17 December 2012

sandy hook - what can we really do?

we have all been slapped in the face with the reality that friday really did happen.
many {myself included} are posting images on facebook about prayer for the victims' families.
i agree - we SHOULD be praying {again, myself included}
REALLY praying.

i have been feeling so many things since what happened in newtown on friday, and i just couldn't get my thoughts together, so i posted about my weekend instead.
but then i read Ashley's post today, and it really hit me.
YES! this is exactly how i feel.

it's so easy to think, "wow. that is so, so awful. i really feel for those people, especially right here at Christmas. thank God for my own kids/family. i'm going to hug them extra tight today."
many have said they don't want to talk about it or think about it because it's just too depressing.
i do think that the media is totally inappropriate by interviewing the victims' families, and children and faculty who watched everything go down that day, and that they have crossed the line from reporting what happened over to simply being obsessed with how it went down and wanting to get into the mind of the sick person who did this. enough is enough. but, it's anything for a dollar and for an increase in viewership. 

but - by avoiding the thought of what happened, and these people's pain because it is "too much", are we thereby ignoring it?
are we thinking, "it's so awful, i don't even want to ruin my happy mood thinking about it? what can i do about it anyway? i don't want to spend christmas thinking about such an awful thing."

well, that's just it. 
what can we do?
we can pray. and pray hard. and no one can ever take that away.
for me, my blog is a voice - a voice for happy, for sad, and for real.
in my opinion, that is exactly what the problem is. 
we don't stand up for what we believe in and who we really are because we don't want to go against the grain, or hurt someone's feelings.

i believe that God does listen to our prayers, and that prayers do matter.
and i know for me, personally, if i choose to ignore someone's pain, and to shield myself from thinking, i mean really thinking, about what they are going through, then it's of course easier for me to go on about my merry way, but it is much harder for me to relate to their pain, and therefore, harder to pray.

and the gun laws - guns did not kill these kids. someone who was obviously very mentally disturbed did.
period. you can take away every weapon in this country, and people will find a way to execute evil.
a man in china stabbed 22 people outside a school on the same day as the shootings in CT.
he didn't use a gun to inflict violence.


guess what? all of the negative things done in this country are done ILLEGALLY. because that's what laws are for, to discourage people from doing crazy shit, which would usually involve hurting themselves or others or both. but here's the thing, people who want to do such acts badly enough will hardly be deterred because of a damn law. i don't understand how this is not obvious.
meth, crack, coke, sex rings, tax evasion, insurance fraud, money laundering, armed robbery, rape ...  this could go on and on and on - all illegal - people who want to do sketchy shit will find a way.
laws don't stop a mentally ill person who has set out to accomplish something like this.
just like people who walk through restraining orders and kill people - happens every single day.
evil will find a way.
it'll find a way into this world, and into schools.
we need more support for the mentally ill people who are committing these crimes.
for those kids who grow up with abusive parents and then as adults, turn right around and repeat that behavior.
i guess some people are just mean. plain and simple.
but most people who are disturbed are either sick and need help, or are deeply hurting.
what's happened has happened.
crazy shootings in malls.
in movie theaters.
in high schools.
in elementary schools.
on college campuses.
remember andrea yates? she drowned all five of her children, one at a time, in a bathtub after battling postpartum psychosis for years - with it getting worse after each birth. her doctors advised her not to have a fifth child for fear the psychosis would get worse, but her husband thought she'd be fine at home all. day. long. homeschooling five children.

let me say that i have respect for anyone who is doing something - tomorrow's blogger day of silence directs people to a site to raise money for the victims, write your congressman, volunteer to work with children in your own area, or most importantly, truly, truly praying.
we need to strengthen mental health care in this country, and stop thinking about how tragic things are after the fact. after - when people have already lost their 1st grader, high schooler, college student, wife, girlfriend, mother, etc.
and as i write this, i am feeling very convicted because i need to be more fervent in my own prayers.
so, please don't see this as a judgment.
i think that's how it has to work sometimes, sadly so. we just can't see all we have to be grateful for, or how sick a shape the world is truly in until something like this happens.
it's time for us all to wake the eff up!

so, i guess my point is this:

the media in this country need to show some respect and stop harrassing the victims' families.
our country has become obsessed with anything that is someone else's pain or discomfort. most of the trash that is on tv and in gossip magazines includes how quickly celebrity marriages end, who had an affair with whom, who is caught up in a drug addiction, who is knocked up by so-and-so's spouse, who is too fat, who is too skinny. is this really all we have to be concerned about?
 and we feed it by watching this shit and reading about it, causing the ratings to skyrocket. 
their angle and obsession with each and every disturbing detail in occurrences like this end up portraying the murderer as some sort of legend.
how the killer managed to "pull this off" and how long he had been "planning it" makes him sound like a fuckin mastermind, and i am over it. and we wonder why the next big thing is "worse" {how can we even measure pain like that?} than the big violent act before.

do something, and that something can be genuinely praying, which may involve that we face what happened. however painful that may be, the families in newtown have it a zillion times worse. although a teacher is not allowed to lead prayer in schools or force it upon the students, nobody is stopping him/her or the students or anyone else from praying in the building and on school grounds.
is the government really who is keeping prayer out of schools, or are we just giving up on it and looking for someone to blame?

mental illness should be taken just as seriously as physical illness, and it should not be something that a person should be made to feel ashamed to seek help for. resources given by the government to help those with mental illness should reflect this. illness is illness - whether it's your brain or your heart or your lungs or whatever. people who have been in assisted living for a diagnosed mental illness should not have to fight a battle to keep from being  kicked out into the street only months after being accepted and selling their house. it's happening in my hometown, and i can only assume that it's happening in other places as well. we will never make sense of what happens in mass shootings or other acts of extreme violence because we don't think the way the people who commit these acts think. the brain is a functioning organ just like any other. we need to stop treating mental illness like something that people can just "deal with" or worst case scenario, sit around being sad.


 may the Lord be with those victims' families, and the students, faculty, and first responders who will forever be haunted by what they saw that day. may He bring peace and support during a time when those people have no answers. no justification for what happened. be with those affected today, tomorrow morning, next week, next year, the year those kids should have graduated, and essentially forever. may He show us a way to find some good from what happened - be it nurturing our own relationships that were previously taken for granted, standing up for what we know is right, or showing us ways to help those in need. may He help us all to understand that although those events {as well as many, many other pains in life} will never make sense to us, that He is still there for us all, and that our pain does not mean that He has abandoned us. help us to all have more patience with others and less judgment - for we will never know all the battles that others face - or what causes them to behave the way that they do. let us imagine for a moment what it is like to be in the shoes of the person that we choose to condemn before we pass judgment and speak out of hate or anger. let us think for a moment, would we rather trade places? help us to have a heart like yours.

In Memory:
Olivia Engel, 6
Emilie Parker, 6
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Josephine Gay, 7
Chase Kowalski, 7
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 25
Victoria Soto, 27
Rachel Davino, 29
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Mary Sherlach, 56

* list of names found from another awesome blog i love, handbags & handguns


Abigaylemae said...

once again, we are right on the same page...

Allison said...

For not knowing how to say it, you did a great job putting it into words. You are right about the people wanting to do sketchy things finding a way. Making something illegal just won't stop it. I don't know the answers, but I know we have to do something!

Helene said...

I feel the exact same way. I really do. great post, thanks for sharing.

Misty said...

Great post. Still so sad.