“The task of this activist is to bring attention to the fragility of human beings and their behavior that can cause harm, to try and to center consciousness about it, for prevention and healing” -Me 2-9-2018
Trigger Warnings/Disclaimers: I’m NOT a clinically or credentialed professional in matters of medical, mental health, law enforcement and public safety.
If you or someone else, is at risk for engaging in behaviors that could hurt oneself or another, please seek immediate treatment by a professional or call 911.
I don’t feel very good (I never do) but really hadn’t planned on blogging today. The need for the blog that I wrote yesterday, about domestic murder/suicide, took a lot out of me, when I already was feeling poorly, physically.
It doesn’t help that I feel the need, as someone who has diagnosed mental health issues, that if someone asks me how I am, that if I’m not feeling good or if I’m upset about something, I have to qualify that, by saying “well I don’t feel the greatest, so while I’m not feeling okay, I AM stable and not a danger to others” or something like that.
But as much as I resent that personally, given how people are snapping, I get why it’s necessary, to ask the question and that’s why this blog is being written.
I was watching the local news though, this morning, and happened to catch a story about a fire that happened in apartment complex about a 1/4 mile where I used to live with my son from 1997 to 2002, in Plymouth, MN, which is a nice suburb of Minneapolis and I spent most of my adult life living in multiple dwelling units (this WILL have relevance of the point I’m trying to make, as an activist) and that a man died, and the building was damaged, but other than one other person being seriously injured, who was in that unit where the fire originated, others got out safely.
The man who did end up dying in the fire, started a fire on purpose.
I can’t follow everything that happens in the news, if I’ve though managed to catch in just Hennepin County (where Plymouth and the city of Minneapolis, which I currently reside in) ALL the attempts where arson was used to hurt someone, whether it be themselves or others.
I wrote a blog a few months ago, about a man who tried to set a building on fire, because he wanted to kill everyone in that apartment building and someone innocently died, as a result of his attempt to flee, when jumping out of his window to escape.
I also wrote a blog, a few days ago, about a fire that happened on my birthday in December of 2017, in my own my apartment building, when a neighbor who lived 2 floors directly above me, when a lady got mad at her boyfriend and set his hoodie (that he was wearing) on fire. While that unit got damaged due to fire, smoke and water, so did other units in my building, including my own, had water damage from the sprinkler system, as well as other parts of my building, but no one was hurt.
I pulled that blog about the fire in my building, because truthfully, I was afraid of giving the wrong impression, that people would be under the belief, that all people in need of affordable and/or low income housing are NOT stable, and it wasn’t an impression that I wanted to give, as an activist for affordable housing and the homeless, as well as someone who benefits from affordable housing.
As well as I know that’s not true, that people can be in need of affordable housing and be great tenants, which there are many, in my apartment building, as well as other affordable housing, not just locally but nationally.
The reason I felt compelled to write this blog is complex and multi-fold.
We live in a society that now fears those who are diagnosed with mental health issues but we aren’t equipped to handle the devastating consequences to human life and property for those who aren’t diagnosed and are just appear to be “snapping”.
And it just seems people, because of when bad scary things happen, try to pretend it isn’t happening or it won’t happen again and/or it won’t happen to them, it gives them a false sense of security, that really no one can benefit from and it can result in fatalities and extensive damage and/or loss to property, in these cases, it’s people’s HOMES, as well as their LIVES, that I’m talking about, here.
That’s why having an non judgmental dialogue on mental health, where in these instances, people can SUDDENLY become violent or act in a manner that hurts others, has no boundaries, within respect to socio-economics, gender, race, political and religious beliefs, is is vitally necessary and so important, right now.
I remember when I lived in Plymouth and my son was in Cub Scouts of touring the Plymouth Fire Department, as well as the Plymouth Police Department. And how grateful I was to live in a nice city, with caring first responders (which I still feel the same way about first responders, a million times more though, now that I live in Downtown Minneapolis)
Why I can’t do things like that anymore, for my kids, is one of the reasons why I blog, in hopes that helps other people, as while what we went through with my own disabilities, as humiliating as it is for me, and it had out repercussions for everyone I love the most, it wasn’t violent and all of us are around to still talk about.
But I think of people who have devastating outcomes due to other’s mental health issues that can’t or won’t talk about it.
So what I’m trying to accomplish, as an activist, is to start a conversation for those who are in danger of hurting themselves and/or others and URGING them to get HELP. That using arson, as means of suicide and or a domestic murder/suicide, has multiple victims and the potential for multiple fatalities, that there isn’t anything noble about using arson and that people, even if mentally compromised, they should know there is help out there before they do that.
I’m also trying to start a dialogue or tell people who’ve had to live through an intentionally set fire, that hopefully working with your landlord, can help start initiatives in your communities, so you don’t have to go through this again.
As well as I’m trying to start a dialogue about unintentional but potential murder/suicides that could’ve happened, in the fire that happened last night.
As well as to tell survivors and or family, friends and people who experiences this, that they aren’t alone. There is support, as well as it can be empowering to share your stories, that by doing that can be life changing and life saving for others, as well as for oneself, which is what I’ve experienced, since becoming an activist and blogger.
We have to start somewhere though, in dispelling stigma, so that people when they can’t speak for themselves, have ingrained in them, to not act in a manner that is not only harmful to them, but has irrevocable horrible consequences on so many people and so many resources.
Humans aren’t infallible, I’m certainly not, no one else is, though.
Talking about this in a constructive open way, where something is gained, hopefully in initiatives and support can only help people and reduce the chances of this happening over and over again.
Note: I’m open to constructive feedback. Please, no negative comments. Thanks.