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August 1st, 2009 by Dr. Phil

The Bridge Update

sadGirl

Hi everyone. G’day from Down Under!

I wrote a comment within my blog entry, but in case you didn’t see it, I want to be sure to thank everyone who tuned in to Friday’s show, “The Bridge Controversy — Tragic Choice,” and left their thoughts and comments on the Dr. Phil show Web site and on my blog.

I have some great news worth sharing. The folks from National Suicide Prevention Lifeline let us know that, with the rebroadcast of The Bridge, the Lifeline received a record number of calls, as they did the first time it aired. They also told us that links from DrPhil.com to the Lifeline Gallery resulted in at least six people sharing their stories of hope and recovery! 

The dramatic increase in calls shows that there are so many people out there who are willing to get help, if they know where to turn. We must work to not overlook those who are in pain. If you know someone who is hurting, reach out to them. You may feel as though you aren’t qualified to help in such a serious situation, but you can at least guide them to local resources. If you’re not sure where to turn, the Lifeline Network has 140 Centers in 48 states — their Web site is a great place to start. And in those urgent circumstances, whether it involves you or another person, if the danger seems immediate, by all means call 911 for help.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and stories.  If you are among those who are struggling, remember that you are not alone. Things can get better, and help is available.

God bless.

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37 Responses to “The Bridge Update”

  1. Ashley says:

    Hi Dr. Phil,

    Am one them that is still struggling with suicide and cutter. I been recovering from it for 21 months but the last few weeks and last couple days have been some very hard day. I love your statement when you said your not alone. That is so true but right that is so hard for me to believe right now. I’m very scared right now.

    Thanks Ashley

  2. Wolf Spirit says:

    Greetings,

    I watched the show on “The Bridge”. I know it is very hard to grasp the concept of suicide. We never want to think any of our friends and relatives are capable of such an action, yet anyone can be if circumstances spawn for it to happen.

    I know the film is very controversial. But, I feel it is better to be in the awareness of such things, like the bridge and what occurs nearly on a daily base there, then to ‘not’ be in the awareness. Now that the film was made and people will see it … perhaps there are things people can create to help others in that location who are in dire need. No longer can you deny what occurs there or turn a blind eye to it.

    Love & Light,
    Wolf

  3. Amen and Amen… God Bless… Dr. Phil Website Team: Powered by WE. Inspired by us all winging it on a wing and a prayer. Thanks for the encouraging feedback Dr. Phil.

    DR. PHIL WEBSITE  

    D r. Phil, Dr. Phil Website Moderators, Technical Staff, you, me and we
    O ffering a beautiful online international fellowship  
    C reating harmony

  4. Hi ASHLEY!!! I’m SEA…
    August 4, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    SELF MATTERS INCLUDES ASHLEY
    God Bless Ashley & God Bless Ashley A Lot

    A shley is not alone and has all of us
    S urvivor planning to survive
    H elping herself reaching out proactively
    L earning to manage things one day at a time
    E very day will get better by being her best friend
    Y ell it, spell it, BELIEVE IT… Self Matters Includes Ashley

  5. Blgspc says:

    Personally, I’m GLAD that the term ‘Suicide’ is being used and openly discussed.
    There is a popular MYTH that if you know someone who seems depressed and/or despondent, you shouldn’t use words like ‘Suicide’ or ‘Suicidal’ as mentioning these maybe too suggestive. The truth is that if someone is depressed and/or despondent they have probably already considered suicide or worse already have a plan! Thus, NOT using REAL terminology often means never addressing a situation in the making.

    Also, there is RARELY just one ‘victim’ when it comes to suicide BECAUSE persons who successfully commit suicide have a family! And, sadly, many people who consider suicide have known someone, close to them, who have attempted and/or committed suicide.

    BG

  6. Jennifer says:

    This subject reminds me of back when I was 14 years old or around that time. I hated what i was going through. My mom just kicking me out & forcing me to go live with my dad. Who in turn was a drunk & beat me physically & emtionallly until I was 18 years old. I remmeber trying to kill myself approx 3 or 4 different times. Trying to get someone to listen. Of course no one ever did. I have stories of what happened to me that would give you all nightmares. Back then I probably did it for the attention. Duh thats not rocket science. But I remmber my dad threating to take me to the hospital to get my stomach pumped. Let me tell ya I never told him anything ever again. Of course now he has since then past away. I still struggle even today. I’m now 40 married with 2 kids of my own. But now for different reasons. Like my health. Those stupid thoughts sometimes pop up into my head. But of course I think of my kids & that ends that right there. I will always keep looking for help. I may even die from me being obese. But never by me commiting suicide. That to me never solves anything.

    Jennifer

  7. Kat says:

    Ashley – hang in there, if 21 months have passed you have done BRILLIANTLY

    You are not alone

    Much Love

    Kat

    xxx

  8. FosterBoys says:

    Hi Ashley,

    It’s been many years since I last cut. We all do it for different reasons, so mine isn’t really important. Two things broke me of the “habit”. The first was “medication” and the second was being in a relationship with someone who saw cutting as a “deal-breaker”. If I didn’t stop, he was going to leave. I’m not on my medication anymore, so my mind often pushes me to want to cut. But I can’t because I won’t risk losing someone important to me. So, basically, what I’m saying is, “whatever works”.

    But talk to me. What are you scared of? Cutting? Or the feelings that are driving you to it? Are you afraid you’ll go too far?

  9. Katie says:

    This got me thinking again about the suicide rates among high school and college students and reminded me of a story. 1 in 3 high school students have considered it and 1 in 2 college students have. I’m a college student and I was on campus last March when another student (15) jumped from an indoor balcony in front of all the people who were going to class. The college tried to say that he fell, but it’s nearly impossible given where it happened. I was disgusted to hear later that day that a professor who did not know the student was mocking his action! With the suicide rates as high as they are it tells me that something is wrong, either with the way that mental illnes and the surrounding issues are treated, or avoided, or the way that people are learning to deal with things and are under so much pressure that they consider it as a way out.

