Michael Jackson: A Cautionary Tale
June 30, 2009 · Posted in Child Abuse, Media, Parenting · Permalink

michael-jacksonAs the days go by since Michael Jackson’s death I find myself feeling sadder and sadder rather than more settled.  I am one year younger than Michael, so moved through the decades with him from preteen crush, to his music flowing inside like blood, crazy on the dance floor fun, to watching his desperate descent.

The train wreck that became Michael Jackson as a fun house mirror reflection of our culture of celebrity makes me sad too. But I find my heart connecting to little Michael, 6 years old, ten years old, 14 years old. Feeling pressured and pushed by his father in particular–ridiculed, idolized, humiliated, worshipped– where fame and the exterior became the shell outside a very ill, sad, and lonely little boy.  Michael Jackson as an adult is the the poster child for child abuse.  His image is the outward projection of the inside of a victim of abuse. Distorted, stuck at different ages, part boy, part girl, man, woman, predator, victim, monster, fragile being.

If there is a cautionary tale here for us mortals it is to check our desires to push our children and to use them to fulfill our desires for validation, attention, self worth. Get help if your temper, anxiety or depression is mounting.  Think hard about the criticisms that can fly  when we as parents are feeling anxious or angry or overwhelmed. Keep the fight up against the cultural pull toward perfection, financial success, fame, and beauty being the goals for happiness.

I hope he is peaceful now.

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Comments

  1. KCF
    June 30th, 2009 | 11:35 pm

    When I see that little boy’s beautiful face, my heart hurts.

  2. Lydia
    July 3rd, 2009 | 9:29 pm

    Boy! are there lessons that can be learned from MJ. What a v.sad story –

  3. Charlotte N.
    July 11th, 2009 | 8:48 pm

    My kids are learning about Michael Jackson now and hearing all this awful stuff. They have so many questions. I have used his story to remind them that all the money in the world is actually a hard thing to have and that being famous isn’t actually a good goal! Rich and famous sports stars are their heroes. I was worried about them hearing about Michael Jackson but it has lead to some good conversations with my boys.

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