Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who is truly the freak?

I watched a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode the other day where they investigated the murder of a young man who was extremely hairy. Hair on the face, knuckles, chest, legs, thighs, everywhere. When they autopsied him, they found he was shot with a silver bullet. You can guess what impression this was supposed to give. At any rate, they investigate and find that the victim has a twin sister. They visit the house he lived in, look around for clues and find a hidden room in the house, hidden behind a door that looks like one of the living room walls. Inside they find the sister, Allison Ludford, who was suffering from the same rare genetic disorder as her brother, hypertrichosis (extreme hair growth)(note below). In everyday living, she flees to this room when her brother brings over visitors or when unexpected ones come over, and basically stays in there and does not venture into the outside world for fear of the way society will treat her. But here's the part of the investigation that stayed in my mind.................

They start to look into where these youth's parents are. Allison said that her mother was dead. This is what her brother told her. The CSI officers begin tracking the parents down for themselves. The father does not turn up, I think he had ran away to be in another marriage after his newborn infants appeared hideous to him in birth. They do find the mother however, living just fine in another part of Las Vegas (where the show takes place). Wil Grissom (head CSI officer) and the mother talk, and the mother explains that, when Allison was young, the mother tried to keep Allison locked up inside the house so that she wouldn't be embarrassed by "having a freak for a daughter" in public. Allison wanted to go outside anyway, and the mother didn't like that. So, one day, the mother packed up her things and ran off, leaving the children in the house to fend for themselves. She later called the brother and told him to tell Allison that her mom died in a car accident, so that Allison wouldn't come looking for her. As the mother explained all this to Grissom, I judged her intensely.

Now, as you may already know, I'm not a fan of children, regardless whether they're hairy or model status, but my mind went back and forth on this as a moral issue. I thought, this woman threw her child away because she didn't look normal and therefore wouldn't have a "normal" life amongst her neighbors and the empty, decrepit criticisms of a society who has a standard for something that's out of people's control. Who is truly the freak here? But then again, to live under those circumstances, amongst such ignorance and sh**-mindedness would be pretty difficult. I tried to put myself in the mother's shoes. But this is your child that you chose to bring into the world and provide with unconditional love (well, in this mother's case, it was not unconditional at all, nor was it love), why should it matter if it will be difficult or not? Responsibilities like child-rearing cannot should not be simply ditched because they're "too hard". And ditched, furthermore, by telling your daughter, who is already suffering at the hands of superficial critics, that the one of the two people that she could truly say she's attached to, is dead? This (hypothetically: making pretend this was a real person) occurred to the mother to say because it was a reflection of her own heart: her own daughter was already dead to her, so she reversed the situation in reality.

I'd be more likely to attend to and take care of this child than most other children. It's this kind of child that requires more love than some polished brat who could float flawlessly amongst society's public fabric. Of course, things could get tough and confusing in this choice of path, and the real difficulties set in. Being a parent means passing down to your children those morals and core beliefs (you believe) are needed to get through in the world and enjoy life. And although I don't know everything, I'd try to teach Allison, as I raised her, to adhere to doing the right things as best I could.

I can't be there for her during the times when other kids would make fun of her in school and embarass and shun her. I won't know what to say when Allison kicks some other boy or girl in the teeth because she's angry from being called names and ostracized and I completely understand why she lost her temper. I won't be a good example for her when I throw someone else's parent or teacher or principle out of a 10-story window for disrespecting my child or allowing that disrespect to happen. I won't want to hurt her when I accidently scream at her in rage after she asks me for something or wants me to hold her because I'm confused and tired from having to defend her from the public constantly. When a bunch of hell-sent jackals beat her up, pull some cruel prank or attempt to kill her, how can I be a good parent after going to jail because I've turned into The Punisher? Our lives would be a bit tougher than most others, but I would stay by her side.

I was going to put who killed her brother and why here, but I don't think it's really that relevant and I don't want spoil anything, even for the small chance that you'll come across that episode and watch it even though you're not a fan of the show. My point was, being a parent to that child would be super tough, extremely tough, but after making the decision to bear the child, how relevant is the difficulty of being her parent anyway? Even in dealing with my child having a mental disorder, which I will fully admit would be especially hard for me to deal with, I realize that I would have to train myself to take care of them accordingly and try my best not to treat them condescendingly. The bottom line is, that child would need love just like any other would. More love actually. It's these children we should be running to, not running away from.

(note) Although I have to admit, I did ask myself as to why Allison simply didn't just shave on the regular basis. But I remembered that people with much smaller amounts of hair are usually too lazy to even shave that on a normal basis. How can I expect her to constantly shave her whole body?

3 comments:

  1. Where I grew up parents treat their children like...servants. Not really but there's that lingering feeling. Your parents expect you to do things they ask you, they expect you to listen to them when they say "I want you to be a doctor" and so forth. Things are changing quickly, but you still hear plenty of stories about this kind of stuff. A friend of mine [from Kenya as well] isn't allowed to date. She's in college.

    And these old-fashioned parents believe that since they raised you they get to tell you what to do etc. It annoys the hell out of me, mostly because my mom asks me to do things for her around the house and I don't hear the end of it when I say "I don't feel like it" [just once]. I have had one of those arguments that go like "As long as you're under my roof..." And it makes me think...do you raise children so you can have servants to do your bidding and clones to impose your will on? Never really found the guts to ask my mom something like that. One day I will though.

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  2. I'd love to take care of her...and as you may have known by now, I love children...and they're all beautiful to me!

    I agree with you completely...only in the later part...I'd say, as early I can, I will teach her to shave...or maybe get laser hair removal...I will try to do anything and everything I can to make the situation better...for her...not for me!

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  3. so I totally meant dogs in general and don't know why I said small dogs because that would mean i'm way shorter than I really am. 4'9 is short enough.

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