Monday, June 08, 2009
Kisses and Hugs
All day I have thought about writing about a heinous, senseless crime that made national headlines, and took place not five miles from my house.
Nothing happens here - I mean, when someone vandalized the mailboxes last year, it was a BIG deal.
I won't get into details but two people are dead and a mother of two young kids is in jail on a suicide watch.
It just makes me wonder: what does it take to make someone snap like that? Can they even be held responsible for a crime committed during a psychotic break? Could anyone have prevented this?
In the course of my work at a mental health nonprofit I have met two people who I later learned had killed other people. I have felt nothing but good, sweet energy from these two - one is still in the state hospital but gets to take day trips; the other now lives in her own apartment, but has to check in with her caseworker three times a day.
He pulls into our parking lot to make sure she is in the office at her volunteer job.
He calls her at 10 p.m. to make sure she's home.
He calls her randomly.
I think this would be a good job for a stalker in training, don't you? I know S, and I think it is a terribly unfair invasion of her privacy. She has NEVER failed to show up for her job. She has never done a so-so job. Her work ethic is excellent, and she has a wicked sense of humor.
I can't reconcile what she "did" with who she is now. Is that the essence of a psychotic break - acting out of your own self?
But then I think, I got to know these people before I knew what had happened in the past.
If this woman who killed two other people is rehabilitated, would I be as open to working with her? Somehow, I very much doubt it.
So one good thing that happened today - some of my volunteers brought me a rose plant, a thank-you card and a bag of Hershey's Kisses "Hugs." This is a less-cheap kind of chocolate, white chocolate with swirls of dark.
I thought about this story that had unfolded in my neighborhood, the one I saw on yahoo news, and oinked the Hugs and Kisses.