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By | February 28, 2012 80 Comments

Is the Chardon High School shooter a budding sociopath?

A 17-year-old high school sophomore, identified by his family as T. J. Lane, allegedly walked into his high school cafeteria in Chardon, Ohio, yesterday and started shooting. Two students are now dead, and three were injured.

It’s too early to know if T. J. Lane actually has a personality disorder. But it looks like his father, Thomas Lane Jr., exhibited sociopathic behavior. He’s been arrested for abusing women. He served time for holding one woman’s head under running water and then bashing it into a wall. The father, and T.J. Lane’s mother, were charged with domestic violence against each other.

T. J. Lane wasn’t living with either of his parents—he was living with his grandparents. And news reports indicate that social service agencies were aware of the family’s troubles.

So here’s a plausible scenario: The young man’s father may be a sociopath, and unfortunately T.J. Lane inherited a genetic predisposition to the disorder. His family environment was not good, which allowed the genetic predisposition to express, or activate. Then, he reached puberty, which is often when the disorder takes hold. Then he decided to lash out.

Read: Alleged Ohio gunman rarely spoke about ‘trouble’ at home, on CNN.com.

Is this actually the case? I don’t know. But it was the case in the Columbine High School shootings, according to author David Cullen, author of the book Columbine. Here’s a review.

This might be an explanation. Still, I doubt the tragedy could have been prevented.


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Ox Drover

I absolutely agree that this young man was a “budding sociopath” if not a full fledged one.

The DNA was there (probably on both paternal and maternal sides) and there’s no way to tell what the situation was in the home with his grandparents (the parents of one of his high in P traits parents) so the kid, in my estimation had the “worst of both worlds”

I just read a story where an Anglican Bishop from Brazil who a friend of mine (also an Anglican Priest) knew was murdered, and his wife with him, by a 29 year old son they had adopted. Stabbed to death over money.

Kids who have parents who are high in P traits that render those children unable to live with their natural parents are “at risk” kids but where can you put them? There are not enough “theraputic foster homes” available now for the ones we already have that need it. Group homes don’t work well for helping these children either. I wish I knew the answer. I think maybe I don’t know the answer because there is NOT an answer on how to take care of these children in such a way that the DNA won’t win out.

I grieve for the families of those shot or dead, and I grieve for the entire area where it happened, where their feelings of safety are shattered, and I grieve for the children who will never forget what happened yesterday. God bless them all.

Joanie123

I was hoping this one was listed and here it is. Yes, I believe shooter is full-fledged lock & stock & barrel sociopath.
As was the Colombine shooter or at least one of them.
The father appears to be one likewise and obviously gave the gene to junior.
The kids described him as a loner but pleasant to talk to.
We all know some spaths wear the mask well. If he had hurt my kid I’d be at the court room cursing & using profanities on him and his kin. They’d have to lock me up. I don’t think a normal 17 year old would be capable of doing this.
I think schools have to seriously think about installing metal detector’s on a national basis because this is happening in the suburbs as well as inner cities.

Joanie123

http://news.yahoo.com/prosecutor-school-shooter-chose-random-victims-211809266.html

Chose victims at random.
In the sociopaths mind we cattle are all the same. Victims to be exploited!

DawnG

I saw TJ Lane’s Facebook page before it was taken down. It’s tough to bring together the photo of that sweet, young, expressive face next to a teddy bear and a coldhearted murderer. I don’t know exactly what he is, but I believe we’re going to find out. This is one who didn’t kill himself after the shooting was done.

Hopefully the media doesn’t latch on to his musical preferences and a black faux leather jacket as the reason for the crime. I saw an “expert” on Cleveland TV already blowing hot air over “gothic culture”. OMG, please let’s don’t go there again.

Local news also says he was charged with assault in 2009 against an uncle and a brother (there’s reportedly many sibs and half-sibs). No clue if that’s really true or not, since part of the hearing tomorrow is regarding the search/release of sealed juvenile records of not only Lane but one of the murdered students as well.

DawnG

“He told authorities that he did not know his victims, officials said. However, one student who was grazed by one of the bullets said on Monday he knew Lane in middle school. And several of those shot rode a bus with Lane each day and were listed as friends on his Facebook page.”

http://www.cleveland.com/chardon-shooting/index.ssf/2012/02/tj_lane_suspect_in_shootings_a.html

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is probably the best source for info right now. National media is overlooking a lot.

Joanie123

Dawn: Don’t be taken in by the sweet faced kid with the teddy bear. I’m sure spaths enjoyed their toys like other kids. Some spath kids can be as sweet as pie on the outside and little monster’s inside.
When I was a kid I knew a blond-headed kid as sweet as pie and the face of a cherub. He grew into a big spath monster.
He almost beat a woman to death.
As far as “black leather” goes the kid owned a faux jacket. Many spaths are into black latex and black leather.
My spath LOVED leather and he was big into bondage and the BDSM scene.
He wanted me to wear black but I wasn’t into it. Only for formal evening wear.
And I certainly wasn’t going to walk around the house wearing tight latex and bondage chains like a slave.
His long-term girl friend did and that’s why they’re back together to this day.

