The Bear Facts

Loaded Phrases

Staff writer learns from tragedy

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Junior Kayla Dean writes about her struggles with loaded phrases.

Junior Kayla Dean writes about her struggles with loaded phrases.

Lindsey Fruge

Lindsey Fruge

Junior Kayla Dean writes about her struggles with loaded phrases.

Kayla Dean, Writer

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It was so sudden; no one saw it coming. Things were rocky, yes, but no one expected it to hit as deeply as it did. But now there is no escaping it. I’m haunted every time I walk out of my house or turn on my television. The thing that shattered my world is now used as a joke and made into something mundane; it’s almost routine.

When I was 10 years old, my mother and I were struck with the challenge of taking on life after my father took his own life –  something no one should ever have to go through. When I was 10 years old, my life changed forever. At just 10 years old, I became a young adult. I had to compensate for the absence of my father. I learned what it was like to make sacrifices for the good of my family. I learned how to control my emotions for the sanity of my mother. Most importantly, I watched as my mother found her happiness again. At 10 years old, I became more of an adult than most “adults” are now.

Despite the tragedy, I am grateful for all the things I have learned. These events molded me into the young woman I am today and I am beyond grateful for all the love and support I received going through that horrible time; without my loving and caring family by my side, I would not be the person I am today. The loss of a parent is never easy; regardless of age, it will always change a part of you forever.

Each and every day, I am reminded of the horrific loss in my life anytime I get on my phone or watch a movie or TV show – whether it be from reading about teens bullied to the point that they see no way out, or hearing about the man that neighbors said had been acting strange for a few weeks but didn’t reach out. Every day people who are seeking help are pushed aside because they are seen as only wanting attention or they are told they are crazy and everything is fine. Why? Why are all of the people looking for help not getting what they need? That’s simple – because they are made into a joke.

As a junior in high school, I am surrounded by stress and burdened with expectations on what I am supposed to be and do and how I am supposed to act. I’m constantly hearing from my peers that they are going to “kill themselves” whenever they are given any kind of objective that requires any kind of thought or effort. I hear my classmates telling each other to KYS (kill yourself) across a classroom or over text; the threat of taking your life has been rendered meaningless and is now seen as a way to express being overwhelmed. Threatening yourself and others is not only seen as embarrassing, but it is also extremely disrespectful to the families that have lost loved ones to suicide.

Growing up, I always heard the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” And for a long time, I heard this to be true. I never let someone’s crude words or rotten insult’s affect who I am or what I believe in – even now. However, everyone has a weakness. You never know what someone may have been through and your words do affect them, even jokingly.

Every day, I am reminded of my father and wish someone would have reached out to him when they saw him struggling. If you saw a fellow classmate or family member start behaving so differently than how they normally are, would you speak out? Or would you turn your head? Regardless of how normal it has become to joke about, suicide is still a major problem everywhere; don’t take it lightly.

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Loaded Phrases”

  1. Autumn Rendall on March 7th, 2017 12:02 pm

    So proud of you Kayla. This is an amazing piece on a subject often taken very lightly by society. You are oh-so very loved.

    [Reply]

  2. Smitha546 on April 3rd, 2017 5:21 am

    I really like your writing style, great info, thank you for putting up beeeefddgkkgcdbg

    [Reply]

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