Who Is Su
September 26, 2014 9:02 AM   Subscribe

She was 22 when her memory was obliterated. Twenty-six years later, Su Meck is still learning about the family she raised and the husband she has no recollection of marrying. Su has no earliest single memory and resents the question (it is the one she’s asked most frequently). She begins remembering around 1992, when she was roughly three months pregnant with Kassidy and a friend who was aware of her condition explained why her period had likely ceased, and went with her to a drugstore to buy a test.

For a while, she ­mourned all she’d lost—“I would have cut off my left arm to have my memories,” Su said—until she realized that they were no longer hers to know. Indeed, she now says she is grateful she remembers nothing.

But as strangers continued soliciting her to learn more, she had a change of heart and a swell of curiosity. She started asking [her husband] and her children about the huge gaps in her memory.

The story she pieced together disoriented her; finishing it brought her some mixture of clarity and unease. As Su readily concedes, a memoir told by a person unable to remember the bulk of her life is necessarily incomplete.
posted by lesli212 (101 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
Jesus Christ. You're going along, trying to live your life, and of all things a fucking ceiling fan falls on you and nothing is ever the same again. A ceiling fan. I just can't process that things so... authorial really happen in the world. It makes you want to believe in God. A teenage God who's not nearly as clever as he imagines himself.
posted by Naberius at 9:22 AM on September 26, 2014 [23 favorites]


my boyfriend recently told me the plot of 50 First Dates and i was completely horrified by it. he kept reassuring me it was a funny movie.

i don't think i want to see it. i feel like this story was the kind of thing that movie was based on. absolutely terrifying.
posted by sio42 at 9:25 AM on September 26, 2014 [10 favorites]


A ceiling fan.

Make sure your ceiling fans are correctly installed.
posted by GuyZero at 9:28 AM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm still finishing the article but wow, her husband is a real piece of work.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:37 AM on September 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


when she was roughly three months pregnant with Kassidy and a friend who was aware of her condition explained why her period had likely ceased, and went with her to a drugstore to buy a test.

Oh my fucking god I can't even deal with this. I can't even begin to put into words how grotesque this is, how unbearable this is to even think about for more than 5 seconds at a time.

She didn't even know what pregnancy was or how it could happen, but apparently her husband thought it was totally okay to have sex with her anyway. Despite the fact that she clearly didn't even know what she was consenting to, despite the fact that she might not even have been able to actually consent. Despite the fact that she might not have even known what consent was, or that it was available to her.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:39 AM on September 26, 2014 [76 favorites]


I am fucking shuddering with revulsion oh my god
posted by poffin boffin at 9:39 AM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


After reading the NY Mag article, it isn't the ceiling fan that horrifies me as much as her relationship with her husband.
posted by barchan at 9:39 AM on September 26, 2014 [22 favorites]


Her kids sound terrific.
posted by 724A at 9:46 AM on September 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


In her book, she described being “baffled” and uncomfortable by sex.

I feel like this FPP needs a trigger warning for rape.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:46 AM on September 26, 2014 [16 favorites]


yeah, i'm thinking her husband was not so great even before they married. i mean her dad actually flew from another state to beg them not to get married.

all the horrific husband stuff aside, man the brain is so weird. i certainly hope this is not some sort of hoax. her kids seemly odd well adjusted.

i just don't understand how she can do stuff, like at all. her brain just seems broken, like something that fell apart is held together with scotch tape in a haphazard toddler way, missing some little slivers here and there.

also, there's not a wikipedia entry for her which i found strange.
posted by sio42 at 9:49 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


She didn't even know what pregnancy was or how it could happen, but apparently her husband thought it was totally okay to have sex with her anyway.

Yeah, I didn't read the entire article but I had to read this a couple times because the writer presented it so matter-of-factly. Who the fuck would have sex with a woman who woke up every day without any memories of the previous day? I mean, did he just rape her and she didn't remember? Did he manage to explain everything enough for her to consent temporarily? Either way it's mind-boggling. I guess the writer wanted to focus on her medical condition and not air out their dirty laundry, but still... wtf.
posted by GuyZero at 9:59 AM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


They touch on it a bit more towards the end, and it seems that Su is now (altho i'm not sure at what point it happened) aware that what her husband did to her was wrong, and she doesn't really go into it much more than that. Since she seems to be about the same mental age as her youngest daughter, I feel like this realization might have even come from her daughter and not from herself, which is fucking mindboggling. Imagine being Kassidy and realizing that the circumstances of your own birth were so appalling, and then imagine having to explain that to your own mom.

i wish her husband all manner of unspeakable ills
posted by poffin boffin at 10:03 AM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


if this is a derail or something, mods please feel free to delete.....


you know, after reading this and thinking about it for a bit here and seeing everyone's reaction, which is mostly "wtf?!?!", i kinda wonder...is it possible her husband caused her accident in some way and this is some sort of PTSD/detachment/something?

i mean, Oliver Sacks actually asked her if she was faking it and he's seen some weird brain wackiness.

how could the hospital even release her without proper home care like that, with no therapy plan in place? i'm so confused by the seeming complete lack of care from a medical/psychological standpoint.
posted by sio42 at 10:06 AM on September 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


I heard a piece on her on NPR a while back when her book came out, and I remember thinking that her husband was an absolute asshole. I mean, wow. But this makes him seem even worse, so much worse.

On an unrelated topic, this reminds me a great deal of Mira Grant's Parasite, where the narrator/protag has a similar reboot of personality. I wonder if she was inspired by this case.
posted by pie ninja at 10:07 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


.is it possible her husband caused her accident in some way

I would not be surprised. And you know, it's not like she would REMEMBER....

Fuck this guy. Fuck this guy so hard. Also he left the kids alone with her when she was at a mental age of 6? This guy is a fucking horrorshow and I hate him through the internet and I'm not even done reading.
posted by corb at 10:10 AM on September 26, 2014 [16 favorites]


Yeah I don't think I was meant to come away from the article with the notion that her supposedly neurotypical husband made way less coherent sense, as a person, than the woman whose brain has been all but erased.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:11 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Her parents seem like no great prizes either, though the details of her husband (went to Thailand for group sex, went into hundreds of thousands in debt, reads all her emails sometimes before she does) are just worse and worse as the article continues.
posted by jeather at 10:12 AM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


Her kids are AWESOME. Her kids are champions. I love her kids, but I wonder about the wear and tear on them.