  10. Joyce Long says:

    How are you supposed to fight depression when your whole world is collasping around you??? I have 4 kids that are about to be homeless and it is due to my stupidity.. I quit a job due to a Hostile work environment that was causing a lot of stress on me and I was in the hospital in may because of it.. Now unemployment has been denied, disability has been denied and medicaid has been denied. I should have just stuck with the job and put of with the health problems it was causing. I should have said the crap with my health and stuck with it..
    So how do you deal with depression when no one really cares, and there is no help or hope?????

  11. Victoria says:

    Dr. Phil, I think it is wonderful that you covered this topic on your show. I actually work and volunteer at a local crisis center that handles the Lifeline calls for our metro area. Getting the word out is extremely important! What I have discovered since working there is that most of them who call in for help just need someone to listen to them, someone to talk to with a nonjudgemental ear. Some of them are desperate for help and truly DON’T want to keep having these thoughts and would like help but aren’t sure what to do. Lifeline and the crisis centers can offer them the resources they need to get through it. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage for them to admit they have a problem and turn to us for support. I hope that broadcasts like this will not only offer hope and support to those that are suffering, but that it will help the friends and loved ones of a person in crisis recognize the warning signs so that they can offer additional support.
    Thanks again for all you do! I love your show.

  12. alicia says:

    i thank you for airing this show….so people do know that there is help out there and that it is ok to receive the help and support…my family wasn’t so lucky my father commited suicide almost 3 years ago and there isn’t a day that goes by that i wish i could have done more or him be willing to recieve the help

  13. Heather says:

    Joyce:
    I know it feels sometimes that there is no other option — a year ago I also left a job that was making me feel miserable — but sometimes you have to just take a leap of faith and trust that there is a higher power in charge. The answer for me was to go back to school — which meant relocating my whole family to another state. We made the steps to move before my husband had even found a job there. We just kept trusting and following God’s lead even though there was no job or place to live lined up yet. The movers came and we told them we’d give them an address when they got to the new town. The day we left, my husband got a job offer. Literally an hour before the moving truck got to the new town, we secured a house to rent. There was never a time when we didn’t have what we needed at that moment. And I am absolutely loving where I am and what I’m doing. That is true for you as well — you have all you need right now, just listen to that inner voice telling you what to do. There is always a solution to every problem, and it comes with all the supplies that it needs. God has the perfect plan for you already worked out — don’t give up!
    Lots of love,
    Heather

  14. Melissa says:

    I am currently suffering from depression and anxiety. I have also been suicidal and have been hospitalized twice in the past year. This all stems from growing up with an alcoholic mother that dies two years ago on August 12th. Her emotionally and verbally abused me my whole entire life. She has called me all sorts of horrible names and has told me she wished I was never born. For 37 years I just kept it inside. I never said anything to her or anybody else, I just took it. Last February I was in Nursing School and it was time for my mental health rotation. We spent 5 minutes in a therapy session with a bunch of recovering addicts and I lost my mind. It brought up ALL the bad memories. I shut down and went onto a deep depression. With the help o a very special teacher I made it through that semester and the next and graduated in December of 2008. It has always been my dream to become a RN and my mom told me I would never make it. She is not here to see it but I made it. However I am still suffering from major depression and anxiety and have recently had suicidal thoughts. The hardest thing for me is I miss never having a mom to nurture me when I was a child. I so long for the love of a mother. Recently I have shut down again and all I do is go to work 2 days a week. The rest of the time I just lie down and sleep. I want to fight it but I am running out of strength. Unfortunately I do not have a good coping mechanism… I stop eating. In the last year I have lost 110 pounds by on and off eating. I know it’s wrong and I know what can happen ( I am a nurse) but I just don’t want to eat. I have a great husband and two boys who love me so much but there is something so deep missing from my life. I have been seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist for over a year but nothing seems to be working. I am stuck and I feel no one understands how I feel. Sometimes I just want to go to sleep and never wake up. It’s is hard to admit that but that is how I feel. Everyday is a struggle. Just to get a shower is a struggle. All I want is a “mom” to love me.

  15. Joyce Long says:

    Heather::
    Thanks so much for the advice. Wish I could truly say it helped but it doesnt. It is very hard to deal with this situation and I cant help but feel that if I was gone everyone would be better off.. I have no friends that would miss me, me and hubby hardly ever speak to each other anyway so there would be no love lost there. My brothers and sisters dont care if I exist or not. The 3 grandsons are so small they would be ok and if I wasnt here the oldest 2 daughters might learn to stand on their own 2 feet.. I know it would affect them but they would get over it.
    It is hard to find a job I can do with all the pain I am in every day. I not only have this depression but I have Fibromylgia, Degenerative Disk Disease, Carpel Tunell in both hands, Arthritis in my neck and tremendous pain in my right shoulder and both legs.
    I have no family, I have no friends that give a crap. If I fell off the face of the earth tomorrow no one would care.

  16. To Melissa
    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    You are worth being there for. I think what helped me was to think, “Wait a minute… suicide would make “me” ME my worst abuser.” Suicide is a lie of depression. You have to hop back on over onto your cheering section. You have to go back in your thoughts and take the hand of that little girl in you. Look in the mirror and say, “I’m going to love you and I WILL “always” be there for you.” YOU can nurture yourself. DAILY Positive Affirmations can help or help me and others so I hope help you, too.

