Last night I was reading posts from our Facebook home page. For the most part it was the usual: pictures, inspirational quotes, news stories, women’s rights sayings, cultural awareness,and a little fashion (Seriously, what’s a Butterfly without a little fashion 😉 ). That’s mainly what the page subscribes to right now. We are always looking for new groups and pages to like. As a matter of fact, this weekend is all about music, so I see lots of changes to our wall.
The page also subscribes to a few pages dedicated to teen girls. I really like these pages. Just girls being girls, you know? Well last night one young lady, an admin of the page, posted a status about how she had come in contact with this other young girl at school that she feared was cutting herself.
Long story short, all of the other teens encouraged this young lady to engage and support her school mate. And she promised she would. It was very inspiring, and the Butterfly Bridge commented how proud we were of each of them for encouraging her and for being supportive. But one comment stood out. This young lady provided information on a online campaign called The Butterfly Project, which is a community that supports people who harm themselves.
Immediately, I went to Google more. What I found was heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time. Listed on various sites like Instagram, Tumblr, and numerous Facebook accounts, were groups of young people and their stories of when, how and why they hurt themselves. Some of the stories were so heart breaking, that I was literally crying and shaking by the time I got done reading them.
Most of them are cutters, but there were many that had attempted suicide. All of them were struggling with pain so deep, that they couldn’t feel it. I know that sounds hard to believe, but if you think about it long enough, you will understand what I am saying.
From the stories I read, the majority of these young people were violated and/or abused in some way as children. Most at a very young age. Regardless of the root issue, all of them confessed wanting help and wanting someone to listen to their cry. At the same time, they all felt some sort of guilt in releasing their feelings to their friends and loved ones. They didn’t want to unload their baggage on the ones they loved. They wanted their loved ones to recognize their pain and reach out to them; thus the reason for all the silent cries….
These stories were the heart break. The encouragement came from The Butterfly Project itself. The purpose of this project is to keep “self harmers” (as they are called on the site) from continuing to harm themselves.
They do this issuing a set of rules:
1. when you feel like you want to cut, take a marker or pen and draw a butterfly on wherever the self-harm occurs.
2. name the butterfly after a loved one, or someone that really wants you to get better.
3. NO scrubbing the butterfly off.
4. if you cut before the butterfly is gone, it dies. if you don’t cut, it lives.
5. if you have more than one, cutting kills them all.
6. another person may draw them on you. these butterflies are extra special. take good care of them.
7. even if you don’t cut, feel free to draw a butterfly anyways, to show your support. if you do this, name it after someone you know that is suffering right now, and tell them. it could help.
~From the Butterfly Project, http://butterfly-project.tumblr.com/
Rule number 7 ignited in me a strong desire to support these Butterflies.
**While they call themselves self harmers, I call them Butterflies. Not only does the butterfly they draw on their hurting areas a symbol of someone they love, to me, it is a symbol of each of their lives. And we can not afford to loose anymore to unnecessary pain, hate, abuse, violence and suicide!
I took to my personal FB page, still crying and shaking, and told the story. Immediately a few of my FB besties began drawing butterflies to show their support. I love them! Here are our pics!
Each of us posted our pics on our own timelines and detailed our support for the Butterfly Project, and we also posted them to a few Butterfly Project Facebook Pages. There are a few of them. Each serves the same purpose.
If this story relates to you in any way, you must take action. For those of you who are harming yourself and/or have suicidal thougthts or actions, I’m begging that you find someone or something to help you.
If The Butterfly Project looks like it will help, please join the group. Read some of the stories and post your own. You can also send us an email, and we will do our best to support you and get you some help.
Please know, that we are not here to judge and will not judge! You were fearfully and wonderfully created for a purpose and a reason, and I especially, want to see you walk in your destiny!!
For others who want to support, draw a butterfly like we did, and post it to one of the sites in a show of support. Feel free to post to our FB wall as well.
And don’t forget to vote for the Butterfly Bridge’s idea on Good Maker! More than ever we need to support each other. Young girls especially! Vote for the Butterfly Bridge so that we can make this support bridge a reality, now!
Love, Peace, Joy and Strength to all of you!