Make sure your ceiling fans are correctly installed.

Just got the Fan of Damocles hanging over this desk checked and re-balanced this week, thanks.
posted by maudlin at 10:13 AM on September 26, 2014


how could the hospital even release her without proper home care like that, with no therapy plan in place? i'm so confused by the seeming complete lack of care from a medical/psychological standpoint.

A couple of things stood out to me about that:

- it was 1988 and tbh doctors thinking women were "neurotic" was still acceptable back then, unfortunately
- her husband seems to have been completely uninterested in advocating for her in any demonstrable way
- they don't mention anything about health insurance so it's possible that such things were beyond their financial ability to manage
posted by poffin boffin at 10:14 AM on September 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


The pregnancy stuff was really disturbing to me, and then I got to this chunk of text and....my heart aches for this family. This appears to be the only example of marriage that her children have every seen.
And yet: “If I were to be on my own recognizance,” she said, “I would watch every penny of where my money goes.” He demands to know her passwords; he reads her texts and emails, often before she does. “And again, I think it goes back to a time when he did have to look over and protect me from, I don’t know. But he still does that, and that sort of rubs me the wrong way.”

“And so,” I began—

“Then why am I still here?” she interrupted. “Because I can’t imagine life without him.” She wonders what would happen if she began randomly wandering around, lost. She is aware of how dependent she has been on her children, and without Jim, she’d be even more so.

“So, no—it’s a very good question,” she said. “I ask myself that all the time.” She said he “gets really, really angry; he has a temper and a half.” Her voice trailed off. “But, you know—the devil you know, right?”
A few paragraphs later the daughter admits openly to not liking her father. And then it becomes a picture in words of the family of my own childhood, no longer the heart warming "recovering from a horrible injury" story that I started reading. This has morphed into something altogether different and I am crying.

If ever a person needed a social safety net, this woman is on the short list. She is stuck in an abusive relationship because she clearly cannot make it alone, financially, or even probably safely. Add to that, she can't even really conceive of a life outside of this relationship, even though she knows it is awful.
posted by bilabial at 10:15 AM on September 26, 2014 [37 favorites]


Oh actually on a closer look it says that her husband is the one who insisted that her treatment be "accelerated":

According to her medical records, Jim was growing increasingly impatient. A social worker noted that “Mr. Meck insisted on accelerated therapy based on her exceptional progress over the weekend.”
posted by poffin boffin at 10:15 AM on September 26, 2014


Oh actually on a closer look it says that her husband is the one who insisted that her treatment be "accelerated"

A social worker noted that “Mr. Meck insisted on accelerated therapy based on her exceptional progress over the weekend.”


Yeah given what we know now about him I can't help but think he recognized the "exceptional" benefits of having basically a child-wife real real quick.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:19 AM on September 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


her story reads like way too many askmes about manipulative emotionally abusive relationships wehre someone is being gaslighted.

poffin boffin re insurance/doctor stuff - yeah, that's what i don't get. i mean, why weren't doctors doing that insisting or not insisting? but you were right to point out the health insurance thing. i was assuming he had insurance based on his job description in the article, but it could have had all sorts of limits and stuff, especially if there was no diagnosable thing "wrong". ugh what a fucking tragedy all around.
posted by sio42 at 10:26 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just got to the
“Also, again,” Kassidy continued, “this is not meaning to be mean to you, Mommy, but there is a certain amount of comfort in every day, not necessarily when he hurts you or yells at you, but comfort in the fact that you will have health insurance—”
HATEFACE
posted by corb at 10:28 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really hope this article was a disguised attempt to get adult protective services' attention.
posted by asockpuppet at 10:34 AM on September 26, 2014 [20 favorites]


Also, without him she should qualify for SSDI and Medicaid, right?
posted by asockpuppet at 10:35 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just got to the

“Also, again,” Kassidy continued, “this is not meaning to be mean to you, Mommy, but there is a certain amount of comfort in every day, not necessarily when he hurts you or yells at you, but comfort in the fact that you will have health insurance—”

HATEFACE


The problem here is that I am sure Kassidy really thinks that this is important to think about; health insurance is a serious consideration for a lot of people in terrible situations. It's easy to say "leave" or "don't put up with that shit" but everyone (often women) in really bad relationships sometimes have to do a very complicated analysis of whether their lives would be better if they stayed or left because so frequently they just don't have the support available to them that one might hope society would provide. What's terrible is not necessarily saying this, it's that this is, potentially, a really valid concern.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:38 AM on September 26, 2014 [15 favorites]


Yeah, I don't hate Kassidy for it, I hate the situation.
posted by corb at 10:41 AM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wonder why her husband let her be interviewed for the article (since he clearly could have stopped it). What does he have to gain from it?
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:42 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't hate Kassidy for it, I hate the situation.

Cool, thanks for clarifying -- I figured that was what was going on but I wasn't sure. There is a LOT to hate about the situation. Ugh.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:44 AM on September 26, 2014


I read the article first thing on waking up this morning, and I thought I was going insane. I had to post it to MeFi just to be sure a random collection of strangers really did see the same thing I saw. The horrible abuse that Jim exacted on Su is way too understated in this article. His behavior is presented as normal, or at least understandable; the details are blurry, and his actions all come with a justification. But, no, it is absolutely beyond reason.

I mean, an Iowa state representative was recently arrested for having sex with his wife when she was suffering from Alzheimer's. He had already been told by the court that he as not allowed to have sex with her because she lacked the mental capacity to consent.

I can't fathom how Su has tolerated her life for the past 20 years. I'm definitely reading her book soon, but I don't have much hope that I'll gain much insight. Her thoughts, such as they are these days, seem to come more from her husband and her children than her own mind.
posted by lesli212 at 11:00 AM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


- it was 1988 and tbh doctors thinking women were "neurotic" was still acceptable back then, unfortunately

Not to mention that marital rape wasn't illegal in all 50 states until 1993.

