The SuperMom who Snapped

H. Allegra Lansing
19 min readApr 18, 2021

What happened to Diane Schuler?

Diane Schuler with her children

Have you ever had a moment so bad that it’s a miracle you survived?

I did. Fifteen years ago my world came crashing to a halt. I was alone, ostracized by my so-called friends and in a complete panic. I remember sitting in my new house, on the floor of an empty living room, and then something really terrible happened.

I blacked out.
I was stone cold sober, by the way. But as I sat on that floor, feeling my heart racing and my mind spiraling, I lost time. Perhaps a few seconds, or maybe a moment or two. But before I blacked out, I was thinking of walking into my garage and turning on my car, then closing the door and ending it. It wasn’t because I wanted to — it was just a random dark thought that briefly entered my mind.

Now here’s the thing: your brain does not know the difference between doing something and merely thinking about it. Your mind then collaborates with your body — to store your memories on a cellular level. It’s why we feel guilt and shame over wishing harm to someone: because on a certain level, we actually did the deed.

Let’s add to this: most of us regularly have mini-blackouts. A common occurrence is when we are driving a regular route — at some point during the drive we cease paying close attention to the road and instead get lost in our thoughts. I’m sure everyone reading this can attest that at some point in their life they were driving and realized they couldn’t recall the last mile or two. We didn’t process it because our mind was focused on something else.

Additionally, have you ever had the not-serious thought of harming yourself? Of throwing yourself off a tall building, or walking into traffic, or sticking a needle into your eye? Just a random thought that crossed your mind, and flitted away again because it wasn’t something you were actually seriously considering.

What I experienced that terrible night was the confluence of these three things:

H. Allegra Lansing

Author of the “More to the Story” true crime nonfiction series.