I have a bone to pick. This might not sound like something new, but this one is so entirely different –
Why can’t broken children be fixed? I mean, they are children – the most malleable, resilient beings I’ve ever encountered. Why, if they have parents & family that love and care for their well-being (and maybe a regular shrink appointment), can’t they all just bounce back, get well, learn a lesson and move beyond the darkness that is drugs; that is demons; that is Hell for Children?
My cousin lost her eldest son yesterday. That is to say he was technically NOT lost, per se, but at an outside location away from home where he died in his 22-year-old sleep.
How does this happen? How does a baby who is wrapped up in love and brought to live with two funny, kind, generous, creative, patient people devolve into a sad, frightened, damaged soul who spirals down the drain of drugs and self-loathing? How does a boy who was wanted out of strong desire to share their love and expand their family unit spin so low and out of control?
Someone damaged him; that’s how. I don’t know exactly who or when, but someone definitely did something to this kid at some point. They did it well and they did it often. Often enough for an infant to be constantly fretful while in the care of others. Often enough for said infant to be inconsolable in my arms until he finally cried himself to sleep. When he finally fell asleep, he’d cry as soon as he was gently set down in the crib he slept in.
Baby-sleep is supposed to be the sleep of angels, but his wasn’t. He would whimper like a frightened kitten. There was more to it than this but I can’t even say it – I just can’t.
The things I heard and witnessed from this tyke killed me. I’ve never cared for a small child who was so intrinsically unhappy and frightened. This was way different from a cranky, colicky baby or a shy toddler and it seriously irked me. It bugged me enough to mention my concerns to his mother who thanked me and promised to keep a close eye out.
Besides the sitter who cared for him while they were at work, me and my other cousin were the only ones entrusted with his semi-regular weekend-care. They’d often attend away-meetings as lifelong Amway disciples.
His parents were never able to figure out who did what to him so they were left caring for a boy with unfathomable issues. He couldn’t articulate specifically what had happened to him. He just acted out as most troubled children do – by accusing his parents of not loving him; by breaking things in his house; by failing in school; by picking up drugs to ease his agony. It really sounded like agony with this kid.
Gabe spent the past several years in and out of rehab with on-and-off ultimatums from his parents. He had to get his shit together; he needed to either go to college or get a job; he needed to stay clean. A couple of times his parents took him out of rehab after desperate middle-of-the-night phone calls through a waterfall of expert crocodile tears. Feeling the pain and promise in his voice, they’d “rescue” him from the rehab facility and bring him home to his comfort zone.
Except his comfort zone was a mirage. This kid was never happy for whatever reason and it took its toll on him as much as it took a toll on his parents. Either he gave up or his body just gave out. He was only 22, if that.
So whoever it was that poisoned this kid’s mind, I hope you were a witness to this broken child’s downfall. I hope you feel the pain of the fractured wings you left this family with, when all they wanted was to soar on winds of love and light and promise. May you choke on darkness. May your blood be tinged with the poison you inflicted on this family; on MY family.
Poor Gabriel. I heard that God or Jesus or whoever you believe in restores you; that they are experts at wing repair and halo-shine. I hope you fly with pimped-out wings, kiddo. We’ll miss you. I promise to kick ass if I ever find out who damaged you. I’m sure I’ll have a small army… Save some wings for us, Gabe.