I had many amusing conversations last night on New Years Eve, including a particular one about girls using bacon to make their vagina taste better, but there was a certain topic that struck me deep to the heart. I wanted to discuss the topic further but as it is a bit of a depressing subject, I didn't want to ruin anyone's New Years with a debate. I simply vowed I would explore it today. I already have run into certain people who have been reading my blog and inform me they would like to discuss some of the things I have said, but I will forewarn you this is not the type of post I am going to want to get into a debate over with just anyone. Now onto the point.
Many campuses, including Shippensburg University, have a club, or hold events for the cause TWLOHA, (To Write love on Her Arms). Essentially, students write the word Love on their arms to demonstrate their support of the cause. The cause is all about raising awareness and reaching out to those who are battling with depression, addiction, self-mutilation, and suicide. Several students on Shippensburg campus participate in this event, but when it comes to the people I know, there are several who participate and then I question why. It gets entirely too exhausting when the majority of my friends are guys, and at times their jokes cross a line that they cannot tell has been crossed. So many make jokes, telling people to go kill themselves, telling someone to make sure they cut "Up and down the river", when people show emotions or act depressed they mock them, but yet turn around and act like they care for the cause. I watch people go into deep depressions and feel like they have to hide from their closest friends in fear of being mocked for it. They feel like something is wrong with them for feeling. But honestly, this isn't even the reaction that bothers me the most. I can deal with insensitive and naive douchebags, who will pretend they are gentleman and stand for something great and true, yet turn around and make jokes about rape or disrespect women on a daily basis. The reaction I am finding most disturbing is actually anger towards those who have cut.
People get angry when someone they love hurts themselves. I get it, I really do, I can completely understand how frustrating it may be to realize that someone has hurt himself or herself, especially when it is someone you care about deeply. But I think anger is actually the last feeling they need to be getting from someone else. Put yourself in the position where you are so lost, so sad, so hurt, to the point where you would actually consider subjecting yourself to self-mutilation. Usually, the people who do cut, feel as if they are trying to communicate their pain to others and nobody is listening, or nobody is there to listen. It is at their moment of feeling the most alone, that they cut. Yet, people show anger towards them? If you were feeling completely alone, and someone you cared about was angry with you, do you think that would help, or make the situation worse? People act angry because you apparently didn't reach out to them. But these depressed people are always trying to reach out, but you are too busy with your own life, or you don't see it, or you mock them. It is very rare that someone is going to have the strength to openly say, "Look, I have a problem, and I'm scared of what I'm going to do" and even if they did, half the time people probably wouldn't take them seriously. I cannot wrap my head around the justification that anger is the appropriate reaction. I know that people cannot always control their emotions, but I feel like in that situation, if it is someone you truly care about, you should be willing to put your anger aside for the moment and just be there for them to give them what they need.
Sometimes all somebody needs is for you to take them in your arms and tell them that you'll protect them, that you'll try to help take the pain away, that they're not alone. Sometimes they may need more than that. But you'll never know what they need if you just present them with anger and make them feel more ashamed by what they've done than they already feel. It makes them feel even more alone, and embarrassed and hurt. Nobody should have to shoulder the pain they feel completely alone. Friends, and loved ones, are supposed to be there to help you through.
I'm not saying I know everything, but this is an issue that hits very close to home, it's something I have never been able to wrap my head around. I feel so much that it is hard for me to understand why people can at times be so selfish and inconsiderate, when someone's life is at stake. So next time before you write love on your arm, ask yourself if you really have been there for the people who are crying out for help. Ask yourself have you made heartless jokes at peoples expense? And if they were dead the next day, would you feel guilty? Rethink your actions, before you pretend to stand for something. Don't act as if you are noble and because you did a few good charitable things that you are a pillar of goodness if you are going to turn around and mock the very people who need you the most.
Have a heart.