No words

Robert Blue was arrested for chaining his 15-year-old daughter to a bed, because he thought she was fat and wanted to stop her from eating. 

On and off for two days, Blue’s 15-year-old daughter was chained to her bed. She was found beaten and in tears — all because Blue thought she was overweight, according to a police report. 

Blue, 53, was also arrested for beating his daughter with a wooden stick and kicking her, police said…

Blue said he was upset because his daughter weighs around 165 pounds, and Blue wanted her to weigh between 140 and 145 pounds, explaining that was her fighting weight in mixed martial arts.

Heart not broken yet? Here you go.

Police said Blue had been chaining his daughter to the bed with a padlock and chain since Jan. 12, when he said he found pea and corn containers in her room. He said she had found a way around the chains on the pantry and refrigerator over the past month.

Now, clearly Robert Blue is an abusive, controlling fuck who likely would have found other “reasons” to act like an abusive, controlling fuck even if his daughter had literally maintained her fighting weight. But you can’t really escape the fact that if we didn’t live in a fat-hating culture, an asshole like this could not tell police with a straight face that he thought he was acting in his daughter’s best interest.*

Beyond that, I have no words. 

(H/T NAAFA)

*Shapeling Ailbhe rightly corrected me on this point in comments. I’ll quote her here:

Yes, he could. Abusive parents tell police – seriously, believing it – that they burn their kids to save their souls, beat them to instill a respect for authority, and leave them in baths of ice-water to keep them chaste…

The part that wouldn’t happen with burning and freezing (though it apprently does with beating, up to a point) is the police (and later general public) thinking they can see his point for a second there.

 

106 thoughts on “No words

  1. Not my first thought, but the first that could be identified as words rather than vague formless screaming.

  2. This does break my heart. But you know what I thought next, at least she’s getting taken away from the bastard.

    What about the millions of girls who perhaps don’t face being chained to their beds but their parents chide them, put them on diets, send them to fat camps, where they either end up with an eating disorder or just plain hating their bodies forever. Wouldn’t it be great if we could save those girls also?

  3. Oh, my god, that poor girl.

    Imagine trying to do competitive martial arts while you were starving. I remember how hungry I used to get at that age because I was growing like a weed.

  4. I’m delurking because of this story – my parents chained the fridge shut, too when I was about that age. Partly because we had no money and my brother and I would empty the fridge like starving animals when we got home from school, but also partly because of my weight.

    I hope that poor baby gets help now and doesn’t spend the next 18 years fighting depression and eating disorders.

  5. My heart goes out not only to that poor girl, but to her siblings, as well. Every one of them has been damaged by this sick fuck. I just hope they have the strength to overcome the abuse they’ve suffered.

  6. I’m shocked by the coverage. Here (Canada), the father’s name wouldn’t have been released to protect the child’s privacy. What the hell.

  7. I think that’s terrible. I don’t even know what to say.

    And Kaylen, here in the US, the media has no mercy and no sense of decorum when it comes to shit like that. When my sis got killed in a car crash, her name was on the news before my parents were even called. Thank fuck my dad wasn’t doing his usual obsessive news watching at the time, he’d have found out that way.

    Privacy means nothing and less than nothing to the press. It’s disgusting, and honestly a lot of the time I don’t even think it’s safe. But any call for media reform in the slightest results in OMG FREEDOM OF THE PRESS FOAM AT THE MOUTH BLA!

    I agree the press should have freedom. What I DON’T think they deserve, need, or handle very well, is power.

    Anyway, sorry for side tangent. Sadness for horribly abused girl is the main issue here.

    I hope that fucking asshole isn’t allowed within a mile of his kids after this.

  8. If I was Steven King I’d write a novel based on this story, (because, frankly, no one else could have made it up), and Mr Blue’s end would be fifty types of unpleasant.

    But you can bet your arse that every fatbashing troll on the internet is endorsing his behaviour and making jokes about it even as we speak.

  9. How about chaining that asswipe to a bed and letting his kids beat HIM with a stick? And then he can starve to death. Slowly.

  10. Though I was never chained to anything, there were extreme conditions in the home around food including parents weighing everything we ate, periodic sweeps of our rooms (which included dumping everything into the middle of the floor) for hidden food and periodic weigh ins. I wish there could be some kind of support I could offer her.

