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There are monsters out there...

Oh no, they say; things like that cannot happen, do not happen... it just can't be... ...and the neighbors exclaim in shock and dismay "but he was such a nice personable young man, always helpful, friendly, and kind; he'd never do anything like that" the Bundy's and Dahmers and so many others are taken away... The shock, horror, and accusations fly as people desperately search for answers, any answers that point anywhere - - anywhere but within - Columbine goes down, and people wonder about Jonbenet Ramsey, and how those children in the next county, the next state, could be killed so horribly by their parents, their teachers, their care-takers... So easy to see the obvious monsters in retrospect; 20/20 hindsight enables the oh-so-wise recognition of the warning signs and subsequent post-mortem pontifications promulgated by the experts and not-so-expert... Society sagely nodds its collective head in agreement and mutual pronouncement We Gotta Do Something About It... ...while IT is still hot headlines and major news... ..and drops IT like a hot potato once IT becomes old news and fades into forgetfulness because IT happened over there, not in our back yard, and IT no longer makes headlines and money... But there are other monsters, more subtle, more dangerous, far more deadly... The socially proper mother and father with the oh-so-nice home and such well-behaved children - Who always are there to welcome new neighbors, and help the needy in their communities and churches... The good neighbor, the nice lady at the checkout... that friendly foot-cop, the librarian and doctor, and the ever-so-understanding teacher at school... The people who blend in, who never make waves, who are noticed, if at all, for their charm, friendship, and warmth... The people who fit in... ...and the children see what is supposed to be... but... ...the monsters inevitably emerge when they think they cannot be seen... ...and the children see what really is... Sarcasm, innuendo, and allegations fly as the child quietly listens - unseen, unheard, unnoticed - "Oh, he can't help it, after all, he's one of those people..." "After what she told me, I would never ever trust my children with her..." "I'd never say this publicly, but he's nothing but a no-good cheat, bastard, and bum..." "I'm going to ignore it, but when..." "She's that way because she's..." "he's not what he seems, he's really a ..." "She said that?!? I would never..." "Did you know that he has considered...?" Ah... the fine art of innuendo, of allegation, of destroying trust... of always giving the "but...", a way out, an escape route and exception... ...ways to look oh-so-noble and good... ...ways to continue the tearing down of another and justify; to destroy another's reputation - and rationalize it while placing the blame on the target of the innuendo... ...and feel oh-so-self-righteous... ...the child listens... and learns... The monsters appear... the amenable let's-work-it-out adult disappears... tensions and stress are addressed with screaming, accusations, name-calling, degredations, blaming, finger-pointing... "if you weren't so stupid..." "you're nothing but a lazy bum..." "good for nothing son-of-a-bitch..." "Can't you do anything right?!?..." "This would not have happened if you..." "If you weren't so careless with money..." "If you just kept your stupid mouth shut..." "If you weren't so dense, you would have known that is one of my buttons, it's your fault this happened!" ...and the child watches - and learns - as verbal violence escalates into physical violence... all-too-often the child becomes the target, and learns only that violence, verbal, physical, mental violence - - is the acceptable way of handling stress, of dealing with problems... oh no, never accept responsibility for mistakes, for ideas poorly expressed... it's better to attack the one who reveals that; it's better to degrade them, humiliate them, invalidate them... ...that way, attention is redirected, and all the blame and fault can be placed on another, and one will not have to face the music... The monsters emerge, subtly manipulating others to fulfill their self-centered needs and justify their brutality... "If you really loved me, you would..." "If you were really a good husband/wife, you'd..." "I work so hard day and night just so you can have a roof over your head, and I deserve some gratitude, so..." "If you weren't such a jerk, I wouldn't have to keep punishing you..." "If you'd just... then you wouldn't get beaten for..." "If you weren't such a rotten kid..." "I'm doing this because I love you..." "This hurts me more than it hurts you..." "I'm the one bringing home the bacon, so..." "You wouldn't get the crap beaten out of you if only..." ...and the child learns the fine art of manipulation, redirection, misdirection, shaming, and blaming.. ...of inflicting and justifying violence for the least infractions... The child learns by example... oh, how the child learns... There are monsters out there... ...there are monsters in here, too... GhostWolf, February 15th, 2000

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