Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Didn't Know Enough

You hear about such cases in the news shows. A high school teacher had an affair with a student. She lost her job over it but they were in love and wanted to get married.

I was young and I had an undeserved reputation for being a good pastoral counselor. But I don’t know why the two were brought to me. Perhaps to help them see this was a mistake.

I had my opinions at the time. This was back when I didn’t know enough to form good opinions.

I assumed the teacher had seduced the boy and my job would be to help him get out of her clutches. But as I spoke to each of them, I became confused. The dominant personality of this pair was the teenage boy. He was physically big with an imposing personality. The woman, while a grown professional, was shy and miserable. The boy was charming and gregarious--like other predators I’ve encountered.

Legally, she was responsible. She was without excuse. If the genders had been switched, she could have gone jail. People thought she should have anyway.

I can’t argue with that.

But it was clear to me that the boy seduced her. He was the aggressor. If there was abuse going on, he was committing it. I wonder if he considered this woman his biggest score.

I’ve spent a lot of years trying to understand this episode. I didn’t help either of them. I didn’t know how. I wish I had focused more on helping the woman find the strength to resist him.

I hope she finally did. But I bet he hurt her a great deal before she did.

I just didn’t know enough to help.

1 comment:

  1. It would be nice if we could go back in time with the wisdom we have gained over the years. I hope she got out of the relationship too.