Archive for June 4th, 2014


moving on


Notice that yesterday I did not say that Derek and Alex are always calling for handouts.

They don’t.

One of the important things my friendship with Lone Heron has taught me is that parricides must 1) learn to face life as self-reliant people and 2) expect to sever ties with virtually everyone who was a part of their life before the act of killing a parent.

Lone Heron is, of course, the 47-year-old parricide who killed her mother and step-father more than 20 years ago. As her excellent autobiography Inherited Rage makes clear, recovery from parricide is a lifelong effort. But Lone Heron has discovered that trying to maintain the relationships of the pre-parricide past is the surest way to impede one’s progress because, she says, “everyone from the past will judge you, and few will forgive.” Or, as Derek reminded me the other day, is a telling quote I once told him by Charles A. Lindbergh (who devoted the greater part of his adult life to environmentalism): “No matter what I do with my life, the old ladies are always flying me back to Paris.”

As I detailed in yesterday’s post, virtually every public and private institution that governs our lives seems intent on freezing the felon (and parricides in particular) in the past. The act of juvenile parricide is the child’s attempt to make a break with the past which often includes a history of abuse that spans multiple generations. Ninety percent of parricides are committed by the adult children of abusive parents; only 10% are committed by children… children who know their own minds at an early age that take most people a lifetime of being stuck to develop.

I do not condone murder as an acceptable way to make a break with the past, but it is instructive to me that so many parricidal acts are committed by adult offspring who presumably had a lifetime of growth and development in which to have envisioned a better way to sever their ties to the past, that  is, a way more acceptable to society. But they didn’t.

The impulse to kill is a solution human beings often take, in war, self-defense, even video games. Young people understandably see murder as a legitimate solution, but usually come to regret it later. Some are even thankful for the lessons their dead parent inculcated, even if they still don’t appreciate the methods. Yet society seldom gives parricides credit for the learning they have done.

Speaking of learning, I want to share with you a particularly clever strategy adopted by Derek as a means of survival. When he was in Jacksonville, he had a brilliant insight: that the people whose challenges most closely resembled his were recent immigrants to this country. They, more than affluent middle class Americans, knew what it took  to survive. They, like him, were establishing a toe-hold in the American Dream. They knew that the secret to survival was establishing partnerships, mutually beneficial relationships that benefit all. So he chose them as his roommates and part-time employers, and networked through them to eke out a better way of life for himself. The strategy worked for him in Jacksonville and it is working for him in his present city. As a result, he has not developed a life of dependency, but one of mutual cooperation and support.

Derek is doing a good job of making the transition to his new city. He has been there for a little more than three weeks, and he is about two weeks from his first paycheck. I asked him if there is anything we might do to assist in the immediate future, and he answered that his auto insurance is due and he could use a couple weeks’ spending money, about $300 total.

If you would like to encourage him by helping, you might consider making a gift at this time.

donate hands

To make a contribution to the Redemption Project for Derek King, please use the link at the top of this page or click here.


Groove of the Day

Sorry, my speaker unit went out and a new one is on order and due to be delivered by UPS in a few days; so until I get another one, I cannot make my selection.