As I am sitting here reading the updates about the Florida shooting I am getting sick to my stomach. I tossed and turned through out the night thinking about this school shooting. My heart hurts for all the families and I feel completely broken, but I can’t get the image out of my head of the shooter in handcuffs with all the police standing around him.
I knew in my heart that this kid had a troubled life. I am not saying I am going to try to sit here and justify what he has done, but I am going to express my feelings on what I have learned about the shooter so far and why I will continue to pray for this teenage boy and the families who have lost loved ones.
As humans we are so quick to label others before we can actually learn who a person really is and where they come from. The media has called this kid a “troubled teen” and classmates who knew him have said, “We knew he was the ‘type of kid’ who would do this someday.” As I saw these labels I got even more emotional and I needed to ask myself why.
You see when I started to learn about this kids history I could relate to it in so many ways. One he was adopted as a child. The media has shared he lost his mother a year ago, which that would be his adopted mom, not his biological mom. It’s states he lost his dad a decade ago. Is that his real dad or adopted dad? You see we don’t have all the details of his history. But it pretty much sounds like he was an orphan from the day he was born, and the feelings that come attached to that are, I am unwanted, I am unlovable, and nobody wants me. What do I have to live for?
These are the voices that control most troubled kids, but it usually starts from somewhere. It’s the wounds that become so deep in our hearts and control our thoughts and behaviors. It’s the negative thoughts that plague us and get louder and louder until we take action.
I saw in the media that he was a quiet kid, but once he started talking he enjoyed being heard. That is sometimes all these kids want is to be heard. Does anyone care about me? Yes, he did things like pulling fire alarms, starting fights with other kids and posting things on social media. All this stuff he was doing is attention-seeking behaviors. He is trying get attention he never had and most likely acting out some of the emotions that are trapped inside of him that he doesn’t know how to express.
I can go on and on about this shooting, but I will stop right here and save my energy to continue to pray for all the families involved. But as I saw this child get arrested and the words that were used to describe him, I thought to myself that could have been me. I grew up in alcoholism, drug addiction, and abuse until my dad went to prison. My mom was an addict and she didn’t come home for long periods of time. This left me scared, lonely, confused, feeling unwanted, unlovable. I got into trouble all the time at school. I was kicked out almost every week for fighting or put in a separate room, isolated from my classmates, and this just fed the feelings even stronger, there must be something wrong with me… Then I was sent to a school for at risk kids, just like the Florida shooter was. I had so much anger and confusion bottled up inside of me that I understand where this kid is coming from. I will continue to share my story to help others understand trauma and addiction. And I will continue to pray for ‘this so called troubled teen’ who is broken and powerless over the life he has been given so far.
My heart is broken for the troubled children who are drowning in their pain and trauma.
I’m not saying you have to agree with what I am saying, but I would like you to understand the mind of a troubled child.