MiLo

I want to speak of how very proud I am of MY community, during a tragedy that no one ever thought would happen HERE. Over half of the safety forces, including the sheriff, police chief, deputies, police officers, emergency medical technicians had graduated from this high school, had children and/or close relatives attending classes. They did their jobs without letting personal feelings get in the way. The parents, living a horror no parent should ever have to live, acted in a calm and orderly fashion. The teachers did what they were trained to do. The football coach chased the shooter out of the building, with no regards to his own safety. A student who had witnessed the shooting, remained in the lunch room giving first aid to the victims. He had been trained as a Jr. volunteer firefighter.

The woman who was driving on a near by street saw a young man standing on the side of the road. She thought he was waiting for the school bus. She stopped to tell him she had heard, on the radio, that there had been an incident at the school and the bus probably would not be coming. She noticed he was muddy and wet and shaking. She asked if he was OK. He said, No – I think I just shot a bunch of people. Another couple arrived in a car and stopped to see if they could help. (That is what people in my community do) Knowing this was the shooter, they took off their coats and covered him, called 911 and waited with him until a deputy arrived. They saw a child, cold and suffering.

Mental health professionals, ministers, priests, social workers, therapy dog handlers from all over our community have volunteered for grief counseling almost non stop since the shooting. Area businesses have started a fund to aid the victims families, over $150,000 has already been donated. All the local churches are open and food has been pouring in.

Our community will heal, together in love and faith.

I don’t know if TJ Lane is a sciopath. I don’t know if he is depressed, mentally ill or neurologically impaired. I do know he was abused, lived in close proximity of domestic violence and changed homes and schools many times. I do know he has no JV record, except a fight with his brother and uncle. He was not a behavior problem at school, but was considered “at risk” for truancy. I don’t believe he wore a mask, he was troubled and quiet and acted that way. I do know he was liked by neighbors for the things he did to help them. I agree with you Joanie123 – “I don’t think a normal 17 year old would be capable of doing this.” I don’t think TJ is “normal”.

I’m glad no one from our community was in court cursing & using profanities on him and his kin. His kin are his grandparents, who have tried very hard to give him some sort of family life when his parents could/would not. I know what that is like and I pray everyday that I never have to go through what they have been through the past two days.

DawnG

No, I’m not taken in by him. A murderer is a murderer. My own half-brother was once a sweet baby-faced kid who became a killer at 18. It’s just tough to come to grips with a mind that doesn’t work properly.

I was making reference to the faux black leather jacket that TJ Lane wore in one of his Facebook pics. I’m hoping the emphasis isn’t on his clothes. There was often more attention given to the clothes the Columbine killers wore, and the music they preferred, than trying to figure out what had been going on in their minds.

I’m hoping and praying the same mistake isn’t made again.

Ox Drover

Here’s an article about the coach who chased the shooter out of the room…with a gun pointed right at him.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2107663/Ohio-school-shooting-Students-pay-tribute-hero-football-coach-Frank-Hall.html

That man deserves a medal!!!!

Ox Drover

MiLo, your compassion is showing. (((hugs)))

DawnG

Heartfelt sympathies to your community, MiLo. I’m about 3 1/2 hours south of you. We’re all feeling a lot of sorrow for our fellow Buckeyes.

DawnG

“The woman who was driving on a near by street saw a young man standing on the side of the road. She thought he was waiting for the school bus. She stopped to tell him she had heard, on the radio, that there had been an incident at the school and the bus probably would not be coming. She noticed he was muddy and wet and shaking. She asked if he was OK. He said, No ”“ I think I just shot a bunch of people. Another couple arrived in a car and stopped to see if they could help. (That is what people in my community do) Knowing this was the shooter, they took off their coats and covered him, called 911 and waited with him until a deputy arrived. They saw a child, cold and suffering.”

Frankly, I’m glad the adults were there and found him before the police. He would not have been treated so kindly. He also might have killed himself if he had been cornered or had been on the run long enough to consider all his options.

MoonDancer

Being born gay and raised in a dysfunctional family I know all about being bullied and beat up. I still have bad dream’s about my school day’s. I suffered and endured relentless ridicule for just being me, soon I became withdrawn and thought of killing myself everyday. I never thought of
killing someone else because I was the one that was flawed and damaged, I didnt know what to do but just endure.
I hope this sends a message to bullies who pick on troubled kid’s. This is a tragedy in so many way’s..my heart is heavy for ALL involved.

skylar

I wasn’t sure until I read what he wrote on his facebook page.
it’s all right here and he is definitely a spath.

The following was allegedly posted by T.J. Lane on his Facebook page on December 20, 2011:

In a time long since, a time of repent, The Renaissance. In a quaint lonely town, sits a man with a frown. No job. No family. No crown. His luck had run out. Lost and alone.

The streets were his home. His thoughts would solely consist of “why do we exist?” His only company to confide in was the vermin in the street. He longed for only one thing, the world to bow at his feet.

They too should feel his secret fear. The dismal drear. His pain had made him sincere.

He was better than the rest, all those ones he detests, within their castles, so vain. Selfish and conceited.

They couldn’t care less about the peasents they mistreated. They were in their own world, it was a joyous one too. That castle, she stood just to do all she could to keep the peasents at bay, not the enemy away.

They had no enemies in their filthy orgy. And in her, the castles every story, was just another chamber of Lucifer’s Laboratory. The world is a sandbox for all the wretched sinners.

They simply create what they want and make themselves the winners. But the true winner, he has nothing at all. Enduring the pain of waiting for that castle to fall. Through his good deeds, the rats and the fleas.

