Please read this post if you can: A documentary about “scary” kids scares me on behalf of the kids.
For part of my childhood I was one of those “scary” kids. I was sent to a residential facility, psychiatric institutions, special ed, other things. I’m glad nobody turned a camera on me in my worst moments. I’m glad there is no video of me fighting with anyone, being taken down (for any reason at all or not), screaming for hours in restraints, going to therapy, none of it. I’m glad the media didn’t take me out of the violent context I lived in and paint me as the “problem person with the problem”. I’m glad the media wasn’t there. I’m just glad they weren’t there. I worry for these children. I worry for children like these children.
I worry for children like the child I was and the children I knew who overlapped all the “problem child” systems that blend together at that age — child psychiatry, developmental disability, troubled teen, special education, juvie, foster care.
All of us were surrounded by extreme violence.
All of us at times reflected that violence whether in on ourselves or out towards other people or both.
All of us were singled out as uniquely the problem, with a problem in our brains, a problem in our minds, a problem in our emotions, a problem in our souls, all of the above. And once you’re singled out that way, anything goes. Literally anything. It’s why the Judge Rotenberg Center can still get away with using skin shock to torture children like the child I was for a time.
We were children trying to survive environments we couldn’t cope with. Every one of us. The system failed all of us, and we all knew it. Some of us survived, some of us didn’t, none of us came out unscathed.
All of us were singled out as the problem kid with problems, ignoring what surrounded all of us: violence, hopelessness, abuse, neglect, despair, bullying, torture, confusion, oppression.
What the media is doing to these children is its own form of violence. It is an invasion. It is telling our stories the way they see us, not the way we are. It doesn’t ever show the whole picture, and focuses on us as mysteriously confusing dangerous burdensome people with possibly no future unless we can have it bludgeoned out of us by a brutal system that everyone wants to get us into.
I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Luckily, a lot of us make it out the other side. A lot of us grow into responsible caring adults. If we’re given the chance, the opportunity, chances and opportunities that are the exact opposite of what you get in the system. It’s hard, it’s a rough road, a long road, but it can be done. I’ve done it. I got help not from the system but from other people who’d traveled that road before me. I owe everything to them.
What is being done to these children is obscene, invasive, its own form of violence. I won’t be able to watch this thing either. They are Xing these kids, and their souls are screaming.