Important Disclaimers: I’m not a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, nor am I trained in law enforcement and/or public safety.
If you or someone you know is in danger of hurting themselves or others, please contact emergency services, immediately.
I had wanted to write a blog when I first heard about the stabbing at a Hanukkah party in upstate New York on 12-28-2019.
There were 2 good reasons why I didn’t at the time.
First one was, I just got out of the hospital that evening and was quite sick and still am (but that will be a topic for another blog).
Secondly, if I am going to be honest, I didn’t think I could get to a calmer place where while I don’t have one IOTA of empathy or even a desire to try to understand how the perpetrator could commit such a heinous act, in the last 2 weeks that truthfully hasn’t changed much as far as any empathy for the perpetrator nor do I have any desire to give him any kind of pass because he’s had a mental health history.
I identify though as a medical, mental health and violent crime prevention activist and blogger.
I’m going to try in a roundabout way to perhaps like I did a few weeks ago when talking about another anti-semitic tragedy, of seeing what insight I have that could maybe help potentially reduce if not eliminate the risk of another who uses the internet to search and fortify their hate before they try and commit a similar massacre.
I have 1 thing somewhat similar in common to the man who stabbed those 5 people.
I am not conventionally attractive and because of that, I’ve been bullied my entire life for it.
The one thing that I have that the evil coward who did the stabbing didn’t, is white privilege.
I also have an unconventional life history for someone who was born and raised in a hardworking respectable conservative Jewish family that doesn’t endear me to other Jews, whether they be Orthodox, Conservative or Reformed.
While I didn’t love the bullying that I also got in Hebrew School, in addition to regular school, in that situation, I was actually bullied for being a very smart goody-goody.
To then becoming an outcast and a total embarrassment both fat and thin, and both religious and non religious related, as an adult when I ended up having one, then two children out of wedlock.
Only for the shame and isolation for it to get exponentially worse 11 1/2 years ago, when in medical and mental health crisis, I gave up custody of my 2 beloved children to family and tried to commit suicide, thinking everyone would be better off without me.
This is what I learned the very hardest way, when people are bullied and shamed for their appearance constantly and then other real or perceived flaws and have very little to no peace in their life, that lots of times has more of an origin because they don’t fit an aesthetic versus being a bad person.
All that hating on them, has to go somewhere.
It’s either internalized and while there isn’t an intent to ever hurt others, such as in my case, my being in crisis 12 years ago didn’t hurt just me, as unintentional as it was, it hurt the people I love the most.
As much and ONLY out of respect for that family of Josef Neumann I’m trying to take a higher road in trying to understand how someone who had experience with personal hate like the perpetrator could go out of their way to attack innocent people in a home when trying to celebrate with their loved ones, a holiday and I just cannot fathom it.
I can though try and say this again.
And for how many times it takes, I will, until it does stop.
Internalizing hate where it comes to the point where people are at risk of trying to kill innocent others or even their own bullies (which isn’t relevant in this tragedy) , is NEVER the answer.
As the hate and harm put on innocent people, yet again, will NEVER make sense to me and we have to work harder to make sure it doesn’t ever irrationally make sense to others in hopes to stop these tragedies from happening over and over again.
We have to call out evil cowardice when we see it, we have to have more programs and initiatives that those who are at risk of acting out violently to others, have options for intervention, evaluation and treatment.
I know this is starting out small now, I know as an activist when I use Google, to research crime, medical and suicide resources and statistics, for my blogs that I now get phone numbers and websites for emergency resources, on the off chance that my search terms are indictive of someone in crisis.
I hope that continues to be the case and expanded on, not just by tech and social media but by community and government initiatives.
The victims, families, friends and the Jewish community in Monsey and globally, are in my continued thoughts and prayers.
Important Note: Anything that isn’t constructive will not be posted.