Anger issues, the death of children and a world of enablers | Street Jazz

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Anger issues, the death of children and a world of enablers

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

There is an old cliche which tells us that it takes a village to raise a child. But in the case of a parent with self-confessed rage issues, maybe it takes a village to kill one, as well.

This month Travis Fox of West Fork was arrested after he admitted to shaking his baby and tossing it onto a chair, which resulted in the child’s death. A few years ago Mr. Fox lost another son in similar circumstances. Now he will face trial for both deaths. Mr. Fox has “anger issues,” he says.

People with anger issues don’t live in a vacuum. They live in a world in which they exist like a whirling dervish, touching the lives of many they come in contact with - their friends, families, loved ones and complete strangers alike.

Families are torn asunder.

Relationships fall by the wayside.

Spouses and children are battered.

Sometimes the anger issues - oh hell, let’s cut the BS and just call it rage, because that is what it is - are recognized (and feared) by the person who experiences them, and they seek help for them. All too often, though, you’ll hear the snarl, “I don’t believe in that crap,” and they won’t show up anywhere near a doctor’s office.

They may try the self-help approach - if they attempt to deal with their problem at all.



A drink, perhaps, just to “take the edge off.” Something else, maybe, instead of alcohol.

And when they fall off the emotional wagon, and give in to their inner demons again, only to whine that they have rage issues, as if we should soften our glance on them (and too often we do) and give them another chance?

Sometimes we do. But are we doing them, or ourselves, when it comes to that, any favors by looking the other way? By becoming enablers to their rage, even if it is only a mean disposition?

Long before Travis Fox lost his second son, there were probably people in his life who knew of his personal demons, people who weren’t afraid of him, but said nothing. There are family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, perhaps, who could have told him he needed to see a doctor.

And if he said he “didn’t believe in that crap?”

The only correct response is “I don’t give a damn.”

When we turn our heads, when we make excuses, when we let others wallow in their rage, and then sit by as they take it out on others, when we don’t speak up, we become accomplices to their depredations. We may weep, but perhaps some of the tears should be for ourselves.

Are you your brother’s keeper?

I’m not sure if anyone was Travis Fox’s. Or, more’s the pity, were they to his helpless young sons.


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Progress begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible. - Norman Cousins

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