    SELF MATTERS INCLUDES MELISSA
    God Bless Melissa and God Bless Melissa A Lot

    M elissa has worked hard to become an RN
    E ach day is a gift since the present & Melissa is a gift being present
    L oving and nurturing herself and cheering herself on
    I nside a SELF MATTERS INCLUDES MELISSA notebook
    S he could write, think and say compliments to herself daily
    S he could sign Melissa like an autograph validating her worth
    A nd practice, practice, practice healthy habits so she feels her best

    Melissa, I’m sorry you’ve been through so much and that your mother wasn’t there for you. Yet that’s all the more reason for YOU to be there for you. Sometimes having children too can trigger that void as you love them as you would have liked to be loved. Not sure if you are able to go on walks yet, if are, walks are a natural mood elevator since raise the endorphin level and oxygenate the brain. Shallow breathing has been linked to depression, anxiety and panic.

    Also, not keeping consistent healthy habits can have the mind and body having no idea what we plan to do next and consequently can manifest in our thoughts and emotional sense of well being feeling out of sync as well. If you are able to… if you can begin to get a consistent schedule and plan for the day doing what you said you know would be healthier doing. An interesting thing is healthy habits and even thought diet help us begin to and stay feeling healthy.

    It is sort of like driving a car… we cannot move forward very easily looking in rearview mirror and the same is true for our lives. I know when I went to counseling, as suggested by psyche professor to class, in case any of us decided to go into counseling… I glimpsed over some books and thought I was suppose to pick apart my past and got lost in introspection. I think in sort of an odd sort of way many of us here have a bit of transference going on with Dr. Phil. Everyone hold up their hand who wishes he was your older brother? Wait… hard to type with one hand. I’ve heard some teens say wish Dr. Phil was their dad and lots wish Dr. Phil was their counselor etc.

    I applaud your candor and honesty. It took me a long time to not empower past pain to seal my today. Thank God I lived through it. I hope doesn’t take you as long as did me and I pray to God you live through it for your family and FOR YOU. I think you can. We are individuals so what works for one might not another and I hope and pray you find what works for you. I believe YOU WILL if you keep being proactive reaching out until you find the help that helps.

    I’m holding my hand out to you to take so you can enjoy today and all your tomorrows… I think you know named it because you ARE ready to change it and, the good news is, all you have to do is love you being there for you. You don’t have to abandon yourself like you feel you were abandoned. Say, “The pain stops here, right now: SELF MATTER INCLUDES MELISSA!!!” Yell it. Spell it and ALWAYS believe it. Me too. We too. SEA

  17. To Joyce Long
    August 5, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    I’d care. Join me and be your best friend and care too.

    Suicide is a lie of depression and a way of not coping and suicide teaches this way of not coping, with its ultimate example of not coping, to children and grandchildren and… I’m so glad my mother never bailed out as it was hard enough losing her at age 72 and I’ll always miss her. Please don’t put your children and grandchildren through that pain.

    http://newhopeonline.org/counseling/liveperson.html

    I hope you decide to stick around because you have a life to live. Treating yourself with value is one of the best things you can teach children to feel valuable and treat themselves with value.

    If you feel unable to handle things you need to get professional help right now by clicking link in Dr. Phil’s blog or my name or going to ER or calling 911. I know you are feeling there is more pain than resources… and I hope you find positive resources beginning with your thoughts finding a glimmer of hope to build on. I’m hoping you choose life. Please don’t sentence the mother of your children and grandmother of your grandchildren to death… Holding you in my prayers, SEA.

  18. Karen C says:

    August 5,2009

    Hi everyone,

    I used to be suicidal and drink and use for many years. I cant tell you how many times I’ve been hospitalized.

    Today I have recovery. I’ve been sober for thirteen years and suicide and harmfule behavior against myself and others is not longer an option. I got sober in 1988 only to go out in 1996. When I came back a dedicated myselg to recovery. I put forth every effort I had getting loaded/drunk into sobriety. To this day it works. I have a relationship with a God of my understanding that is wonderful. I love and trust God. I reach out and help others. I’ve worked in a longterm psychiatric center for two and a half years. I am now was just approved as a Peer where I spend about an hour or so with a nother person having Mental Illness. It gives me so much hope because this is my opportunity to give back to the community for all those persons that helped me. I still see my psychiatrist and case managers. I also go to an aftercare group on Thursday evenings. All this I feel will continue to ensure my recovery.

    Ashley please don’t give up. Keep writing, and rreaching out, Their is Hope!

    Best Wishes to All

    Little Karen

  19. Blgspc says:

    To Joyce

    You are WRONG! Have you read the responses on this board, to your post?1? These folks aren’t just posting to see if the cut and paste features on their Windows ‘Word’ program is working! So, if you “fell off the face of the earth tomorrow”, WE would care! Further, I’ve worked with people who have lost someone that they cared for to suicide.

    You said, “I know it would affect them (your children) but they would get over it.” Suicide is something that leaves a pall over the family, that really DOES stick with people, lifelong. It’s unlike any other death to deal with.
    I agree that the situations you find yourself in, right now are frightening and difficult but NEITHER you nor your circumstances are hopeless. YOU may have FEELINGS of hopelessness, however your situation will not always be what it is right now. Death is permanent.

    Joyce, you simply have to care for YOURSELF enough to get hold of The National Suicide Lifeline and their number is: 1-800-273-TALK (OR 1-800-273-8255). You can call 24/7. Joyce, make that call! You owe it to YOU and to your children. Suicide IS NOT the sort of legacy that ANYONE would leave if they knew what it does to those who are left.

    Let us know how you’re doing. I’ll keep you and the many others on this board who struggle with depression in, my prayers!

