Friday, April 15, 2011

A Cry For Help

Last August, the local news first reported that a lady in Vancouver, Washington was a victim of a strange incident in which a black woman had thrown acid in her face. When I heard that news item, I was baffled because it did not make sense. Who goes around carrying acid? As it turned out, it was a lie. The woman, Bethany Storro, applied acid to her own face. Now, what kind of fucked up person would do such a thing? And then blame it on a black person? That act defies all kinds of logic and seems to reveal someone with deeply rooted racist issues.

We've seen this before. Susan Smith of South Carolina put her two young boys in a car and drove it into a lake, then claimed that she was carjacked by a black man. A manhunt ensued and you can be sure that many people probably tensed up whenever they came across a black man. Then, there was the Runaway Bride, who disappeared a few nights before her wedding in Georgia several years ago. When she phoned from Las Vegas a few days later, she had told her fiance that she was abducted by some Mexican men. The reality was that she got cold feet and bolted. So, what is it about the troubled white woman blaming someone of a minority race for committing a ghastly crime against them?

In Wednesday's Oregonian, a follow-up article was published about this woman. Apparently, Storro believed that she was ugly. Pictures of her reveal otherwise. She is actually quite cute (well...before she ruined it with acid). What this means is that she has some serious psychological issues that go far beyond the image she sees in the mirror. She claimed that she hated her face since early adolescence, and wanted to burn off her nose. She believed that she wasn't pretty and it led to years of anguish and depression, ultimately leading to self-mutilation. She used corrosive drain cleaner to rub on her face in a public restroom at a park in the Vancouver metro area of Washington. The acid ate through the washcloth and rubber gloves, and the pain of the burning on her face was intense. In an interview with a police officer later, she said: "I know it's hard for you to believe, but I'm Christian, so I know that I was hoping for God to tell me I needed to stop."


Sorry...but it really irks me when people blame God for their stupidity. God gives us free will. That means you can murder someone if you want to and God will not intervene. Waiting for God to tell you to stop is the kind of stupid test that spiritually immature people might indulge in, but take ownership of your actions. Don't bring God into it.

She splashed water on her face to make the pain go away, but it didn't. She disposed of the evidence, got into her car and came up with a plan to blame it on someone else. She parked her car and ran down the street, screaming that someone had thrown acid on her face. Obviously, her story didn't add up, as she had told the lady who had helped her that a man had attacked her. Storro told the police that a black woman had done the deed, because "it's very rare to see a black woman" in the town. She believed that it would make it unlikely for the police to come up with a suspect. Really? What about a generic white person? They're everywhere! With African Americans being a small minority in this part of the country, didn't she think of what this would do for race relations? She also explained that the reason why her eyes were sparred the acid treatment is because she had been wearing sunglasses that she had just bought. Yet, a pretty easy investigative work revealed that no sunglasses were bought that day in the Fred Meyer's where she claimed to have bought them nor did surveillance cameras reveal her presence.

In the months since, she has been diagnosed with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and body dysmorphic disorder (which is when people can't stop obsessing about "imagined ugliness"). Yeah, the lady has some major issues. I hope she can get to the root of them. This is obviously a spiritual crisis with her. I believe a part of this psychological condition is similar to anorexia nervosa, which is a completely western phenomenon. Our societal obsession with thinness and beauty can and does affect people in negative ways, especially someone with self-esteem issues. Unfortunately, women get the brunt of this societal cruelty because for far too long, women are judged by their beauty or their worth is determined by how beautiful they are. Someone with a deep psychological need for approval or acceptance and who does not look like a cover model might feel bad about themselves or the way they look. Instead of doing the interior work and learning to accept the parts of themselves that they really cannot change, they obsess over the physical aspect and base their self-worth completely on the external values that our superficial society imposes upon us.

This brings to mind a term that the psychic I saw last Saturday used: "cutter." She had mentioned some women who cut themselves in order to feel alive. A friend of mine broke up with a lady he was dating because she was a "cutter." I had never heard of such a thing before. My friend said that its not that rare, but he wouldn't deal with a lady who had those "issues." Neither would I. I guess putting acid to one's face is similar to cutting, though the intent might be different. In any case, its definitely a cry for help.

Its baffling to me that this woman thinks she's ugly. The problem isn't her face, because many guys (including myself) would love to date a woman who looks like her. However, dealing with the deeply rooted psychological issues might be a major turn-off. Instead of obsessing about the way she looked, she really should have focused on her own psychological processes and realized that her obsession was likely due to listening too much to superficial society's obsession with perfection and beauty. If this lady wants to know what ugly really looks like, there's a certain school marm she should meet at my former place of employment. But now, I don't know if her face will ever heal from the acid. She may have to get plastic surgery, which isn't cheap. However, I think the appropriate punishment for her self-mutilation and scapegoating of a minority and false reporting should be to live the rest of her life with her face the way it is. She did it to herself. She has no one else to blame (not her parents, not God, not a black woman) but herself.

Read more at The Columbian.

1 comment:

T said...

People like this are just beyond comprehension.