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The Importance of a Strong Support System

Once upon a time, children were raised by villages, now it seems they’re lucky to have at least one supportive parent. Once upon a time I could identify 500 people I would name in my wedding party, now I’m struggling for 5. But as life goes on and the pressures build up, I realize more and more to myself just how precious those few people that are in my corner are and how reaching out to them is not really a bad thing.

They won’t judge me, they’ll tell me a little of what I want to hear but a lot of what I need to and they do love me. They have my back, they want to see me happy. I never really had a bestie growing up and its hard for me to disclose personal things sometimes because of fear of “what will they think?” I party with many different people, I hang out with a gang, I invite quite a few to my house to play cards or chill by the pool…but what about when I’m troubled inside and need a shoulder to lay down these burdens? 

I’ve never been a girlfriend/bestie type of girl but I’m beginning to realise that its needed, when times get tough it really does help to have someone, or a few people in your corner who can make you know that it will be ok. The story of the 14yo who took her life last week really saddened my heart. I thought to myself that if she really thought the best way out was to take her life, then her support system has really failed her. We have to be comfortable enough to reach out to our support system in times of trouble, and in our times of trouble, our support system must be strong enough to sustain.

At the end of the Gleaner report was this piece:

Dr Beverley Scott, executive director of the Family and Parenting Centre in Montego Bay, said parents and persons working with children must be vigilant in looking for and identifying signs of trouble.

“Usually, when a child sees suicide as the only way out, his or her social and emotional support systems have broken down,” said Scott, who is a training child and family therapist. “There is no one at home or school giving the support they need. They are generally suffering from deep-seated emotional hurt.”

I know how I am. It really takes a lot for me to reach out to my friends. Really it does. I will carry around my burdens until they ride me into the ground and then I finally reach out to loosen some. Some people turn to alcohol, some to drugs, some to food. We all have our vices that we use to get by. But this little girl had none.

The Jamaica Observer report reveals more:

“I heard of another incident at St James High, that she had a boyfriend problem and said if she don’t get the guy she going to kill herself. She was moving towards the [rear of the school] and it was other students who stopped her from carrying out the act,” the girl’s father revealed.

He said that on Tuesday Annalise’s most recent boyfriend was said to have broken up with her, triggering another suicide attempt the following day.

“I heard that she had a boyfriend who said he [was] no longer interested in the relationship,” said Mr Authurs.

It kind of pains my heart to hear this father say “I heard.” I remember what life as a teenager was though, and my parents probably were the last people I would reach out to when I had any kind of relationship problems. But I remember when I was in a relationship that was bad for me and all around me could see, my father took me out to Port Royal to sit me down and try to talk sense into me. I was most uncomfortable and it was the last place I really wanted to be, but it was what I needed to hear. My father has never been very “involved” in my life. Not in the absentee father way, but in the “she’ll learn from experiences” kinda way. He lets me live and hurt and learn from my own falls, with a story or two here and there to keep me in check. There’s only been a few instances when he intervened when he deemed it absolutely necessary and this was one of them. Maybe it saved me from myself and that young man. It was an explosive relationship and we would have probably hurt each other.

I have to agree with Dr. Scott here, there were previous instances to show that she was unstable. She really needed counselling. She needed mental help. She needed a much stronger support system. As I go through life as an adult now, I am learning to reach out to those friends who prove to have my best interest at heart. In this life, we are not islands. We need support, we need positive support. We need tried, tested and proven support. Eliminate negative people, eliminate those who drain your spirit and throw shade on your sunshine. It can be a hard life, control what you can by at least living it surrounded by people who love and support you. Be less concerned with “haters” and to hell with those who take away your smile.

 

 

 

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