Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"I am Adam Lanza’s mother'

From a reader:

There's a popular blog post circulating pretty fast around from a mom who has a son with a pretty dangerous mental illness, not properly diagnosed. The message of the post seemed fairly positive, but I found myself taken aback by how she handles her kid, and then goes on to say that he could be the next massacre shooter without proper help.

Is it just me, or does this kind of thing seem inherently wrong? I watched the Child of Rage documentary, and if anyone was going to become a killer, it was that kid, but after some proper therapy and rehabilitation, she ended up pretty damn well-adjusted.

I know you've talked about the issue with labels in the past, and in light of these massacres and a new-found interest in mental health being the root issues of them, it just seems that treating a kid like an unpredictable prisoner is just wrong. I mean, if a child can't even turn to their family for support and understanding, then you've essentially isolated them mentally and emotionally. If they're that unstable, they're not going to have even friends to turn to. When the kid turns 18, he's going to cut loose, because the only people who could have helped him didn't. Considering the behavior she described, if someone doesn't find a way for him to adjust, he's going to go to prison sooner or later.

And this is exactly how they're treating people like sociopaths. Giving them a supposedly incurable mental disease label, and then just settling for locking them and throwing away the key. What life is that?

Speaking of which, currently in the States, 56% of prisoners have a diagnosed mental disorder. So much for the asylum...

I don't know if I have much of an opinion about the macro problem of mental illness. When I first read the blog post linked above I was sort of turned off for a lot of reasons, including the one the reader mentions. I thought about it for a little while, though, and re read it and realized that the mother is not really advocating anything in particular, so much as just wanting to add to (or open up) the conversation on mental illness.

The truth is that I don't really think that this can be addressed effectively on the macro level, but rather any truly effective solution/treatment, at least for children, will be better parenting or people in substitute parenting roles. It reminds me of this selection from the NY Magazine article on autism mentioned yesterday: “A lot of kids are just delayed in development, slow to talk, or anxious, or hyperactive, and a lot of kids are just terribly parented. . . . We see a lot of diagnosis-of-childhood kids, whose parents have never set limits, plus kids who are temperamentally difficult to raise."

That is not to say that parents of severely disturbed children have necessarily done anything "wrong." But I do believe in the plasticity of the child's mind and that there are ways to improve any child's behavior if one thinks creatively enough about it. This is also not to say that every parent is capable of parenting a child with these particular special needs. To the extent a label helps the helpless parent, I can see that possibly being a positive in the child's life. But to the extent that applying labels limits their/our beliefs about whether a child is redeemable or not, then yes, I believe that "labels for life" are counterproductive.

On the micro level, I feel like the biggest opportunity for children, particularly for those who are damaged but not quite mentally ill, is for them to feel a paradigm shift in their own concept of self. Like the girl in Child of Rage who was taught to believe that "when I hurt other people I'm hurting my good self." Maybe I'll write more on that later.

64 comments:

  1. I think mental illness is when you get so different from everyone else( in your own mind)that you are not the same as other human beings, at a very basic level. When you reach this point, you cannot risk showing who you are, so the idea that you are separate and alone gets bigger and bigger. If the cycle could be stopped, such that the person could join the human race, in his own mind, he would not be mentally ill, to put it in very simplistic terms. Animals can help a child who is very lost. Music can, too. If the child can trust someone, that would be a major key back. There are, usually, few people to trust, though. Trusting takes time, which most people won't give. There must be some bridge back to being human. I say this from experience, not just theory.

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    1. It sounds like you are talking about alienation. Some languages other than English have a lot more descriptive words for that than we do. The difference in how some cultures recognize the importance of that feeling in our experience is quite interesting. I have had a few European friends who talk about this in such a different way to native English speakers.

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    2. That idea only works if there's an agreed upon concept of normality. Which there isn't. Disorders are disorders when you are affected beyond the point of functioning properly for your lifestyle.

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    3. Is it that or is it when one is impaired for what is judged by others to be beyond the point of functioning properly? I'm not saying it is or isn't. I Just find it a very interesting question.

