I'm sure most of you have seen or heard of the blogger who identifies with Adam Lanza's mother.
When I heard about the shootings in CT, I felt much of the same things she described. When you have a child with developmental challenges and a serious mental illness, it's easy to put yourself in that place. The fear is a constant; worry is a cloak that I constantly wear though it causes me discomfort.
Before reading the blogger's post, I had considered writing something similar. But The Boy and I have an agreement - he has to approve all future posts where he is the focus. I knew he would never agree, and I felt like it would be a disservice to him to reopen internal wounds that have left their scars.
I'm his mother - it's my job to protect him, to help him navigate through the world. I don't need to turn him into a poster child today, to have others reach the conclusion that he will be the next monster.
I could rail about gun control and lack of access to quality mental health care. I could gripe and grouse about the difficulty The Boy has traversing the minefield of society, and his challenges with maintaining his temper when he can't process events in the world around him. Maybe I'd complain about the complicated drug cocktail and the sometimes distressing side effects (and the inability of physicians to tell how the poisons may be damaging his organs).
If you or a loved one is suffering today, reach out for help. It is out there, even if it may be a struggle to find it. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a great resource.
Offer compassion and caring to a lonely neighbor, smile at strangers you meet - yours may be the only friendly face they encounter today.
I am still left with all of these feelings. I could wail and gnash my teeth and feel hopeless. Instead, I went out on the deck and looked up at the cloudy sky and listened to the birds perched on the leafless branches.
And I thought...
I Choose Hope
A fine mist falls today, the sky weeps
For those who are lost, sad and lonely
Grief grips our souls
We both look forward to, and fear, the future
Is this the new normal?
Must we secure our homes, our schools?
Should we keep our children safe indoors?
Will frightened citizens eye neighbors suspiciously
and peek out windows, looking for those who don't fit the normal mold?
A fine mist falls today, cleansing the earth
Harbinger of better days, of sun and smiles
Hope manifests itself slowly
We recognize past mistakes and greet the coming days with courage
Is this the new normal?
Is love enough to see us through?
Will compassion and care become commonplace?
Will hatred and ignorance be replaced by acceptance,
as we embrace and support the disenfranchised, celebrating their otherness?