Sunday, August 26, 2007

Comment response

OK, I started this as a comment on my "water" post from a couple of days ago. It's gotten a little too long for comments, so I'm writing more on pred@tors, and on accountability. sigh

There are a couple of factors that those of you who've read my blog for a long time may (or may not) be aware of:
1. Alcoholism runs in my family, both via direct bloodlines and by marriage. I also have several close friends who either are recovering alcoholics or know a great deal about the subject because their loved ones have walked that road.

2. I have, according to DSM-IV, a mental disorder. I treat it. I (mostly) keep it under control. When it starts taking getting the upper hand, when I start acting out, my loved ones remind me to ramp back up on treatment. It is not getting any easier to deal with over time. Life sucks. Move on.

3. Someone very close to us--age 13--bears several hallmarks of sociopathology. He has been treated and institutionalized; he's In The System, but he hasn't actually succeeded in killing anyone. Yet. Ted Bundy made it to adulthood before he did anything, too.

4. I have dealt rather closely with people with an assortment of diagnosed mental disorders. For example, I joke about PsychoBoss, but it was not a joke at the time.

5. Forgiveness is part of my life as a Christian. Being stupid is not part of forgiveness. I don't believe that Jesus wants us to be irresponsible or victimized.
I have to say that the guy in our neighborhood who was arrested for m0l#st@ti0n has not been tried in a court of law as yet, so of course I'm trying to keep to the "innocent until proven guilty" concept while still explaining my feelings about people who do these sorts of things in neighborhoods like mine.

Once a P#rv's been caught, however, the harm has already been done to the victims, in this case boys, whose lives have changed course in what could be very dramatic ways. I have no patience for anyone who can't distinguish right and wrong in this situation. If these allegations are true, he invited the boys into his home, while his family was absent, he chose to do the things he is accused of doing...and no one had a gun to his head. No one forced him to live in this area, where virtually every house has children in it. The whole scenario requires planning and forethought--or incredibly lack of self-knowledge (self-awareness?) on his part--and I absolutely don't care if people like this are sick or 'bad' (or, may I add, treated or untreated, cognizant of his "addiction" or not): they needs to be kept PERMANENTLY far away from children. Jail, mental hospital, putting them out to die on an ice floe...I don't really care. Recidivism is a fact, the temptation is too much for keep them the HELL away from our kids!

It's possible that I'm a little biased as my son is right in his target group. However, I would like to think that I'd feel the same way about p#rvs that like 5-year-old girls, or any other target. No, actually, I do feel the same way. See this post from one of my favorite blogs for how I know this; I promise that if you follow the links you will feel sick. If you don't, please just go away now.

Since it was raised as a comparison point, I will take on alcoholism here. Alcoholics are absolutely 100% responsible for the choices they make, drunk or sober (though I would concede that picking up the drink in the first place is the main Bad Choice here). I don't know too many recovering alcoholics who would dispute that, either. In fact, it is from recovering alcoholics I learned how to be relatively intolerant of codependent behavior! They are among the people who have, essentially, reinforced for me that what people (not just Americans) need to do is to take a LOT more responsibility for our actions, and the outcomes thereof, both on a personal and worldwide scale.

Life is neither easy nor fair--thanks, Dad!--but we all have to get along with whatever we're handed, and be honest with ourselves, something else that is far from easy. I understand that it isn't easy to do something that seems "against our nature" regardless of whether that is not eating everything in sight, or not m0lest!ng children, or not driving our car into someone else on the freeway who is asking for it. If we were "just animals" we probably would do those things without a thought to consequences. But we are not "just animals" and we must face the consequences for our actions. That means going to jail if we kill someone while driving drunk, it means being fired for stealing stuff from work, and it means developing type 2 diabetes if you keep eating crap even though you have a family history of a tendency toward this.

No one enjoys having to face some of the realities of life like illness or accidents. It's all about our reaction to them and the way we deal with the cards we are dealt as we head into the future. Sure, maybe we would have enjoyed having 3 or 4 kids--not in the cards. Yeah, maybe it would have been nice to be the oldest, rather than the youngest, sibling in my family; who knows. Gosh, it would be awesome not to worry about my godson killing people for a living when he grows up! Those ain't the cards I got. So I look at what's in my hand, and I look at what's on the table, and I play the best damn game of Texas Hold'em I can, because my other choice is to face God (and myself) at the end and make excuses for my poor behavior.

Yeah, I actually feel for guys like this p#rv. But you know what? I reserve a LOT more feeling for his family and the victims of his "natural" drives!


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