Enabling is a relatively recent term having to do with a transaction between persons. I say recent because in the old days we thought of persons who had something wrong inside of them. Nowadays, we are more inclined to think of difficulties as transpiring between self and others.
The Court has to get “enabling” into its repertoire of how to do business. It has to be on the lookout for interested parties in its transactions before it. In the Jared Remy case, it looks as though Jared had his rich and notable parents who had a lot to say about what he did and did not. In effect, Jared’s parents funded lawyers who had ways around the Court to get him freed on several occasions.
All of this is spelled out in the front page article in the Globe, 3/23/14 by Eric Moskowitz and Marcella Bombardieri, Globe staff. This is a fine job of reporting of how Jared Remy got into trouble on numerous occasions and, somehow, got free.
Enabling in Mental Health has double meanings. To enable is to foster growth. Dysfunctional enabling promotes an entitlement that the person has a perfect right to think anything he might want. I have expressed this in that way to give the idea of what a Jared may have been feeling. If Jared expresses his fury and this goes unchecked, he then feels entitled to repeat it. And so it is with any number of transgressions like this. Over time these ugly traits are looked upon as normal. Or, if the misbehavior is viewed as bad then, “I get away with this all the time.” From the newspaper account it seems that Jared felt more like, “He got away with it.”
Let me speculate a bit. We know that Jared had neurological and psychological features. At four or five Jared had trouble sitting still. He had to be running outside. Often he lost control, wetting and soiling his pants. Jared wet his bed till about ten. Little was said of this. Maybe Phoebe, Jared’s mother, sensed his difficulties and just washed his clothes (or paid someone
to do it) and said nothing. This is a boy who does not like milk, wanting only chocolate milk. He has little appetite wanting only certain things. He is very demanding and willful and usually Phoebe gives in to him.
This is what Jared brought to his teen years, feeling entitled. He got himself thrown out of the Weston High School and was sent to the Gifford School, a school for learning and emotional problems. He continued to be difficult at Gifford School and was placed on home tutoring. I don’t know if he ever finished High School.
As an adult, Jared can never hold a job, except at Fenway Park by virtue of his father... He is involved with 20 criminal cases and of those six are dismissed after temporary probation and 10 are dismissed outright. Most of these were abuse of females.
So here we have Jared unchecked in his behavior. He feels he can do anything he wants. He takes to build himself up through lifting weights and the like, probably to be convinced of his indestructibility.
There is little question that Jared killed Jenifer Martel. He is proclaiming his innocence but he has caught up with himself.
“I had a plan and I did it”, so says Jared Remy. Remy, said further, “I took… boiling hot water and threw it into the guys face. I took a piece of soap and threw it into his face and hit him with a chair. Once I slipped, I punched him in the face.”
All of this is seen on a video, Remy assaulting Jeremy Hodges, 27. Then, Remy said, “I did what I had to do. I got a child molester.” So quotes Even Allen in the Globe, April 8, 2014.
This is after sitting in jail for six months, having witnesses seeing Jared Remy viciously killing his girl friend. Somehow he saw a molester being worse than a murderer, you are left to astonishing believe. But it does establish that Remy knows that a molester is wrong. At the same time, there is no evidence to suggest that killing his girlfriend with whom he had a five year-old daughter is absolutely wrong, too. Remy seems to lack a self-reflective experience. It is only wrong out there, not me. When he was a child, wetting and soiling his clothes always got washed for him, never being confronted with wrongdoing. Jared Remy, though, is capable of seeing wrong in others, “I got a child molester.”
Jared Remy will be tried sometime in the future and I believe he will be convicted but will not be capable of recognizing guilt in himself. I imagine he will say something like, “She got what she deserved.”
Dr.Ed Boyd is a retired psychologist.
May 2, 2014