He will have for what he pleads, through the eradication of disease. So, to the castle he proceeds, like an ominous breeze through the trees. “Stay back!” The Guards screamed as they were thrown to their knees. “Oh God, have mercy, please!”

The castle, she gasped and then so imprisoned her breath, to the shallow confines of her fragile chest. I’m on the lamb but I ain’t no sheep. I am Death. And you have always been the sod. So repulsive and so odd.

You never even deserved the presence of God, and yet, I am here. Around your cradle I plod. Came on foot, without shod. How improper, how rude. However, they shall not mind the mud on my feet if there is blood on your sheet.

Now! Feel death, not just mocking you. Not just stalking you but inside of you. Wriggle and writhe. Feel smaller beneath my might. Seizure in the Pestilence that is my scythe. Die, all of you.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2107152/Chardon-High-School-shooting-THIRD-classmate-dies-TJ-Lanes-online-rantings-revealed.html#ixzz1njLsBtwc

What he wrote is EXACTLY how spaths think. They feel persecuted even when they aren’t. He fancies himself a “god” who has been disrespected. He’s going thru life with a narcissistic injury. If other people don’t respect him enough, he pushes the envelope so that they will notice him and then he calls it being bullied. The slightest imagined disrespect puts him in a rage. He’s in hell and it’s everyone else’s fault. He’s filled with envy for what others have and he doesn’t.

I’m not saying he didn’t have a hard life. I know he did, but he couldn’t put it in perspective (compared to children dying of starvation) because everything is always about him. He has NPD.

IMO he shot himself in the foot when he wrote that vignette because it clearly shows his problem is that he’s a jerk.

My spath had all those same issues and I can tell you he was not bullied by kids – though he did say the coach in grade school was an abusive asshole. He told me that if any other kids bothered him, one of his 3 older brothers would beat them up. His mom was pretty tough too! She was always going to the school to defend his behavior. Until he punched a nun in the stomach – then she pulled them all out of the school. BTW, he’s still proud of having punched that nun when he was 8 y.o.
sick.

Edit:
He’s got the rage and the pity ploy down pat, I wonder if we get to see any charm?

MiLo

Oxy ~ I can’t tell you how many times I thought of your post on what it was like to be the mom of the killer and how that post taught me a lesson. I do see so many, not all, but many, in my community, thinking of and praying for the shooter and his family. One of their neighbors, a retired police officer, was in tears talking about them.

DawnG ~ The deputy that first showed up and arrested the shooter said he thanks God he gave up and did not resist, because he didn’t know how he would have lived with himself if he had to shoot. I know the whole state feels this one, glad to meet you.

Hens ~ My second son reminded me yesterday of the fact that he was bullied terribly in school. I’m sure he still has bad dreams about his school days. He actually went to the vocational school these boys went to. He said the same thing, he never thought of killing someone. The difference is he had a loving, understanding family there for him when he got home. We did a lot of “sticks and stones” & you are such a GREAT kid. I’m sorry you did not have that, you were not and are not flawed or damaged. I hope this sends a message to bullies too. Embrace the differences in people, if everyone was the same it sure would be a boring world.

skylar

Milo,
It’s difficult to say what makes a young boy become so narcissistic. Maybe its his focus. TJLane’s focus seems to be on the negative aspects of life instead of the positive.

As a victim of a spath, I CAN relate to that but I CHOOSE not to. We all CHOOSE not to. Instead we say, “it’s not just about me. it’s about what I can do to make the world better for others.” And then we look around for examples of what people are doing to make a better world so we can get inspiration. Donna is my inspiration.

Maybe you can focus Grand on that kind of perspective right now while he is still impressionable.

Ox Drover

I got beaten up every day in second grade by a girl named Helen….I felt ashamed that she beat me, but I never told on her. One day she hit me with a coke bottle and broke my jaw, and the teacher and my step dad saw the injury…I was told how bad a life Helen had (she was the youngest of 21 children in one family who lived in a two room shack and she got beaten up every day so she came to school and beat me up) No one, even my step father, seemed concerned with how I FELT, it was just more or less how poor Helen felt and why she beat me up.

After that the beatings did stop, but you know I don’t care if Helen did have a bad life, she had NO right to beat me up because of it.

Yea, MiLo, being the parent of a murderer is a difficult row to hoe.

I don’t know if the kid is a psychopath or not, but he was obviously filled with rage…and I don’t doubt that he had a tough life, but that didn’t give him any more right to strike out at others than it did for Helen. The whole situation is sad.

