Now that I’ve jumped down the James Holmes rabbit hole, I may as well enjoy the ride to the bottom.
First, I want to address the notebook Holmes allegedly sent to a psychiatrist at the university he was attending (and had just withdrawn from). If it’s true he sent the letter far in advance of the shooting, it makes me wonder what the lack of response did to him, if anything. Can you imagine? I know this is all assumption, but this is where my mind’s at, and this is my blog, so go with me here.
So, let’s assume Holmes fails his test. He probably knew he was going to fail it for whatever reason. I’m under the impression the guy had a recently surfaced mental illness which, let’s face it, probably affected his ability to focus, study, learn and apply. That aside, even when your brain isn’t doing what it normally does or used to do (trust me, I’m getting old, I know the frustrations of the gap between my brain ten years ago and now, and that’s just a small gap, so I can’t imagine a mental illness-sized gap). So, let’s not delve too deeply into what that feels like or how he was dealing with it. Let’s just assume that for whatever reason, he knew he was going to fail the “big test” that determines his fate. If he put a lot of value and pride in education, I can see how this would be very stressful. Whether or not this stress or his age had anything to do with a mental illness surfacing is beyond me, but also seems to be a reasonable conclusion. We all know I’ve already accepted “James Holmes has a mental illness” as a fact. So I don’t need to go in circles with this. Anyway, let’s assume illness is there. Whether or not he knows what is happening is almost moot. If he knows it’s happening, it’s probably terrifying. And since we mock mental illness in this country, he’s probably scared to admit or accept it. Especially knowing that may also impact his spot in the program. If he doesn’t know what’s happening, probably equally terrifying. Because regardless of understanding, suddenly having your mind do or think things it never has before must be scary. Although it’s selfish, there are so many times I look at those with any mental illness, ranging from those that are more accepted and have less of a day-to-day impact, to those that take a formerly “normal” (also accepting there’s not definition for normal) person and thrusting them into a life of ridicule. Both misunderstood and mocked. A life with drugs that will likely hinder what is well known as an above-average intelligent brain. I’m hardly above average intelligence, but when my mind is too tired to think straight or solve a problem, I become very frustrated. I can “fix” that frustration with sleep. Imagining a life where my brain doesn’t cooperate sounds like the worst form of punishment. I would feel scared, alone, confused and desperate. Some people have said being totally paralyzed is the worst thing that could happen to a former athlete. If that’s true, then losing control of your brain is probably the worst punishment for someone who is very intelligent.
Alright, all of that aside (I keep saying that but don’t commit to it), let’s assume Holmes sent a letter far ahead of the shooting. And no one replies. Really? Maybe that was his last gasp of, “Hopefully someone will see me.” If no one responds to the package,then what? Does no one care? No one believes him?
Now, yesterday afternoon, it was fact that the package was received on the 12th, but not found or opened until the Monday after the shooting. Suddenly this morning the package wasn’t delivered until today? Let’s be real here. If someone misplaced the package or didn’t make it a priority to open, that’s fine. Everything can’t be a priority. However, if it was received and not opened, just own it. Let’s look at this situation at face value. If he goes a week waiting for someone to respond to his notebook and no one does, that can make him spiral more out of control. Of course, if it wasn’t mailed until that Friday, it’s a different story. All I’m saying is someone reaches out and it’s ignored, it isn’t good. I feel like one of MY basic needs is to be heard. You don’t have to agree with me, but I want you to hear me and understand me. And if I were this desperate, this out of control, and I make one final plea for attention and it was ignored. Yeah, not good. (Now, let me footnote that by saying, I am NOT passing blame onto anyone at the university. I’m simply saying I can see how feeling ignored is a big deal, and it should be accepted and addressed. Many people think men have to be these big, bad, tough guys with no feelings and no emotional needs. But let’s face it, men have needs, too. And most of them are as basic as women’s. But they have to hide them, and society doesn’t want to accept them. Me included. I’ll admit to being turned off by men who cry. But I’m working on it.)
OK, so that’s one unqualified analysis I’m making of this bleak situation.
The second one is the big deal the media’s making about women (and men) saying Holmes is good looking. They’re acting like by saying someone is good looking it means they’re interseted in HIM. That’s as accurate as saying because I’m intersted in undrstanding Holmes that I’d date him. Yeah, not interested in an emotional relationship with Holmes. I’m simply interested in understanding what happened. Not only to his brain, but how those around him responded, and how that made him react. And finally, how it felt to spiral to the point of walking into that theatre and carrying out this horrendous act. I am of the basic assumption people are mostly good. And those who do these things have had something, somewhere go terribly wrong. Whether it’s mental illness, or not getting enough love, or guided by an addiction of some kind. Rather than putting people in boxes where we think they should fit emotionally, physically and socially, why don’t we try to understand and listen to each other. Have compassion. And in the case of many of these girls/women/men who are saying he’s good looking… I don’t think that’s strange. He is good looking. But so is Brad Pitt, and I think he’s a disgusting, self-centered, egotistical person. I’m NOT attracted to him. Just like with Holmes. He’s 24 years old. Most men in their prime are good looking! Hell, most people in general are good looking if you pay attention to just the physical, and don’t expect everyone to fit in a certain mold. Chastizing people’s honesty isn’t really the right way to go. Accept the tweets for what they are: shallow. Don’t try to make those tweeting feel guilty for acknowledging how they feel. And don’t try to diagnose them with some type of weird mental syndrome. While I’m sure there are a few who WOULD like to date him because they think they can fix him (hey, I’ve been “that girl” before – not with a mass murderer, but with men, it’s almost all the same – you can’t change who they are, hell, they can’t even change who they are!). Or they think they coudl be the one to understand him and help him through whatever he’s going through. However, understanding mental illness means IF you’d date someone like him, you’d be spending a life with someone who is medicated. Medications that often times the patient decides he/she doesn’t need anymore, so he/she stops taking them. Or medications that at any time could stop working as they have for years. Or medications that don’t fully “fix” the balance in the brain, leaving him dazed, frustrated, depressed or a shell of his former self. Although it’s commendable when someone is able to spend a life with someone who is medicated, it’s not an easy life. It would be similar to dating someone who’s a recovering alcoholic or drug addict. It’s definitely doable, but it’s also risky and stressful.