Blogger’s Note: As an Alcoholic with 16+ years of sobriety, I can relate to a lot of what Misty is sharing about the abuse she had to overcome in order to be able to live a somewhat normal life as an adult. I am a Christian and Jesus Christ is my higher power and that faith combined with the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous saved my life. For every Aaron F Park there are 20 more alcoholics that never get over their addiction. Think it through as you are asking questions about the powder kegs society is creating that execute mass shootings. Look through the political cheap shots to what is really going on. Misty has been a friend for 10+ years and her approach is different than mine (vis a vis faith) but her story is compelling and her information and solutions are solid.
Everyone is asking what is causing these Mass Shootings. Where there warning signs? If there were, then why didn’t anyone notice? I’m here to tell you there were MANY warning signs that these young people were displaying, before these horrific incidents occurred. No one paid attention or knew how to see them.
Everyone wants to automatically think this is about guns and mental health. There are a number of issues occurring, that are creating unstable human beings willing and wanting to kill others. If we only focus on guns, you’re essentially putting a band-aide on a wound that requires stiches. These young people have something much more dangerous lurking within them. They are angry and they have zero support that will help them to release it. Everyone in their life has failed them, one way or another. This kind of anger doesn’t manifest itself over night. It slowly simmers to a roaring boil. A lot of you aren’t understanding the amount of hatred and isolation that occurs within these young adults lives. Why? Because the vast majority of you have never lived in a world like it before.
I spent over 20 years being so angry over what happened to me growing up, that I seriously wanted to kill my Biological mother. I almost did the night of my HS Graduation. She drove up to the house and I overheard an argument between my Grandparents about Cathy coming up to the house. I stormed in and said, “SHE BETTER NOT BE HERE, OR I’LL KILL HER!” I was dead serious. In that moment my Grandfather dragged and locked me in his master bathroom and yelled at my Dad, and said Teak, get Cathy out of here NOW. I can’t hold Misty back another minute. In that minute, I broke through and ran outside with my car keys aiming to run her over with my car until I saw blood. My Dad got to her just in the Knick of time and she left. I was beyond furious!
Why would I want to kill my own mother? That woman Psychologically, Emotionally, and Physically abused me every single day for 13 years. She threatens to kill me multiple times and twice tried too, by beating me almost to death. She never faced justice for the crimes she committed against me. In my mind, I needed to punish her by taking her out. She also dumped us at a relative’s house that just continued the nightmare. There I was isolated to my bedroom and I wasn’t allowed out for ANY reason, besides the bathroom. Sadly, Rae Gleeson was a witness to this abusive behavior. Finally, when I decided I had enough, I told this relative I would rather kill myself, then be abused anymore. What did that get me? She sent me to Alvarado Mental Hospital. I was locked up for a week, because I said, “I would rather kill myself, than to be abused anymore.” I was LIVID at life. I couldn’t justify what I did, to merit these atrocious actions. My Grandparents finally realized everything and fought to get me out of the mental hospital. After that, they fought for guardianship and won.
My life has been threatened by more than one person. I had a parent try and destroy every fiber of my being. I was sent away to a mental hospital, when I tried to stick up for myself, when no one else would. To say I was angry, was an understatement. My Grandparents took me to counseling the minute they got custody. The therapist told them, there wasn’t much she could do for me. What I need most was LOVE. She said I needed to feel safe, I needed to feel love, and I needed to feel like I had support. She mentioned there would be a time, I would lash out and, in that moment, they need to be there for me. THAT night occurred 2 years later. In the middle of a heated argument I broke down. I finally said what a certain person said to me and I fell to the ground crying. If you know me, you know I barely cry. In that moment both of my Grandparents ran over to me and covered me in a gigantic hug. we sat there in the hug position for a LONG time. In that moment I knew REAL love, I had REAL support, and I FINALLY felt that I was safe. It was the first time in my ENTIRE life I felt this way. The anger started to melt away a little bit each day.
When my Grandfather died, when I was 24, I was angry again. This time I was angry at God. He took the very person that understood me the most away. What made it worse though was the fact, we were in a serious argument, and I was living in a hotel, because he wanted to see his daughter before he died. He knew we had a promise that she and I would never be in the same room together after what happened the evening of my Graduation. I was at the Best Western in Placerville and my Grandmother called. She tells me that my Grandfather is asking for me and says he’s dying. I race home, I see Cathy, but in this moment, I had to put my anger away to watch the single most important person in my life pass away. I never got a chance to say I’m sorry for being angry. My biggest regret in my entire life is and will always be that argument and us not forgiving each other. I let my anger get the best of me.
Today do I still want to kill my biological mother? No. Do I forgive her? Sort of. Most importantly and the hardest thing to forgive has been forgiving myself. I wouldn’t be who am today without Rae Gleeson, my Grandparents, and all of my friends and family that have stood by me. I was SCREAMING for help and in the end, I finally found the strength in me to help myself as much as I could. I survived everything, so that my Grandparents could give me, what I was craving, for the past 14 years.
In a recent Los Angeles Times Op’ed it talked about a study showing that these shooters one thing in common, they have experienced what I went through above in their background.
“First, the vast majority of mass shooters in our study experienced early childhood trauma and exposure to violence at a young age. The nature of their exposure included parental suicide, physical or sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and/or severe bullying. The trauma was often a precursor to mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, thought disorders or suicidality.”
In a family Dynamic that is a massive failure like mine was, how do you expect these young people to know what’s right and wrong? Who is there to tell them there’s a different way? CPS failed me multiple times for 14 years. The government FAILED! If you’re expecting the Government and legislation to solve these mass shootings, it will NEVER happen. I know this first hand. It is the responsibility of family and friends to step forward and fight for these young people. I was lucky, I had that. There’s so many out there that are drowning, and they feel like they have no hope. We need to work together to make sure our future generations don’t fall into the cracks and become consumed with hatred and hopelessness. Parents have to become more engaged and involved in their children’s lives. We need to support those parents that are trying to be good parents but need that extra help. TV can’t be the babysitter anymore. Medications can’t be the cure all. We need to be more active in these children’s lives. We need to make sure they have the proper tools to be productive members of society. I am not the norm. It’s a miracle that I turned out to be who I am today. Ask any District Attorney, Law Enforcement agent, or Therapist. They will all say I shouldn’t be who I am today with my background.
Second, society as a whole needs to step up to the plate. This atmosphere of hate is feeding those young people that are already angry, and extremely unstable. Since they don’t have the tools to release their anger from their upbringings, they think it’s acceptable to carry out these attacks, by what we say and do on TV, Social media, and from our politicians. Never in our country have we all been so connected. Words have consequences. We are desensitizing ourselves on violence, hatred, cruelty and racism. The media and our elected officials in both parties are at fault here. These young people are sponges and we are compounding the problem.
These young people, who are carrying out these mass shootings are craving something in their life. The anger they are displaying is dangerous and preventable. Saying this is a gun issue, is over simplifying the problem. You’re refusing to acknowledge the issues that are at play. It’s about these at-risk young people feeling worthless, alone, and unloved. It’s a social issue, with an atmosphere of hate filled rhetoric we constantly spew on social media and the internet. It’s a family issue, because somewhere in their life the family dynamic is broken. Parents weren’t there or unable to parent. If a parent needs help, we need to help them. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. We can’t stay only in our own lanes anymore. I know that my past occurred to me, so I can share it with you all today. We have to CHANGE the current conversation and start thinking outside of the box. Our Nation needs it, and our children deserve it.