Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gun Control, Sandy Hook Elementary & Mental Illness

As Funerals get planned and the news begins to subside, we are left with the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Heroic actions are now coming out about teachers and staff that gave their lives for the children.  As with all tragedies it brings out the very best and worst in people.  Mothers and fathers hugged their children a little harder, people came together to comfort each other and to provide any help they can.  Instead of just names and ages these children became real as we saw pictures of them, smiles so wide and of joy that only could come from children.

Then the who and why began to emerge and things became ugly.  Gun control advocates took this as their opportunity to politicize and set into action a ban on assault rifles and those in favor of our 2nd Amendment to bear arms wondered if one of the staff in the school had a gun, would the outcome be any different.  I actually think the debates are a good thing right now.  Hopefully we can find some middle ground that will actually make a difference instead of the all or nothing arguments that are becoming more and more prominent in society.

This is not a tragedy about evil vs. good.  It's so much more than owning or not owning a gun.  It is about the system that let everyone down.  A culture that is growing more and more violent and people that are becoming immune to death.  Not in the sense that people don't care if someone gets killed but they get desensitized by it.  It's everywhere you look.  On all the news channels and more and more in the spotlight by celebrities and athletes.

God is slowly but surely getting kicked out of our lives.  No religion is allowed in schools or public buildings.  We can't even celebrated Christmas because " Oh My!" we might just offend someone.  We seem to hate and judge our neighbors instead of loving them.  This country is becoming more and more divided. (I won't go into who I think is responsible, that is a whole other blog)

Finally we come to the main reason, that in my humble opinion contributed the most in these killings.  Mental illness.  This is a subject that gets my emotions rumbling because for over 16 years, doctors thought I suffered from anxiety.  I was finally diagnosed with Dysautonomia and could finally put the erroneous conclusions from hundreds of doctors.  I have had my share of lousy doctors so I am a little jaded in that department.  I have been on just about every medication you can think of and I had my share of side effects that landed me in the hospital.  Although I don't recall most of it, when getting weaned of a medication called Effexor I became suicidal.  Yep, plain old me became a scary replica of myself.  I was watched at all times but if I had not had the constant supervision and support, I honestly can't tell you what would have happened.  We are discussing a very sick individual that was facing a life of mental hospitals.  I can imagine what that feels like and until you can, you have no idea what was going through my mind.  I've never put this out in the open because it is something that is very traumatic to me and brings back bad memories.  I got to a place where no one could figure out what to do with me, doctors had given up and run out of medications.   To complicate matters, I was pregnant with Anthony.  During one of my many trips to the hospital, a doctor suggested signing myself into a Mental Hospital. He said I could sign out anytime and there would be a doctor keeping a close eye on me.  Since I had a horrible case of morning sickness and had lost a lot of weight, they could treat that too.  There would be counseling and constant activities to help me. It was the worst decision I have ever made in my life.  To make an already long story short, they kept me tied to a bed in a monitored room and gave me psycho medications that indeed make me psycho. I wanted to crawl out of my skin and it made me very restless. (a lovely side effect of the meds)   It was the worst kind of hell, it was pure torture.  The one consolation for me was that I was told since I voluntary signed myself in, I could simply sign myself out.  Wrong, I had to put in a request and wait 48 hours.  Suffice it to say, I have never quite been able to put that behind me.  If I faced a life in a Mental Hospital, I am not sure what I would do, but for someone that was already struggling with a life of Aspergers, I imagine it would be unbearable.  There will never be one single reason for Sandy Hook tragedy but only by open communication can we try our damnedest to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

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