Examination of an old man's confession

Is he telling the truth?

You wanted longer posts, and this one is definitely that. Actually, it ended up being so long, it will be split into three separate posts. Otherwise it is twenty-three pages long. 

Enjoy.

I like really good stories, and listen to them on Youtube on a regular basis. I find them very entertaining. I prefer true stories, because the world is so very interesting, and listening to stories that actually happened gets my mind working. That is how I came across the one I am about to discuss. Normally I wouldn’t quote an entire story in one of my posts, but I think this time, it’s necessary, so we can easily go back and reference sections as we go. Here is that story.

https://www.reddit.com/r/confessions/comments/c93egn/i_stood_by_and_allowed_my_wife_to_almost_kill_our/

Okay, fair warning, this one is long as hell. Apologies for that, but this is very hard for me and I have been carrying it for a lot of years. On the advice of my therapist, I’ve written it all out to try to work out my feelings on it. He didn’t advise me to submit it to Reddit of course, but I have struggled with this for a long time, and I need to hear other people’s opinion on it. I still really have no idea how I feel about it, even after all these years, but I will submit for judgment by the masses. I know I did wrong on some things, probably a lot of things. I tried to do my best that I could.

My son was very troubled. VERY troubled. If you have seen the movie "We Need To Talk About Kevin", it will really help to understand what I'm talking about, because I swear to God when I watched that film I thought I was watching a documentary of my life, I felt like the writer must have had cameras hidden in my damn house, that’s how accurate it was. The only difference is that in the movie, the boy appears normal to his father and only reveals his true nature to his mother, with my son he didn’t have that mask. His insane behavior was the same with everyone.

From the day he was born, my son just came out wrong. He was planned, my wife and I tried to get pregnant and were ecstatic when he was born. He was wanted and loved. We showered affection on him and really tried to give him a happy childhood. But from the day we brought him home from the hospital, he was miserable. He cried for 13 months straight. I’m not exaggerating, 13 months without a break, he cried until he had no voice left and kept crying, you could see his little face scrunched up and no sound coming out, totally hoarse. There were times he would literally be crying in his sleep, I’ve never seen or heard of any other kid able to do that. We brought him to doctors, specialists, tried changing his diet, held him, rocked him, toys, swaddling, music, mobiles, everything we could think of. Nothing worked. 13 months of grating, grinding, no sleep hell.

Once he got over the crying stage, we thought we were out of the woods. But it quickly became clear that for some unknown reason, he was just angry at being alive. I never saw that kid have a genuine, joyous smile once in the time I knew him. I saw him grin a vicious, horrible grin many times, taking a perverse pleasure from causing pain or suffering or breaking a rule, but a smile from real pleasure at something nice? No, never. Not once. He had no interest in anything positive; he was fueled by hate, and everything he did was bent toward that.

As soon as he could walk, his mission in life was to destroy things. He would break or try to break anything that came in his range, smash it, chew it, throw it in the toilet, whatever he could. After a while he figured out how to get his diaper off and took great pleasure in shitting and pissing anywhere he could. After a while he figured out he could hide it, and started pissing and shitting in places we wouldn’t find right away, grinding it into carpets making it even more of a problem to clean and making the house stink. When he got older, (ages 9-15) he would piss and shit in our bed, until we got a lock on our door and he wasn’t able to get in anymore; then he’d just take a dump in the hallway in front of our room. That biological warfare started around a 2 and a half years old and he never grew out of it.

I’ll try to speed it up as I could literally go on for days about this stuff, but as he grew older, he became more and more unmanageable. He would bite, kick, scream, scratch and spit at anyone trying to do anything with him. He was kicked out of school twice before he was 9, then let him back in and then kicked him out for good, he had to change schools. The next one put him in a special class that kept him away from the other students. We had to install a door and lock on the kitchen because he would steal knives and use them to gouge the walls/furniture or chase people with them. When he was 10, he stabbed me pretty good in the hip and ass, I still have the scars. As he grew older, he grew darker. He moved into setting things on fire, and torturing local animals. There was a stray dog that hung out around the park near our house, my son blinded it in one eye with a BBQ fork. He would dip cat’s tails in gasoline and light them on fire. He became a violent, stinking, vicious beast that lived in our house. We couldn’t do anything with him.

I will take this opportunity to preempt the tsunami of messages: YES, we had the kid in fucking therapy. He saw a psychiatrist twice a week, and had god knows how many different medications prescribed to him over the years. Nothing worked. Therapy didn’t work. Meds didn’t work. Nothing fucking worked. He was like a poison cloud of hate and fury lashing out at anything in his reach.

When my son was 16, my wife got pregnant again. I can’t tell you how different our reaction was. Instead of joy, we felt horror. This pregnancy had not been planned, and we really were at a loss over what to do. My son had been such an unending nightmare for 16 years, we couldn’t take the idea of starting again from the beginning. We talked a lot about terminating, but a) access to abortion was not as easy in those days as it is now, and b) my wife was very against it. We talked about many options. In the end, we decided that my wife would have the baby, and if it turned out evil we would put it up for adoption. We knew we just couldn’t do it again with another child like our son.

We had a daughter. She was normal. Suddenly we saw what our lives should have been like the whole time, how things would have been had our son not been himself. She laughed at things. She breast fed without biting (she didn’t have teeth yet anyway, but you could tell she was just trying to eat, not tear her mom’s breast off). After 4 months she was sleeping through the night. She was happy. She was NORMAL. I can’t describe the relief and happiness that we both felt, I don’t have the words for it.

This where I believe I may have started really pulling back from my son. Up until that time, whatever mistakes I made, I had always tried to do the best for my son, I am convinced of that. I tried to help him and love him and care for him, I really tried. But when my daughter was born, my wife and I both instinctively just turned toward her. She became our focus, not from malice, but just because she was so much EASIER. She was so happy and sweet, every moment we were with her was like magic. I understand this was wrong, but we honestly couldn’t help it. I don’t have a better explanation than that.

My son hadn’t given a shit about my wife being pregnant, I honestly don’t know if he really understood it, but when we brought our daughter home he started acting out even more. I didn’t think it was possible, but he took it up another notch. At this time he was 17, and we were having blow-out screaming matches daily. Usually after we fought, he would storm out of the house and disappear for hours at a time, or come back the next morning. It was a relief. I started to actually look forward to our fights because it would get him away from us for a while.

After the birth of our daughter, my relationship with my son was almost entirely gone, our only real interactions were screaming at each other. My wife was even worse with him, she just had nothing left. By that time, if our son even came in to the same room as her, she would just stop whatever she was doing and start screaming “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME! GET AWAY! GET THE FUCK OUT!” until he left. He started spending more and more time out of the house, which was a blessing for us. I have no idea what he got up to out in the world, but we were just happy it wasn’t being inflicted on us.

As a consequence of our son’s behavior, we had invested heavily in locks around our house. All of the cheap, thin interior doors in our home had been replaced with think, dense wood doors that couldn’t be kicked through, equipped with keyed locks that my wife and I carried keys to. I know it sounds extreme, but locks and heavy doors were the best way we had found to create safe spaces from him. And again, before I am inundated with messages, I was not locking my son in rooms like a prisoner, he had free reign of the house and could come and go as he pleased. My wife and I would lock OURSELVES in rooms to protect ourselves from him, if anything WE were the prisoners in our own home.

On the day in question, I had fought with my son in the morning and he had left the house in a rage. My wife and I were enjoying some peace and quiet in the kitchen while our daughter napped in our bedroom. And then my daughter began crying. Any parent who has young children can tell you, you get used to your child’s cries and you can tell after a while what they need, they cry differently if they are hungry, or need changing, or are just restless and want to be held. Babies can communicate pretty well before they can speak. This cry was none of those things. This cry was terror. The second we heard it my wife and I were both up out of our chairs and running to the room. The door was locked of course, and it took a few seconds to get the right key and get it open.

My son was in the room. We lived in a bungalow, and the bastard had climbed in the window to get to her. He was standing over her crib with a steak knife in his hand. I have no idea where he got it, it wasn’t one of ours; we controlled our knives very carefully and always kept them in locked drawers. I think he may have stolen it from one of our neighbor’s houses. He had broken her skin twice already, once in the belly area and once on her arm. I could see blood running down. When I entered the room he was dragging the back of the knife down her face, not cutting, almost tickling her with it, teasing her while she screamed. He looked up at us and smiled.

