This morning I was a bit surprised when a YouTube of Sam Vaknin showed up in my Twitter feed. It was this one:
The subject is incest, which he discussed so rationally in his multi-syllabic accented way that the subject almost overcomes our emotional reaction, so intense and confusing that the topic never gets quite resolved. A movie like "Souffle du Coeur" is an emotional and aesthetic answer at the opposite end of the pole from Vaknin's exploration, sitting as usual in his workroom with one camera. I watch his vids on YouTube occasionally, but sitting there groggy, clutching my coffee, I wasn't so attentive as usual and asked myself other questions which I tried to answer as frankly as Vaknin but more personally.
Like whether I should be so open about my thoughts on #metoo. I guess I should tell you a story, though it's not directly about me. All parties involved are dead now except me and family members whom I will try to protect by omitting detail.
At the time I was an animal control officer, the first female in the state to have the job, considered a speciality deputy of the county sheriff with the same badge but merely silver instead of gold. I took this seriously, even after I formed and occupied a new focus as education coordinator. One day my beautiful young shirt-tail relative came to my office with a weedy pimply grinning boy to ask if I would help them get married. She was pregnant by him.
It developed that he had achieved this impregnation by getting the girl drunk enough to pass out. She was a high school alcoholic and he was a lawless satyr. He bragged that he had fucked many girls this way, but this was the first one that proved his fertile potency by achieving a live insemination. His mother thought it was cute. There was no father. Her son was "her little man." He did have a penis.
I'd known this girl since she was a child, tried to help when her parents divorced, then married others, expanded the blended family (Catholic) to nine children plus the parents who met at AA but dropped out when they married. I visited one evening and found all children in their respective bedrooms with their respective TV sets and the parents in front of their own TV where they sat on the sofa with tall alcoholic drinks. All emotion was suppressed. The children, adolescent, were not told I was there. I had been divorced by my connection to this outfit and was ambivalent about continuing to know and care about them.
But the girl I'm talking about had no doubt and ran away. She settled with a classmate girlfriend and the parents were okay with that. Until I got a phone call: the girl was seriously ill and the classmate's parents didn't want to pay the hospital bill. She was not a genetic family member and therefore not insured. Would I take her to the hospital?
I did that. She was unconscious, recovering from surgery. I stood by her bed to have a conversation with the doctor, a young man who did not speak plainly enough for me to read between the lines. He, in his turn, could not figure out my relationship to his patient. I suppose in the end the genetic father paid the bill for the tubal pregnancy. Ligation was not discussed.
Everyone scolded her for not being on the pill. She was convinced that the pill had caused her mother's cancer, so refused it, but she rejected penetration so long as she wasn't drunk to the point of unconsciousness. I decided the best thing I could do was coach through classes until she graduated. I had very little experience. In my family education was the answer to everything. The girl got her the diploma.
A former teacher myself, I went to the school to get them to help. The first time I went, it was after work and I was in my uniform. They brushed me off. The second time I wore my Sunday best -- complete with hat -- and they were respectful. They made arrangements.
Again she was pregnant. She wanted a D&C -- would I take her to the clinic? I did. She was still with the girl friend's family but they seemed not to be involved. And once more she was pregnant and she said she felt like a murderer. I agreed that it was killing. (My job included the deaths of unwanted animals.) The alcoholism was also related to many car crashes in which sometimes people died.
The fourth pregnancy was so advanced before she admitted it that the abortion was by saline injection which precipitates a birth. There could be no fantasies about it being anything else. This was the pregnancy that the delinquent of a boy claimed, boasting. This time I asked to be excused from further relationship and the genetic father took over. It was making me crazy, but also making claims on me that I could not fulfill.
I had decided to go to seminary and made plans for it. Vaguely I realized that she wanted me to mother her and her baby, but I have never wanted babies. I don't have the temperament. I realize that this is against social pressure. It was dealing with this girl's mother's bereft children that overloaded marriage and emotions. I made the narcissistic choice of me over her. Sorry, Sam.
While I was in seminary, when Mt. St. Helens blew up, she was killed in a car crash. Her death seemed connected. My narcissism seemed connected. The emotions remain unsettled, like the mountain. Watching Dr. Ford talk about being jumped at a drinking party gave them new energy. Kavanaugh's manner reminded me very much of the boy who raped unconscious girls.
In my desk I kept surgical scissors for various reasons having to do with our animal population. The couple sat next to my desk. I took out the scissors and snicked them flashing at the boy. "I should castrate you here and now for the good of society," I said. He seemed to believe me. There was more and the staff that could overhear was frozen, listening. Then the couple left. It took a while to calm down.
But I didn't call the cops. What this boy had done was a felony rape. No adult connected to the situation called the cops. I have no idea what happened to this miserable progenitor and I don't care -- maybe that's the key. He didn't even understand that he was guilty of anything. I had read the law carefully about many subjects, even helped write a new animal ordinance. I knew a lot about cruelty, about violence or chain of custody and various levels of proof. Why did I see this only as moral, psychological, monetary, secret?
Okay, why didn't Dr. Ford and hosts of others NOT go to the police? Why does the subject of violent rape dominate crime shows while the main characters happily hop into bed? Is it the pill issue? Or is it just plain confusion, both personal and societal? Sam Vaknin explains to some degree. But he doesn't tell people what to do nor is he a cop.