    BG

  20. Heather says:

    Dear Joyce,

    Love is all around you — even if you can’t see it. It is the lie of depression that is telling you that you have no friends. I don’t even know you, yet I was compelled to write to you (and it takes a lot for me to gather the courage to write on a blog!) God has need of you to fulfill your purpose on this earth. This world certainly needs more loving people like yourself. If you saw your child or grandchild struggling for life you would do everything in your power to save him/her. That is true Love. We are all doing the same for you. So you do have friends.
    I am very sorry to hear about your physical pain. It is not fair that you have to go through that. But you don’t have to alone, and there is help.
    I very recently lost my mother — not through suicide, but a sudden illness that claimed her much too soon. I am saddened that my children have to grow up without their grandmothers, as I had also done. That grandmother bond is so special. I see every day that she was with them as such a gift. And through this grieving process I am learning that life really is continuous and death cannot stop it. It doesn’t change anything for the person who dies — they still have to finish whatever it was they needed to do on this earth for their soul to move on. But it does bring a lot of pain and grief for those left behind. Suicide is not a choice without consequences.

    There IS an answer – when the thoughts of fear, anger, and worthlessness are put aside, you will hear the still small voice of Love giving you the message — flooding your heart with joy.

    Sending you thoughts of love and health, my friend,

    Heather

  21. Joyce Long says:

    Thank all of you for your many comments.. I am trying so hard to fight but one thing after the other keeps happening. I have had my neice for the whole 13 yrs she has been on this earth. My sister wanted nothing to do with her due to the color of her skin. She said if I ever filed child support she would take her. Well I did file child support recently and now I may lose her. My sister is furious and said she would be taking her.. She is my daughter. I have loved and protected her for 13 yrs. It is just one bad thing after another. I called this good Christian friend, refuses to call me back. Even the preacher keeps making excuses to not come out and talk to me.

  22. Blgspc says:

    To Joyce

    I am VERY, VERY sorry to hear about the situation with your niece and the sister who thought her child was the ‘wrong color’?!? I mean, if your sister absolutely MUST be racist she could have AT LEAST considered that over 13 years ago when SHE bedded ‘Mr. Honey’ to conceive this wonderful child!

    Anyhow, I hate to be a nag but….have you sought out help for yourself, yet? (Actually, I don’t mind nagging as long as I’m doing it for the right reasons.) I don’t know where you live but in many areas of the US there are services available, where money isn’t a big issue. I’m again, addressing this issue because the hopelessness and despair you expressed in your last post doesn’t just vanish on it’s own. You really DO have to find resources to aide you. You DON’T have to do this alone! The National Lifeline may have knowledge of more resources. I’m really hoping that you choose to use THAT NUMBER BEFORE you again reach that kind of despondency.

    Let us know how you are doing. I still have you in my prayers!

    BG

  23. Anita says:

    To Joyce, I had a friend who killed herself a number of years back, and I cared very much that she had made that ultimate decision not to be here anymore and it still haunts me. Your family would care and it would affect them deeply. I don’t even know you and I would care, just from having read your message. Please find someone to talk to about your problems. I encourage you not to give up. My friend was only 45 when she killed herself. She was a sweet caring kind human being and I will always miss her. It was a big shock to everyone, even her husband and 2 kids, because she never talked about it to anyone. To this day, no one knows what demons she was fighting. For me, she was a friend that I could talk to about MY problems and there was never an indication that she was suicidal. You DO matter and your place in this world is important. Please find someone to talk to this very day. There are people out there who will help you and care about you.

  24. Mich says:

    Dearest Melissa,

    I apologize for the delay in my response.

    I am very sorry for the INEXCUSABLE things that happened to you while you were growing up, and I ADMIRE your obvious inner strength for having withstood it the best you could!

    Look at you, not only did you “survive” your awful past, you succeeded in GRADUATING from Nursing school, and I imagine are now giving your boys what you wish you had received from your Mom.

    In addition to that, I am extremely IMPRESSED with your ability to provide nurturance to complete “strangers;” specifically, ailing patients, WITHOUT having had a role model to learn from.

    Melissa, unfortunately, we cannot change what happened to us in our past, but WE can, as Dr. Phil says, “give ourselves what we WISH we had received from someone else” (I KNOW that YOU CAN because that is what you are already GIVING to so many others!).

    Instead of dwelling on our past, which we can’t do anything about, might you consider focusing some attention on creating a NEW legacy, of being “the best Mom ever” to your own boys, by giving THEM what you wish you had received from your Mom?

    Be well, sweetie!

    Michele

  25. Joyce Long says:

    Well I am feeling a little better today. I DO NO WANT TO KILL MYSELF because I am afraid to die anyway and it would hurt. However I am depressed. Could it get to that point, I dont honestly know but I am not there. I do feel a lot of hopelessness and worthlessness and I dont know how to get past that.. There are so many things going on. No job, the physical pain, being afraid that I cant find another job I can do with all this pain, being denied for unemployment and disability and medicaid. The situation with my sister, my dad is dying, there is something wrong with my brother, he doesnt have insurance so he cant go to the specialists they want him to. Friends that say they will never turn their backs but then they do. I was the supporter of my disabled daughter and her 3 little boys so I dont honestly know what we are going to do, how we are going to pay rent and bills. Along with the pain and depression I have no self esteem. In my eyes I am ugly and worthless. I have no teeth and no one is going to hire me to be around other people with my looks. I appreciate all the people who have commented, it helps tremendously. You are all wonderful, kind caring people.

  26. Mariana Lopes says:

    Hi Dr. Phil,

    Unfortunately here in Brazil we don’t have your show available on TV, however, I try to stay up to date to http://www.drphil.com as much as possible. I watched the documentary “The Bridge” right away and I just realize something that we all know but not always seems to be present in our lives, specially when it comes to people we really love. It doesn’t matter how much we think we know someone, we can always surprise ourselves by “not seeing” what is hanging in front of our eyes.
    I went at the end of last eyer to New York and bought “Real Life” which I have been reading pretty much since then and I must say that the book is deffinatly (and probably one of the best ) preparation for life. Thank you so much for spending your time writing something so important for all of us. This book reminded me who I really am and who I want to be.