  11. “How about chaining that asswipe to a bed and letting his kids beat HIM with a stick? And then he can starve to death. Slowly.

    Close, but no cigar.

  12. FJ, that was totally my first thought, too.

    Mine too; imagine how starved for nutrients that poor girl must have been. Jesus.

  13. Good god. That’s… well. I’m glad she’s out of it and I hope he’s locked up.

    “But you can’t really escape the fact that if we didn’t live in a fat-hating culture, an asshole like this could not tell police with a straight face that he thought he was acting in his daughter’s best interest.”

    Yes, he could. Abusive parents tell police – seriously, believing it – that they burn their kids to save their souls, beat them to instill a respect for authority, and leave them in baths of ice-water to keep them chaste. Some people are just plain crazy.

    The part that wouldn’t happen with burning and freezing (though it apprently does with beating, up to a point) is the police (and later general public) thinking they can see his point for a second there.

  14. I agree with Ailbhe.

    If anyone cares, I wrote at semi-coherent length about this (and some of the comments I saw on the initial, minimal-info story yesterday) on my blog—if I’m allowed to mention that here?

  15. Peas and corn.

    She was starving and he beat her and chained her for eating peas and corn.

    Give me fifteen minutes alone with him. I guarantee you he’d be screaming to die before I was done.

  16. My dad locked up the fridge once–just once–when the whole family went to church and I was staying at home. That was 25 years ago, and he only did it once, but I remember how shaming that was. Fortunately, I learned early on to channel other-induced shame into other-directed anger, and I also was burly enough that the one time he and I got into a shoving match, he didn’t win.

    But that was just a fortuitous convergence of temper, motive, and body type. Few girls that age really feel like they can fight back.

    Eventually I got a job at a DQ, and was able to satisfy hunger both on the job and with some of the money I earned.

  17. Hey, y’all, I can understand the desire for revenge on this fuck, but can we please not advocate more violence in the comments? Even if you don’t really mean it?

  18. “Fucking hell. Glad he’s been arrested.”
    Finally. Because my first question on seeing this yesterday was WHY IS THIS GUY NOT IN (*&^$#&*ING JAIL YET.

    Oh, right. Patriarchy. Sorry.
    *headfloor*

  19. “Fortunately, I learned early on to channel other-induced shame into other-directed anger”
    And you’ll be hosting your seminar when?
    *loves on you*

    (Psst, Kate – wishing for this guy ‘s arrest at the top of my lungs isn’t advocating violence, is it?)

  20. I worked with a woman who went to the olympic trials in synchronized swimming. An athlete.

    Her mother locked the fridge because she thought her daughter was too fat.

    Also, as a member of the press, I work at a daily that releases some names (never minors) only when they are public record. Police in Texas make that call. Generally, the press does not.

  21. buffpuff, you don’t have to be Mr. King to write that novel.

    *hint* *hint* *hint* *hint* *hint* *hint* *hint* *hint* *hint* *hint*

  22. Psst, Kate – wishing for this guy ’s arrest at the top of my lungs isn’t advocating violence, is it?

    Oh, hell no. I mean, taking down the prison industrial complex is an issue for another day. Right now? Lock the fucker up.

  23. What saddens me most is that people are arguing back and forth (not here obviously) over whether the girl’s weight actually made her “fat”; as if it matters. ‘Cause you know, chaining your FAT daughter to her bed for eating corn and peas is at least more understandable than chaining your SKINNY daughter for the same reason. I mean come ON, the fatty should have more self control and he was just trying to help her willpower, right? *sad eyeroll*

    And on an odd but related side-note I think Weight Watchers would totally have a “We’ll even chain you to your bed for those days you might eat a carrot cause you’re starving” program if they thought enough people would pay for it…

  24. OK, totally not the most disturbing part of this story but I’m not totally down with a 15-year old doing mixed martial arts fighting which is pretty brutal. (That has nothing to do with her gender). I knew a wrestler in high school who would have his parents handcuff him at night so he wouldn’t wake up famished and go eat. He was at a really low weight class and always looked miserable. Coaches and parents should really reconsider their priorities.

    It makes me sad to hear all the stories about parents policing their childrens’ bodies. {{{group hug}}}

  25. This is terribly disturbing.

    And with regard to the media…I feel bad for the girl because not only is everyone going to know what happened to her, but they broadcast her weight, too. I know it seems dumb, but, when I was 15, that would have been more mortifying to me than people knowing about the abuse.