Before I knew what I was doing, I was already moving, running to put myself between them. I didn’t think about it, I just moved instinctively. Even with that, my wife got there faster, it was like a movie on fast forward, she got to our son and bashed his hand away, knocking the knife across the room and then shoved him with her whole body weight, so hard that he flew away from the crib and bounced off the wall. I picked up my daughter and held her while my wife screened us. I could see her shaking, almost convulsing. I can remember the smell of the room, the sound of my daughter screaming and wailing. The look on my son’s face as he stood there. Just nothing. Blank, dead, there was nothing in his eyes, no emotion. He looked like an alien to me. I watched my wife take a step toward him. I could have reached out and stopped her, but I didn’t. She stepped forward again, very close to him. I could have stopped her again. But I didn’t. She waited, looking at him for maybe 3 to 5 seconds without moving. And then she punched him in the face.

Now until this point, you may have been picturing my wife as a typical woman, small frame, dainty, delicate. This is not the case. My wife does have a small frame, but dainty and delicate she is not, never has been since I’ve known her. Since her early teens, my wife has been a boxer. MMA didn’t exist back then, but karate and boxing were big in those days, and my wife was a VERY talented amateur. She was about 130 pounds, she carried a lot of muscle and she knew how to punch. I had 70 pounds on her back then, and I have no doubt that in a real fight between me and her she could have and would have pounded me flat. Neither of us had ever laid a hand on our son in anger before, but something broke in her that day, and all the years of anger and pain and sorrow and frustration just came pouring out. When she hit him his head snapped back and blood started pouring out of his nose. He hardly reacted, he just looked at her with this shocked expression like he didn’t know how to process what had just happened. She waited another second. And then she hit him again.

I could have reached out and stopped her. I could have dragged her out of the room, taken her away, calmed her. I didn’t. I just stood there and watched while she systematically started to pound him to a pulp. Every time he brought his hands to cover one part she would blast him somewhere else, body, head, body, head, over and over. He started screaming, crying out, yelling for her to stop. It’s the most genuine reaction I’d ever seen him have to anything in his whole life. But she wasn’t stopping. I watched her ramping up, hitting harder, faster, working him like a heavy bag. He tried to swing at her and she slipped him easily. She was on auto pilot, sinking down into her training. I stood there watching for a minute. Then I turned my back on them and took my daughter out of the room.

I brought my daughter to the kitchen and gave her a bath in the sink. I found that he had cut her a third time on the sole of her foot. All the cuts were superficial. I cleaned her up and held her until she calmed. I put Polysporin and Band-Aids on her cuts. In our bedroom, I could hear my son screaming, calling my wife horrible names, telling her he would cut her head off and fuck her corpse. After a while, I didn’t hear him saying anything anymore, didn’t even hear him crying out. I assumed that he must have been knocked out. But I could still hear her beating him.

That went on for a long time. Long enough for my daughter to drift off to sleep in my arms. I just sat at the kitchen table waiting for her to finish. Finally she came out and sat down across from me. Her hands were swollen and red. Her face and arms were splattered with blood. Her chest was heaving. We just stared at each other without saying anything. After a while I asked her “Is he dead?” She looked back at me and answered “I fucking hope so”. I nodded. That was all there was to say about that. I understood how she felt perfectly. I felt the same. I didn’t know what to do, so we just sat there waiting silently. Eventually my wife started crying and went to go take a shower. I just stayed where I was holding our daughter.

After a long while, I heard moaning and sobbing coming from our room. It turned out that my son wasn’t dead. I went in to see how bad it was, and it was… pretty bad. I’ve never seen a more merciless beating laid onto anyone, before or since. He was lying on the floor, rolling around with blood leaking out of his face, lying in a pool of vomit. His nose was squashed flat out across his face, both of his eyes were completely swollen shut and starting to blacken already. I could see that a couple of his fingers were bent out at weird angles and he had pissed his pants. I think he must have been missing teeth, but I couldn’t see any on the floor and I couldn't see inside his mouth, his lips were all puffed up and swollen. From talking to my wife about it later, I know now that she had systematically beaten every part of his body, focusing heavily on his legs. She told me she kicked him in the groin repeatedly until her legs got tired, and had kept beating his body long after he had passed out.

When my wife came out of the shower, I still didn’t know what to do about our son. I didn’t know whether to call the police or an ambulance, take him to the hospital myself, I honestly didn’t have any idea what to do. After a while I realized that I simply didn’t care what happened to him anymore, and we decided to just let him live or die on his own. There was an in-law suite in the basement that we had never really used, and my wife, my daughter and I just moved down there. We simply ceded the top floor of the house to my son and locked everything down, separated our lives entirely. There was plenty of food in the upstairs cabinets, enough for a couple weeks or more, he had a washroom and bedrooms to use. We had a washroom in the basement, a small kitchenette, and a separate entrance so we just stopped going upstairs. We just decided we were done with him. I figured we'd let his food run out and see what happened.