Precious

It seems to me, teens don’t always think things through, and are capable of doing things that to us appear wrong and stupid, even horrifying, but to the person who is doing it, could be their only way to handle a situation. Point to those teens who commit suicide. They just felt there was no way out. The end would never come, they couldn’t take another day, or hour, of their emotional pain. They didn’t know how to reach out for help. They didn’t know another day would come and another and another, and one day, things would change. They were in a ‘black hole’. Little 10 year old girl hangs herself, after severe bullying….and this is no different. This teen had broken up with a girl, and she began dating one of those ‘random’ teens, King. Was it really random? Did the ‘killer’ know of any other way to deal with his anger, his hate, his pain and public humiliation? He kept it inside, festering. He didn’t seek a therapist, or help. He kept it in, and it grew, into a black solution to his problems. He did what he felt he had to do to “fix” his problem. Was it to avenge the girl who dumped him and dated King? We don’t know. But I think he killed King for revenge. The others MAY have been random. This is not a case of sociopath…this boy had feelings. He just didn’t know how to show them. I can see them in the pictures of him. He is numb. There are so many teens numb. They ‘cut’ themselves and if you ask why, they say because they are in so much pain, they have to cut themselves to end the heartache inside. Or they are so numb, that pain makes them feel alive. The ‘killer’ here is in custody. Somehow, I don’t think he even realizes how much horror he has caused the entire school, nor did he visualize it in his planning. I think he just had to ‘take care of things’ and he did. Just like when a teen hangs themselves, or a 10 year old girl. It was a real ‘stupid’ and not thought out thing to do, it was NOT the only solution nor the best solution, but he didn’t have the foresight. Pain blinded that, and being a young teen didn’t help. He looks like he’s been through a war. I feel for this ‘killer’ as I would for a person who committed suicide. I wonder if this teen will ever realize all of the pain his ” solution” caused. There was something just not right about the entire thing.

philomela

As I read his poem, i see a boy in terrible pain and very alone- and dealing with a very existential kind of pain-I don’t see a psychopath. I also don’t think this means that it is ok that he did what he did.

I think we have to be very careful about labeling everyone who does bad things (even very bad things) a psychopath.

If we overuse the label in that way, we lose the very distinction we need to make if others are to understand why the experience with a psychopath is different from just with someone doing a Bad or even horrific thing.

People who are severely depressed often show an increased level of narcisism and aggression and engaging in self destructive acts with a sense of foreshortened future and can do some very bad and destructive things as a result. But it is not WHO they are. it is a symptom of the illness. Their distress causes them real pain-

normal neurotics feel emotional pain – their disorders are what are called “ego-dystonic” as in it causes them pain and makes them feel alien to themselves and the world.

Psychopaths have disorders that are considered “ego-syntonic” and as such their disorder doesn’t cause them internal- they cause others that pain. Their disorders are of who they are and are not temporary and do not cause them pain(except momentary when the lose- but they cause others pain consistently

skylar

The psychopath DOES feel some pain. But only for themselves. The girl who broke up with him was probably the catalyst – psychopaths can’t stand rejection. From what I’ve read, nobody remembers him being bullied. He was simply a loner type. People said he was a “sweet kid”.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/27/justice/ohio-shooting-suspect/index.html

MiLo

Thank you all for your comments and support.

I did want to make it clear that in my earlier post, I was not attempting to excuse TJ Lane for his heinous crimes. There is no “excuse” for taking the lives of innocent victims. What I was trying to do is understand, because it is only through understanding that we have any hope of change.

Sky, while I agree rejection is something psychopaths can’t stand, I do believe that psychopaths are not the only ones who are strongly effected by rejection. Someone who has been rejected by a parent, since birth, is much more hyper-sensative to rejection. Along with that, IMO, goes a strong, almost compulsive need to be accepted.

You also said maybe TJ Lane’s focus was on the negative things in his life rather than the positive. I agree, but again wonder if he had anyone that was pointing out the positive or could he “see” only negative. Yes, we are constantly there for Grand, showing him the positive. I think you have an excellent idea about bringing the “I” “I” “I” focus into what he can do to make other people’s lives better. I will continute to work on that. He always enjoyed going to visit my Dad in the nursing home and interacted with many of the people there. We have taken him back once since Dad passed, because Grand asked to go. Maybe getting him involved in that again.

Now, last my thoughts on “nobody remembers him being bullied.” and bullying in general. From what I have seen bullying today has changed. It isn’t the kid waiting around the corner to take your lunch money or beat the crap out of you, or what Oxy described above. It seems to be more an atmosphere of nasty, hurtful, unkind emotional abuse. Kids don’t seem to understand, or maybe they are not taught to “be kind”. I know this is often “just kids” and it has been going on for years and years, but it is hard to explain, it seems much worse to me. Actually, the anti-bullying campaign seems to have grown a life of it’s own and kids take pride and enjoyment out of getting other kids in trouble. Just like I mentioned with rejection, most kids can let this roll off their backs while others are hyper-sensative and take it to heart. I have even seen teachers making unkind remarks to a student in front of the entire class, degrading a project or report a child has done. I spoke before of the art teacher that wrote comments on Grand’s report card about him not getting along with other peers and having no friends. Maybe the kids stating that TJ wasn’t bullied had a different outlook on bullying. I don’t know.

In my home growing up, in our home with my children, in our home with Grand – RULE # 1 – Golden Rule – Do unto others RULE # 2 – There but for the grace of God go I – I wish more families taught these age old rules.

Thanks, again UNDERSTANDING is not EXCUSING

Ox Drover

MiLo,

You are right, “Understanding is not excusing” and your compassion is showing again. (((Hugs))))

Bullying can be LOTS OF THINGS from the beatings I received from Helen, to the SNIDE REMARKS that the teacher makes or another kid makes. I am not sure which hurts more, the being hit or being DEVALUED. They both are very painful. The bruises heal I think more quickly than the snide remarks and the being devalued do.

If I listen I can still “hear” some of the nasty remarks people have made to me through the years. I try not to listen to those old “tapes” though but they will forever be there. I just have to hit the mute button. It is hard for kids though to have a sense of completeness or goodness or feeling valuable when others tell them they are trash. The lives of 6 families are ruined, and the lives of others are damaged in many ways, some that may never heal. All becasue one boy made a decision to strike out.

