She was homeless when he welcomed her into his parents’ new townhouse. So far as the parents knew, she was “sort of” their adult son’s “girlfriend” but they weren’t exactly sure what their relationship was. It was strange. It didn’t seem romantic. She seemed different.
Among the neighbors everything seemed fine until the squad cars’ flashing red lights lit up the street and four uniformed police officers ran by their homes reaching for their holsters. Something was different.
The parents of the son who’d invited the son’s “girlfriend” to live with them had called 911 after a screaming meltdown in the upstairs bathroom where their guest had poked huge holes in the walls with the towel fixtures she had yanked from the walls and had threatened to kill everyone in the house.
When the police arrived and called upstairs, she calmly came downstairs, curious to see what the ruckus was about, appearing calm as a cucumber, without a care in the world while the son’s mother sat trembling with her head between her hands and the 35 year-old son stepped outside for a smoke.
No charges were filed. The parents had come to realize over time that the girlfriend had “some problems” and thought they could help her. The four of them continued to occupy the house after the incident was “resolved” by the police visit.
Two months later the red lights appeared again after another upstairs commotion left the son’s face looking like Rocky Balboa after his fight with Apollo Creed. This time the girlfriend was no Adrian. Adrian had acted like Apollo…with a knife.
This time Rocky was rushed to the emergency room. Adrian was taken away in handcuffs, screaming at the officers, the boyfriend, and his parents, for another committal to a mental health facility for violation of probation resulting from previous domestic assaults. The parents stayed where they are, dumbfounded how compassion can turn out so badly.
“Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time,” said Carl Sandburg, “and sometimes you weep.”
- Gordon C. Stewart, author of Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness, Chaska, Minnesota, peeling the onion, June 28, 2017.