February 15, 2008

Too Much

Lately, we have been bombarded with news about heinous murders, such as the murder of a young pregnant woman by her police officer boyfriend, who was, also, the father of her little son who witnessed the murder of his mother. He was left, alone in the home with his dead mother, for at least a day or more..a toddler left to scrounge for survival on his own. His statements were, "Mommie's in the rug." "Mommie was crying." "Mommie broke the table." The man whose job it was to protect the public, killed the mother of his child, and left him alone with her dead body. What causes a human being to act in this fashion?

In the past few days, there was a round up here in the city of a large gang who was wreaking havoc in the community, which included the mother of three of the members. And then, of course, the shooting deaths at the university in Illinois, including the suicide of the shooter, and the horrifying, hacking murder of a psychologist in New York. It is almost too much to take in, all at once.

I thought that I would write something about mental illness, and its effect, not only on the perpetrator and his victim, but on the families of both, also. I wanted to try to make some sense out of it all, to myself, if no one else. But I can't. I have read a lot about mental and emotional illness, and others have, at times, explained certain forms of it, and their personal experience with it, but it is far too complicated, too convoluted, it all of its forms to comprehend, much less to make sense of it.

I can't even imagine the pain of living with mental illness, and all that is endured by the families dealing with it, and its aftermath. I realize that many would say that a lot of what is done in the name of mental illness, is nothing more than the evil acts of an individual. Who is able to judge such a thing? I know that I am not, and even trying to come to terms with it, and all of its ramifications, leaves me in sorrow. Sorrow for those whose lives will never be the same because of it, and sorrow over what is taken from each and everyone of us each time that we witness such events that transpire on a daily basis.

When we see those whose job it is to protect us and to keep us safe, commit these acts, our trust is diminished, to a degree, in all others who are sworn to protect us.

There was a time when we felt, most of us, that we lived in a safe and secure world, but I for one, feel that slipping away from us all.