Sandy Hook Brings Families Out of the Mental Health Closet | I am Adam Lanza’s Sister

By Melanie Nathan, December 18, 2012.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 1.40.32 PMSince the Sandy Hook tragedy there has been a dramatic shift in the discussion about guns in America, with some remarkable statistics coming from the NRA, now showing that their membership favors stronger gun control, even though their operatives continue to lobby against. It took twenty dead seven year olds to have the conversation where people are talking in a way they have not spoken before and as I have said on social media, now IS the time to have this discussion and its call for drastic measures cannot wait another second.    But guns are not the only issue.

An incendiary mix waiting to detonate found its form in Adam Lanza, who by all accounts was mentally ill, and the easy access to the gun collection of a mother, calls into focus both issues- gun control and the chronic lack of mental health resources!

The cry for help now reverberates across America as many are coming forward expressing fear and portraying the vivid reality of what was until now dirty little home kept secrets. The families of the mentally ill are now telling and the telling is getting very loud.

Hopefully the President and our congressional representatives will take note of these heartbreaking accounts, of the violent threats families of the mentally depleted face on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps President Obama can indeed become the Anti-REAGAN, to find a way to turn around the American policies which squished the critical resources, that if not for the Reagan eradication machine decades ago, would have yielded a system that  may have thwarted not only the Adam Lanza attack but perhaps others like Jared Lee Loughner and countless others before them.

One such family member has come out here on OBLOGDEE to post a courageous response to the now viral article “I am Adam Lanza’s mother” written by a mother of a mentally ill child who lives under constant fear of attack by her own son and speaks to the lack of resources.

Here is Rachel Connolly’s response:

“I can say that this tragedy has really affected me…because I lived this in my childhood, and in my adult life. The following are my life experiences and hope you gain more insight into this unending epidemic that is so shameful for people to acknowledge. Educating ourselves is the key to the solution.

by Rachel Connolly:

My twin sister was not competent to stand trial, so she was sentenced to a year in the state mental hospital for the attempted murder of my dad-she plotted to murder him using one of his guns. Thankfully my brother found out about her plot and called the police. My dad was a serious gun collector. I pleaded with him about the dangers of my Schizophrenic and very paranoid twin sister-and mother. He didn’t care he said he had a right to own guns and they were his hobby. I was his daughter and he was not going to get advice from me.

My twin went back to the state hospital when she almost succeeded in the murder of my mother. By the way she loved my mother dearly…she was off her meds for quite some time before she plugged a 9 inch knife though my mother’s back and into her heart.

The general hospital would not take my mother; they said she would die on the operating table. She was life-flown to the Heart Institute in Scottsdale, AZ where the  internationally renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Christian Barnard oversaw the surgery. They successfully removed the knife from my mother’s heart and she lived another 10 years.

This is a mental illness issue and a gun control issue.

Something to think about: Ronald Reagan signed into Federal law the de-institutionalization of the mentally ill. He did not create the centers to help these people when they were released into the streets as he promised he would. He vetoed the funding for the centers. Which began the proliferation of mass murders and serial murders in unprecedented numbers after this occurred. The worst part of all…he did this when he was lying in a hospital bed while himself recovering from the attempted murder by a severely mentally ill person…so if a president could be totally clueless what does that have to say about everyone else? But now with the Sandy Hook massacre that must clearly change.

This tragedy has caused me to no longer live in silence. For the first time in my life I am going to tell everyone my story-that is me Rachel Connolly.

The tragedy that happened in Connecticut could have been avoided. Why do I know? Because I lived it. My mother and twin sister were both severely mentally ill- and were homicidal and suicidal at times. I have been there to witness these things. I have been inside a state mental hospital many times…prison would have been a much less dangerous experience.

We shun those who are mentally ill like lepers. Everyone turns their back including family members. I should know I have two brothers who both disowned my mother and sister.

My mother is now deceased and my twin has not spoken to both of my brothers in over 25 years. You think this is normal? Yes, it is…most mentally ill people are disowned by their family. Government help is a joke. It didn’t surprise me what happened to Gabby Giffords. I am from Arizona.. it is ranked in dead last place for programs for the mentally ill. That is why I moved my sister here to California from Arizona.

My opinion is that Nancy Lanza was extremely irresponsible for allowing such a mentally ill person to have access to semi-automatic weapons. The most appalling part tin my opinion is that she actually took this very mentally ill person to a shooting range and taught him how to shoot these weapons. I am beyond enraged. Yea, I am blaming the mom here. I also blame the dad who left his children with his wife when he went to work, who drowned them in her bathtub. He KNEW she was at a mental hospital the week before and was so delusional she saw teddy bears coming out of the walls. My own mother stalked the halls of our house with a 9″ knife in her hand waiting for the CIA to kill her (my sister took up the knife obsession). As a child I had to find ways to hide and protect myself. There was no adult around to help me. After 30 years of intense therapy and healing, I now feel qualified to ask: ‘how many times must this happen before we change the mental health system? and yeah automatic weapons have no place in society!’”

Rachel’s mother would not have survived had guns been at the disposal of her sister.  And who else may have got caught in such an easy assail?  Rachel’s sister is currently in a State mental home after being in and out several times since the attack on her mother. Her future and that of those who come into contact with her, remains uncertain.

Rachel lives in San Diego, CA and has been in the finance business for 20 years. She is also the head organizer the San Diego Lesbian meetup.

Contact: Editor, Melanie Nathan ,
Copyright: OBLOGDEEOBLOGDA© 2012. All Rights reserved.
Please feel free to link to this article. Publication on Facebook or elsewhere requires specific permission from Editor.
Twitter: @melanienathan1 /

4 thoughts on “Sandy Hook Brings Families Out of the Mental Health Closet | I am Adam Lanza’s Sister

  1. Reblogged this on honeyimalesbian and commented:
    I have several mentally ill family members, and fortunately they are not homicidal, but trying to find help for them always proved difficult at best. If you do find help, you must be able to afford it, which is even more impossible, if the patient has been disowned or was a ward of the state because there really is no one looking out for them. This letter speaks volumes.

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