I am just attempting to come to grips with my feelings about the current situation with my son. For all the good he did getting back to school and finding a job, he hasn’t learned to control his emotions. Since he is now considered an adult, his troubles are named and shouted from the radios and newspapers; did I mention he is a stand out among stand outs? Well, he has tickled the funny bone of the press and they are running with a version of the story that brings them the most attention. Sick!
The cost of this error in his judgement is yet to be tallied, much like the true cost of the natural disasters and the constant wars throughout time. He has been in jail for a week today, his arraignment saw each of the three charges lessened a degree, but he maintains that it is all blown out of proportion and that is wasn’t as it is stated. His word against another and with his past, his word is not really listened to. Sadly, he is being judged by the community already and hasn’t had the opportunity to state his side of the case. Shameful!
Am I defending my son? No, I do not know what happened a week ago in the hotel room I paid for him to stay in so he could go to school and begin working. Do I love him even after these allegations? Yes, but I do not like his choices and am not fond of his behavior, but that really isn’t new news. I believe his mental disorder and his lack of self-discipline (terribly impulsive, always has been) have brought him to where he is now. It isn’t surprising, in fact, it was predicted by myself and those very familiar with him, but it is definitely much sooner than I would have forecast – it was exactly four months since the day he moved out of the house, nearly a month since his probation violation when he spent five days in jail. Sad!
I have spent countless hours in courtrooms in two counties with him for juvenile offenses that were as benign as refusing to attend school and as destructive as threatening someone’s life to get out of staying in school that day. I have been in civil court hearings on many occasions, but I am horrified by the culture I find myself participating in as the parent of an accused in criminal court ,- it is daunting, uncooperative, and demeaning. My experience in this county has been that the county employees are not happy people. They do not listen, they cut you off when you ask a question, they look down their nose at you as if you are dirt – but they do not know anything about you and they do not care. Disappointing!
I am no closer to defining my feelings about this terrible situation, but I am certain that it will have a lasting effect on my life. He is still my son, he is stricken, remember this is genetics, with a disorder that is stigmatized and poorly understood at best with minimal resources to support those with mental disorders or their families. I am his mother, I know I have done all I know how to do to provide a secure, loving home with the best support possible for his needs. He is going to have to live with the consequences for the rest of his life, but so am I. That is not what he wanted, but he wasn’t thinking about that last week when his life took a multitude of steps backward from where he had managed to get himself. We do not need the additional stigma of the version the press is distributing. Deplorable!
Put yourself in someone’s place before you judge, before you condemn. Do you know where they are coming from? Do you know where they have been? Do you think you could do better in their place? Think again, then act accordingly please. It may be that your response is more hurtful than the original situation you are judging.