It seems parenting nightmares is a recurring theme here on the blog.
Peter Lanza is another example of a parent living out the worst possible nightmare… my heart break’s for him. His son killed children, his own mother and other innocent adults in an incident that will be remembered forever. Imagine knowing you gave birth to that. Imagine having your name be linked to such horror.
This is the part of the story, his own words, that I found most compelling. “I want people to be afraid of the fact that this could happen to them.”
You might think, as we (is it better or simply luckier) parents sometimes do, that this father and mother didn’t love their son enough. Not true, they loved him just as much as any parent, just as much as you love your own children. A mother gave up her job (the first of many sacrifices) for him, a father worked hard to provide, he spent time with his sons, took them places. One son, Ryan, seems to have emerged into adulthood well and whole, but Adam didn’t, or couldn’t.
You might think the Lanzas didn’t see the signs of trouble, they didn’t worry for their son. They did. They knew he was different and loved him anyway. You’re sure they didn’t try to get help from professionals. They did, they had the testing and a diagnosis. They followed that advice, the best to be had. Nobody he saw professionally or knew privately predicted what happened at Sandy Hook.
As you read Peter Lanza’s story, it’s hard to see where these parents went wrong, and yet things went so horribly wrong. That’s a nightmare Peter Lanza lives every single day, and will for the rest of his life. You might say he’s earned that, but I can’t find it in me to agree.
He’s just a dad… maybe he worked too much, maybe he missed something, maybe he couldn’t stick it out – but he never, ever suspected this, and he would have done anything to stop it. Now knowing what we see with hindsight, Adam’s world was narrowing, he was getting sicker and hiding it. And we’ll never know why he went to a school he loved that morning and did what he did… like his father, we’re left to wonder.
Maybe some of the finger-pointing that’s naturally part of this story should be toward the psychiatric profession… the “experts” who advised this family. Being “on the spectrum” is a terrifying place… parents need all the help… all the knowledge they can get. It’s easy to hide… to deny… we can’t let this happen.
While you’re pointing that finger, look at the way our society views these problems, and these kids. Look at how you react to them in your own life. And bear in mind there is no parent on this earth who wants to see their own child lost.
If Peter Lanza‘s story awakens even one parent in denial about what might be happening to their own son (or daughter)… what they risk by pretending things are okay… perhaps that’s the good that will come from so much pain.
God Bless You Peter Lanza.