It was an evening last week when I learned that my 12 years old daughter, a very sensitive and empathic girl, is chatting with a friend who is, at the same time over the phone with another friend escorting the local police searching for another (fourth) friend suspected of trying to commit suicide, per her Facebook page. So, this is the situation:
My kid is sitting on her bed trembling and crying, while I am staring at her I-pad unbelievably, chat lines running extremely fast saying: “Diane is not at the living room… wait, looking for her at the kitchen…not there! Perhaps she already did it! Wait, the police is entering the bathroom… Here she is! She is alive! She tried to kill herself!” Etc.
Well, after making sure that Diane (which my daughter is not familiar with) is ok, and that her parents are aware of what’s happening in their house, I was available to take care of my kid.
It was only then that I started to understand what these kid’s world is made of today : She told me about girls trying to take their lives (as far as I understood she is very much exposed to that through Facebook), and many girls who cut themselves.
Cutting? I mean, most of us have heard about certain situations in which girls try to injure themselves, but hey, am I the only one who didn’t know that this has lately become a phenomenon? Quote – “Mom, are you trying to tell me that you’ve never seen all these girls whose arms are covered in the summer???” Sorry, no…never!
So I insisted, and learned that many of her Facebook friends, many of them fans of singers that she is in contact with but also girls that she knows personally (at least one is a good friend) “cut”. Then she showed me endless groups called “Don’t hurt yourself” etc., where many girls are discussing this (As, “yesterday I cut a lot”!)
I was a 12 years old once (long ago, I admit). I don’t recall that my world was full of suicidal attempts and of girls cutting issues. How did it become so frightening and so violent for children?
I was asking around, and non of my mom – friends heard about it, so I called the school staff, none heard about it as well. Just before I started to think that I am dreaming all this (a nightmare, you might call it), I saw ” The Good Wife” season 4 episode 8: Grace telling Alicia about girls cutting. Well, at least I am not the only shocked mom around!