I'll be over here, throwing up.
posted by rtha at 11:07 AM on September 26, 2014 [8 favorites]


The horrible abuse that Jim exacted on Su is way too understated in this article.

I wonder if it's because the article's author was asked not to be more overt by Su herself, or if it's because he just didn't see it.
posted by jeather at 11:08 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


The prevailing reaction to this article is absurd. I read the comments before reading the article, and became convinced that I would encounter some horrific, decades-long story of rape and abuse, but all I found was a fairly normal family having to deal with a terrible neurological injury and its unusual consequences.

I'm not really sure what her husband was supposed to do. If he had divorced her and taken the children because she was unable to care for them (although the hospital discharge evaluation found her intelligence and skills to be within normal limits), he'd be blamed for selfishness and abandonment and depriving her of her children.

I guess he was supposed to stay married in absolute celibacy, and quit his job to stay home and care for the family. How he was supposed to provide for them, I don't know.
posted by jingzuo at 11:13 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm not really sure what her husband was supposed to do.

Probably he could have started off by not raping his wife.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:15 AM on September 26, 2014 [51 favorites]


you know every time there's a question like this on askme and everyone tries to convince the person, usually a female in a female/male relationship, that no this behavior is not normal and boundaries and all that stuff? most people don't see it.

i wouldn't know about most of this stuff if not for reading on the blue and green for the several years.

i can easily see how many people, including the author and editors, would overlook ALL of what was going simply because they don't see how the idea of the 50 First Dates movie could be horrifying and they wouldn't see that the tragedy in this situation goes way beyond her memory loss.

it's hard to accept. because it's cruel and most of us are just not capable of that, i would hope.

Su was pretty overt about how she feels like something isn't right. but she doesn't know what she'd do without her husband...she'd probably be put in an institution and i'm sure she (probably rightfully) thinks this life is better than that because she's free in some way. what does she say - "the devil you know" - ugh. it's just so...numbing.
posted by sio42 at 11:18 AM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


I guess he was supposed to stay married in absolute celibacy

If he chose to stay married, then he could have decided to not have sex with his wife, who seemed incapable of actual consent, yes. Never having sex again never killed anyone, nor does it make one a bad person. This is really not that difficult to understand. Someone who can't consent to sex is someone you rape if you have sex with them, even if they are your spouse.
posted by rtha at 11:19 AM on September 26, 2014 [10 favorites]


Thinking about it more, does not divorcing her prevent a conservatorship over her assets?
posted by asockpuppet at 11:22 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Three days later and just 19 days after sustaining her injury, with an IQ assessed at somewhere between 70 and 100 and the visual and spatial skills of a 6-year-old, having made “remarkable improvement in all areas,” her deficits “resolved,” and all skills apparently “within normal limits,” at least “80 percent back to normal,” she was discharged, with no additional therapies or rehabilitation recommended, save psychological assessments to address lingering issues deemed “nonorganic."

70 or below is considered to be "intellectually disabled" according to some quick googling - and it used to be 85. i realize the article says her skills were within "normal limits" but someone who is between 70 and 100 on the IQ scale is not someone who can take care of themselves or make decisions like having a baby and caring for it. skills is walking and making popsicle stick houses, not deciding to have sex or have babies.
posted by sio42 at 11:23 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think the author saw it; I think he and his editors made a deliberate (wrong) choice to present the facts in an overly dispassionate manner, so that the "real" point of the article is purely subtextual.

I do understand the impulse; it's a gross ambush to begin a profile with the intent to explore a subject's accomplishments, and then double cross her by turning in a story about the myriad ways in which she's been victimized. But I still feel like there's got to be a better way.
posted by lesli212 at 11:23 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I guess he was supposed to stay married in absolute celibacy, and quit his job to stay home and care for the family. How he was supposed to provide for them, I don't know.

Well, he didn't exactly do a bang up job of providing for them anyway, what with the spending all their money and racking up credit card debt.

I mean not to mention the part where he apparently had sex on a regular basis with a woman who didn't know what pregnancy was or how she got in such a state, due to her cognitive impairment.
posted by angeline at 11:23 AM on September 26, 2014 [13 favorites]


I guess he was supposed to stay married in absolute celibacy

Actually, I don't think having an affair would have been terrible of him.
posted by jeather at 11:24 AM on September 26, 2014 [23 favorites]


To be clearer, he has access to her identity for use for his own financial gain. How can an incapacitated spouse's financial integrity be managed?
posted by asockpuppet at 11:24 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess he was supposed to stay married in absolute celibacy, and quit his job to stay home and care for the family. How he was supposed to provide for them, I don't know.

Or you know, hire a nurse or caretaker for his children, paid for by the money he apparently used instead for group sex in Thailand.

Oh wait he tried that but apparently he left a pornography stash around a) where the nurse could find it and b) it was upsetting enough to cause her to quit. And then I guess just never tried to hire anyone again?? God knows you can't be arsed to hide the porn so that your children don't *get fed motherfucking laundry detergent by their incapacitated mother*.

Oh and did you miss this part? (boldface mine)

And she wishes for more equality in the relationship. There are large issues she wants changed: “The sex, the money, just lifestyle changes …” She invoked, as well, “the violence.”

So yeah instead of what he did he could have stayed celibate until his wife regained the ability to consent meaningfully (I don't think anyone on this thread, reading the article, would think she lacks that ability NOW, for example).

He could have not perpetrated violence on his wife (and son!).

He could have not blown hundreds of thousands of dollars without anyone's knowledge.

