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“They’re talking about me. I don’t think they like me. They’re talking about how dark I am.” Stephanie Grimes’s skin color was a source of shame and distress for her since she was a child. How did society contribute to this self-hate and its impact on her mental wellbeing?
Stephanie’s own discomfort with her skin color raises equally uncomfortable questions about the role of race in our social values, promotions (or demotions), and is all the more critical to address right now as racism comes to the forefront of national dialogue.
Stephanie also bravely discusses the void she felt since childhood as an all-too-often overlooked and misunderstood child in anguish. “Inside I was screaming out loud, but it took six suicide attempts before anyone ever noticed.” Her cries for help went ignored while she battled depression and suicide for seven years…alone. “[I thought] Today is the day I’m going to die. I don’t want to live.”
Even after first attempting suicide as a high school Sophomore, Stephanie did not find the love, support and care for her well-being that she so desperately needed from her family and friends. Why didn’t they hear her cries for help, and how can we make sure that we’re not missing cries from our own loved ones?