I really don’t want to comment on the mass shootings, but I came across the above article, and felt it was necessary to share and comment. The above article shares how a large percentage of mass shooters come from what is now termed ACE backgrounds, which stands for adverse childhood experiences. ACE’s include anything that causes mental or physical harm to the child: mental, physical, or sexual abuse, divorce, poverty, addictions, witnessing assaults, etc. The more prolonged the exposure or experience, the more damage is done, including potentially altering the structure and function of the brain irreversibly.
When you physically and mentally beat down a child year after year, when you violate who they are in the core of their being, when you have no respect or regard for their very life, eventually this child will reach a breaking point. It happens all the time. The severely bullied child eventually fights back. The abused spouse one day kills her husband. The CIA operative imprisoned for a long enough time cracks. The brain and body can only take so much. I unfortunately speak from experience when I say these things. I experienced such a high number of ACEs, I honestly shouldn’t be alive, but with God’s help, I survived and halfway have had a decent life, even thriving on occasion. Without God, I would be dead, and quite possibly could have killed someone along the way. In my youth, when I was about fifteen years old, my older sibling attacked me. She was suffering from many ACEs herself. She was raped as a child and suffered all that results from that, not receiving any help. In addition to that, she was bullied at school. Mixing the resulting PTSD, borderline personality, multiple personality type of issues that resulted from this abuse with her normal personality charactersitics, she became quite the bully to me. I suffered with her mental and physical abuse for at least ten years. One day, I was trying to record a program on the TV, so she could watch her show. I wasn’t being nice. She had me trained to do this, because I was never allowed to watch a show. Only she could watch. I had to watch my stuff whenever she was busy with other things. I wasn’t being fast enough, so she came and violently pushed me away from the TV. I fell against an old TV and some other stuff along the wall, which caused an injury in my side. I was in such pain, and was so angry at the years of mistreatment, that I just reached my breaking point. Ten years of abuse and anger and pain just all rolled up inside me all at once and I ran to the kitchen, got a knife, and attacked my sibling.
Little quiet, nice, peaceful, loving little girl that I was, attacked someone with a knife. Because they hated me and attacked me first. I simply had had enough. At that point in my life, prior to that event, I could have identified with some of these neo-Nazi types. I had begun to hate everybody and everything. I was so filled with hate, I could probably taste it. If you knew me in real life, you would find it hard to believe I could kill an insect. But this is who I was for a few of my teen years. Why? Because my mother ignored me or belittled me often. Because my demented grandmother enjoyed watching me undress and called me sexy. Because another relative laid on top of me when he was drunk. Because my older sibling played mind twisting games on me and bullied me daily. Because my father was absent. Because kids at school pushed me on a regular basis and put gum in my hair so that my mother had to cut it all off and I looked like a boy. And that’s just the half of it. You can’t do these things to a child and expect them to be a normal, healthy functioning child who loves everybody!
I reached my breaking point. And lots of other kids and adults in America are reaching their breaking point too. We can outlaw all the guns we want (I personally agree in outlawing machine guns that fire multiple rounds-why should anyone need those?), but people will still kill people. They will kill with knives as in the recent CA attack. They will kill with baseball bats, as I think Ted Bundy or someone like that did. They will find other weapons. You can’t outlaw baseball bats. Why are we putting bandaids on the problem? Why are we NOT SOLVING THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM?
The root cause of the problem is that people are angry. They are angry at the very core of their being. They are angry because they are not valued for who they are. They are angry because they are not respected. They are angry because they have to suffer in poverty. They are angry because nobody listens to them. They are angry. This problem is not just about mass shootings. Is it about gang violence. Is it about domestic violence. In all of these situations, you do not have kids or adults growing up in happy, healthy homes. You have kids and adults that are angry about something, that hate people. There are lots of people who disagree with immigration policies, but they don’t kill lots of people. Why? Because they were probably raised in a good, decent home, and were taught how do have a normal conversation with people and to just change laws, not to kill people. These mass shooters and gang leaders likely were not raised in a loving home or didn’t go to a respectful school. Again, it’s about ANGER and HATE. These mass shooters are angry and they are projecting their anger on whatever current situation or people they can find. But deep down in their soul, they are likely angry at whoever abused them as a child.
