RSS

Can You See My Pain?

21 Nov

schizophrenia
How the world feels like with schizophrenia
Picture credit: Craig Finn

 

Watching the horrific story unfolding yesterday at FSU brought back memories, that I was sure had long ago been sent to an unretrievable place in my mind.

The young man who opened fire at the College Library had recently done some, according to neighbors, out of character, or extremely odd things, giving those near to him an insight, a clue as to what was coming.

But that only would have helped them help him, if they had been aware of the signs, or signals, that predict, or point to violent behavior.

If you have been here for a while, you know that many years ago, I was treatment Nurse in a California Rehab Center for four years.

It was the most rewarding, most fulfilling time of my life.

During those four years, some  of the 125 patients at the facility became close to me.

One in particular was especially dear and we had many memorable conversations.

This young man was a college student who had attempted to take his own life,  by jumping off of  the roof of a building at  the same school that my three children and I were attending at the time.

Although his effort to end his life failed, he was ultimately hospitalized and became one of my patients.

Over time, this sweet, soft-spoken boy/man learned to trust me and opened his heart and thoughts to me.

Some of the things that he said, were never really confirmed, Google and computers would be years away.

So, I had no real way to prove, or disprove, the explanations he gave for his past behavior that he shared with me.

On several occasions, he told me that the greatest time of risk for mental breakdowns, at least he believed for males, was during late puberty, around the ages of 18-20, which is when it happened to him.

He also said that those with higher IQ’s, who were under great pressure in College or other, with  little or no strong family support to absorb some of it,  were usually the most at risk.

The powerful surge of hormones, during this period of time, he explained could cause those with a propensity for mental, or emotional trouble,  to  ” go over the edge,” as he did.

I listened to him every day, telling his stories and sharing his thoughts, with no clue as to what was to come.

He seemed fairly well-adjusted to the facility at the time and seemed to function well and interact with others.

I had no way of knowing that what I saw was an act.

He was not truly adjusting to the environment and was apparently still extremely unhappy.

This sweet young man finally succeeded at ending his life.

I came in to work one morning and the reaction of the other staff, was the giveaway that something terrible had happened.

The Charge Nurse came to me and consoled me about what he had done.

Overnight, he, like Robin Williams had recently apparently done, hung himself with his belt.

I was completely overcome with grief because I felt guilty.

I had been close to him and failed to see what was going on.

To this day, I have never forgotten him or what he did..

Seeing the young man yesterday and what happened to him brought it all rushing back.

This young man who went on a shooting Rampage at FSU yesterday,  like my patient so long ago, apparently had much of the same conditions in his life as well.

Many of these shootings, or what appear to be random killings, are not being done by hardened, career, or violent criminals in  recent years.

Consider the Sandy Hook shootings.

They are being committed by troubled souls many of whom come from what seems to be good families without any financial troubles.

For me, one thing that they all seem to have in common, is that they needed to get to someone and they frequently do attempt to reach out, but in most cases,  too late.

If there is any lesson in these tragic stories that just keep repeating, it is that if we, that is you and me, don’t get involved when a little alarm or bell goes off in our heads, we must bear at least some part of the blame for what they ultimately do to themselves and others, for not speaking up,  or acting on it.

When my particular young man was sharing and baring his soul to me, I was quite new to the environment of a Mental Health Facility.

I spent the entire time in a room and they were brought to me for their treatments.

I was not expected to be involved in any other part of their care.

Had I had years of training, hopefully I would have picked up better on any clues that he may have been sharing with me and possibly have intervened or stopped him.

I will never really never  know if I could have or not.

But, what I do know,  is that he is always right here in my heart and I wish I could have done more.

Like the young man yesterday at FSU, I wish that someone could have reached him somehow and helped him.

Today, as you go through your normal daily routine, will you think of these young men and all of the others like them?

Every day, someone, somewhere, is asking for help and no one hears them.

They could be a neighbor,  a co-worker, a relative, a friend, or just an ordinary person that we see everyday and if you look into their eyes, perhaps you may see a clue.

I truly believe that they want us to know that they need help, but don’t always know how to say it, or ask for it.

We must all try to be better listeners.

They are speaking to us and asking:

Can you see my pain?