  26. Kristin I am right there with you! I think I would have been more ashamed to show my face knowing that the WORLD knew my weight…though it doesn’t help that they also would know her dad chained her to the bed and is now in JAIL. I know we all want him to get and stay in prison but really; having a parent in jail probably doesn’t make going through school’s usually tormentors at that age any easier!

  27. Kristin–I had the same thought. I remember working at a paper and we a long discussion about an abuse story because running the name of the perpetrator and the details of the crime would be indirectly outing a rape victim and we wound up running the story but without the details (ie, he raped his daughter). In the this case not only is the girl obviously identified but giving her weight seems completely superfluous to the story.

  28. In the this case not only is the girl obviously identified but giving her weight seems completely superfluous to the story.

    Moreover, it facilitates the stupid debate others have mentioned over whether she was “really” overweight, as if that matters even a tiny fucking bit. It doesn’t matter! what weight! the girl was! YOU DO NOT CHAIN CHILDREN (PEOPLE!) TO BEDS. Ugh.

  29. Dear Mr. Blue:

    FUCK YOU, YOU JACKASS. I was doing martial arts AND competitive dancing at 15, and my fighting weight was 245 lbs. Yes, that’s 100 lbs. BIGGER than your daughter, you fuckwit.

    No love,
    Mary Sue

  30. There are so many horrible things about this story that I don’t even know where to begin . . . the comments above are spectacular and dead on. What’s making me incredibly uncomfortable and ashamed of myself was my own initial reaction. “peas and corn? the starchiest vegetables.”

    yes, I’ll be discussing it with my therapists.

  31. I’ll add this fuckwit to my list of ‘people who should be kept in solitary confinement w/ just the barest amount of human interaction needed to keep them alive’. Eg. : they’d be permitted to notify guards of physical ailments, and would be allowed to talk to a doctor for proper treatment of same. Otherwise, nothing.

  32. I’m terribly sad about this story because it’s really just a matter of degrees. What this girl went through is such a small step from what are seen as completely normal helping behaviours, telling children (and adults) that they look fat, second-guessing their hunger and food choices, warning thin people that their actions might lead them to the fatness, etc.

    It seems like middle-class western society has gotten to the point where we will say, hmmm . . . no amount of wire hanger beating is acceptable. But we are still debating the useful level of fat-shaming or general shaming that will mold our children and friends and lovers in to the perfect reflection of ourselves that we want the world to see.

  33. My parents chained the refrigerator and put a locking knob on the pantry when I was around 12 years old. I confronted them about it last year and was told that the whole thing was my idea. Awesome. Good to know that you’re trusting an eating-disordered twelve year old’s opinion over your own as parents. Very reassuring.

  34. Not only are we dealing with total fat-hate here on the part of this despicable excuse for a father, we are also dealing with an obsession with sports, which is also not healthy. Mixed martial arts can be very brutal and in some places is banned.

    Unfortunately, I can see people who would approve of this abuse and torture because it means he was trying to get her to lose weight at any cost. Doesn’t matter how you get rid of the fatties, as long as it happens. Sickening!

  35. “I confronted them about it last year and was told that the whole thing was my idea. “
    I was told that a whole bunch of things were my idea that I know for a FACT were not.
    (I was a compulsive documentarian as a kid; I had a better work ethic at 12.)

    Do not eliminate the idea that they may be employing Denial as Defense Mechanism. It may be just my family (both sides), but that yap starts eaaaaaaarly.

  36. “It doesn’t matter! what weight! the girl was! YOU DO NOT CHAIN CHILDREN (PEOPLE!) TO BEDS.”

    Inorite? People are missing the point like whoa.

  37. How about if we lock him up in a house with nothing to eat but canned peas and corn for a year, and only allow him a can of each per day coming down a chute? Is that too violent?

  38. i don’t even know what to say, or how to respond. i can’t intellectually critique this right now because it’s just TOO fucking sad.

    it’s also sad how many commenters responded with similar stories about locked fridges and pantries.

    mine was, too. i was only 12, i think.

