Monday, September 12, 2011

Tough love

I will always be grateful for the depth and breathe of experience life has given me.  It is from this well of experience that I now draw in hopes of helping.  I am sure you have heard someone say, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."  Prevention is where I hope this is headed.  For C, cure is now impossible.

As you may have guessed, C is dead, felled by the number one killer of Americans under the age of thirty-five.  He took his own life.  C had been involved with drugs, violence, and had threatened suicide in the past.  His parents were employing "tough love" to deal with his problems.  From what I have read, "tough love" is a way of dealing with troubled youth, especially those addicted to drugs.  Since he had threatened suicide in the past C's parents were told this was manipulative behavior and to ignore such a threat. 

I believe all love is tough at some point in time.  All parents experience this when our children push against our rules. It is tough to say no, mean it, and meed out the consequences.  Almost any parent will tell you, kids on their way to adulthood will push you to your limit and often past it.  That is when love is tough. 

I understand not enabling someone with substance abuse problems.  I do not understand not taking a suicide threat seriously.  I write this as I grieve for C, for his parents, for his friends.  I want everyone to take a suicide threat seriously.  While I maybe a professional, trained to assess the risk of such a threat, I can tell you that in the face of such as situation with one of my own family members, I would not stop until a thorough assessment could be carried out by an unbiased professional.  The threat of suicide is a serious cry for help.  Giving or getting help may be tough, but that is love.
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