This has been the pattern for many years. He works hard to get on his feet, then life kicks him in the knees and then he has to begin again. Yes he is an adult and yes he is responsible for his actions, BUT and the big BUT is that his adverse childhood experiences will impact him for the rest of his life. He was a young boy, who knows exactly how young when the abuse began. I was an infant, so I imagine that he wasn't much older. The fondling, the penetration, the belittling, the beating, the emotional games, THE LIST GOES ON. Most would stop reading if I went into the graphic details of the abuse.
Then there is the graphic details of the damage left behind. Broken ribs, blood in the urine, bruises, sexual damage no one wants to describe on a young boy or girl and...and...and...and. What my brother endured is unspeakable, what he endured ruins many men as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives. Our childhood wasn't a walk in the park, it wasn't all sunshines and roses, it was hell...in ever descriptive way you can imagine.
The reason I am sharing this is that my brother hasn't had a fair shake. (With this being said, he is an adult and makes his own choices). Rather than someone stopping and asking what happened, who are you holistically and why? When he was in school he was constantly in trouble. NO ONE asked - what is going on with you, why are you like this, WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU????
Society is getting smarter - Nadine Burke Harris, the first surgeon general of California is changing the way California looks at what is going on with their youth and the health of their adults. She said recently in an NPR interview, "When you look at the biggest drivers of homelessness in California, domestic violence is a major driver, as well as mental health and substance dependence issues. When you look at the impact of childhood adversity on all three of those issues, it's massive."
ACES SCORE INFORMATION HERE
It's massive. Yes it is....I know this first hand. Washington State has done a horrible job with my brother. The last time, he was released, he went into a drug treatment class program. He was placed in a half-way house. It was a run down house, it had sheets hung to break up the spaces, the walls were falling off, filthy and really no support. The drug classes were a joke. Its has though the half-way house and the drug classes program were setup for the benefit of the person or people getting paid by the state. I am angry - he may own his decisions but what is our state programs to help re-offenders who need support and help.
My heart broke the other day, a few weeks ago I asked my brother to start writing down his story. To put on paper all the stories that have made up his life.
He called to tell me he had started, 18 pages front and back. He wanted me to hear his story. "It was my 7th birthday, and my sister gave me something that would become my first and my lifetime love...a skateboard." I smiled and was glad that through the phone he couldn't see the tears that weld up in my eyes. He continued to tell about his two other favorite possession of growing up. A red rider wagon and a red ryder tricycle. He told about getting the wagon handle stuck in his cheek while trying to tighten up the connecting washer - and then having the ER department hang it on the wall as the largest thing they have removed from a child's mouth. After that he told about using all of the energy he cold muster, at 3 years old, to get the tricycle up on the picnic table...so that he could ride off the end like the dukes of hazard screaming - "Go General Lee!!!"
As I listened to the joy in his voice, the tears flowed down my cheeks...all I could think was - he remembers some of the good times. Then he began to cry. I am not giving up, he said...I won't. "We have endured more than most, but we will never give up."
He is right. I won't give up. I will continue to write and talk and fight. Because, this isn't fair, children shouldn't lose their childhoods to adults and then those children have to fight for the rest of their life to survive.
Where is your re-entry program WA? Where is your program to figure out why your recidivism rate is so high - for crimes like drugs. Have you checked to see what these repeat offenders ACE's scores are? Have you taken the time to figure out the root causes??? WA state is one of the leaders in Lean Process Improvement, get with it WA and start making an impact on an area that costs the taxpayers a ton of money - over and over - repeat offenders.
My brother is fighting for his life, our abuser is living high on the hog, military retirement, businesses, homes, wife and and and...and 90 minutes north of where we live. Tell me what is fair about any of that. Life isn't fair. But children shouldn't have to suffer - ever.
WA, I am coming for you.