Monday, August 07, 2006


After a weekend of cat sitting for some friends, My and I returned to find her 13 year old sister, Minna, and their mother in a room together, with Minna in tears. We soon found out that a friend of hers had tried to take her own life. I'll admit that my initial reaction was that her friend probably took some pills, or made a little cut on her wrist so that people would all think that she wanted to die. I've certainly seen this cry for attention before among the 13-16 year old females. It turns out her friend jumped from her fifth floor balcony. Hardly a little plea for attention. It seems that her alcoholic father frequently beat her. She had phoned the police several times, but for whatever reason she remained living there. I can't imagine the pain and fear that a 13 year old must have been through to come to terms with jumping five floors to a hopeful death. I almost feel like saying she was brave, though bravery and suicide should probably be held somewhat apart from each other. Luckily for everyone, she didn't die. She was lucky that she wasn't parilyzed as the doctor said she came real close to breaking her neck. I'm not sure what the injuries are, but apparently they're not too serious.

I'm thinking at this point, someone somewhere, aside from the father, will be feeling a fair bit of guilt for not intervening. My's and Minna's mother used to work as a social worker. Her job involved opening her family's door to children who the city felt needed it. For much of their upbringing they lived with various children escaping various households. Many of these children were child abuse victims. More often than not, the city would end up returning the child to their parents. My told me the story of a young girl, about four years old, who came to live with them around Christmas. She was very closed off, often quiet, emotionless. As Christmas neared, the family was decorating the house, and after about a week or so of silence, the girl suddenly started singing. She had broken her shell. About a week later, the city said that she could go back to her heroin addicted parents. Tragic.

If there's a bright side to any of this, it would be someone somewhere keeping Minna's friend away from her father. We can only hope. All the best to her.


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