This situation is a perfect example of the lack of empathy people in this country have...here is how this works: Some guy goes over seas to fight in a war. His buddies head blows up in his lap. He is honorably discharged 4 years later and comes home to his loving family. The man has a few kids. He applies for disability for his PTSD gained from fighting overseas. He is denied. He can't keep a job due to his PTSD and now added depression from being unable to support his family causes him to become very angry.
His temper starts to explode on his kids where before, he could control a lot of his PTSD, it is now overtaking him. He gets upset at small things because he just can't deal on a daily basis...the kids noise, complaining about each other…the bills coming in with no money to pay them, and his wife's now gone to work so the house is messy sometimes...everything is a problem.
The kids are now taking the brunt of the anger...and the parents are constantly fighting ...little Johnny is having the hardest time and he hides in a closet on many occasions...as the kids grow up they are diagnosed with ADHD and depression and have special Ed services at school. The children have high anxiety and can’t study well. The father gets upset at that as well. More yelling and words of, “You will never amount to anything if you don’t get an education,” accompany the belt, broom, and foot.” Little Johnny takes all this in as his father doesn’t love him or respect him. Johnny never feels safe. His development has been hindered and his self-esteem is now completely gone. He feels like a loser and all alone and he is not even out of high school yet.
One day on the way home from school one of (now teenager) Johnny’s friends offers him a hit off a joint. BINGO. Johnny has never felt so relaxed…that is the start of Johnny’s drug use.
As time goes on Johnny looks to girls to satisfy his loneliness and before long he knocks up his girlfriend and they have a kid. Johnny is a good kid and so he marries her. Before too long, they have more children.
But Johnny has not dealt with his feelings of rejection and abuse from his father, or his inability to calm himself down during stressful times; he is always anxious in loud situations (A throw back to hearing his parents fighting and his father yelling at him). Johnny moves from Pot to Heroin. This gives him that smooth, life could end and I could give a shit feeling and Johnny finally feels human and he becomes hooked. Johnny goes to work each day, tucks his kids in each night, but after that…he gets high as shit to deal with his past. Those demons are now stronger as the drugs do not really heal anyone but make the sober monster much larger. POW. Johnny gets busted one day when he is caught using at work. He is shocked to learn he is losing his children. His children were the only reason he even bothered to get up in the morning.
This is not Mr. Harkken’s story; I do not know his story, but it does describe the life of many drug users. They did not do drugs to be “cool” or to be “rich.” Most people who do drugs do so to self-medicate childhood pain that is so severe, they cannot mentally handle it without INTENSE counseling.
Johnny would have tried to get his kids back at any cost too. He knows what love is, even though he was never given any. He even feels he knows what his children need. He may be wrong in his last assumption, but, he is working on the pains from his childhood. He never had mental health counseling. No one dared approach his Dad; no one dared interfere in the business of the family. The physical bruises healed, but those emotional wounds will always be raw until they are treated by a mental health worker. Johnny had no services. The school didn’t want to get sued. The Clergy believed in ignoring the obvious signs of abuse. And the Mother was not strong enough to stop the Dad.
Johnny lost his children before they were ever born.
We must address the issues of child abuse, PTSD, drug addiction, molestation, ETC., when they happen. Money must be spent on education and mental health. This situation is no different than the Adam Lanza shootings in CT. HIS mental health was compromised either genetically or environmentally, but whichever the case, he slipped through the cracks because everyone is afraid to say, “BOO, “for fear of being sued, beaten themselves, or retaliated against.
However, this country spends millions on prisoners. MILLIONS if not BILLIONS. What say we take a stand for PREVENTATIVE measures?
Just listen to the mean posts on most websites. Everyone is making judgments without knowing this Harkken guy’s life. He didn’t kill anyone…YET… If you keep pushing, if he is ill enough, he may decide he would rather die than have his children taken away. How desperate must a soul be to sail to a third-world country for SAFETY?
Why doesn’t everyone on here call your state Senator’s office and ask them to spend more money on education and mental health for children and adults and stop wasting money on things such as finding out if a caterpillar likes the color purple or if an alligator will eat a Hershey bar on Sunday if you leave a note attached to it?
You want insurance costs to go down? You want less crime in your neighborhoods?
Vote in someone who uses common sense to spend OUR tax dollars. Don’t take it out on people like Johnny.