 

Places to learn more:

Reports on FSU Shooter Describe Sudden Mental Deterioration, No History of Violence

Gunman at Florida State Spoke of Being Watched 

Police: Gunman killed after shooting at FS

Officials reveal details about FSU gunman

Shooter was FSU grad, ex-prosecutor ‘in crisis’

Schizophrenia – Wikipedia

 

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 responses to “Can You See My Pain?

  1. sonmicloud

    November 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    A heartfelt and truly touching post, and one that can only help others to hopefully see the small signs given when someone is in the hold of such a terrible darkness and cannot communicate it in time.

    – sonmi upon the Cloud.

     
    • Gator Woman

      November 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Thank you so much.
      So many wonderful people have touched my life.
      I like to think that if their stories are shared, they will live on.

       
  2. Dionysus Amber

    November 21, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    what a heartbreaking story. It is so sad when things like this happen. It could easily have happened to me in the past.

    Wonderful to see though that you have always been like a shining star for so many people. You are such a special lady. ❤

     
    • Gator Woman

      November 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      I like to believe that each of us is very special, just like you!!
      We all bring our own gifts to the world everyday~

       
      • Dionysus Amber

        November 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        You and Sachem have blessed me, So I like to send some blessings your way too 🙂

         
  3. Dionysus Amber

    November 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Reblogged this on rex est Christus ✑ and commented:
    Heartbreaking story. But I thank Donna for sharing such a personal story. i hope it might encourage those who are feelign suicidal or depressed to talk to someone.

     
    • Gator Woman

      November 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Thank you so very much for sharing this story Adam!
      We are all our brother keepers, are we not??

       
      • Dionysus Amber

        November 21, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        I believe we are. we need more people to spread love and a helping hand..

         
  4. Ipuna Black

    November 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    What a touching post. I’m a nurse, so I can truly relate to your words. Thanks for sharing.

     
    • Gator Woman

      December 5, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Thank you.
      As you understand, Nursing is a tough job, not for the faint of heart or spirit.

       
  5. Lee Hall

    December 13, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    It’s very hard not only to ascertain the signs and then additionally, if the signs could be read, to provide the safety for another in our culture, which makes it easy for the rescuer to be pulled under as well, with little to grab onto in the current. But you did something important for that young person and you’re still doing it: loving.

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Kids Gallore

Food, Fashion & Health For the Little Ones

Never Backward

"There is no substitute for reputation. It is like virginity, once lost, you cannot take it back.... " --Mirriam Defensor Santiago"

A walk in my shoes

Fashion coffee and everything in between ...

Lynn Thaler

Weird and Random Thoughts

Poetry Madness!

'Read & Enjoy Poems Daily'

BLOG DA UNIQUE

Devaneios, devaneios...

Quarksire

Q's werld a werld of introspection retrospectyion complication, yet simplicity overiding all so to see the reality is only but to lewk upon it with a gentle gaze. Unto Infinity and Beyond.

cryptogin

Analyzer of Monsters

D-ale copilăriei

"Toţi fugim după copilăria noastră. La 12 ani fugim după zmee. Pe urmă fugim după sufletul nostru de copil". (Francis Blanche, 1921 -1974)

Bexy

An activist for a kinder, more natural world.

"OUR WORLD"

Working together to make the world a better place to live! A fine WordPress.com site

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

osarobohenry

Just another WordPress.com site

Cornish Chough

Notes of a Naturalist

THE WIND-UP RAZOR CHRONICLES

Photography, books, music, shaving, fishing . . .

Umesh Kaul

Traveler!!!! on the road

AMERICA ON COFFEE

Americans' daily coffee ritual.....

"William's Window"

"Poetry & Rhymes" by William Hancock

on the road with Animalcouriers

pet transport through Europe and beyond

Emilio Cogliani

Environmental Care , Web Insights and Emerging Trends

The Sanguine Sol

Thoughts In Words

Eye-Dancers

A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers

overcomeabuse

How I Survived Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Animalista Untamed

The only good cage is an empty cage

In my own opinion

What is expressed in this blog is of my own opinion, unless otherwise specified.

International Wildlife Bond

Protecting Wildlife and Conservation

The Fifth Column

"News and views from around the world"

%d bloggers like this: