived in large homes which only encouraged perverts. When I’ve confronted my mother about the sexual abuse I've experienced, as well as things I've witnessed, she is totally clueless to how these things could have happened. Well, here’s how:
You put 30-100 people in the same house ranging from children to adults. You have limited bathrooms and privacy. Bathrooms/showers are shared (mixed sexes), bedrooms are shared (usually by same sex). These are havens for perverts. And if someone wasn’t a pervert before, you just put him in such close daily contact with young girls and soon he might become one. How could our parents not be slightly suspicious? How could they let us out of their sight? How could they let us go on road trips alone with pervert uncles? Road trips was a favorite time for sexual abuse - the uncles had you on their own, and your sleeping arrangements were just what "The Lord provided" (often a hotel bedroom, either with single or double beds).
Here’s a list of some Indian “nationals” who abused little girls (me and others):
Daniel Nepalese – masturbating, fondling, groping, kissing, etc. His excuse was that he didn’t know when he was born, so didn’t know how old he was. He was on the sharing schedule with the aunties, and then tried to get it on with the little girls too.
Paul (I think from Delhi) – Forced himself on many girls! He RAPED my best friend. She was 11 and bled for days from the penetration and rough sex. She never told the adults cause she we didn’t know that it was “against Family policy”. No one told us it was wrong, we just knew it didn’t feel right. We would just sit and cry about it together cause it was so awful.
John Darjeeling – forced fondling, groping, rubbing, etc. (little girls as young as 6yrs)
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|from i totally understand|
Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 23:40
I too feel the exact same way! I spent the first 15 years of my life asking why. I cried oceans every night for days on end trying ot understand what i was experiencing. You know what hurt the most, and i think many will agree, was the fact that we saw our parents fucking other adults openly and regularly, with now expliantion to why ( found out about the LOL doctrine when i was 14 but saw things go on for years and years before that). Like you, my dad all of a sudden got taken away from us for "the Lords work" ever since i was 6, and from then on I was always shipped around to different families. My mom was an emotional single mom wreck most of the time adn vented out those feelings on us little kids. My dad was busy as a top OR shinner in the Service home...and when i would ask about when i could be with him or see him i would get the "why aren't you thankful for all these precious 'uncles' who love you just the same, it doesn't really matter who they are as long as they love you, we are all one happy Family-One Wife in Christ"--I couldn't say it then but i would think to myself "i'll tell you why i am not thankful for all those 'precious uncles', because they are fucking my mom everynight, (i used to think they were taking the place of my dad and that is why he didnt live with us) and these "precious uncles" would come by and try and act oh-so-sweet to me after and i am discusted with comments like 'oh you are gonna be just like your mom when you grow up' eeeewwww" I felt misunderstood most of my life, I hate the sharing LOL doctrine, to me it it fucked up my family and my childhood!
I never felt love while i was in the family, i have so many other tales but won't get into it now. It is nice, but at the same time sad to know that i'm not alone.
i've tried not to think about these things as it didn't get me anywhere thinking abou them but Ricky's death has brought back a lot of those feelings and experiences to memory. You can choose to forget the past, but it won't always choose to forget you!!
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| From |
Monday, January 24, 2005, 01:27
I know what you mean, I never felt love whilst in TF, I felt fear, guilt, shame, worry, but not just for me, my family too! I saw such behaviour and manipulation and there was nothing I could do, such emancipation of my soul, that I begged, grovelled, cried my heart out at the "evil's" of this world, somehow always knowing that the very same people that were proporting to "save my soul" were fucking with it.
I don't know how I sleep at night let alone them, who can devour a child and feign such religious arogance. To be kissed on a cheek and fucked on the other, is a twist that you cannot detect at such a young age, what 3 yr old should suck a cock for god's glory? And when you do, Well what do you do? how can you go on to trust any one? I may "get over it" but will those memories ever leave me? (reply to this comment)
|from FGA with sis still in group|
Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 17:17
Jordan, thank you for sharing your story...it should NOT go unheard. Sadly, I know that there are many others like yours. Thanks for sharing your heart, though, and what was going on in your innocent, child-like mind...all the questions of "Why"? I'll never forget how we were always taught to talk to children like they were adults, and yet, you WEREN'T... you were just little kids, and your childhood was taken away from you in an awful, awful way. On the other hand, it sounds like you were treated as if you were not even there on several occasions...as if whatever the adults were doing in front of you would have no bearing on you. Where was the love in all that???? Obviously, there was none, but rather a lot of self-love or selfish love going on among the adults. I am truly sorry for my generation and what they did. I know that it still hurts tremendously because you still want and NEED the love that you never got. I pray that you will somehow find it and that those who should've given it to you will someday wake up.
You are very strong. Don't forget that! And you ARE very lovable, I'm sure, whether you were ever told or ever felt that before! You DO have worth!!!! No matter what your experience was growing up, you can make it different for yourself now...I'll, personally, be praying for you.
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