Ducky Diaries: February 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The face of Mental Illness: We are not your excuse.

Where have I been? You could say, somewhere between despair and just trying to live life. I have been down, and down some more, and seemingly okay, and flitting between small glimmers of happiness and "I'm okay".  

Over the past year I have worked to claw my way to the surface of mental health. You see, I have lived through every major trauma as a child, at the hands of people who were meant to be my protectors.  I have PTSD.

 I AM MENTALLY ILL.

-Physically abused
-Mentally abused
-Emotionally abused
-Sexually abused

I am technically an 'orphan'. 

Here's what I'm not doing:
Shooting down innocent children/people.

Here's what I am doing:
Therapy with a knowledgeable trauma counselor.
Coping strategies.
TALKING TO MY SUPPORT NETWORK.
Reaching out at vulnerable times.

America, I am not your excuse.  

Please don't use me to justify heinous actions. Please don't coddle me and my broken brain by making premeditated murder seem like a cry for help. Don't use mental illness as your catch all. Don't lump the 99% of us who are not a threat to anyone but ourselves in with the 1% who wish to harm others. 

What we could do instead of blaming guns and blaming those with mental illness, is to make mental health a bigger priority in our fast paced stressful nation. We could make counseling and therapy a more affordable, easier to obtain option. We could take away the stigma. We could do more to reach out. We could offer our employees time off when needed. We could do a better job of checking in with our students and young people. We could fix the gaping holes in our welfare departments and Children Protective Services. We could do so much more for the lost. 

However...... what we're not going to do here sis, is try to make a monster into a saint. 

It's not the guns, it's the people behind them. Unfortunately.... Some people are capable of evil things simply because the evil in them is greater than the good. 

Anyone who would devise a plan, a thorough plan, with a history of violence, who has knowingly made threats, doesn't seem like someone with a mental illness to me. Sure they sound mentally disturbed but they also seem highly intelligent and capable of putting a solid plan in place to do malice. 

Those of us with actual mental health issues are having trouble doing things like getting out of bed, going to the store, facing people, quieting racing minds, breathing through a panic attack,  not taking innocent lives. 

                                            This is mental illness. This is not an excuse.
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