    Love,

    Mariana.

  27. CHRIS says:

    Joyce Long
    I have been reading all your responses and there is some good advice that you should pay attention to.
    I know what you are in because I took custody of my niece after finding out she was being molested. the conselors found out that she was molested for as long as she can remember. She was 11 at the time I heard. I had a brother that committed suicide at the age of fifty. Friends didnt want to talk about it, or most of them stopped coming around. My mother hated me, I never once felt like she was my mother. She died at the age of eighty two. She would not tell me I was doing good if I made a million dollars in a week. I left school at the age of fourteen, got married, went back to school got my GED and been back to school several times. Had a good paying job all after I got divorced and with three kids.
    What I’m saying is the world is out there you have to go and get it no one is coming to your door. Life is good but you have to leave the past the past and become the adult you were intended to be. You cant go on thru the rest of your life blaming you mom for what is wrong today. Sure she wasnt there mine wasnt there either, but I learned something from it. I paid attention to her and I knew at the age of fourteen that I didnt want to be her and my family was not going to be treated like I was. Learn from what she was like, in the Bible it says if you feel you do not belong wipe off your feet and make family with people that dont throw stones. I had stones thrown at me to very hard times, dysfunctional family, mom had boyfriends, dad drank until he blacked out, no food on the table most of the time,life back then was not good. You are not alone. there are many of us who struggle with the same as you looking always looking. But I knew what I was looking for I would never get from her. She didnt have it in her to give. Your mom didnt either. But you you are smart caring giving person. by the way the girl I took custody turned eighteen and the parents are sueing me for extra money they paid in support. they paid each twelve fifty per month. What a shame. She will be looking for her mom to. Her dad is the one who molested her. So you see, you can live your life because you are not alone there are many of us. You just have to reach out the person next to you could be going thru the same thing.

  28. Paradoxis says:

    I know that for myself, I came to realise that the black hole inside me – the emptiness and all consuming Need that overwhelmed me could not be met by any human being. When I truly realised the truth of that, I stopped looking to others to meet my needs and started to become receptive to the idea of trying to meet them myself.

    For me, learning to nurture myself and give myself the things I needed but didn’t felt I ever got, was the single most healing thing I’ve ever done. Being my own mother awakened a love and compassion that I never knew I had. It helped me discover my own beauty. NO one can take that away. Not ever. I can’t “unlearn” it. :)

  29. sandyB says:

    Ashley, Joyce, Melissa:
    I am 40 years old and some days I feel 60+. My father committed suicide when I was 18 and pregnant with his first grandaughter. Even now, as I think back to that very day, I THANK GOD for being with me this whole way. Only DAYS ago I was stuck in this world of darkness. All I could think about was..”why did I have a dad who whipped me when I was 6 months old and crying for a bottle”, “why did he beat my mother until she was forced to leave the house in the middle of the night to survive and return…and do it again”, that affected me severely. “why did my dad forbid us to show any type of love or affection” “why did my cousin molest me for years”????
    And that’s just part of the first 15 years of my life. The list goes on and on. I lost custody of my daughters when they were 1 and 3 because I had an affair and back then affairs meant “bad parent”. My ex husband RUINED my daughters’ childhoods because he resented me! I got them back later on, but not before they had been molded, if you will…talk about guilt. I was there!
    I have felt like I’ve been truly alone for most of my life. That no one would ever REALLY understand me or “get” me and my thoughts! It didn’t matter what anyone said or what they offered as help.
    Like I said, I’m 40 years old and I have missed so much LIFE! Not because of everything that seemed to happen to me every time I woke up….but because I chose to miss out. Now, I could easily say that I didn’t know what I was choosing…that could be true in a sense…but it’s probably not, for the most part.
    I grew up hugging myself…I grew up rocking myself and TODAY if I “focused” on those losses, I can quickly plunge myself right back into that darkness. Sometimes, I DO anyway…it’s where I spent MOST of my life…it’s very hard to admit…but sometimes, I WANT to be there. As strange as it may sound, it was “home” for me. Making a better me is a foreign land and when in a land not your own…ya may get homesick…I know, crazy…but there are those who know what I’m talking about!
    I have never understood it when people said that I had to love myself, that I have to look at the future not the past! That would have sent me into crazy land…you may know what I speak of! The future is scary and for ME it only meant…honestly, thinking of being old and NEVER knowing true love. So, I get that it’s not always easy to admit that you love yourself…especially if you were programmed to think you are unlovable….for those of us who have been programmed that way…we might look at someone who advises us to do so, like they have just asked us to speak a foreign language, right?
    Guys’ there are so many things out there (outside the world that we have created in our minds) that trigger these severe episodes of depression and suicidal thoughts. And it is so very difficult to know what that’s like if you have not been the scared little girl (or boy) who just wanted someone to pick them up when they fell. And as an adult, that desire remains and it throws us into a mindset that “if no one comes to pick me up as these tidal waves keep coming and keep hurling me to the bottom, then, again, we are that kid who’s eyes are filled with tears and are frantically looking around for that “grown up” to love us enough to pick us up”!!!! There is no replacement for the love we are supposed to recieve as a child. There’s no reason a child should suffer trama every “little” day in this big world!
    BUT, I challenge you to do the “unthinkable”..just for a second, if you can… step back for a moment and try to visualize the parent(s) at whose hand you suffered and see them at age 2, age 5 and so on. What happened to cause them to turn into such unloving people? WHO hurt THEM? This very action set me on the path to forgiveness..and in forgiveness there is great healing and great LOVE!
    I am IN NO WAY condoning any abuse that any child has ever suffered. But think about it…what have WE adult children of abuse, alcoholism…etc..done to OUR children because of what we went through? Not abuse in the way we may have recieved it…but what do we do to them when we stay in this world of depression? What do we neglect to give them? That’s serious! When we have children, a conscious decision, EVERYTHING, CHANGES! It’s NOT about us any longer and if it is about you and only you…an evaluation is in order because it was a selfish adult who treated you in a painful manner….right? As parents the ball falls in another court!! Do not be that kind of parent to YOUR children! Just like you did, they deserve more than that!! They didn’t ask to be born, either…..ya know?
    Seriously, the blogs that I have read here…they come from loving souls! I know, because you ARE loving someone when you reach out for help. Maybe you are loving your children, maybe you are loving yourself…you ARE loving someone. You have already, in many aspects, BROKEN that cycle.
    I found that if I leave this world feeling alone, it could be because I continued to consider myself….alone.
    I have always asked God that if he would just make me “normal” and take this crazy mind of mine and fix it…wouldn’t I be able to be a better mother, daughter, sister friend? He said, “NO!” each and every time I asked! Because of who my parents were…..I AM WHO I AM! Now, I know you may be thinking, what the good in that really is and is it really worth it. You may ask that all day long…but that question will never be relevant! It is as it should be! That was very hard for me to say to myself…practice saying those words out loud…speak them into becoming your truth.
    Pray. Pray. Pray. Most days, I don’t have words to pray, used to be because I stayed so angry at just being here and going through such pointless events…so I sing. I just sing and He hears. And when I’m done I really feel as if God sat me in His lap and rocked me, hugged me and loved me until I was content for the moment!
    I don’t know what my tomorrow brings, I don’t think about it too often. Like I said, it’s scary to think of tomorrow….especially when you “can’t even get a handle on your today”, huh? Tomorrows feel empty to me. Like trying to feel my way around in a pitch black room…there’s no way I’ll find anything “good” in a room that’s dark for me! That’s ok!!! Think about TODAY! Think about this afternoon!! Think about this moment and this moment only, if you have to!
    I desire to accept who I was, who I am and when the time comes, who I will be!
    ONE DAY AT A TIME. ONE MOMENT AT A TIME IF YOU HAVE TO!
    Try very hard to CHOOSE …NOT to “rent space” in your head to those thoughts that hurt! EVEN IF hurt is what we know best…it’s our comfort zone, ya know! Focus on what that comfort zone consists of and by gosh, no matter how long it takes…find a comfort zone that offers more…that offers love. I know, it is down the road….but walk, walk, walk! You have SURVIVED a world that most people today, if forced to live in, would CRASH AND BURN quickly and undoubtedly, my friend!
    I call us: warriors! We fight wars. We may leave the battle with many wounds that become scars. But…we FIGHT them and We WIN them! We have won battles that most couldn’t dream of fighting! Be the Warrior that YOU are!
    Much Love and MANY prayers to you!!!
    See, you DO have a purpose…your stories have helped me today!
    ~Sandy~

