Disclaimers: I’m very sensitive, as well as heartbroken, for the tragic loss of lives that occurred this week, 2 of them I’ve blogged about in the last week, alone.
I’m NOT a clinically trained medical, mental health, law enforcement or public safety.
I will always implore people, if they or someone they know, is or suspects to be in crisis, is potentially a danger to themselves or others, to contact 911 and/or seek appropriate emergency treatment from clinically trained professionals in an appropriate acute facility.
I know there’s a lot of people who DO NOT want to hear this today.
I don’t want to have to say this, today, but it’s important in the conversations that need to be discussed on reducing the horrifying rates that people, innocent children and adults are being killed in their homes, their schools and their workplaces.
As well as in their places of worship, hospitals and on the street.
In my blog late last week, I blogged about a mother, who when suffering postpartum psychosis, shot her 3 month baby, her husband and then herself, to death.
That St. Louis mother, was a well respected woman in her community. She volunteered with disadvantaged people in need. She participated in her church and had a Masters in Social Work, where for reasons that may never be known, of why she horrifyingly killed her baby, husband and herself with a gun she obtained legally, other than postpartum depression was used in an article, but there’s a difference between postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis but neither should be stigmatized.
The other blog, was the one I wrote yesterday was about a vile young man, who laid in wait, when filled with irrational deadly rage, attempted to execute as many innocent people as possible, in the horrifying high school mass shooting that happened in Parkland, Florida, yesterday .
I’m not trying to add more devastation and sadness, I like most people, whether they have mental health diagnoses or not, cannot and will not EVER understand, how people can hurt another person with any kind of violence, let alone kill someone.
But I do have mental health issues. Mid late in life diagnosed non aggressive/non violent mental health issues (I can be mean at times, with words, when provoked, but on the defense and I don’t engage in every argument that I’m invited to, either).
I’ve been honest since my first blog on here, on how in both medical and mental health crisis, I did try to get help, when I could see that I was heartbreakingly, humiliating and so unintentionally subjecting my children due to neglect and the price my children, family and I paid, as a result, of getting no where when trying to access safety nets that are supposed to prevent things that happened to my family, from happening.
I talk about it, so what my children, who are doing great while not because of me, but not despite me, either, so that it doesn’t happen to other families who fell through the cracks, like we did, as I love my children more than anything and anyone, and I wish every day for the last decade I could change what happened, but I can’t.
And it has saved other people’s lives by going public with my medical and mental health issues.
I’m NOT saying that to be self serving.
I get that the abnormality of my life, in not having responsibilities like most people my age, is shocking, what led to that is shocking, but I have tried, so that we didn’t go through all of that in vain, for those who’ve experienced similar medical and mental health crises, falling through the cracks that are in the system, and with no social support.
The danger though that I fear, is when people, who are so shocked and saddened by such a horrifying tragedy that leads to multiple deaths due to shootings, in a home or a school DO NOT take the time to differentiate the difference between those with diagnosed mental heath conditions that would make them NO MORE LIKELY OR AT RISK to commit any kind of acts of violence, let alone depraved, cowardly, hateful and horrific premeditated mass murders or any kind of depraved inhumane acts of violence.
As much inroads that have been made, to try to destigmatize mental illness, it can be lost in the wake of these horrifying tragedies, but not knowing the difference, can also lead to loss of life and loss of freedom, in people who could and would NEVER ever commit any kind of crime, let alone an act of violence.
I’m 48 years old. I’ve never seen a gun up close nor touched one. I would never own one. I believe strongly in gun reform initiatives, NOW.
I just believe that an honest and open dialogue about de-stigmatizing mental health, while it wouldn’t have made much of a difference as it applied to someone who heinously planned to execute as many people as possible, with an assault rifle, like in the massacre that happened yesterday, he should’ve NEVER been cleared to get, regardless of backround checks which no civilian needs an assault rifle or other similar firearms in that category , nor was that thought of when our forefathers over 240 years ago, gave the people, a constitutional right to bear arms.