MiLo

Oxy ~ I got to get a handle on this “compassion”, I’m going to loose my edge as a “hard a**”. LOL

witsend

MiLo,
When you posted last night about how proud you were of how your community is dealing with this tragedy….It really touched my heart.

The compassion that your community is demonstrating is something the rest of the world needs to learn from.

In reading many of the newspaper articles online I read some of the comments that the general public can make beneath the articles. It never ceases to amaze me the callous remarks that come out of peoples mouths. And how quickly people are to make judgements & assumptions.

This is a highly emotional tragedy when young peoples lives are taken. The families of the children that lost their lives so needlessly will NEVER be the same again.

Neither will T J Lanes grandparents.

And I suppose people forget that these people deserve our compassion too. At least at this point. Nothing has been determined (at least not yet) except in “public opinion” that his grandparents ignored or “missed” what was going on with this young man.

It really saddens me that people jump to conclusions of what is going on in these kinds of tragedies before the full story unfolds.

As you mentioned in your post no one knows yet if T J Lane is mentally ill, depressed, neurologically impaired, or a sociopath.

Regardless of what his mental state was when he commited this act of violence…..This might never even BE disclosed to the general public….HE will face his day in court.

It is really more important that we try and LEARN something from this tragedy. Whatever this young mans state of mind was when this crime was commited…..He is young enough (not a hardened criminal) that we SHOULD be concerned with trying to UNDERSTAND what caused him to go in this direction. WHAT happened in HIS life. NOT an EXCUSE for murder. But possibly a reason of what “snapped” in him.
And what we can do as a society to get involved…To get young people HELP….
BEFORE the tragedy. Prevention.

IF TJ Lane was abused by his family of origin, bullied by his peers, suffered from depression…These are important factors/keys that might have led to this unspeakable tragedy.
The general public should be concerned by this….What was going on in this young mans life. NOT so that they can cast stones at him or his family….But so that we can come up with better SOLUTIONS to deal with our at risk youth.

Bless you MiLo….I see this compassion in your words…I feel it to.

skylar

Milo,
Your compassion is understandable. It concurs with what I have been saying: that spaths DO suffer and feel pain but it is mostly supressed and when they do evil, they are acting out their pain. Though most of that pain probably feels like a type of buffered rage to them, their ACTIONS speak loud and clear about what they are feeling.

When people here tell me that spaths don’t have suppressed pain because they ENJOY their evil, I understand that too. It sure doesn’t seem like they experience anything other than glee. And the fact that they wear that mask, just makes everything so sinister, so incomprehensible.

I’m sad for him that he was so compelled to make this choice which can’t be undone. His youth and ignorance were a component. His life experience was another.

In the end though, I’d say it was his CHOICE to put his pain and needs ABOVE other people’s pain and needs. That choice to even call himself god, in the poem he wrote is what cut him off from his empathy. I don’t think it was lack of empathy that created his perspective, but his chosen perspective that killed his empathy.

That’s how I see spaths.

MiLo

Witty ~

Thank you for your kind words. I hope my local community continues to react with compassion. That’s not to say the comment section of the local paper doesn’t make your skin crawl.

I don’t personally know how much professional help he was getting, but I do know that to go to the school he was attending for “at risk” kids, he would have needed a recommendation, a multi-factor evaluation and would have received some sort of counselling intervention.

You are so right, we need better SOLUTIONS. I don’t think what we have now WORKS, and IMO actually adds to the problem.

Thanks again

MiLo

I know Sky and I respect your opinion. Yes, it was his choice, but why did he make that choice and was there anything, anyone could have done to make him see he had other choices. Just not sure how I feel right now.

skylar

Milo,
maybe the pain of life was too hard to bear on his own. Alexander Lowen says that a good parent disciplines their child and then also helps the child deal with the pain of being disciplined, so that it is bearable rather than unbearable and suppressed.

witsend

Sky
If we believe that a personality disorder is or can be caused by both genetic and environmental….Then it becomes even more important to try and understand the contribution environment has on children when they are subjected to abuse, trauma and chaos in their young lives. A young child endures what goes on in the environment around them. They have no control over it. How that is internalized in children will differ depending on each child.

And often times even a responsible adult in the situation do not have control over some of the traumatic events that young children might have been subjected to. Nor do these adults know how to necessarily deal with the aftermath of these tramatic events when parenting the child. They can only do the best they can.

You are so RIGHT when you said: “it was his CHOICE to put his pain and needs ABOVE other people’s pain and needs.”

But we also can’t ASSUME that this kid really DID KNOW that he HAD other choices of what he should/could have done with that pain. Maybe his pain CONSUMED him (internally) in a WAY that we DON’T understand.

We can only become a part of the solution instead of part of the problem if we can open our hearts just long enough to at least TRY and understand what this kids problem is.

It has nothing to do with condoning his actions. His actions really are almost incomprehensible.
But this isn’t the first school shooting and it won’t be the last…
UNTIL we start somewhere of trying to COMPREHEND the incomprehensible choice he made.
And WHAT if ANYTHING could have been helpful as intervention for this young man years before this happened.

