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As my sister sent a notice to our family group chat this morning, explaining why she didn't have to student teach today, I started to wonder why people are the way they are. If you're unaware of what I'm referring to, basically a young woman (only 18 years old from Miami, FL) was in the Denver area with a shotgun, who had made threats to the Denver-area schools. This young woman was infatuated with the Columbine shooting, and allegedly had violent intentions. She had bought the shotgun when she arrived in Colorado, and was eventually found, apprehended, and then died (All credit for this information to the local news stations in Denver).
The schools all around Denver had been forced to go on lockdown Tuesday, and were cancelled school altogether Wednesday. My family and I were very concerned for my sister, the students and faculty, and this young woman who clearly needed help.
The difference between my father and mother was seen when my dad called her a "crazy loon," and my mom said "praise God, she can get the help she needs" (when we found out she had been caught). Seeing these contrasting texts, I realized that people with violent intentions need help, too.
If you know me, or have seen my instagram, or have read my blog posts, you will know I am a strong advocate for mental health. It is an important issue that needs to be de-stigmatized, and needs resources to support those dealing with mental illnesses. However, I realized today that people with violent intentions and tendencies, have mental health issues, as well, and they need help, too.
When you're a little kid, teachers may say "take a deep breath, calm down" but how well does that technique help when a teenager feels an impulse to hurt someone else? Personally, I don't believe I will ever be able to understand what these people go through. Often times, people with these thoughts do not understand why they're having these thoughts. I don't think it is any of our desires to intentionally hurt another person, whether emotionally or physically. However, many people are okay with hurting themselves after they have hurt others. This violent intent comes from the desire to feel something, or to hurt someone, or something that you feel has hurt you.
I can't tell you the amount of times I have punched my pillow. My pillow hasn't done anything to me, but I'm letting out the anger I feel in that moment. If I let this anger boil and boil and boil, I suppose I could feel some type of rage. You could, too. No one is immune to hurt feelings, to anger, or sadness. We all have a range of emotions, and even those who do not (because of a mental disorder, chemical imbalance in their brain!), we all need help understanding and balancing our emotions.
Maybe you have these thoughts, and don't know what to do. I will be here for you. I promise. I want to help research places where you can get proper help, and others can hear your story and go through life with you. Everyone deserves to be heard, everyone deserves the voice they are given.
This quote that I use as the picture for this post is a great everyday reminder that how we react to things is the most essential part to the healthiness of our lives, and can be a sign that something is going on as a deeper issue. It may not be your fault that you get angry very easily, or lash out in violent ways, you just need to be heard. Everyone can get the help they need, it is just the first obstacle that is, and always will be, the hardest: admitting to someone you need help. That was the hardest for me and many other people I know. Maybe you don’t feel like you can talk to any of your friends or family, that is okay, go see a therapist or a psychologist. There is no shame in this. There is never any shame in getting the help you think you need.
I have to remind myself of these things when I see news reports of school shooters, brutal attacks on all religions worldwide, and all of the other madness in our world. There may be some people who truly do seek to cause havoc, but there are also people who simply need their voice to be heard, and may think there is no other option than a violent outburst.
I wonder what Sol’s story was. I wish she had not taken her own life because she needed to tell her story, so that the world could learn from the mistakes people may have made to hurt her. Let’s learn from our mistakes. Let’s not let another teenager fall through the cracks of the system into a violent downward spiral, but rather encourage our youth to build each other up. Let’s make this world a better place one step at a time.