America has a problem. The problem is that we do not value families, children, life, respect, or human decency. This is our problem. We do not know how to properly raise children. We have these never-ending cycles of abuse. It is rare nowadays to find a healthy, functioning family. Really rare. Those families should win the Nobel Prize or something and teach everybody else what they are doing. If we want to get rid of gang violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, and child abuse, we NEED TO LEARN HOW TO RAISE CHILDREN AND HAVE A HEALTHY FAMILY. We simply need to learn this. We also need to VALUE LIFE and stop being a culture of death! If we celebrate death and glorify it and don’t value life at all, and we teach that to kids, why are we surprised when they don’t value life-their own or other’s lives? We also need to value each other’s unique personalities. In the Bible, we see Adam was a tiller of the ground and Eve was a mother. In the book of Genesis, we see after this that their children and grandhildren are described as having various gifts and careers. One was a musician, one worked with tools. They were very different from each other. From the very beginning, everyone was given particular talents and gifts that reflected a particular aspect of God and provided something necessary for life on Earth, both physical gifts (athlete) or mental/spiritual gifts (writer/prophet). We no longer value this in America. Unless you are a doctor, lawyer, computer engineer, athlete, or accountant, or some variation, you are not appreciated and are told that you will never be successful. If you tell someone you have visions, you are put in a mental institution. If you want to just draw paintings for the rest of your life,you are told you have to get a day job, a REAL job, as if your natural talents are not good enough for the “real” world. In other countries around the world, these people are valued, but in America they are belittled or imprisoned. This is not right. It is not right to tell the beautiful, peaceful quiet child that they should “speak up for themselves” or “talk more often” or “don’t be so sensitive”.
We need to learn how to teach children to respect one another for who they are. If you see a child that is starting to misbehave, analyze if they just need attention or if they are angry about something. If they are ignored long enough, they will seek attention by killing more people than the last person did. If nobody addresses the root cause of their anger, they will take out their anger on whoever finally tips them over the edge. I really that there are not so many children or adults that are just born evil. They are made that way. I believe that if all children grow up in an environment where they have everything they need, are respected, and allowed to do what they love, and get all the healthy attention they need, they will be decent, loving human beings and will have no desire to kill lots of people. We have to learn how to respect and value one another, no matter their personality. We need to learn proper discipline for all personality types. The following website is a good one for teaching proper discipline and problem solving with families. https://www.positivediscipline.com/articles/problem-solving (Tells a story about a child’s right to be angry that his parents ignored his pain and how they resolved it.)
Just some last notes, please stop teaching bullied children to fight back and to stand up for themselves, to be more aggressive, something that is against their natural personality. Stop being the individuals that told Jesus Christ to fight back when they slapped him and beat him. Jesus didn’t have the problem. His attackers did. I didn’t have a problem when I was fifteen. My older sister did. Teach the bullies to stop being bullies. It’s okay if one is born slightly more aggressive or a leader. The proper response to this characteristic is to steer it into a healthy direction, such as using that aggression only to protect a life or to be a wise and moral leader. Teach the bully to respect others for who they are or to try to talk to others, not beat them up because they are different.
And we need to stop stealing kids from families and putting them into systems that make their trauma worse. We simply need to teach families to be better. The last sentence in the link above is important. The author says we need to focus not on punishment but on healing. This is what children of abuse need, to learn and heal, not to be blamed and punished for something that originated from someone else harming them. If we keep up this blame and imprisonment cycle, with no healing taking place, our society will only get worse. We need to educate families and children and provide for healing in a healthy, non-threatening, non-forceful manner. I will never forget the feeling of hearing police sirens and knowing that they were coming for me. For all my mother didn’t do right, I will forever be grateful she convinced the police to let her take me to the hospital with my sibling and not to be handcuffed and go in the police car. She really did care about me. It soon became apparent that my sibling had the major problems, not me, and she started her journey to healing. I turned to Christ and books and began my own journey to healing. I have not accomplished much in life, but I had done much good. I’ve written a lot and have two beautiful babies who so far are turning out pretty good and have not suffered much trauma, except for the aches of poverty. If I had gone to jail, the damage would have been irreparable.
Also, I encourage the Christian church to be a real church again-healing, helping, and teaching people, instead of judging them and using people’s money to buy fancy suits instead of meeting their basic needs and saving their lives. The reasons I healed a lot was because I got an education that involved learning biology and psychology, I became a Christian and read the Bible a lot, and I gained a lot of friends and acquaintanaces in college that filled me with love and acceptance (and Joel Osteen’s positive messages helped a bit too-I think people judge him too harshly, but that’s another story).
WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. You can heal from any abusive background. You can restore your brain to health. You can lead a normal, healthy, joy filled life. If you and we as a society treat the mind and body and society as God designed it to be treated. God commands us to raise children with love and proper discipline. Discipline primarily means to teach and properly communicate. We Americans have a lot more learning to do.