I used to interpret suicide as a choice that someone made because they wanted to die. Pretty much black & white. But I don’t see it that way anymore.
As a survivor of a loved one who makes that choice you learn to explore the grey areas.
I now see suicide as a choice that someone makes when the pain is so consuming that they don’t have the ability or normal “reasoning” to see the other choice.

There are alot of grey areas yet in this young mans choice. Most importantly why he made it? We might never know.

KatyDid

MiLO
In a world of cynicism, your compassion is beautiful.

I believe if a person judges T.J. Lane as spath, then all this condemnation is understandable. BUT spaths are NOT SO easy to identify. Yes, What this young man did was HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE, UNEXCUSABLE.

Yet, I am not convinced he is spath. VERY Troubled Yes. Screwed up, YES. But, I don’t believe in taking snippets of what is reported and backtracking that as proof. There are other aspects included in those same reports that make me question the spath conclusion. Such condemnation before full facts and inquiries are complete ALARM me. It is witchHunt behavior and it is wrong. IF, after time and more info comes available, such as a long running pattern of torturing animals or beating up little kids or some such comes out, then I will likely conclude he is spath. BUT NONE of that is true about this kid. Anger like a pressure cooker seems to be what he is about. In a TEENAGER, who have such extreme emotions? Again TERRIBLE, but not spath.

Please know, I have NO empathy for spaths. I call them evil. They are. They have disconnected from humanity. The only way to deal with them is minimize any contact. Completely avoid if possible.

But… am thinking you are pursing more than why TJ did this. Am wondering if you are worried about how Grand is processing this event? I am not on LF much anymore but will try to watch if you want to share. I am glad to discuss rather than judge and condemn.

Remember, just b/c someone SAYS a statement in an authoritative manner, doesn’t make it So. I’ll take science and medicine over opinion any day…. There’s a reason why clinicians have rejected the repressed fear theory. It’s b/c they tested it emperically. Might fit narcissists, does NOT fit spaths.

Stay grounded. Grand is NOT spath. His future is not yet written. My daughter is ADD, and it’s is actually a gift for the work she does. Richard Branson says the same about his ADHD. He could not be the success he is without being ADHD. Grand has issues but there is still wonderful possibilities for him. ps On the other thread about this shooting, I advocated Oxy’s recommendation about moving him to a learning situation where he has a quiet environment, no stress. The sniping bullying will not stop. Imho. Disrespect/snide/emotional abuse is normal now and seen as no big deal.

Best
Katy

MiLo

Katy ~ I’m sure trying to stay grounded. I’m not as concerned about how Grand is processing this as I am is Grand going to turn into this. Just all the similarities, right in my face. I KNOW Grand, just today I was asking him if he liked the end of the book he was reading. (I read the “adult version” this past summer) He said, No, I was fighting back tears, it was so sad. I almost clapped to hear that. I KNOW that is Grand, he put valentine stickers on the doors of the bottom cupboard so the dog would be able to see his valentine. We took the dog to the kennel for overnight last week and Grand pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and told the owner of the kennel that the dog could not go to sleep unless you sing him this song. Grand then told me he sings Boxer a lulaby everynight. I KNOW that is Grand, he brings home a little girl classmate’s homework and does it for her, because she has a hard time at home and is made to watch the baby while the mom goes out.

Katy, I just don’t want him to change when he gets older. I know I am overreacting, I need to stop and just take it one day at a time.

I have thought about another school where the learning situation is more suited to him. There just don’t seem to be any around here. I have looked into it before, but I will keep looking.

The ADHD, Grand was reading a book about an Army medic and he came running in saying he wanted to read me something – the Army medic told someone to be quiet so he could let his ADHD take over and he could do his job. Grand was thrilled, he said see, just like me.

Ok, I have blabbed enough. Thanks Katy, I have to find my center and ground myself, before I drive myself mad.

ErinBrock

WITTY!!!!!!
I think of you often…..and wonder how YOU are darlen!!!
Great to see you here…..
I hope your well!
XXOO
EB

witsend

Erin,
And I also have thought of you often! I hope that you and the kids are doing well 🙂
Will be without a computer for a few days & hope I can catch up with what is going on in your life here when I get back on.
xxxooo

MiLo

That post on the facebook page of TJ Lane – turns out it was an english writing assignment – he got an “A” and the teacher commented, at the time, it was one of the best written papers she had ever read……………..

skylar

Witty,
I’ve found the most insight on narcissism from the book by Sandy Hotchkiss Why Is It Always About You? and also, Fear of Life by Alexander Lowen.

Stargazer

Sky, I notice you’ve read a few books by Alexander Lowen. Have you ever read Bioenergetics? He talks about spath body armoring in a way to imply that they can be cured by releasing the armoring. I always found this fascinating, expecially in light of what I’ve learned here about spaths. According to him, spaths have a particular body type due to their emotional/psychological armoring. If I remember correctly, he says there are two types of spaths, each with a distinct body type.

As for the young shooter, I never thought I’d say this about someone but I pray he is a spath. Because if he is not, he is in for a miserable existence for the rest of his life after what he did. There can be no positive outcome for him. Even if he were to receive therapy and get cured, he will have to live with what he did for the rest of his life and bear the responsibility. More likely, however, he will spend his days in prison with real sociopaths, become institutionalized, and never get the help he so desperately needs. He will probably be so busy surviving there that he will never have the leisure of deep introspection and catharsis, or the chance to do something constructive in society. It’s so sad. I’m sure as time goes on, we will get more insight into his character and motives, if that is possible with such a disturbed person. My heart goes out to him and all of the victims and their families. It’s so painful to read about this. I agree that not everyone who does something like this is a sociopath. But in his case, I hope he is, for his own sake.