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  2. Is anyone else getting nervous that personality disorder types may become the witchhunt targets?

    Its not exactly out of the realm of possibility, with the NRA now feeling the heat,,,as well as the government having to do something to make it seem like it cares. The gun lobby deflecting the attention onto a scapegoat, what better and more vulnerable target than an already stigmatized minority...

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    1. Yep.

      It seems like Autism and Schizophrenia might be the main targets for this current witch hunt, though.

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    2. I could see socios making their way onto that list pretty easily. People already say lock them up if they can't be "cured". How fitting it would be for these hypocrite sheep to start crucifying all of the disordered people they helped to create.

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    3. I've heard that the US military are building what they call 'concentration camps' in a few places, wonder what those could be for...

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    4. I've heard that the US military are building what they call 'concentration camps' in a few places, wonder what those could be for...

      Ooh, goody. Bring on the mandatory MMPI and related tests and mass production of Zyklon B. hahaha

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    5. There's a 99.7% chance that Adam was a MK-ULTRA patient.~

      It's all the government, man!

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    6. Yes, I have a friend who is super intelligent and an engineer. He talks about the MK-Ultra. I, always, thought it was nutty, but maybe not.

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    7. Monica...

      NO

      Next time he brings up MK-ULTRA, you suffocate him with your sleeve. You'll be doing the world a favor, and you might find it erotic.

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    8. TNP I don't think suffocating someone with my sleeve is my thing~

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    9. You poor, repressed old woman.

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    10. Hey, the 8:48 is that Karma I was talking about. That didn't take too long. lol

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    11. "Ooh, goody. Bring on the mandatory MMPI and related tests and mass production of Zyklon B. hahaha"


      Psych tests are easy to get around. It's only a problem if you're honest.

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    12. Sometimes I wonder if Monica is being sarcastic, and than I'm sad that she isn't.

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    13. I'm pretty sure Monica got MK'd... that would explain all these personalities going around.

      Turns out those CIA bastards were breeding Master level trolls all along.

      I've heard that MK's come with a self destruct trigger.

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    14. Psych tests are easy to get around. It's only a problem if you're honest.

      Yeah. That's how they get you. Or got me. My tests showed I lied to make myself look better. I did, of course. But it never occurred to me that I might have a pd so I answered a lot of it quite honeatly. That was naivety on my part.

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    15. Monica totally got MK'd, though I have my doubts as to whether she'll ever realize as much.

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    16. Its more fun when she's in denial about it.

      I bet they used the 'Wizard of Oz' programming procedure on her.

      That's why she's got wizard sleeves, isn't that, Monica?

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    17. The anon 10:01 did not post the 1:09.

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    18. Monica posted the 109 herself

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    19. Does MK Ultra have a claw hammer brigade?

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    20. LOL yeah. She's a monarch slave and her mother was/is her Illuminati handler.

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    21. Manchurian CandidateDecember 18, 2012 at 7:51 PM

      Mommy you shall die, bitch.

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  3. I just read the mother's blog entry. Good stuff, and completely true. I know several friends and a few family members in the same boat. Ill people refuse help and you can't do anything about it but deal with them until they get physically violent.

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  4. I read the mentioned blog yesterday too as I was trying to understand what went on there.

    I was very glad to see that some dialogue started and interestingly comment section had some kids volunteer that they were just like Adam.

    My very first take on Adam was that maybe he was doing mercy killing intentionally but I now realize whether he intended or not if this ends up in major gun control in the USA Adam will have done a huge favor.

    In my effort to understand why young children I switched from sweet, unable to see consequences little Asperger to a whatever it was before now turned prey and realized he was doing what any weak predator would do, meaning take on the weak targets, such as a sleeping adult and very young children in a building you are familiar with.

    It is interesting that he crashed his computer, not so sure if this was a hatred turns again where you felt codependence (his only true companions seem to have been computers) or an effort to hide clues. Hiding clues would only make sense if he was not planning to kill himself at the end. What a case. Canot wait to hear what the cops will conclude.

