Skip to comments.Thinking the Unthinkable
Posted on 12/15/2012 8:02:00 PM PST by Nachum
In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, its easy to talk about guns. But its 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 schools dress code says black or khaki pants only.
They told me I could wear these, he insisted. Youre a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!
You cant wear whatever pants you want to, I said, my tone affable, reasonable. And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. Youre 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 planthey 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.
(Excerpt) Read more at anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com ...
She is an anarchist and she takes his tools away? She tells him what color pants to wear and censors his speech?
What kind of horrible anarchists is she?
I wouldn’t rule out demonic possession. She ought to try an exorcism.
I would maintain regular contact with him, but have him committed.
His normal siblings should NOT be living with that. Not for one day.
Discipline starts at birth, that kid is lost.
First off I’d never ever call my mom a stupid b, my azz would have been raw.
That kid needs an institution and/or charges against the parent when he explodes in public.
She uses Mother Jones as a reference. The nut didn’t fall far from the tree.
This is one of the reasons I never had children. This scenario terrifies me more than just about anything in the world.
And the father is where?
Retarded or not, my kid calls his mother a “stupid bitch” he gets an immediate backhand across the face and my boot up his ass. Yeah, real discipline works.
Or... you can gather up all (you hope) the sharp objects in the house and carry them around with you in a tupperware. And don’t forget to lock your bedroom door when you go to bed.
Talk about a recipe for disaster. No father in the home, father apparently half out of it too, mother incapable of doing the job herself, and the kid well on his way to becoming a devious, deviant, murderous sociopath.
And then this lady at the end of her little plaint has the blankety-blank GALL to whine about the stigmatization of mental illness!
Would we not be better off if Kleboe and Harris had been stigmatized before the carnage? Same thing with the Colorado Batman shooting, and Gabbie Gifford’s shooter, and now this (fatherless) asocial monster in Connecticut?
Stigmatized? STIGMATIZED? Does she think her rotten little spawn has suffered one-one thousandth as much as any of the families involved in these slaughters?
Bet the kid never once spoke that way to his Sunday school teacher...
If only it were that easy . . .
Getting someone committed is very hard in our current system. And they’ll only keep the patient for a short time, till the drugs kick in. Then they’ll release him, because that’s the law.
And it won’t last. And it will start over. And you just hope nothing bad happens in the meantime.
According to the news, the father was forced out. The mojority of divorces are initiated by the woman, and in most cases without reasons such as violence, abandonment, etc. In my case, she initiated because she “was not feeling fulfilled”, and there wasn’t a damned thing I could do about it because “If one party wants a divorce, there will be a divorce”.
There’s plenty wrong about this case without busting on the absent dad who didn’t want to be absent.
As far as the kid losing his temper goes, John Hagee said,"I lost my temper one time and my father helped me to find it."
I told my son when he was in the rebellious stage of his life that I would beat him to death before I had people saying that I raised a criminal. He has done well in life since then.
They've demonized asylums for years in popular culture and movies, however, that is the answer for many of these children and adults.
What is your solution to the problem? Seriously, were you this lady, separated from a mentally ill husband, responsible for a mentally ill son and two other children, what would you do?
Please keep in mind that there is scant government help. We don’t institutionalize the mentally ill any more. Recall that she was told at the mental hospital that the only way he would get help was if he was charged with a crime.
That’s where we are in this society. There is no pre-emptive option. He has to hurt someone before the law can intervene.
What would you do? How would you handle it? To whom would you turn?
Have you walked in her shoes? Have you had a dangerously mentally ill family member?
My wife & I didn’t have children. We’re past 60. No regrets.
She’s a saint & I love her. Her brother finally left behind his drug dealing but he’s as broke as the Ten Commandments. His new wife keeps him straight. Same set of parents, vastly different outcomes.
It’s a crapshoot whether one brings forth a monster into this world. Just my humble opinion.
My daughter goes to church and there was a child, age 11, who threaten to bomb the church. I called the office and I have no clue as to what happen other than seeing the boy finish confirmation class a week later . After he was given the wafer and wine he ran out of the sanctuary into the bathroom to spit out.
Sounds like he needed an exorcism more than he needed confirmation.
I agree but what worries me is when that kid gets a little older. It won’t surprise me if I see him in the news.
“(God bless gay marriage, by the waymaybe FINALLY someone will bring some taste and style to the costuming of this silly ritual).”
From one of her other posts. This chick is more messed up than her kid.
Yes, I think it probably is a crapshoot. I’m nearing 50 and no regrets either.
Way BACK when I was a youth, the little incorrigable would be treated by his father (Uncle if no father) to a “hunting accident”.
Usually administered with a 12ga. under the chin while crossing a fence.....
Hunted pheasants with the dad for years before I found out such things.
Don’t have any particulars, only suspicions.
