|This is my 10,000th and final post on DU, I need to support my family
This is my 10,000th post and I wanted it to be a positive one, but unfortunately I am in tears right now and I feel more hurt than I have ever felt at any time that I have been on this site. I have a brother who was diagnosed schizophrenia when I was very young, for the past three decades my family has fought to give him a better life but we have faced a great deal of stigma and have gone through enormous struggles to overcome that stigma.
When I saw some of the nasty posts on this site against the mentally ill over the weekend I posted that I have a brother with schizophrenia and I made it very clear that I was offended by what people were saying about the mentally ill. I knew that I would get some push back for what I said, but I never expected that my brother would be attacked as well.
My brother is not a dangerous person at all, he is one of the most loving, caring, and accepting people that I know. The guy loves everyone he meets and would never do a single thing to harm anyone, yet yesterday my family was accused of shielding him from authorities and I was told that I was part of the problem of violence in America for not doing enough to keep guns from him. My brother does not own a gun, he is afraid of guns and he would not even consider purchasing one. I never said anything that would imply my brother was violent in any way, but based solely on his disability I got grilled about what I was doing to protect society from my brother.
My family has never tried to shield my brother's illness in any way, in fact my brother has spoken publicly on his illness, my father has worked as a mental health advocate for the past two decades, he has lobbied our State Legislature on mental health issues, he has helped countless people with mental illness to get the support they need. Rather than shielding my brother from the authorities my family has been working with the authorities to give my brother and other's with mental illness a better life.
I felt absolutely awful yesterday, trying to defend my family from attacks that were based solely on my brother's disability which came from people who knew nothing about my family. It started with an "if" statement which said that "if your family has been shielding your brother from the system in any way, not allowing authorities a full and accurate picture of his mental state, you are part of the problem", some people thought that it was acceptable to suggest that my family might responsible for the violence in America based on nothing but my brother's disability, apparently as long as you put an "if" in front of the statement there is no problem with implying that my family might be harboring a dangerous person. Later in the thread another poster did not even bother to use the if, he just came right out and said "He should be prevented from buying firearms, but he isn't because of the actions of your family. You are "Shielding" him from the legal requirements of his mental condition." This is pure slander, my family has kept guns away from my brother which has not been difficult at all considering he has absolutely no desire to own a gun.