Earlier this week, my baby sister did something super awesome. Apparently her college has a bit of an infestation of “preachers” who like to harass anything that moves, and one of them attempted to have a go at my brother. Welp, little sister is nothing if not protective of her people, and she decided that the correct response to that kind of wildlife was to pick a fight with him. (For reference, my sister is an adorable skinny blonde white girl. NOT the sort of person one generally expects to be the brave one in this sort of situation.) And sure enough, tiny badass ended up having the last word and got a heck of a video of the incident to post on social media.
So what does that situation have to do with the title of this post, you ask?? Simple – various people, some of whom I know and some of whom I never will, responded to that video with “you should’ve been nicer to him, he’s probably mentally ill”.
Newsflash, buddy – mental illness is not an excuse for being that kind of trash in a public place. If you can form coherent enough sentences to harass dozens of innocent passers-by, then you’re mentally present enough to take responsibility for your actions.
Sometimes an asshole is just an asshole.
If you’ve followed this blog long enough, you’ve seen my own mental-health issues. I’ve written extensively about some of the stuff that goes on in my head. I am enough of a person to admit that a lot of the stupid shit I do has nothing to do with my depression and everything to do with my poor impulse control and maladaptive self-defense skills. Explanations that are character flaws I can fix (and am actively trying to). Not a screw loose or a hamster missing or one tiny screwed-up strand of DNA that gives me an excuse to do what I want without consequence.
Most of my friends are the same. Most of the people I care about have bad brain of some sort, and all of them take ownership of their actions. I’m constantly amazed by my wolf, who has been through more than I knew a human being could even survive and yet remains the most gentle and kind person I know. And really, everyone I know who fights monsters in their head is focused on being a decent and functional human being.
So no, longtime “family friend”, putting some label on someone you’ve never met doesn’t justify inappropriate public behavior. Sometimes an asshole is just an asshole.