Update: Sarah Kendzior and Liza Long release a joint statement, via Kendzior's website.
Yesterday, a personal essay entitled "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" lit the internet on fire. It was published on the website Gawker, but it originally appeared Friday as an entry on a so-called "mommyblog" called The Anarchist Soccer Mom.
The author is Liza Long, a divorced mother of four living in Boise, Idaho. The subject of the piece is her psychologically disturbed son "Michael" in whom Long sees flickers of Adam Lanza, the gunman in the tragic Newtown massacre.
"I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me," Long writes.
The response to Long was overwhelmingly positive. That is, until a local author and recent Washington University Ph.D. named Sarah Kendzior entered a very different opinion via her own blog: That Long is exploiting her son and has "violent and paranoid fantasies."
Naturally, all hell broke loose.
If you missed it, read Long's piece as it appeared on Gawker here. The basic thesis is that every time she hears about another mass shooting, she fears she is glimpsing her own uncontrollably violent 13-year-old son's future. Here's a passage about committing "Michael" to a psych ward against his will:
For days, my son insisted that I was lying--that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, "I hate you. And I'm going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here."
By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I've heard those promises for years. I don't believe them anymore.
On the intake form, under the question, "What are your expectations for treatment?" I wrote, "I need help."
Kendzior sought out Long's original post on her personal blog, under the considerably less salacious title, "Thinking the Unthinkable," and continued past it, clicking through several year's worth of entries (Kendzior has a long list of credentials, she's contributed to The Atlantic and Al-Jazeera, and has several academic papers under her belt). Then she wrote a post on her own blog, called "Want the Truth Behind 'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother'? Read her blog."
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