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I am Adam Lanzas mother

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by everlong, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    I Am Adam Lanza's Mother

    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 *****. 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 *****. 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.

    That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn't have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

    We still don't know what's wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He's been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

    At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he's in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He's in a good mood most of the time. But when he's not, watch out. And it's impossible to predict what will set him off.

    Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district's most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can't function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

    The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, "Look, Mom, I'm really sorry. Can I have video games back today?"

    "No way," I told him. "You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly."

    His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. "Then I'm going to kill myself," he said. "I'm going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself."

    That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.

    "Where are you taking me?" he said, suddenly worried. "Where are we going?"

    "You know where we are going," I replied.

    "No! You can't do that to me! You're sending me to hell! You're sending me straight to hell!"

    I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. "Call the police," I said. "Hurry."

    Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn't escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I'm still stronger than he is, but I won't be for much longer.

    The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork-"Were there any difficulties with… at what age did your child… were there any problems with.. has your child ever experienced.. does your child have…"

    At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You'll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

    For days, my son insisted that I was lying-that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, "I hate you. And I'm going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here."

    By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I've heard those promises for years. I don't believe them anymore.

    On the intake form, under the question, "What are your expectations for treatment?" I wrote, "I need help."

    And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

    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.

    According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

    When I asked my son's social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. "If he's back in the system, they'll create a paper trail," he said. "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."

    I don't believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael's sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn't deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise-in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

    With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill-Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation's largest treatment centers in 2011.

    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.
     
  2. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday In the Starting Line-Up

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  3. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Heartbreaking stories - both of them.

    We need to remember these stories each time we are tempted to say, "What was wrong with the parents? Why didn't they do something?" and ask, instead, "What is wrong with our health care system? Why don't we do something?"
     
  4. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

  5. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #95 Jersey

    Another not so flattering perspective on the author of "I am Adam Lanza's mother"
    Want the Truth Behind
     
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The "mother" who wrote this can be denigrated and marginalized, but the facts of negotiating mental healthy systems and finding adequate care for you children is quite difficult and in come areas non existent.

    Teenagers cannot be treated against their will, there are little provisions for hospitalization.. and often they fall between the cracks..
     
  7. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Bump...the gun thread has a boatload of ill-informed replies, but the real issue, mental illness, is being ignored. No worries, I'm sure there's a med for that...
     
  8. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #12 Jersey

    Why can't teenagers be treated against their will?
     
  9. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Do you force injections or medications on any person in this society??

    Do you involuntarily lock them up in secure mental health facilities?? There aren't many available anyways.

    Do you force them to sit in a chair until they talk??

    It sounds like an answer, but in reality difficult to operationalize.. the Mental Health systems has limited resources, and if you have a reluctant/unwilling client it does not make a lot of sense to tie up an appointment with a person who does not want to change.
     
  10. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #12 Jersey

    My question was rhetorical. I didn't understand what point you were trying to make with that.
     
  11. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    This is a great thread and I fully empathize with parents of kids with mentall illness. It must be heartbreaking and draining.

    That being said, if I am Adam Lanza's parent I DO NOT TAKE THIS WALKING HIGH RISK TO SHOOTING RANGES AND DO NOT HAVE ASSAULT WEAPONS IN MY HOUSE.

    A little common sense would have been in order.
     
  12. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    1000% percent agree.
     
  13. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    I was trying to convey this point during the course of the gun law arguments....I just had no idea that there were writings that could make the point so vividly.

    Just don't know how the much bigger problem (at least in my opinion) of the constant killings in our cities (most notably chicago) would be addressed by this. The drama of 26 being killed in one event drowns a bigger problem that happens just about every day. people are constantly dying due to violence.
     
  14. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    yes, but as a society, we need to take this a step further......obviously, there are parents who do.....obviously, she was not fully cognizant of the implications of her actions.....she sounds like she had her own issues.

    At this point, the Lanza family seems done.......the bigger question is, as a society, what can we do about people......you can argue the gun thing until the cows come home, but what about the people, the personalities whose perspectives or insanities will take a situation to this point? what balance can be struck that addresses our safety as a society? we pride ourselves on the freedoms we hold dear, but we can't protect ourselves in that context.
     
  15. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    Ezekiel 25:17: The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.

    And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.


    I don't know......I think Adam Lanza's brain is in there somewhere
     
  16. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Once again, I am not talking about handguns. It is about assault weapons. How many of these killings in Chicago that were noted killed 26 people at one time whom the murderer didn't know or had a personal beef with?

    There will always be idiots (Mrs. Lanza) and mentally ill (the son) in society. There is NO solution for that, Illegal Contact. I wish there was.

    Making it illegal for the disbursement of assault weapons outside of our military is the only solution - - and it is a partial one at that.

    There will always be killings. This is a way to decrease sudden, mass murder.
     
  17. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    what's the difference between 26 people being killed at once or 26 people being killed one at a time?

    saw off a shotguns and kill 3 people with one shot

    there is no acceptable killing rate, so whether it is an automatic weapon does nto matter. either way, the person is going to kill until they are done. or if he doesn't have a gun, he will turn a vehicle into a bomb and park it beside the cafeteria at lunchtime. kill an order of magnitude more people without breaking a sweat.
     
  18. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Far more likely for large groups of people to be able to flee a guy with a handgun than to flee a guy with a Bushmaster. A Bushmaster is a far more efficient people killing machine.

    That's obvious, so why do you ask?

    And you keep bringing up how cars can be used for killing people. You DO understand that the main purpose of a car is to transport people.

    What is the main purpose of a Bushmaster? It is nothing more than the bomb you reference. Last time I checked, bombs were illegal for the general populace. The Bushmaster should be also.
     
  19. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    another problem to which I say government is not the answer.
     
  20. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    The government has to be the answer as they are the only ones who can change the commit rules and force insurance companies to cover more. people who looked odd or who were of low intelligence used to get committed to institutions. government stopped that and was right to. it goes both ways but mental health absolutely is a government issue IMO unless the person comes from a wealthy family who can support the care and medications needed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012

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