This week is finally over, and a quieter weekend on tap #Mentalhealth

Goodness, this has been a long week. Work has been extra difficult and busy for me. Jimmy’s health wears on me in hidden ways. But at least there are no major plans for the weekend.

Most of the time my work is pretty steady. I take a certain number of call each day, send and reply to e-mails. This week for a number of reasons that work load seemingly doubled. Every day when I got home (or when my day ended) I was just mentally wiped out. It was a real strain. Not the physical drain that Kim deals with, instead a mental strain. It is hard to complain about it when my job is seemingly pretty easy, but for me this was a long difficult week.

Having Jimmy out every day also took a toll. Watching your son being unable to eat for a week, when normally he is your typical voracious teenager is a shock. I know he will get through it, but it is still hard to deal with. Here is a boy that normally is full of life, wrestling, leading his friends in physical work, always very active. And instead this week all he can do is walk up and down the stairs, sit and watch TV or read, and sleep, with no physical energy at all. That is really hard to deal with as a parent, especially when you have no control, or even anything you can really do to make him feel better.

But at least this should be a light weekend. We are going over to Kim’s Aunt and Uncle’s house on Sunday for a while, but otherwise there are no major plans. Jimmy will have his normal therapy on Saturday, and Danny is spending the night with his cousin. And hopefully Kim and I can get out for dinner at least on Saturday night. Otherwise I plan to maybe paint, do some cleaning and organizing. Mom and I are going to work on a project for our house.

Last, a bit of a rant:

Okay, I am going to call out the GOP and their stance on gun control. Because yesterday we had yet another mass shooting, a shooting that could have been prevented in any number of ways. First, I do agree with Obama’s statement:

No other advanced nation endures this kind of violence. None. Here in America, the murder rate is three times what it is in other developed nations. The murder rate with guns is ten times what it is in other developed nations. … [W]e Americans are not an inherently more violent people than folks in other countries. We’re not inherently more prone to mental health problems. The main difference that sets our nation apart, what makes us so susceptible to so many mass shootings, is that we don’t do enough. We don’t take the basic, common-sense actions to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. What’s different in America is it’s easy to get your hands on [guns].

I think the Death merchants and their NRA Goebbels have a stranglehold on our discourse in this country. A stranglehold bought and paid for by the money earned by the manufacture and sale of weapons of destruction with no regard for anything beyond profits.

But let’s put that aside for a moment. For the sake of argument, let’s go with the ideas of ‘an armed society is a polite society’ and ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’. And then go with the following from a GOP Senator, candidate for President, and leader of those who opposed national gun control after Newtown:

Guns are not the problem,” Rubio asserted. “Criminals with evil in their hearts and mentally ill people prone to violence are.” In a Fox News interview, Rubio elaborated: “The issue America faces is not guns. It’s violence. I think the fundamental question is what is happening in our culture and in our society that’s leading to people committing these atrocities, whether it’s mental illness or some other violent propensities that have come into our culture.”

Okay, then here is my question. If this is a mental health issue, why is mental health care not a number one priority in this country? Why is mental health instead stigmatized? Why is every serial killer on TV clearly mentally ill? Why do we celebrate TV and movie characters who would clearly be considered mentally ill for all the violence they dish out? Why does Congress refuse to prioritize the mental health of the veterans who they have sent overseas to fight unnecessary wars?

I have had close friends commit suicide, acquaintances commit suicide, and an old friend go to jail, and there are 2 things that linked all of them. First, easy access to firearms. Second, their mental health issues were not properly treated and dealt with. Our country too easily subscribes to an approach of ‘suck it up, and move on’ when it comes to mental health. If you child broke an arm, or got sick, you would take them to a doctor and make sure to care for them. But if a child is having mental problems, refusing to go to school, trouble dealing with other kids, we just tell them to suck it up and get moving.

So the next time one of my conservative friends says that we don’t need more gun laws, that the people who are committing these acts are just mentally ill I will ask where are they supposed to get help? Where is the support for mental health? Are there little clinics for mental health? How do they pay for medications they might need? If they truly thought that all these mass shootings were caused by a massive surge in mentally ill people they should be making sure those mentally ill people were getting the treatment they need.


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