After 30 years in practice, reflecting on parents and children
Children and Suicide (1)
In the past ten days, two grade 7 boys in my region committed suicide. I do not know the family’s, but I do know the schools. Both are schools that I often recommend as examples of vibrant, caring and committed community schools, with clear anti-bullying protocols in place. Suicide, can happen anywhere. When it happens to primary school children, a whole community reels. It is as if we have all failed those children.
In my previous blog, I wrote that I could blog a series on suicide. Little did I think that I would.
I would like to emphasise that I have no knowledge of the two young boys who tragically took their own lives this past week. What I am writing here is knowledge that I have of other young people. Suicide in young people can be an impulsive act, they mostly don’t comprehend the repercussions of serious acts, and most often (actually always in my experience), the young people who were contemplating suicide, had the idea that it would be helpful to their families – that they were a burden to their families, who would be relieved once they were gone. Our old enemy, “not speaking about”, combined with loneliness and shame remain the cornerstones of the despair.
Obsessions and Addictions
Thought of suicide, once they have taken root, can acquire a hypnotic pull. Like the sirens calling, or the snake in the waters, beckoning young maidens to a watery grave, once thoughts of suicide have taken hold in the mind, they have an obsessive and hypnotic quality. A young girl once described a puppet master, who had taken over her mind, from where it controlled not only her, but also her family. A young student described it as a wolf-like creature that had become his best friend, and who would accompany him to the end, hence he was not afraid. It reminded me of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian jackal dog, who was a guide to the afterlife.
Anubis was a jackal-headed ancient Egyptian god of the dead and of the transition between life and death. He was both the ruler of the dead in the underworld and the judge who determined the lot of the deceased in the afterlife. (Vector image of Anubis below by Jeff Dah)
I am a psychologist searching for more natural and enlivening ways to help. After thirty years in the profession, it is time to move on, time to search for new ground, time to venture out.
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