Could Your Kid Be Next?May 31, 2022
"A terrorist patriarchal gun-toting toxic male..."
This is how a friend described Salvador Ramos, the Uvalde shooter, to me.
Coincidentally, the same day Salvador's mind cracked and destroyed countless lives, my 17-year-old son graduated, not from high school, but from a year and a half of intensive residential treatment in Utah.
Two troubled teens with two very different outcomes.
In Elijah's case, his pain manifested as substance abuse and suicidal ideation...then it grew. Eventually, he alternated between despondence and belligerence - shoplifting, stealing, sneaking out, sexual promiscuity, lying and braggadocious posturing...and the escalation continued.
Luckily, we will never know what could have happened to Elijah or the people around him if he hadn't received help. Could he have been the next school shooter? Let's not kid ourselves and say, "Of course not! That could never happen because he has great parents and oversight." The truth is we have no way of knowing or assuaging our fear by convincing ourselves that we do know. My son could have been another 'terrorist patriarchal gun-toting toxic male' in my friend's eyes.
So why isn't he?
Because he got the help he needed and because his family did their work too.
- Help for kids and caregivers.
- Learning skills and healing wounds.
- Removing stigma.
- Talking openly.
- Prioritizing mental health.
If we want our world to be safe, we need to care for, love, and heal those who would make it unsafe through their pain.
And if you're one of the many parents who had the sinking thought when looking at pictures of Salvador, "That looks like my kid. Could that be my kid someday?" - You are not alone. It is possible to help your family and your child. Your child is not a terrorist monster.
You can rewrite your story.
Help for your child and for YOU to support them exists. Reach out today and start the dialogue. I can help.