Posted in Inside Lane

The Damage Done


I’d like to set a timeline for you. I’d like you to read this and tell me if the timeline sits well with you, and if it does, why?

Somewhere between 1971–1973 a child is born. There is no record of her birth, but bone scans done in 1978 place her somewhere between the ages of 5 and 7. 1972 is chosen for her birth year.

1978: Little girl is adopted from her native Korea, into an American home around the age of 6

1979: Girl’s adoptive mother and father divorce, around girl’s age of 7

1980: Girl’s mother begins long-term relationship with a new man, around girl’s age of 8

1987: Girl’s mother has biological baby with same man, with whom she has also adopted two other children, around girls age of 15

1992: Girl’s mother finds nude photos that her partner (same guy she’s been with since 1980) has taken of the Girl when she was around the age of 18–discovery is made around the girl’s age of 20

Just react to that.

React to that because that is fact. Fact that Woody Allen has not only agreed and admitted to, but reveled in. He called his long-term partner, and mother of his children finding pornographic photos he had taken of another child they raised together, “just one of the fortuitous events, one of the great pieces of luck in my life.”

Say what you will about Dylan Farrow’s allegations of sexual abuse at Woody Allen’s hand, say her memories were imagined, or implanted, or just plain lies. All you have there is her word against his. You just have the word of a little girl against the word of a grown man. I won’t blame you for believing, or dismissing.

But, I would ask you to hold Allen’s own words up against his behavior. Of his inappropriate relationship with his then-partner’s daughter, a child he had known and help to raise since she was eight-years-old, he famously said, “The heart wants what it wants.”

What if the heart wanted a seven-year-old?

Woody Allen has been anathema to me since 1992, and as actors and actresses coo and fawn over him, I tick them off my list of people to invite to that imaginary dinner party we’re all so eager to have.

This is a man, who helped to raise a child, who groomed that child into a sexual relationship, who used the children in his family as hunting ground for sexual partnership, and who preyed on at least one of those children with open admission and delight. That isn’t romantic. It’s sick. Which is the further stretch? That he might also have abused another child, or that Dylan Farrow’s allegations are “a story engineered by a vengeful lover”?

Either way, the damage was done.

***

Phillip Seymour Hoffman was a fantastic actor. I’d heard and read rumors that he’d been losing his battle with addiction, for the past year or so.

I always tell Thor that the reason he shouldn’t do drugs is because drugs impair your ability to make good decisions, and often lead you to make bad ones. Bad decisions can kill you.

When you are taking drugs, you can’t make good decisions about whether, or not TO take them, much less good decisions about dosages. Last year, I got some really fun hydrocodone cough syrup and accidentally took too much of it. I felt gooooooood. I will tell you without shame that I felt so good, I wouldn’t have minded coming home to that every night. Of course, that feeling alone was enough to scare me away from the rest of that bottle (which I took in smaller than prescribed dosages until my cough was gone.) No one wakes up in the morning and goes, “I want to be a junkie!” They wake up and go, “I want to feel that way again!” Until the drug owns them.

No one wants to be addicted to heroin.

Hoffman battled his demons for decades before relapsing.

Addiction is a disease. It isn’t a mark of character. I’m sorry for anyone battling a habit, and for their families and friends. I’m sorry for everyone who has lost.

Don’t do drugs, kids. There is too much to lose.

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Author:

Happy. That about covers it.

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