What Happened To Dexter (And Other Shopping Horrors)

I’m uncertain as to how to properly trigger warn the story to which I refer in this post. Aggressive anti-gay sentiment and action on the part of a burly stranger against a toddler, and it could be so much worse but there is a hint of violence. I’m glad that I read it but I am seething and also going to take a clonazepam and fantasize about justified homicide for a bit. Sorry—I don’t like chocolate, so that’s how I make myself feel better.

I read this story, by Katie Vyktoriah. It is well-written, and describes her wonderful son, Dexter, and a frightening and haunting outing that they took just a few days ago.

I’m not going to go through the story itself because it is a good idea if you read it. There are wretched people in this world.

This story could be a lot worse. Most upsetting stores-and-children anecdotes involve a parent abusing a child or a situation in which the parent is clearly abusive. Those are the stories that reinforce the suspicions that plague me at all times. Those are the stories that keep me up at night because that child, and millions like him or her, are trapped in homes like that, in legal systems too restrained by the democratic process and sickening cowardice to do anything about it—or allow anyone to do anything about it.

I’ll be honest, one of the many reasons for which I hate going to stores such as grocery stores during the daylight is that there are children there. I don’t dislike children—I’m good with kids and I’ve worked with children. But I always suspect parents of being bad parents—and, specifically, abusive—until proven otherwise. Every time that I see a child with a parent, I’m (usually subconsciously) looking for sharp looks or frightened expressions that might be clues that domestic violence is a part of their life. It’s not like on television, where victims of domestic abuse have inexplicably broken arms and black eyes and have fathers who look like drill sergeants. For every scenario like that, there are countless more situations of domestic abuse in which marks are rarely, if ever, left on the victim. Monsters who rule their homes through terror and violence.

And I am never surprised by them. Ever.

Do you watch Game Of Thrones? During the tense moments when Sansa is at Joffrey’s mercy, do you find yourself tensing up, holding your breath, waiting for what cruel thing he will say or what capricious act of violence he will order?

I do, too. But I feel like that many, many other times.

That level of apprehension is how I feel when a parent whom I do not yet trust is interacting with a child. Always. I become incredibly anxious, to the point where I’ll avoid watching a television show. And to the point where that is one of the reasons for which I am more comfortable doing my grocery shopping as close to midnight as I can manage (though there are endless benefits to this).

When I have friends whose parents I know were never violent, that’s great. It’s a relief.

And then I have friends who had violent parents. And I know that there are millions more out there, as confirmed by surveys and common sense. In many of these cases, the abuse goes unnoticed or unreported. In so many others, people are uncertain if it was even a crime.

Most articles about child-abuse will get someone or another defending the abuser or the abuse itself, excuses ranging from “well she’d had a long day” or “that child needed discipline.” There are people out there who are willing to give a voice to defend this horrifying evil that has been a reality for billions of humans—likely for as long as humans have existed.

I know that not every child whom I see experiences some form of violence at home. There’s a chance that as many of half do not. I am well-aware that both my natural tendency to consider various possibilities and my PTSD are tremendous factors in how I experience the world. That does not make child-abuse any less evil, or any less a nightmarishly widespread part of reality.

I can honestly say that that story really struck a chord with me, because I am so accustomed to suspecting wrongdoing on the part of the parents (and so often that suspicion is reinforced by confirmation), one usually thinks of strangers as a threat for child-abduction.

I am pleased that Dexter has a mother who (from what I gather) is a good mother. She certainly acted appropriately in the situation that she describes in the article. Calling the police is something that I strongly recommend—if he could be identified from the security tapes at the store, he could at the very least have his life turned upside down for a while. He could be identified by the press. Most importantly, if that wretched creature has children of his own, charges of assault on a random toddler in a store should most certainly trigger an investigation.

Tragically, current US law will not allow for this man to be fed to sharks (even though Shark Week is only a few days away). But the toddler in question, Dexter, is not trapped at home with this man. Dexter’s story is distressing, but will not haunt my thoughts like so many other stories do.



You Might Also Like ...

Humanity, I Love You

After the horror of the Boston bombing I didn’t think I could ever believe that humanity was worth it. Really, I just don’t understand how blowing up innocents makes sense to anyone, but then all the stories of people opening their homes to those stranded came out. London had their marathon and they ran with American Flags and with signs that said, “Finish for Boston.” Syria, which has been ravaged by booms and genocides, took a moment to send condolences to Boston.
I saw window washers dress up as Spiderman, Captain America, Batman and the like to clean the windows of a children’s hospital. I was taken aback by how in the face of such tragedy I saw the best of humanity. Instead of breaking me—I was lifted up by the generosity and kindness of the human spirit.
Naturally, it didn’t last long. Bombs went off in Pakistan, earthquakes ruined cities, and a five-year old girl was raped in Indian. She’s not the first child raped, she’s not even the youngest child raped. But this five-year-old gets an article written about her because finally, finally something is going to be done about it.
Last week she was abducted and raped by a neighbor who kept her for three days and then left her for dead. India, like America, has a rape culture. They blame the women, they blame the victim…but how can you blame a five-year-old? What suggestive clothing was she wearing? How did she drink too much? How was her sexual history to blame for this?