I remember the loneliness and isolation of being a teenager. I tried to kill myself at 14 and almost killed my abusive stepfather with a skillet at age 16 (note the irony of the skillet). I know what it is like to want to die and also to want to kill because I’ve been to both extremes in my mind. I always think that there but for the grace of God go I. Is there a circumstance that could be so horrible or an amount of pain so enormous that would cause me to snap and kill a bunch of people? I’d like to think not, but how would I ever know?

Human beings are very complex and capable of the very heights of altruism and the very worst forms of evil. We are certainly all responsible for our actions, and nothing changes that.

KatyDid

MiLO
I am not surprise that the writing TJLane is being condemned for was a school assignment. Confirms the intuition I had. It sounded just like the papers I helped correct for a AP English Lit class. The students were to dig deep and write from the heart. They could adopt other personas, or create what a character would write, or write from their own perspectives.

Even if kids while whole series of such drama, high school is when they connect to such teenage angst. It’s only if they remain that way through adulthood that we should see it as red flag.

skylar

Star,
yes I looked into bioenergetics online. And it looks very interesting to me too. The idea that we can release old fears that are locked into our postures also is part of Rolfing, isn’t it? I’ve always wanted to have a Rolfing session.

And yes, my spath’s body type was EXACTLY as described as the “inspirer”: small feet, big shoulders, big neck and big head. He had a V-shaped body when he was young and his need to lie and fly both indicate how ungrounded he is.

I too had a lot of rage as a teen and I’m glad I didn’t do anything like the things I wanted to do. The emotional pain was off the charts. And hormones did NOT help any. Even then I remember noticing how my moods changed during different times of the month and I would be so much more sensitive.

I think that part of what helped me survive that was that I rebelled by running away and it made my parents go from overtly abusive to covertly abusive. I actually believed that they loved me and had “changed” over night. LOL!

Then the spath met me and he knew I wouldn’t put up with overt abuse because I did the same thing to him that I did to my parents: I ran away. And then he repeated the cycle by going from overt abuse to covert abuse. So once again, I believed that I was loved.

I actually FELT loved by all these people for those 25 years. ironic.

Ox Drover

The over all appearance of the situation still bespeaks psychopathic rage….but at the same time the compassion should not be done away with either. There are many mental illnesses that could have resulted in the same outcome (suddenly shooting 5 people) from bi-polar mania to a lack of being in touch with reality…

The kid obviously had some genetic problems as far as mental health were concerned (from looking at his father’s violent back ground) and the fact that his mother was apparently also violent as well…and environmentally he also apparently had been exposed to some early dysfunction, such that his grandparents had to raise him as he lacked a nurturing parent.

What kind of foster parents were his grandparents? I haven’t read anything about their parenting, either pro or con, so there’s no way to tell.

Like MiLo said, the very fact he was being sent to the alternative school for high risk kids who were “reluctant learners” shows that the school system was at least aware of some problems of some kind prior to the shooting.

I think there is no way such an event as this can be predicted or prevented, just like the situation a week or so ago where the social worker was unable to prevent the father from grabbing his kids and blowing them up with the house. If anything, the judge that allowed him ANY kind of visitation prior to the testing that was ordered was the worst “at fault” person, but even he couldn’t predict such an outcome in a “supervised” visit.

In this case, I don’t think there was a way to predict what happened.

skylar

Oxy,
I’m in complete agreement with you. Everything points to spath, except his age, he’s too young for that diagnosis. Even if we do label him a spath that doesn’t mean we can’t have compassion for him.

Parents can seem perfectly nice, (like yours and mine) when in fact they are toxic to children. So it would be difficult to assess what his grandparents are like even if you and I were to actually meet them in their beautiful home. So there’s no point in going there because we do know that the grandparents took responsibility for the kids. For TJ, it wasn’t enough.

The red flags were there: his trauma, his upbringing, the dark poem. There just aren’t enough resources to rescue each child who is at risk. Most of the time, they rescue themselves somehow. When they can’t, it’s tragic.

Ox Drover

I do sort of smile at the term “reluctant learners” —how POLITICALLY CORRECT that term is. Like in the Change Theory the first part is PRE-CONTEMPLATIVE, which means in real terms that HE HASN’T THOUGHT ABOUT IT YET….LOL ROTFLMAO….”reluctant learners” LOL

KatyDid

So glad people are agreeing here that there is a bigger picture. Sure he had bad parents, rough time, and needed an alternative school. We have been informed that the dark poem was a school assignment where he was rewarded for his good work, not the ramblings of a loner online.

He was also NOT a bully, he was kind to others, he had turned around his academic work so much that he was going to graduate early. He was well liked by his neighbors, no one was creeped out by him at all. Everyone was surprised, no one thought he’d do such a thing so he didn’t raise any red flags with teachers or community members. Other students liked him. He was not a bedwetter or animal abuser. There’s a lot that I’ve read to recommend this kid. He’s going to be tried as an adult and I agree with that. He’s of the age to know right and wrong. But I also know Kids brains are not done growing, so he may even be still redeemable, depending on the trigger for his behavior.

