So I'm reading the news online today and I come across an article on MSNBC about a teacher in Florida accused of having sex with a fourteen year old boy. The DA decided to drop the charges so the victim wouldn't have to testify. So the woman gets off pretty much unpunished.
Here's the part that disgusted me, as I'm reading I come across this quote fromt eh woman:
At a news conference in Tampa, Lafave said she has bipolar disorder, and her attorney said she is getting treatment.
“I want the world to see that bipolar is real,” Lafave said. “Not one time has the media brought up the subject of my bipolar. I challenge you to read a book or an article on bipolar illness.”
I thought I was going to puke. I happen to be bipolar, and there has not been one time in my life, not medicated or otherwise...not in the middle of my WORST manic episode, that I have EVER felt the urge to have sex with a child.
The fact that this is even being presented as a plausible excuse, " Oh, did I have sex with a child, I'm sorry, I was having an episode, it really wasn't my fault." makes me want to call the State Attorney's office in Florida and yell at someone. This woman is, in my opinion, a glaring example of why mental illness has such a stigma still attached to it.
When we allow people to say, "Yes, I did it, but it really wasn't my fault, I'm sick" we degrade the people who have struggled against their illnesses, fought long and hard to overcome them and learned to take responsibility for their own actions.
It's past time that we stand up and say, "There are reasons and there are excuses, we're tired of excuses."
There may be an undrelying cause to a problem, but that doesn't necessarily excuse the person who did wrong from accepting responsibility and punishment for what they did.