Back in the late 80’s I vividly remember seeking an answer from God concerning mental illness; Why it occurs, is it demonic or psychological, etc. etc. Looking back, there’s not one thing or incident I can point too for why I found myself suddenly interested in knowing this, or why I sought God for answers. Though I have wondered if it could have been God preparing me to work with physically and mentally handicapped children…which suddenly happened a year later.
What I also don’t know is how, as a Christian, to answer people who look for answers to the reasons for a family member’s mental illness. Do you? If you do, I’d greatly appreciate if you’d share your thoughts on this.
Anyway, this story really touched me. The actions of this woman’s son reminded me (to a lesser degree) of a boy in my classroom.
Written by Liza Long
Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.
“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.
“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”
“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid b****. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid b****. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”
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. 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.