Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thoughts from a Friend

My Friend Karen posted this on FaceBook, but I thought it was such a touching and true post that I wanted to share.
Karen has been there. She knows what she is writing about like few other people I can think of.

  • I don’t normally like to post things of any real meaning on facebook as I know what’s written is out there for good. But, I have a couple of things I’d like to post about tonight and the first is the hot topic of the TRAGEDY at Sandy Hook.

    First and foremost, I would like to address that fact that there has been some debate on how many people continue to talk about the incident. How many people judge the families for putting out pictures of their loved ones, how many people want to know why we need to hear about each funeral. I can say that when I lost my brother to a NATURAL cause, I wanted the world to know he existed. I wanted to scream to everyone that I knew that my brother passed on because I wanted to hang on to the fact that he was very much part of my world. These parents, siblings, friends, etc, are reaching out in grief. They aren’t looking to profit off of the horror of the loss of love they are now feeling. They are looking for a way to keep their loved ones alive. I cannot imagine their pain, but do know they certainly don’t need our judgment on top of it all!

    I would then like to address the blame game and that of mental illness.

    I just read an article by Melinda Henneberger that my cousin Carrie posted and agreed with much of what it said.

    I do believe there needs to be better mental health treatment, gun laws, less shoot ‘em up video games, etc. But, the fact that everyone wants to continue to play the blame game is, to me, not getting us anywhere.

    I have strong feelings related to the mental illness hot topic of the week. I’m sure that the gunman must have suffered something. No “healthy” person shoots up first grade classrooms. I believe that he must have allowed evil to enter his world, as no being filled with Love shoots up first grade classrooms. I believe that these two things combined created his environment with a flawed human being carrying out an, unthinkable to most, plan to murder and kill.

    Mental illness alone, however, does not kill. I live with bipolar disorder. Even before treatment, I did not change enough of “me” to desire to hurt others. I’m not saying mental illness doesn’t cause violence. It certainly can be an effect of the illness, but I personally believe there is more to it than that. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do believe that there is still an element there of choosing evil over love. Choosing hate over forgiveness. Maybe in a certain mental state, you have less control over your choices, but at some point, you opted to no longer hold onto LOVE.

    I know they are saying that the gunman may have had asperger’s. Asperger’s is not a mental illness. It is a developmental disorder. Does it cause one to not understand social cues? Yes, it does. Could it potentially cause you not to have as much empathy for others because you just don’t understand them, absolutely!! But, it doesn’t cause you to kill. It makes your life a heck of lot more difficult than others, but as Ms. Henneberger points out, it generally causes you to be bullied, not to bully.

    Do I know what caused Adam to snap? To premeditate these killings? To kill his mother? To alter the lives of so many innocent people, including his own family? No, I don’t. Do I know whether he lived with/suffered from a mental illness? No, I don’t. I certainly suspect he must have. But, I don’t think we can blame the illness completely for his decisions. I don’t think we can blame guns, I don’t think we can blame his mother, the divorce of his parents, etc.

    I think Satan is winning twice over. Not only did he alter the lives of so many innocent, he managed to continue to pit half of this country against the other half. We all came together for a matter of hours to console, to talk of healing, to offer help, and then...we came at each other again. Back to politics and anger.

    No one knows why. I don’t believe anyone will ever know why. Maybe he was bipolar. Maybe he had a personality disorder, maybe he was abused, maybe he was brought up in an environment that promoted violence, maybe he played too many war games. Maybe, maybe , maybe. But, I will firmly stand on the belief that NONE of these things alone was the sole motivator for such violence. Satan worked hard and Satan won.

    I truly believe that Satan works harder at those that suffer mental illness. He attacks their thoughts (that many times race). He uses the paranoia, the panic, etc. But, we all have weaknesses. And, don’t think just because you are “normal” that evil can’t enter your world.

    As we head toward Christmas Day, I take consolation in the promise that those that died can forever be with the Lord. Their lives aren’t over. They will live forever because He died and rose again.

    As I stated earlier, I’m not debating the need for better mental health treatment, or stricter gun laws, or less time on the computer, etc. I just really and truly believe that we need LOVE . Whether you know the Lord, or you have yet to bring Him into your heart, most won’t argue that we need more love. Now is the time to be a bit more introspective. To look into what part of you chooses revenge over forgiveness,what part of you chooses jealousy over acceptance, what part of you chooses war over peace or to condemn rather than complement? None of us are innocent and if we all started to really look into our own weaknesses and begin there for answers to the violence in the world, the easier it would be to bring love into reality.

    I pray for those that don’t yet know the Lord and pray for those that struggle with the why. I pray for the victims, for the debaters, for those that live with mental illness, for their loved ones, for those that are reaching out for help. I pray for a society that would rather see where to place the blame than to admit we are all broken.

    And, then, in thanksgiving, I praise the Lord for the knowledge that He hears, that He listens, that He has saved those that have lost their lives here. I pray for those that will question Him and those that will fall away from Him because of this act of violence. I pray for those that will find Him because of their loss. And finally, I pray that you will pray with me.

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