Sarah Kendzior, Local Author, Calls Out Woman Behind "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" [UPDATE]
Long has written a series of vindictive and cruel posts about her children in which she fantasizes about beating them, locking them up and giving them away. In most posts, her allegedly insane and violent son is portrayed as a normal boy who incites her wrath by being messy, buying too many Apple products and supporting Obama.
I feel uncomfortable speculating about someone's private life based on a blog. But since these children are likely to be the object of enormous media attention, someone should be paying close attention to the words of their mother.
Read Kendzior's argument for yourself, as paraphrasing takes too much out of context, but she uses as evidence entries in which Long wrote she wanted to "throttle" her kids, stab one in an Abraham-Isaac fantasy, and that as a result of a messy divorce went "stark raving mad."
"These children could be in real danger if her goal was to capitalize on the Newtown tragedy by creating a media campaign designed to give her sympathy," writes Kendzior. "There is a 13-year-old boy who has already had his reputation destroyed and who may be facing serious harm."
It could be that the son obsessed with Apple and Obama is Long's oldest boy, not 13-year-old "Michael." In previous posts about her kids, Long usually uses no name at all so it's hard to say for certain, but the ages roughly match up. And the blog is not free from other mentions of a troubled son, at one point mentioning a parole officer. But do her other writings rise to the level of disturbing or just hyperbolic real-talk from a tired mom?
Many people thought the latter and told Kendzior so, prompting her to write a follow-up to her initial post called "A brief response to Liza Long":
It is hard to dismiss Long's blog as satire or hyperbole, as some commenters have written, when she has threatened to jail her own child. Read in context with her viral post, her previous posts are disturbing and should be taken seriously. Parenting is the hardest thing a person can do, and every parent feels frustration and anger towards their children at some point. But most of us do not blog about it using our child's picture, under our real names. Her child's privacy and reputation have been irrevocably damaged. If he gets the help he needs, he will still have his mother's cruel words following him online for the rest of his life.
What do you think -- is Long an attention-starved mom who used a national tragedy and her child's struggles for internet fame, or is Kendzior overreacting?
Since her second post on the matter, the onslaught on Kendzior has apparently not abated. She subsequently Tweeted that she's receiving death threats. From other mommybloggers:
A mommy blogger sent an email threatening my five-year-old. She knew her name, which I have not made public. Is this mommy blogger culture?— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) December 17, 2012
So basically no matter who you think is right, everyone has officially lost their minds and everything is terrible.
While Kendzior is refusing to do any media about this issue, Long is being trotted out on the network TV circuit next. If there's something amiss with her story, it will come out at some point (hopefully).
Here's her first appearance. Not that it means anything but it is kind of an awkward clip:
Update: Apparently, Liza Long and Sarah Kendzior have spoken and buried the hatchet. Here's a statement that was just posted to Kendzior's site moments ago calling for an end to the "mommy war."
We would like to release a public statement on the need for a respectful national conversation on mental health. Whatever disagreements we have had, we both believe that the stigma attached to mental illness needs to end. We need to provide affordable, quality mental health care for families. We need to provide support for families who have a relative who is struggling.
We both agree that privacy for family members, especially children, is important. Neither of us anticipated the viral response to our posts. We love our children and hope you will respect their privacy.
Our nation has suffered enough in the aftermath of Newtown. We are not interested in being part of a 'mommy war'. We are interested in opening a serious conversation on what can be done for families in need. Let's work together and make our country better.
-Sarah Kendzior and Liza Long