Adam Lanza killed his mother Nancy on 14 December (Lanza family)
Last week, Liza Long wrote a blog post entitled I'm Adam Lanza's Mother in which she talks about the difficulties of having a mentally ill son with violent tendencies.
Long's essay, published on the Blue Review, went viral and the author appeared on CNN to talk about mental illness and its stigma.
It followed the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, in which Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults. He had killed his mother, Nancy, before getting to the school.
She wrote: "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.
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"His seven and nine-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 ... I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza's mother. I am Dylan Klebold's and Eric Harris's mother. I am James Holmes's mother.
Liza Long has been accused of exploiting her son for media attention (Blue Review)
"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."
Following her essay, there was an outpour of sympathy with many people coming forward saying they had experienced similar problems personally.
However, anthropologist Sarah Kendzior wrote a response to Long's writing, saying her other blog posts were "vindictive and cruel" about her children.
Re-posting some of Long's other entries, Kendzior notes that Long has "violent and paranoid" fantasies about her children, saying she wants to have them locked up.
Speaking about 'mentally ill' Michael: "Confession: My teen is driving me nuts. Oh sure, the rest of you see this poised, self-confident, polite young man who always holds doors open and helps little old ladies cross the street and can magically make your iPad work.
"Sure, he's a straight A Boy Scout who can play anything in the key of Coldplay on the piano and writes English essays that make his teacher weep for joy.
"What you don't see is him shooting rubber bands at his siblings while he is supposed to be cleaning the Room of Doom."
Long goes on to say how his room is messy and that he had not cleaned it for two months, despite her asking. In another post, she says of him: "Your "I love to fart on you" song may seem whimsical or even clever to you, my dear seven year old. But it makes me want to throttle you."
She also chastises her son for liking president Obama and the late Steve Jobs: "In addition to worshiping Steve Jobs, my son is an Obama-loving Democrat. All day long I have to listen to him go on and on about how President Obama and Steve Jobs have made the earth a paradise right here and now, set to a Coldplay soundtrack (okay, at least the kid has decent taste in tuneage)."
Following her post, Kendzior received a number of angry comments, which people saying she is not a mother (which she is). Kendzior responded by saying Long has not protected the privacy of her children and exploited her son for media attention.
Both women then released a joint statement explaining their on-going argument. They said that despite their disagreement, the need for a discussion on mental health in the US is important and that the stigma attached to these illnesses must end.
"Neither of us anticipated the viral response to our posts. We love our children and hope you will respect their privacy," they wrote.
"Our nation has suffered enough in the aftermath of Newtown. We are not interested in being part of a 'mommy war'. 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."
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