In October, we’ll write some blogs addressing the question, “what would have happened to this literary character had a CASA volunteer been in their life?” Here’s our first post!
Spoiler alert! This blog post contains key plot information from this book.
authors note: I recommend this book to everyone! The novel is written in a letter format like you’ll see below. It chronicles the life of a teen, Charlie, as he ventures through his first year in high school. This post is based on some of his experiences.
I know this kid called Charlie. He’s a pretty weird guy, a wallflower. He sits in the middle of the classroom and gets lost in there. No one pays much mind to him. I’ve seen him around the back side of the high school smoking. He drinks a lot at the parties I hear about every weekend. He has a couple friends, but Sam isn’t the kind of girl you bring home to mom… and Patrick is pretty out there. I guess everybody needs somebody.
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but last year the cops found him naked in the snow on New Years Day and took him to the hospital. My friend’s sister is a janitor there and she said she heard him say that his aunt molested him when he was a kid. She heard Charlie tell the doctor that his aunt was abused when she was a kid, too. That’s what I call a mess.
I think I told you how my dad is a volunteer with this organization that helps kids like Charlie and his aunt. My dad goes and meets these kids and their families, interviews their teachers and doctors and pretty much everybody in the kids life. He tries to figure out where the kid’s safest home could be and tells the judge. It makes you wonder what could have been different if Charlie’s aunt had someone like my dad. It could have saved Charlie from a ton of pain. Maybe he wouldn’t have done all the drugs he did, or beat up that kid in gym class.
If his aunt had someone on her side when she was a kid, she could have gotten a safer home and some counseling. She could have been empowered and changed for the better, you know? Then Charlie wouldn’t have had it as rough. We learned about this concept once in my health class called the cycle of abuse, and how people who had been abused are so much more likely to abuse other people. If his aunt had had someone, that cycle could have ended. She could have lived a happier life and Charlie wouldn’t have all of these repressed memories, all this hidden hurt.
Thankfully, he got into some treatment and things have looked up since then. You just wonder if it really had to happen that way…
-Ally, CASA Nashville