As an ex school social worker and a mom, I cannot imagine how to cope with the events of last week in Newtown, CT. I am not really coping very well. I have nothing to offer here except the questions that keep running through my head as I read post after post on FB and listen to endless coverage on the news (with my kids in the other room, of course).
- Why is my 6 year old son so drawn to guns, weapons, violent toys and movies? Is it better to let him fantasize with Lego Star Wars machine guns or forbid them and make them more enticing?
- Why is the mother always blamed in these situations? Why is everything our fault? I am sure this mother did her best and she obviously made mistakes but I wish they would give her a break. Yes it is dumb to have weapons in your home when you have a mentally ill child and yes she divorced and maybe she did other horrible things, but she lost her life for crying out loud. Moms make mistakes every day.
- When do you stop worrying about your kids? Based on my experience with my own mom, I guess never. But, I could hyperventilate thinking about the years of anxiety I have ahead of me. There is not enough Xanax.
- I have not told my kids (8,6 and 4) about what happened. With my social work training, I am as prepared as anyone to do so. But, they have not made any mention that they have any idea what happened and so I am going to preserve their innocence for as long as possible. At least this time.
- Since I have lived in Chicago I have seen many major mental health facilities close down or discontinue services. I worked at two of these places and know the amazing services they provided and understand the hole they have left in the community. We need them back.
- I have also seen countless children on the news every night killed by gunfire here in Chicago. I am ashamed to say I barely pay attention anymore. It is too overwhelming and painful and I feel helpless. But, enough is enough. The 2nd amendment was not intended to put semi-automatic weapons on the streets of Chicago or in an elementary school in Connecticut.