Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An Apology to the Newtown Community #Newtown #sandyhook

Dear Sandy Hook Community,
I sit at my computer with tears in my eyes and pain in my heart as I write this.  I need to apologize.  We failed you.  We saw the signs, but didn't know what to do.  As classmates, we shunned him.  As members of the community, we labeled him.  As mental health professionals, we knew he wasn't right.  But yet none of us did anything.  Why?  We didn't know it was so serious.  We didn't understand.  We didn't know what to do or were powerless to do anything.  We can't do anything with people we feel just aren't quite right.  Or for that matter, for people we fear.  Unless they threaten harm, we can't do anything at all, but wait.  And pray.

And so, we failed you.  We failed to have enough laws, provisions or facilities that would have kept Adam in a safe place, where he wouldn't be able to harm others.  We failed to recognize mental illness as a legitimate illness; one that requires intensive medical care.  We failed to embrace this boy who was smart, but different.   We failed to have empathy or sympathy for him.  We turned our backs on him.  On his family.  Instead, we labeled him as weird or different.  We ignored him.  And we went on with our lives.

The saddest thing is, we are doing it over and over again in this country.  We have countless kids who feel different.  Who are left out.  Who are labeled.  Who have mental health issues.  So I must apologize for the few that will fall deeper and deeper into psychosis because there is no lifeline.  For the few who will take drastic measures.  For the few who will destroy lives.  For the few who will destroy innocent babies.

I am sorry.  So deeply sorry.  I am one person.  Just one.  But I will do everything in my power to educate others about what may have lead to this tragedy.  I will do everything in my power to teach others to embrace those who are different.  I will do everything in my power to educate people on warning signs.  I will do everything in my power to advocate for mental health services.  I will do everything in my power to  prevent another "Newtown."  I will do my best to provide a lifeline.

But for this moment, all I can offer is "I am sorry."

Sincerely,
Ann

2 comments:

Hobbies on a Budget said...

It's so hard to know what to do when someone seems different. It's hard to recognize when there is a real potential problem. I can only pray that the children I interact with will see God in me and understand their personal worth and the value of each life.

Amy said...

God is the Life-line. Ours and theirs. He created each person unique and special. We need to show those around us how much they mean to HIM! That they are important. That GOD cares about them throught the way we live our lives. Shining His light to a dark world! He is the solution!

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