Wednesday, February 01, 2012

He's Not Just Anyone...

If you read the story in our local paper yesterday or if you saw our local news the night before or if you saw the picture on the internet, you might assume that the guy they were talking about in the most recent crime was a really horrible person. You might conclude that he must not have had good parents growing up and that he was mean and cruel and a psychopath.

You wouldn't know that he is a very gentle father. You wouldn't know that he is very loving and grateful to his parents. You wouldn't assume that he has parents who have loved him fiercely from the time he was eight years old and did everything they could to help him. You wouldn't know that the past month he has been a very good boyfriend, had found housing for himself, was working several days a week, and that his life looked like it was going to turn around.

You might assume, though the details of the crime spoke otherwise, that he had planned the event... that it was premeditated, and because he was caught first, he was the initiator. You might assume that he consciously knew what he was doing the entire time. And you would more than likely say to yourself in your mind, "I hope they throw the book at him."

You probably wouldn't guess that he was impulsive ...or considered that he might have been drunk or high. You wouldn't realize the he most likely was following someone else who was the mastermind behind the plan. You wouldn't ask if he possibly could have a brain that wasn't quite working right due to trauma as a young child.

As you read this you are probably thinking that I am defending him or trying to convince you that he shouldn't have to face legal consequences But that isn't my point. My point is that thought there are stories like this in the news every day, this time, he's not just anyone -- he's my son.



This song has been going through my mind ever since the crime happened, and here's why.

When we look from the outside in at newspaper articles, at news programs on TV, at jail rosters we have feelings that range from disgust to anger at these "losers" who are ruining our society. We can wish for serious legal consequences, not thinking about how they got where they are or how well they might have been doing.

But more than ever before I'm realizing that behind each of those faces on the jail roster website there is more than likely a mother, or other person, who loves them -- or at one point did before it got too difficult to bear. There may be years of neglect and abuse as children where society failed to protect them. They might be people who are homeless and mentally ill who can't get services because we as a society (and dare I say as a church) are failing them.

I know this post may not make everyone comfortable. But raising my kids has made me so much less judgmental of others and so much more compassionate ... because in every homeless young adult, I see one of my sons. In every inmate's eyes, I see the pain of one of my kids. In each pregnant teenager, I see my daughter. And I recognize that the people in those positions potentially have a host of people who have desperately and helplessly watched someone they love fall apart.

If you met my son, you would really like him. You would find him engaging, kind, and loving. You would see that he is a good conversationalist and likes people. You might not be able to understand why he did what he did, I don't know the answer to that either, but I pretty sure you'd think he was a nice guy had you known him before it happened. And you might be able to say, even though he is where he is, "he's not just anyone... he's my friend."

19 comments:

DynamicDuo said...

well said Claudia,
If but by the grace of God, go I

peace to you and yours

any news from Kari?

GB's Mom said...

I am sorry. Although I have not yet gone through this with one of my children, I did go through it with my brother. I feel your pain.

Lisa said...

Oh.My.Goodness. You have so eloquently stated what has been on my heart for years. I think that about my kids and for other hurt kids who have hurt our family in ways I cannot even explain. God Bless You and Keep You Claudia.

Treasured Grace said...

I love your post and I'm sorry for you and your husband and your family...hugs!

GZimmy said...

I was saddened to hear of this a few days ago. You and Bart and your family continue in my prayers, Claudia.

Sarah Beam said...

So very sorry, Claudia. Love and peace to you.

Marge said...

Beautifully said.

Sending hugs and love, and above all, prayers.

Jane said...

I am so sorry. It is so hard to watch these kids make negative choices. I will also pray for your family.

flacius1551 said...

Praying for you.

QueenB said...

I'm sorry. Prayers for your son and his family, and you and yours.

Emma said...

Praying for you and yours.

Lee said...

I'm so sorry Claudia. You wrote a powerful post though that really resonated for me.

Miz Kizzle said...

My heart goes out to you.

* said...

I'm so sorry, Claudia. Prayers being sent.
Linda

This is who we are said...

Lifting you up...we have headed down that road and are waiting for a date to see the judge! Hang in there girl! We are all in this together!
Lisa R in AL

Paula said...

Well you know that our family is going to be vilified too. And yep, people will assume the worst. I'm sorry for you and your sons. It's so unfair the way people are judged.

Rebecca said...

You worded this so well! I'm sorry your family has to go through this! Praying for you!

Nita said...

I am so very sorry. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

SECRET PEPPER PERSON: said...

I've adopted 3 special needs children and understand where you are coming from. Ironically, just yesterday I got a call from another adoptive mother telling me her child's birth parent was being interviewed on the news and being presented in the media in a most angelic light. Spewing about how her daughter had been basically kidnapped by DCF....drugged with horrible psychotropic drugs blah blah blah. I know this birth mother. I know how she tortured this child. Starved this child. Performed her Munchhausen magic on this child.And now 14 years later is still haunting this child who has struggled to achieve wholeness with the help of her adoptive parents who have sunk thousands into good counseling. I was furious once again, with the media. I sat down and wrote to them suggesting they check the credibility of their "eyewitnesses" before they air an interview. I told them if I wanted sensationalism I'd turn on Jerry Springer. I told them I was heading on over to the competition...the other channel. I am still seething. I am sorry you are having to endure this. There are those who do read between the lines and understand...