  30. To Ashley, I have worked with sexually abused girls that found great relief in cutting and I’ve thankfully prevented all of them from taking their own lives when they just wanted to be heard.
    My site is http://myspace.com/dpositivelady if you want to see what everyone praying together can do to bring emotional healing?
    I’ve had a rough life that gives me compassion for the hurting so please if you need to send me a message? I used to be suicidal but not any longer.

    I’m linked to survivor networks, suicide lines and former cutters.
    You’re not alone-please remember that.
    Take care of yourself, Blessings, Darla :)

  31. Joyce Long says:

    To Chris::
    I dont know where in any of my posts that I blamed my mom for anything. However good pick up on that. I dont totally blame my mom, but also my dad. I did go through hell growing up and it does continue to affect every aspect of my life.. When you grow up without being shown love it is hard to show love yourself. When you grow up every day being told how dumb, stupid and ugly you are it sticks. When you move every year or 2 there are no lifelong friendships made. No I dont dwell on it every single day, but it did and does have an effect… I moved out at 17 and have been making my way every since. It hasnt been grand or glorious but i am what I am. I am 47 yrs old and I really dont know what is out there, or what help is out there. I am scared and introverted and I dont know how to change what I have been for 47 yrs. A scared child wishing and hoping for things not to be. It is hard when things constantly go wrong. It is hard when people who say they care and will be there no matter what turns their back the minute trouble comes. It is hard to trust when no one has proven they can be trusted. It is hard to love when no one loves you. I am what my dad said over and over so many times. I have accepted that. Wish it were not so but it is.

  32. Paradoxis says:

    Another good resource for people who self harm (most hate to be called “cutters” or “self mutilators”) is http://buslist.org/phpBB/

    It’s important for people to know that self harming is generally not a suicidal act. It’s actually a coping mechanism/strategy. It’s a complex issue that deserves the spotlight put onto it again. I hope Dr Phil does another show on self harm to raise awareness of it’s prevalence not ONLY in teenage girls (which is where most people focus these days), but for people of ALL ages.

    Para.

  33. Angela says:

    As someone who considers herself to be a “Suicide Survivor”, the show about “The Bridge” was extremely important and I sincerely hope that Dr. Phil and people like him keep on talking about suicide. I am Bipolar and Schizophrenic, diagnosed at the age of 19, (I am 25 now), and unfortunately, I have attempted suicide many times mostly because I have been on 17 different medications that haven’t worked, been in and out of therapy for years, (had to quit when both insurance issues and finances wouldn’t allow me to continue), Electroshock Therapy never worked, and frequently find myself in psych wards and psychiatric hospitals. I keep on fighting the “good fight” because I am convinced God has me here far more than to be in pain and that if I just keep on fighting, there will eventually be light at the end of the tunnel. While I am proud to be Bipolar and Schizophrenic because it has made me a much stronger, much more compassionate person, I greatly understand what would make someone give up, whether they actually have documented mental illnesses or not. I urge people who feel this way to speak out, ask for help…scream if you have to because like I know there is a greater purpose to me being her other than suffering, there is a greater, better purpose of all of those people considering giving up. But it’s important that the rest of us keep on talking about suicide, pull it out of the darkness and the shadows. The longer we keep it quiet the more people on the edge will hesitate to ask for help. Keep talking, keep asking.

