Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Have You Read the "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" Essay?

Posted by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 8:18 AM
  • 29 Replies

'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother' Explains Why Sandy Hook Tragedy Won't Be the Last

Posted by Julie Ryan Evans

white balloonsAs we have moved through the heartwrenching news in the wake of the Connecticut School shooting, there have been tears, anger, debate, and disgust. Mostly we want to know why? Why would anyone do this?

There's no answer that is good enough, but there is an answer, and one mother, Liza Long, revealed in a brutally painful essay titled "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother." I read it first thing this morning after Gawker published it, and I've read it countless times since. It chilled me to my core, as I read each stark powerful word.

In it she talks about her 13-year-son and his struggles with mental illness. She describes how the very son she gave birth to and loves also terrifies her. They've been through mental hospitals, police involvement, and trips to the ER for his violent outbursts. They can't pinpoint a specific problem, and nothing they've tried, from drugs to therapy, has worked. He regularly threatens to kill himself and kill his mother

She writes:

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am Jason Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

The only option she's been given by a social worker is jail.

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, "Something must be done."

I agree that something must be done. It's time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That's the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.

Amen. I look at my own sweet children, and I can't imagine how I would cope if I saw signs like this in them. Would I be strong enough to make the hard choices? Would I even know what choices there were? Or would I, like so many do, be embarrassed, protective, or paralyzed with fear? I don't know, and I don't think anyone does until they're in that position. And the reality is that any of us could be in that position; mental illness can strike anyone. We ALL could be Adam Lanza's parents.

While I agree that we need to address gun control (though I'm torn as to how), I, like Long, believe the bigger issue, the most significant issue is mental illness in our society. We can't continue to ignore it. We can't pretend that there aren't mothers like this across the country feeling guilty, and helpless, and scared. We have to figure out a way to help them and their children before more of our children are killed.

Because even if there are no guns left, there will be people sick enough to want to do something like this. And that is dangerous in any society.

What do you think of this mother's essay?

 

by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 8:18 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
bleumonster
by Gold Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:03 AM
I agree to some extent. Mental illness, especially among children, is often ignored, misdiagnosed, not treated correctly, and stigmatized without actually helping the patient. We DO need a to come up with better solutions, help and diagnosis for mental illness.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
mom23heathens
by Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:50 AM

 It's not just mental illness.No one knows why someone does what they do. No one can predict something like this and it's easier to blame mental illness. Our minds need to wrap around a tangible reason. We can't comprehend a normal person doing something so horrifying so they must be crazy, right?  We fear what we don't understand. The truth is we all have the potential to do this. Any moment anyone can flip for no reason. That's what makes this so scary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gaileey
by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM

i read this yesterday. 

 i think she is first off very very brave to write this and openly talk about this. 

 i personally think that is a huge part of the problem........people being unwilling to admit their own kids have these type of mental issues, them hiding it from the rest of scociety, and all of us in society ignoring things in people that seem 'off' just not to be the bad-guy who speaks up. 

 mental illness in our country can no longer be ignored from the healcare professions, to the government to all of us out and about.

 

PinkParadox
by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:56 AM


Quoting Gaileey:

i read this yesterday. 


 i think she is first off very very brave to write this and openly talk about this. 


 i personally think that is a huge part of the problem........people being unwilling to admit their own kids have these type of mental issues, them hiding it from the rest of scociety, and all of us in society ignoring things in people that seem 'off' just not to be the bad-guy who speaks up. 


 mental illness in our country can no longer be ignored from the healcare professions, to the government to all of us out and about.


 

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
TJFBGMommy
by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM
2 moms liked this

I read it and it reads resoundingly true to me. My neighbor across the street has been fighting for her son his whole life. He was a smart intellegent boy, with a terrible mental illness. He has been diagnosed with everything under the son at some point or another. He's been on countless different kinds of meds and has been in so many different kinds of programs. From boot camps to intreatment hospitals. He's an adult now and completely out of control. She's had him arrested countless times and since he hasn't done something "really" bad, they just keep letting him out. It's come to a point where she went around to all the neighbors warning them that her son was out of control and to please have a plan in place in case he looses it. She's told the cops 100's of times that someone is going to end up dead and they can't do anything about it since so far he's never actually hurt anyone. There's nothing else she can do. It's terrifying. She told me a few weeks ago that if she makes it out of her house alive it will be a miracle. Next time he's arrested she plans on moving out of state, leaving her home, her job, everything to try and get away. There just comes a point when there isn't any more these mothers can do and there's no one else to turn to.

churchlady08
by Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Her son sounds exactly like my sister.  She has struggled for years, is threatening and violent.  The latest she spreads lies on Facebook and has even threaten us about not giving her cheap Christmas gifts so, she is getting nothing at all.  I am tired of it.  My parents, whom she lives with, are elderly and their health is failing.  She screams and yells at them, threatens them with intimidation and tries to make them look like they are to blame for all of her so called troubles while she won't work but goes to school but won't do anything else.  She makes monetary demands on them all of the time.  I have tried to get them to get a lawyer, a judgement to get her out of their house but my Dad is afraid she could not take care of herself.  She has caused more grief and tension between family members.  Mom and Dad don't talk to their sibblings because she has threatened them.  Our own daughter, who has been diagnosed with Depression herself, won't have anything to do with her aunt and I think this opens her eyes up and has made her decide that she is not going to be like this and told my husband and I that she wants to be independent despite the Depression(which her doctor says is mainly due to hormones but, we still are having it treated and keeping on top of it)and not end up like my sister.  I don't know what the answer is in this case and what should be done about her.  I want to have her removed from their home but, am afraid she would come after us if we did.

SeanandNoahsmom
by Bronze Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 8:26 PM

 I did read it earlier, and I agree with everything you have said Michelle. When budget cut are made in health care, though, mental health is the first to go. It would cost less to treat them properly in hospitals and clinics, than it does to house them in jails / prison. Where they receive little if any treatment for illnesses they cannot help. This in turn leads to severe behavior problems, for which they are then isolated for We in America treat dogs better than humans.

janitablue
by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Well said.............

Quoting SeanandNoahsmom:

 This in turn leads to severe behavior problems, for which they are then isolated for We in America treat dogs better than humans.



janitablue
by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 11:37 PM

Here my question How can we stop stigma on mental illness? How can we create better faculty?  How can we bring awareness, and offer solution to parents with kids that suffer from mental illeness?  In my opinion we still in dark ages when it come to young adult with mental illness and disabilities.   If we don't start making changes they will be more innocent killing. I pray that we find a solution if not for parents, the kids , but for the innocent bystanders.

Bookwormy
by Bronze Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Health insurance covers as little as possible, making it impossible to receive services unless a child is "in the state system". It's really quite cruel how little as a society we value the mental health of our children versus the pocket books of our corporations.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)