murderous thoughts continued...
might as well finish this while i'm on a roll...
for the sake of brevity, i'll skip the part of how the girl almost ended up a prostitute, how the girl got married while still in high school, how she became a teenage mom, how she ended up on welfare, how the husband ended up homeless, etc., and try and stick to the topic of murderous thoughts in an adopted family...
now the girl is a woman in architecture school. thanksgiving is coming up and there have been many cases of individuals going postal in the news. in studio she picks up a paper and reads a small article entitled murder in the workplace and recognizes the name of her older brother. a man is dead and two people are injured. the brother was a physics teacher under administrative review for sexual harassment of his students and prone to erratic behavior. while the fate of his career is being discussed, he goes to his home, gets some guns and ammunition, and breaks into the meeting shooting the superintendent of schools dead, and injuring the principal and a colleague. his wife, also a teacher, tries to intervene but she is too late. he is found afterward in his classroom, calmly grading papers. her classmates are shocked. she is not. he gets life without parole.
her siblings, whom she hasn't talked to in years, will divulge no details. her parents, secular by any standards, are suddenly devoutly christian and unable to say anything but religious rhetoric. she is told to read about it in the paper. but she lives in another state and these things are not on the internet yet. years later she reads a twelve installment story about the murder, written by a pullitzer prize winning journalist.
the story focuses on the brother's saint-like wife, but weaves around his psychosis and depression and struggles with psychiatry and medication. he takes pleasure in killing animals. he has fits of uncontrollable rage. he's overly fond of his female students. his psychiatrist treats him with anti-depressants. he blames the medication for his lack of inhibitions in the killing. (the psychiatrist, btw, does not share in any responsibility for his poor monitoring) he is the middle child starved for parental love. he uses academics to get praise. but just when his day in the sun should appear, a little korean baby gets adopted into the family. the whole world is celebrating her arrival. she is adorable. and he is left out in the cold. he hates her.
the little girl never got to know her brother well. say he was aloof. say he was hostile. he was ten years her senior, so he was rarely in her life. she was not allowed in his room. her dog was not allowed in his room, which was fastidiously tidy. the dog was AFRAID to cross the threshold into his room. she remembers the family driving him to campus to start college. she told him she would write. he told her, " don't bother. we'll never be close." she was only seven. she was wearing a red and white houndstooth pantsuit with a matching belt. she had been daddy's girl for over three years by then. she had her favorite baby doll with her. wrap your head around that.
the girl is happy she is estranged from her family. she calls her parents maybe once a year. both her parents are on the phone at the same time. she can never speak to her mother alone without monitoring. her mother witnesses the birth of her child. they visit her family once. maybe three visits over the course of twenty five years.
she takes both her children to florida for one visit. the mother smacks her children for not being seen and not heard. the daughter threatens to leave early. the father takes her aside and asks for forgiveness for touching her. in the next breath, he tells her he forgot how sexy she is. he whines how it was all her mother's fault - she was cold to him. he blames it all on alcohol. he tells her he loves her, please forgive him. never, she says. she makes him give her children a bath. he is sweating bullets. she stands by the door. he knows she will kill him if he touches them. the knives are not too far away, and she is older and stronger. she knows he will not. she is watching his every move. she just likes to see him squirm. she would not allow it to escalate to traumatize her children. but she fantasizes sticking a knife into him, she fantasizes castrading him. the week over, she vows never to see or speak with either of them ever again.
years later she gets an email from the younger brother. her mother is in the hospital. she has almost died after slitting her wrists. he tells her it isn't necessary for her to come. she flies to florida. she understands suicide. she is the only one not angry at her over it. she rents a hotel room. she visits the hospital. the sister she has not seen in twenty years is there, as is her father. her mother is weak and embarassed and on anti-depressants. her father protests that she has paid for a hotel room. "you should stay with us. you can sleep in my bed. don't worry. we have a no touching policy in our house." her older sister's eyes widen. her mother's jaw drops. her hands cover her ears, head shaking back and forth in disbelief. he is happy and pleased with himself and this great ploy he has come up with. he can't see that anything he has said is shocking. the mother changes the subject. this incident is erased.
a few years later the girl runs into her homeless husband. she has not seen him in two years, and he has aged ten years. he says, "sorry to hear about your dad." "what about him?" she asks. he had been dead for many months but her estrangement had been so complete, nobody contacted her. they claimed they did, but she does a yahoo search and finds herself immediately...it doesn't matter. she's no interest in him. the following year her mother dies and this time there is no excuse not to contact her. "don't bother coming." the younger brother says "we're going to do a memorial service later." she inquires often about the memorial service and always gets "don't bother" the memorial service is many months later, on the parents anniversary, for both of them together. she is incensed that she is forced to honor her father after he abused her. "that was your reality, not mine" are her brother's sentiments. neither her brother nor her sister want her to attend the memorial service. nor are they understanding about her distress over the joint memorial. she wants to come anyway, if only to spit on her father's grave, to tell everyone there the truth. her sister calls her by her korean name, a name she hasn't heard in thirty years, as a pejorative, and tells her she needs to heal herself.
she never speaks to any of them ever again.
she stays at home. she realizes her very real abuse has diminished the hidden emotional neglect and deprivation her siblings felt. their only hope for closure is to believe they had some underlying love from the dead parents. their fantasy is fragile. as fragile as the older brother's self esteem. there is no room for the abused adoptee to mourn the loss of her innocence or grieve for the parents she never got, for the family she never got. only real family is welcome.
this is a family that passed psychological screening for adoption - screening methods are inadequate
this family appeared superficially normal, yet was a ticking time bomb - we should not settle for superficial assessments
this couple had no business raising their own biological children - we were all pavlov's monkeys
family members should have been screened as well - it might have revealed a hostile climate already existed when so many were vying for very limited outputs of nurturing.
there was no follow up - maybe the little girl could have had someone to talk to
adoptions need oversight as adoptees are particularly vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation.
adoptees should be appointed advocates they can turn to.
and neighbors need to report anything even remotely suspicious.
and stop being apathetic and have the balls to get involved.