Again, Not excusing him at all, Just saying there’s something missing from this story. It doesn’t feel finished. Something is off. Unlike Powell, who’s behavior became more bizarre, told ridiculous stories, put his boys in a home with a known pedophile, and totally creeped me out. The difference is clear.

NIght all.

Joanie123

Hi, I just saw one mother of one of the victims told TJ she forgived him.
I can tell you I don’t feel the empathy for him some of you have expressed.
And I don’t understand her forgiveness.

You raise a child up for 16-18 years and then a sick individual takes your child’s life in a random shooting?????
That child can never be replaced and I imagine a lot of families of these victims are probably too old to conceive more kids. No I cannot conceive of giving that kind of forgiveness. I believe he deserves punishment whether he get’s life in prison or the death penalty.

I side with the families of the victims. I hope he get’s punished to the full extent of the law and stay’s behind bars for many years.
You folks may feel I’m wrong but I’ll play devil’s advocate:
How would you all feel if he took the life of one of your kids?

He took away something very precious from these families.

KatyDid

Joanie123
I am not sure exactly what you are reading but I do not excuse what TJ did. He is being tried as an adult and I wrote that I agreed with that. He needs to be held accountable. What you might misunderstand is the condemnation of him as a psychopath or sociopath. I have not yet read the evidence of that diagnosis. People do murder and are not sociopaths. I think this is one of those situations. Murderer yes, sociopath No.

Hope this clarifies the gist of my part in the discussion.

Ox Drover

I just bought the book on “Colombine” and it arrived today, unfortunately it is several books down the list of “books to start soon” as I am just finishing up the advanced copy of Donna’s “Red Flags of Love Fraud, 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath” which is AWESOME !!!!!! And goes to the top of my stack of the BEST OF THE BEST books on how to recognize and deal with sociopaths!!!!!

I wish there was some way we could “know for sure”—a blood test of some kind—but unfortunately there isn’t such a thing, and the tendency and behavior of sociopathy is on a continuum, sort of like IQ is. They set a “lower limit” of an IQ of 75 where a man/woman with an IQ that low or lower can’t be executed because s/he is mentally retarded…but a person with an IQ of 76 can be executed….the thing is, the “limit” is very arbitrary because if you test a person 50 times they will come out with several different scores that vary from 1 to 7 or 8 points or more depending on the day. So if a guy tests 76 one day and 75 the next—is he mentally retarded and didn’t know what he was doing was wrong or not?

The same with psychopathy…if a guy tests 30 on the PCL-R he IS a psychopath, but if he tests 29 he is NOT a psychopath. He may be as toxic or more toxic or have committed more or worse crimes but is he a P or NOT? Should he be branded on the forehead with a P and left in prison forever, or released because he ONLY has a score of 29 so is NOT a P?

There is nothing black and white. It is mostly gray me thinks.

Ox Drover

Joanie123,

As the mother of a child who became a murderer I can tell you FIRST hand how I suffered because of what he did….and yet, I didn’t want him executed. Even the thought of him spending decades in prison where he would suffer abuse by other inmates, and so on was horrifying to me.

I went to bed every night to lie there and wonder what was happening to the kid I loved.

I finally, after decades realized that he is totally a psychopath and unredeemable. Maybe this kid is a psychopath and maybe . I have a friend who is a minister in a prison ministry that has a VERY LOW recidivism rate (like only 10%) in their members which means that there ARE some prisoners who get out and go straight….but in general the average PCL-R score of inmates is 22 and 25% of them or more are full fledged Psychopaths with a score of 30 or more. Only 40% complete their paroles without doing another crime and returning to prison before parole is up.

I don’t blame you a bit for the way you feel about this boy and what he has done.

I also know BOTH sides of the story of this boy…as the parent of the killer….but also NOW recognizing what a psychopath really in truly IS.

Ox Drover

Here’s another one, not quite as “bad” (only one killed), and it was with a knife.

The two teens were stabbed at around 7:30am local time at an alternative school on the city’s south side, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Their alleged attacker, also a student at the school, has been arrested, authorities told the paper.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/01/one-student-killed-one-seriously-injured-in-chicago-school-stabbing/?intcmp=trending#ixzz1nuIPadIM

MiLo

Joanie123 –

You, and everyone is entitled to their own personal feelings on this tragedy. There is no right or wrong where feelings are concerned.

“I side with the families of the victims” – There are no sides. The victims and their families have been the focus of my grief and prayers since moments after the shooting.

Just because one mother chooses to forgive her son’s killer doesn’t mean she loved him any less than the families that do not forgive. That is between God and those grieving families and not for us to need to understand.

There is no need “to play devil’s advocate” – “How would you all feel if he took the life of one of your kids?” – I was faced with dealing with those thoughts when I received the reverse 911 call telling me that my child’s school was going into a lock down situation because of this shooting. At the time they were not sure if there was more than one shooter that may have boarded a bus heading for my child’s school. I have asked myself that question hundreds of times the past days. I stood in the Chardon Square today, to show support and that is a question everyone there was asking.

Mostly what this discussion had been about was whether or not there were signs of sciopathic behavior. Was there signs of mental illness, was there ANYTHING that could have prevented this terrible tragedy. Did we as a community of adults fail these kids, including the shooter. Without trying to UNDERSTAND, we will never be able to do better next time.

Again, the shooter made a choice and took 3 lives. He must be punished to the full extent of the law, as an adult.

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