Posted by: joshjasper | November 2, 2009


“I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel. I focus on the pain. The only thing is real.”  (“Hurt” from Johnny Cash) 

Tomorrow we are having someone come into the office to conduct a training to all of our staff members on suicide.  Any abuse or neglect in childhood and as an adult has profound, lifelong consequences on both the physical and mental health of victims.  Sexual abuse is particularly destructive, as it is often times more prevalent, and more prolonged, than physical abuse.  Rape victims are 4.1 times more likely than non-crime victims to have contemplated suicide and 13 times more likely to have made a suicide attempt.

Last week I took a phone call from a woman who was reaching out for help in her darkest hour.  She talked about taking her life because of the sexual abuse she experienced throughout her life.  Today someone was taken to the hospital after leaving our office.  Her intent was to end her life. 

Although I am not acting as a therapist at Riverview Center, these experiences take me back to when was I was a therapist in Los Angeles.  I am specifically reminded of the clients I saw that were at a point in their lives in which nothing else mattered, struggling to find meaning in a seemingly never-ending cycle of sadness, pain, and despair.  Too often I found myself simply trying to bring back feeling for a person that had long become numb.  I remember working with the teenage girls in the residential facility in East Los Angeles.  Many of those girls depended on the cutting edge of a razor blade against their forearms and thighs to feel anything at all. 

It’s tragic that so many feel such pain, but it is also understandable.  Can you even imagine being a victim of rape, and how that would severely damage your soul?  Here is what I do know though; we can help.  Although the darkness you experience now is real and at times difficult to overcome, better days are closer than you may think.

You are not alone.

Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” video:


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