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About Me


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Feel free to contact me anytime.

I'll Stand By You...
"I have realized that I should not regret any day of my life.
Good days give me happiness, bad days give me experiences - both are essential to life.
Happiness keeps me sweet, trials make me strong, sorrows keep me human,
failures make me humble, success keeps me loving but God keeps me going."


Hello,

Welcome to my website, please make yourself at home.

While creating my website, I was torn when thinking about how it ďshouldĒ look. It used to be very personal, or perhaps ďamateurĒ is a better word, I'm not sure. So I've decided it is a creation of what I knew at the time. I did the best I could at the time. I am always thinking of ways to change the pages, as I remember how I want them to be unique from any others. I will strive to do my best. Please know, while I aim for the words to be original, there are some that came from others' on the world wide web. If ever you have a comment, suggestion or even a question, feel free to email me and let me know. Like you I am not perfect. There may be errors, spelling or otherwise. Again, feel free to email me and give your expression.

How my website began...

My name is Julie Flynn and I live in Woodbury, Minnesota. I am the mother of 3 beautiful children. In the past year my life has been turned around. I became a stay at home mom, quitting my full time job in February of 2000. After working full time all of my life, I wasn't sure what I would do all day while my kids were in school.

While submitting a letter to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Website, I found the teen depression message boards. My heart ached as I started reading posts written by teens. They were depressed, suicidal, and using self injury to deal with their emotional pain. What was even more disturbing for me to see, is the fact that they were scared and alone and did not know who to turn to for help. Then I found out, that everyday in the United States alone, 14 teens commit suicide. It is the second leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for teens in Minnesota. I knew something had to be done.

Many teens are afraid to talk to their parents, while some have parents who do not even care. I am not a professional, I have no degrees behind my name and I am not trying to replace anyoneís parents. I only want to be there and be willing to listen to those who feel they cannot go on one more day and hopefully convince them to get the help they need in "real" life where they live. I have been very fortunate, kids are reaching out to me with open arms.

My life has been changed forever.

With the help of a teen I met on the Internet, I built a Website with all depression issues in mind. I spread the word that I was available for anyone who needed an ear to listen to their pains and their fears. In three months, there had been 3,000 visitors to my site (From 2000 to 2003 there were 150,000 hits but I had to start my site over from scratch). Beginning in May of 2000, I have volunteered my everyday and every night to these kids with very little time off. I do this because I want to. I do it because there is such a need and I remember how very painful my life was as a teen. It is my goal to help kids now so they do not have to wait until they are my age to be content with who they are.

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My past is filled with many ups and downs. I will admit there are days where I am still haunted with the downs, at least with certain areas of it. I have had many years of therapy and I continue to go when I feel the need. Between the ages of seven and twelve, I was sexually abused by two family members. It didn't last the entire time, one was one incident and the other I honestly don't remember as of yet how long it lasted.

The incident I'm having trouble remembering, was done by my uncle who committed suicide when I was about the age of eleven. As I'm able to recall any memories I will add them here. The "one incident" I am not ready to make public. The sexual abuse ended with any family members and was replaced with high school boys and one married man whom I actually thought I was in love with. I promise to come back and write about this abuse more thoroughly.

I didnít really experience any bullying in high school, it was more about ďmeĒ not fitting in and being very insecure and shy. Luckily I had two good friends and eventually a boyfriend. My boyfriend quit school and went into the army in our senior year and it broke my heart. One day, senior skip day, I walked out of school and went down to a creek with some guys I knew. It was very private and Iíd been there many times before. This time would be different. The guys I was with threw me into the creek where I fell and landed on the sharp rocks. The creek was very shallow. One of the guys came into the creek with me and held a knife to my throat and continued to push me down. I was in tears. Eventually he took the knife and cut my top off. I was humiliated and very scared.

