Looking over the blog for the last week or so, I realized I am falling back into fantasy life.
It is not that I do not enjoy my life with my family, I do enjoy those moments. And it is not as if I am avoiding the rest of my life. I spend time with my kids, we do fun things together and have serious discussions on who are some of the best guitarists ever.
I believe my Jane Austen and other trivial pursuits fascination has everything to do with the fact I cannot always deal with the evils of the world.
Last summer in Illinois, Brian Dugan was going through hearings to determine if he should be given the death penalty. In case you are not familiar with this monster, Dugan is the confessed rapist and killer of 7-year-old Melissa Ackerman and 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico. He also raped and killed 27-year-old Donna Schnor after hitting her car and forcing her off the road.
Dugan is the monster all parents worry about, stealing kids just like that, for no rhyme or reason before he kills them. Personally, I want to kill him for the grief and horror he given his victims and their family.
This weekend when I read the story of the seven-year-old girl who was gang raped by seven men, I felt the same kind of horror and disgust. We are talking about a second grader who has to endure the vilest of violations, in part thanks to her step-sister.
I want to rip these people apart and I am not the parent. I can not imagine what these people feel. I remember an old story about a mother going to the police station and shooting the rapist of her daughter. I understand her feelings because that is what I would do. Thinking about these kind of cases make me angry and I cannot contain what I feel. My body shakes and standing still is impossible.
Because of my strong feelings, I know I could have never been a serious reporter, a lawyer or anyone who deals with these issues on a daily basis. I would be so angry all of the time I could not function as a normal human. I want to make the world a better place but I have come to realize it is by providing kids in my youth group a listening ear and a tray of snacks. It is by making a spot of beauty in my yard and allowing kids in the neighborhood to help.
I can teach my kids how to be in the world without tromping down on the rights of others. I can help them learn how to blow steam without being a jerk to someone else. I am trying to do those things that no one seemed capable of doing for Brian Dugan or those rapists in New Jersey, teaching them to be decent human beings before it was too late.
Am I keeping my head in the sand like an ostrich or am I dealing with the situation the best I know how? I just don’t know.
Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.