You know what? If he'd managed to have quiet, safe affairs, I would never have blamed him for a second. I think that a spouse dealing with this level of tragedy in a marriage should be forgiven for seeking solace in a way that does not endanger the helpless people in their charge. But he didn't do that--he raped his incapacitated wife, indebted them recklessly, and engaged in unsafe behaviors that could have caused incalculable harm.
posted by like_a_friend at 11:25 AM on September 26, 2014 [66 favorites]


i think if he would have had an affair in a katherine hepburn/spencer tracy sort of way, you know, keep it on the DL instead of having group sex in Thailand using credit cards opened in his incapacitated wife's name...i could have understood an affair to have sex if he was still trying to take care of her in ANY way. he seems to have not given a flying fuck about her welfare.
posted by sio42 at 11:27 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess he was supposed to stay married in absolute celibacy,

Are you suggesting that marriage should some kind of sex guarantee, or that a man requires sex and will shrivel up and blow away if he doesn't get it? Both of those ideas are... well, to be generous, adolescent.
posted by aught at 11:27 AM on September 26, 2014 [15 favorites]


and on preview yeah what everyone else just said.
posted by sio42 at 11:27 AM on September 26, 2014


someone who is between 70 and 100 on the IQ scale is not someone who can take care of themselves or make decisions like having a baby and caring for it

You realize that the median IQ is 100, right? 3.5 billion people meet your definition of not being able to take care of themselves.
posted by jingzuo at 11:28 AM on September 26, 2014 [14 favorites]


And when I say an affair would have been okay, I mean like a normal affair with whatever kind of consensual sex he likes, not weird sex trips to Thailand and hundreds of thousands of dollars of indebtedness.
posted by jeather at 11:30 AM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


I guess he was supposed to stay married in absolute celibacy

Sorry to pile on, but there's a really big gap between "group sex in Thailand" and "absolute celibacy."

And honestly, yes, he could divorce her. It would be a shitty thing to do but it's not like it never happens when someone has a life-changing accident. I mean, from here on out I'm going to give people who divorce ill spouses a little more slack because this is a hell of a lot worse.
posted by GuyZero at 11:30 AM on September 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


You realize that the median IQ is 100, right? 3.5 billion people meet your definition of not being able to take care of themselves.

Okay, statistics aside, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that someone who makes applesauce in a laundry detergent container and who had to have skulls and crossbones drawn on stuff so she would know it was not for consumption is maybe not someone who is altogether expert in caring for themselves or others and maybe could use some kind of adult assistance.
posted by angeline at 11:32 AM on September 26, 2014 [21 favorites]


well, that's what googling gets me, but 70-100 seems like a huge gap. 70 is considered borderline but 100 is average. so what was she? i find it disturbing there is such a wide range given for that in the same sentence where she is compared to having the visual and spatial skills of a six year old. she was also barely verbal at the time.

she doesn't sound like a competent adult at the time of her release.
posted by sio42 at 11:33 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


You realize that the median IQ is 100, right? 3.5 billion people meet your definition of not being able to take care of themselves.

You are gonna hurt yourself shoving that goalpost.
posted by rtha at 11:35 AM on September 26, 2014 [12 favorites]


Kassidy was addressing her mother. “I mean, I understand that you don’t know anything else, but I also—like, a lot of people right out of college don’t know how to pay their own cell-phone bill or what to do with insurance—”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t know the first thing about it,” Su said. “How do you have your own health insurance?” She paused. “I’m saying this out loud, and I’m like, Wow, Su, you could really learn to do that.”


Kassidy is so fucking proud of her mother for graduating Smith it's making me cry on the bus. The way she's slowly and quietly supporting her to be independent makes my heart hurt. I hope to god this article is part of that process of getting them both to a safer place.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 11:39 AM on September 26, 2014 [13 favorites]


Probably he could have started off by not raping his wife.

Whoa. Whoa. Don't you know that men not having sex explode? I mean, literally, in gooey bits. He was just saving his LIFE, man.

FFS, I am getting so squicked just thinking of the kind of guy who would want to have sex with someone with the mental capacity of a six year old I can't even.
posted by corb at 11:43 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


i'm kinda suprised he hasn't blown up in gooey bits from that group sex in Thailand.
posted by sio42 at 11:44 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


The rest of that paragraph which I chose not to c&p because lol, foolishly I thought it would be enough to describe how horrifying the situation was, is as follows:

Earlier, in the context of discussing her pregnancy with Kassidy, Su told me, “I basically did what I was told, and when I was asked ‘Was that good?,’ you just said yes.” In her book, she described being “baffled” and uncomfortable by sex. I felt awkward broaching this in front of her children, but I told her I’d found it troubling.

“It is,” she replied evenly. “It is. And I know that.”


But yeah, wow, I mean, surely what her husband chose to do was the best for everyone. What other possible choices did he have? That poor man, forced by circumstances to repeatedly sexually abuse his mentally incapacitated wife.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:46 AM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


Wait a sec - Su says "...when I was asked ‘Was that good?,’ you just said yes."

On first read, I thought "you" referred to Jim, but seeing that quote in isolation made me go back to the article to realize Jim wasn't there -- she was depersonalizing while describing sex right in the middle of the interview. Yikes.
posted by lesli212 at 11:58 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes, this sounds exactly like Parasite except without the parasite and marriage. And the heroine being named Sally rather than Su and being a wild child/kind of a jerk and now a law-abiding quiet one. I am really wondering if Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant based that premise off of her now.

Anyway, OMFG, I had no idea this story was that bad. And seriously, having unprotected sex with her in her condition?! When even he thought she was akin to a 4-6 year old?

"He and Su are now, he told me, contemplating separating. They are also contemplating remarrying. He has come to realize that this Su never truly married him. Earlier in the summer, she’d told him, “Jim, it’s like you’re my dad.” “With those simple words,” Jim told me, “all of a sudden everything clicked. It’s not that simple, but it’s more true than not: I have been her primary caretaker.” He’d thought back to “some intimate moments and all that. I think, Oh my God. I wanted to go throw up a little bit.”


Oy.

"I told her I’d heard from him that they were considering separating or remarrying. “Both thoughts terrify me in different ways,” she said. She reiterated that she did not have a job or a car or a credit card or another viable place to live.

I told her Jim had left me with the impression that he was devoted to her and the marriage.
“That’s fascinating,” she said, “because he’s said I bring out the worst in him and he can’t live like that anymore.”


Oh lord again.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:03 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


“That’s fascinating,” she said, “because he’s said I bring out the worst in him and he can’t live like that anymore.”

And yet the prevailing reaction to this is "absurd". Right.
posted by angeline at 12:06 PM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


The prevailing reaction to this article is absurd.

It is heartening that so many people can now recognize the evil in the domestic violence, sexual imbalance of power, crushing debt, and infidelities that Jim Meck inflicted on Su and their marriage. It was not long ago that every culture on Earth would have completely ignored these transgressions.

That said, I agree with jingzuo that the one-sided Jim-bashing is over the top. Nothing justifies his behavior, and I'm not minimizing what he's done. However, just as it's helpful to understand what factors lead a criminal to crime, it's worthwhile trying to see this drama from Jim's perspective.

He describes Su pre-injury as "somebody I could argue with and lose." When he married her, he wasn't looking for someone he could dominate, or a "child-wife" as like_a_friend says. Instead, he was looking for an equal. That's actually a really healthy attitude for someone with a bad temper and a strong personality - he wanted someone who would stand up to him!

When the doctors told him that she was healthy, and Su became an excellent actress and mimic just to cope and get by in life, it's completely believable when Jim says "horrifically, I had no idea that [a 6 year-old child] was what I was dealing with. I’m thinking, Here’s my wife, she’s 80 percent." He wanted to believe that the wife he knew was still there, or was going to resurface soon. Sex is a part of marriage, and if she didn't actively reject him (because she was being so compliant as a coping strategy), he probably saw normal marital relations as a way to help her reconnect with him, and herself.

To imply that Jim actually liked his marriage and his home life more after the injury is tremendously unfair and inaccurate. It also callously ignores the tremendous stress and strain that he must have been under, trying to keep the family together. Remember, this is a guy whose original ambition in life was to be a Methodist minister. He was raised to believe in keeping the eternal promise that a religious marriage entails - in sickness and in health, until death.

If you want to prevent domestic violence, there need to be interventions for the offenders as well as victims. There was no support system for the Mecks, but what if Jim Meck had received therapy before the violence started? Would you still hate him for having the potential to be violent?
posted by LightStruk at 12:07 PM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


Part of the implication made in the article is that no one, including Jim, really understood the extent of Su's cognitive deficits. Even Oliver Sacks found it difficult for him to believe.

At the same time, how is it that a seemingly unique case of brain damage ALSO just happens to occur to someone who's married to someone with a violent temper and neglectful tendencies?

And whether or not he was involved in her initial injury, he certainly comes across as too self absorbed to understand her condition or to spend the time and resources necessary to get her proper follow up treatment. So part of it may well have been willful denial.

But the emotionally detached tone of the article makes it difficult to read.
posted by deanc at 12:16 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


..decades-long story of rape and abuse...

Nah, it's not like full-fat rape, it's just rape-lite, diet-rape, non-legitimate rape. The kind of rape you and your 22 year old daughter talk about with a stranger, in your kitchen, over tuna sandwiches. Because like, he was your husband, and he didn't probably beat you up (not that you remember).

Diet-rape, brought to you by The Patriarchy™
posted by fontophilic at 12:17 PM on September 26, 2014 [16 favorites]


And btw, anyone considering replacing a ceiling light fixture with a fan should really spring for one of these retro-fit ceiling fan braces. Don't even have to get into the attic or patch drywall. About $10.
posted by fontophilic at 12:20 PM on September 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


i think you raise some good points, LightStruk. i guess i just have doubts as to how someone could "act" well enough to pull off this kind of thing. i mean she made food in a detergent container. she was barely talking. her sister thought she wasn't right. her parents thought she wasn't right. jim thought she wasn't right.

no one thought she was right. they wanted to believe she was, but they knew they were lying to themselves.

i don't think anyone is callously ignoring anything. i think she was callously ignored and as poffin boffin pointed out above, part of that was that "neurotic women" were still a thing in 1988.

i get that he wanted to be a minister, but that doesn't mean he wasn't capable of emotional or physical abuse, which should go without saying.
posted by sio42 at 12:22 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Would you still hate him for having the potential to be violent?

WTF? Everyone has "the potential to be violent". Everyone also has the choice not to act upon it.
posted by kagredon at 12:25 PM on September 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


Hope this isn't a derail but...

For those people for whom religion is a thing, what do you think the state of her soul is?

1. If she had any sin on her soul before the accident, will she be condemned to Hell when she dies?
2. If she blasphemed the Holy Spirit before the accident (the presumably Unforgiveable Sin), would that still be held against her when she dies?
3. Would things that she does during her recovery be held against her after death? She seems to have had only a limited understanding of a lot of things, and if any of that is considered morally condemnable, what does that mean for her salvation?
4. Would her memories return wherever she goes after death? If she goes to Hell, will she remember why she is there? If she goes to Heaven, will she be the person she was before the accident or after the accident?

This story seems to be a very good anecdotal example of the brain being the complete and sufficient agent of the mind.
posted by Billiken at 12:26 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


i guess i just have doubts as to how someone could "act" well enough to pull off this kind of thing.

She was also having those occasional blackout attacks which caused her to lie on the floor, totally unresponsive. She mentions having to pull the car over to pass out on the side of the road (driving! in the car! alone with the kids! ahghdgs), and that when she regained consciousness after these attacks, she often didn't know who or where she was. I can't imagine how any kind of "acting okay" would let someone handwave away those kinds of attacks.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:27 PM on September 26, 2014 [12 favorites]


YES. that's what exactly what i'm talking about. i can't even talk about this woman's disturbing situation and be clear, i can't imagine how hard this must have been/continues to be for her.
posted by sio42 at 12:32 PM on September 26, 2014


Like I feel like I'm just sputtering trying to explain how awful this all is and she's there having to live it....and my mind just seizes up with the horror of it and I do not have traumatic brain injury causing further issues with my brain's fundamental operations.
posted by sio42 at 12:41 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


the one-sided Jim-bashing is over the top

So should we also be blaming Su or maybe is it her young children who are at fault?
posted by jeather at 12:49 PM on September 26, 2014 [12 favorites]


Aiaiai. Boy... wow, um. Some of the stuff in there, I don't know. Like the story of the son slashing his father with a can lid when the father “came at [him] with arms up.” Alrighty then. It seems there is definite physical violence coming from the father, even if nobody wants to say it in plain terms. I don't know how else to read that. And the story about Su terminating a pregnancy by "throwing herself down a staircase." According to Jim.