Suddenly up on top of a hill where you could hardly see, someone shouted out to leave me alone and whoever this guy was (who may have saved my life or at least saved me from being raped) told me to run up the hill to him. I cannot remember who it was who helped me but I really wish I could. He was a hero to me and was somehow able to get the other guys to leave me alone. I was more than grateful.

Throughout high school, my life changed, but not for the better. I began drinking and taking many different drugs. I ran away and experienced things I soon regreted. I didnít understand what life was all about, and I donít think my parents knew how depressed I was. They did their best to help me but nothing made me feel better. I missed out on some of the best years of my life because of my depression.

At 19 I was married and had my first child at the age of 20. My husband was verbally, physically and sexually abusive. He continually reminded me of how stupid, ugly and fat I was. What is so sad about verbal abuse, is you begin to believe it after you have heard it for so long. Any self esteem I may have had was gone. He would not let me have friends over and I could not go out. Soon any friends I had were also gone. After being married 3 years, I got up the courage to divorce him. I was scared to death to leave him as I would now have to raise my daughter on my own. Eventually though, I felt relieved and happy to be away from him.

So where did the suicidal thoughts come from? I didnít know. I didnít get it. I just wanted to die. There had already been two suicides in my family (an uncle and cousin). I remember how very sad it was, however, I don't remember anyone saying how very wrong it is. I tried to kill myself twice, but when I did, it scared the hell out of me. I was on the psych ward of the hospital a few times but that didnít help. Nothing helped. Why was this happening to me? I was lonely, lost, and afraid. I remember times where I was afraid to leave my apartment. I was so afraid of life and I didnít want anyone to see me this way. I fought very hard to just make it through the day.

Never getting the proper help I needed, I began drinking more and more. It helped me get through the day. My escape from this world where I thought I did not belong. Even though I remarried and had 2 more children, the drinking continued to escalate. I attempted to kill myself again when I was in my early 30ís. My oldest daughter found me in my car with the engine running and the garage door closed. How very sad for her to see me this way. I suppose if I had really wanted to die, I would have done something a little more drastic. But I didnít want to die, I wanted the pain to go away. However, the more I drank, the more I wanted to die.
I continued to let everyone down, and I thought I was a failure, still.

It wasnít until May of 1996 that I had had enough. I committed myself to an alcohol treatment center for 30 days. My life finally changed, this time for the better. I started going to AA and found a wonderful therapist. I now love life and am at peace with who I am. There are many reasons for my pain, but I choose not to go into all of it right now. I have no intention to place blame on anyone, I am only relieved to finally understand and I am ever so grateful to be alive.

My goal for the rest of my life is to help teens who are depressed and suicidal. To help them stop cutting and injuring themselves to deal with their pain. It breaks my heart to see anyone have to go through this. I have lost many years of my life because I was depressed and didnít get the right help. I do however, have many years to come where I can use my experience and help teens get the proper help. There is no reason why anyone should suffer or go through pain as I did. Life will always have its ups and downs, but if you suffer from depression, there is help out there, and I will help you find it.

The public also needs to be reminded that depression is not something to be ashamed of, or if you self injure you are not a freak, you are in pain, plain and simple. Depression is dealt with the very best we know how. If we are not taught the proper ways, we will do whatever we can to run from it. Itís not our fault we are depressed, we do not choose to be this way. What we need is unconditional love and understanding. Someone to take our hand and lead us in the right direction. Teens are not always just going through a phase, many are deeply depressed and we need to recognize the difference. Children are our future, if we as adults donít provide them with the help they need, who will?

Reach out to someone today. If nothing else, greet them with a smile and let them know you care.

One more thing, remember God, remember to pray,
He listens, we just have to be quiet enough to hear Him speak.


Mental Health Guidelines in Minnesota

Insight on depression (Please read this it may really help)

See the pictures of the parade we were in!

Pictures from our benefit at the Quest!

Interview with Chris and Carmen on the Radio!

Sit back and enjoy this beautiful video!

Email Me