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View Full Version : This isn't exactly a "party" topic, but a blast from the past just ended up making me sad and ill...



Perks
01-25-2014, 01:31 AM
So I was flipping through an old yearbook and I came across an inscription that put a lump in my throat. In school, I was second rung from the bottom on the popularity ladder; ignored more than outcast, and only picked on by the omnivorous alpha-bullies. Everyone else paid me no mind.

As I said, there was a lower tier. The bottom of the pile was this kid I never forgot. I'll call him 'Vernon'. Vernon was gawky and socially inept and universally shunned when he wasn't being mocked and tormented. As yearbooks were passed around my last day at that school, Vernon got a hold of mine. I remember cringing and hoping no one saw. But who would have been looking to see what I, much less my yearbook, was doing? When I read it, it killed me what he wrote:

You never once were mean to me or made fun of me and for that I will always know you are very good person I will not forget.

I saw this today as I was rifling through the pages and thought I'd use the power of Google to see if I could find out what happened to good, old Vernon.

One of the first entries was a Facebook page. It was mostly private, but I could see that Vernon has gotten married and made a career in the military.

Nice. He had a life. I smiled.

Just before I closed out the Google tab, my eyes slid down to another entry,

Vernon is in prison for making and distributing child pornography.

Goddamn miserable end to that little trip down memory lane. I need a brain brush and a strong drink.

Maggie Maxwell
01-25-2014, 01:37 AM
Thaaat was not where I was expecting that trip down memory lane to go. :Wha: :Hug2:

I hear Everclear's good for forgetting the day before.

robjvargas
01-25-2014, 01:40 AM
You could always cling to "nah, not the Vernon I knew."

Might be blatant denial, but on a site with (I believe) a billion usernames, I suppose it's possible, eh?

At least, I assumed that you attached the two results in your mind?

Perks
01-25-2014, 01:44 AM
He has an unusual name and there were photos of him. Urg.

Rina Evans
01-25-2014, 02:04 AM
Someone wrote on his facebook that he got thrown into prison?

God that was a plot twist if I ever saw one.

mirandashell
01-25-2014, 02:06 AM
But at least you know that whatever twisted his mind in that direction, it was not anything you did.

Shit happens. Sometimes for no good reason.

Perks
01-25-2014, 02:10 AM
Someone wrote on his facebook that he got thrown into prison?

God that was a plot twist if I ever saw one.

No, it was a news article. I Googled his name and one of the top entries was a Facebook page and then there were several news articles lower down on the Google page about what he'd done and how the FBI caught him.

Rina Evans
01-25-2014, 02:11 AM
No, it was a news article. I Googled his name and one of the top entries was a Facebook page and then there were several news articles lower down on the Google page about what he'd done and how the FBI caught him.

Ouch, yeah... you said google tab. Reading comprehension fail.
Well, I can offer hugs. It's strangely sad even though you weren't even friends.

robjvargas
01-25-2014, 02:11 AM
He has an unusual name and there were photos of him. Urg.

Oh well. I had to try.

Would it help if I rationalized pretty blatantly that your instincts proved good on this? You were worried about his behavior even back then.

Perks
01-25-2014, 02:13 AM
But at least you know that whatever twisted his mind in that direction, it was not anything you did.



Oh no, of course not. It was just a weird bit of whiplash emotions there.

Torgo
01-25-2014, 02:15 AM
Oh dear!

I went to a minor public school, all boys, for, like, six years, and three years in a row a teacher was sent down for messing with children.

I had a great history teacher, though, and looked him up only to find that he'd been made headmaster of a school and then been jailed a year or two later for fraud related to his expenses.

Perks
01-25-2014, 02:17 AM
Would it help if I rationalized pretty blatantly that your instincts proved good on this? You were worried about his behavior even back then.

It's strange. I remember him so clearly. There was something, even way back then, repulsive about Vernon. I mean, you'd actually kind of recoil from him. So many of the kids were unkind to him, and there's no excuse for it, but he really would give you the shivers.

Was he telegraphing his nature or some indication of a deplorable lack of nurture?

Wilde_at_heart
01-25-2014, 02:17 AM
Ohhh dear... That is awful.

It's hard to tell whatever may have come first - the creepiness, the social ineptness or the bullying...

A friend of mine a few years back had a co-worker who was a bit 'off' but he'd always tried to be nice to him. Same thing...

What can you do, there's unfortunately a lot of sick people out there and at least this one was a long-lost memory from school and not someone who was ever in your life later on.

Hopefully you can put it quickly out of your mind.

Perks
01-25-2014, 02:20 AM
It's strangely sad even though you weren't even friends. It is sad. I was so pleased to see him on Facebook, grown, married, in a career. I read an awful lot into that scant information, but it felt like he'd vaulted over the high school cruelty into a regular life.

I was happy about that -- for about 90 seconds until I found out what he'd done.

