Comments on: Troubled son or abusive partner? Or, when does caring for become enabling? http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 01:22:40 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1830185 Fri, 06 Dec 2013 14:24:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1830185 I think that estimate is probably too conservative if it’s only half. It seems like most suicides-by-cop would qualify too.

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By: Profane http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1828830 Fri, 06 Dec 2013 03:16:22 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1828830 And here is one of the consequences of the lack of a “mental health police.”

http://www.pressherald.com/news/Shoot-Across-nation-a-grim-acceptance-when-mentally-ill-shot-down.html

“A review of available reports indicates that at least half of the estimated 375 to 500 people shot and killed by police each year in this country have mental health problems.”

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By: Fran http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1828604 Fri, 06 Dec 2013 01:24:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1828604 We need to start diagnosing these boys and young men (and middle-aged men) with OVD (Obsession with Violence Disorder).

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By: Fran http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1828574 Fri, 06 Dec 2013 01:05:32 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1828574 Free therapy and stress management for parents, caregivers, mentally ill, soldiers, struggling, confused, students, etc. through a Medicare for All model. Real vacations for people, a stable economy, real wages, places people can go when their lives are changed by tragedy (if that is “community” or something less liable to scapegoating and witch hunts). And fix whatever the hell is going so wrong with so many young men.

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By: truffula http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1828378 Thu, 05 Dec 2013 23:22:31 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1828378 According to the police report, Adam Lanza’s father and brother didn’t cut him off, it was the other way around.

I grew up in a home with a mentally abusive parent. Among other things, that experience leaves me feeling uncomfortable about the difference between “survival strategy” and “enabling,” particularly in light of power differences among participants in such a situation. And it is true that despite the problems I love that parent and appreciate many things about hir.

Historiann:
It is agonizing to them to contemplate a future without this formerly very loving and close family member, but in order for them to live peacefully, that is what they must do.

Well, it is what they have chosen to do. I wonder though if it is really living peacefully. I know a family who gave a mentally unwell child up to the state because they did not have the financial or physical resources to give hir the care ze needed or to keep everybody safe. They learned everything they could about the condition (and each new diagnosis), moved to a new state for the higher level of state-funded care, etc., etc.. But it was too much and the situation became unsafe for everybody. I would not say that in giving up the child, peace is what they found.

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By: curmudgeon http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1827746 Thu, 05 Dec 2013 17:35:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1827746 what are their reciprocal responsibilities if they want to be cared for in a home by family members? I don’t think this is an unreasonable question, esp. re: the toll of care work on women’s time, labor, and health in particular.

This I agree with 100%, Historiann.

And of course self-protection is critical.

These situations are the very worst thing. Finding answers is supremely hard and the “right” answer varies over the course of time and is extremely dependent on individual family patterns and community resources.

But as outsiders to a given situation I think we need to be conscious that our position as the third party does not remove us from responsibility. Too often, those outside a given dynamic see it as victim/perpetrator or ill/caregiver and let our flawed social approach to the unwell…approaches which exacerbate every kind of violence, which let it thrive unnoticed…slip behind comforting tropes like mother-blaming.

“Cut him off” is an act of violence. It can certainly be an excusable act of self-defense and the very best choice of the choices left.

But why do we put people in this position.

Who is it that can have a discussion about a sick child’s responsibilities as a minor and as an adult to participate in his/her care and navigate a fair plan? Where is the community that steps in when they see something “off” and knows how to talk about it, knows where to point family to, years and years before the Big Crisis?

Where is that robust system of first responders that we know we need in every community in order to prevent an arms race and vigilantism? Without first responders for criminals, we’d have a lot more defensive acts of violence.

But there simply are no mental health police. And the reason for that is not because we want to protect the civil rights of sick people. It’s that we don’t prioritize that kind of earnest intervention.

Every criminal has civil rights and we still manage to fund 911 responses when someone breaks into our house.

Contrast: even when police receive “mental health training,” we’re talking about fewer than 4 hours in most cases. And the number of police stations that cut social workers following the recession is staggering.

On the topic of more robust responses to domestic violence (and any lessons applicable to potentially violent domestic mental health situations), you may find some of Donna Coker’s work interesting.

http://www.law.miami.edu/faculty-administration/donna-coker.php

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1825577 Wed, 04 Dec 2013 22:42:27 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1825577 FYI, TalkLeft has a link roundup to the 911 tapes & more evidence on the murderer and his living situation.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1825400 Wed, 04 Dec 2013 21:08:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1825400 One issue this conversation touches on is the extent to which disabled people are entitled to individual civil rights. It’s now self-evident that they are and the law treats them as such (as Susan pointed out above, it’s very difficult to commit adults involuntarily to institutions or even to compel counseling, medication, etc.), but what are their reciprocal responsibilities if they want to be cared for in a home by family members? I don’t think this is an unreasonable question, esp. re: the toll of care work on women’s time, labor, and health in particular.

I have friends who are now coping with the mental illness of a family member. They are all having to decide what kind of relationship they want to have with the afflicted person, and being self-protective is something that their therapists are emphasizing, which I find very interesting. In this case, the police were called more than once to help deal with the afflicted person by different family members. I think this is because the family in question had a clear sense of boundaries of acceptable behavior, and disorderly, violent, or other potentially harmful behavior was unacceptable to them in their homes.

It is agonizing to them to contemplate a future without this formerly very loving and close family member, but in order for them to live peacefully, that is what they must do. The afflicted person is now in an institutional long-term care setting (and seems pretty calm and settled now), and the rest of the family is doing its best to reimagine the rest of their lives.

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By: Kathleen http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1825219 Wed, 04 Dec 2013 19:39:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1825219 What Sweet Sue said — brilliant, curmudgeon.

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By: Sweet Sue http://www.historiann.com/2013/11/29/troubled-son-or-abusive-partner/comment-page-1/#comment-1824936 Wed, 04 Dec 2013 17:14:18 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22099#comment-1824936 Why is more direct trauma perceived as less damaging than “enabling”? Research doesn’t seem to indicate that trauma is so benign. Do we ignore the significance of abandonment trauma in favor of some “enablement deterioration effect” because abandonment is masculine and enabling is feminine
Brilliant.

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