The parents of a high-achieving teenager have opened up about their heartbreak and despair after finding two journals left behind after she committed suicide.
Alexandra Valoras, 17, appeared to many a happy high school student with the world at her feet. She was a straight-A student at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Massachusetts, USA, with a promising future in engineering, according to the Worcester Telegram.
But in the early hours of March 19, the eldest child of Dean and Alysia Valoras made her bed and walked out of their home in Grafton, Massachusetts, for the last time.
GPS tracking from her phone showed that Valoras walked 15 minutes to an overpass on the Massachusetts Turnpike, where she jumped off the edge. Her family later found two journals, a pen, her boots, and her jacket on the overpass.
More than 200 pages of notes filled the books, each with a self-loathing message like “you are lazy,” “you are a failure,” “you are a burden,” or “you are broken,” CBS News reported. The Valoras family provided photos of some of the pages to CBS News.
What her parents found inside those journals simply did not match the fun-loving and seemingly happy girl they thought their daughter was.
“A girl who seems to have it all, seemingly just hitting it out of the park, was nonetheless hurting and in pain, and we didn’t see,” her father told the Worcester Telegram.
“It just doesn’t seem possible. But it’s what reality was. Because it’s written right here.”
In Valoras’s obituary, she was described as “a caring daughter, loving sister, and remarkably creative and gifted student.”
Valoras’s family, including her 12-year-old brother, Nicholas, and 15-year-old sister, Emily, is now speaking out about her death in the hope of encouraging other young and vulnerable people to reach out before it’s too late.
According to the Worcester Telegram, the day Valoras died, her sister, Emily, posted the following statement on Instagram after hearing students speculate about what happened: “If anyone is struggling with depression or a mental illness please contact anyone and ask for help because now I know suicide is one of the worst things that can happen to a family. Just speak up. Please. Don’t try to solve it yourself because there are so many people that want to help you. I don’t want anyone else to jump off a bridge like my sister did.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34.
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