I’d written in an earlier post about my talkative family, and this Christmas Eve was no exception. To quote my dad we are a “lively bunch." Among other things, we talked about Sandy Hook, “irresistible” dental assistants, cheating spouses, and male pastors who like women just a little too much.
I’d brought up the topic of Sandy Hook because my aunt is a psychiatric nurse, and her daughter, my cousin Mia (that’s Dr. Mia to you), is a therapist. I wanted to know what part, if any, they believed the mental health industry played in the tragedy. Both were very clear in their opinions that Adam Lanza’s troubles were not the result of a failure within the system. “It’s not like he told a mental health worker what he was planning to do,” my aunt said, “He wasn’t in treatment.” She paused. “You know, I’m tired of … people just don’t understand how complicated this is. Some things can’t be prevented.” She and my cousin then expressed their dissatisfaction about what they see as the stigmatization of the mentally ill. “Most mentally ill patients are not violent,” my aunt said, and my cousin agreed. Demonizing the mentally ill is not a solution to the problem of mass shootings, they said. Better gun control might be a start, however.
The conversation then moved to cheating spouses, what counts as cheating (it’s not just sex, people), flirty pastors (I’m not sure how that started), single chastity, and the difficulty black women—especially black, Christian women—have finding suitable mates.
Eventually it was time to say our goodbyes, with hugs and kisses all around. Until the next time, family! I’m sure they’ll be plenty of happenings to talk about between now and then!