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Apr 20, 2007

Oprah posed two questions about the killings to which I responded and would like to share with all of you here.

Why did it happen?

This I feel very confident answering because my daughter committed suicide at the age of 19 in 1984. Although she didn't kill others such as this incident or the suicides like 911, those in Iraq and around the world, she did kill a part of all those who knew her. There is one common element to those that commit suicide. The majority have been bullied. My daughter went through this at age 12 while in the 7th grade. The more my wife and I tried to stop it, the worse it got. I see absolutely zero effort put into understanding how the bullying affected those that got bullied. My daughter left behind 5 journals, plus I have letters from her and her mother which I have been putting into a book. As I write what I went through at the various times these things were written, I found my confidence grew about sharing my thoughts about this subject.

The bullying is a process where the bully makes another look wrong so the bully can look right. The bully controls and manipulates others to buy into their own insecurities. With my daughter it killed her trust in others and had her withdraw into mainly only her own mind and thoughts. She knew that she had to protect herself but didn't have the reasoning ability developed yet to get out of this solitary confinement situation taking place in her head. That escalated the problem as then she would be viewed as weird, mentally ill, psycho, and somebody to avoid. It's easier for people to talk about this behavior she developed then it is for them to understand it. She became a leper, so to speak and could only be seen as a problem to solve with opinions. The opinions usually came from those that didn't have the mental capabilities to understand or live their own lives in a constructive manner yet offered destructive suggestive thoughts in how other lives should be lived. To me, that is totally the problem.

What can we do?

For many I'd say nothing other than remember the saying "Silence is golden." I went through 7 years of suicide attempts and pure hell with my daughter. I only to woke up to the fact that I was the problem a year and a half before her death. Do any of us even have the slightest clue in knowing how to love? Believe me when I tell you this was a complete course in how to love with not one single lesson showing the slightest hint of being easy. The main thing I want to share in what to do about this is that I had to become everything I wanted for my daughter in life so I could then share with her how I accomplished becoming that way. My main focus became earning her trust and respect, which I later realized I never did with her mother in forming our relationship as parents. So my suggestion is for people to work on themselves so they become human beings that have something to share with others. Then in time maybe we could concentrate on children with issues like self-esteem, self-love and self-confidence plus teach them how to form and be in relationships.

It seems simple enough to write but sure hard to get across but these are my ideas about this subject.

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Posted: Friday April 20, 2007, 1:56 pm
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Lucy A. (52)
Wednesday September 5, 2007, 4:32 pm
Wow Ken,
So sorry this happened to you, your child and your family. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. I abhor bullying, as I suffered it as a child and know the pain and isolation of that. Anytime I witness it, I step in to stop it. It is courageous of you to share this story. It can't be easy.
Lucy A.

Ken G. (49)
Wednesday September 5, 2007, 10:21 pm
Thanks for the response. This happened in 1984 and I had joined Toastmasters to learn public speaking where this sort of material has been shared many times before. My point in sharing this had been the bullying in this young man's youth didn't get the focus showing how it led up to his shooting rampage in VA Tech. Other school shootings also show bullying in the killer's past. That isolation grows with distrust so I'm sure you do understand the pain of this.
Again thanks for responding and sharing that fantastic art work of yours.

Penelope P. (222)
Tuesday October 23, 2007, 1:57 pm
Losing anyone close is always upsetting- even when one expects it. I sympathise. I'd like to know too ,how many times she tried this before she succeeded. From what you are saying it seems to be an ongoing problem.
I do agree that working on oneself rather than forcing one's reality on others is important .Like most things Christ said looking at oneself rather than judging others , has never been tried extensively. It certainly is not a norm.
I do not think it is only bullying which leads to suicide.
I havecome across many people who have at some stage attempted it. I also a couple of times as part of the jobs I was doing ,was in a position to be able to prevent it.
For what it's worth, I will say that Frankl(Logotherapy) is right to a large extent.
He took his modus operandi from Nietsche-"He who has a why can bear any how."
He roadtested his theories in Belsen and Auschwitz
where he worked to stop his fellow inmates from turning into Zombies and was 100% successful.

What happened was that the inmates of these concentration camps would smuggle in people that they saw were beginning to get into that strange state, After an inmate became a zombie he apparently used to blunder onto the electrified fences around the place and kill himself that way.

What Frankl did was to talk to the person and try to find out some reason which was valid to the person as a rationale for living.

It did not matter how small or how insane this reason for living was. He recounts stories of people who wanted to see their relatives ,spouses etc again,of a nun with a special message from God that she needed to relay to the world ,of people who wanted to write books etc.

