Friday, February 09, 2007

Too little, too late.

YouTube user JaclynFett left the following comment about "The Empty Nest" video at the video's YouTube page:
"Don't let this happen to your parents."

How can you say this over and over. They do it! I didn't do it to my mom's house, she did it! Don't let it happen is too little too late.
I admit that Jaclyn's comment stung a little when I read it, but once I got over myself, I realized that I could have been a little clearer about what I intended when I said, "Don't let this happen to your parents."

Since YouTube only allows 500 characters in a comment, I'll respond to Jaclyn here:
Hi Jaclyn, I absolutely agree with you -- it really is too little, too late, and it's not the child's fault that the house gets uninhabitable. Unfortunately, when one is a child raised in such a situation, it is hard to figure out how to intervene -- or even if it is possible. When I was a kid, I so badly wanted someone to take me out of that house, but I was too terrified to do anything about it on my own.

It is such a twisted, tormented situation, and the parent will often push every psychological button the kid has. So many years are lost to useless churning and frustration, and I guess that's my point: SOMEONE needs to intervene sooner, rather than later. In my case, I wish I had the courage and the knowledge to do so for myself twenty five years ago!

PS. The "this" I was referring to was the "letting the situation get so bad that the parent is found dead in a pile of trash and then the child is left to deal with the hoard." When you're a child, it's almost impossible to do anything about the situation, because you don't have the resources or capability. When you're an adult, however, you do have a choice between taking (probably very painful) action or walking away. I guess we each have to weigh which approach hurts the most.

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