“I just tried to kill myself”

This is not a poem.

Sorry to disappoint anyone who really enjoys my poorly written poetry.

I want to tell you a story, as well as give you my personal and professional stance on things of this nature, a PSA, if you will.

Last night around 8:43pm I received a frantic call from my fourteen year old daughter who had much concern in her voice as she told me about a text (via Facebook messenger app) that she’d received from her friend that read, “I just tried to kill myself”.

At the time I was seventeen minutes away from clocking out of work and an hour’s drive away from home where my daughter was staying the night at a friend’s house and there was no way for me to (physically) be there with her.  My daughter went on to inform me that she was very worried and offered me some background information on what the girl had found out about her mother’s recent extramarital affair, and because she then could not get ahold of her friend, she asked me if I could call the girl’s mom. There are many reasons I took this call seriously; 1). Death is final, there is no making up for it tomorrow, fixing it the next day, or correcting the mistake 2). I have worked in the mental health field as s Family Educator and Youth -at-Risk Advocate for almost 16 years, I’ve been volunteering with “At-Risk” youth since I was 17 years old. I take suicide very seriously, I take mental health serious, I take happiness seriously, I take death and dying seriously and most importantly I take the well-being of children, very seriously 3). Suicide, based out of hopeless due to depression or any other temporary and fixable situation, especially with children and it is something I cannot professionally and legally ignore.  4). When my daughter calls me and says, “I need your help”, I am going to help my child.

(that link up top might not work, but it goes to the Illinois Department of Family Services Mandated Reporter information page. On this page is a list of persons and people who must report certain behaviors towards children out of legal and ethical obligations, which are typically part of schooling, career paths, etc.)

I attempted to call the mother’s phone number and she did not pick up any of the times that I called, and I called several times. Due to the possible time sensitivity of this very serious threat, I chose to call the non-emergency police number in my town to see if a police officer would be willing to do a Well-Child Check at the family’s residence. I made this decision based off my professional judgment and due to the background information my child told me about this girl’s family problems, which leads me to this…

If you’re exposing your child to anything that would harm them to the point they feel as if suicide is an option as opposed to seeking help from you, then you need to take a look at what you’re doing and possibly have some help with your parental skills. And I’m not sure where we have decided, as a society, that there is standard in we have to know it all and we cannot ask for help. I was very disappointed to see that this young woman felt so desperate and unheard by her own family that she would turn to death as an answer. I was furious with the fact that my fourteen year old daughter was exposed to the things this other child was telling me that her mother has been doing. I won’t tolerate that type of behavior toward my child or any child. I calmed Alex down, called the police, left work, and waited to find out what happened with this young woman.

As it turned out, the suicide attempt was written off as “crying wolf”, and the police officer called me back from dispatch to say all was well, then my daughter called a back to say the girl was still messaging her and her friend was now part of it. I called the girl’s parents and asked them if everything was okay, the mother was obviously very curt with me. I let the mother know that I would like her child to stop contacting my child and informed her of (here’s the rest of the “background” story) the allegations that these kids were stating about her having a sexual affair, sharing sexting stories, nudes of the “other man”, walking in on her mom masturbating, and other very detailed worries, woes, and events that would put the girl and her younger siblings in dangerous situations. The mother was livid and yelled at me for “getting into her business” and I threatened to call DCFS and report the behavior, which I did do. If you’re wondering if you are allowed to share sex stories, nude photos, or explicit content with a child; the answer is no, that is illegal to expose young children to sexually graphic material.

The other and I got into a bit of a yelling match and the police officer who was there and on speaker phone tried to intervene, which did not work or he would have known the girl was still contacting my daughter about taking a bottle of pills and cutting her wrists. The police officer then called me from his phone and I had a few words for him, which included: I am asserting rights, don’t call my phone again, we can talk in person with a lawyer, and several other phrases before I hung up on him. I also let him know that I wanted all communication with my daughter and their child to end. He asked me not to call their home again and tried to update me on the girl’s status, that “she is fine”, to which I replied that the girl was STILL sending my daughter messages. I then recommended that my child report to Facebook’s team so that the messages would stop, or simply block her, and block her phone number (which most smart phones allow).

I’m not telling this story to come across as a perfect parent, or because I feel I’m holier than thou, and my child is too good for “problems”. If you’ve read anything I’ve shared here you know I have seen some darkness and been a very immoral person at various points of my life. I’ve been a parent who has had to ask for help, my child has been to court due to her own poor decisions, and I took that as a sign that I was not listening and she needed my help. I wanted to tell this story and I have included all sortsa links so that people know where my family and I stand on children’s welfare, what is okay and tolerable, and what we will not stand for. If you’re harming a child, we will stop you or help someone stop you from hurting children. If your child is turning to suicide, we will find help for you or tell you about. And I hope to God that any and all of my friends would do the same for my babies. If you think this is mean or harsh then you’re not getting it. We complain about police killing our kids point fingers at society, blame music and movies, games and entertainers, but we forget we are our children’s most important teachers, protectors, providers, and their BIGGEST FANS. We have control over the village who helps raise them. They need us to listen, to hear them, and be the answer when they have a question. And if we cannot be the help they need then REACH OUT TO YOUR COMMUNITY, friends, family, social services, non-profits, churches, counselors, the school teachers. Find some help, man. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to accept help. We’re all in this shit together, we just need to act like it. It’s for the kids. It’s all for the kids.