The Guardian took aim at the Indian police force, “[O]fficers allegedly initially refused to investigate after the girl, from a working class family, disappeared while playing early in the evening outside her home. She was eventually found by neighbours. When the case was picked up by the local media, the parents were offered 2,000 rupees (£25) to drop the case, relatives of the victim have said.”
By the weekend hundreds of protesters were outside the police headquarters demand that the police chief, that wanted this dropped, be fired. India’s Home Minister has vowed that the officers on duty will be punished.
Once again, in darkness there is light. People will surprise you if you just let them. I don’t know why it takes horrible circumstances for people to take a stand—but maybe one day we’ll all realize that you don’t have to wait for something bad to do some good.



You Might Also Like ...

NRA: “Guns Are More Important Than Children”

photo of nra guns pictures, photos
I don’t understand the problem with the new gun legislation. I don’t understand the argument of “you can’t take my guns. If you ban certain kinds of guns you should ban cars too because cars kill people, too.” It’s idiotic thinking, it’s a flawed argument and frankly I’m sick of hearing it.

After the Newtown shooting I was down for the count. I couldn’t take another shooting, I couldn’t take living in a country where this happened and people’s first response was “get more guns!” I couldn’t. I fought on the side of stricter gun laws. I went through the crazed maze of people throwing nonsense at me and getting angry and name calling when I asked for facts and statistics to prove their argument. I guess this is one argument that will only be fought on the battlefield of emotion. I don’t know why this country is so against statistics and facts. I don’t know why we are so threatened by them. The minute you give a number or a fact someone comes at you with “well they got rid of 60 oz. sodas too!” That happened. That was an argument put to me, when I asked what that had to do with AR’s and AK’s the response was “I should have the right to choose a 60 oz. soda and I should have a right to choose an AK”. When did we get so entitled?

Everyone throws the Constitution around. I have a Constitutional right to bear arms! I have a Constitutional right to freedom of speech! What people forget is that Constitution was written when there was a real threat of the Government coming into your home and hurting you with their bare hands. It was written at a time when men needed guns in the house to protect their families from real tyranny and dangers. They didn’t have ADT security back then, their guns where their alarms. Oh, and that Constitution guaranteeing your freedom of speech was written when men didn’t say “fuck” in front of women and children out of respect. It was written in a different time to people that could handle those responsibilities. We have proven that we haven’t earned these rights and certainly cannot handle them. If you think I’m wrong let me present exhibit A:
Neil Heslin, the father of a 6-year-old boy who was slain in the …

Continue reading



You Might Also Like ...

Abuse vs Art: Is There a Line?

Eva Ionesco is a French model and actress but she’s making headlines for something other than her career. When Eva was eleven, she made her American modeling debut—in Playboy. Eva is the youngest person to ever appear in the magazine. That’s not all of it; Ionesco’s mother, Irina Ionesco, took the pictures.

Irina Ionesco is a self-taught photographer who gained attention due to explicit images of her daughter. Many of the photos feature coquettish poses, fetishistic clothing, and nudity. Eva has sued her mother and won 10,000 Euro ($13,213) in damages, as well as the negatives of the many explicit photographs taken of her between the ages of four and 12 years old.

Eva has said the photos resulted in her “stolen childhood” and made a movie about life with her mother called, “My Little Princess”. This isn’t a new story to Americans, however—we’ve lived through this with Brooke Shields whose own mother set up a nude photo shoot for her then ten-year-old with the hopes of a Playboy spread as well.

Evan Rachel Wood is another star whose mother pushed her to act, learn French, and modeled her daughter after Jodie Foster. Evan is quoted as saying, “I actually got to sit down with Jodie and I thought, ‘Not that this is a bad thing, but you’ve haunted me my entire life. I don’t know whether to kiss you or punch you.”

In the age of Dakota and Elle Fanning, the Olsen Twins, and Honey Boo Boo, there will never be a shortage of stage mothers trying to live through their children, or trying to cash in on them for that matter. The real question is how much responsibility does society have in this?

Should Playboy also have been sued for publishing the nude photos of an underage girl? Should Brooke Sheilds mother have been prosecuted for sexualizing her daughter? Should the director and producer of Blue Lagoon have to stand trial for exposing her in that film?

There’s a celebrity culture in the country and we tend to forgive these people because they make more money and have a better life than we do. It’s all covered up by saying, “its art”. When does it cross the line from art to abuse?



You Might Also Like ...