  34. Sandra says:

    Suicide accounts for almost half of all violent deaths worldwide. As many as one million people kill themselves every year, a figure that in 2001 surpassed the total of deaths from murder and war. For each suicide, there are between 10 and 20 failed suicide attempts. The figures were published by the World Health Organization (WHO), based in Geneva, Switzerland. WHO points out that for every death “there are scores of family and friends whose lives are devastated emotionally, socially and economically.” The report notes that factors that protect against suicide include “high self-esteem,” support from friends and family, stable relationships, and religious or spiritual commitment

  35. Susani Sacca says:

    Dr Phil please see my posting to you on CONGRESS Blog and what I wish to do to help this cause.

    JUNE 2005 I was at my darkest place and if it wasnt for you, your website and your depression board with our boards hero leader and TOP ANGEL MS. Stephenson, AKA PIXIE SISSY SEA SWEET EARTH ANGEL

    You wouldnt be reading my words.

  36. fanna says:

    I have no idea what to do about my personal problem. I have written in to Dr.phil’s reqest’s on his page . you know the drop down menu’s that ask you to submit a problem of what ever it is you are dealing with , and still got no answer as to what kind of help is out there for me. I am walking alone on this , and I need Help. Please someone reply to my queriy.

    I love Dr.Phil
    I hope he can help me.

  37. I have created an educational program that needs to be seen. you should interview me. This is a contribution to our educational system to keep rape education programs ALIVE! I wrote a detailed journal documenting my seven years of rape and incest. I charted the progression of feelings and how molestation and rape affected me as I grew into an adult. I also charted my struggles, my torment and the mountain of WORK my emotional recovery entailed. I did this so I would not lay a transparency of my youth over our two children and enable myself to have a clean experience with them, as they grow healthy. My husband and I educated them.

    With my “exorcism” complete, the next course of action I took was to donate my 16-page document to our local sexual assault center. The director received my manuscript and called me the next day absolutely blown away with the content of my journal. We talked. I was encouraged and trained to be an educator. I then worked in the four county school system, here in our city and the surrounding areas. I was told that I would have, maybe, three disclosures a year. In ONE school year my disclosures numbered over THIRTY and several were TEACHERS! I still get stopped on the street to listen to disclosures.

    The problem here in rural America is mounting and not limited to “big city”. We have secluded areas where people live blocks and miles away from each other. No one to hear cries or screams. It is a fearful thing and we have the ability to make a huge difference here.

    I embrace any opportunity to inform our students of their vulnerability. Programs are imperative from the earliest grade. This data is an important remedial survival tool. It teaches responsibility, independence, confidence, trust and protection. These crimes of victimization against our youth are NOT their fault. There are volumes of students that actually need an educational curriculum about boundaries and the reality of the nature of violation. There are many students already being helped. This is a grave cause.

    Understand first and foremost that sexual abuse is not just a “Women’s” or a “Man’s” issue. It is a “Societal” issue. Male members are victimized proportionately the same as women and they too have to deal with the long-term effects of sexual battery.

    My uncle polluted our whole family system by victimizing my mom, my girl cousin, his own son, aunts and uncountable friends and their children.

    We as a race have a moral obligation to better ourselves collectively. We cannot win a war we choose to ignore. Humans put their heads in the sand like the ostrich, we want to believe that in this day and age the trauma of incest and crimes of the like, do not exist. We are in somewhat of a cultural amnesia. My goal is to keep the awareness of SEXUAL BATTERY and like crimes of violence, on the surface and visible. We are surviving and thriving in spite of the burden of trauma. People are uncomfortable with this imbalance of power that is shifting as our voices take wing and we talk about our horrific experiences of victimization and powerlessness. Parents, grandparents, friends, relatives, trusted guardians violate our trust every second of every day and overstep boundaries. As you read this, someone is involuntarily being touched, penetrated, awakened from rest, harmed, maimed and psychologically scarred for LIFE!!!! These crimes take forever to wrestle. Society as it exists right now, in the year 2005, turns a deaf ear, or a desensitized ear on the perpetual inundation of the reality they see every day of the effects long term violation has on our way of life. It seems easier to most in this “ hurry up I want it now” era, to ignore and place blame, than to get pro active and take a risk. Denial is the disease. We must admit that power not sex, plays an enormous part in violence. Violence and the use of it for power is the root of WHY bad things continue to happen in cities and rural societies. We must pool our resources of compassion and education and listen closely to the voices of our children and our maimed society. Look at the bruises. Kissing them will not make them go away. We have to integrate our knowledge into every area of government and civilian personnel to learn to deal with the injustices that truly exist in the personal lives of real people we all know, love, talk to, and see every day. This problem is rampant and there are solutions. It will take dedication, patience, financial resources, and time. We must not lose the compassion and reason we are gifted with. That separates us from every other animal on this earth.

    Laws are changing and the balance of power is shifting. Victims are beginning to get their day in court with laws that are empowering them. There is a sad reality though, that by the time some statutes of limitation pass, it is too late for so many. There is always crisis in trauma work. Offenders adamantly work to discredit victims. We who scream our tales of incest, rape and violation bring discomfort to the general population. We upset the imbalance of perceived stability.

