HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » I am Adam Lanza's Mother-...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:02 AM

I am Adam Lanza's Mother-It's time to talk about Mental Illness

Last edited Sun Dec 16, 2012, 10:13 AM - Edit history (2)

Written by Liza Long, republished from The Blue Review

Friday’s horrific national tragedy—the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut—has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.
“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”
“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

More From Source:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009.html

45 replies, 3096 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 45 replies Author Time Post
Reply I am Adam Lanza's Mother-It's time to talk about Mental Illness (Original post)
Dalai_1 Dec 2012 OP
Kolesar Dec 2012 #1
marshall Dec 2012 #17
Kolesar Dec 2012 #22
marshall Dec 2012 #30
cali Dec 2012 #2
blue_heron Dec 2012 #4
cali Dec 2012 #6
adigal Dec 2012 #13
cali Dec 2012 #19
musical_soul Dec 2012 #15
1monster Dec 2012 #34
cali Dec 2012 #39
1monster Dec 2012 #42
Dalai_1 Dec 2012 #12
cali Dec 2012 #16
Maine-ah Dec 2012 #28
cali Dec 2012 #35
Maine-ah Dec 2012 #40
Dash87 Dec 2012 #7
cali Dec 2012 #9
Maine-ah Dec 2012 #18
cali Dec 2012 #20
Avalux Dec 2012 #32
cali Dec 2012 #36
Dalai_1 Dec 2012 #23
Inspired Dec 2012 #25
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #3
Dalai_1 Dec 2012 #5
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #10
Dalai_1 Dec 2012 #27
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #31
Maine-ah Dec 2012 #11
Dalai_1 Dec 2012 #14
Maine-ah Dec 2012 #21
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #24
lunasun Dec 2012 #8
Dalai_1 Dec 2012 #26
lunasun Dec 2012 #45
1monster Dec 2012 #29
Dalai_1 Dec 2012 #38
kratos00 Dec 2012 #33
jwirr Dec 2012 #37
LiberalEsto Dec 2012 #41
Dalai_1 Dec 2012 #43
LiberalEsto Dec 2012 #44

Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:04 AM

1. It's time to talk about guns...eom

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kolesar (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:35 AM

17. And mental illness

We need to figure out how to keep our little ones safe from mentally ill folks with guns, knives, hammers, shovels, and whatever else they might use against them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marshall (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:40 AM

22. Restrictions on gun purchases and serious penalties for improper handling

Shovels. It's not about "shovels", Marshall.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kolesar (Reply #22)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:57 AM

30. This man was restricted from purchasing a gun

His mother is definitely culpable for having guns accessible to her monstrously mentally ill son. We certainly need to look at the way we handle guns in connection to hyper disturbed individuals.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:05 AM

2. this mother is a sick, sick piece of crap

no wonder her son has problems. She hates him. that is clear.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:23 AM

4. Are you being sarcastic?

If not, you have obviously never dealt with someone with a serious mental illness. It is terrifying, and you can't reason with a sick mind. This is classic stigma to blame the parent. She is living a nightmare. Who wants to be afraid for their own life, their other children, or their school mates.

The problem is when a sick person has access to lethal weapons is a toxic mix.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to blue_heron (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:26 AM

6. No. I'm not. And I certainly have dealt with serious mental illness

both professionally and personally. I worked for years with the severely and persistently mentally ill, including a half dozen who had murdered, in my role as an advocate and investigator for the federally mandated PAMI program. There is something very disturbing about the tone of this article.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:31 AM

13. She must love her son, or she would have him institutionalized

You are very judgmental. Her life with him sounds like a living hell. But she persists.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to adigal (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:37 AM

19. first of all, in most places, it's not easy to institutionalize a kid.

secondly, she knows NONE of the particulars regarding Adam Lanza or his mother and she has written an article that essentially calls her son interchangeable with the country's most notorious murderer. That is inappropriate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:33 AM

15. Some kids have mental problems and some parents are afraid of them.

I've also dealt with mental illness, and it's not the same as what this woman goes through. There isn't a one size fits all on this subject.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 10:03 AM

34. I found it a desperate call for help. And I understand how she feels, even though in my case

the family member was never violent.

