Suicidal preteens are way more common than people think.
Example – me. I wanted to die when I was 9 years old. Obviously, I did nothing about it, since I’m here now. Maybe preteens had different reasons for being suicidal in the 70’s than they do now, in 2012 – but maybe not.
I was a total social misfit who had to brave abuse from so-called “peers” in public and at school (in 5th grade, a boy did a full-force flying karate kick right into my stomach), after which I had to go home to even worse abuse from my mother. I never felt safe at home unless Dad was there – Mom saved the very worst for when he was away. She had me convinced that, if he found out what she had done, he’d know I deserved it and would also punish me. So no matter where I went, what I said, or what I did, I knew I was in for it big time. And there wasn’t a damn thing I could do but put up with it. It was simply a fact of life for me.
I always had stripes and bruises that I covered up with carefully-selected clothing so I wouldn’t raise questions and get my mother in trouble. When my injuries were visible, I lied about them, so I had a reputation as a clumsy, careless kid who was always getting hurt doing stupid things. Great, even more reason for people to give me shit. I just couldn’t win. I saw no help or hope, so I dealt with it the best I knew how at the time.
Maybe that’s what happened to this little girl. Maybe it was something else. Maybe we’ll hear the truth one day, maybe we won’t.
The point is, children should not have the desire to kill themselves. If they do, something is terribly, terribly wrong and needs to be addressed IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately for them, we’re too afraid of “butting into private business” to see if something really is wrong. Even when someone’s health or life could depend on doing so.
I’m lucky – I survived my suicidal tendencies. This girl didn’t. Pay attention to the kids in your life, whether they’re yours or not. You might save someone from a terrible fate.
(For the record, I haven’t been suicidal for a very long time, and never will be again.)