Liza Long has a profound situation on her hands. Her 13-year-old son scares her. She says he has serious mental health problems, and she writes about her struggle and its larger implications in an essay that has gripped the Internet with its frank discussion of coping with mental health issues in children.
In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, on blogs and social media, we're debating violence, gun control and mental health issues. We're searching for reasons why something like this could possibly happen. In her post, Liza writes that it's easy to talk about guns. But she thinks it's time to talk about mental illness.
In her moving essay, she writes in detail about her own son's illness:
"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."
According to her personal account, things got much worse:
"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."
She gives us her reasons for writing the post in the first place:
"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."
Read the rest of her powerful essay on her personal blog, The Anarchist Soccer Mom, or on another site that's republished it, The Blue Review.
--Courtesy of Mashable