Saturday, April 13, 2013

Normally I try to avoid the news because it raises my blood pressure, and demonstrates the moral lows of society. But this is abhorrently low. I don't care what your position on the pro-life/pro-choice conversation is, because the root of this story isn't based in that debate. I have seen this all over the web because none of the mainstream outlets are talking about it (but they'll talk ad nauseum about Vick's antics). They'd rather rail on a dog cruelty case till people get tired of hearing it and stop giving a crap about it, but we won't hear about this human-against-human cruelty at all. But this story of greed, indignity, predatory behavior, municipal failures, and murder deserves more attention than a football player who shot his own foot, or the one who committed his own egregious harm to animals. This case deserves the same kind of outrage that stemmed from the death of Treyvon Martin, minus the division of the populace. Where is Corrine Brown's wig-wearing,, horrible grammar self, lambasting the officials in Pennsylvania for not doing anything to stop this death mill? Where is Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Gloria Allred, Nancy Pelosi, Sarah Palin, or any freaking body else who claims to be a proponent of equality, fairness, and what's morally appropriate? They're all afraid to go near this story, because it's so horrific and inhumane, they're ashamed to admit nothing was done about it sooner.

I see jerks making judgmental comments about the women that went to this medically trained individual (he's not a doctor or a man - those 2 types will generally be of help and care). Instead of judging women for making the choices they do, start training your sons and daughters to choose mates and partners wisely, and to treat each other with respect, so they don't find themselves feeling so desperate that they have no other option but the path to this guy's office. Because there's always going to be vultures circling the vicinity of anything smelling desperate. And instead of looking down on women who land in tricky situations, reach out to them with compassion and kindness. You don't have to buy them a car, stroller, or diapers, but just give them the emotional support to get through the challenges, and stop kicking people when they're already down as it is.

I was there myself 20 years ago - feeling sticky and trapped and lost. However, I was incredibly lucky. Oh my God, how incredibly lucky I was. I'd had sex with a guy who was raised with morals, and who was not going to leave me stranded. And we got pregnant. SO many people pair up with someone who doesn't hold the same sense of obligation, and they get into trouble for the decision. Emotional, physical, and financial abuse is a small part of it. But the children suffer for it every time.

Thankfully - oh so incredibly thankfully, I did not suffer the same fate my counterparts did. I was not abandoned. I was not left to fend for myself. I was not overtly harmed. I did lose friends. I did miss out on fun. I was looked down upon by many - and yes, I could see it, hear it, feel it. All they saw was someone who looked 12 (I was 17) with a bulging middle, and they never stopped to ask me my story, or offer encouragement. They could only bother to assume unkind things about me, about my parents, about my situation. They contributed to kicking me, and breaking me down - even if only in their minds.

Why are we doing that to each other?

I had a friend whose boyfriend was pushing hard for her to have another abortion after falling pregnant when birth control failed again. I tried to convince her to keep her baby, and promised that I completely understood and grasped her fears, as I'd lived them. I volunteered to help her any way I could so that she could avoid the path she was walking toward. I didn't share with my husband that she didn't want the abortion but she felt like she had no option. He and I both wish I'd told him. He would have intervened with certainty. Later that fateful day, this girl was mourning the loss, and inconsolable. I still feel guilty that I didn't do more.

Had she been given more encouragement, instead of being berated and told she wouldn't make it, I'm certain that she would have done well despite the challenges. I knew she had it in her to get there. A few years later, she reached out to me via IM, thanking me for mentoring her and encouraging her. She finally got away from that particular guy and was living elsewhere and doing well. I do not know what ever happened to her after that, but I think of her often. I know she still carries the burdens of the choices made in her earlier days, and it will forever haunt her.

Instead of casting knowing and judgemental glares at young women who become mothers sooner than they should, smile at them. Stop and say "You look young, and you probably feel daunted and overwhelmed, but just know you're doing the right things to raise your child. I admire you for what you're doing." If you're in a position to do something tangible, ask if they need diapers, bus fare, pants for the child, shoes for herself, a text book for college classes, a car seat that is appropriate for her child's age/stage, lunch money, or even a freaking nap and you'll watch the little for her.

Get back to being a neighbor in the old-fashioned sense of the word, and stop being the person that just lives in the same neighborhood. Be a neighbor and friend, and evil will have less chance to reach the pervasive levels that this individual reached, because people won't feel so freaking hopeless and desperate. Stop giving such a damn about what's in it for yourself, and start just being interested in what's the right thing to do for someone ELSE, without reparation to your own self.

No comments: