Tragedy on the Hudson
Cyril Josh Barker | , Amsterdam News Staff | 8/24/2011, 3:31 p.m.
As for 10-year-old La'Shaun, Armstrong's only surviving child, Williams said she believes that, with the right help, he will be alright.
"He's mourning the loss and dealing with the trauma from what was going on," she said. "He's going to need some help because he can't do that by himself. We just can't leave him to his own devices and expect he's going to be ok."
Famed psychologist Dr. Jeffery Gardere added that several factors may have come into play in the lead-up to Armstrong's actions. Stress from motherhood could have been a likely factor. Armstrong was 25 years old at the time of her death--her oldest child was 10 years old, making her only 15 when she first became a mother.
The financial and emotional stress of having four children might have been too much for her to bear. Coupled with an already fragile personality, Gardere said Armstrong likely had a nervous breakdown that ended in tragedy.
"She loved her kids, and for her to do something so heinous to herself and her children--this is someone who had lost touch with reality," he said. "With the lack of emotional support, and financial issues, she felt very alone in her misery. This was an unhappy woman."
Gardere said that La'Shaun is going to need at least 15 to 20 years of therapy and that the traumatic experience he went through might lead to difficulties with relationships with others later in life.
"He'll have flashbacks for years. This will stay with him forever and impact his life and whoever he is involved with--he's going to be unable to make a full commitment [to a relationship] only because he feels she's going to leave him the way his mother left him. There is hope for him and he may become a much stronger individual, but he may become so strong that he shuts out other people," Gardere said.