 

I’m sorry that my daughter lost a friend.

I’m sorry that I was not able to better control my own emotions so that I could better communicate with the other mother.

I’m sorry that a child felt so hopeless and unheard that she felt like “crying wolf” or attempting suicide was a viable option to solve her family’s secret problems.

 

 

When I Was Born

i was born on a cloudless night,
the moon shown bright scarlet,
like desert clay
under the burning sun.
i was born under a blue sky,
angels did not sing unto me
i was greeted by black birds
yelling me awake.

i was the agreeable one,
defiant to roles created
out of spite.
i signed up to speak silently
for all of my days, quiet screaming
from the corner of the world.
i was the sphere of light
everyone with sight couldn’t see.

i was born in two worlds,
and all of these people are me.
i was broken and bent to fit
into a body called girl boy.
i was just a dream,
a plucked apple
from a beautiful tree.
i am all but me.

i wrote letters in the sand,
just before high tide.
i traveled, holding hands with my
mother’s father’s slavery story.
i was shot with bullets of glory,
i died hundred of times, buried in a hoodie, synthetic emotion
covered my tattered body.

i’ve eaten from hands on every land,
massive storms raged through
the thunder-dome that was my soul,
shaking, quietly in fetal position
etched social network commentary onto my headstone, over my skin.
freckles, stopped being
sun kisses that adorned my lips.

i was born in two worlds,
and all of these people are me.
i was broken and bent to fit
into a body called boy girl.
i was just a dream,
a plucked apple
from a beautiful tree.
i am all but me.

i was named equality,
but turn when i hear injustice.
i was brutally loved, by everyone
who has never met me.
i feel with more than my fingertips
i fail with every child you let slip,
fall, between cracks of light
and darkness.

i was born in two worlds,
my heartbeat is the gentle drum
of whispers, heard throughout
the entire universe.
my eyes are deeper than the trenches at the bottom of the sea, they’re open windows to a soul
richer than the new world’s
undiscovered land,
i was born from a battered womb,
full of rhythmic waves that
crash against bone and skull.
i was born fully aware,
of how stubborn our history of hate would be.
i was born
made of all of you,
but still me.

 

National Center on Family Homelessness: http://www.familyhomelessness.org/children.php?p=ts

It’s A Girl: http://www.itsagirlmovie.com/

Prevent Child Abuse in America: http://www.preventchildabuse.org/index.php

Volunteering at Non-Profits: http://www.volunteermatch.org/

Big Brothers Big Sisters: http://www.bbbs.org/site/c.9iILI3NGKhK6F/b.5962335/k.BE16/Home.htm

Food Pantries: http://www.foodpantries.org/

There are a million causes, a million problems to solve, there are mouths to feed, children to save, families to help, there’s so much we can all do. There’s so much each of us can do. If you know of a place, sign up, volunteer, if you know an elderly person in your community then offer to help them with errands, shovel a walk, call a friend, send money, join something, just be NICE to someone, anything. Any step you take can be the first step to moving mountains. Help. Love. Live. Rinse. Repeat. This doesn’t even touch on everything, it’s overwhelming, there’s so much to do. It feels too heavy at times, but if we all start where we stand and try to be more understanding, giving, loving, and we do the best we can do, then that’s good enough, for now.

The Good

she kept a crescent moon smile
in her back pocket,
and broke sunsets
with golden flecks
in her eyes
blossomed every star.
watching the sunrise off of
her nakedness,
skin like copper kettles
and truth, a sincere honesty
expressed in silence,
the moment the heavens
bent to the earth, flux & flow
she’s all of my favorite things.
wisdom retained
under the season’s change,
equinox summons greenery to
cuddle her in lush scenery,
persimmon flavored dreamscapes dancing dangerously close to summer dawns.
pale pastels caress
a head full of heavy thoughts.
tendrils of hair, tangled around,
intertwined with pieces of the past.
she’s brought
back to earth again
bare arms embrace me,
envelope me in serene gardens
full to the ivy covered walls,
lush with innocence and serendipity,
under starry-skies we gaze,
watching newborn thoughts
drift away.
blossoming moments,
to be so lucky in love.
in loss.
in life.
in sleep, and in dreams.
cover me with
flowering lust, lilies whisper
and sweet forget-me-nots
come nearer.
such beauty, what a sight to see,
what a gift to be.
pomegranate stained lips
as she speaks, sweet scents
linger in the wake of her words,
rubies burst on her fingertips
she dances about forever,
lost in her own selflessness,
lazy as the day wants to be.
showered with sunburst,
kissed by golden rays
at next season’s first light
we thread common ground,
deep breath under friendly fire.
dawn, comes head on.
counting fading stars.
earth’s axis, and everything
continuously shifts, moves,
bows to you.
you’re part of this plot,
this play,
this problem,
this plan.
this land,
so you write her,
to the best of your mind’s ability.
still we forget,
we fail to see
we fail to be