  39. Sarah and Ailbhe: I don’t understand why you are unhappy with that thought? I mean, it makes sense — I know that when I’m very hungry, I also go for sugars/starches first to get my brain functions…er…functional again, then think about what else is necessary. It makes sense that it’d be the starchiest vegetables that she’d go for, and I think your assessment’s correct, assuming that there weren’t any cooked root vegetables available.

    They were *cooked* corn and peas, at least, I assume?

    Or am I being clueless? Sorry….

    At least all the fat hate comments on that article seem to be getting downrated. Horrifying. I wouldn’t like to see what this looks like on Digg.

  40. I have to say that I like to snack on frozen peas and corn, like tasty little popsicles they are.

    This story is very wrong and sad; and it makes me sad too, hearing all the stories of locked fridges on here. I would have thought that would be rare behavior.

    My little girl’s just gone on stimulants for ADHD, I am monitoring her food and weight to make sure she’s eating enough; yet I worry a bit that this may have bad effects too. I don’t want her losing her appetite to the point of weight loss. So far so good; but it still seems a bit squicky with all my blog-learned HAES knowledge to be not trusting her body. Still there’s an actual medical reason, and she’s only eight.

  41. This guy should go to that special level of hell reserved only for child abusers and people who fart in elevators.

  42. Sarah and Ailbhe: I don’t understand why you are unhappy with that thought? … It makes sense that it’d be the starchiest vegetables that she’d go for, and I think your assessment’s correct, assuming that there weren’t any cooked root vegetables available.

    Octopod, I can’t speak for them, but I took it to mean the upsetting thought was, “Yeah, she was stealing vegetables, but the starchiest ones. It’s not like she was stealing raw spinach, which would really prove she wasn’t a Bad Fatty.”

  43. I am trying so hard to become a mom through adoption and there is always a story where some complete jackalope does something horrible to his/ her child. That poor young woman, I hope she gets away from that man.

    You don’t chain your kids to the bed. Ever. Period.

  44. I simply don’t have words that adequately describe the utter wrong done here. I do feel, however, that this is the extreme of the mental binds that society puts on us (e.g. save me from teh death fatz).

  45. Piffle:

    I just started taking medicine for ADD and am looking at the same things. So far, it has been a weird intuitive-eating conundrum.

  46. Kate — 0_0 thanks. I see. That is a disturbing thought.

    (This is octopod under a different name, i.e. not at work anymore.)

  47. Well, and I could be totally wrong. :) I just know that horrible, diet-brain thoughts along those lines still occasionally flit through my mind, much to my horror, so I figured that might be the case here.

  48. That… is… ugh.

    I lived for a couple years in a foster home where there was a padlock on the refrigerator and the pantry with food meant for the family. The only thing we girls had access to was “our” food – a refrigerator that was nearly always empty, and a small cupboard that, likely as not, only held ramen noodles. Sometimes, if we were good, there would be margarine and grape jelly in our refrigerator. When the gods REALLY smiled on us, there would be a bag of cheap white bread to go with it, which the six of us fought over like passive-aggressive little savages.

    I’d actually forgotten about that. I used to be pretty good at getting the lock off the fridge, too. It’s a somewhat random story, I know, but… it felt like sharing time, since I’d remembered it.

    (I ultimately got kicked out of that home for telling my caseworker that I didn’t have anything to wear because the woman running the home was keeping all my clothing money allotments from the state “in case I cost her money,” and was keeping the allowance money of ALL the girls because we’d “been bad.” …Hmm, I never did see that clothing money, but I got to sit in juvi for a week before my caseworker figured out where I was and rescued me.)

  49. What’s worse: This is not the only incidence of this reported today. I turned on my local news this evening only to see this (via the Denver Post):

    DENVER—Authorities say a Denver woman tied her 10-year-old daughter’s hands behind her back before bed each night for about a year to keep her from stealing food.
    Police arrested 52-year-old Danelle Daunchet on child abuse charges on Jan. 7. She’s free on $50,000 bail. She didn’t immediately return a telephone message Wednesday.

    District attorney’s spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough says the girl is in the custody of the Department of Human Services.

    Police say the girl told them Daunchet used zip-ties to bind her hands, and that she had to sleep on her back so it wouldn’t hurt. The girl said her mother freed her with a knife each morning, and she showed officers marks where she said the knife sometimes cut her.

    Daunchet is scheduled to be in court Friday.

