Friday I spent most of my time between online news and phone calls to doctors' offices. For several hours, the impact of both of these things simultaneously put me into a emotional state of chaos and panic. Despair. Depression.
We are trying to locate a child psychiatrist for one of our children. For varying reasons, this has been going on for more than a month. You just pull up your insurance list, search for "child psychiatry" and start making phone calls, right?
Or, you discover that there are very few psychiatrists who actually treat children. Then you find that more than 90% on your insurance list do not actually accept your insurance. "We call them occasionally and ask them to remove us. They keep saying that have no record of us being listed. I'm so sorry you wasted your time."
You watch the list dwindle. There are so few of these specialists that they have very long waits for new patients. They have no need to battle insurance.
Then, you find someone who does file with your insurance, but that doctor has chosen to specifically focus on (fill-in-the-blank-with-an-issue-your-child-does-not-have).
By the end of the day, and after many tears with strangers on the other end of the line, we finally secured an appointment. We will have to wait another month. We will have to drive an hour-and-a half one way. This is the closest doctor we can see without paying out of pocket.
Everyone is grieving this horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in their own way. It touches all of us, but the parts that rub raw are different for everyone. Some of you share my own personal pain. I desperately wanted to pull so many parents in to my arms this past week, as I knew the very specific feelings some of us were having. Whether or not we have children functioning on a "higher level' by society's terms, many of us have a kinship with others who are desperately battling for the mental and emotional well-being of their own children. We all feel the pressure and the panic to do right by them. For some kids, that means giving them the healing they need and the life skills to function independently one day. For others, it's providing them with the services needed so they do not continue to be or become a danger to themselves or others.
I have been thinking of Adam Lanza's mother. I was depleted on Friday. My heart was hurting so deeply it went numb for awhile. I know I have friends reading this that joined me in that. So, today, I speak for us. This side of the tragedy. This side of the fight. We are willing to help our kids, but many times we are faced with brick walls. We are willing to do whatever it takes, but there's no one there to tell us what. that. is. We beg and plead for resources, but there are none to be given. We know that we are fighting for the prevention of many things - not just national tragedies, but also releasing hurting adults into the world to possibly break the hearts of others through their own pain.
Lindsay is one of my dearest friends, and a gift to my soul when I run out of words (no really - it does actually happen on occasion). "What our country needs, right
now, TODAY ... is to see this Tragedy for what it is, lack of mental
health care, healing the hands and the brains behind the
tragedy's. Right now, mental health MUST become as much as a
priority as physical health care...without out adequate mental
healthcare we will continue with or with out new guns laws to see these tragedy's, any other solution is putting a band-aid on a gaping chest
wound. Our country is losing a battle to a disease they don't
even see..."- from Soul Cancer - the hands and hearts behind the guns
"Parents of mentally ill children and young adults can’t say they are
afraid of their own children or admit that they know what it’s like to
have bright children whose rages could, under circumstances they can’t
predict, lead them to kill innocent people the way Adam Lanza
is alleged to have done at Sandy Hook Elementary. And they can’t find
comfort in the wake of a national tragedy by sharing their feelings
around the watercooler like the rest of us." - from When Parents are Afraid of Their Children
I'm going to keep working and fighting, not just for my kids, but for your kids, too.
And for you.