    People don’t understand the disconnection associated with sex crimes. There is a mourning process. Decision making procedures become very distorted in victims of sexual abuse especially victims under the age of 18. These intrusions and forceful coercions, cause immense pressure and affect living in the healing experience. These dysfunctions require very tailored therapies which, to date, are unavailable to most. We must broaden the field, teaching tolerance, flexibility and compassion. We must better train the person inside the “healthcare professional”. We must teach our professionals better bedside manners.

    Unfortunately we don’t have classes widely available to us until we do something wrong and then it is obligatory. Even our kids today are poorly informed and taken advantage of. We don’t trust from fear. There are estrangements in families with secret histories of chronic sexual dysfunctions and diseases that span decades and centuries. Don’t talk, don’t heal and society may appear to turn a blind eye to what is difficult to fathom or comprehend.

    Don’t underestimate the number of sexually abused humans. We are becoming an organization with critical mass. I have resolved myself to revisit my own trauma to help others. This is my forum to educate and enlighten. I must voice my discomfort and indignation so that the stigma of sexual abuse does not slip between the cracks of the floorboards of civilization. It is more than a tiresome thing that nags. It cannot be resolved to be exhausted from hopelessness. Hear our voices now loud and clear, it is your voice too. This is a hot societal issue ripe with purpose! I hope this book can offer food for research and interest. I want it to lead to the discovery of some basic life skills such as respect, how to behave responsibly when bullied and how to help your own self if you are a bully. If it stimulates someone to explore about responsible, respectable, healthy dating boundary skills then much is accomplished on an intrinsic level. One can easily find the statistics on date rape and rape (library, health departments, law enforcement agencies, internet sources) perhaps bringing to the surface the reality of victimization.

    There are solutions for students who have the absolute bravery to ask for help. (My personal heroes) Many students are not learning these things from their caregivers, as most would expect. I have had such an overwhelming positive response from my presentations that I KNOW they are making a difference to effect change for the collective betterment of mankind. I vow to keep awareness alive for MY students. I wish I had seen an educator like me when I was a teen. Just hearing the words “It is not your fault” would have been enough to encourage me to shift the blame from myself and onto my adult abuser where the responsibility belonged entirely. It is not going away without the concerned effort educators and community members can offer. I am not alone. All of our kids NEED this. What are you willing to do to stop sexual abuse, incest and like crimes of violence as a member of your community and a full time member of the human race?

    Sincerely, Rose E. Grier, VSP

    itsneveryourfault.com

    I have created an Educatonal program that has an advocate/teacher/counselor book “Never Ever Your Fault” and a middle school and high school presentation on PowerPoint complete with scripts. “Never Ever Your Fault” is a comprehensive program for use in Middle and High school classrooms, guidance offices, or auditoriums. It teaches boundary establishment and esteem building with the age specific educational material. It has a script for victim advocates and educators complete with age specific tests and exercises. It has been field tested for two years with grand success. I am also developing a pre K-5 version called “The Heart of the Matter” which includes a poem that can be put to song “Only I can Touch Me there’” using a set of parrot puppets which are seen throughout the book. Also included is a book that teachers can print, cut, fold, and staple together or bind as a project. I hope to make it into a hard cardboard chunky book as well called “Today I am”.

    The book houses the “Educational program” mapped out in biography format as advised by the “Director Of Special Projects” from Hiram College in Ohio. Roger Cram is one of my biggest encouragers. It was originally in 5 separate books. Roger felt I should sew them all together into one book. Roger donated my site, now with over 6000 visitors. Many have communicated their thanks. I am currently communicating with a student that Daniel Keck (Marietta, Ohio) raped and molested. His mother found and contacted me from the site.

    I co-illustrated this program with our daughter. Her work from age thirteen on, adds an authentic appeal for teens and most of the art pages are actual posters. There is student participation laced throughout my program. I hired a student to make the HS PowerPoint disk cover, and another to print art on the actual disk. There is other student art in the book as recognized in the back of the book in the Gallery.

    The history of my incest experience is in the book. It is for those who want to read the experience and get a broader view of the healing process from incest to wellness. It is entitled “Journal of Innocence Stolen”(graphic) I fictionalized my age as a request by our daughter and wrote it journal entry style as a murder mystery. It is a true account of what happened to me, slightly fictionalized. The poetry compilation “New Light Same Sun” was written during my two years as a victim advocate. It charts my feelings from anger to forgiveness.

    I was in the classroom full time working with the students and connected directly with the fresh new issues of the day. I asked them what they needed from me. They spoke and I listened. I was told I might have three disclosures a year. With this program I had over thirty in my two-year term some were boys and teachers! I wrote all of my own material. Being in the fields and trenches, I found and was told much of the material I was given to script from was outdated, condescending and gender biased unfairly tipping the scales against boys. Many got defensive. My teachers and students strongly encouraged me to write a book based on my presentations. I resigned at the end of the 2002 school year. And began writing. When I felt close to completion, I wrote Gavin de Becker (He and his associates found Jodi Foster’s stalker) and asked if he would do the foreword. His representative said he would likely do so upon publication.

    My husband of twenty-five years, and both our son, now eightteen, and daughter, twenty-three wanted to be a part of my healing. I incorporated their input creating a comprehensive representation of my healing process to date.

    I am actively pursuing publication/funding. I appreciate your time and efforts concerning this project.

    I have submitted the disc to the Department Of Education in Tallahassee, FL. in hopes of stimulating interest and funding for program development. I met with a task force at the State’s Attorney office and showed my High School PowerPoint. It was met with very positive input. The books follow guidelines as laid down by the Sunshine State Standards for Health Education. I have also gone to the National level for appeal looking for corporate sponsors. I have received my Victim Services Practitioner Designation from the Attorney General. The program is copyrighted with the Library of Congress. All quotes are appropriately approved. I have been working on this for 11 years. I lend myself whole-heartedly to the youth of the world. These are hot societal issues, ripe with purpose.

    Thanks again.
    Sincerely; Rose E. Grier

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