In the End…

fairlane27.jpgI decided I’d follow in Neon Boy’s footsteps tonight. I’ve wanted to put some of my poetry and that of others on here for a while. I actually thought about asking our readers to submit poetry for a “contest” of sorts, but I’m not sure just yet. It’s hard enough to get people to comment. (Maybe we’re just boring).

Whatever the reason, I get tired of making fun of people, and I hate being pigeonholed. (In case you never noticed, Jones Town is the physical manifestation of ADD. I often wonder what the people who read us regularly, if there is such a thing, expect when they come here. “Let’s see, Wednesday they wrote about ADD and then on Thursday they did a parody where Al Sharpton was a chicken leg and Sean Hannity was a cracker box, and then on Friday they had a story written a’ la Dr. Seuss. What the fuck?” See? You can’t fake that shit).

Moving along. I didn’t actually write this poem. An 18 year old I met about ten years ago did. He was one of my clients, and extraordinarily bright. He gave me a run for my money on many an occasion. Unfortunately, he was also a sociopath. The reason we met was because he hit his mom with a baseball bat after she told him to stop tormenting their dog. (He’d already killed 2 other pets when he was younger. BIG TIME WARNING SIGN!)

He wrote it for me after I asked him why he did what he did during one of our sessions. When he came back the following week, the first thing he did was hand it to me. When I asked what it was he said, “Why.” I’ve debated whether or not I should post it because I have no way to give him credit. Obviously I can’t use his name.

I think it’s very good, especially when you consider he was only 18, and it deserves to be read. Who knows maybe he can help someone else.

Like most of my former clients I have no idea what happened to him. (Once a kid leaves your program it’s illegal to maintain contact with them. If I saw a former client in the Grocery store I wasn’t “allowed” to say hello unless they spoke to me first. The galling thing is after they left is often the time they needed us the most. I miss the kids but I sure don’t miss all that bullshit). I hope he’s well.

(I recognize poetry is not the “in” thing, but I made up my mind when I started this blog we were going to do what we wanted. Sorry).

Home

(here in this house, my childhood, Spent)

lying here i am unsure

i feel nothing but

darkness

 

i lose form and

above my bed

I

begin

To

float

De

tac

hed

as the floor creaks not goodbye but

Farewell

 

i cry out,

Afraid,

numb

 

i wait for them

a sound

a scream from the bottom of the stairs

something to help me return

but

my tears fall harmlessly to the floor of

T             R             T             C

H             O             H             E

I             O             I             L

S             M             S             L

from which I cannot escape

 

silence creeps under the door

like a stranger

Uninvited

it embraces the entire foundation

 

they will not come

they will not answer

they are teaching me

and i will learn

 

i will learn to live here, in this house

to survive

to build myself within these

walls

 

the master student

i will be impenetrable

my eyes like crystal balls

 

i will learn to read minds

and to avoid the soft places

in the floors

 

and one day i will become the teacher

inviting those i love

into this house

and they will come

 

unaware

that its rooms are filled with

Silence

 

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~ by fairlane on June 10, 2007.

4 Responses to “In the End…”

  1. Awesome poem. I don’t know about poetry not being “in”. I think it’s making a comeback. I know I’m interested in it, and I’m an engineer. What does that tell you? I try to listen to the Writer’s Almanac by Garrison Keillor in the mornings on NPR.

    Of course, I’m also interested in the psychiatric aspects of this. The kid was obviously troubled. Did this poem help you to understand his predicament any better? Did it help at all with treatment or diagnosis?

  2. I’ll try to keep it short, but you know by now I’m long winded, or “keyboarded”.

    My background is in Sociology, and I am not allowed to diagnose. Of course, the majority of “diagnosing” comes with experience not necessarily education. But nevertheless that’s the rule.

    He was adopted by his aunt and uncle, and his uncle more than likely was Anti-Social. Very grandiose, paranoid, and violent. He abused the shit out of this kid. (His mother committed suicide when he was 7, and his father was in prison, which is why he lived with his Aunt and Uncle). A textbook environment for creating a Sociopath.

