One of my Alaska brothers sent me this article yesterday published in the Anchorage Daily News. He told me it reminded him of me and of our childhood. Although my mother kept an insanely clean house, although she was the abuser and not our father, although there were no criminal charges against my parents, no criminal sexual assault, and no alcoholism, the grim-beyond-words environment this young man was raised within – coupled with the failings of any kind of “system” or individual that could have spared this young man – will sound extremely familiar to many of this blog’s readers.
It has taken me nearly 24 hours to decide to highlight this article of the account of the horrible mess one young man is now in as he picked up a gun and slaughtered the madman that was his father. Such a horror story raises thousands of questions for which I certainly have no answers. Does anyone?
I am reminded that my writing work about my abuse history is, as one of my sisters called it yesterday – what I can do. But it is hard to find a perspective that lets me know what I can do is good enough. It will take a combined investment of many, many people to create solutions to the kinds of troubles this young man faced/faces – and that I and so many others also face.
My sister wrote me:
“And the words that you have worked so hard to craft and your story which is so hard to tell WILL help many people I am sure. Just think of the ripple of the stone in the pond affect…how each small thing works to bring large change. I am so proud of you and the absolutely heroic effort you have made!”
The ripples. This newspaper story and the very real people that belong to it are also part of the rippling. I cannot completely ignore this young man’s plight just because I don’t know how to do anything to help him! That young man needed help a long, long time ago. Yet how are we as a society going to find a way to protect children within the home of their parents as long as our standards are so incredibly low for what we believe ALL infants and children need and deserve?
I am reminded of one of my “crime report” stories that I suppose will need to be rewritten when I reach that point in the books I am working on now. For now, this is a part of my own experience that is resonating with the history of the young man in the above article:
One of the absolute stupidest questions people ask me is “Why didn’t you fight back against your mother.”
I am not even going to begin to write here what I have to say about that question. What is in this post is enough to give anyone who asks that question a run for their pitiful money. There are reader comments at the bottom of the newspaper article written by people who I would most certainly add to the “pitiful” category.
For as positive as I try to stay while working through trauma concerns I would have nothing coherent to say in response to some of those readers’ words. Sometimes this entire subject DOES seem impossible. I NEED to find ways to believe that it is NOT!
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