Any reason for staying alive seemed to make it possible for them to do so under horrific conditions.
I personally suspect that one reason suicide is attempted is as part of a role or game,in this society. The game can be as drastic as getting ones spouse to co-operate,or ones parents to pay attention,or as unrealistic as following roles popularised on TV.

I think people tend to do what is given to them amongst popular and demonstrated choices. Suicide can be glamorous to the young who are bombarded with TV images of death and dying.
Part at any rate of the problem of suicide comes I feel from the lack of meaningful experience
which is offered by popular culture. People who have access to more than shopping and computer games ,to the so called "high culture" of the classics in Literatureand Art and Philosophy and mathematics and science and to the opportunity to create and to love which id the same thing, seldom
have the time for suicide.
Even people who are helping others rather than
focussing on how the world is not delivering
all that the media suggests they should have,tend to be too busy to play these sort of games.

I also talk from the perspective of a child who was frequently badly bullied and as a sometime outsider has run the gauntlet of more than occasional social disaproval and discrimination and rejection since.
I love life ,love people ,love God and find everthing down here so fascinating that suicide
seems a silly egotistical game. I know however
that I have no right to judget anyone elses mode of expression in this realm of illusion. Also that the pain here psychically and psychically can be drastic.
Love is the answer for all of us it seems to me and perfecting that towards oneself and others and one's reason for living whatever that is, is enough to prevent suicidal thought and action.
It is a lack of love and full deep experience
in general which I hypothesize as much of the cause of suicide in our society

Penelope P. (222)
Tuesday October 23, 2007, 2:11 pm
Losing anyone close is always upsetting- even when one expects it. I sympathise. I'd like to know too ,how many times she tried this before she succeeded. From what you are saying it seems to be an ongoing problem.
I do agree that working on oneself rather than forcing one's reality on others is important .Like most things Christ said looking at oneself rather than judging others , has never been tried extensively. It certainly is not a norm.
I do not think it is only bullying which leads to suicide.
I havecome across many people who have at some stage attempted it. I also a couple of times as part of the jobs I was doing ,was in a position to be able to prevent it.
For what it's worth, I will say that Frankl(Logotherapy) is right to a large extent.
He took his modus operandi from Nietsche-"He who has a why can bear any how."
He roadtested his theories in Belsen and Auschwitz
where he worked to stop his fellow inmates from turning into Zombies and was 100% successful.

What happened was that the inmates of these concentration camps would smuggle in people that they saw were beginning to get into that strange state, After an inmate became a zombie he apparently used to blunder onto the electrified fences around the place and kill himself that way.

What Frankl did was to talk to the person and try to find out some reason which was valid to the person as a rationale for living.

It did not matter how small or how insane this reason for living was. He recounts stories of people who wanted to see their relatives ,spouses etc again,of a nun with a special message from God that she needed to relay to the world ,of people who wanted to write books etc.

Any reason for staying alive seemed to make it possible for them to do so under horrific conditions.
I personally suspect that one reason suicide is attempted is as part of a role or game,in this society. The game can be as drastic as getting ones spouse to co-operate,or ones parents to pay attention,or as unrealistic as following roles popularised on TV.

I think people tend to do what is given to them amongst popular and demonstrated choices. Suicide can be glamorous to the young who are bombarded with TV images of death and dying.
Part at any rate of the problem of suicide comes I feel from the lack of meaningful experience
which is offered by popular culture. People who have access to more than shopping and computer games ,to the so called "high culture" of the classics in Literatureand Art and Philosophy and mathematics and science and to the opportunity to create and to love which id the same thing, seldom
have the time for suicide.
Even people who are helping others rather than
focussing on how the world is not delivering
all that the media suggests they should have,tend to be too busy to play these sort of games.

I also talk from the perspective of a child who was frequently badly bullied and as a sometime outsider has run the gauntlet of more than occasional social disaproval and discrimination and rejection since.
I love life ,love people ,love God and find everthing down here so fascinating that suicide
seems a silly egotistical game. I know however
that I have no right to judget anyone elses mode of expression in this realm of illusion. Also that the pain here psychically and psychically can be drastic.
Love is the answer for all of us it seems to me and perfecting that towards oneself and others and one's reason for living whatever that is, is enough to prevent suicidal thought and action.
It is a lack of love and full deep experience
in general which I hypothesize as much of the cause of suicide in our society

Ken G. (49)
Monday February 4, 2008, 9:00 am
Sorry I didn't notice your comment sooner Penelope. Believe it or not the biggest problem suicidial people face is other people trying to help them. There's an ignorance in human minds that see them dealing with life with troubled minds and they try to fix them instead of seeing them as human being and accepting that. My daughter left these journals and has actually recorded the hurt that came from those that thought they were helping. Usually the helpers needed help themselves and ran a low self esteem so they tried to show the world how wonderful they were by helping others.

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Ken G.
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