Last year I wrote about a case in which a Mountie faced numerous charges for torturing his son. The man’s excuse for this behavior was that his son was out of control and misbehaved. The man’s wife, the victim’s stepmother, claimed the boy made sexual advances toward her. All of this was used to justify locking the child in a basement, starving him nearly to death, beating him daily, and forcing him to do exercises.
None of this made much sense, but at the time I was unable to find out more information about the case. A recent article, however, provides some insight into the man’s actions:
The RCMP officer who chained and shackled his naked 11-year-old son in a darkened Kanata basement only to starve and torture him took the stand in his own defence Monday, saying he feared his boy would grow up to be a sexual predator.
[…] On Monday, though, the 44-year-old father presented himself as a victim, speaking for hours about his fragile state of mind.
From the witness stand, he detailed the troubles of his own childhood in war-torn Lebanon. He talked about dead bodies, bombs and the day he was raped by a teacher. He spoke of “extreme nightmares” from his youth, his troubled career in the RCMP and how a so-called problem child was the last thing he needed.
According to the article, the boy’s mother was paralyzed following giving birth, leaving the Mountie to care for the boy and mother. The stress eventually caused him to leave both the child and the mother, but when the mother died he sought custody of his son.
Things changed once he had the boy. He claimed the boy reminded him of a “bad childhood friend”. This prompted the father to essentially jail his son in an attempt to keep the boy from becoming a sexual predator.
The article does not explain why the man thought his son would be a predator. This unfortunately is not the first time I have heard or seen something like this. One of the foster kids who stayed with my family went through a similar situation involving his mother, aunt, and grandmother.
The level of cruelty these people engage in is horrific, but by far the worst impact is the psychological damage. The article mentions:
The psychologist, hired by the father during a messy custody battle, has told court that he became concerned about the boy’s punishments — including pushups and cold showers — and said that if it happened again he’d call child-protection workers.
“You can’t terrorize your son,” the psychologist recalled telling the Mountie in 2010.
“The parents saw him as a delinquent. I did not,” the psychologist told court.
The psychologist said he interviewed the boy 14 times and concluded that after years of chaos, conflict and hostility at home, the boy had given up on any expectation that anyone in the world would love him.
That is an incredibly cruel thing to do to someone, made all the more worse by how difficult it is to undo that kind of damage. The things these abusers say stick with you. They creep up on you when you make friends, when you fall in love, and when you seek companionship. Worse, it has a way of feeding itself. Once it is in your head, it takes every mistake, every wrong word, every kind gesture, and turns out into proof you are not worthy.
I know what that feels like because it is how I grew up. What I can barely fathom is going through that alone. I had my brothers and cousins. This boy and the boys I know who went through similar abuse had no one. It takes a great deal of strength to be able to walk away from that without a mountain of self-hatred. None of the young men I know think very highly of themselves.
I hope this boy gets the love and support he deserves, but more importantly I hope his father and step-mother receive the harshest sentence possible. Normally I do not want such things, but in this instance it is more than deserved.