Over the next week we could hear him moving around upstairs sometimes. I think he just spent most of time lying in bed recovering. I went to work, watching on high alert in case he attacked me in the driveway, but he never did. My wife stayed home with our daughter. She was never out of our sight. One night we heard him going ballistic, smashing things and banging. We didn’t respond. He never tried to get downstairs or get near us though. I think he was afraid that if he got near us again, my wife might finish the job on him. After three weeks down in the basement, we hadn’t heard anything from up above for a few days, and I ventured upstairs to the main floor of the house.

The place was demolished, and there was no sign of my son. He was gone. It took months to repair the damage he had done and get the main floor back to normal again. There was food and shit smeared all over the walls and broken glass on the floor, big holes in the dry wall, he had ripped the place apart. He tore up the linoleum in a corner of the kitchen and emptied an entire foam fire extinguisher into the living room. I feel thankful that he didn't burn the house down with us in it, I'm honestly not sure why he didn't, the kid wasn't shy about lighting things on fire. After that, I lived in fear every day that he would come back, that he would ambush us out of the blue and try to kill us. We moved house about 3 years later and I finally stopped being afraid that he would show up again, as now he had no idea where we were. I finally felt safe from him.

All this happened a long time ago. My son was born in the spring of 1971, my daughter was born in ’88. I'm an old man now, I’ll be 70 this year and my wife passed from cancer in 2016. My daughter is 31 now, I moved in with her and her husband after my wife passed. I’ve got two granddaughters and they are the joy of my life. I see a therapist a couple times a month to talk about all this. I don’t know where my son is. The last time I saw him was when he was lying on the floor of our bedroom, bleeding and smashed. I haven’t heard from him since he left, more than 30 years now. I don’t want to.

I carry a lot of guilt from that time, and a lot of conflicted emotions. I didn’t beat him myself, but I allowed him to be beaten, and I thought he deserved it. I was happy it happened. I didn’t try to kill him, but I would have been happy if he died. I will say that I do hope he was able to overcome his demons and go live a normal life somewhere. If he wasn’t able to do that, if he stayed the way he was, then I truly do hope someone out there killed him. When I knew him he was a rabid dog, and whichever way it went I just hope he isn’t still out there hurting anyone else.

Aren’t you glad that he warned you that it was long?

There are two directions that this story could be interpreted in my estimation. I will address them both, the first being that this is fiction, the second being that it is factual, but horribly misinterpreted by the vast majority of the people that have read it. 

This story is fiction. 

My argument for this story being fiction is multifaceted. He opens this stating that his son was troubled from birth, and that his crying for thirteen months just remained a mystery forever. There was a reason this child cried, and I guarantee you, it is not because he is an evil psychopath.

There is no mention of how the crying made him feel as a father. I have read accounts of children that had significant undiagnosed health issues in their early years. I am specifically thinking of children with serious digestive problems that can’t keep food down, and are always hungry, and miserable. They cry. A lot, and these parents, mom and dad, always describe these things as emotionally devastating for them. They can’t stand knowing that their child is in pain, and that there is nothing that they could do about it. There is a distinct lack of this sort of writing in this account, and this is a theme that I noticed throughout.

We move onto the time period after the crying. Now the son is able to cause damage in the house, and is smearing his feces everywhere he can. This is unfortunately a common problem with toddlers. It is not indicative of much, but I will point out something that might lend to this story being a factual accounting of something far darker than what it is presented as, and that is that children have very little control in the world. They have control of what goes into their bodies, thus why many parents have food battles with their children, and what comes out. When children try to assert their control or their voice in the world they do so through these means. They will also make themselves deadweight to make them harder to carry, but as this isn’t terribly effective, it is not as common as the first two.

Something to notice about the phrasing of this “confession”. There is an abject lack of understanding for the son in any capacity. He has no voice, and says nothing throughout this whole story until the assault. This is odd. It supports the notion that this is a fabrication. The character of the son is not well fleshed out, he is just “evil” and “hate filled”.

