We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A patient told me last week that her brother had been arrested again, for the 17th time.
What now? I asked.
Mugged somebody with a knife.
What's he been doing since he got out of jail?
On probation, living on Disability, he gets Medicare. Those are my tax dollars. A Psychiatrist gave him the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, but did not know he was using crack at the time. He got Disability, plus he gets extra money for taking online college courses. He has better benefits than I have on my job.
What's he doing out on the street again?
Lost his apartment. Didn't pay the rent. He hates to pay rent. He wants to be back in jail. He's a member of The -----s, they are a big deal in jail. In real life, he isn't. No job is good enough for him.
Talk to him yet?
I won't talk to him. He is such a charmer and spinner of words and tales he could convince you that the moon was blue cheese. I gave up on talking him long ago because he just drags you into his web of lies. He comes across as very earnest and sensitive. Then you start caring, and that's when he gets you. He is evil.
1) The fact of the treatment indicates the families have material resources, so boy's father was in the house, but entirely distracted. Authoritarian and arbitrary, son seen as object. Physical punishment regular --thus the son's foundational anger --actually a deeply buried but highly pressured post-traumatic stress disorder.
2) Mother, having been marriage-attracted to an efficient but cold and distant man to begin with, is unaware that she has a problem herself --whatever it is, it expresses as a substituting of appearances for a distastful, or worse, or just lost, reality --and has thus been both primary and over-interested in appearances in raising her son.
3) Ergo, son's method of gaining approval was very early on to suppress self and assume a role --"the charmer".
4) "The charmer" becomes a full but false identity, thus splitting the son's core self, leaving the conscience in the hidden but actual self. He doesn't have any idea of who he is, and therefore has no way of understanding his condition. The rest is history.
5) He IS evil, evil is as does, and evil has been done to him so early and so completely that to him evil is normal, as ordinary as the weather, or a tree.
Good people can have kids who turn out badly. They can spend years trying to fix them, and the good siblings can be brutalized. Eventually, the family gives up, feeling guilty, because our culture is always harping on understanding and forgiveness. It's like the way churches are told to forgive and understand the sad childhood of molesting clerics, while the perps get away with little to no punishment. And their victims suffer.