I've been reading reports on the trial of Brain David Mitchell, who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart, and I'm astonished at the things people are shocked at.
I won't list them. They ARE disturbing.
The sad thing is, I know people who believe similar things, have done almost exactly the same and WORSE to people I love, and who will never go to jail for it.
I realized today that perhaps I should be shocked at what Mr. Mitchell is and does. But I'm not--it all seems so sadly familiar.
There are a lot more wicked, crazy people out there than any of us would like to believe.
But here's the thing I've learned over all my years of interacting with people like him: mentally ill rarely means without agency. In my experience, mentally ill doesn't usually automatically mean wicked. Wicked is still a choice.
I get really frustrated when mentally ill people use their condition as a free pass to do anything they can imagine. That's just wrong.