There's a Facebook friend of mine, a girl who's twelve or something maybe, probably a Children's Church kid who added me when I was serving there. I barely know her, can't remember what she looks like. She posted a picture of her hand holding a penknife on Facebook, and her friends were dissuading her from it, but she said she had already done it. Out of stress.
And my heart goes out to her so much. I want to send her a Facebook message or something. It doesn't have to come to wilfully being an enemy of your own body. As Plutarch says in the reading I'm currently supposed to be doing, "a troubled soul should itself receive support from a robust body". But, like, I don't even remember her, and she probably doesn't remember who I am either. Will it be of any use? Previously one of my City College ex-students posted something about his dad, and I felt like I should send him a message of encouragement, but he didn't seem to open about it. Probably a little weirded out.
And then there's everyone else who's going through tough or transformative periods but who would feel really weirded out if they realised I knew. Sometimes if you realise people know about your problems you'd feel exposed, naked. I mean, there are times I'm feeling crappy about stuff and if some random person were in the know about it I'd be like "what the hell, who has been gossiping?". Sorrow is often private.
I guess sometimes we can't show support explicitly. Sometimes, I guess, the best sort of help is to stay away. But this girl? I mean, she put it on Facebook. Then again, that generation isn't very cautious about what they post, and they might not realise that some Children's Church volunteer whom they used to see once a week would chance upon their self-harm post.
I remember Facebook-messaging her once to ask about how she was doing. Not well, she said. And I asked why, and she told me about school and stress and friends. And I empathised... and she stopped replying me after a bit but if I had had the chance I'd have asked her to stay strong and stuff...but really, how much can you do over Facebook? How much can you to for someone who wouldn't be open to external resources, for someone whose friends and other contacts you don't know, for someone you can't even recognise anymore?
I guess I'll still message her again, though. Show her someone cares. Probably better than nothing.