Last night, an incredibly sweet and gentle friend of mine had a get-together. I was looking forward to seeing Rosemary, whom I don't know all that well (though we were in a writing group together for a while) and her adorable little writer-boyfriend. Around 10, I biked on over. When I got there, dear Rosemary* —g a tiny, pretty girl with big lovely eyes that look especially enormous behind her architect glasses — came down to answer the door. The first thing she said was that she had a story for my blog. I told her that it was not possible for her to have a dating story, not when she had a cute boyfriend. But — aha! — they had broken up. AND THEN HE HAD DESTROYED HER APARTMENT — AND GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT!
Let me back up a minute. Some small problems they'd been having blew up in February — when he'd revealed the day before a big vacation he'd supposedly been planning for the two of them that he in fact hadn't purchased tickets or made reservations so that there was actually no trip to take. They went to couples therapy, which didn't help much. She asked him to move out of her apartment. He resisted. She told him she was interested in someone else.
After putting her foot down about the whole thing, she went out to have an innocent drink with that someone else ... and she returned home to find her apartment TEEEE-rashed. And I do mean trashed. Her almost ex-boyfriend — who in that moment became The Total Ex-Boyfriend — had ripped up the floorboards in the living room. He'd thrown her two laptops and a bunch of her clothes in a bathtub full of water. He'd tossed a bunch of her published stories onto the floor so he could take a whiz on them. He'd chucked her iPod into the toilet. He'd broken her guitar in half. Other things were lying in pieces, too — she showed me the pictures and let me listen to the voicemails he'd been leaving her while she was at her drink, about how he hoped she was dead. In another message, he said, "Too bad you can't pick up your phone ... seeing as your shoes are soon to be on fire."
(Luckily, for whatever reason, he never got around to torching them.)
The best part — a.k.a. the worst part? The Ex was sitting on the couch, smoking a cigarette, looking very pleased with himself when Rosemary walked in the door to discover his homage to Guernica.
She walked right back out the door and called the police. They showed up and took the boyfriend away ... TO THE HOSPITAL.
Not to jail. Not to the station to write him up for destruction of property or disorderly conduct or anything. Nope.
BECAUSE HE HAPPENS TO BE ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS, he was taken to the hospital. And, according to my friend Rosemary, because he happens to be on antidepressants, he will not face any criminal charges.
I ask you: Is this completely and entirely bass ackwards? Completely insane, for lack of a better word?
I think it's problematic, to say the least. Antidepressants are not supposed to serve as a carte blanche that allows the person on meds to act like an irresponsible twad. Admittedly, certain antidepressants can cause mania, psychosis, abnormal thinking, unusual hostility, and so on. But this guy has been on the meds for a while and has never acted in such a horrific way before. He has also shown NOT ONE BIT of remorse. And I think it's appalling that his case won't be looked at more closely; simply because he is on pills, he gets off scot-free. That's the really crazy thing, if you ask me.
As we all know, I'm on antidepressants. This medication has not changed my sense of right and wrong. It helps me sleep better, and helps me get a little less freaked out in certain situations that used to cause me a lot of anxiety. (Like, oh, you know, when the bagel store runs out of multigrains.) It has not in any way changed my perception of the world. It just makes me a little calmer.
*Not her real name.
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