Last night, after we had all gone to bed, my daughter came rushing into our room. She had her phone in hand and said "Mom, what do I do?" I grabbed her phone to see what she was talking about and it was a message through a social media app saying along the lines of "I've had enough, I don't want to live anymore."
It was a girl from school... a year younger, that Ty doesn't really know that well. I told her to keep talking to her to see what was going on. She said she had been for a while and that the girl said something about cutting herself and posted a picture of a knife next to her.
I asked for the girl's name to look her up on Facebook to see if she has her parents listed. Luckily the first picture I found was of the girl and her dad so I sent him a Private Message that said, " Hello XXXX. My daughter is friends with your daughter, XXXX, and she is posting things on SnapChat saying she wants to end her life. I am hoping that it's not a real threat, but I am not taking a chance and wanted to let you know. Please let me know that you got this message and everything is ok, otherwise I am going to call the police."
I was poking around a bit more on FB waiting on a response and I noticed the dad had a friend in common with our family friend... so I text that girl to see if she has a phone number for them. She said she didn't and by that time the suicidal girl said "That's it, I'm done talking" and quit responding to Ty so I called 911.
When the operator answered and said "What's the address of your emergency?", I started to panic. I've always had 911 anxiety ever since I was little, but I was trying to stay calm for my daughter. I explained that a girl from the local Jr. High is SnapChatting my daughter and making threats to kill herself. I gave as much information as we knew and then our family friend must have said something to her mom b/c then that mom text me and said to try sending a message to the girl's mom instead, so I found her on FB and copied the message to her and she saw it instantly, although didn't reply.
The operator told us that she would send the Sheriff's deputies to the house to check on her and our call ended as the girl's mom replied back to me. She said her daughter is sitting next to her and everything is fine. She said she was just kidding around online.
I told her that regardless if it was a joke or not, we took it seriously and called for help. She told me that the daughter was mad at her for getting in trouble and she welcomed the police to scare her for doing that. She thanked us for caring... then a little while later asked if the cops were still coming because they weren't there yet. I told her as far as I knew, I hadn't talked to them again.
I ended up going to bed... and when I woke up this morning and had a few more messages from the mom. She told me the police came and talked to her... that she admitted to being lonely because her older siblings have moved out of the house and she said what she did. She also told me that the delay on the police was because a 17 year old in the area tried to hang himself and was in serious condition.
My heart broke even more. I don't understand this. This is the 3rd time in year that my daughter has dealt with friends making threats on social media. Three times she's been put in a horrible position to decide what to do. My heart is so heavy for her friends who didn't seek help and ended their lives. What is going on in the world today? Why are these kids feeling like they have no other choice? My heart hurts for this broken world we live in. How often do parents talk to their kids about this? What choices are parents giving their kids? At the time, I didn't know if this girl was serious or not, so I treated it as if she was. I would rather call for help when it be nothing, than to find out later on she was serious and live with that guilt. I pray that if my children were in that situation, that another mom would contact me to let me know.
I am constantly having conversations with my children to know that there is nothing they can do that will change our love for them... nothing they can do that we can't deal with... that suicide is never an option. I just pray this is instilled in their brains. I cannot imagine ever getting that phone call.
This is a good reminder for today... If you need help call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Don't suffer in silence, someone will miss you greatly when your gone.