    Link: http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_11517526

    Now honestly, if two cases made the news in one day, how many more must be out there? How many more children, starving, because it’s better to abuse your kids than let them be fat? Because I guarantee that’s the parents’ rationale: ANYTHING is better than them being fat.

    And my mother has tried to convince me that I wanted to go on a diet when I was five, because I “liked rice cakes”. Bullshit. If my father hadn’t been there to provide a modicum of sense, I don’t doubt there would have been locks all over every food-container in the house – locks to which my brothers, of course, would have been given keys.

  50. How the fuck could you not care about your own children? I just do not understand how people can be so cruel.

    And to everyone who had parents that locked/chained the fridge: WTF?! I had no idea that actually happened and I am just so sad for all of you. I really cannot express how much I just really want to give everyone a hug and buy you all a drink for coming out of something quite that cruel and humiliating. I had an eating disorder as a kid and ended up in the crazy hospital at 20, but all of that was due to my own neuroses; I’m not sure I would still be here if I had people that were supposed to take care of me making it worse on purpose. I am just so sad about everything now.

  51. My god. That poor girl. I hope there’s someone she can turn to here, to get the support and love that her so-called father was too FUCKED UP to provide.

    Chains on the fridge, pantry? She was a frigging martial artist, I think she probably needs things like FOOD to fuel that intense activity. What gives people the idea that they can do these things? God. Peas and corn. That’s the straw that broke the camel’s back for him? Most parents would love it if their kids willingly ate veggies, but she gets a beating.

    Fucking fuck.

  52. So sad, and disgusting. I feel blessed right now that my parents *never* put me on a diet or locked the food away from me (though they were always very supportive of my own diet attempts). What a fucking sad thing to feel blessed about.

    I was just sitting here (in my parents house, visiting) thinking maybe I was hungry and would get a snack, and maybe I was tired and would go to sleep. This freaked me out, and put me squarely on the side of “snack”, just to remember that I could.

  53. That is just so dehumanizing. Parents OWE their kids food: feeding your kids is not optional. That goes for foster kids too. So it’s not “stealing” to get food at night or any other time. This claim that the girl was “stealing” canned veggies implies that they were all his and he didn’t have to let her eat any food at all. Kind of like what those monsters did at Megan’s foster home.

  54. Jesus Christ. There’s no way in hell I’m gonna be able to get back into my happy place. I want to run that man over with my car. Several times. And then get out and jump up and down on him in my extra-stabby stillettos.

  55. Wow…I work with kids like this every day and it still amazes me every time…I guess when it no longer does I’ve become callous and need to move on though. He need his ass beat!

  56. Kate: I took it to mean the upsetting thought was, “Yeah, she was stealing vegetables, but the starchiest ones. It’s not like she was stealing raw spinach, which would really prove she wasn’t a Bad Fatty.”

    That was what I assumed Sarah meant too, with a side-order of it being a bit disturbing to instantly think about the food value of the food *anyway* even if it *was* raw spinach with, er, celery chunks, or whatever. Because the food value is so not the point of this story.

    I don’t have this stuff in my head, but I know people who do, and I have two daughters, so I find FA very important as part of not-fucking-up-as-a-parent.

  57. yes, Ailbhe and Kate, that’s what I meant. The food value is completely not the point of the story but that’s the thing that comes into my head first.

    thanks

  58. I am horrified that I can count “not being chained to a bed and beaten” as a blessing in my life. It should be common knowledge that you don’t DO that to your kids. Among my blessings, I also count the fact that my parents never locked cabinets or fridges, and in fact taught me how to prepare proper meals for myself so I wouldn’t need them around whenever I needed to eat. They trusted me at least that much. =__=

  59. A reminder, quoting myself from upthread:

    Hey, y’all, I can understand the desire for revenge on this fuck, but can we please not advocate more violence in the comments? Even if you don’t really mean it?

  60. Ailbhe,

    I have two daughters, too, and I am doing everything in my power to not hand down the self-hatred and weight-obsessions that are a traditional maternal gift in my family and give them as much protection as I can against contracting these issues from other sources.

    I may very well screw them up in myriad other ways, but I’m drawing the line here.

    Luckily, all I pretty much have to do right now is keep my sticky little hands off their eating patterns. But they’re both young yet . . .

