View Full Version : How can you be friends with these people?
Troy McClure SF
08-09-2000, 04:44 PM
The subject line, if read, would not be in an accusing tone, for the record, I'm actually asking this question.
Reading through a thread in IMHO about Dopers who have known people who've commited heinous acts led me to wonder...
Those of you who do know someone who has done something such as molested, killed, raped, etc... How do you remain friends with them? How does something like that escape being the most prominent thing you associate with the person? Can something like that fall under the blanket of "Well, they're really a nice person once you get to know them?"
This could also apply to those who may have done something... (convicted but maybe didn't do it, acquitted on a technicality...)
I know the easy answer is "I'm not friends with them." But these people must have friends somewhere.
08-09-2000, 04:59 PM
I don't know that I can speak for other dopers here, but I have relatives who've done some pretty awful (criminal, prosecutable) things in their time and in some cases it's the result of a mental disorder. In some cases it's a problem of, at the time, not knowing it's wrong becaise you see adults doing it (in some cases, your parents).
I have one relative who had an abortion. I choose not to share the whole story here because, quite frankly, I don't know it. I know that I don't believe killing humans is a justifiable action. My moral or ethical beliefs aside, she got herself into that mess. She wasn't raped. She had the choice to have sex, and chose it. She got herself out of a sticky situation by aborting an innocent life. I don't like her one bit for it. I also don't judge her (strange as, all this said, that may sound) because I'm not perfect either.
So I guess the answer to your question is this: I look at the person and ask myself: did this person have the opportunity to know if what they were doing was wrong? Were they sorry for it later? Most of the time the answers are no and yes. When the answers are yes and no, respectively, I lose respect for that person (in this case, my grandparents).
08-09-2000, 05:03 PM
...Who did prison time for armed robbery and rape. It was 20 years ago when he was heavily into drugs, etc. He has since reformed himself, is sober and clean, went back to school (against some unbelieveable physical odds), got his masters degree and now counsels young people in trouble. I am truely proud to call him my friend. I rarely think about his past convictions. He did his time and I no longer believe he is a threat.
08-09-2000, 05:24 PM
I know people who have done things I don't approve of, but nothing too heinous.
Fortunately no one's ever told me they committed a rape or murder; I would be morally and legally bound to turn'em in.
08-10-2000, 12:39 PM
Specifically, most of the folks responding to that question weren't current "friends". They were past neighbors or went to the same school or friends of a relative, relative of friends or in my case, past clients (I work with ex-offenders)
However to answer your implied question (and I feel that I can) - if the event was in the past, and there was some circumstance that has since changed (as others have noted, a past substance abuse problem, mental illness, etc.) while this doesn't "pardon" the past behavior, it does make it a different thing than dealing with the person today.
I've worked with many people who did hideous things in the past. What I do is not focus on what they did (except in how to minimize problems now - for example, not put junkies working in a pharmacy, duh?), nor focus on "they should have done more time (not up to me), but what would be the best outcome from this point on. Want them working, in a situation where they're less likely to do things again. Best outcome as far as I can see.
On the other hand, I've known some real bad folks who are able to con others into believing that they didn't really do whatever (remember Ted Bundy married a woman who was convinced that he was innocent). but I think you weren't asking the question of delusional beleif, right?
08-10-2000, 01:09 PM
(remember Ted Bundy married a woman who was convinced that he was innocent).
Sorry for the minor hijack. I know three Leon County Deputy Sheriffs who met Ted Bundy while he was being held here. These veteran law enforcement officers were terrified of the man. They said that after 10 minutes talking with him, you would find yourself completely forgetting all of the horrible things he'd done and find yourself LIKING him. Scared the crap out of all of them.
::end minor hijack::
08-10-2000, 02:10 PM
My ex (Shitboy) did a breif stint in federal pen for armed robbery.
He was very young, and constantly in trouble... he hit 18, and the cops were totally ready to nail him. If they hadnt - he would have been dead in a few short years. He hasnt been in any legal trouble since.
How could I? It was easy...he had learned something from it, and it ws easy to tell.
08-10-2000, 02:29 PM
Alot of people get in trouble when they are young.... it's not hard when you are hanging around with a bad group of kids. Peer pressure is a very powerfull thing.
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