Mental Health in America – Mature Content


So, why have I shared the stories of my sons, Creed and Jude, with you.  What do their stories have to do with what happened in Sandy Hook or Ohio or Columbine or a movie theater in Colorado?

If we could speak to Adam Lanza’s mother, I believe she would tell us that she knew something was wrong with her son.  Same thing that so many parents and friends and relatives and educators  of other mass murderers tell the courts and the media…after the tragedy.  “There was something wrong!”

There was something wrong – but there was no help.  As a Survivor of Military Sexual Trauma I can tell you that finding help is not easy.  As the mother of two sons who battled mental illness I can tell you – there is no fucking help!  No one gives a damn until something like Sandy Hook happens.  Suddenly, everyone wants to talk about gun control – but no one wants to talk about mental health issues.

We have seen it time and again with our brother and sister survivors.  We don’t want to be labeled, we think we are alone, the VA doesn’t believe us, we were discharged with “personality disorders” or other than honorable conditions so we don’t qualify.  The list goes on and on and on.

Then there is the name Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I don’t have a “disorder” – my brain was fine until I was raped, assaulted, abused, degraded and generally fucked and fucked over.  Drop out on the street corner, no job, no benefits…nothing but shame. 

I have an injury – I have a mental health condition because of what was done to me…not because of what is wrong with something in my head. 

They can take away the guns – but the only one’s that they will get are the LEGAL guns.  That leaves all of the illegal ones on the streets.  They can’t stop a person bent on murder and destruction – bombs are easy to build and knives can be bought at Wal-Mart or on Television for 10.00 – and the second set is free if you pay shipping and handling.

It is time we have serious discussions about Mental Health.  Mental Health Conditions are a chronic disease, like diabetes or asthma, and they have to be treated as such.  We don’t cure them – we learn to manage them.  We have to get rid of the stigma that goes with these conditions.  We have to stop telling People and Children that there is only one way to be and that if you don’t fit that mold – you don’t fit period. 

But Mental Health isn’t what they want to talk about.  They don’t want to think that our society and our medical and psychiatric professionals and the court system might share some responsibility.  They don’t want to talk about the fact that faith and values have been removed from schools.  I’m not talking Christian faith – I am talking ALL faith.  We must divide church and state – but we must adopt a “moral code” for our children.  Much of that comes from faith, from consequences for evil and love of your neighbor.

I was a very lonely child in school, I was picked on, I was teased.  I grew up with an unlocked gun cabinet and easy to access ammunition.  It never occurred to me to kill my tormentors. 

In fact, most of you who read this page had a real reason to kill and the means to do it.  How many of you killed your rapists?  Could it be that you have honor – you have values? 

Could it be that you are better than your tormentor?  I think so.

Peace,

Joan

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