I am 16 years old. My father chose drugs and a life of crime over me and has been in and out of prison for 14 years of my life. When he was in my life, he abused and threatened to kill me. My sister urges me to kill myself every day and tells me I'm worthless, and I agree with her. I do want to end it all just so I can stop hearing her say that. Everyone has left me or they ignore my problems. They just believe my fake smiles. I've just given up completely. No one cares anymore. What do I do?

Answer

We can’t choose our family members or make their choices for them. Unfortunately, yours have disappointed you repeatedly and you must look elsewhere for personal validation. I’m sorry they have broken your trust.

Please don’t see their behavior as an indicator that there's a problem with you. Your father’s drug abuse and criminal behavior isn’t your fault. He probably lost control a long time ago. Your sister’s cynicism and lack of empathy are terribly disappointing. She, too, has been living with the family’s dysfunction. This doesn’t excuse their behaviors. You’re just going to have to set those behaviors aside and concentrate on YOU so they don’t rule your life.

Taking your life is not the solution, my young friend. Decide what you want for yourself, for your future. Your life is precious and you have great value whether you realize it or not. YOU are worth fighting for. YOU are worth helping. Are you willing to help yourself?

Expand your social network to include people who are more reliable and caring, more personally affirming to you. This includes people who will listen to you and appreciate you for you. Stop fake smiling and share what's really going on with a trusted teacher, coach, or mentor. Ensure that you don’t follow in your father’s footsteps by avoiding drugs and alcohol altogether and staying out of trouble. Extend yourself to others by volunteering in your community and staying too busy to think about your own problems. Often when we help others we don’t concentrate our own hardships.

It’s also important to seek treatment for your mental health concerns. Start with your family doctor by asking for a recommendation or referral to a licensed clinical psychologist, counselor, or therapist who specializes in youth mental health counseling. Don’t wait until you are in crisis to see counseling. Ask your mom or other trusted adult to take you to counseling.

If you are in crisis and feel like you may harm yourself, call 911 for immediate life-saving assistance. You may also contact one of the following resources for talk or text support:

1) National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE (1.800.784.2433)

If you or someone you know are depressed and considering suicide, call the National Hopeline Network at 1.800.SUICIDE (1.800.784.2433). Your call is free and confidential. Or chat live with a crisis volunteer at http://hopeline.com/.

2) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.TALK (8255)

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk with a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Note that the National Suicide Prevention website lists additional, special hotline numbers for Spanish speakers, people with hearing impairments and veterans in crisis, and people facing distress related to natural disasters: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-some...

3) Crisis Text Line Number 741741

Finally, please be sure to access this terrific resource: https://beta.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-preven... which describes action steps to take if you are feeling suicidal.

If you're in crisis and prefer to text rather than call, then here's a confidential crisis text line staffed nationally by trained counselors in suicide prevention. Text "HOME" to 741741 from anywhere in the United States.

Sixteen is way too young to give up on anything, especially yourself. Please keep fighting.

Updated on December 24, 2018

Original Article:

95 Songs About Suicide and Suicide Prevention
By FlourishAnyway
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