Missing Something

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“That sure is a good looking son you have there, Doc.”

He had been staring intently at the pictures of my baby boy as I had run to grab a ton of sample drugs for him. We had several pictures posted on the wall at the nurses’ station.

The man was without health insurance. I had been treating him and his family for years and I knew he needed the help as they were struggling financially. I genuinely liked him.

“Thank you!” I replied, puffing up a bit with a mother’s pride. My boy was incredibly handsome. I had certainly won the lottery.

“How old is he now?”

“Two.”

He nodded thoughtfully, taking his sack of meds, and left.

Three weeks later he was arrested for molesting his grandkids and his mentally handicapped step child. He had been doing it for years… the years I had been seeing them all in my clinic.

How did I miss that?

I took down the photos of my son. The wall has remained empty ever since.

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66 thoughts on “Missing Something

    • I get asked a lot by patients why I don’t have pictures of my kids up. It isn’t something I can really talk about with them because honestly I feel like I failed that family. I just tell everyone that I am too lazy to get them framed and bring them in…

      Liked by 3 people

  1. As a father, this makes me want to be extremely violent. There are few things in this world that inspire this particular breed of emotion for me. This one is at the top of the list. This is a particular type of homicide; The murdering of innocence.

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  2. When I worked I always kept my private life private. I am not sure why but I had a position of power and the less people knew of my family the safer they were. This is a painful revelation when you feel you had known him for so long. Perhaps we never really know people. Scary thought.

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  3. How frightening. When my oldest was about 2, we took her to a well-known photography studio to have those cute Christmas pictures taken. Everything was fine until the young male photographer asked if he could take her into a back room (without us) to do some special photos. Probably, I should have reported it to someone, but I just grabbed my kid and got out of there. Then I worried for months because I knew he had our home address. Thank God, nothing more even came of it.

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  4. One day my father came back from work and insisted on removing our telephone number from every public phone book. He works in a forensic psychiatry (so the situation is different from yours, at least he knows about his patients being criminals), but I think something shocking had happend to him aswell. He never talked about it though…

    What a scary world, sometimes.

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  5. Great Scott! That “like” button that I keep pressing on your page needs to change its name to “I-read-your-posting-and-appreciate-what-you-wrote”. That is more scary than your Ebola story: in the Ebola a person dies; in today’s story a person is destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yikes, this makes me shudder. I keep a blog of my children, basically just a diary of their lives for me to use when I someday (hopefully) get around to putting together albums for them. And it’s also a way for my parents and my husband’s parents to see pictures of them since both sets of parents live far away, rather than me emailing pictures to them all the time. I don’t have it set to private, but it’s not searchable on the web either. I’ve also told friends about the blog, too. But this sort of thing freaks me out to no end. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

    This makes me wonder too… Knowing something like this, are you able to continue treating this man as a patient? And if yes, do you feel like you treat him differently? Back in my nursing days, there was a patient who was a frequent flyer and he had been jailed multiple times throughout his life for molesting children. There were many people who had a hard time caring for him. I think hurting children (as opposed to committing other crimes that aren’t against such a vulnerable population) is in a class of its own, and its natural for people to be unforgiving of such disgusting behavior.

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    • I think about this because someday he will get out of jail. I treat a ton of difficult patients that keep coming back so I like to think I could do the same for him. Everyone needs treatment. If God can look on someone with grace I feel like I should he able to, but in the end I am just a human being.

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  7. I can’t bring myself to like this. I don’t like it at all. I’m very cautious about how I share images of my children on the internet and I’m concerned about issues of privacy and data sharing on social media. The issue you bring up here is one of the reasons why.

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  8. This is why I almost never talk about family in my blog. I’ve been asked why and my reply has always been, “it’s just a personal thing”. I don’t think a blog is someplace to hang laundry. Family life is private plain and simple. Thanks for the post. Hopefully it will get others to stop and think about what they post.

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  9. That is really disturbing. I always get creeped out when someone’s gaze lingers on my son too long. When my husband was in the bathroom at a restaurant once, an older guy came up and kept talking to my son and me, to the point that it was very uncomfortable. As soon as my husband came back over, the guy took off. Always made me wonder if he was a predator or something.

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  10. I’ve thought about things like recently and I’ve decided that we can’t let some crazies rule our lives. We are proud and our kids are beautiful. We just have to be aware as parents. Some people are just good at hiding who they are, no need to feel guilty about that. Can’t see it all.

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  11. It’s sad that it is so true. Don’t blame yourself in any way. I also know that it happens, and far more often than most people realize. *You* have admitted that this exists. It happens so often because so many deny that it happens at all. In doing so they enable the bullies and molesters. More people have to do what you have done, and recognize that this happens. You are more courageous than you know. Hugs!

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  12. What an unnerving revelation. And what a tough spot to be in as a doctor. I don’t know if I could do it – treat someone with the same level of care after learning of the harm they’ve done. I hope he’s locked up for a long time.

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  13. I work with the mentally disabled. Some are friends and some are like my very own children. It scares me when I think about how vulnerable some of them are. Some of them can be so kind, and trusting, and sweet, it would be no challenge for someone to commit an evil act upon them. I don’t understand people who’s sickness involves the destruction of another person. It is especially scary when the monsters look like us.

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  14. This is sad for the children and their parents. It is also terrible because (if you still had those pictures up and others admired your children) you would be thinking “are they a child molester” and, in the overwhelming majority of cases the answer would, of course be no. Most people don’t hurt children but incidents such as this one cast a cloud of suspicion over the innocent as well as the guilty.

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  15. Horrid. It’s why I stopped using pictures of kids in my blog. Unless they are unrecognizable (like I did a blog about eyes). It’s why people at work don’t display their children’s photos. It’s why I constantly warn my kids about their kids. We just never know.

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  16. Secrets are secrets, that are never meant to be found out. Don’t blame yourself entirely for missing it. I kept my families secrets very well as a child. My sisters hold me responsible, even with two grown adult parents who were forgiven long ago. Protect who you can and try to forgive if possible?

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  17. Oh wow. I didn’t even see that coming. It’s scary how normal pedophiles, sociopaths and psychopaths can appear. Thanks for the reminder that we can never, ever let our guard down when it comes to protecting our babies.

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