Once when I was sleeping, some people came into my room and
stole my most valuable possessions. Later they came back while I
was awake and stole from me again. I am still trying to figure
out how they did it, especially how they did it the second time.
I knew there was something wrong the second time they came, but I didn't recognize them as a threat or danger to me. I didn't know they would take something so valuable when they knocked on my door with their smiling faces. Yes, they knocked. They didn't force their way in. They surely would have used force, but with me they didn't have to.
I wonder now why I let them in. I am still trying to figure
these things out. They actually took so much from me that I will
never even know what all they took. But I know they took things
of great value. Things I would need later in my life.
Sometimes people wonder why I do this wok. And why I spend so much time talking to, writing about and trying to help teenagers. Let me try to explain by saying that it is through my work with teenagers that I am learning the most about myself and how I was robbed. By the way, in my case, the robberies both took place before I had turned 19.
I want to help prevent such robberies in the future. I believe
it is a natural instinct to want to help others escape from the
same things which caused you great pain. I believe if you knew
who had robbed your house and stolen your most valuable possessions,
and I don't mean just financially valuable, you would also want
to warn others and try to stop the thieves from robbing again.
In this case, the "thieves" are not easily recognizable. I hesitate to even call them thieves, but they stole from me, that much I am certain of, no matter what we call them. Or we can say they took from me, if you like. They took what they needed without regard for how I felt, or how I would feel in the years to come. But they did what they did only because they had many needs of their own. And because they were trained and taught to do just what they did.
They did it well. They did it skillfully. They did it "effectively" and "successfully". Some were even rewarded for what they did. It has taken me many years to even identify them. You wouldn't recognize them as thieves at all. They don't look like the people we put behind bars. They look like your average everyday citizen. They look like fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters, and teachers and police officers. They look like doctors and lawyers and judges and psychologists. They even look like university professors. As I said, you would not recognize them as thieves. But I know now that they did steal from me. And I don't want them stealing from the young people I have met, or even the ones I will never meet.
I will do what I can to stop them from stealing. To stop them from hurting people as I was hurt. I will do what I can to educate and inform both young and old....so we can recognize the "thieves" and help them see what they are doing and have done (If, of course, they are open to seeing).
And I will keep trying to educate and inform the young people who are being secretly robbed of their most valuable possessions both night and day.
January 18, 2008