Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I Am Adam Lanza's Mother': A Mom's Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America Written by Liza Long, republished from The Blue Review

 I read the above article at 6am this morning, after another night of all night praying and crying for my 20 year old son.  He too is mentally ill.
 This time he has been on the street for four days.  He doesn't have any food, nor any money to get food, and it's unconventionally freezing in California right now.  I am worried sick.
Like the author above, I too am learning how to deal with my mentally ill son.  I do not have help.  I am having to do lots of research on my own.  Things like, 'when to detect an episode coming on.'  The tiniest thing can trigger him.  I feel like I'm about to become an expert on mental health issues.  Like most Americans, I really don't want to know about it.  Except that I don't have a choice.
For the longest time I thought my son was on drugs.  I thought his violent behavior was due to drug use.  Today I know that just isn't the case.  I know this because the half dozen times he has been taken to the emergency room via ambulance and crisis unit, they have drug tested him.  I do not have my family's help because they somehow feel that 'he must have brought this on himself', perhaps due to past drug use.  They too, do not understand mental illness.
Like Ms. Long states, "I'd do anything for benefits"  For the longest time I had no health benefits for my son.  He was admitted into the state hospital. The hospital did apply for Medi-cal benefits to cover the hospital fees.  The state hospital was the most horrific place you have ever seen.  It's difficult to describe in words, and brings tears to my eyes to even try.  It's worse then any movie you've ever seen.  The ten days my son was there (because that's all they would keep him for.) were awful.  I would visit him everyday, and everyday I would physically throw up when I left.  I finally convinced my ex husband to purchase health insurance for his son.  He spent many years in the military, and Thank God for that.  The military is the only place I know of that offers really good mental health care.
I too, do not keep sharp knives in the home.  I threw them all away.  It makes for some difficulty when I am trying to cook.  I've emptied my house of everything that could be potentially dangerous.  Things are a little different now, not better, just different.  I know my son is sick, so I treat him differently and don't expect much out of him. He is no longer violent, he just talks to himself a lot. It has been determined by many professionals that he is not a danger to himself or others. He is physically a grown man, yet his mental ability to function that way is just impossible.  He cannot hold a job, or basically care for himself.  So it looks like I am left with a lifetime of caring for him.  I cannot, as his mother, leave him on the street.  To quote Ms. Long, "This is bigger then me".
I have looked for support groups and help as well.  In my case, my son refuses to take medicine.  I might add that he too, is extremely bright (when he's not psychotic) can quote Einstein, genius on Greek Mythology, etc etc.  Interesting how our children share the same common characteristics.  I wonder if Adam Lanza had those same characteristics?  Seems like someone might wake up and say," hmmmm"
  The bottom line is we need better resources for the mentally ill.  period.  We just can't ignore the problem any longer.  I wish and pray that I had better skills to handle my mentally ill son.  It's funny now that I am aware of his illness, I see mentally ill people all over the place.  It's almost like how drug addicts can recognize other drug addicts.  There are many, many, mentally ill people in this world.  I see them everywhere now.  Maybe not as bad as my son, at least not yet.
I don't have any answers.  I wish someone would knock on my door and tell me how to fix this problem.  It's so heartbreaking no one can imagine until they are in this position.  I pray for all those affected by the mentally ill.  I pray for the mentally ill.  I do a lot of praying, and ask that you pray too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


   I have posted before that it has been a particularly challenging year for me.  My son is very ill and has been in and out of the hospital a half a dozen times this past year.  He doesn't just go into the hospital either.  It usually requires an ambulance, police, crisis team, etc etc.
  I have a young daughter too, along with other kids, and keeping my own mental stability is a task in itself.  It's difficult to keep things 'normal' when you have a child that is sick.  I am constantly having to remind myself that I have a child that IS NOT sick.
  There are also other problems that life brings.  I don't make enough money to support my family.  Stuck in a job I really don't like.  I don't have anyone to help me.  Bills. blah blah blah
  However, this post is not a complaint.  This post is about gratitude and how thankful  I really feel.  Through this most difficult year ever, I have grown to have a relationship with God.  I have always had what I thought was a relationship, but now I know the difference.  Through this difficult year I have watched miracles happen before my very eyes.  I have stayed up all night, praying to God, and in the morning had that very prayer answered.  I have literally watched miracle after miracle happen.
  I could give some examples: My one son was coming home form the Army, My other son is sick, I have a daughter as I said, and I drive a Smart car!  Uhmmm...Love the Smart car, but definitely not enough room for all the kids.   It was never an issue before, because It was just me and my daughter.  But with all three kids around for the holidays, now it's an issue.  So I prayed about it.  "God, I don't know how this is going to work out, but I need a car that can fit everyone."  and I just kept praying and trusted that it would work out.  Guess what?  Someone gave me a car!  No really!  GAVE it to me!  And its not a junker either!  It's a really nice Hyundai.  seriously.  Now,  the pessimist might say, oh well, a family member gave it to you, it wasn't God.  But I don't believe that.
  Another example:  My son went missing for several days.  Literally missing.  Missing like,  I made flyers and drove around to Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach and handed out flyers and put them on posts, and asked everyone (including cops) if they had seen him.  It physically made me ill.  I can't tell you how many hours/days I spent looking.  It had been almost two weeks.  I hadn't slept at all.  So I stayed up one night all night and asked God to just please return my son to me so that I would know he was safe.  The NEXT morning, my son walked in the door.  I have no idea how he even made it to my house.  He had no money.  Not one dime.  He just appeared!
  There are so many other things that have happened.  Today, I start my day off, on my knees, with a prayer.  The bible says to start prayer off asking for forgiveness.  I try to stick to that.  Then I prayer for what I want, because I believe my God wants me to  live an abundant life full of happiness and joy.  Today I have that.  I still have problems, but they don't look so big anymore.  I feel as though God as with me and that is beautiful
   Prayer Works!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


My friend, who I haven't spoken to in a couple of weeks called me yesterday to ask me how I'm doing.  Well...Let's see, I have a job I hate and don't make enough money at.  I have a older son who is mentally ill and walks around talking to himself all day!  I have another son who just discharged from the Army, has been sitting at home all day and NOT applying for jobs.  I have a beautiful daughter who is young and impressionable, who I am raising all by myself. 
So how am I doing?  I am so grateful!  I feel so completely blessed!  I know I don't have the 'perfect' family.  Most people in my family are crazy, some more then others, and I am including myself!  I know Im not perfect and I am o.k. with that.  I pray my older son will get better soon because this is not the life I want for him, nor do I believe it is the life God wants for him.  I pray my younger son will get some motivation and go get a job.  I pray my daughter will live an abundant life full of hope and joys and dreams full-filled.  I pray for myself that I will continue to have strength to raise these kids and be happy doing it!  I pray the stress of life won't get me down.
 I know what it is like to have nothing.  Literally.  I know what it is like to have your kid missing and go in search of him,  handing out posters and asking, 'have you seen him'  I know what it is like to go without dinner so your daughter can eat.  I know what it is like to go days without sleep, so filled with worry and angst.
I don't have to do any of that today.  I don't know about tomorrow, but I do know about today.  My God is a God of suddenly's and suddenly it can all change.  So today I am walking in blind faith and gratefulness to be where I am. Only through the grace of God. Literally.