Mom says 'I am Adam Lanza's mother,' details life with terrifying son [View all]
In the post-Newtown debate over mental illness, a distraught and exhausted mother has written a chilling article describing life with her troubled son and the health care system's shortage of options. The boy, "Michael," remains undiagnosed, and despite medication he continues to exhibit a hair-trigger temper. His mother says Michael shares characteristics with gunman Adam Lanza and other mass killers, and during his unpredictable episodes he makes frightening and violent threats. The mother's lack of help is typified by her meeting with a social worker who informed her that their best option is to get Michael charged with a crime, because "That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges."
The entire article is republished below with permission 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!”