    When I started seeing him I was their last shot. Unfortunately, by then it was too late. He underwent a Psychological Evaluation and almost immediately the Psychologist was throwing up Red Flags. He met the criteria for what is known as “The MacDonald Triad”:
    1) Fire starting for enjoyment
    2) Bedwetting beyond the “normal” age
    3) Cruelty to animals, but not pulling legs off spiders, or crushing ants. Killing animals like dogs, cats etc for the mere pleasure of it.

    The reason this is considered a “Red Flag”, beyond the obvious, is because it indicates the person has the potential to become a Serial Killer. (If you want to read more go here http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org and search for “J M MacDonald”, he has several published papers on Sociopaths).

    The kid was absolutely vicious, and expressed zero remorse and/or emotion. (I was actually surprised when he wrote that poem). To give another example, aside from him hitting his Aunt with a bat; ( I said Mom in my post, but that’s what he called her) His uncle had surgery on his ankle, and the day he came home the boy kicked him as hard as he could on that ankle.

    When he told me that story his Uncle was sitting there and the kid was laughing about it. His uncle was a son of a bitch and probably deserved worse, but it was chilling to see the kid laughing saying “He deserved it. He made me do it.”

    He was Anti-Social without a doubt, and the only thing that prevented the diagnosis sooner was his age. People under 18 cannot be diagnosed Anti-Social. It’s, as I said in a previous post, considered a death sentence in a way. There are no successful treatments. How do you teach an adult to have a conscience?

    We had him placed in a program, but they could only keep him until he was 19. After that, God only knows.

  3. Hmm.. How does that relate to the Korean guy from Virginia Tech? I seem to remember talk about how he was troubled, and some teacher or counselor knew about it. It also seemed that he had a history that included some type of treatment or detention, which should’ve been a red flag when he tried to purchase guns. Would there be something similar for this kid? If he tried to purchase a gun would there be some red flag that popped up saying he was a sociopath? Otherwise, you’ve just got a potential killer out on the loose, right?

  4. Although I don’t know Cho personally, it sounded to me like he may have some kind of thought disorder, possibly Schizophrenia. He seemed very paranoid, and almost psychotic. I read portions of those plays he wrote, and the wording was odd; juvenile, and very disjointed. Maybe some of that was a “language barrier”, but he lived here for many years, and was a senior in college.

    He definitely displayed “anti-social” behavior in his isolationism etc., but anti-socials in general, at least in my experience, tend to engage people. They are “social”, but their relationships are parasitic. Cho seemed to spend all his time alone, which reminds me of my friend with Schizophrenia. Of course, I’m simply speculating. Probably they will never know because from I understand when he was in the Psych Hospital they did not diagnose him with any mental illness. The Psychiatrist did declare him a “danger to himself”, but no mention of being a danger to others.

    It’s very complicated. On one hand people recognized something was obviously wrong with Cho, but on the other we can’t predict “future crimes”. We can say “potential”, “reason to believe” etc, but there’s no way of knowing. And that line is so very fine. What if they locked him up based on assumptions, which unfortunately happens, and he wasn’t really a threat? And then there’s always the specter of the “lawsuit”. What if they kicked him out school and they were subsequently sued for “discrimination”?

    The only concrete indicator is past history, but as far as I know he had no history of violence toward others. Like I said, it’s a such a fine line of protecting the rights of individuals, and protecting society. Many mentally ill people have been abused by the system, and many slip through the cracks. Shit, there is no easy answer for that situation and everything is hindsight. He “legally” bought that gun under Virginia law.

    No doubt he was troubled and it’s sad he had no one who knew him or cared about him enough to intervene.

    As far as my former client is concerned, no criminal history. He can legally purchase guns. All of his juvenile records of hospitalization etc are confidential and sealed.

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