Wednesday, March 30, 2011

History Repeats Itself? Sure, If We Let It.

I am frustrated today.  Well, no, just wait.  I have been frustrated for quite a long time about something.  It seems to me that society or media or maybe just good lawyers are making people less accountable for their actions.  I'm not going to suggest this post has anything to do with mental illness, that in itself is incredibly serious and does not apply to what I am saying.

I've heard on TV, on the news and other media, about how this violent offender was raised in an abusive home, or that drug addict had alcoholic parents.  Now I do agree that better parenting will generally produce better offspring, but it's not true in every situation.  The fact of the matter is that this person is a violent offender and that one is a drug addict.  I don't care who their parents are or what they did or didn't do. This person has issues and needs help. Period.

Think of it this way.

If your child is hitting in playschool, it may be "just a phase". 
If your child is hitting in elementary school, you might say "he's defending himself from a bully" or "It's the violence on TV"  
If your child hits someone in High School, "he's rebelling" or "testing his limits".  
Take any behavior that is negative, there are excuses.  I'm not saying parents are responsible for their child's actions, though that is kind of in our job description, but we ARE responsible for teaching them to be accountable.
Just last week, my oldest hit his brother for something really stupid.  After about 18 interrupted attempts to tell me WHY he hit his brother, he finally realized that I didn't care.  I was not interested in an excuse, there was no reason.  I managed to find an appropriate punishment for him. He hates to write, so he also had to write lines. 50 of them.  

Hitting Someone Is NEVER okay.

That's it. Right there. No excuses, no reasons, just simply "It is wrong." Really, even in a self defense situation, your ideal goal would be to get the he** away from whoever is attacking you. Hitting may be necessary to get away, but you're not gonna sit around and keep going. Your main goal is to get away. 
Self Defense can be a sketchy excuse of it's own.

So what happened to these criminals out there?  What happened to those people who aren't yet criminals?
I was raised with an alcoholic.  I don't drink.  In fact, none of my siblings do either.  We may occasionally have a few, but that's it.  According to a large part of society, I should drink, I can drink and no one would bat an eyelash, because "she was raised with alcoholics." 
I know quite a few people who grew up with Domestic Violence. I also know that not one of them tolerates any form of abuse. Sadly, I also know some that do choose to perpetuate the sins of their parents.
Drinkers, controllers, manipulators, beaters.  All of it.  And they defend themselves LOUDLY.  
"Oh Honey, I'm so sorry, it's just that, well, this is what I grew up with.  It's what I'm used to, it's going to take a long time for me to quit.  I'm trying, really."   

No. I don't buy it.
I don't buy a bit of it. 

If you don't want to repeat the mistakes you knew, you STOP.  You GET HELP.  You accept that you might not be able to change things on your own. 
There is no explanation for why a man reviews his wife's text messages. 
There is no explanation for a woman who calls her husband useless.
There is no explanation for physical violence.
There is no explanation for alcoholism.
There is no explanation for gambling away your life savings.
Whether it is an addiction or behavior or whatever it might be forcing you to live in negativity and blame, there is a solution and there is HELP.

I know this can be done.  
I have seen it more than once.  
I live it EVERY DAY.

For those who are NOT the abusers, the drug dealers, the controllers....
For those of us who have been, or currently ARE victims....
You can't make that person change.  You are NOT responsible for their actions.  If they continually make excuses, if they say they are 'trying' DON'T BUY IT. If they don't make the effort to STOP or GET HELP to STOP, they are not going to change. 

I teach my children this one major rule (in addition to there is never a good reason to hit someone)

Sorry doesn't mean ANYTHING 
if you don't STOP doing what you apologized for

By continually eating up these excuses we are allowing more and more violence to slip through the cracks. More and more drug dealers walk free, more crime everywhere.
Just a few days ago it was reported that crime is higher in some Canadian cities this year already.  They say that the conditions are 'ideal' for domestic violence. There are economic worries and a prolonged winter season that is causing depression and anxiety throughout many cities.
Really?  So, the official stance is "It's not so bad, winter sucks."  For real, on the news, you just announced that you EXPECT trouble. No wonder I don't watch the news much. I sure don't want my kids watching that.  "yeah, honey, you might get mugged on your way home from school, but that's just because there's so much snow on the ground".  These days the criminals don't even have to make excuses, the media and society does it for them.

Stop the excuses. Stop playing victim and be responsible and accountable for your OWN actions.  I learned that when I was small, so did my kids.  No one can make you do anything you don't want to do. And you can't MAKE someone else do what you want them to do. 

Its really a sad, frustrating thing.

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