You are too quick to condmm. This woman has seen her child, whom she loves, threaten the safety of her other children, whom she also loves. If you don't think that that causes mixed feelings, then you shouldn't be in the business of mental health.

Eventually, when dealing with mentally ill children who are threats to the family, one becomes numb and unable to deal with emotions. One is left with a determination to do what is right for all of the family, including the mentally ill member, no matter the personal cost. It is a HUGE responsiblity and it is incredibly stressful.

I did not find this mother uncaring at all. She is begging for help. Come across with some viable advice for her rather than criticism.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1monster (Reply #34)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 10:11 AM

39. I'm not sure I even believe her. Why should I?

and it most certainly is both exploitative and disturbing that she's more or less calling her son a monster. sick stuff, no matter how you cut it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #39)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 10:19 AM

42. Whatever. I'd say you were just another metal health worker with an agenda who

does not understand how a mentally ill person affects the entire family.

But that would be offering a flash judgment without knowing all of the facts and nuances... Kind of like you just did with that woman.

It is possible to love someone while hating what that person does, is, or is becoming.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to blue_heron (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:31 AM

12. thank you blue_heron

for recognizing this..I had a dear friend who dealt with this with her son..starting at age
20 ...he was hospitalized on average of 8 times per year...one Sunday morning she heard a shot
walked in his room and he had put a rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger..she worked in the
mental health field and was unable to access the treatment he needed...he was 35 when he
killed himself..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dalai_1 (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:34 AM

16. let me explain what is wrong with this piece, and by extension the woman who wrote

it. It's early days. Neither she nor the rest of us are privy to virtually anything about Adam Lanza and his mother or his behavior, and yet here she is claiming that she is mother to a child that is interchangeable with Adam Lanza. From what we do know, Adam Lanza *may* have had Asperger's Syndrome, which in itself is not actually a mental illness though the co-morbidity rate is high.

This piece is highly inappropriate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:55 AM

28. I can completely understand about disagreeing with

her comparison of her son to Adam Lanza, who we still don't know much about, but to claim that this mother is a "sick piece of crap" who "hates" her own son, is just as wrong.

It's seems this mother is trying to do the best for her child, who is mentally ill, with a system that sucks - while trying to protect two other children at the same time. He has threatened to kill, the other children must live in fear if they have to run to a car and lock themselves in to protect themselves.

I can only imagine how difficult it is to work with the mentally ill, Cali, definitely not a position for the faint of heart - but working with the mentally ill you've had to have encountered parents and siblings who live like this on a daily basis and witness the daily frustrations, fear, and love a parent like this has for their child, and for her to watch the events in CT unfold, along with the rest of the nation, I imagine it further exposed her fear for her own child's (and other children) life.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maine-ah (Reply #28)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 10:04 AM

35. OK. I was so disgusted that I overreacted, but the piece does disgust me

It's just so exploitative. And it sets off all the warning signals. I think writing such a piece, particularly at this point in time, indicates something gravely wrong in this dynamic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #35)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 10:12 AM

40. I think we'll agree to disagree



I just think that it's high time this country really starting having this conversation about mental illness, and the state of mental health care in this country. My thoughts, if now isn't the time, then when?

Peace to you, Cali

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:28 AM

7. I don't think so. Taking care of someone with mental health problems is extremely difficult:

Especially someone who is violent and threatening. I could only read the text that the OP wrote (because the site is down), but I can sympathize with the mother.

It's not an easy task. Picture getting verbally abused all day, having to deal with someone that constantly threatens to kill himself or you, and never being secure. This is among the other issues you have to deal with, where even an action such as driving to school in the morning becomes an extreme chore.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dash87 (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:30 AM

9. I'm full aware of the challenges. I think it's very telling that this mother is exploiting- yes

exploiting- her son.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:36 AM

18. you've got to be kidding, Cali.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink