My job is often as a negotiator, but it’s not always like it seems to be in the movies.  Actually, much of my time is spent negotiating with possible suicides in an effort to keep them alive.  I can’t say how successful I am because if a person decides to kill themselves is that a failure?  I don’t look at it that way.  There are people who are determined to kill themselves no matter what,  and some want us to kill them.  I try to convey that we are there to help, but if they decide to kill themselves, it is their decision.  I look at it as if they are sitting on a fence;  living or dying.  I'm trying to get them to live, but if they choose the other I didn’t fail. 

We train regularly for barricades, and we really do want to protect others and save lives.  We work as a team, and it feels good when everyone gets out safely.   Maybe it's not quite the movies, but it helps us sleep at night.

December 21, 2004 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83430f39653ef00d8346660c169e2

Comments

You are so right. The time someone could help is often many months before the event of suicide. I'm really glad now that I didn't suicide over years of depression. The only reason I didn't was because I still had my 2 youngest children reliant on me and a very strong sense of responsibility for them. At that time I truly felt that I'd never feel any better - and that made it just too hard.
By the time someone comes to that point, they're concentrated in on their own pain. It's very hard to break through that. Words sound so empty.
Each person suicides for their own reasons. It's wonderful if the suicide can be avoided - and avoided for long enough that that person can begin to believe that they'll not always feel that bad. Now I know that what I feel won't last. But you can't give someone else a reason to live.
May you always feel blessed for what you are able to accomplish, without bringing yourself down with any 'what if's'.

Posted by: Beryl Shaw | Dec 23, 2004 12:24:30 PM

God Bless You. You can help others with your story

Posted by: AmyGirl | Dec 23, 2004 9:47:55 PM

Dear Beryl,
First of all let me say I am thankful you did not decide to suicide and that you are still here. You have a lot of insight and obviously a lot of information you can share with others bcause you are right, the signs are there many months before I come in contact with them. I attempt to tell them the feelings they are feeling now are only temporary but they don't see the future. Someone once described it to me like this. When we start walking through a dark tunnel it is very dark but as we continue to walk we see a little light and the light gets larger as we continue to walk towards the end. A suicidal person is walking backwards. They saw the light at the end but now they see it getting smaller and smaller until they don't see it at all. A suicidal person doesnt' think the light is there any longer and really can't see it in the future.
It very hard for me sometimes because I wish they all would live. I had a cousin once who committed suicide. I just wanted to let you know you made the right decision and I'm glad you did.

Posted by: Jan Dubina | Dec 26, 2004 11:24:22 PM

Dear Beryl,
First of all let me say I am thankful you did not decide to suicide and that you are still here. You have a lot of insight and obviously a lot of information you can share with others bcause you are right, the signs are there many months before I come in contact with them. I attempt to tell them the feelings they are feeling now are only temporary but they don't see the future. Someone once described it to me like this. When we start walking through a dark tunnel it is very dark but as we continue to walk we see a little light and the light gets larger as we continue to walk towards the end. A suicidal person is walking backwards. They saw the light at the end but now they see it getting smaller and smaller until they don't see it at all. A suicidal person doesnt' think the light is there any longer and really can't see it in the future.
It very hard for me sometimes because I wish they all would live. I had a cousin once who committed suicide. I just wanted to let you know you made the right decision and I'm glad you did.

Posted by: Jan Dubina | Dec 26, 2004 11:24:48 PM

Thanks for your feedback Jan and Amy.
It's because of my understanding of these issues, as well as my later work with people who've experienced divorce, the death of a spouse - child - parent - indeed anyone really close, that in 1993 I pioneered the very first post divorce and post bereavement ceremonies.
I'm happy to report that the results people are receiving from these ceremonies is all I could have asked for - and more.
The most common comment afterwards is that they feel as if a weight has literally been lifted off their shoulders.
And this also helps me remember that if I'm a bit short on light today, it will be there tomorrow.
And I do so empathise with your wish that you could help them all live Jan. That's where the pain lies, isn't it. We can only help those who come across our path at the right time and learn from the others.
Blessings to you and your work.
Beryl

Posted by: Beryl Shaw | Jan 15, 2005 8:07:39 PM

Hi Beryl,
You keep up the good work! What a wonderful thing you are doing for those who desperately need you.
Take care

Posted by: Jan | Jan 23, 2005 11:32:09 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.