Parents with children that behave this way will speak at length about the horrifying things their children have said about them, threatened them with, or what they want to do to them. These statements are ones that resonate with fear, shock, and are readily talked about. The only time he gives the son a voice is during the beating itself. I don’t think that someone saying that they are going to kill you while you are viciously beating them is all that unusual, but it is written like that stands out as horrifying.

When describing the son’s childhood, he made sure to hit three major points.

  1. He smeared feces everywhere, and urinated in inappropriate places.

  2. He tortured animals.

  3. He liked setting fires.

All of these traits are well known to anyone that researches serial killers. They are from what is called the MacDonald Triad;

The Macdonald triad (also known as the triad of sociopathy or the homicidal triad) is a set of three factors, the presence of any two of which are considered to be predictive of, or associated with, violent tendencies, particularly with relation to serial offenses. The triad was first proposed by psychiatrist J. M. Macdonald in "The Threat to Kill", a 1963 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry.[1] Small-scale studies conducted by psychiatrists Daniel Hellman and Nathan Blackman, and then FBI agents John E. Douglas and Robert K. Ressler along with Dr. Ann Burgess, claimed substantial evidence for the association of these childhood patterns with later predatory behavior.[2] Although it remains an influential and widely taught hypothesis, subsequent research has generally not validated this line of thinking.[3][4]

The triad links cruelty to animals, obsession with fire-setting, and persistent bedwetting past a certain age, to violent behaviors, particularly homicidal behavior and sexually predatory behavior.

This is significant, as this was heavily relied on for many years as indicative of a sociopath or a psychopath. The problem with that is that the “study” that established this baseline was dreadfully done, and when reexamined they found that the conclusions it reached were baseless. The triad was not predictive of psychopathy or sociopathy, but rather severe child abuse. That is significant for both this part, and the second part of our analysis. The findings regarding the MacDonald Triad;

Providing the most definitive exploration to date is Kori Ryan, a former criminology student at the California State University, Fresno who delved into the "evolutionary history" of this tantalizing construct for her as-yet unpublished master's thesis. Her ultimate conclusion:

One of myriad misleading websites

"Even though the literature on violent behavior contains many references to the Macdonald triad (and its aliases), collectively these studies do not provide sufficient evidence of its ability to predict violence, nor, in fact, of its existence as a bona fide phenomenon.

Instead, childhood enuresis, firesetting and animal cruelty more likely represent three, among many, indicators of severe childhood abuse. In other words, the presence of one or more of these elements in the histories of some violent offenders can be explained by the fact that violent offenders are often the products of child abuse. More importantly, relying upon these behaviors as predictors of future violence would lead to many false positives, punishing children who might not be violent in the future.

It’s interesting, as I mentioned, for both examinations of this story, but for now we will stick with the “it’s fiction” idea. The person who created the son as a character wanted an “evil incarnate” type creation. This is why there is little fleshing out of the son, there is no voice for the son, there is no description of the relationship with the son, just that the son was violent and impossible, and matches exactly with the MacDonald Triad.

The issue with this is, the MacDonald Triad was already in question three years before his son was even born, by the man that coined the Triad in the first place. That doesn’t do a whole lot to support the use of it in the story, but it does support the second half of this evaluation. 

But subsequent attempts to replicate Hellman and Blackman's findings were unsuccessful. Even John Macdonald himself voiced later doubt about the triad's validity. After trying to test his own clinical theory, Macdonald reported in his 1968 book, Homicidal Threats, that he could find no statistically significant association between homicide perpetrators and early problems with firesetting, cruelty to animals, or enuresis.

 Using the MacDonald Triad reaffirms the “evilness” of the son, and indeed, reading through the comments section of well over seventeen hundred replies, many of them arrive at the conclusion that the boy was a psychopath. Other noted diagnoses was oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and sociopathy.

The behaviors that he displayed as a child are not related to psychopathy. There is nothing in the entire story that suggests psychopathy either. If the boy was a psychopath, in the writer’s mind, there is nothing that can be done. There is no intervention or therapy that works for psychopathy, and that let’s him the father, off the hook. It is true to an extent that psychopathy cannot be treated, but you can work with a child like me. Behavioral controls can be taught to a child that will end up being psychopathic. It may seem like an exercise in futility, but it isn’t completely hopeless. 

Children that are psychopathic are self interested. They want things, and will go about getting those things in inappropriate manners. What did this child want? Nothing as far as the father tells us. He just wants to be vicious and malicious, causing harm to people.  