Torgo
01-25-2014, 02:21 AM
Was he telegraphing his nature or some indication of a deplorable lack of nurture?

Chicken and egg, eh? I've met a few people with that kind of broken wiring in my life, and they're as often likeable as they are unlikeable. It's a mercifully small sample, of course.

mirandashell
01-25-2014, 02:27 AM
It's hard to tell sometimes. I have little knowledge of paedophilia. Is it somethng to do with the wiring you're born with or is it wiring you gain as you go through life or is it something broken?

I don't know.

As far as I know, I've never met one. But who's to say?

Rina Evans
01-25-2014, 02:34 AM
It's hard to tell sometimes. I have little knowledge of paedophilia. Is it somethng to do with the wiring you're born with or is it wiring you gain as you go through life or is it something broken?

I don't know.

As far as I know, I've never met one. But who's to say?

I read recently (I'm trying to find the article, I was perusing, uh, Reddit....) that pedophilia develops as a sexuality during teenage years. Now, child molesters usually are about power and it doesn't mean they have a sexual or romantic attraction towards the child. Now, was he a child molester or a pedophile, or both?

mirandashell
01-25-2014, 02:37 AM
Ah.... so child molestation is caused by the same impulse as rape? Where as paedophilia is a different impulse?

kuwisdelu
01-25-2014, 02:41 AM
It's hard to tell sometimes. I have little knowledge of paedophilia. Is it somethng to do with the wiring you're born with or is it wiring you gain as you go through life or is it something broken?

I think of it as a sexual orientation. (Which doesn't excuse pursuing such relationships.)

mirandashell
01-25-2014, 02:44 AM
I think of it as a sexual orientation. (Which doesn't excuse pursuing such relationships.)

Wow. Is it? Boy, that's.... tough.

kuwisdelu
01-25-2014, 02:45 AM
Ah.... so child molestation is caused by the same impulse as rape? Where as paedophilia is a different impulse?

Pedophilia just refers to the sexual attraction to pre-pubescents.

Child molestation would be the actual act of, well, molesting a child.

Probably not all child molesters are pedophiles. Like rape, for many it's about power rather than sexual attraction. Like rape, for some people, it probably is about sexual attraction, and not accepting "no".

Pedophiles will tend to convince themselves that the child consented, and they're in a loving relationship, even though the child can't consent. Many pedophiles won't think of it as rape, but as a consensual relationship.

Perks
01-25-2014, 02:46 AM
I think of it as a sexual orientation. (Which doesn't excuse pursuing such relationships.)

Me too. I would imagine there's a bit of hard-coded proclivity in what we're attracted to, and all's well as long as everyone is capable and ready to consent.

This, of course, leaves pedophiles in a impossible spot. In that one aspect, I have some sympathy. Sympathy, but not a shred of tolerance.

mirandashell
01-25-2014, 02:48 AM
yeah.... me too. Boy that must be tough to be wired that way.

Rina Evans
01-25-2014, 02:49 AM
Ah.... so child molestation is caused by the same impulse as rape? Where as paedophilia is a different impulse?

Yes, that's the thing I gathered, but other people probably have more insight.
It sort of makes sense to me (as much as these things can make sense, 'cause people develop sexual attractions to just about anything....)

So you could have more different cases. Pedophiles who are actually sexually attracted to children and realize it's wrong, then those who convince themselves it's fine and they go on to molest. Then you can have child molesters who seek children for the power trip, or because the child was 'provocative'... etc. Same as adult rape, as you said.

They talked to imprisoned child molesters and figured that those who actually had affectionate feelings towards children and 'loved' children were in the minority. Don't take my word for it, I still don't know where that article is.

(I found some fascinating things on Reddit when they talked to this pedophile who realized it was wrong and never wanted to act on his attraction)

robjvargas
01-25-2014, 02:50 AM
It's strange. I remember him so clearly. There was something, even way back then, repulsive about Vernon. I mean, you'd actually kind of recoil from him. So many of the kids were unkind to him, and there's no excuse for it, but he really would give you the shivers.

Was he telegraphing his nature or some indication of a deplorable lack of nurture?

I couldn't begin to tell you. I'm a pretty firm believer in the Heinlein quote in my signature.

We don't always choose our nature, but we choose our actions. No rule about people is true 100.000% of the time, but I think this one comes darn close.

So... could he have been telegraphing something? Yeah. Jeffrey Dahmer acted on animals before he became a serial killer towards people. So it's possible you "picked up on" some kind of progression that he was on. After all, I don't believe that FBI is catching these guys right when they start doing it (no matter how much I wish there was a way to catch them right away).

kuwisdelu
01-25-2014, 02:53 AM
After all, I don't believe that FBI is catching these guys right when they start doing it (no matter how much I wish there was a way to catch them right away).

