I can barely get out of bed today. My heart and spirit are so heavy with sadness.
These babies. These families. This world.
Whatever the causes behind the shootings in Connecticut, it’s probably time we take a serious look at the issue of mental illness. No matter your position on gun control, if it is mental illness that drives this unfathomable behavior and we don’t find a way to help those in need, it will continue to kill.
I commend you to read a couple of posts I’ve come across this weekend. It is my hope that we can all work together to really make meaningful changes – two words that have become nothing more than a catch phrase as of late, rather than a declaration of a safer future.
My heart is broken.
Two posts below
This first post is going viral, I’ve included it if you haven’t had the opportunity to read it.
The second is a story that made news a couple of years ago.

‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother': A Mom’s Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America

Thinking the Unthinkable

In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

Michael holding a butterfly

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.
“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.
“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”
“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.
That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
read more here… http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com/2012/12/thinking-unthinkable.html?m=1
  A LosAngeles family, it is a story that must be told. A story that must be heard.

Michael Schofield thought his young daughter, Janni, was a genius, until he realised her bright mind masked an inner darkness.

The first weeks of Janni’s life, my wife, Susan, and I are taking lots of home video, imagining her watching these tapes alongside us and her friends as a teenager, pretending to be mortified, but happy on the inside knowing how important she’s been to us from the beginning.

Daddy’s little girl … Michael Schofield with his daughter, Janni, in 2006.

About a week into her life, she stops sleeping, aside from 20 to 30 naps within a 24-hour day. We’re still recording, though. We don’t want to miss anything, although we do need to sleep at some point. She screams constantly when she’s awake, but again, she’ll probably find this amusing when she’s a teenager watching all of this.

A couple of weeks go by and she’s still not sleeping for even one hour straight. Nothing is comforting her, so it must be colic – the only possibility we’d heard of that keeps babies awake and constantly screaming at this age.

We tell our paediatrician that Janni is getting a total of four to five hours of sleep a day. “Some babies are active and some are passive. Yours is very, very active,” she says, studying Janni’s un­usually alert, big blue eyes staring back at her.

We leave somewhat relieved, but still have to figure out what to do. This doesn’t seem right, but the paediatrician keeps telling us everything is okay. In order to get any sleep, we start taking Janni in five-hour shifts, one parent “on duty” while the other sleeps, then reversing.

Before Janni was born, we were given baby toys by family and friends. Most of them are for six-, nine- or even 12-month-olds. I didn’t expect to use them for months, but if I can get her focused on something, she stops screaming.

One toy has three shapes on it: a red square, a blue triangle and a yellow circle. When switched on, the toy asks, “Find the red square.” I still remember sitting in our easy chair, half-asleep, holding my three-week-old daughter as she bats away at the toy. “Find the yellow circle … Correct. Find the red square … Correct.” Through the fogginess of my exhaustion, I become aware that she’s hitting the right shapes and colours. I look down, thinking it must just be coincidence.

“Janni, where’s the yellow circle?” I ask, watching her arm stretch out, fist closed, as if struggling to make her body do what she wants it to do. “Correct,” the toy announces. No. It can’t be. She’s not even a month old. “Janni, press the blue triangle.” “Correct,” the toy announces.

Oh my God.

Read more here….http://m.smh.com.au/lifestyle/edge-of-the-abyss-20120820-24h4r.html

 

Photo in headline from Cure Talk.

This post has been edited from the original.

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