I followed the link and apparently the father is the same way. At least, that’s what the mother implies.
But I suppose the post did make her blog interesting for a day.
The child is displaying rage. You can’t beat rage out of this child. Pretty easy to beat more rage into him though.
This freakish behavior doesn’t respond to discipline. The child needs major intervention to avoid a lifetime of monsterhoood. The family members are in genuine danger. If the child treats his mother like that (and she has the power to resist), just think how he treats his siblings; those kids live harrowing lives of fear and it grows along with their tormentor.
These people never, ever freaking quit, do they?
There was a very long article in the New York Times about this. Soceopathic children. Science is thinking their born this way. Old school discipline has no effect. They will wear you out until beaten to death like a raccoon. They put several together in a highly structured school with one on one shrinks. They actually got worse as they teamed up,learned and competed with each other. The girlsrarned to manipulate the boys using sex very early pitting one boy against another for their own enjoyment. The shrinks after weeks of exhaustive study expressed no hope.
I’m afraid to say what I think is the solution for creatures like this. I’ll content myself with agreeing that they are not curable.
There was a time about 20 years ago when hospitals in our area equipped to handle both long and short-term mental health patients were on almost every corner. Most everybody had health coverage with a $250.00 calendar year deductible and then 20% co-pay. Mental health benefits allowed up to $25,000 a year for inpatient care but really limited outpatient psychotherapy benefits.
Psychiatrists admitted every patient that crossed their paths, gave them a psychiatric diagnosis and admitted them very early in the year. By the end of January their benefits were gone and they were suddenly well. The doctors would bill before the hospital and so they were paid first. Those that participated made a whole lot of money. Patients that had a legitimate need for help didn’t get it because they had no coverage and no money to be seen for treatment on a continuous long-term outpatient basis.
At one time kids born with Downs Syndrome, low IQ and other similar issues were also thought to be mentally ill, not quite “right in the head” and families dumped them into the state hospital system where they simply ceased to exist and more often than not were housed with really severely mentally ill people.
Just never been a good system, at least during my lifetime.
If one lets the world raise their child, it is a crapshoot. However mental illness can occur, but proper parenting vastly improves outcomes.
Womder if she could take the two younger children to a trusted friend or relative and get outta there.... Leave as fast as humanly possible.
hes as broke as the Ten Commandments.
First time I’ve heard this and it’s funny! Thank you, elcid1970 made me LOL!
At the first sign of extreme violence/behavior I would have to make the hard decision- to put my self and other family members’ safety first and put the affected person in a residential home.
There comes a point where the behavior trend becomes evident and it gets worse as time goes on.
Plus what I think is, the parent is behaving exactly like someone in an abusive relationship, keeps “going back” to them when they flip over and be sweet as can be.
Gonna be hard but they have got to get the h out.
I read the comments after the blog article.
I must disagree with those who accept people telling them that nothing can be done until unless a crime has been committed.
If someone threatens you, it is assault. It is legally actionable.
If someone physically attacks you, it is battery. Also actionable.
Hard choice, but must be done.
I wanted to respond to those who commented that access to weapons should be restricted:
Restrict/control the access of the person with mental problems to others.
Do NOT restrict or infringe upon stable peoples right to bear arms.
I.e. keep the person with mental problems away from others, so they can’t harm them..... don’t take means of defense away from those who haven’t got mental problems.
Um, hope he's a late germinator (age 55, school board member), as opposed to the current case (in which you, as Mom, would not be coming down for breakfast)?
Since he is a danger to himself and others, she should Institutionalize him.
Send her a DVD of The Omen and get back to me.
Some folks posting on this thread are so full of shit i can smell it even from here in middle TN
Sometimes anti freepers have a point
Like Gender identity disorders? YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS! QUICK! GRAB THE GUNS!
As an aside, from a blog with a cartoon graphic of a mother who wears a red shirt with “I ‘heart’ Che”, holding an infant in one arm and a soccer ball in the other, I’m not sure what to say.
Get a good home security system, buy a big German Shepherd, and learn how to shoot a gun. :(
“Getting someone committed is very hard in our current system. And theyll only keep the patient for a short time, till the drugs kick in. Then theyll release him, because thats the law.”
Not if they are minors. You can commit a minor.
If you are saying that the proper solution to her situation is to lament the “stigmatization” of her child, then I absolutely disagree with you, just as I disagree with her.
Do you think I am untouched by the difficulty she has faced, and that apparently you have too? I was around and following the stories when the great move to “mainstream” the mentally ill was taking place...I’d had some experience (not as a patient, thankfully) in some of the subpar institutions that warehoused the mentally disabled and mentally ill, and while I rather airily hoped that the changes would bring about good results, I didn’t quite see how it was going to work.
I am not minimizing her terrible situation. Maybe her perspective and her reasoning fell apart in the face of the monumental difficulties you are pointing to.
