Monday, December 05, 2016

That could have been me....

I've just watched a well crafted video on face book "put together by the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings..."

The video is really classy with a surprise ending - and not to put anyone down - I think that it misses the mark completely.  Instead of me thinking yes, I need to be more aware, my kids need to be more aware, it disturbed me on a intimate personal level.

I could have been that kid.  

Not the victim.

The killer.

No one thinks of me that way.  And I am not that person now.

But I had it in me.  When I was 9 years old I chased a boy who had been bullying me with a butcher knife through our apartment complex.  By the grace of God, that boy was just fast enough to stay two feet ahead of me. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have hurt him with that knife.

By Junior high I was not only writing suicidal, depressed poetry, I wrote a play in which I killed every member of my family and then myself.

I won an award for it.  

I know that boy.  I could have been him. 

I googled "What Do We know About the Sandy Hook Shooter?"   I needed the answers to 2 questions: 

 What was Adam Lanza like as a pre-schooler or younger?  And were his parents divorced?


A child's personality set by first grade.  All the building blocks for a destructive personality will be in place by first grade.  The best chance to influence and impact a child's personality are loving, consistent, active, and involved primary care givers during these formative years of life.  Who are the primary caregivers?  Who or what spends the most time interacting with a child?  Adam Lanza was shown to be delayed developmentally - but the later impact had  more to do with how the delay was dealt with and "who" dealt with the delay.  

Which brings me to the second question. Were his parents divorced?

Divorce is a trauma that effects a child their entire life.   I think it is really about the consistent role of two involved and engaged parents - the ideal environment for this is a committed marriage, but the key is in the family relationships, not the marriage certificate.   (Not all children of divorce will become mass murders obviously, but there is a whole host of statistical evidence that proves it is a trauma most children struggle to deal with their entire lives.  Children of  divorce are more likely to consider suicide and self medicate with drugs or alcohol among other issues.)

The  pain of divorce on an insecure, unliked, awkward child who didn't quite fit in ... devastating. 

That video  passionately put together by the parents of those lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy doesn't ask either of these questions.  The only one it seems to ask, actually, is "Did this boy like guns?"  

I think that's the wrong question to be asking. 

(You can read what changed me here.)

If you haven't seen it - The video is here: