Thursday, October 7, 2010


Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. E li Wiesel

Most of the time I wake up feeling on top of the I can fly and nothing can get me down....and then....Whomp! Out of the blue this dark feeling hits...and my heart hurts. This morning I thought about triggers....the things that push me back into painful memories....something that flicks a switch taking me to that place I just don't want to think about anymore. watching the news. I rarely watch TV or read the paper. But this week  someone told me to watch a video of a 19 yr. old who hung herself while guards who were supposed to protect her....watched. They laughed, taunted her and did nothing. At 15 Ashley Smith was put in youth detention for acting out.....cutting herself...talking back - minor things. And when she threw crabapples at a cop, they arrested her and put her in jail. What happened next  is unthinkable. They tasered her, put her in body restraints, treated her like an animal....worse than a criminal. They goaded her....mocked her ....laughed at her.  Now there's an someone is paying attention b/c a lawsuit's been filed. 

What's even crazier....violent criminals...people who commit horrible crimes..walk free. This makes me cuts to a place inside me that makes me feel like giving up.   It makes me think what's the use of trying to fight for what's right when the systems in place are so powerful..

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross discovered something when she 
interned on a locked psych ward in New York. If you treat even the most severely disturbed patients with compassion and kindness, they'll respond postively. Why doesn't everyone get this? Why do people in positions of power often use that power to wield control over the vulnerable?  
Why did no one help Ashley? So many saw the harm being done to her...yet did nothing. I never want to be indifferent. I never want to be aware of someone being treated unjustly.....and turn away. 
Some days....I just want to close my eyes....and not think anymore about all the violence and evil that happens. 

I'm sorry guys...I just needed to say this...b/c Ashley was troubled and people in authority chose to treat her in ways that forced her to end her life. That hurts b/c it could have been me...or anyone who acts out their hurt. 

I used to see the world as violent...but when He touched me with this amazing love....that changed. Love made the difference in my world. Love and compassion and kindness.


Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness - you do want to save the world from pain - I recognize it. That is such a sad story and I agree with you - criminals out there and this poori girl inside and being ABUSED by people who were supposed to help her - that is another reason for anger. How can we stop it? sandie

Anonymous said...

That's an awful story. The guards watched as a 15 year-old girl hanged herself? I can't even imagine what their thought process was.

But to be honest, it doesn't surprise me. When I was in a locked psych ward in March I was the only girl among several men who were violent. My first night there one of the men went on a rampage and was destroying everything not nailed to the floor. I was about to go to sleep and I tried to get the attention of a nurse because she had left me in my room with my shoelaces and all of my "sharps" and I didn't want to get in trouble and she said "CAN'T YOU SEE WE'RE BUSY? GO TO SLEEP." I was terrified that I was going to be assaulted or raped that night. Legitimately scared.

I can relate to feeling triggered by what I hear in the news. The recent surge of coverage of teen/young adult suicide has really hit a nerve. I just want you to know I understand.

Wishing you well,

Finding Pam said...

I don't even know what to say about this story except that those guards were evil. That is so unfair to that girl and her family.

Shelley said...

So true! His love really does make a difference! :) And I know He will use you to make a difference too! Stay strong!

Denise said...

Thanks for having such a caring, loving heart for others sis.

Being Me said...

Humans can turn into animals when in a group. Why does an individual subvert his basic human instinct when they know something is not right and yet follow the herd?
Question of courage?

What a tragedy.

RCUBEs said...

I'm sure there are so many "Ashley's" out there...It's sad also when people even the ones in authority do not have the Spirit of the Lord. That instead of helping people like Ashley, they end up hurting them. I see it at work sometimes. We may be limited, but not the God we serve. So, sometimes, I just lift it up in prayers.

It is no coincidence we posted about compassion. Jesus never had that when he was here. Yet, that's what He gave.

Blessings to you sister and may you always be strong in His mighty power. May the Lord protect you for voicing out things for those who are hurting and neglected.

Wonderingsoul said...

I can feel some of the angst and the anger and frustration that your post was written with...It almost PHYSICALLY hurts to watch the kind of thing you have watched... the identification, the anger at the prison, the feelings of despair and helplessness... the WISHING that YOU could have done SOMETHING for her...
I get that.
More than anything, I get that.
I work with a lot of Ashleys.

I can only say that I don't think that is 'the norm'.
I know that our systems are sometimes unjust, cruel and just plain wrong... but I don't think that what happened to this one is 'the norm'.

It shouldn't happen. Ever.
Those prison guards etc will have to answer for it one day.

I wanted to say thank you for all your kind messages. I so want to believe in the hope you speak of.

Much love, Sarah. You have such a beautiful heart. Thank goodness that compassion like yours exists.
God knows that the world needs it.


MTJ said...

Hi Sarah,

The world we live in often exposes the cruel, harsh reality of human suffering. What happened to Ashley is tragic; her blood cries out now in a way that her life never seemed to.

It saddens me to acknowledge that in spite of the technological, scientific, and medical advancements today, inhumanity still overrides the common decency of some.

There remain still more Ashley's who are unseen, unheard and undervalued by society.

You're right, love does make a difference. I pray that each of us share that love, compassion and kindness invested in our lives.

Blessings and peace.


Pet said...

You are such a blessing,

Judith said...

Corrie Ten Boon once said 'There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still' hang in there :) Judith

Paula said...

Have no idea what to say about this kid.

Anonymous said...

The news gets to me too. So, I don't read the paper if I can avoid it. I'm praying for Ashley. Bless her and you, both.

Crown of Beauty said...

This is so cruel, Nikki, and so sad. It is just another evidence of a world gone so depraved, hate not love has become the norm.

It doesn't surprise us, really- they did it to Jesus. Hitler did it to the Jews. The killing fields in Cambodia. The genocides in China, Africa, Bosnia...

Yes, Nikki they did it first to Jesus.

To say that it saddens me is such a weak response - something deeper grips my heart, like it does yours. I know how you feel. I want to do more than feel sad or sorry. I want to reach out, walk the second mile, to care, to ACT, to make a difference.

Have you read this story from Yahoo the other day?

Thank you for another heart stirring post today.


jadedchalice said...

dont know what to say about this, it hurts my heart so much. Poor ashley may she finally have the peace she was robbed of in life.

Dean Corso said...

What happened to Ashley is inhuman and unjust. I'm afraid abusing the power goes beyond the walls and desks of people who are supposed to take care of people. When a close relative, does something because he/she like and can, and not because it's the right thing, then how could we expect anything from the system? It's disappointing...but yet, presence of people like you, and many readers of your blog, are the one who are/will make the difference at the end.
God Bless you

Simone said...

Your blog today has saddened my heart, it is an unbelievable cruelty. If only there was more love and compassion in this world, and more people like you who have turned to love rather than hate.

Sometimes, hurt people, hurt people. So sad.

Colleen said...

I do not understand cruelty like that. Whatever happened to empathy and kindness? How can someone enjoy the pain of another? I dont get it.

Gaia said...

I have used that word on my ex husband... he was indifferent to my suffering, my pain, my unhappiness. After a while I too became indifference to his problems. I never wanted to be that way, I was never that way. It's a long story... but we will strive to be kinder souls. Blessings