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    1. One day I'm gonna grab a 9mm and go Call of Duty style on all of you.

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  5. Here's the huge difference between the family of the little girl in Child of Rage and these other families: The Child of Rage had a loving and intact two parent team, supporting each other in rehabilitating the child. These other mothers have either been abandoned ny the husband / father or they've been forced to leave the husband / father because he's an abuser of some sort.

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  6. just keep your cool at the shrink and all will be diagnosed as adhd

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    1. (i used to be but everyone was at that time if you were a dificult child
      ofc that was b4 conductdisorder)

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    2. "Did I see a twitch?

      yeah, I'm gonna have to prescribe some Ritalin for that."

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    3. better yet act crazy i'll bet you can get away with a lot if you have borderline diagnosis (or bipolar)

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    4. fill us in haven what can you get way with

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  7. The fog would come rolling in. She would brace herself. It may be a cloud, like the one that followed Pigpen in Charlie Brown. It covered her with sadness, like she had lost all the loves of the world, in one. The fog may have a different onset such that all her cells stood up, at attention and told her to march. Maybe, she should march off the pier. Maybe, she should call up a friend and talk 90 miles a minute. Maybe, she should eat it or drink it, down. Maybe, she should follow to where it led. Maybe, it led out of her mind, altogether.

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    1. Today, the red cloud came down. It was like fireballs, the candy you had when you were young.They burned your mouth so badly that your astral twin left your body and went into your burning mouth. You loved it, for some inexplicable reason.

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    2. The fog was as red as the devil in his tomato red suit. He was complete with the horns and tail, naturally. His pitchfork aimed for her most sensitive spots like her belly or lower. He never made small talk, like how are you or you look especially nice, today. He shoved it in. That is just how it was. Social graces are for the fools who think they matter.

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  8. The devil came in when she was 13. He made her want that boy so much that she thought her body would die if she didn't get him. Prior to that, boys were like buses or fish. Same shit. Once the devil took her, she lost that insouciance. She became what she hated. She sold herself for attention, as if attention was military rations and she was dying.

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  9. There was "before the devil came in" and "after the devil came in" Unbeknownst to her. she had had eaten the poisoned apple and crossed over. When she looked in the mirror, she looked like the Wicked witch of the West. She had the stain of the Witch on her, as if she had gotten strawberries on her new white dress. Who wants to wear a white dress with red stains all over the front? It showed that you were a pig. You couldn't eat, without getting it all over yourself like you had no manners, at all, or were raised on a farm like an animal.

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  10. Sometimes, your shout to your soul goes into the caverns, as an echo that is running away, as if it can't stand the sight of you, either.

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  11. Your mother is supposed to give you wings, not cement shoes that cried with the guilt of martyrs, when you wanted to have a sliver of a fucking identity. How do you expect someone to walk the road to adulthood with 4 inch patent leather platform cement shoes such that one can barely move. Capiche?

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    1. Absolute pleasure to read, Sofa.
      A little dark and poetic with some haunting imagery. A little window into a beautiful, badly wounded soul.
      Well done.

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  12. Thank you, Literary Anon for spending the time to read and comment. You are making a big difference in my life.

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    1. No problem. Just telling you the truth. I'm an asshole when I see useless ramblings. But these days your writing is highly enjoyable and offers some good insights.
      I found myself reading several posts and identifying with them. I'm certain that I'm not alone in this. Like I said once, you writing from the soul like this is not just helping you see yourself and tell your story, but helping others with theirs. It takes real strength.
      I'm proud of you for what you are doing. You should be too.

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    2. This was for you, Literary Anon <3




      Every now and then, a sliver of sunlight comes through. It makes you thaw, like ice on a hot day in a mixed drink, which you are sipping on the beach. The ice melts fast, mixing into your drink until they are indistinguishable. In that moment, you are exactly right. Sunbeams come in words of love, spoken without a thought for repayment, making it all the more magical.

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    3. I am speechless.
      You have the heart of a beautiful poet, Sofa.

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    4. Is that you, LA?

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  13. wow that is powerful, sofa.

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    ReplyDelete

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