But it is possible, that a non judgemental open extensive and inclusive dialogue about mental health, could’ve made a difference, in the mother with postpartum psychosis who cared enough about people at one time, to do the good she did, but she and her family paid the ultimate price in the stigma that surrounds mental health, especially as it applies to mothers, with mental health issues, whether they know they have them or not.
We won’t know, but I don’t think we’ve tried to remove that kind of stigma, hard enough, openly and honestly, in hopes of those in need being able to get help or for others to recognize warning signs to possibly help prevent those kind of tragedies.
I’ve done the best I can, not ever knowing the grief that too many people have now had to bear due to senseless gun violence. It’s something that more people will die, just as senselessly, if action isn’t taken, immediately.
Gun reform, has to happen, NOW.
But it’s disheartening to see, because of the grief and terror these tragedies can cause that we don’t lose sight, that other weapons or items that are utilized other than guns, can be cause of mass casualties in civilians, if we don’t have the important dialogue about mental health and appropriate initiatives in place to monitor, evaluate, treat and prevent if possible, from mass casualties happening, in those who are diagnosed and those who are NOT, without honest open dialogue on mental health and mental illness in respect to guns and gun control, but with any kind of weapon or means that can cause mass fatalities by someone who’s mentally ill AND violent, or those who snap, and has no respect for the sanctity of human life.
At a minimum, BOTH, if not MORE initiatives have to happen NOW.
This doesn’t have to be an either or situation. You can rightfully and respectfully demand gun control initiatives NOW, but also demand the conversations and initiatives that need to be in place, to monitor, evaluate, treat/rehabilitate and/or prevent these horrific mass casualties from happening over and over again, regardless of weapon of choice.
As well as initiatives that comprehensively support the loved ones who are lost or injured when tragedies like this take place.
Note: I am open to constructive dialogue. I purposely stay away most of the time, from social media, for many reasons, which doesn’t make me any better or any worse than anyone else.
Point I’m trying to make, requiring and/or a respectful dialogue and demand of action, is constructive.
The epic fights that tend to happen almost over everything, but especially in a topic of this importance, doesn’t help anyone. You can maintain a stance of agreeing to respectfully disagree and or show apathy, if you don’t agree with someone’s point of view (that’s rational) and or just not engage with those of not of like minded as oneself.
Trying to fight horrific violence with vitriolic verbiage in sound bites on multiple social media platforms, may not lead to violence, but it hampers from people uniting as quickly as we need to be, to get what needs to be done to prevent these horrific tragedies, even though they aren’t to blame for them, OK?
Just please try to remember the commonality of purpose, which is to save lives, could be done more expediently, without the squabbling if not hateful rhetoric on multiple sides that occurs both on and off social media and due to politics.
And this may not mean much, but as a disabled activist, because I cannot blog about this topic anymore, where it would be constructive, I can get away in some cases with saying things that other people can’t, without consequence.
So for those of you, who while may believe in due process, I’m still glad prematurely, that Florida has the death penalty.
It just makes me sad, that should the killer who I don’t want to name or talk about, after today, should he get that, will possibly die more humanely, than the innocent people he slaughtered, horrifically physically and emotionally harmed yesterday and that makes me a tiny bit sad, and slightly hypocritical, as it applies to his evil waste of life,but I can live with myself, in the respect of my NOT having ANY empathy for mass murderers, rapists and pedophiles. I have a lot a of empathy for lots of populations of people, just not those people, but I think their histories bear importance, if there’s any chance in them not being repeated, but only to an extent where it serves the greater good of people.
Please keep comments if you should have any, constructive. Thanks…
And one last thing, I know this was really wordy, but this isn’t something that can be discussed in a sound bite. I happened to not catch others making similar observations like I have, that could help, if you know of those who have, but done so, more concisely, please let me know. Thanks.