Dec 14 2012

Witnessing/Experiencing Family Violence: Why a 20 year old Might Want to Kill His Parents

Published by at 2:34 pm under Counseling & Psychotherapy

We now are learning the killer went to the school to kill his mother…he did so…and the children in her class and many others. His father was found shot and killed in his home.
Another person was apprehended in the woods, also wearing camouflage…others are missing.

Again, we can only guess….but there are many reasons why a young adult (he was 20yo) son would want to kill his parents.

His parents were divorced, so we can imagine he witnessed some type of conflict in his family which led to his parents being divorced. Did he see his parents yelling and screaming…or worse?

Likely, there was a lot of alcohol abuse.
This happens all the time in our society and around the world. Children are the innocent victims of the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and violence in their homes. These are serious mental health issues professionals like myself and others are trained to deal with.

Having participated and led several psychodrama retreats for men over the years, there was always a small group of men who had been exposed to way too much in their families and/or extremely abused themselves.

What did they act out in the psychodramas? Often they had internalized, rageful images of fighting back against an abusive father, sometimes a mother. They were not pretty scenes…and often involved the type of violence one might not want to acknowledge.
Sons who are abused by their parents become enraged, but as young people, are too small to act their rage out in any way. Plus our brains have a protective feature of storing this type of emotional memory  in a way that enables us to “forget” it, even as we remember the visual images of our abuse.

Later in life, these emotional memories can flood back…and cause this sort of unbelievable violence.

We will find out more as the day unfolds and enough for us to understand more about what influenced this deranged killer.

We are already learning enough to know that he was a young guy, only 20yo. The deranged and psychotic violence he enacted certainly has roots somewhere in his life.

The type of serious mental illness professionals could have helped him with. We do it all the time.

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