Among other things that i just can not even begain to wrap my mind around, i just am so upset at what these kids had to endure, see, feel, i am just stuck on them, the shear evil in that shooter, that did that to them,and the adults.
It was a tragedy beyond belief,that left people all over the world with no words and with broken hearts.So,so sad...These children were so young,waiting for the holidays.Just...I can't even start to imagine what the families are going through.I want to express my deepest condolences to all of you,i know you're affected,we all are,even far away..May they all rest in peace.And let's all pray,that nothing like that ever happens again.
Last edited by Bell; 12-16-2012 at 01:30 PM.
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Virginia Tech, Columbine, the tragedy that struck Gabby Giffords and her supporters in Tucson, the Aurora Colorado movie theatre massacre...this is hardly the the first mass murder to result from mental illness but perhaps we can find a way to make it the last. If the slaughter of so many little children can't make us come to grips with this, I don't believe that anything ever will.
For those who want to help the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School nightmare, the United Way seeks donations for a special fund: Newtown/Sandy Hook Announcement.
Lucy, owned by Joker and Sunny, who remember Charlie with me
Last edited by GoldensGirl; 12-16-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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From The Anarchist Soccer Mom: Thinking the Unthinkable
I think there's a lesson to be learned here...
Thinking the Unthinkable
Michael holding a butterfly
In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s 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 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.
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. (A Guide to Mass Shootings in America | Mother Jones). 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. (U.S.: Number of Mentally Ill in Prisons Quadrupled | Human Rights Watch)
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 (Nation's Jails Struggle With Mentally Ill Prisoners : NPR)
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.
The only way out is through. Keep going.
I agree if he was mental ill, he should had received help, every one should, but from what i can see the home they lived in, it appears they were well to do, his mom had guns, if he was mentally ill, the guns should had been gone, also we don't know if he was ill, there is such a thing as evil also. If they had insurance,or could afford treatment,and did not get it, that is yet another problem.
If you have an "of age" child with a suspected mental illness there is no recourse for treatment if the child refuses. Unless they commit a felony and a paper trail can be established there is nothing a parent can do.
The other thing is that mental health treatment is not an exact science either.
I just want to add that this is just not a country that is grieving , I am in Canada and we are feeling the pain too, this is a world in mourning not just a community or country. Anyone who has had the privilege to go to school and do so wanting to learn in a safe environment feels the confusion and pain that this horrific tragedy has placed. You begin to question is there anywhere safe anymore. I am equally confused about why a mother who has a son with mental issues would be a gun collector. She had her sons go to shooting ranges and made these guns accessible to a son who had serious issues. I am finding it hard to understand how anyone feels it necessary to own such an extensive selection of weapons. They just arrested another man 60, that had 47 guns and $100,000 worth of ammo that was going to set his wife on fire and go to a nearby school and kill a lot more kids then this massacre. What us wrong with these people?? My head hurts thinking about it.
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I agree with you also, on facebook it has been turned into gun control, for it ,or against it, i just don't know what the answers are.