The father compares the son to the movie, “We Need to talk about Kevin”. If you haven’t seen it, it is about a boy that ends up being a school shooter, and it is absolutely dreadful. I am sure the person that put it together believes that they told a compelling story about this horrific evil child, but in reality they managed to convey one of the most self absorbed and unlikable main characters, the mother, that I have ever seen. 

If you watch that character, and extrapolate from her overall demeanor and what you are able to see of her character in the film, you can see what sort of mother she was, and why her son was a messed up criminal. However, that isn’t how most people view that film. They get caught up in feeling sorry for that poor woman, how she must have suffered so. She, like this father, is an unreliable narrator. 

There are a lot of comparisons to her character that I see with this father character as well. It is interesting that he compared his son to her son, when the similarities between them as parents is far more telling. He claims in the story that this son was planned, a wanted pregnancy. 

  1. The son cries for thirteen months, and there is not a hint of empathy for that crying and there is not a hint of feeling like a failure as a parent for it either. Parents, especially first time parents, would think about these things. “Why can’t I help? What am I doing wrong? Not being able to fix this for my helpless child is killing me inside.” There is nothing in the story that indicates that he considered it past it being loud and unpleasant for him and his wife. Sure, they took him to doctors, changed his room, diet, etc, but that is how I would describe something. What I did, not how I felt, but this narrator isn’t a psychopath. He is apparently a fully feeling adult male that is suffering tremendous guilt for what happened.

  2. He states that his son “came out wrong”. This is a very absolute statement. It defers any and all guilt he and his wife might bear for how his son turned out. If he feels guilty, there has to be a reason. About what? At no time does he state that he thinks that they could have done better by his son, that they made mistakes with him, and how they handled him. Instead, he claims to feel guilty, but never explains where that guilt is coming from. Does he feel guilty about the act? I will get to that in a moment.

  3. As I mentioned above a couple of times. There is no understanding of the son whatsoever. I was a nightmare child for my parents to deal with. No, I didn’t make them have to buy new doors because I threatened to stab them in their sleep. I was a psychopathic child that wanted what she wanted when she wanted it. I would do whatever I needed or figured I could get away with to do the things that entertained me.

    With all of that said, and as much as my mother, still, to this day, groans when she remembers the dread, angst, and frustration that she felt on a daily basis dealing with me, could still describe my voice as a child. I wasn’t an entity causing chaos. I was her child causing chaos, and as much as she really does not like thinking about what I was like back then, I wasn’t just an engine of destruction. I was her child, that she loves.

    That is not the case for the son. He is just an entity without anything deeper than “evil” as a character trait. The father never saw his son smile? Not once? That isn’t believable. The world is new to children, and they are not prewired to just be miserable all the time. Even children that are really out of control and impossible to deal with still like things. They still have things that they want, and enjoy. Speak to counselors at places that deal with deeply disturbed children, and they will tell you that while they are disturbed, and do need to be monitored all the time, they still like things. It is one of the negotiation tools that you can use with kids like that. Find their currency as I am so fond of saying.

  4. Why was this boy not committed? This was not uncommon in the seventies, and it wasn’t looked down on nearly as much as it would be later on. Children that are severely disturbed, and unmanageable are still put in placements even now that all the major mental asylums have long since shuttered. Institutionalization of children was not unheard of, and certainly this boy would have qualified, and likely would have qualified for lifetime placement if this story were factual.

  5. The son attacked a baby with a knife. Right there, he would be arrested and never legally allowed back in that house again. He probably would have been in prison for attempted murder of his sister, and even if he got a light sentence, he wouldn’t be out prior to being eighteen, and the parents would have been well shut of him. They could have packed up and moved, disappeared into the night, and never seen him again. Why was this not the choice, instead of a savage beating?

  6. The beating itself. His description of his wife’s prowess and ability to beat both him and the son if she so wanted is not believable. This is where feminists get all up in arms about men and women being equal, but no, we are not. Not in the physical realm anyway. Don’t believe me? Look up Fallon Fox, and see how many top ranked female MMA fighters she cracked the skulls of intentionally, while making it a point to not inform any of her opponents that she was transgender.

