Monday, December 17, 2012
The Newtown massacre. A devastation. A mess of citizens across the country calling for everything. More gun control. More guns. Arm the teachers. Arm the 6 year olds. Ban the guns. Less guns. Let's kill deer with BB guns. It's a mess. Then there's the mental health call. I shared an article from Liza's take Slate wrote an article in response. That article really unhinged me. Written from the perspective of a person who doesn't understand what daily life with a mentally ill person in your life consists of. She completely undermined Ms. Long's parenting skills and also managed to perpetuate the stigma of mental illness by accusing the mother of stigmatizing her son by calling out his mental illness in a public forum (she did not use his real name). Ms. Long is trying to bring awareness to a much needed forum. I spent a few years of my life helping to raise a child who was brain damaged and struggled with aggression issues. Before my daughter was born (this child was 13 years older than her)he was a part of my life. He attended Junior High while living with me...his teachers and I decided after one unfortunate incident that his male teachers should refrain from neckties. I also was very lucky to live in a community that made it a point to afford him with resource education. After my daughter was born I initiated some rules while he lived in my home; I told his mother he was welcome as long as he did not pose a threat to my daughter. At 16 this imploded. He tried to hurt my daughter. He was booked on the next flight back to his mother. I was lucky. I had somewhere to send him when he proved to be a threat to my other children. Most families don't have this option. Liza Long was left with "we have an emergency plan if your brother threatens to kill you" for her children. Lock yourself in the car. What. the. fuck. Slate, shame on you for perpetuating the "let's hide the mentally ill person and not talk about their needs" because....well, yeah, we don't get it. Better moms, tougher parenting will fix it? No. They need help. And acceptance. And resources.