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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » 8 things for 18 years (a landmark of my life)

   
Author Topic: 8 things for 18 years (a landmark of my life)
Shawshank
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Today is my 18th birthday, which despite how I normally feel about birthdays which is that of a cold indifference this one has been looming on my mind.

I can vote now. I no longer am under a legal guardian other than myself. I don't know- it just seems like a big one- I'm sure a few years from now it will seem rather small and unimportant. I've been posting at Hatrack since I was... 13 years old. I started off in the Young Writers Forum- but mostly I just read. Then I moved to the Writer's Workshop- again I mostly just read. Now I've moved to these two boards- again I mostly read. I probably read about 1/2-3/4 all posts on this board- and all of them on the other board. I just thought I would write about a few of the experiences I have come in contact with within my 18 years of life thus far.

1.God
The story between God and myself is the culmination of all things in my life. I've always gone to church since I was just fetus I've been in church. My whole extended family goes to church (and much of my life we went to the same one). Situations arose though and starting in 6th grade or so- I didn't really go. 6th,7th, and 8th grade were the worst years of my life at that point- in part because I stopped believing in God. My first real experiences with suicidal ideation developed at that point, however shortly before my freshman year of high school I rediscovered God and since then I've been trying to live a life for Him. (Hence if you see my AIM it's: FromGodForGod- which is a personal motto of sorts).

2.My Mother
I have always had a really close relationship to my mother- ever since I was an infant I just adored her. I sung to her when I was really little- things that I can remember, but I've always loved my mother more than anyone or anything. She has gone through a great deal in life and has suffered from suicidal ideation probably most of her life. I'm sort of the one person that has always been there for her.

3.My Brother
My brother and I used to be best friends when we were really little- he is a little under three years older than me. When he got older though he became increasingly wild- and increasingly violent. My middle school years- basically he treated almost as bad as Peter from Chapter 2 in Ender's Game. I used to go to sleep some nights fearing he would kill me and my family in our sleeps. He has calmed down a little bit in the 2 years or so- and I'm trying to rebuild a relationship with him.

4.My First Girlfriend
The first girlfriend I ever had I started dating in the 8th grade and I broke up with her shortly before 2 years in the 10th grade (that is if you can call it dating). She taught me a great deal about my life and about myself- although it was a quite inadvertant process. She had a great deal of problems- including self-mutilation and suicidal ideation. I would spend hours at a time trying to get her to reveal some nugget of information from her past. I knew her better than anyone and since she was missing emotional intimacy with anyone became increasingly... needy I suppose would be the best word. She needed me to be the emotional foundation and rock of her life- something for which a 15 year old is completely unprepared to do for anyone.

5. Suicidal Ideation
If you haven't been able to tell- my entire life I have been surrounded by those who feel their life isn't worth living- including myself for a time. I have great compassion on these hurting individuals and am starting to break down myths and social stigmas in my own life about these people. Mostly that there are only certain kinds of people that go to such depths. I have started to work with the Jason Foundation, a national organization based in my town to educate parents, teachers, and students about the realities of youth suicide and I'll probably intern there in the fall for Senior Project.

6. Duke TiP
TiP is an acronym for "Talent Identification Program" and is not run by Duke- but it is affiliated with the university. I spent two summer (last one and the one before it) spending 3 weeks on Duke's East campus livign and taking classes (first year- International Relations, second year- JAVA for Video Games). Most importantly though is the people though. I've never found it so easy to get along with people- to strike up casual conversations about intellectual things or just to be stupid and random. My two best friends from that program really are like a Brother and a Sister to me.

7. Orson Scott Card
I first read Ender's Game in the 6th grade due to it was in a book fair at school and was the only decent looking thing there. I read the rest of the Speaker series in 7th grade and since then I've read everything in the Enderverse (other than the 2 short stories in IGMS) and the Alvin Maker series and a few other books including Maps In a Mirror and his two (2) writing books. He has been a very influential writer and thinker on my young life so far (probably because at my age and younger people are generally very impressionable).

8. My Call
Last summer (while at TiP) I felt what I understood God's call to my life to be- that is to show the hope I have through Christ to others. Suicidal Ideation, as far as I see it, is nothing less than the absolute belief in a hopeless end to life- that nothing will ever get better. I feel like I am to help people find hope- the real hope. So I decided at that point to become a Psychologist- which is something I love anyways (I love trying to figure people out)

Those are probably the 8 most important experiences of my life that can be so quickly summed up. I realize that on this board I'm fairly new and post sparingly- but I just thought I might celebrate my birthday my posting on the board where I spend most of my time.

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Stephan
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It takes a strong man to make it through all that and keep pushing forward. Great landmark!
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KarlEd
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Nice post. Thanks for sharing all that. The fact that you can write about it with such maturity (especially at your age) speaks volumes.

[Smile]

Oh, and Happy Birthday!!

[Party]

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Shawshank
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Thanks Stephan and Karl.
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JennaDean
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Shawshank, I really enjoyed your landmark. I like how you've showed your growth.

And somehow I thought you were a much more prolific poster than you are; I recognized you.

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Uprooted
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
And somehow I thought you were a much more prolific poster than you are; I recognized you.

That's almost exactly what I was thinking.

Shawshank, thanks for your landmark and congratulations for getting through some tough spots in life. I'm glad to hear that the future looks so positive to you. It sounds like you have a lot to offer the world, and life has a lot to offer you.

I have a question for you: Is there a reason why the phrase "suicidal thoughts" or "suicidal ideas" or even "suicidal mindset" wouldn't work as well as "suicidal ideation"? It seems cumbersome and technical to me, but it may be a term with specific definitions that I'm unfamiliar with.

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Uprooted
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I was just about to add "Oh, and Happy Birthday!" And then I saw that KarlEd used that exact phrase already. Oh well -- here it is again! Happy Birthday!
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Dr Strangelove
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Great Landmark. Happy Birthday! I turn 18 in 12 days ... Wow that's weird to say. Anyways, it was great learning more about you. I'm with JennaDean and Uprooted, I recognized you and pegged you as a regular poster. I wish you the best as you follow your calling. I'll keep you in my prayers. [Hat]
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Morbo
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Happy Birthday Shawshank!

Best of luck in becoming a psychologist!

Do you like a particular philosohy of psychology? I was just thinking earlier today about an old roomate's book, The Society of Mind by Marvin Minsky. (an MIT AI researcher)

The basic thesis is that our unified consciousness is generated by many smaller processes called agents.

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Shawshank
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Uprooted- I don't really know why I use that term. It is the more technical version and I do a bit of work with the organization I'm hoping to intern at next fall and that's what they use. Not to mention- I tend to think that the word "ideation" covers more ideas than other terms.

Morbo- I haven't read enough psychological theory or philosophy to attatch myself to one- I just kind of kind of look at things and make opinions on it. I haven't gotten to the reading yet- although it does sound fun.

I try to post in a lot of different subjects on Hatrack- the games, the quick questions, I might add my $.02 in a debate (without becoming a central figure though). I just sit and read mostly- but I've been posting more often.

Edit: Thanks for the birthday wishes- it was a pretty swell one.

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signal
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Happy belated birthday and God bless.
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