As I'm scrolling through my facebook wall and twitter stream for the last 48+ hours since the SandyHook school shooting by Adam Lanza, all I can do is shake my head and sigh heavily.
Everyone keeps saying not to remember Adam Lanza's name, that it gives him fame. Anderson Cooper is saying it as a reporter covering the story, posts are being shared with quotes from Morgan Freeman saying that giving Adam Lanza's face media time and by remembering him, we'll make the next monster come out seeking attention and try to top his numbers....to have fame in death rather than kill themselves quietly in their basement as a "nobody".
Well, Adam Lanza is dead....he cannot garner any of the emotional payback everyone thinks he sought by doing what he did. The attention people seek when doing things to become famous, need to be alive to gather that "payback" for their actions. So, all this "forget this evil monster's name, and remember the innocent victims names instead" is just bullshit....and here is why.
And, first let me say this..I have the deepest empathy and sympathy for the families of the 26 people shot and killed in the school. As a mother of a 7 year old little boy, so vibrant and full of life, who makes me laugh every day.... I look at my son, the age of most of the children killed, and cannot even imagine what him not being in my world would be like.I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like for those parents and families. It breaks my heart.
If You do What You Always Do, You Get What You Always Get
Just as the 26 innocent people Adam's mental illness caused him to take out of this world along with himself and his mother- Lanza, the mentally ill 20 year old young man who did this was not a nobody, and he needs to NOT be forgotten. Because, forgetting the "monster" is what we always want to do. We are quick to label mental illness and then ignore it to try to justify a senseless act by saying it was evil, while we show the victim's families our sympathy and share their sorrow to try and comfort them.
But, if we forget Adam Lanza, and sit in the justification that remembering him, and trying to figure out why he did what he did, is some how spitting in the face of the victims....we will be doing what we always do, and we will get what we always get.
If we do not look at WHY this happened and what made him do this and look at the ways that we as a society can make changes to try and prevent this kind of thing from happening again, it will happen again.
There will be another Adam Lanza we are all told to not remember while we watch a community bury 26 people who died because we decided to ignore who the last mass killer was.
I have compassion for Adam Lanza- The killer, the 20 year old young man who was A HUMAN BEING, not a monster, not evil. Essentially still a child himself, who was afflicted with mental instabilities, an untreated mental illness, who was ignored by the medical society, and shunned by schoolmates, family, peers, and by society in general.
Adam Lanza is a son of your nation, a "product" of how a society as a whole handles mental illness.
Here in Canada with national health care coverage...when I have to fight for years to have my daughter seen by a medical department to deal with the issues that high functioning autism,ADHD and being gifted brings with it ( the mood swings and temper tantrums, the anxiety, the OCD, and oppositional defiance) there is something wrong with how we handle people afflicted innocently with different brain wiring.
If we decide to forget Adam Lanza and ignore why people like him need help BEFORE they get three ( or more) guns and go off and kill 26 people, we are just going to be doing this again next week, next month, next year.
When will we decide to stop ignoring the Adam Lanza's of the world and get them and their parents the help that they need? When the next one kills 38, or maybe 49? Is over 50 enough? how about 100? 1200? When?
When I can stand on my own door step in my little village and be screamed at by my neighbours and called "f*ing crazy" because I have ADHD and children with special needs and I don't hide it in my community, there is a serious problem with society and how we treat people with mental health struggles. We either dismiss them by calling them crazy and not wanting them around, or we ignore them and bury our heads in the sand thinking it won't affect us... until they grab a gun and kill 26 people out of what is probably desperation, fear, anger, frustration, and pure illness in a psychotic break from reality.
So, hate me for saying this if you want.....feel guilty for being one of the ones who re tweets the "let's not remember that monster's name"......I'm not upset at YOU, you are just doing what we as a society has always done. But, it's time for change. Are you going to stick your head back in the sand?
Then, afterwards...tell me... what are you going to do as a part of our society to ensure that the Adam Lanza's of the world get the help they need to help stop this kind of thing from happening again?
Me? I'm not going to shut up and be quiet about my ADHD, or my daughter's aspergers, and how our medical society ignores mental health. If we are in control of ourselves and just a "little weird" and considered crazy and treated wit prejudiced....people with mental illnesses who can end up harming themselves and others when reality and psychosis lines are blurred really need a voice, I can help be that voice..... I'm not going to stop fighting for the help we need to make sure kids like my daughter and also the Adam Lanza's of the world become productive, healthy members of society, rather than the forgotten "crazy people".
I will continue to speak up about people in my community who try to shun us because we are different. I will be the mom fighting for the medical help and treatments the children like Adam Lanza need. It is not much I am only one person. But I will keep fighting the prejudice people with mental health issues have to fight against to get help.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
? Albert Einstein
So, I chose to remember Adam Lanza.
I chose to remember the 28 dead from this tragedy that was caused by a society who would rather ignore the "f*ing crazy" and bury their heads in the sand and pretend it is not there, when it comes to helping those among us who were not blessed with typical brain wiring, until it can't be ignored.
Prejudice, fear, hate and lack of medical help for those among us who have to deal with mental health issues with our children is what killed 28 people on friday. Talk about gun control all you want ( it IS a factor) but, the gun was just the tool, and Adam Lanza was just the face of the big white elephant named Mental illness we all ignore in the room.
I will not forget Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Madeline Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Emilie Parker,Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison Wyatt, Rachel Davino, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Dawn Hocksprung, and also, Adam Lanza, and his mother Nancy Lanza.