I Am Adam Lanza's Mother

I Am Adam Lanza's Mother

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“Don't trust the internet!”

Since: Jan 12

Location hidden

#1 Dec 17, 2012
This has been circulating the web:

While every family's story of mental illness is different, and we may never know the whole of the Lanza's story, tales like this one need to be heard -- and families who live them deserve our help.
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.

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.

“Don't trust the internet!”

Since: Jan 12

Location hidden

#2 Dec 17, 2012
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…”

“Don't trust the internet!”

Since: Jan 12

Location hidden

#3 Dec 17, 2012
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 James 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.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am...

“Don't trust the internet!”

Since: Jan 12

Location hidden

#4 Dec 17, 2012
I believe that Mother Jones reported that in about a third of the mass shootings they looked at the shooter was mentally ill and their families had sought help for them but were turned away.

Families have a bit more leeway to act on behalf of a minor--although the options are limited.

Once a mentally-ill person becomes an adult, however, it becomes very, very difficult as symptoms frequently include denial of the illness itself, or mania that leads to a belief in invulnerability (and the belief that medication is unnecessary).

Things to think about.

“Where did I put my tiara?”

Since: Dec 11

Columbus, OH

#5 Dec 17, 2012
Mental health issues, in this country, ate severely unrecognized and underfunded. The stigma needs to be lifted and help obtainable for those that need it.

“Don't trust the internet!”

Since: Jan 12

Location hidden

#6 Dec 17, 2012
I just gave Glitter a heart, a check and a light bulb.

For the record.

I agree.

“Hey, Sarge!”

Since: Dec 10

The Milky Way

#7 Dec 17, 2012
GlitterSucks wrote:
Mental health issues, in this country, ate severely unrecognized and underfunded. The stigma needs to be lifted and help obtainable for those that need it.
Ditto!

“Hi-Yo Silver! Away!”

Since: Aug 12

Location hidden

#8 Dec 17, 2012
Agree with Glitter on this one, and thanks to Reader for posting this. And I am glad this mom is willing to open up, unlike Lanza's mom who kept it all buttoned up. People need to talk about this, and we need to get at least parity in mental health coverage and help equal to or better than physical ailments.

As the Fram man said in the old commercial "You can pay me now or you can pay me later". Most people won't like the later payments.
Clueless Nuts Spam

Columbus, OH

#9 Dec 17, 2012
FKA Reader wrote:
I just gave Glitter a heart, a check and a light bulb.
I didn't.

“Where did I put my tiara?”

Since: Dec 11

Columbus, OH

#10 Dec 17, 2012
A guy that was an acquaintance of my next door neighbor while I was in college had mental issues...nice guy. I ran into him at a bar, he had alcohol issues too, and he was extremely depressed that the mental health center couldn't fit him in and it would take weeks for an appointment. Here's a guy that realizes he's messed up, asks for help, for nothing. As I said nice guy, if he were to be involved with something as heinous as this, I would not blame him, I would blame the system.

“Where did I put my tiara?”

Since: Dec 11

Columbus, OH

#11 Dec 17, 2012
Clueless Nuts Spam wrote:
<quoted text>
I didn't.
Well now my feelings are hurt. Do you have anything intelligent to contribute to the conversation? I think not.
Clueless Nuts Spam

Columbus, OH

#12 Dec 17, 2012
GlitterSucks wrote:
Do you have anything intelligent to contribute to the conversation? I think not.
Now MY feelings are hurt.
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#13 Dec 17, 2012
GlitterSucks wrote:
Mental health issues, in this country, ate severely unrecognized and underfunded. The stigma needs to be lifted and help obtainable for those that need it.
My 40% tax rate (state, local, federal, property) says that the last thing I want to hear about is how something is underfunded, and using it as an excuse to take even more money away from me.

The fact of the matter is, this guy was a kook. It's also sounding like his mother was a kook.

There is no way to protect against something like this unless you start putting people away like they did in the old days. And even then, you still can't protect against these kinds of things from happening .....

Case in point ....

Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: The bombings comprised the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history
Number of victims: 44
Date of murder: May 18, 1927
Date of birth: February 1, 1872
Victims profile: 3 men, 3 women (including his wife) and 38 children
Method of murder: Bombings (dynamite and hundreds of pounds of pyrotol)
Location: Bath Township, Michigan, USA
Status: Commited suicide the same day (killed in the explosions)

==========

From "murderpedia"

http://murderpedia.org/male.K/k/kehoe-andrew....
Spookishere F trolls

Taylor, MI

#14 Dec 17, 2012
Lead projectile intersecting with the brain cures crazy every time.

My taxes are too high now I damn sure don't want more of my money pissed away housing the insane for which death is the only cure.

We put down rabid animals so why not the insane?
Duke for Mayor

Akron, OH

#15 Dec 17, 2012
Spookishere F trolls wrote:
Lead projectile intersecting with the brain cures crazy every time.
My taxes are too high now I damn sure don't want more of my money pissed away housing the insane for which death is the only cure.
We put down rabid animals so why not the insane?
Then I say we can do without your "contributions" to society, and will gladly support your voluntary submission to the program.

If you would like to save the state administrative costs, you're welcome to use your own firearm.

Just make sure you place nobody else in harm's way, and don't miss.

woof
Oliver Twist

Springfield, OH

#16 Dec 17, 2012
Spookishere F trolls wrote:
Lead projectile intersecting with the brain cures crazy every time.
My taxes are too high now I damn sure don't want more of my money pissed away housing the insane for which death is the only cure.
We put down rabid animals so why not the insane?
I agree Spook.

The parallel between a mad dog with rabies and Adam Lanza is right on.

A 240 grain bullet between the eyes from your Super Red Hawk would have "cured" Adam Lanza.

“Don't trust the internet!”

Since: Jan 12

Location hidden

#17 Dec 17, 2012
Enzyte Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
My 40% tax rate (state, local, federal, property) says that the last thing I want to hear about is how something is underfunded, and using it as an excuse to take even more money away from me.
The fact of the matter is, this guy was a kook. It's also sounding like his mother was a kook.
There is no way to protect against something like this unless you start putting people away like they did in the old days. And even then, you still can't protect against these kinds of things from happening .....
Case in point ....
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: The bombings comprised the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history
Number of victims: 44
Date of murder: May 18, 1927
Date of birth: February 1, 1872
Victims profile: 3 men, 3 women (including his wife) and 38 children
Method of murder: Bombings (dynamite and hundreds of pounds of pyrotol)
Location: Bath Township, Michigan, USA
Status: Commited suicide the same day (killed in the explosions)
==========
From "murderpedia"
http://murderpedia.org/male.K/k/kehoe-andrew....
Calling someone a kook is just old school recognition that he had a mental health problem.

And before you start ruling things out as too expensive, exactly what is the expense associated with this single incident: law enforcement, FBI, Emergency Medical Response; counseling, school building repairs, relocation of students to another building, mid-year hiring of replacement teachers--not to mention to incomprehensible cost of lives lost.

We have more than a few ticking time-bombs running around. In some cases they only succeed in burning out their families who support them and try to keep them from harming self or others. In others they may end up as a suicide without fanfare--or only take their family along.

I believe that we can do better than the endless institutionalization of not so long ago. But streeting people without adequate support is not an answer either.
Stupid Sheep

Sun City Center, FL

#19 Dec 17, 2012
Liberalism is a mental disorder!
Duke for Mayor

Akron, OH

#20 Dec 17, 2012
Spookishere F trolls wrote:
<quoted text>
Maggot brained individuals who support a marxist like you should not be put down quickly with a shot to head but be tossed into a pen with a hungry pitbull after 50the lashes. Do the world a favor and slit your throat so the last thing the tax payers like me hear.from a sub human marxist is you gurgling on your own blood
You sound like such a pleasant, well-adjusted human being.

woof
Spookishere F trolls

Taylor, MI

#21 Dec 17, 2012
Duke for Mayor wrote:
<quoted text>
You sound like such a pleasant, well-adjusted human being.
woof
You sound like a peter puffing democrat not worthy of the oxygen you suck in.

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