  61. These comments are just so sad. It had never entered my mind that behaviour such as fridge locking ever happened, outside the wildest and most sensational realms of abusive families. I had no idea that it could be as common as these comments would suggest. I didn’t even notice that the vegetables the poor girl ate were starchy ones. I am so grateful that I grew up in a household where nobody minded or monitored what I ate, as long it was reasonably balanced, and that so far my appearance-obsessed fourteen year old daughter only mentions her weight in passing, being far more obviously concerned about her hair, eyebrows, clothes, and so forth. We are so lucky.

  62. I don’t think this starving behavior is about the fat at all, these girls were just lucky it was caught before they were starved so thin even the fat phobic would realize this is unacceptable. I just see too many stories about kids starved to death or nearly so, including the one about a girl who was only allowed half a cup of water a day. (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008267686_cpsabuse15m.html)

    It’s all about having absolute control over someone else, not health, not fatness. Like rape is about power not sex.

    The odd thing is that it’s often only one kid in the family and the others are fine.

  63. It’s… odd, but I actually find it surprising that so many people have chimed in to comment that my foster home was… “monstrous” was I think the word someone used?

    Goes to show what your inner voices can convince you is normal, doesn’t it? The things we are able to rationalize!

    I very rarely comment here, but when I do it’s always a wonderful reality check. Not in the “oh, I was happy, but here comes reality” kind of way, but more like “whoa, you mean there are sane people in the world?”

    Thank you, shapelings. :)

  64. You know, this guy was clearly an abuser and a monster, but do you all remember those stories a while ago of families getting investigated for “abuse” because their kids were fat? Or that recent one where a couple wasn’t allowed to adopt because one of them was too fat? I can’t help but wonder how many kids out there are getting denied food from otherwise-loving parents out of fear of getting their kids taken away. Our society is fucked up, down, and sideways. Just so sad.

  65. I really hope that girl is offered a whole boatload of help to deal with this shite. My Mother didn’t padlock the pantry, but I did get beaten for ‘stealing’ handfuls of muesli and all my food was calorie counted from the age of 5 onwards becuase I was fat. That shit really fucks you up.

    I really hope I never police my kids weight or their eating. And I REALLY hope this guy goes away for a looooooong time

  66. I have to think there is a special place in hell for people whose behavior not only devastates another person (even worse that it’s their own child) in the moment, but also causes such havoc with the way that child’s brain functions forevermore. What an unbelievable ass. I hope he’s roundly punished for this… and I desperately fear he’ll get not much more than a slap on the wrist. :(

    I also have to hand out ginormous hugs to all of you who experienced this “locks on food storage units” thing. Bad enough to hear a single story of it… incredibly saddening to see so many stories! I can’t imagine what a soul blow it must have been to be trying to deal with what your own body was doing and have parents (parents!) add to it. I’m so sorry. And I want you to come visit… ’cause the fridge and the cabinets are always open. (Maybe not always full – financial things being what they are – but always open!) :)

  67. I can’t help but wonder how many kids out there are getting denied food from otherwise-loving parents out of fear of getting their kids taken away.

    That is a disturbing thought.

  68. The only cabinet ever locked in my house growing up was the alcohol one (which, actually was probably not the best idea, because my brothers could’ve used some responsible alcohol education), but I’ve been fat-shamed for…being tall-ish, for most of my life. It’s all about the scale numbers, you know, not your actual size!11!!!!1!! When I was 13 and taller than all of the boys, I was ashamed, and…why?

    I’m heavier than my husband, and my mother-in-law, over dinner on Monday, told me I looked skinner, and when I said Oh no! I’m not! But my throat is looking much better (I had my thyroid out for cancer this summer, and my throat’s been a nightmare of pain and feeling unattractive/swelling), and, finally, I’m feeling much better! she apologized, pointing out that she was just trying to make me feel good. Which…pointing out that you found me fat before does? Really?

    Sigh. Trying to figure out how to have a good conversation with my 4-y-o niece about this stuff w/o being awful about Maw-maw (my mom) who I’m sure has already told her how skinny and attractive she is. And, you know, she is, but she’s going to go through puberty too, and I so worried SOMUCH about being taller than all of the boys, and indications are that she will too, and I’m not her Mom, but I want her to really not have to go through all of the anxiety and stupid shit I did.

