Guns

Ummmmm. So…… This is the entire reason I am writing my blog I think. I knew this needed to be said, I knew this was coming, but I thought it would all be sometime later.

There isn’t really time to wait for the right time is there? There isn’t really time to wait until I’m cool.

There isn’t time. We’ve got to extinguish our fears and fake divisions immediately. Can’t find an ashtray? How about right here in this bowl of mixed nuts everyone is eating out of?

“Me? What do I care? I was only eating almonds anyway. Brazil nuts are for people who don’t have food allergies!”

“Me? I was only eating the almonds anyway! Cashews are for fatties!”

See? We are all ready for this. We are all ready to get to the root of the problem.

If you or your children just had your school shot down, or threats are flying, you go rage balls if you need to, I am not talking to you. You are really feeling it. Anger may signal clarity and clarity may prompt action. That isn’t always a tragedy or a “bad thing.” Speak your mind, show up at your capital. Why wouldn’t you? We can listen. I know those cocky faces aren’t listening, those mocking faces. But we are listening.

Like Harvey Weinstein, I was forced into an inpatient treatment center in the middle of the desert in Arizona even though I was fine. I barely spoke for days and at night I sobbed and sobbed and when I talked to my mother on the phone I vacillated between telling her how amazing things were going to be if we could just pull me out of here and how much of a monster she was. How I needed my dog at this important time. I was going to leave soon, I knew that in the first couple of weeks but I ended up staying for the maximum amount of time and then was sent to their “step down” program for another 60 days. By that time I had warmed up to “Rich Girl Prison” and I was a little nervous about going home and reintegrating. “Life” as they called the step-down program, was a cul-de-sac of model homes behind a mall in an Arizona suburb with a giant high school.  A bunch of teenage girls living in a gated neighborhood with a bunch of mental health professionals.

They made us attend this giant high school with elevators and I still to this day have those anxiety nightmares where I need to find my locker even though I never had one there. Isn’t that strange? A high school so large that a classroom of girls cycle through at all times only attending for two months max and hardly anyone notices? I don’t remember making or attempting to make any outside friends but we only stayed for two periods and I had a friend or two from Life in both classes.

The program was designed to get us reintegrated, give us a little more freedom for us to practice what we had learned. We took shopping trips, went to church, got to exercise and went on “snack challenges” because while they affirmed that my eating disorder was a symptom of my major depression, this was primarily an institution for girls with eating disorders.

Shame.

Gnarly stuff. I don’t tell many people I have recovered from an eating disorder. Or that I tried to kill myself. But when I do talk to people, I tell them I was diagnosed with eating disorder not otherwise specified or EDNOS even though its more complicated to say.  I was something as complicated as EDNOS and it is so much nicer than saying I was bulimic, even though I did a lot of bulimic things. Even in the realm of eating disorders, something usually maintained by high doses of shame and hopelessness, there’s a hierarchy.

I can admit I had an eating disorder and that I wanted to just die because even though it makes some people uncomfortable, even though it makes ignorant people believe I am broken beyond repair, it is still a lot prettier than saying I want a bunch of other people to die.

Shame.

Guilt is that important signal, I am doing something bad, I have done something bad.

Shame is much scarier. Shame says I am bad. Broken. Daddy issues. Not meant for this world, not cut out for it, don’t have what it takes. Don’t have what it takes. Yesterday, my friend told me about a little girl she babysits and how she overheard her mom saying that on the phone about her little sister. Going into preschool. So she told her, of course. “We aren’t sure you have what it takes to survive something as pivotal as preschool. We are scared for you.”

Adolescence is a strong time for shame, it’s that way for everyone. It’s a time of forming identity and shame directs us to make better choices, social choices. We can privately live with our guilt, but shame can build in to something sinister if it’s not jostled around a little and brought  to light and shared, communed.

“Yeah, a girl lost interest in me cuz I farted once! lol So what? lol”
Some kids can’t do that. They don’t know how. Their parents don’t know how and so compulsory education can feel a lot like prison.

Some people do need to sit with shame, for a sec. Right? Some rich world leaders need to learn to sit with shame, duh! But our children and our teenagers? They haven’t had enough time to settle in to the practice of being a “bad person.” They are shitty one day, popped with guilt, nice the next.

They need to know that.

They need to know that whatever happens they belong here, they have a place even if its not in high school.

How do we do that? Easily and for free! I am not even kidding.

Bear with me, I know I am libtarded.

At Life we volunteered once a week. I do not remember any of the programs other than the one that revolutionized my thinking. St. Mary’s was a very small children’s hospital in a one story brick building. Did not know those things existed. We went in and there were a row of babies in bouncy chairs on the ground. One had a giant tumor covering most of the left side of his face and the other one…. have you ever had those nightmares where you feel like you are stuck in mud though you need to run and you are pretty sure you can’t possibly be paralyzed? Or where you need to scream bloody murder and nothing is coming out? Little Baby Edwin was sitting there red and purple and tan faced and hardly a whisper was coming out.

Excuse me?

Little Baby Edwin! Hello! And when I picked him up he stopped instantly. That’s all his nightmare needed.  “How old is he?! What is his last name?! Where are his parents?! Does he even have any parents?!” Crazy needs more information!!! They couldn’t give me any more information. Laws and stuff. I did go see some of the other children but I could not stop going back to Edwin and his friend. This baby too was so moving. I held him too and he never took his eyes off me even as I tended to Edwin. He never cried but he never took his eyes away. Wow. I remember that.

Oh shit, someone needs me.

This is the root of it. Do we need to just let go of our arguing and let that be the final solution? No! You know I am far more holistic in my thinking.

Why isn’t community outreach compulsory for our adolescents? They need to be a part of something bigger. They are a part of something bigger. We need to let them get involved. Get them out of this prison! If math is compulsory, even though stress makes it almost impossible to be attentive to details enough to be good at, why can’t connecting with our community be compulsory?! How can we expect them to grow in to good people if we don’t give them a reason why?

OUR FOUNDING FATHERS COULD NOT HAVE IMAGINED THIS.

They did not know that one day our children would be robbed of purpose.

“What?! There are Injuns out there effing with our way of life! There is still so much to explore! We need our young men and women, ALWAYS! Hello!”

Trump doesn’t really strike me as someone who would really get behind this solution. He doesn’t really seem like the type. Neither would have Hillary. I mean, she would smile and say through teeth that are a part but just barely, “Oh this is a great solution to a huge problem that won’t cost or make anybody any money. Oh, yes, a feminine solution. I’m so in to this. People organizing and stuff.”

You see, my blog is not a Real Simple blog. Duh! It has no business going viral. But this is a Real Simple message.

I need this message to reach the right people in order for it to be implemented.

This has to happen.

Community outreach needs to be compulsory. Our adolescents need to be out working for free, for credit. Every year, middle school through high school. We need them.

One thought on “Guns

  1. Beautifully expressed. Far bigger than guns as the author captures best with the recognition of the root – our children robbed of purpose. A lot of history and honesty here that certainly couldn’t have been easy to do. It brought her to this point of being able to offer a way for kids to connect to a purpose, to something bigger, to change the thoughts of doing violence. She has given us a clear, practical action and when it should be done for kids. Not some psychobabble or feel-good politics. Something that works. She is to be commended.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s