With the news of Connecticut tragedy adding salt to my batter, there is a part of me that disconnects and travels to the other part of this heart breaking issue at hand.
The death of so many children makes every parents heart and mind explode with fear and grief....the echoes of “This could have been my child lost at the hands and gun of that monster it could happen to anyone of our children at any school, mall, church, city, country...none of us are safe from this kind of tragedy.”
There are also few of us that whisper behind closed doors, to one another in special closed support groups, looks passed between one another during parenting workshops, trauma parent to parent,that are parenting children with severe mental illness.. we nod our heads sadly and admit to ourselves...”My child could be that Monster.”
This fear for me is a double edged sword.
So many of us want to make this tragedy and others like it a “Gun Control issue”, yes, maybe. Many argue "this would be prevented if less guns were being circulated and easy to get", yes,maybe. Others would say, "bad people will walk through any law to get any weapon", yes, maybe.
But may we talk about the hands holding these guns?
I have read over and over again:
“WHAT KIND OF MONSTER/PERSON DOES THIS?”
and I answer;
A very, very sick, mentally unhealthy person.
A person so sick, so damaged, so deeply incapable of remorse and full of darkness ...that KIND of person.
A person that did not get help when they needed it most.
Possibly a child like mine, with Trauma or Mental Health illness that grew up without help, without a diagnosis, with out available services, with out those things he would need to heal and get help. With out prevention.
What our country needs, right now, TODAY...is to see this Tragedy for what it is, lack of mental health care, healing the hands and the brains behind the tragedy's.
Right now, mental health MUST become as much as a priority as physical health care...without out adequate mental healthcare we will continue with or with out new guns laws to see these tragedy's, any other solution is putting a band-aid on a gaping chest wound.
Our country is losing a battle to a disease they don't even see...
Soul Cancer Thursday, July 5, 2012
Tonight as I bake cupcakes at mid-night for Bugs play ( because isn't that when most sane people bake cupcakes.) I started thinking, and then the thinking got passionate, and then while my confections baked...I decided to word vomit up the feelings I keep on pushing down...AND HERE YOU HAVE IT...
In our community there is something so heart breakingly tragic going on with a teen girl that we know and love personally. She is an AMAZING, talented BEAUTIFUL young woman, that is such an incredible leader and example to the youth in our area, just last year this girl organized a dance for relay to life, because she was inspired. One year later she has been struck down with a debilitating disease, that has been touch and go daily for weeks and weeks. I and our family pray so much for her daily. It has been such an incredible opportunity for my kids to work on building compassion. Through service, they have helped me plan and put together freezer meals, recommending their favorites. I love this girl and her family.
And as I read another update and saw so much love and support and amazing rallying behind this angel of a girl....I got jealous.
Yep, I did.
Not that ANY of the support, love and prayers that have been showered upon this sweet wonderful girl are not incredible, I continue to add my own, it's just that I began thinking about our battles last summer, with our teenage daughter...and my heart started to hurt.
You see, losing Papillion was hush, hush. The 10 hospitals, multiple suicide attempts, all of the pain, and scares, and scars, all of the visits, and hopes up, and then dashed were weathered alone.
When she finally disappeared from our home and community, there were no questions asked, no prayers of support, no phone calls...she just materialized into thin air...because well, we just don't talk about mental illness now do we?
It was the loneliest thing I have ever been through, with very little validation out side of other trauma parents...I get the “People don't know what to say.”....but even if they just saying THAT...”Linds I am so sorry I don't know what to say" would have been something...instead of avoiding me in the hallways at church, or changing direction when come face to face with me in the grocery aisle. Or completely stop being my friend...
Mental health is so isolating, but it is time in 2012, for it not to be...really.
If my daughter had, had Cancer, broken both legs, even terrible asthma, we could talk about it, and everyone would nod their heads sympathetically, ask questions, offer prayers, help, love...
But when it is a cancer literally eating away at someones soul, future,emotional health...when it is a broken brain, when your child can't take a full, deep breath because trauma has stolen it, well, that is something put in a corner, whisper and generally not ever bring it up.....and I.want.to.know.WHY?
It's not like everyone on this planet has never known someone that has not suffered from abuse, depression and even post pardum...we all know someone...whether it be a former soldier that gets skidish around loud noises, an Uncle that gets angry faster than needs be, a sister, Aunt, Grandmother or Mom that has quirky things she has to do, for “things' to be alright...getting hurt, being a little messy in the head, is part of the human condition we don't talk enough about, and we need to.
Medically in the last 100 years we have made leaps and bounds in the physical needs and healing of our bodies...but what about our brains? Our souls? There isn't enough demand, because no one is standing up and saying THIS, THIS NEEDS WORK, this need to be fixed, THIS needs to be a bigger priority than magic diet pills. It is not happening fast enough, it is not being prioritized.
I agree some amazing, AMAZING work and books have been written in the name of R.A.D., P.T.S.D, O.C.D and all around trauma and the effects of it...but why? Why is is so much easier for a parent to get a 504 for a child with A.D.H.D. That is hyperactive and struggles concentrating, than a child with severe trauma and behavioral and attachment challenges?
one word, shame.
Our shame as parents being judged for our kids behavior, or that we "did" this to them, our fear and shame as a community, that if all start talking about our emotional and mental health, that judgment will be passed. No one judges someone with Cancer, “well obviously they weren't doing something right.”
That does not happen, why? Because what they have is physical, and obviously not anybody’s fault.
BUT, Nor is what happened to my child...Or to me for that matter.
My name is Lindsay. I am parenting children with severe trauma, anxiety, depression, psychotic tendencies, suicidal ideation, addictions, bulimia, anorexia, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder,Hording, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and they are surviving by the skin of their teeth, everyday. Their diseases are devastating, everyday is an Emergency room of Soul Triage, deciding which “bleeder”/trigger must be dealt with first.
My children have soul cancer. Their illnesses and struggles are not their fault or a result of my poor parenting. The statistics are stacked against them. There are not nearly enough resources, well trained Dr.'s, or therapists around to suffice...but we are fighting this with everything we 've got, and not quietly. I am not going to be ashamed with or for my children's needs and illnesses. I am going to talk about them, I am going to get the word out.
And hopefully someday the help that will heal them, and help heal other kids like them will come to fruition...because when we don't shout, and demand, and talk about what needs to be done, without shame, without fear of judgment, that is when the possibility to be heard and have change can really come...