I am just saying that it is NOT the stigmatizing of the mentally ill that is the problem for her or her child, any more than the stigmatization of paper food stamps was the problem 10 and more years ago for those who received them. (Removing the stigma of food stamps didn’t end the problem of indigence, just as removing diagnoses and intervention didn’t cure mental illness.)
I can’t tell you how to ‘fix’ the problem. You have deep and haunting (if I read you correctly) personal experience with the situation. I would ask you to tell us.
Do you understand my frustration with her column? It was not that she was torn by her love and her pain, not that she wanted counseling and practical help with her plight, not that it seemed to her, as to you, that there are no answers...it was that she seemed to want help with this once-beloved but monstrous presence in her life, yet she demanded that none of us notice or label the monster.
It seems to me that the pre-emptive option you mention (and which seems the only hope to me) would involve the very labelling and stimatization that this poor mother dreads.
Sir, truly, I offer you and her my best wishes, and my prayers.
The kid reminds me of “The Bad Seed” and “The Good Son.”
I don’t know why you are focused on the word “stigma,” because she only used it once, and correctly, in the column. And I don’t think it was a “whine,” but rather an apt descriptive term.
I believe her valid point is that there needs to be a very hard and frank discussion about how to treat the mentally ill, both for their benefit and for our protection.
I have seen severe mental illness up close, in two family members, through numerous commitments, both voluntary and involuntary. One was assuredly dangerous, the other probably not.
Society, both current and throughout history, treats mental sickness differently than other illness, although drug treatment in many cases is highly effective.
Mental illness IS stigmatized. No one wants to admit they have it, the afflicted refuse to acknowledge they need help, and we’d all just like to hide it away.
Over and over we see psychopaths commit mass murders, and then an outcry blaming the family or firearms or both.
The simple truth that we won’t admit is that these deranged people are beyond the control of their families, that our mental health systems and laws offer scant support or help, that there is no good way to prevent them from perpetrating mayhem, and that if every gun in the country was destroyed they’d just find another way.
McVeigh, who was apparently sane but evil, used a truck and fertilizer. How long till some nutcase walks into a school with a can of gasoline and a lighter?
We must, for our own protection, reform our mental health system to get these people off the streets, but it’s a hard conversation.
Kudos to this mom for starting it.
I appreciate your carrying on the conversation with me, Jedidah.
My nerves were raw for a couple reasons when I read the blogger’s piece, and one was the immediate demonization by the media of gun owners like me, an effort that is obviously ongoing.
You might say I don’t like being stigmatized either.
The reason I focused on her use of the word is that she brought it into play at the end of the piece, the conclusion, the last word on the matter.
It really bugs me that the “sensitivities” involved are supposed to be our focus here—I don’t know if you noticed but just yesterday the Presidential spokesman lambasted Republicans for resisting tax increases that would go to help “middle-class families with disabled children.”
It seems to me that the slaughter and the innocent victims ought to be our main concern here, not the tender feelings involved in how we describe or treat or even punish the perpetrators. Those factors are important but they are far from paramount.
I agreed with you previously that identification, diagnoses and treatment—doesn’t that possibly include institutionalization?—are the first priorities here.
But even at this point it seems that if the conversation is joined by by anyone but you and other families immediately involved, then we are guilty of “stigmatizing.”
How are we supposed to behave, Jedidah? If we don’t talk to you about it, we are turning away and hiding. If we do bring it up, we intrude on your painful realities.
The discussion is very difficult for those on the outside too.
As I said my prayers are with you.
Thanks for the gracious post.
Please, we MUST talk about mental illness. That is the common denominator in almost all these mass murders — young men with mental problems and families that are powerless to force them into treatment or keep them from violence. These families are victims, too.
This very hard issue has to be addressed. We must change laws to give friends and families tools to intervene. A perp over 18 is protected by privacy laws that build a protective wall around them, but endanger us all.
Nancy Lanza was apparently trying to break down that wall and get legal authority to force her son into treatment when he found out and killed her.
The stigma attached to mental illness will go away when people realize that most cases truly have roots in physical malfunction. When body chemistry goes awry, it often affects the thinking process in bad ways. We now have effective drug treatment. We must talk about this and FORCE those with these ailments into either supervised treatment or incarceration. It CAN be done and still preserve our rights.
Adam Lanza was, according to the latest reports, untreated. No meds. How very sad for us all. I’ve seen, firsthand and repeatedly over years, how effective pharmacological treatment is for mental illness.
Guns are merely an easy method of murder, not the most effective. Take them away, and perps will use dynamite (google “Bath school massacre”), or trucks loaded with fertilizer, or a can of gasoline and matches. Mass murder has many methods.
Why don’t we discuss banning cars to counter drunk driving, a major killer of Americans every year?
As I write, I’m watching Barry0 hand the problem to Silly Joe. We truly are doomed.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.