As an individual within society, I’m one of the millions of people whose thoughts are with Jodie Chesney’s family and all those connected to her.
To you, I can only offer my condolences.
The same sentiment goes out to anyone, anywhere, who has been affected by knife crime.
As a parent, I feel deeply troubled by this tragic event. As of now, I question in fear for the future of my children’s ability to ‘play out’ or ‘hang’ with friends.
Knowing the things I had as a child and as a teenager: the choices, experiences, freedom, options, etc., I can’t help but feel a loss for each of my children’s innocent childhoods, the adolescent lives which they are yet to live, and all of the transitions in-between, before they reach adulthood.
As a professional Counsellor and Psychotherapist, and a ‘Loss and Grief’ Specialist, I feel a strong desire to offer some sort help, some guidance and support; but I struggled to figure in this equation where I could be of beneficence.
Then it hit me--hard. I felt a physical impact from my realisation. Going forward, all we can do in times like this is try -- right?
With this recent tragic event still feeling quite raw in the area which my family and I live in, I feel the need to reach out to the younger generation regarding this huge issue: ‘The Implications of carrying a knife’. But, I need your help! Show this to any youths in your circle, in the hope that having read it, an imprint may be left on their collective subconscious. Therefore, if ever they were to pick up a knife before leaving the house, they may find themselves thinking about these words, and the implications that carrying a knife can have. In this moment, I hold a strong hope that they discard their naivety and implement the true, conscious actualisations that could occur by doing so.
However close we may think we are to our children, however much we feel we have the ability to talk about ‘anything’ with them, to encourage/teach life ethics -- morals, values, skills -- it is an uncomfortable truth that we are not always in control; we are rarely fully aware of the things they get up to when out-of-sight. As parents, we have the benefit of life experience, and most of us will relate to: ‘getting up to no good’ with friends, having hidden agendas, clandestine plans to tell our parents, etc. Unfortunately, no matter how much we try and guide our children to be the ‘perfect child’, no child will ever be as innocent as we desire. Why? For they are children in the first instance.
Children are born without any filters, not knowing any morals: right from wrong, consequences, or implications. They can only learn by pushing boundaries, making mistakes, and testing waters. It is a matter of fact that, unfortunately, one silly mistake can cost not only the life of another, but a life full of burden for themselves. By forwarding this post, you could potentially be saving lives.
THINK TWICE BEFORE CARRYING A KNIFE
You carried a knife, and took a life. A life of an: innocent, bright and loving young girl, a human being, full of possibilities and potential.
Your actions took away from Jodie’s family & friends a: daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, cousin, niece, A* student, scout member, and a role model.
Your actions took away from many members of society: Their faith, trust, and belief in the ability of knife crime to be controlled, and our children being safe outside of their own home.
You carried a knife, and took a life. You were found, arrested, and detained. You ‘sobbed’ during the initial hearing as you now feel scared? You are still alive, able to feel emotions.
Your actions have caused Jodie’s family to feel an overwhelming amount of: Anger, disbelief, sorrow, rage, frustration, confusion, betrayal, devastation, sadness, stress, pain, bargaining (an overwhelming need to bring her back from the dead), powerlessness, hate, grief, shock, disorientation, anxiety, guilt, depression, and denial.
Your actions have caused society to feel: Shame, fear, sorrow, humiliation -- many of the above emotions being experienced by Jodie's family as they begin to understand the impacts that having their child murdered will cause them.
You carried a knife, and took a life. Being locked away from society, the likeliness is that you are now suffering frightening dreams? You are still alive, able to dream.
Your actions have possibly caused Jodie’s family & friends to suffer: Trauma, PTSD, nightmares, flashbacks, harmful thoughts/feelings/behaviours and coping mechanisms which could lead to drink & drug issues, suicidal feelings, self-harm, a questioning of their own existence and direction in life, as well as a reduction to their self-worth and well-being.
Your actions have possibly caused society to suffer: Fear, anxiety and stress, parents now feeling the need to make changes and place restrictions on their own children’s freedom and ability to socialise, and by doing so, causes these children to feel their own various negative thoughts and feelings towards their parents in response.
You carried a knife, and took a life. You have sentenced yourself to a lifetime of difficulty. You are still alive, able to serve your punishments for the crime you committed.
Your actions have possibly sentenced Jodie’s family & friends to experience: Mental Health issues, irrational thoughts and replays of events, broken hearts, anxiety, a sense of dread felt on anniversaries and periods meant for celebration, constant questions never to be answered, changes to their individual lives and personalities, restrictions on enjoying and fulfilling their lives, health issues, sleep deprivation, financial difficulties, changes within their existing relationships, a ritual of visiting the headstone of their beloved, being with unwanted attention, the media and the court cases being a constant reminder of the death you caused -- resulting in an inability for others to move forward in life.
Your actions may possibly, or already have, sentenced society to: Become a personal taxi service to their children in order for them to remain able to socialise with their friends, keeping them off the streets, a feeling of isolation, and a need to spend their own personal time and commitment to promoting and applying campaigns regarding the much needed changes associated with knife crimes and its punishments.
THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE IMPLICATIONS THAT CARRYING A KNIFE CAN CAUSE.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Only YOU will spend many years in prison as a result of the murder YOU committed. Yet, it will possibly be millions of individuals affected by YOUR actions, in one way or another.
If you feel the need to carry a knife, ask yourself why? Would it be: to look cool and hard in front of your friends? To gain street cred, respect, or entry into a so-called ‘gang’? Possibly for protection?
If you feel the need to carry a knife, it means you need to make changes and take control of your own potential future, before your future changes you. By carrying a knife out in public, whether you plan to use it or not, it will not make you look ‘hard’ or ‘cool’ to your family, only weak and foolish. It would not gain you any ‘street cred’ or ‘respect’ from the inmates you will be sharing a new home with, behind bars.
There will NEVER be a justified reason for carrying a knife out into society.
However, there will ALWAYS be a sentence of imprisonment waiting for you by doing so.
PLEASE, FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT:
THINK TWICE BEFORE CARRYING A KNIFE.