Sunday, September 8, 2013

Suicide Prevention Blog Hop

Greetings folks and welcome to the Suicide Prevention Blog hop. I had to join this one for a number of reasons, the most important one is my own personal experience with suicide and how it affected my family. 

A little over two years ago, my cousin Scottie took his own life. None of us knew the reason and he didn't leave a note. Needless to say the family was devastated about the news especially when the last time we'd had a family gathering he seemed to be just fine. 

Later that same year, I found out from my uncle that Scottie might've committed suicide because he was gay. Imagine the shock of me hearing this when I started writing gay romance and I consider myself a straight advocate for the gay community. Why would he do this? I might have been the only person in the family to help, other than his sister. Why didn't he come talk with me? Upon hearing this I was in tears. I'm not assuming I could've stopped him from doing it but maybe I could've been a source of comfort for him in this difficult time. 

After much indecision and wrangling with my own guilt, I knew I had to do something to honor my cousin's memory. We weren't very close because of the age difference but I still loved him and wished he were here with us again.

Early July I released a book under my name Michael Mandrake in his memory. I changed the names of him and his sister, giving him a guardian angel to stop him from from committing suicide and choosing life. I've received a few emails from fans on the book saying it made them cry and my uncle who told me Scottie's story is very proud of the work I'd done on this book. 

I've also been asked if Sammy will get his happy ending and the answer is yes. I've also written a short that was subbed under my other name Rawiya for an anthology done by Sara York and a full book is already in the works for readers to see Sammy get the happy ending he deserves. 

In the meantime, I'm doing what I can to help spread the message about how important it is to listen to our kids, no matter what age. Hear out their concerns, gay or not. Don't be quick to judge them and give them every opportunity to work things out on their own before interfering. Look for signs; withdrawal from family or friends, giving up things they love etc. These may be things to look out for. Ask them questions and like I said, don't be quick to judge. They need understanding, acceptance, and most importantly love. 

I'm glad to be part of this blog hop and hope this will help many to understand how serious suicide really is. Despite all the wonderful resources, the It Gets Better videos, Trevor Project, suicide rates especially among GLBT people are disturbingly high. Let's do what we can to help.

For every comment here I'll donate a dollar to the Trevor Project after the blog is said and done. Thanks for listening and please check out the other authors joining this awesome hop!



17 comments:

Debby said...

As the parent of a gay child, I worry about her constantly. We support her but not everyone else does. thanks for all you are doing.

Kassandra said...

Such a wonderful cause! I am sorry for your loss but am glad to see you are being cathartic with your writing.

Kassandra
sionedkla@gmail.com

Sue Sattler said...

My son spent over 4 years struggling to deal with severe PTSD and TBI from his 15 months in Iraq. On Jan. 2, 2011, he decided he could no longer do it and completed suicide. He was 25 and my oldest child, my sunshine, my pride and joy and my friend. We tried for many years to get him help, he was surrounded by loving family and friends, but I think sometimes he felt like a failure because he wasn’t able to handle it on his own. My sister and her husband are both psychologists so there was never any stigma about getting help. To say that his death devastated all of us is an understatement. I will never be the person I use to be, a part of me will be broken until I’m with him again. Thank you for bringing this subject out in the open, I talk about it often. My son didn’t do this to hurt us, he just wanted the pain to stop, I know that if he had been thinking clearly, knowing all the pain that we would be in, he never would have done this, he didn’t have a mean bone in his body. We talked about suicide often, the extra hurt that came when someone chooses to take their life and he promised me that if he ever felt like that, he would come to me. But one night after not sleeping for days and tired of the sounds and smells of battle assaulting him, he broke his promise and my heart. His last words were "I don't want to die" he just wanted the pain to stop. Suicide needs to be taken out of the closet, held like a dirty little secret, a brand of shame that only adds to the ones that attempt and the survivors. Only taking it out into the light of day and talking about it loudly instead of whispering in disgust will we then start to put a halt to this overwhelming tide of suicide.

proudarmymom32(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry! I hope it gives you comfort that you're helping people in a similar situation, through Sammy's story and by sharing Scottie's here...

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Mika Collins said...

Thank you for sharing! As a person who has tried to commit suicide several times, I understand how important it is to have someone to talk to without the fear of judgment. For me, that component was critical, so yes, pls pay attention to the warning signs and never let a child(gay or straight) feel worthless and unloved. Kudos, and thank you so much for sharing! :)

bn100 said...

Thanks for sharing your story

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

katyaarmock.com said...

Thanks for sharing this story. This hop is doing great work to get people talking.

Sin Chan said...

Thanks for sharing and participating. Thank you for the donations too.

Lisa said...

Thank you for participating and your donation to the Trevor Project.

My son was almost one of these statistics and quite possibly still could be. He told me afterwards he just wanted the pain to go away.

Suze said...

Thanks for sharing your story and to the other commenters who have shared theirs. I Hope that more support becomes available to anyone who feels this is the only solution

Suze

Cindi said...

The Trevor Project is awesome! Thanks for sharing your story about your cousin and donating to the Project:)

kali-mar said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. I can emphasize as it has happened twice in my family now and even though the last happened over twenty years ago, the sadness still lingers when I think of my missing family members.
Your donation to the Trevor Project is very much appreciated.
kalimar2010 @ gmail.com

ilona said...

Thank you for sharing such a heartbreaking story with us. I am so sorry you lost your cousin in such circumstances.

I hope that blog hops like this go some way to making people more aware of such issues and that someday they won't be needed because life is better for people like your cousin.

ilona
felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

Jen said...

Thank you for sharing the story about your cousin and for donating to Trevor Project. I have two young children and reading all these blog posts will help me be more attuned and watchful.

Carolyn said...

Sending out love to everyone who loves and misses Scottie. We can never truly understand or see when someone is in pain, but we can keep trying to reach out. Thank you for sharing your story and sending out a message of support and understanding for others to learn from. I'm so pleased to be another $1 for the Trevor Project.

Pam said...

Thanks for participating in such a worthwhile hop.

pjmillion (at) comcast (dot) net

H.B. said...

Thank you for taking part in the hop and for helping to spread the word on this issue.