My history teacher in middle school always used to tell us, "You don't go to jail for breaking the law. You go to jail for breaking the law again."

robjvargas
01-25-2014, 03:07 AM
My history teacher in middle school always used to tell us, "You don't go to jail for breaking the law. You go to jail for breaking the law again."

I'm thinking of all those guys on "To Catch a Predator" that claimed they were doing it for the first time.

Uhh... yeah.

Wronger
01-25-2014, 08:56 AM
Wow...what a twist indeed. Perks this post was reminiscent of the Unjoke threads on Reddit:

http://www.reddit.com/r/unjokes/

Please don't take think me insensitive to you or the situation you've described with "Vernon" but it was such a twist I never saw coming.

Lady MacBeth
01-27-2014, 07:48 AM
Wow! I did not see the end of that story coming. At least it proves what a great person you are and Vernon is behind bars where he belongs.

Rotes
01-27-2014, 11:19 AM
Hmmm. I have a tendency to date scrawny, awkward men. Perhaps I should re-think this policy, as they are gaining notoriety for nasty proclivities like serial killing and filming strange porn.

Perks
01-27-2014, 05:52 PM
Well, awkward is as awkward does, so certainly there should be a safe margin before you get to the worrisome zone. And, of course, there's strange porn and then there's illegal, abusive porn.

Rotes
01-28-2014, 03:05 AM
True. I think there's a lot of overlay there.

Perks
01-28-2014, 03:39 AM
A lot of overlay in where?

Rotes
01-28-2014, 10:11 AM
Strange porn and illegal, abusive porn. Then again, I have not seen a lot of strange porn.

kuwisdelu
01-28-2014, 10:21 AM
I'd suspect it greatly depends on what one finds "strange".

Rotes
01-28-2014, 11:22 AM
Out of curiosity, I have now seen more strange porn. While none of it was illegal or abusive, I am horrified forever.

Perks
01-28-2014, 05:18 PM
Okay, I guess I'm just wanting to clarify that any porn with children in it isn't strange, it's illegal and abusive.

robjvargas
01-28-2014, 06:01 PM
Okay, I guess I'm just wanting to clarify that any porn with children in it isn't strange, it's illegal and abusive.

Okay, I gotta disagree with abusive.

I mean, it's correct and all.

It just doesn't feel like it goes far enough. Destructive? Atrocious?

Perks
01-28-2014, 06:17 PM
Oh, absolutely. I'm just confused as whether the term "strange porn" was invoked as in any way referring to the only other pornography mentioned in this thread. Then I was looking to distinguish child pornography from "strange porn" and I certainly could have used stronger terms condemning the former.

In this instance, I'm just trying to make sure child pornography isn't being tagged as just some weird thing this guy did. Hopefully, my fury and revulsion over child abuse can go as stipulated.

Gilroy Cullen
01-28-2014, 06:29 PM
As long as you're following blasts from the past... I hear Zima was good at killing brain cells faster than most other alcohols.

Perks
01-28-2014, 06:32 PM
Oh lord. I remember Zima. What an odd drink that was.

Myrealana
01-28-2014, 07:00 PM
In only tangentially related news, this thread inspired me to once again try to find my old high school boyfriend and see what he's been up to.

He's a software engineer in Oregan. Wife. Two kids. Perfectly normal. A little round in the middle. Not nearly so tall as I remember him being. No sign of any sort of run-in with the law.

We're connected on LinkedIn now. I had tried to find if he was on Facebook when I first signed up, but then gave up. This thread just made me check again on a whim and poof! There he is.

Thanks!

Perks
01-29-2014, 02:15 AM
It can be fascinating to remember people and be able to scratch the "where are they now?" itch. It's a novelty, for sure.

Maze Runner
01-29-2014, 02:25 AM
It can be fascinating to remember people and be able to scratch the "where are they now?" itch. It's a novelty, for sure.

Definitely. A few years ago I got back in touch with a high school girlfriend. Our mothers died within weeks of each other and of the same disease. I'd left a note on her mother's obituary and she contacted me by email. It was so great at first. We were both so glad to be back in touch. We stayed in touch very regularly for a while and then it died down. Though birthdays and holidays one of us will usually send the other a greeting. I've been away from home for years and she's on her second marriage, has a last name I wouldn't have known . You girls make it hard to track you down when you go off and get married and take on your husband's name, even in the internet age. My guy friends are much easier to find, but I'm not really looking for them.

Siri Kirpal
01-31-2014, 12:23 AM
It's strange. I remember him so clearly. There was something, even way back then, repulsive about Vernon. I mean, you'd actually kind of recoil from him. So many of the kids were unkind to him, and there's no excuse for it, but he really would give you the shivers.

Was he telegraphing his nature or some indication of a deplorable lack of nurture?

Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Yes, he was telegraphing what a deplorable lack of nurture and what that lack was going to lead to.

Have a (belated) (((HUG))).

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal