November 13th, 2007

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1.81.2i -- Cope

There are some people, those considered to be among the most normal of the human race, who can cope relatively well with change or trauma.  The socially well-adjusted types, raised by the kind of family that would own a home featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens-- 2.5 kids, a dog, and a white picket fence.  These are the people who've been taught, molded, to fit into a neat little package of what's socially acceptable and what isn't, keeping perfectly balanced proportions of each within arms' reach.  The perfect, model family teaches kids how to deal with what life throws at them and makes sure these kids can cope in healthy, well-adjusted ways.  They're nurtured and bathed with love and support.  What need do they have for treacherous, drastic coping mechanisms?  Their method(s) of coping can be broken down, compartmentalized and filed under the Kübler-Ross model.  These are the people who later have families just like the one they had while growing up-- a minivan with 'Mom's Taxi' slapped in the back window.

Then there are those who can't cope at all.  The ones who turn to drugs or alcohol or self-mutilation.  The kids born into fractured homes comprised of a minuscule percentage of the American dream.  One parent, possibly two, or some other combination of less-than-ideal situations but there's always some extenuating circumstance, the deciding factor in just how broken any given home is.  Even when one parent makes the effort to see her kids flourish, having the other parent be emotionally absent squashes any chance that child had at ever learning to be socially acceptable in respect to how he copes.  Compounding that is that same parent only looking down on his son with disdain, which solidifies that child's inability to cope normally.  (This isn't to say these kids don't end up with a whole host of other problems outside of coping problems; broken homes are a breeding ground for any number of psychological issues, but that's another story for another day.)  Life throws them speed bumps and instead of slowing down, they speed up, plowing over it only to be left wondering why their transmission is in the street behind them.  They cope by treating the symptoms, often stuck in the Anger or Denial stage from that ideal model.  They learn early on, either from watching parents or from solitary exploration, the heartbreaking methods of coping and dealing work just as well, if not better than the ones that aren't frowned upon.  These kids grow up and instead of attaining the status of Dad the Chauffeur, they settle for something slightly off center, becoming workaholics and alcoholics.

Character: Robert Goren
Fandom: Law and Order: CI
Word Count: 442