Yes. Looking at that title on paper now, it’s the right title. The execution of this part of the surrender plan felt very much like an execution, period. As someone pointed out to me later, all that was missing was the black hoods. And as I predicted, it was all about blaming him; and portraying him as broken, faulty, defective – in much nicer words, and by implication only. And of course their decision was not a choice, but a “must.”
Many years ago, my then seventeen year old son brought to me a cartoon and said to me, “Pop, this is how I feel.”
It was a man in a spacesuit, standing on the moon, reading a note, left by his fellow astronauts, who were in the spaceship flying way above and leaving the planet. The note did not say what it should have. It didn’t say, “Henry, we are so terribly sorry to have left you here. We did wait as long as we possibly could. But the window of opportunity for us to get off the planet was upon us. Had we stayed any longer we all would have died. And we chose not to let that happen.”
Instead, it read: “Dear Henry, Where were you? We waited and waited, but finally decided that…”
Not only blaming Henry for their decision, but minimizing what they have just done. “We finally decided to go to the movie without you” does not have the same import as “we finally decided to abandon you on the moon.”
And what on earth does “where were you?” matter now? Blaming the victim was a concept that I first heard named in college when I read the book of the same name (thank you William Ryan) – but by no means was the experience it named new to me.
In their first words today, the parents not only told their “son” that they loved him, but that this decision was best for him. Really? Fact? Not opinion? Not a belief? Fact? Wow. So typical and predictable for people who blame others.
It could have only gone downhill from there. And it did. Nineteen times, “you, “ “your,” or “yourself” was used. Nineteen times. One paragraph.
Abusers are always
“you made me do it.”
Maybe, in the end then, they were right after all: them saying goodbye was best for him. Not because of who he is, but solely, and surely, because of who they are.
I need to take a shower.