Speechless. Maybe that’s part of the problem?

Speechless. Maybe that’s part of the problem?

mental illnessBetween work and motherhood, Thursday was one of “those days” for me. The girls were arguing and testing me in the way that 5 and 7 year old children are supposed to. Friday morning was a new day and for that, I was thankful. I dropped the girls off at school and went home to work. Shortly after, I watched the tragedy unfold on television as I sat in horror. I don’t normally watch television but I found myself unable to turn it off. I simply could not grasp that these parents weren’t able to bring their children home when the bell rang at 2:30pm. It took everything in me not to pull my daughters out of school just to hug them. The events that took place yesterday are every parent’s worst nightmare.

Yesterday I found myself speechless. I sat and cried multiple times before the girls came home from school and again when they were tucked in for the night. The only thing I could bring myself to post was the words from my friend Brittany App:

With all the sadness we see on the news, and all the confusion we feel about our future as Humans…. Let’s remember and keep present in our minds that the most important thing is LOVE. Love for each other. Love for the world. Love to those who are hurting. Love to those who have been hurt enough to do harm to others. LOVE. Send LOVE. In all directions. Love is our greatest hope. And if we all send it, and live from it, we will not only make it through, we will shine. xo -Brittany 

Today I awoke to debates all over Facebook about gun control. People are looking for answers. They are looking for a place to put the blame. This isn’t about guns. The horrific tragedy in Connecticut had everything to do with mental illness. Period. The reports are beginning to unfold and many state that the suspect, Adam Lanza “may” suffer from a personality disorder. May suffer from a personality disorder????

Today I am no longer speechless. I am angry.  As a society, we need to start talking. We need to stop being speechless when it comes to mental illness. When someone has cancer, we all come together to prepare meals and assist with the care of our loved one. There are programs available and there is funding to assist with all stages of the disease. When it comes to mental health, there is a lack of funding and resources. In my county alone, there have been a series of killings blamed on six different mentally ill people in the past few years– seven people have lost their lives as a result. Meanwhile, local news reports say, “funding for county mental health services has dwindled“.

My mother was bi-polar. My grandfather was bi-polar. There is a stigma in our society that prohibits us from talking about these things. It is a touchy subject and people are more comfortable sweeping it under the rug than addressing it head on. Seth’s grandmother is schizophrenic but it is the family secret. We would often have her over for Thanksgiving dinner – no one discussed the elephant in the room: grandma carried a fake doll and often said horrible things to her own children in between bites of green bean casserole.  It was an unspoken rule that we just let grandma sit and ramble while rocking her plastic doll. As a society, why do we allow this to continue?

If we stop being speechless than there will be funding to deal with mental illnesses. Instead of sitting in front of the television and talking about how tragic this is, I encourage you to be vocal and start demanding funding from our government officials so that the people who are afflicted with mental illness ( personality disorder ) can and will receive the help that  they need. Instead of sitting on Facebook and debating your views on guns, lets get to the root of the problem. Bombs are not to blame, guns are not to blame and knives are not to blame. Mental illness is to blame and if we remain silent about these issues, we are all part of the problem versus the solution.

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2 Responses

  1. For the most part, I agree with you completely. I, too, was horrified and deeply saddened, and was up half the night thinking of the families in Newtown and Oregon as well as struggling with immense feelings of fear. We also need to multi-task right now – mourn AND start talking about change. While having better mental healthy services is most definitely one component, gun laws is another. While Adam Lanza was denied a gun purchase, then stole the gun from his mother after shooting her, the fact still remains that he had access to a semi-automatic gun that shot off over a 100 rounds without need to pause. Is this really necessary for any civilian – with or without mental illness? Unfortunately, when there are lots of guns out there, those who cannot get one on their own can easily find a way.

  2. First off I wanted to tell you, your new picture of yourself is really pretty at the top of your blog.

    Now to comment on your recent blog of mental illness being swept under a rug. I couldn’t agree more. I think it is time for authorities, schools, judges, cops, doctors, etc… to become Proactive rather than Reactive. They need to listen and do something before things like this terror happen.

    I live in fear that my ex will one day do something horrible like this. He has been diagnosed by a psychologist with a cluster B personality disorder and a high form of Aspergers, and the doctor also said he lacks empathy, boundaries and cannot control his rages. I tell every friend and family member I have, to know where to look if me or my kids go missing or worse.

    It’s a shame when you know somebody is mentally disturbed and there is nothing you can do about it except “wait to see what happens”. The court system has told me they know he will eventually do something, but they can’t do anything based on their thoughts.

    When will people wake up and take measures to prevent rather than react after the fact?