Thursday, January 23, 2020

Comments by erikjms

Showing 1 of 1 comments.

  • No, you don’t have blood on your hands–and wouldn’t have even if Earley’s son had fared worse.

    My very honest opinion, given the information given/linked here? Mr. Earley, I have no doubt, believes that he is trying to do the right thing for his son, and believes that “tough love” is a perfectly useful tool in motivating people to live up to their families’ and cultures’ expectations of them. But what I think I see is not at all unusual in the culture I live in (US, “western”, anglo-american–lots of names and none of them sufficient): our emphasis on individualism and personal responsibility often passes into brutality and abuse despite good intentions and in spite of every bit of love we believe we hold for those close to us.

    Take your meds or get out of my house? It looks to me that Earley’s son was given a choice between two barely tenable alternatives, and the son took the one that he himself considered less painful, less risky, less likely to cause him great harm: he left home, alone, knowing what he surely knows about his capacity to handle difficult situations.

    Being diagnosable with mental illness does not render us incapable of looking out for our own interests. Not knowing anything about Earley’s son, I can only speculate about why he chose to leave home rather than continue treatment when those were the only options available to him, but if I were going to analyze the situation further, I sure would want to know why he made that choice. I suspect the answer as to how best to serve his son could be found by listening to his son–for Earley, for anyone else.

    Earley instead blames you for daring to uncover empirical facts and pointing them out where his son could see them. Controlling information access is a display of power. Possibly an abusive one. But it is endemic in our paternalistic culture and, for too long, has been an acceptable practice in “caring” for those whom we deem incapable of caring for themselves.

    And yet Earley’s son cared for himself by leaving home. This seems plain to me from here. The missing side of the story is the story his son could tell if given an audition. Earley maybe finds it easier to look outside for others to blame for “things going wrong”? I don’t know for sure, but I cannot see how you can be held responsible for his son’s decision.