Su certainly can't remember why she would have an abortion the first time, but then decide to "throw herself" down a staircase the second time. It seems inexpedient, unreliable, painful, and terribly dangerous. What an odd decision.

And now I'm really curious how the woman he was in love with died. Hopefully not from some freak fall or accident.
posted by taz at 12:59 PM on September 26, 2014 [12 favorites]


And now I'm really curious how the woman he was in love with died. Hopefully not from some freak fall or accident.

Taz, I read that to mean that he was referring to Su, that the Su he loved effectively "died".
posted by angeline at 1:11 PM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


"...the Su he loved effectively "died"."

From some freak "accident."
posted by Floydd at 1:14 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ah, yes, I see! Thanks. I thought it was his girlfriend in California.
posted by taz at 1:18 PM on September 26, 2014


Also, without him she should qualify for SSDI and Medicaid, right?

i think one actually has to have so many work quarters to qualify for SSDI and she didn't have them - she could still get SSI, but that's a maximum of 721 a month and to get that full amount if she's living with family, she would have to be charged a certain amount of rent and expenses to get the full amount, otherwise they'd bump it down to 489

so that's hardly an easy path to go - and the bureaucracy of social security is something else to deal wtih - they send you letters that say please call us with this information and then when you do, they tell you that "we can't do this over the phone" - (this was just last monday)

it's not a benefit, it's an adventure - "you are in a maze of twisty passages ..."

she might have been able to qualify even though married - but a case manager would be assigned and they have a tendency to be nosy, pushy and actually manage things, which i'm sure a person like jim would find inconvenient - (i'm quite ok with my daughter's case manager who is good - we get along as i'm nosy, pushy and like to manage things, too)

i can imagine jim not going this route as calls would be made and he'd have a lot of questions being asked ... - and su doing it on her own - it would be a tough road and not really sufficient for survival
posted by pyramid termite at 1:20 PM on September 26, 2014


I wonder why her husband let her be interviewed for the article (since he clearly could have stopped it). What does he have to gain from it?

However Jim started out, Narcissism does not begin to describe his current condition.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:30 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


>>the one-sided Jim-bashing is over the top
>>
>
> So should we also be blaming Su or maybe is it her young children who are at fault?


I believe the point is that Jim has a story too. He is a full fledged human instead of the one-sided caricature that has been drawn in this thread.

This would be a tidy story if he was unequivocally a villain, but villains seldom are.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:34 PM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hope this isn't a derail but...

For those people for whom religion is a thing, what do you think the state of her soul is?


Nah, not a derail or troll at all. Why would anyone take it that way? Besides -

It's been done before...
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:45 PM on September 26, 2014


Boy, this article did not end up the way I thought it would when I started it.

I think if you take away the rather spectacular and puzzling element of Su's brain damage and memory loss, this would be a sad and typical story of a woman who is stuck in an abusive marriage and isn't sure whether or how to leave. Her husband is controlling and violent (and we only *know about* the violent incidents that are actually included in the article) and she feels vulnerable because of her disability and is worried about how she'd survive if she left him.

My spidey-senses started tingling as soon as I read that Jim insisted on accelerating her treatment. Turned out I was right. Kind of sheds a new light on the last line of this paragraph:
Reading the Post article later that day was like reading another person’s story, not just for all the things in it she did not remember but also all that she did not recognize: the freak accident 23 years earlier that almost killed her; the “rebellious child” she was said to have been in her first life and the child she became again; the way she had “rebooted,” in the words of her husband; the attention her family, and especially Jim, had selflessly paid her as she recovered.
Going back and reading that last line after having read the rest of the article and finding out exactly what Jim's "selfless attention" entailed...ugh, full body anger shudders.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:57 PM on September 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


Jim's clearly a narcissistic sociopath but I can't hate him, even as I simultaneously think Su and her children have sucky situations. ...hopefully I work out my mental issues before I ever get to such a state.
posted by halifix at 2:12 PM on September 26, 2014


I believe the point is that Jim has a story too. He is a full fledged human instead of the one-sided caricature that has been drawn in this thread.

This would be a tidy story if he was unequivocally a villain, but villains seldom are.


I am sure he has a story. But included in that story is a lot of domestic violence and marital rape. He probably has good qualities too, but they're sort of irrelevant in this context.
posted by jeather at 2:16 PM on September 26, 2014 [12 favorites]


I think the author saw it; I think he and his editors made a deliberate (wrong) choice to present the facts in an overly dispassionate manner, so that the "real" point of the article is purely subtextual.

They know exactly what they're doing and they wrote the article in such clinical terms to avoid the entire piece being an obvious op-ed or potential grounds from litigation from Jim Meck. The end of the article is subtextual but imo pretty unambiguous though, after a page that starts with Su hopefully assessing her ability to navigate her own insurance and most of the anecdotes of rape and domestic violence from Su and the children,

She believes him. She believes them all. She had not, until I asked her, ever considered the alternative. “I don’t even know the word,” she began—“Hurt doesn’t sound big enough and angry doesn’t sound right. I don’t know how I’d be if I found out that Jim—or even my parents—knew something was wrong and did nothing to get me the help I needed.” She was thinking out loud then. “Because certainly by the ’90s and 2000s, there was more known about head injuries then. Why it wasn’t revisited, I don’t know.” Jim had told her he could only see it now, with the benefit of hindsight. “And I’m like, God, how did you not realize it?”

At the time it all happened, she pointed out, he was roughly Kassidy’s age, the age Su considers herself to be now. He was 24 years old. Su wondered “if people can get to a place where they don’t want to believe something, so they don’t believe it.” She is uncertain whether to include herself among them.


Taz, I also thought the staircase miscarriage story was incredibly suspicious. As were all the anecdotes from Jim and Su's family of origin about how wild and terrifying she was, how one sister never liked her, that she was sexually aggressive, on coke, the OTT staircase story... Idunno. The article seems to be implying very very heavily that Su's family left her in this abusive situation because she had been so difficult and that she's on the cusp of realizing all of this and getting out. I hope she does.

I'm also unsympathetic to Jim because I grew up with a friend whose family had something like this happen, their mother had a serious TBI when they were young; no amnesia, but significant impairment and a similar personality "reboot". Guess what: there were no mysterious new siblings after the accident, the dad took care of whatever business he may have had outside the home; the kids certainly never had to fight their father off with an improvised shank when he came at them two-handed in the kitchen. Ugh.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 2:26 PM on September 26, 2014 [13 favorites]


I believe the point is that Jim has a story too. He is a full fledged human instead of the one-sided caricature that has been drawn in this thread.

This would be a tidy story if he was unequivocally a villain, but villains seldom are.


But caricatures save so much time!

That said, while the husband comes across pretty shabbily here, having a spouse with an acquired brain injury is far from easy. Not everyone can be Deborah Wearing.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:39 PM on September 26, 2014


Well god that's depressing for all sorts of other reasons. I'm going to go look at cat pictures now...
posted by sio42 at 3:13 PM on September 26, 2014


First of all: those kids are amazing! I cannot express how much love and praise they deserve for dealing with a terrible basic condition as if is it is just life. If they ever read this and need help in any way, me mail me, and have no worry there is an ocean to separate us. Guys, come to study in Europe, or do internships, or just have fun.

Next: one of my friends once pretended to have lost his memory for an art project. I won't link to it because I was really angry with him over it. But at the end of the day, all the experts said like Oliver Saks, it can't be done. Every traumatized person brings something from their former life into the now. This is actually obvious from the text. Her language is advanced. In spite of her claiming to have lost everything, there are tons of details in her own statement which point to her past life as well as toward the reality of now. There may be many good reasons she is not able to connect past and now, but it is not like she is locked in perpetual psychosis.
posted by mumimor at 3:20 PM on September 26, 2014


The corpse in the library: I wonder why her husband let her be interviewed for the article (since he clearly could have stopped it). What does he have to gain from it?

Because he genuinely thinks he did nothing wrong here and sees it all as totally ok.

This thread feels like a class on how to disgust yourself to the point of puking, where everyone gets a bucket at the door. Because FUCK.


That said, i started off writing a paragraph about how several ceiling fans decided to fly off the ceiling in the building my parents managed when i was a kid(despite them presumably being installed professionally/by the contractor the owners hired regularly), but all the "she threw herself down the stairs!" type bits really make me too skeptical to be able to write it.

For everyone saying we're painting this guy in 2d with the shittiest possible brush, there's just SO MUCH here that screams "abuser" if you're familiar with that continuum of behavior at all.

Tell me no lies: This would be a tidy story if he was unequivocally a villain, but villains seldom are.

No one is 100% evil, no one is saying that. Maybe even the shittiest people you will meet are maybe, i don't know, 40% evil and you just tend to see that side of them? That's not really the point though.

A lot like the "saying racist things" vs "you are racist" point applies here. None of us know him, and can definitely say he's a shitty person. But he's done a lot of shitty things, and seems to continue to do shitty things while also having a long history of doing them.

Trying to turn this in to some "well he's not 100% evil so there" thing is really reductive and dumb. He's done more than enough shitty things for me to be ok with someone calling him shitty, and even if you want to split hairs and call him say, a person who does shitty things, then he's easily cleared that bar.

It's like saying it's unfair to call him a soccer fan when the entire article was about all the games he's attended, memorabilia he collects, and time he spends watching it on tv. Like, come on.

It's weird how i see this more about a guy being shitty or abusive or a predator or harassing people or whatever than i do anywhere else either. That, and with being a racist. But yea, ti's always this "you can't say this defines their entire character!" and shit. It doesn't have to be the central core of their person for it to be a major thing they consistently do that's a problem.

Basically, i'm not saying your an apologist. But you're saying a couple apologist things here, and you might want to reflect on that.
posted by emptythought at 3:58 PM on September 26, 2014 [26 favorites]


As were all the anecdotes from Jim and Su's family of origin about how wild and terrifying she was, how one sister never liked her, that she was sexually aggressive, on coke, the OTT staircase story... Idunno. The article seems to be implying very very heavily that Su's family left her in this abusive situation because she had been so difficult and that she's on the cusp of realizing all of this and getting out. I hope she does.

Oh god, yeah. It reminded me of when I was a kid and had my obsessed-with-lobotomies phase* and I'd read all of these chilling letters and testimonials by people talking about how their relatives, who had previously been so difficult (read: too rebellious, too slutty, too neuroatypical) and were now so pleasant.
* like...kids normally have. Right?

Maybe that's unfair. It's not really clear how much contact Su's family had with her at that point, how much they knew, or how much/when Jim really realized about how serious the situation was. It's easy to keep yourself in denial about how bad a loved-one's condition is, too, especially with a situation as unusual as this one.

I admit, the one thing in the article that softened me to Jim at all was that he did seem to genuinely miss the Su that he first met. Her family of origin's response just seems so weird to me. I mean, maybe she was a raging terror before the accident, but--you wouldn't still mourn her, at all? You wouldn't step in and say "this is fucked" when your toddler grandson acted totally nonchalant about being alone in the house with his unconscious mother?

Su wondered “if people can get to a place where they don’t want to believe something, so they don’t believe it.”

Yeah. I wonder too.
posted by kagredon at 5:55 PM on September 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


Yes, I had an obsessed with lobotomy thing too. Don't worry, I think we're both normal.

And I agree with that observation.
posted by sio42 at 6:34 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Trying to turn this in to some "well he's not 100% evil so there" thing is really reductive and dumb.

