Make it Stop

violence 2


I first saw it on FB  (that won’t surprise anyone.  1. that it was on FB and 2. that is where I get  my news alerts).

A friend had posted that her husband, who works at the Navy Yard, was safe.  Confused, I turned on the television only to learn that yet another person had taken innocent lives with a gun.

My  first reaction was out and out anger. I was pissed!

After watching too much news coverage on the local news,  I returned to the ‘source’ and saw a friend’s FB post about “death to the Yankees” (clearly a die hard Red Sox fan).   I gently asked if he would  consider squashing or obliterating the Yankees in light of the recent news.  He had, of course, not heard about the tragedy at the Navy Yard and quickly deleted the unintentional faux pax (Yankees or no Yankees).

This most recent tragedy is really eating at me.  I am an emotional person and always experience the sadness and loss of these senseless acts; but the amount of anger that is upon me was unexpected.

Tonight a client  told me about his five year old misbehaving.   Apparently this adorable kindergartener had “decorated” his bathroom with his sister’s make-up. He did this not once or twice, but as of last night, FIVE times.  His dad and I discussed his consequences and how they escalated in severity with each new lavatory masterpiece. We questioned what might be driving his behavior: negative attention, resentment at sister or just a budding artist?

Five times? He took his sister’s make-up five times?  What can his parents do to help him learn from his mistakes? How can he convey whatever the message is that he is trying to communicate? There is clearly something amiss in the dynamics of this family system.

I return to the latest violence.  Five times? I wish it had only been five times that some mentally ill person had taken a gun and redecorated the lives of an innocent family.  What  is the dynamic of this system? How many consequences  need to occur before some parents somewhere get their act together and stop this misbehaving?

I can still be stunned when one of my kids looks at me as the “grown-up”, the one to make a decision, the one to make it right.  Is it me, my peers, we adults that have to curb the insanity of this misbehaving?

I feel powerless.

I can vote, I can lobby and I can work diligently on the issues of mental health, but I can’t stop this insanity.  An elementary school, a high school, a college, a movie theater, a marathon.  These are our places, these are our lives, these are our friends and families that are getting killed – when will the grown ups make it stop?


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