7 June 2015

The little town we live in doesn't have much crime; yes, there was a murder a while back--one teenager killed another at the park--but overall it's nuisance crime, crimes of opportunity, and graffiti.

There's more graffiti here than one would expect in a small town, but most of it is one word plastered all over the place, including an Interstate overpass than mostly makes people wonder how the hell it got there. There was worry that it was gang tagging, and with that comes the uneasy air of what if it really is?

But then one woman posted to a Facebook group created for locals to share information that the graffiti was being done by one person, not a gang, and she knew that because it was her 22 year old son. She detested that he was doing it, had pleaded with him to stop, and wasn't making any excuses.

My gut reaction? That took some cojones to step up and admit that it was her kid, and a lot of relief that it actually was just one kid and not a gang.

People couldn't seem to let it go, though. She was berated in comment after comment; clearly, it was bad parenting.

Never mind that her kid is a grown man, legally an adult.

He was arrested a couple of weeks ago; she apologized again, pointed out that she'd done everything she could, tried to push him in an artistic direction, tried open other avenues to him, but he just kept doing it.

And again, people jumped on the you're-a-bad-parent bandwagon.

It got ugly.

It was cyber-bulling by a bunch of supposed adults.

It was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.

Last week she killed herself.

The group first found out when a friend of her posted, and only posted because the last text she received from her was about the group and the pile-on of insults and personal accusations. Her friend was livid, and who can blame her? He husband posted later; he's heartbroken, and for what?

Apparently so some people who wouldn't have the guts to say those things to her face could sit back and get some weird thrill from slamming someone else over and over, over something about which she truly had no control.

I can't even pretend to understand it.

She did us all a favor by letting us know that no, we don't have a gang problem. Just a bored 22 year old. Her reward was unfair bullying, and it was piled on until she broke.

I don't know what my point is.

I'm just ticked off.

Really, horribly, ticked off.


Cary Hillman said...

I too am angry. Those people would never have DARED to say those things to her face. A bad parent? She was a good enough parent to speak up and let people know it was her son and that she'd done all she could. She could have kept quiet and let everyone wonder. She stood up...only to get knocked down by bullies. These same bullies who would be calling the school, the police and the parents of any child who got online and hounded their child to suicide. *shaking head*

momsbusy said...

People just don't realize the power their words can have. I wonder if they will think that their parents are bad parents since they (the cyber bullies) were contributers to her mental state?

Mighty Kitty said...

OMG! What a tragic and sad commentary! I hope this is on their collective conscience for life. I was bullied in 6th grade by kids and throughout high school by a bunch of nuns, one of which apologized later. It is hurtful and leaves lasting scars but I feel worse for the person who felt she needed a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Just damn sad! May she rest in peace!

Anonymous said...

Agree! Words have power and carry responsibility. I used to tell my primary students that words are like feathers. When they are out of the container you can never get all of them back!

Eileen said...

Oh no...what an awful thing. This mother did what she thought was right, and did so bravely in a public forum. She took a risk and those who blamed her for her son's actions are simply cowards. Did they ever stop to think for a minute about some of the foolish things they did when they were young...or a friend or family member.

I'm so sorry to hear this mom couldn't take it any longer and made the choice she did. I imagine her entire family are heartbroken and I worry about the impact this will have on her son.