Sue Klebold: My son was a Columbine shooter. This is my story
Sue Klebold - Activist
Sue Klebold has become a passionate agent working to advance mental health awareness and intervention. Full bio
at Columbine High School,
before taking their own lives.
in a state of grief and trauma.
and permanent disability.
of deaths and injuries that took place.
the psychological damage
in rescue or cleanup efforts.
the magnitude of a tragedy like Columbine,
to commit atrocities of their own.
for the community and for society
to try to accept my son's legacy.
that defined the end of his life
different person from the one I knew.
I thought of myself as a good mom.
that I failed as a parent,
that brings me here today.
who knew and loved Dylan the most.
what was happening,
of someone who kills and hurts.
I combed through memories,
exactly where I failed as a parent.
who didn't know me before the shootings,
has experienced loss
caused by a member of my family
and even compassion
my son's death as a suicide.
so he could end his life.
until months after his death.
he showed at the end of his life.
and talking with experts,
was rooted not in his desire to kill
when I talk about my son's murder-suicide
because it's more concrete.
I'm talking about violence.
is to contribute to the misunderstanding
who have a mental illness
to maybe more than 90 percent
mental health condition of some kind.
is not equipped to help everyone,
only if they reach a behavioral crisis.
to two percent of all suicides
as they are rising for some populations,
will rise as well.
in Dylan's mind prior to his death,
from other survivors of suicide loss.
to help with fund-raising events,
survived their own suicidal crisis
conversations I had
that Dylan could not have loved me
as horrible as he did.
a young, single mother
and was hospitalized to keep her safe.
would be better off if she died,
was the strongest bond on Earth,
more than anything in the world,
would be better off without her.
I've learned from others
the so-called decision or choice
that we choose what car to drive
in an extremely suicidal state,
medical health emergency.
lost access to tools of self-governance.
make a plan and act with logic,
is distorted by a filter of pain
interpret their reality.
at hiding this state,
good reasons for doing that.
suicidal thoughts at some point,
ongoing thoughts of suicide
recognized and treated
was not purely a suicide.
suicidal thinking became homicidal.
and there are no simple answers.
that was perfectionistic and self-reliant,
to seek help from others.
triggering events at the school
debased and humiliated and mad.
of rage and alienation,
owned any in our home.
for a 17-year-old boy to buy guns,
without my permission or knowledge.
and many school shootings later,
I got breast cancer,
I began to have mental health problems.
into a family member
a terrible parent or a disgusting person.
four years after the shootings,
for the depositions
the victims' families face to face.
six years after the shootings,
to speak publicly about murder-suicide
into this spinning cycle of terror
or reason my way out of it,
was trying to kill me,
to have a malfunctioning mind,
became a brain health advocate.
as normal under the circumstances.
on all that had happened,
spiral into dysfunction
over a period of about two years,
that he needed help
and taps into my feelings of guilt
how much we want to believe we can,
that we are somehow different,
would never think of hurting themselves
do come to pass,
to forgive ourselves for not knowing
to what the other families lost.
doesn't make theirs any easier.
I don't have the right to any pain,
the most vigilant and responsible of us
About the speaker:Sue Klebold - Activist
Sue Klebold has become a passionate agent working to advance mental health awareness and intervention.
Why you should listen
Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters at Columbine High School in 1999. Since the massacre, Sue has spent years excavating every detail of her family life, and trying to understand what she could have done to prevent it. In 2016, after years of evading public scrutiny, Klebold published A Mother's Reckoning: Living In the Aftermath of Tragedy, a powerful memoir in which she explores the crucial intersection between mental health and violence. As a passionate advocate for brain health awareness and intervention, she is donating any profits from the book to mental health charities, research and suicide prevention, hoping for solutions that will help parents and professionals spot and thwart signs of trouble.
Sue Klebold | Speaker | TED.com