Dear Editor: Many times we sit and watch our news programs or read in our daily newspaper and see stories of people going on killing rampages or even turning the gun on themselves. Today, I really feel and understand that if not for the grace of God it would have been me.
I am a mother, a mother who cares about the well being of her children, one who talks to them about all things and who steps in to help find solutions to problems or avenues for a greater good. But you see my now 17-year-old son is on a joy ride of his own choosing that we as a society have helped fuel. He's out of control, defiant and playing his game his way and with his boys. A mother's love causes you to know your children so you realize when you see trouble brewing. I've been recognizing it for about three of four years now. I've been trying to get some intervention in place by talking to persons in positions with some say so - educational staff, law enforcement, judges and many others. Some do not see what I see and some want to help but their hands are tied. The justice system, juvenile or adult, government officials and the mental health system in this county has brought me, a strong black woman who takes pride in caring for her children, to a place of defeat. It has drained me of every ounce of fight I have. You back me into a wall and then placed another in front of me. I thought I could stand, but in this instance you've broken me.
I've been told he's too old to be young, but he's too young to be an adult. His age leaves everything in a state of limbo and puts me between a rock and a hard place. As a county we provide no mental health services for adolescents, and we are sent to Rockdale County. Oh, but they take no private insurance so if you want to pay $140 or more, then you can be seen, and there is a crisis line that places you where your insurance will be taken but with grave restrictions. There is no intervention. Yes, we have our athletic departments, but not all children are athletic or care to participate in athletics. There are no outlets, no recreational rooms, no bowling allies, no theaters, no skating rinks, nothing for them to get out those things that trouble them in a positive way. We see no loitering signs everywhere, but where is there for them to go? So they meet at someone's home, gather in someone's yard, and because there's nothing to do, they create something and sometimes that something is of no good to them or anyone else. Creative minds in a destructive mind set.
Although I might not have gotten any resolutions for my child, maybe through this letter to the local newspaper, state senator and those representing us in the house of legislature I can get help for other parents going through similar issues. I'm speaking from a mother's heart, but you, as a father, grandparent, aunt, uncle or other caregiver, let your voice be heard just as I have. If we don't stand for something, we'll continue to fall for anything. Yes, my fight might be gone but I refuse to roll over and play dead.