Some days are just shit shows
Most days my advocacy work is rewarding and hopeful, but today not so much. Right now, at 3:49PM with my littlest grandson asleep beside me, I just want to quit.
Will I? Right at this moment I feel like the answer is a big fat "YES." Part of the reason is that - for several hours this morning - I sat and listened to testimony and discussion on a common sense youth suicide prevention bill that was partially designed by advisors at Denver's Children's Hospital. It was torturous to listen to largely uninformed legislators take direction from a fringe religious lobby group that supports known-to-cause-suicide gay conversion therapy.
I sat with two parents of local teen advocates who support the bill, and who asked for the remote testimony, but none of the 45+ other local advocates to whom I sent remote testimony requests to showed up. None. I had hoped for at least ten. What to do? Step back? Be supportive? Try not to be finished? After seven years of non-interest it's becoming harder and harder to maintain my sunny disposition in the face of community malaise on behalf of children's mental health.
Then this afternoon I had a brief discussion with a young father who admires my advocacy work, but thinks I am overreacting to the emotional threat of unannounced/simulated armed assailant drills in schools. I didn't make this up, it was brought to me by some people who thought I might know what to do. I don't. But after reading it... I'm just glad I don't have school aged kids.
There are 19 pages of best practices to read. Not exactly an overwhelming time commitment.
I wonder, do people think I just make this stuff up? Because I don't. It's just me and f**k ton of other people. Here's just a sampling of the outcry for considering children first:
Are active shooter drills too scary for schoolchildren?
Five years after Sandy Hook, active shooter drills do more harm than good in schools
Shooting situations are traumatic to children – even when they are just drills
What Are Active-Shooter Drills Doing to Kids? The psychological effects of realistic simulations could be dangerous.
Repetitive emotional trauma is highly correlative with PTSD which shows up as brain damage on MRIs. I'm not a freaking medical researcher, but this is how we found out that smoking causes lung cancer. I get to a point where I want to scream, "It's not rocket science people!"
I rarely cry. I'm not a cryer by nature. This afternoon I've cried more than I have in the previous six months. Tomorrow is a new day, but at this very moment I feel - as the saying goes - that maybe "I'm too old for this shit." Right now I'm done.
Tonight's reading for me - Signs It's Time to Quit Your Job