A blog to share about Adrenal insufficiency, Addison's Disease, Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, Music, Inspiration, Scrapbooking and other elements viewed through the lens of my life. I'm hoping that others who are traveling this journey may find some commonality, and maybe some information and inspiration.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dinner and Guns

I know, an odd combination of topics. Oh well.

First, dinner:

I'm making Thai red beef Curry from this cookbook. We made it last week and decided it's worth repeating.

Because I work until 6 PM most nights, we either need dinners in the crock pot or things that cook quickly that my husband is willing to make. I'm too tired at the end of the day to start a cooking project.

Here's most of the goodies in the crock pot this morning (minus the meat):

And here's everything mixed together, and the lemongrass from the garden added:

This lovely hunk of meat (grass fed from Molokai) will go into the pot once it's browned:

Cauliflower (a substitution for the eggplant) and sautéed mushrooms (an addition we decided to try) will get thrown in later.

I'm trying to stay pretty closely to my autoimmune protocol (no nightshades, which includes peppers and eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes) but every once in a while I am experimenting with a bit of peppers as seasoning. So far I have not seen any ill effects. Tomatoes, which. I love, are another story.

So that's dinner.

Now to guns. Since the shooting in Washington, I read an articles like this one. I think they make total sense.

After all, it is very true that the vast majority of gun owners are never going to shoot anyone. My sons and friend own guns. They enjoy going to the shooting range and honing their skills. I have no fear that any of them are going to commit a crime with their guns.

I grew up on a farm. There were guns hung up on the rafters in the basement. At a certain age, we were tall enough to reach those guns. But we didn't view them as toys, and we knew not to play with them. Dad, a farmer, needed a gun. For one thing, sometimes the town folk would come out to the farm to hunt pheasant. Dad went along to make sure no one shot a cow by mistake or stupidity. He also occasionally had the unhappy job of needing to put down a suffering horse or cow.

So I'm OK with people owning guns. Responsible, mentally healthy people.

I think we do need a change in how easy it is for those suffering mental illness to acquire guns. The Washington shooting is just another sad example of tragic effects of gun accessibility for the mentally ill, and our sorry state of care for the mentally ill. I have the deepest sympathy for the families and friends of the victims, and also for the shooter's family. You see, I am both.

I speak of this from a very personal place. My own daughter, a lovely young bipolar woman, was able to go to a local store and buy a gun. Thanks to our restrictions here, she had to wait a day or two to buy ammunition. So she waited. And went back to the store to buy it. And went home and shot herself in her despair.

She was an adult, she was getting counseling, she should never have been allowed to buy a gun. But there was no way for the store to know that. There is no mechanism in place that could have protected her from herself. And so we as a family suffered the deepest kind of loss. Losing a family member is hard under any circumstances. Losing one to suicide brings with it it's own, unique burdens. I was very grateful for one thing: she didn't hurt anyone else. But she could have.

Every fall, the season of her death, brings with it a heavier sense of loss, of what we have missed out on not having her presence in our lives. She has missed so much - siblings getting married, having children. Every family gathering has a black hole, whether it is discussed or not just because she isn't here.

This is not to imply that we have not grieved well and properly and gone on with our lives. We have. But this kind of violent death changes you, changes your life in a permanent way, no matter how well it is dealt with.

And so, from my point of view, the big take home from mass murders and suicides in particular is that we as a society have very greatly let down the members of our society who suffer from mental illness, and this is true whether they commit a violent act or not. This is where the discussion and the wrangling to fix this problem needs to focus. I don't pretend to have any solutions but I know there's out there if we only have the will to face the facts and act.

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