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Friday, April 25th, 2014

‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’ Author Faces Harsh Criticisms

Liza Long calls for national conversation about mental illness After the tragic CT shooting took place, a powerful essay titled ‘I am Adam Lanza’s Mother’ went viral and has received harsh criticisms and sparked controversial discussions.

Liza Long, the author of the essay, uses the piece to compare herself to Adam Lanza’s mother.

The comparison stems from the fact that she is the mother of a mentally ill child and she believes that there needs to be a national discussion about mental illness, not gun control laws.

Long’s 13-year-old son is believed to be suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness that causes him to become irrationally angry. Even when his mother simply asks him to take back overdue library books, the young boy responds by telling his mother that he hates her.

Although a discussion about mental illness is certainly important, Liza is facing serious backlash concerning the privacy of her children.

Throughout the essay and her personal blog she discusses personal instances with her children and exposes a young boy’s life without giving him any say so.

“I love my son,” she wrote in the essay. “…but he terrifies me.”

She went on to describe why she made the decision to put her song in a mental hospital.

“This problem is too big for me to handle on my own,” she continues. “Sometimes there are no good options.”

While we certainly understand the hardships that come along with taking care of a son who may be mentally ill, it is also important that Long is already in the wrong for comparing herself to Nancy Lanza in the first place since Adam has not been diagnosed with a mental illness.

The CT gunman was only found to have Asperger’s syndrome which is a developmental disorder – not a mental illness.

To further subtract from Long’s credibility is the fact that the posts written on her blog paint a completely different story than that of her well constructed and thought out essay.

I Am Adam Lanza's Mother essay sparks controversy While the essay aims to create a feeling of sympathy for a mother who has done nothing but helplessly watch her son struggle with mental illness, the blog certainly seems to expose more of the truth.

Several posts prove that mental illness or not, the 13-year-old’s home environment might not be the loving sanctuary that most kids need to come home to on a daily basis.

The “Anarchist Soccer Mom” blogger not only disrespects her son’s right to privacy by sharing his struggles on the internet, but she has also made several posts admitting that she just wants the state to take care of her kids because she “gives up.”

If that wasn’t enough she went on to admit that she often fantasizes about beating her children.

Sarah Kendzior, one of Long’s more famous critics, also agrees that the discussion regarding mental health needs to be made but no children should be put in harms way to do so.

“Long has written a series of vindictive and cruel posts about her children… In most posts, her allegedly insane and violent son is portrayed as a normal boy who incites her wrath by being messy, buying too many Apple products and supporting Obama,” Kendzior wrote.

So despite whether there is a health issue or not, the “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother” author has already admitted to becoming extremely angry with her son for just being a 13-year-old boy who likes Obama.

At the end of the day, mental illnesses do not exclude parents and sometimes we have to consider the fact that sometimes the only real cause of an angry child is poor parenting – not an illness.

“[Long’s] children could be in real danger if her goal was to capitalize on the Newtown tragedy by creating a media campaign designed to give her sympathy,” Kendzior continues. “This ‘national conversation’ on mental illness needs to include the mental illness of mothers and the online privacy of their children.”

I Am Adam Lanza's Mother author violates son's privacy After all, if a young boy is already suffering from being irrationally angry, his mother sharing his challenges with the entire world on the internet certainly won’t help the situation or make the boy feel as if he has a mother to confide in.

Despite the controversial points in her essay, there were still several points that did need to be addressed such as the obstacles that parents of mentally ill children face and how they too need support from others.

“I hope this family gets compassion and support,” Kendzior concluded. “I hope Long’s call for better mental health services and understanding of the pressures parents face is heeded. The points Long made in her post were important. But she did not need to hurt her son to make them.”

Ever since Sarah explained her view on Liza’s post, both ladies released a joint statement explaining that the last thing either of the women want is a “mommy war.”

“Our nation has suffered enough in the aftermath of Newtown. We are not interested in being a part of a ‘mommy war,’” the statement read. “We are interested in opening a serious conversation on what can be done for families in need. Let’s work together and make our country better.”

Long has already been featured on CNN discussing the controversial essay and blog posts and will also appear on NBC News to face more tough questions regarding the personal story that she made very public.

 

Comments

  1. I am uncomfortable with this whole "I am Adam Lanza's mother" article, or blog, or whatever the heck it is. I mean, Adam Lanza's mother died after her son shot her 4 times in the head with a rifle. Isn't that a time to demonstrate grief and respect through silence?

    Instead this woman writes an article which essentially uses this tragedy as a means of directing attention to her difficulty in parenting her son. We don't even know what happened with Adam Lanza – so comparing her son to him seems a little more than pre-mature. Also, what we do know is that Adam Lanza is a mass murder who slaughtered little children. Might not this comparison by his mother potentially scar her son?

    It seems to me that if this were a father doing the very same thing, that we would shower him with ridicule and scorn, but because it is a petit, blond, mother, we shower her with adulations and reverence. A slanted public response revealing a strong gender bias and a morbid fascination with horror stories.

    The whole thing looks like media-manipulation, and attention seeking behavior as a way of soothing her ego because she feels out of control of her parenting skills.

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