“I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” makes me so incredibly angry.
[trigger warning: child abuse]
I was that kid.
I was being sexually abused by a family member. I was depressed, suicidal, and I had an eating disorder. I had a chronic illness and I had so many good reasons to be in pain. I was in so much pain that I tried killing myself two times. I was hurting so badly that I used to entertain the idea of a Columbine style massacre.
I was Liza Long’s son. My mom was exactly like her. There were moments when she stepped out, when she stopped being a parent and I was alone, by myself, with zero guidance. I was Liza Long’s son, neglected and scared and desperate for someone to help me.
But I was only that son for a few moments.
The difference is that after stepping back for a few hours or a day to collect herself, my mom was a responsible adult and decided to keep being my mom.
The difference is that my mom never had fantasies of murdering, beating, or neglecting me.
The difference is that my mom realized that I was only a child, not some fucked up, self-absorbed, victimizing fantasy of a devil-spawn.
The difference is that when my mom knew she couldn’t handle things, instead of publicly attacking a defenseless child, she had her friends and church help her.
The difference is that my mom recognized the power she had to help me instead of focusing on the few moments when i scared her.
The difference is that when I threatened to hurt her, my mom feared more for my safety than hers.
The difference is that my mom never gave up on me. She kept trying, taking me to counseling, leaving meals at my door, pushing through two line conversations, and crying with me.
And eventually, it worked. Eventually I got better. It took a very long time, and I’m still trying even today, but I did get better.
I got better because my mom realized the most important thing about raising a child who is in a lot of pain; he is hurting much more than you are, and he only has half of the tools to deal with it.
That is the difference between my mother and Liza Long. That difference is what stops kids from becoming monsters.
Liza Long has it all backwards. Monsters are made, not born.
My mom stopped me from becoming one.
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