If the point was "so there" I would agree with you. But since the point was that people were spending an awful lot of time railing against a cardboard cutout, it seems reasonable to mention that railing against the actual person might be more appropriate.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:54 PM on September 26, 2014


I don't see much railing against a cardboard cutout. i mean yea there's a limited scope when it's "here's a list of actions a person has taken, what do you think about that person based on those actions"... but i guess, what thread would you like to see.

Because we weren't really given any info on other things that he's done, or his general behavior. And we were actually given a fairly large amount of examples of his crappy behavior.

Seeing as how the focus of the article is not his behavior, except in passing, and he isn't even the primary subject of the article... i think it's pretty telling how much air time it got, and how much we know as far as examples of it go.

It's like really prominent bass playing in a song, or something. it's one part of the sandwich, and it's telling that it's as loud as it is when it's seemingly not a stylistic choice.

Pretty much, if we're still getting that much of him just in this small sampling he must behave that way an awful lot, especially if it's a perpetually recurring part of the narrative. I don't think people are railing against a cardboard cutout as much as you might think. This is basically a core sample of his behavior, and it's upsetting.
posted by emptythought at 7:42 PM on September 26, 2014 [10 favorites]


Railing against a cardboard cut out who took out large amounts of debts in a the name of a mentally incapacitated woman in his care for whom he supposedly cared and then paid for sex vacations for himself to exotic locales.

Not to mention having sex with her in her incapacitated, child like state with minimal short term memory recall at the time.

Cardboard these days, man. Out of control.
posted by sio42 at 7:45 PM on September 26, 2014 [13 favorites]


I'm also not seeing what's cardboard vs what's real person here: he had sex with her when she wasn't able to consent; he was, at best, financially irresponsible to an astonishing degree; he was traveling far away to have expensive sex adventures. Those things are not the entirety of what he did, but they're are pretty fucking awful, in the context of things. There are a whole lot of other flags that hint to at minimum controlling behavior, and people here who have experience don't seem to think that actual abuse is out of the question. What makes these details those of a cardboard cutout rather than those of a real person? Real people do those things.
posted by rtha at 8:10 PM on September 26, 2014 [8 favorites]


The wife of a friend of mine suffered from a brain aneurysm when she was pregnant with their second child. It wasn't clear she'd survive, and when she did, she had the mentality of a child. It was horrible for him, because he viewed them as sole mates, and now he had to care for two children(one prenatal, also not sure of it was going to survive) and now his childlike wife. There relationship became caretaker/3rd child and he recognized she was not capable of consent. She was institutionalized, but he was there every day.

She eventually came home, and she improved, but only to the point what would be an irrational teenager. She would "fall in love" with various strangers and run away, often into dangerous situations. So she had to be re-institutionalized. It was really hard for him, because he still saw the woman he loved in her face, but everything else was gone. After about 10 years, he divorced her, so he could move on (she was becoming more resentful of him on top of things.) He is still actively involved in her care and is close with her family. He raised their kids to be wonderful people who know their mom but also understand her limitations.

It was all very hard for him... I know the decision to divorce was very difficult. But never was there any impropriety on his part because he knew she was not able to make informed choices.

That is how you deal with a situation like this the right way.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:57 PM on September 26, 2014 [30 favorites]


It was all very hard for him... I know the decision to divorce was very difficult. But never was there any impropriety on his part because he knew she was not able to make informed choices

That is because your friend was not a narcissist and was able to see his wife as a separate, individual person with her own desires and thoughts and needs, not as an extension of himself.
posted by deanc at 6:25 AM on September 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


Yeah, uh... cardboard cutout? Villain?

Facts:

- repeated sex with someone he knew could not consent, and for bonus evil, no apparent use of contraceptives; so that's rape and forced childbirth.
- Identity theft and fraud
- Physical assault

Any of those is more than enough to characterize this guy as an asshole. Yes, he was in an awful situation that (maybe) wasn't of his own making. He still had choices, and the choices he made were to rape, assault, and defraud a mentally incapacitated person. Defending or excusing him or 'but maybe he has a story too' is... tone-deaf doesn't even come close.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:33 AM on September 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


Bizarrely, when I sent this article to a friend, she said she had already seen it posted on Su's Facebook wall. We are both around Su's mental age, and apparently someone from the friend's high school went to Smith with Su.

I was, at first, unnerved to see such a dark article linked along with a casual "Su, it's been so long -- let's get coffee!", but then I considered the motivation behind it. If I heard that one of my school friends was in a situation remotely like this, I would arrange a meeting as soon as possible to "catch up": i.e. discuss how fucked it all is and how I can help her get out.

That post, along with Su's grateful and eager response, said a lot, to me, about the morality of the article and its "dispassionate" tone. But leaving those arguments aside, it is really, really nice to see that Su does have a support network which appears to be taking action.
posted by Starmie at 11:41 AM on September 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


On reflection, in response to the 'cardboard cutout' and 'villain' comments, I have a question:

What about his story could possibly excuse or ameliorate years of rape and fraud?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:09 PM on September 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


I wish we could start some kind of fundraising campaign to fund a divorce and a caregiver for Su.
posted by sevenofspades at 5:40 PM on September 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


And the story about Su terminating a pregnancy by "throwing herself down a staircase." According to Jim.

Su certainly can't remember why she would have an abortion the first time, but then decide to "throw herself" down a staircase the second time. It seems inexpedient, unreliable, painful, and terribly dangerous. What an odd decision.


taz, I totally missed the significance of the order of these two events when I read the article. I definitely look at the second miscarriage more suspiciously now - a narcissistic, abusive husband might push his wife and then later say she "threw herself".

It is still possible that Su threw herself down the stairs, if she was really as coked out or unstable as her family says she was, but that's only enough to acquit on "reasonable doubt" terms. It doesn't exonerate Jim by any stretch of the imagination, or reduce the stench of suspicion.
posted by LightStruk at 1:22 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I saw this story for the first time today and it made me feel physically ill. I hope there's a followup story within a year all about how Su got a divorce and is now living safely elsewhere.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:43 PM on October 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


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