This story is resonating over on the WAOD Facebook Page. Nayla Kidd was a Columbia University student who went missing three weeks ago. Her concerned mother traveled from Kentucky to New York City to find her. Nayla was eventually found. Turns out her dissappearance was not the result of foul play, but based on a desire to escape a life that she did not like and the pressure of being a former high achieving child surrounded by other high achieving students. She was in a science program, but her true desire was to be an artist. Some reporter from the NY Post tracked Nayla down and made her explain why she disappeared.
Lots of people have lots of opinions and once again, we demonstrate how little we know about mental health or how people's brains work. Some people on Twitter are calling Nayla "selfish." Yes she was, but you're also assuming that the messages her brain was sending her while she was in crisis were logical and reasonable. How about some empathy and compassion.
Anywhoo, over on the WAOD Facebook Fan Page, I'm seeing some thoughts from readers that aren't being included in the online conversation in other places so I thought I'd highlight them here:
My response to a reader who thinks Nayla should have told someone where she was going:
She should have done a lot of things, but she didn't, You are imposing your logic and reasoning on someone who wasn't thinking with logic or reason. She was in crisis and law enforcement did a wellness check. They do this everyday. Its why I pay taxes. I too wondered about the impact on a missing woman who was the victim of foul play, and then I had some empathy and compassion. We can spare it. The Blogmother
On wanting to disappear:
As always you are right on time....many times when i was younger i wanted to disappear... WAOD Reader.
On the importance of self-acceptance:
Great article. Self acceptance is very hard along with direction of life. Glad she found her purpose and will shine.WAOD Reader
Here's another one:
So I think it's ultra-excellent advice to tell teens and early twenties trying to take control of their lives to contact the police BEFORE they drop off the grid. I'd like to hope a adult child would have a truly adult mentor or minister or somebody that could intercede on their behalf. But if not -- well -- you gotta do what you gotta do.
By the way, some teenagers and early-twenties choose suicide in order to not disappoint parents who can't back off, shut up, and listen. WAOD Reader
Nayla, we're glad you're alive. You aren't the first "star student" to want to get away from it all. Here's to a long and healthy life that allows Nayla to understand what her mother must have been feeling for the past three weeks.
To other college students wanting to escape their lives, here is one additional step to add after you deactivate your Facebook profile:
In the future if you decide to drop off the grid, after closing your Facebook account, walk into a local police precinct and tell someone you’re an adult, you’re alive, and your don’t want to be found and then bounce. The Blogmother.