Conjecture and Disgrace

There is a lot going on with our nation right now. Today marks an important day, being Election Day. Our country will not be the same, either way. It’s a country divided and really at war with itself. When I think about the significant times in American history I can’t help but compare them to current events. During the abolishment of slavery there were those that didn’t think change was necessary and there were those that could see the future of America, making all of the citizens free.  During the women’s lib movement, there were men that good understand and value the support needed for women to have equal rights.  When segregation was ending there were American’s that wanted all of our citizens to be treated fairly and equally and not be ostracized due to skin color. There are many examples of this, I could go on forever. However, the common theme is those that want change and those that don’t.  Only each side views change differently.  Each side believes that their side wants the change, even when the change is more of the same.  Who can be sure what is right? What if right is wrong? People that are wrong, often don’t know it. And can’t recognize it. If they did, they would see it from the other side.  My point is, each party is fighting for or against their own fundamental beliefs. Sometimes it is hard to be able to see the forest through the trees. And let’s face it, while we have come a long, long way, we still have miles to go. Racial profiling still happens, women are paid less than men by as much as $0.25 on the dollar and the LGBTQ families suffer hate crimes, discrimination and still do not have equal rights as their heterosexual counterparts.  America was built on fundamental beliefs of justice and evenhandedness, but it is clearly still a work in progress.

We, as a society, are divided and it is painfully obvious that is not going to resolve anytime soon. It could not be clearer then when looking at the addiction families. It is not bad enough that when our children or loved ones are suffering from addiction that we have to live on the edge of our worst fears waiting for the call that they have died. But then when that call comes, and it is more likely than ever to happen, the family is bombarded with disgusting and vile comments about the addict deserving their death, or getting what they deserve. How did we become such a cruel society? How did we become a whole that splits in half pointing fingers at each other looking for blame? When we spend so much time pointing fingers and calling out whose fault it is we spend zero time looking for a solution to the problem.  Recently I read an article about a woman who lost 3 sons. THREE SONS. Three. I cannot fathom going through this nightmare with three children. It is literally paralyzing to me.  That is the epitome of suffering addiction. Those poor boys suffered watching each other die off, the mother suffered burying each one and the entire family suffered the loss of a future. Add to that the mother is a recovering addict and it is a perfect storm of devastation.

Once again, because I truly never learn, I clicked on the comments underneath the article. And once again, because nothing really changes, I was disgraced by humanity. The cruelty of people is just unbelievable. And I do mean unbelievable in the most absolute and outrageous way.  Sometimes I am embarrassed to be alive and sharing air with people who are so ignorant and disgusting.  The comments were loaded with conjecture. The mother must be the problem if all three kids died. The mother is an addict too so don’t donate to the Gofundme page because she will probably use the money for drugs. Don’t donate because she deserves to lose her kids if she is a dirty scumbag addict too. On and on. I read them all. There were plenty of people offering supportive words about the loss but the bad definitely out weighted the good. It was horrifying.  I understand that there is some speculation on how three boys from the same family end up so deep in addiction they lose their life, especially under the supervision of a mother that is an addict herself.  Doesn’t anyone ask why?  Instead of crucifying this family, did anyone stop to ask why this has happened? In the supposed land of opportunity?

I’m sure a lot of people say it’s because the mother did drugs so the kids followed in her foot steps. That’s true. I believe that is very probable but, there is still a why. What led the mother to that lifestyle? Well, who the hell knows. No one. No one knows for sure. It really doesn’t make it any less tragic. An entire family has been wiped out by addiction and that is fucking tragic. It’s awful.  I can preach myself blue about disease versus choice or behavior versus mental health, though I think that would be futile.  There is just no forgiveness or natural kindness anymore. Now every time something bad happens to someone we say that was karma making it right, or that the person deserved whatever they got. Who are we? It’s disgusting.

The truth is that the way we live and are raised and are praised or not typically shapes who we become as people. Positive feedback and encouragements causes a self-amplifying cycle where positive change leads to even greater change and continued growth in a positive and self-satisfying way. Negative feedback or discouragement does the exact opposite. If a child is raised in a place where they are told they can be whatever they want, and can do whatever they want, they will believe that and strive for the best. If a child is raised in an environment that is predominantly negative they will believe that they cannot do things, or they are not good enough and it will have lifelong effects resulting in unconstructive behavior.  Those types of behaviors follow people and families for decades.  I recently read a study about children raised in poorer neighborhoods versus those raised in wealthier neighborhoods. In some instances the children were both born to poorer families (young, unwed mothers from well-to-do families) or mothers. Even though there were similarities in financial background such as mother’s working as a waitress or in a department store with no father participation or very little participation, the children raised in wealthier places were ten times to be more successful than those in the poorer neighborhoods.

It’s hard to imagine that a women that loses three sons to addiction and is an addict herself wasn’t also raised in that same environment. And, it’s not hard to imagine that the worse this addiction epidemic becomes the more of this sort of thing that will happen.  Everything starts somewhere. Poor decisions, impulsivity and negative self image are bred and developed. They are learned. And they can be unlearned, helping an entire generation crawl out of hell and into real life, but that doesn’t happen by telling them what a flaming piece of shit they are. Reading the story of this woman and her three dead sons made me sad for her AND in spite of her but I can’t judge her even though that sounds contradictory.  There has to be more compassion from one human to another.  Otherwise why bother living.



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