Think motive not method. Julie Schenecker, a 53-year-old Army linguist, who shot both of her teenage children, Calyx 16 and Beau 13 allegedly she shot them both in the mouth and head for being sarcastic. The common stigma for bipolar patients is they may become violent.
Bipolar disorder has been linked to childhood trauma
Mother Scheneker also claims she was abused as a child at the age of six. Trauma is described as: Experiencing, witnessing or being confronted by an event that is actually life threatening or bodily harm is intentioned, Intense fear, helplessness or horror.
What is common with bipolar patients is an increased in the cycling of the moods from high to low and increased rates of suicide. Impulsive aggression is the most common in bipolar patients than with any other diagnosed disorder. Aggressive stalking of a predatory nature, is common in 50-percent of bipolar adult patients, as they may feel threatened and it is a response to the fight or flight pattern, along with the inability to control their aggression.
History of impulsive acts is common in this kind of manic adult
It’s also common for patients involved in a manic episode to not remember what they previously did. Those at high risk using take lithium, as was Scheneker, can become harmful to their families and people living in the home with them.
Scheneker mom was a walking cocktail of drugs
Substance abuse in bipolar patients is not uncommon as a search to control their manic episodes, either prescribed or ‘street drug use.’ Scheneker was taking, lithium, oxycodone (also known to cause violent episodes), Wayfarin, amoxicillin, Clozapine, Coumadin and three or four other drugs. Most bipolar patients who are acutely violent are hospitalized against their will, meaning they do not cooperatively go to get help on their own.
When it comes to crime the bipolar is not considered insane
This means instead of homicide, the person using bipolar disorder as the motive could be charged with manslaughter, a far lesser crime instead. Research shows out of the 1000 prisoners who used bipolar for their excuse to kill, only 2.4-percent had any actual real psychoses. Common assault, and arson, not homicide are the results of the manic episode.
More research is needed, but as of yet being bipolar is not identified as a “license to kill”
The trial is on, Military dad Parker Schneker, ex-husband to Julie, is being thoroughly questioned about life before the kids. His ex-wife’s diary is also being closely examined, where she claims ‘sassy mouths,’ soccer practice and making dinner. “Calyx had an evil soul.”
Mom bought gun January 2011 and hollow point bullets
On the way to soccer practice Julie shot Beau twice, and back home in the garage she shot Calyx from behind twice. Both teens were shot once in the head and in the mouth. Mother Scheneker took the time to write a journal entry about the event, “Be glad you (Parker) weren’t here too as I would have also taken you out.”
Living with the ‘family secret’
The teens voices will be called up in court over the next few weeks as witnesses to describe family events will be called upon to testify. Living with a family member who is mentally ill is not the kind of thing you go around talking about, but it is something that is lived and experienced by those who live in close proximity to the family.
“Knew they were loved”
Children and teens live in fear of a parent who is mentally imbalanced and showing aggressive behavior. They walk the line in hopes of being able to please the parent in order to avoid their ‘scary behaviors.’ They hope they are loved. If you were to ask the child, depending on their age and their ability to disengage themselves from what are blaming and accusatory behaviors the mentally ill use excusing the abusive trauma they unleash, they will feel themselves to be unloved. The children may also feel they are ‘bad’ kids.
What the relatives saw and what actually happened behind closed doors in private
The family of relatives may recall stories of family health that seemed ‘normal.’ Complaints from Julie Scheneker about her ‘sassy’ children may lay ground for others to believe the children ‘behaved poorly.’
Mental psychoses pervades the family unit, and psychiatrists know the child who is acting out, and brought into therapy for scrutiny, is just a tip of the iceberg as to what the real family dynamic is, and certainly not to blame. The child or children may feel they are to blame. Keeping the family secret destroys relationships and it keeps the actual person with the disorder from getting the help needed. The whole well-being of the family unit and each person individually suffers.
Children are extremely perceptive, and the most damaged
Children want to be able to trust their parents have their best interests at heart. They would like to think that their parents can be trusted. Children would like to be able to love and respect what is being said to them.
The secret causes illness
Keeping the family secret is compounded by the lies that are told, the fingers that get pointed, and the blame. Migraines, headaches, digestive problems and backaches are common symptoms of children who internalize what is going on in the home. Secrets fester and compound the family dynamic. The more a child may try to reach out to relatives, teachers or friends, the more the parent with the psychoses unleashes their wrath on them.
The family dysfunction continues, the ‘secret’ being kept is hurting the children. Aside from anxiety and depression, the stress from wanting to tell and keeping a parents’ secret is highly stressful. It rips apart the child’s securities. The family and children lead a ‘double life’ and become preoccupied with keeping the secret.
But the truth hurts
Holding it all in hurts, it hurts more than letting it all out, and getting help. It ‘freezes development’ of the child. The child may want to scream to let it all out, to stop carrying the burden of the secret illness and the abuses both mental and physical. Scream to let others know, “I’m just a child, and this is too much to carry.”
The stigma, the family tree
The ‘secret’ is kept because the parent is afraid of the judgment that will come from others and that if it comes out it may damage the way others see them. The parent doesn't want to feel guilty or to blame, in other words take responsibility for their behavior.
Will the truth come out in the Scheneker case? Maybe, but it is a family dynamic that will be studied and and watched because too many know and already live with the family dynamic of mental psychoses. With a secret and a family dynamic such as that, there is no time to wonder aloud “Am I loved,” but the unloved feeling is felt and buried deeply, and the poor self-perception is lived every day.
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