    Women who make the claim that they can stand up against a man have never actually wrestled a man. Some women are larger, and some men are smaller, but I am talking about the average here. I have done this, and let me tell you, it’s not happening. This myth is actually a problem, because I have known women who were raped that actually believe that they could have effectively fought back if they hadn’t been so afraid, so now they are ashamed about three things, that they were raped, that they were scared, and that they didn’t fight back and save themselves. They shouldn’t be ashamed about any of them, and trying to fight back might have gotten them hurt. Most women cannot take down a man in a physical fight. I am not buying that this mother did either.

    I could buy that she initially attacked him. Adrenaline is a hell of a drug, but to sustain an attack for that length of time, and to that degree, without him ever getting the upper hand, and not having the chance to either because the beating was so severe, that just isn’t realistic.

  7. The narrative change. When describing his wife being a boxer, despite her being dead for several years, he switched to speaking about her in present tense, before switching back to past tense in the same paragraph. This is a bit strange to me, and I understand that it isn’t that uncommon when someone is newly dead, but this is three years after, so it’s a bit strange.

  8. The splitting between the children. The son is all bad, the daughter is all good. This is a great plot point to get you to agree with the story's conclusion, which is the beating. You wouldn’t agree with it, and with his justification of letting it happen if there was any nuance. The only reason that you can agree with the ending, is because you have been introduced to a completely unsympathetic child, but also a highly emotional, and deeply hateful child. There is no hint of there being more to the son than this.

    The same can be said for the daughter, but in the opposite direction. She was all good. She was quiet, she slept through the night, she “breast fed without biting”. This is presented like it sets her far apart from the son, and the son’s behavior is illustrated as unusual in that he did bite while breastfeeding, but most babies do. It’s very normal.

    There is no balance on either side. There is nothing about the son that is reasonable, and about the daughter that is not. Black and white doesn’t exist in life, and even parents whose children have actually committed heinous acts still find things to love about them. Just listen to any number of interviews from parents that are dealing with an incarcerated child. They may condemn their actions, but they still love their child. Even if they can never have contact with them again, because it would be too damaging for them, they usually don’t just claim that they were the devil straight out of the womb.

    Back to the claims of guilt. He says that he had to write this because it was weighing on him. He has a lot of guilt and conflicted emotions from that time, but nowhere in the story does he support this claim. There is nothing in the story that says that he has any emotions about the event, his son, the outcome, his son’s current disposition, that indicates that he feels anything like this at all. He states that he is happy about what his wife did, he wishes that his son was dead;

    ”I didn’t beat him myself, but I allowed him to be beaten, and I thought he deserved it. I was happy it happened. I didn’t try to kill him, but I would have been happy if he died. I will say that I do hope he was able to overcome his demons and go live a normal life somewhere. If he wasn’t able to do that, if he stayed the way he was, then I truly do hope someone out there killed him. When I knew him he was a rabid dog, and whichever way it went I just hope he isn’t still out there hurting anyone else.”

    and even follows up a comment about it stating;

    “I sure do know his name, I gave it to him haha. It was my father's name. You're right, maybe I could find some record of him, but I think I likely won't. I can't see what good it would bring into my life to know, either I'll find he's dead, which I don't feel anything about, or I'll find he's in jail for hurting someone and I'll just spend the rest of my life regretting that I didn't finish the job while he was lying there at my feet. I thought at the time about putting a pillow over his face and ending him, but I chose not to. I'd hate to know that my choice caused some other poor soul to have to suffer his madness.”

    The only “guilt” that he seems to have is whether or not the monster he released into the world is still causing harm, but when it is suggested that he look into that, he demures. That doesn't seem to be very indicative of guilt.

  9. The motivation in writing the story. What is it? To alleviate his guilt? He doesn’t appear to have any of that. He says he is glad that it happened, has no concern as to where his son is, thinks that it was the right thing, what exactly does he gain from telling people this story? Well, just look at the post itself, and see all the Reddit awards it received.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/confessions/comments/c93egn/i_stood_by_and_allowed_my_wife_to_almost_kill_our/

    Add to that, over 20,000 upvotes, and… That is a decent amount of internet clout, and that is very important to a lot of people. The account is a throwaway, and there is nothing else that it has added since this story appeared, save for that one comment.

    Due to these reasons, and more that I can’t think of at the moment, I am inclined to believe that this story is fabricated.

https://www.reddit.com/r/confessions/comments/c93egn/i_stood_by_and_allowed_my_wife_to_almost_kill_our/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macdonald_triad

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/witness/201205/homicidal-triad-predictor-violence-or-urban-myth

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