Saturday, July 02, 2011

...a case where anything can happen...

I've been watching the Casey Anthony Trial over the last month, hearing all the reports and watching as much "raw video" of the trial as I could. Last night, finally, I reached a point where I couldn't watch anymore. What is it with this trial that's gripped America and perhaps the World, that people can't tear themselves away from it? This trial hits us all where we live, for everyone comes from a family, and it's something that shapes you for the rest of your life. My best friend came from a really mellow family, and I wondered why my own family couldn't be more like that. And you know, "it is what it is". There's no control; you can only play the cards you're dealt.

Tension reigned supreme in my family. Like the Anthonys, we were a small family. The Anthony Parents are both obviously high-strung and hyper-emotional, and so were my parents. Like the Anthonys, there was me and my younger sister. I remember shouting matches between Mom and Dad; I remember how much tension there always seemed to be in the family, which overshadowed everything, and at any moment, Dad or Mom could blow up if my sister or I said the wrong thing, or did the wrong thing. Have you ever had a temperamental boss who could really lower the boom and you had to make sure and tread carefully so as not to incure his wrath? That was my Dad in a nutshell. Mom could yell as well, although when Dad went out on the road, things seemed to be calmer, for a while anyway.

Sometimes it's so difficult to rise above it all...

Being five years older than my sister, I went away to College and had no idea (and didn't think about it at the time) what she was going through, alone, with my parents. From what I've heard, she and Mom had major issues, knockdown-dragout fights, and she evidently had a very difficult experience living with them while she was growing up. I managed to get away from the family; if things got testy, I'd just leave. My sister did everything she could to please Mom and Dad, and I think she just wore herself out. Later on, she got married to a Really Nice Guy, and they have a son. Evidently there were some conflicts between Mom and my sister regarding parenting and everything that goes along with it. As a result, my sister had a complete emotional breakdown, and it's taken years and years for her to recover. She's doing better now.

Looking back at all of the mistakes we made with each other, our little family had a lot of ups and downs. But I always thought compassion was supposed to be a part of the family, and as near as I can tell, our family didn't have that. I feel to this day that Mom and Dad didn't understand me. Maybe I was a rotten son, though, and I feel badly about that too. My sister, her husband and her son have evidently made it through life pretty well, and I'm glad; now, hopefully, with many things long past, I hope they all are at a good place in life. But I'll probably never know for sure, since my sister and I haven't communicated for the last 5 years, and we haven't seen each other for the last 8 years. Tensions between Brother and Sister. "It is what it is".

I spend lots of time alone these days. There is no one in my life. I can't live with anyone. Here in this new place where I've lived for the last six years, I still don't know anyone's last name. No one's ever visited me, and I have no one to visit. I socialize, talking to store clerks, waitresses, people walking their dogs on the beach, and enjoy taking pictures, playing guitar a bit, and finally slowing down my life enough so I can take care of myself. I love being at the seashore; for the several hours a week I go there, my anxieties and depressions seem to lift as I cast my eyes upon the vast endless ocean. It has been a true comfort. Realizations of all the stupid things I've done, awful things I've said, lies I've told, many bad memories and all other assorted woes leave me when I hear the mighty ocean's roar. And I tell myself, "that's why I came here".

Walk through your neighborhood; every house that contains a family unit can potentially turn into an explosive situation, full of fear and deceit. Look at the Anthonys...daughter Casey, who's stands accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee has, with her lawyers, basically sold her Father down the river, accusing him of molesting her (Casey), and saying He was the one who tried to cover up Caylee's death. Her Father, George, evidently had a relationship with another woman around the time his deceased grand-daughter was found in the woods. Cindy, George's wife and Caylee's grandmother, has lied under oath to try and protect her daughter, committing Perjury and possibly facing charges of her own. And Casey lied to everyone. And look what happened. There are tensions between them all, and it's been heartbreaking to see this happen; relationships torn apart for the whole world to see. And now Casey faces the possibility of the Florida Death Penalty, and Florida Indeed Does Use Its Death Penalty. How awful life must be for all of the Anthonys; it's horrifying seeing what they're going through.

The Anthony Trial has made me look back into my own past, back when our family was forging its way through the years, and I can't help but think that we had similar tensions, although thankfully the outcome was far, far different. I was busy living my life. My sister had her own family. And Mom and Dad would head for Arizona or Utah most winters. And that's the way it was until Mom and Dad passed away ten years ago. My sister, living near my parents, cared for both of them, and though she was having problems before, that's when she began developing severe mental illneses. She's doing better these days and I hope her and her family have many good years to come. Me, I've blocked out a lot of the grief. I already had lived alone a number of years before my parents passed away, and that's what I kept doing after they were gone. There's a lot that I don't let myself think about these days. I read ceaselessly, watch a lot of TV, always trying to outrace my mind, for if I don't, I'll lapse into severe anxiety episodes, and I just can't afford for that to happen anymore. For I want some good years too. Is that too much to ask. I'm now three years away from 60. Does it ever end?

Within every house, within every family unit, someone's getting their feelings stomped on, someone's taking advantage of someone else, someone's lying, someone's crying and someone's being punished. And it just continues. My sister has done as much as she can to "break the chain" and her son has turned out to be a fine young, college-bound man. So it can be done. I may not ever be able to do that, but I'm hopeful. And that's what keeps us all going...hope. Without that, what's left? In Casey Anthony's case, the prospect of sitting alone in a cell for the rest of her life, possibly having to cope with a Death Sentence. I was initially curious about the Anthony Trial, interested in the mechanics of the Legal System. It's fascinating. But now that it's almost over, I feel gloom and doom. It's horrifying. A family being ripped apart in front of the Whole World. How sad.

Just  trying to find that peaceful place within...

Perhaps the saga of the Anthony family will cause a lot of parents to take a good look inside themselves and perhaps change the way they do things, for if something's wrong and goes unnoticed, drastic things can happen. Even Casey Anthony was a sweet little child once upon a time...


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