Redskin Woman

breaking open the beginning
of the end, ships came in
tracing lineage lines
and lies, recreating a distant horizon
family ties cut
like tree trunks.
roots intertwined with enemies,
common ground was a bed, consensual, at times.
she soothed his fears, capitalist
societies and a new world stage, set.
then came the generation of
hiding truths, truths that
time and blood diluted.
we praised the storm clouds
that covered our villages like
wagons across the prairie
fruited plain, wore in wombs
with intertribal affairs.
we drank from copper hearts,
cut stars out of the sky
like it was our right.

and now, here we stand,
wait-here we sit,
far from united.
coming apart at the heartstrings
sadness killing our people
like disease, voice heavy with expectation and loss.
explaining the unexplainable.
averted her eyes, not knowing
exactly what she hides, relives a rape, from history’s perspective
a past that she barely remembers.
indian health service memories,
waiting rooms,
crowded with confusion.
treated her with an outdated rape kit,
prescribed expired bottles of
trust and treaties,
washed it down with new statistics,
a forty percent higher chance,
just because she’s an
indigenous woman.

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Link

Expiring and The Lovely Girls

“sarahbuzzkill.com” expires on February 27th…it’s been a couple few years that I’ve had this little blog going. I started out with 365 days of pointing out the not-so-hot things about myself, to sharing a couple of short fictions/ideas, to just purging whatever was inside of me, via poetry. I think I’ll continue doing that, but I’m adding another dimension, for myself and for others (I think). I like the poetry, it’s helped me resolve some insanely deep shit that I was struggling with; the cancer, the child loss, addictions, compartmentalizing some intense aspects of work, past, and home life. I don’t spend a lot of time sharing my personal views on political and social topics, and I think that it’s okay to start doing that, I’ve been working in the mental health field for a long time, and volunteering for a long time, and I’ve been a survivor of a violent crime for a long time, and a rape, and grew up with domestic abuse, and a lot of other very heavy shit. I would like to be able to raise awareness about some other realities and ways that you, me, us, we can all help make a small difference. Helping others feels good, it feels good to help your fellow humans. We all need help, some of us cannot ask, do not ask, make excuses to avoid asking for help. That’s lame. We all need help. One thing I would like to ask for help with is raising awareness about Gendercide, a huge systematic destruction of women that occurs in some countries, much more blatantly. Girls. Babies. Little tiny, innocent, female bodies that could be full of life, and soul, and who are being taken apart before they’re even born, in many cases. I am hoping to be able to help my school host a showing of this movie, It’s a Girl!

 

I’m due to travel to India this coming summer, I fell in love with India before I’ve even been there. That might mirror some of my greatest loves. I fell in love with my kids before I’d ever met them. I fell in love with learning when I was failing, courses and life. I fell in love with the Grand Tetons before I’d even seen them. I knew of the gendercide that happens in India, and watching this film was heartbreaking, like finding “deal breaking” flaws in the person you’ve fallen in love with. But I’m going to give India a(nother) chance, even knowing this awful truth, I’m going to be open-minded and learn, soak up culture and education, and I want to meet people and just be silent and humble to what other people live and what experiences and moments make them up, and see what I can do to make a difference, no matter how small. Please watch the trailer, and pass this on. If you feel so inclined there are petitions you can sign on the “It’s a Girl!” link and you can sign up to host a showing, order a movie, or make purchases of dope all cotton blend shirts, that rep your stance on saving girls lives.

 

“Every Person Matters, Save a Girl’s Life”

Click Photo below to sign Petition to help tell World Leaders to End Female Gendercide in India

Birds

The Lovely Girls

i was a dream, that never woke up
i was pink balloon floating over
an unmarked tomb.
i was choked cry,
i was a sob my mother never finished,
i was a moment you could’ve held.
i was an alarm, striking fear into
armies of men.
i was the death of every girl,
who has ever walked this world.
i was the center of the universe,
star dust in a womb,
hands clasped tight,
i was the dirt that covered
a casket constructed of cloth.
i was dark eyes and soft brown hair,
curls piled atop the smallest head,
i was a smile, a smirk,
a freckle on an arm,
i was a first kiss,
i was a last night,
i was an afterthought,
i was the loudest whisper,
i was the softest cry,
i was supposed to be
the apple of your eye.
i was the loveliest girl,
i was the lonely girl,
i was the only girl,
i am every girl,
in the entire world.