Calculating the Cost of Irresponsibility

moama-echucaToday I was sick at home with a the remnants of the flu to get over. So I decided to create a Twitter account for Philosophical Therapist and join in the cut throat world of snide, but sometimes humorous, tweeting. I like using Twitter sometimes to  find interesting articles to read, so if I like them or loathe them I will try to remember to tweet about it for the fine folk wanting to follow me. However, today an article came up that hit me very emotionally. It was a news story about a homicide and an attempted homicide committed by a mother against her two sons. It happened in the north of my state in a place I used to visit over twenty years ago to spend time with my grandfather. Suffice it to say, it was a place I have many happy memories of and it is sad to think of it as being the setting for such a horrible crime.  However, during the day, twitter kept me informed of updates to this event.

The grandmother of the boys had hired a lawyer and was blaming the government for her daughter’s actions. Her daughter was 27 years old and had two boys, the eldest was nine and the youngest was five years old (now presumed deceased). Her lawyer made the statement that her daughter was an ice addict and that she had not wanted her daughter to live with her and had been trying to kick her out of her home. That if the government had just taken her daughter and grand children from her when she wanted them to then none of this would have happened. At this point there has been no mention whatsoever of any fathers.  Neither the father(s) of the two boys, or of the mother’s father.

What stood out to me at first was that the grandmother immediately disowned her daughter. She demonstrated absolutely zero family loyally or support. I can imagine her saying something like, “That’s her coppers, she’s the one, get her, I can’t stand her, I’ve been trying to get rid of her for years. I told you she was rotten. I told you she was no good. See, I told you so.” My sincere hope is that you dear reader are not one of the few people who can actually imagine their own mother saying these things about them. Because as soon as I see a mother disown her child like that, I know something is wrong with that relationship because clearly that mother never bonded with her daughter. However, what is worse than that is that she dared to use a lawyer to tell the media that this is the fault of the government. No. No. No. No! That is her daughter, she as her parent is responsible for her daughter, not the government.

Her daughter was an ice addict. Why was she an ice addict? Her daughter was homeless. Why was she homeless? Her daughter was a single mother. Why was she a single mother? There was neither a grandfather nor father to be seen for these two boys. Where are the missing fathers?

This is just going to be a rant from here on in.

People do not just become ice addicts without prior warning. People do not just become single teenage mothers without prior warning. People do not just go out and drown their children without prior warning. This woman even told people the night before that she “had to drown my babies.” This was not a event that happened out of nowhere. People say these things just happen, but if they stop and think about it, no. There was actually plenty of warning signs, instead it was a case of no one wanting to step forward and take responsibility.

If your child is a drug addict, you need to do something about it. I’m not saying that you’re responsible for them being a drug addict, I’m not even going to blame you. But you need to fix that because they are your child and you are responsible for them. The government are not responsible for them, other people do not pay taxes to fix your problems for you. You need to own the fact that this is your child and if you were deficient in the way you raised them, that’s something you need to be held accountable for. Yes, maybe your own parents were terrible parents, but as soon as you can say, “my parents were terrible” then the next thought should be, “I promise I won’t be as terrible as my parents, I will take better care for myself and my children.”

If your child has no father, you need to treat that as a serious mental health problem. Start by jumping onto the Internet and doing research into the harmful effects on children, especially on daughters in this case, if they do not have a father in their house growing up. Once you understand that raising a child without a father is harmful to the wellbeing of your child you need to do some serious thinking. If the father is violent, irresponsible, or stupid then fair enough, you don’t want a man like that hanging around your child – however, why did you make a man like that a father in the first place?  You need to own that and be honest to your child that you made a bad decision. If the father is peaceful, responsible, and competent, – why did you push him out of your child’s life?  Was it for welfare payments?  Was it because you wanted to sleep around? Was it because you weren’t a good enough woman to keep a decent man around? Whatever the reason, you need to better in the future otherwise you get what happened today in Moama/Echuca.

What were the fathers doing? Did they know about their daughter/sons? Did they organise for her to have shelter? Did they help her to raise her sons? Did they organise for her to get therapy for her ice addiction? Were they protecting her from the influences of irresponsible ‘friends’ and bad ideas? My sympathies for these men if they wanted to be part of their daughter’s or sons’ lives but were chased away by either mother because she wanted to abuse the family court system to extract the maximum amount of money out of them. If these men simply walked away from their children and washed their hands of them, then may plagues fall upon them for the rest of their days.

I don’t buy this excuse that the government are responsible for this. The government don’t own anyone’s children. The parents are the ones who created the children and therefore they are ultimately responsible for looking after the children. You own what you make. If you make words, you must own what you say. If you make a dollar, you get to keep it. If you make a broken child, you must fix it. If you make a murder, you must pay for it also.