    And stopping now…except to say poor girl, and I didn’t even realize peas were starchy, but I totally got the first association with corn, because it’s long been one of the only veggies I like cooked.

  69. This issue seems to have little to do with the weight of the kid in question – kinds like rape has nothing to do with sex. I was a very skinny kid who took ballet lessons, tennis lessons, and swimming lessons -none of them by choice. I used to get so hungry that I would sneak dry dog food out of my dog’s dish. He would share. When my mom found out I was punished. I was also punished for trying to kill myself when I was seven. NOW it’s an issue of fatness because I am a compulsive over-eater (I wonder why). But some adults, as was stated in the article, are just looking for a way to be cruel.

  70. What happened to this poor child is unconscionable to say the very least. However the precedent set by the situation Auds referred to is even more frightening. We humans do not draw nourishment from our own adipose as camels and polar bears do, so this not-giving-children-food-in-order-to-keep-them-thin BS is starvation. People, regardless of their size, need food in order to remain healthy.

    I’ve been lurking on this site for almost a year, and I still don’t understand why people would rather be thin but sickly rather than heavier/fatter/thicker/whatever but healthy. Le sigh.

  71. Of course. First you medicalize fat. Make it a, possibly, communicable disease of epidemic proportions then make it a moral imperative to be skinny at any and all costs. Stir in a arbitrary measuring system that really doesn’t mean anything but is real useful for segregating the good (normal BMI) from the bad (overweight-obese BMI). Completely bury the fact that you can’t reliably MAKE a skinny person fat or a fat person skinny then ramp up the Fear of Fat Children Dying Too Young to mouth foaming levels. Let it all boil too a head and things like this only become the next logical step.

    As Beaconsmom points out, these two incidents are only the ones we’re hearing about. How much more of this kind of thing has/is happening, to lesser and perhaps even greater extent, all over the country? Is this really all that different from parents who ship their kids off to mexico for WLS because they can’t get approval here? (Though this is happening less because US WLS Dr’s are agreeing to cut on younger and younger kids these days.)

    We have people putting perfectly normal 8 and 10 year olds on restrictive diets to get rid of their ‘baby fat’. That’s ‘ok’ but this? This is shocking. Just a slightly more graphic sign of just how sick and twisted society has become.

  72. I made a special point of mentioning this cruelty to people at work yesterday, and how I could not get over the comments on websites about whether or not the girl was overweight and missing the entire point that chaining someone to the bed and beating them with a stick is wrong, regardless of whether they are overweight or not. Complete silence. Colleagues did not agree or disagree with the man’s actions – just changed the subject onto neglectful mothers.

    Not quite sure what to make of it. We often speak of taboo subjects at work, so it wasn’t any more offensive that of which we would normally speak.

    I don’t get it…not at all

  73. Food has often been my only comfort – its one of the few things my dad never tried to restrict. The fact that something so utterly basic and necessary to life is being cut off in the name of ‘health’ (my irony meter is completely busted here) is just beyond any pale.

    Sick. Fucking. Shit.

  74. I’ve avoided reading the entirety of this post, knowing the emotions it was going to invoke in me.

    I am saying a silent prayer in my head for this girl as I type this, that she heals from this and has a shot at a better life now.

    I was flaming mad the other night. My mil who is the ww queen/leader stopped by my place right as I was getting my daughter to bed. She was asking me for her nightly bowl of rice crispies before going to sleep. She gets very hungry right before bed, so night snacks are routine here.

    My mil piped in and said “Oh you shouldn’t eat before bed”.

    So what do I do then? Send her off hungry? Wrong.

    I know the look I gave her must have burned like lasers on her skin. :[

  75. Oh, my god.

    I’m chiming in late b/c I just found this blog thru Salon yesterday and I’m reading the back posts. I’m just gobsmacked and grief-stricken at what happened to that girl and to so many of the posters here. I want to send a special hug to Megan and to hpowers and to everyone else who experienced such *horrors *of abuse and are still dealing with the effects today. Know that if we could have, we would have been there to protect you and give you the love you deserved.

    Along these lines, can I please put out this question? I am a teacher, and I want to know, HOW CAN A TEACHER (or a family friend) HELP a child who went through what you were going through? HOW might we spot a child who might be in this kind of trouble? WHAT would have been the questions a teacher might have asked that would have made you feel comfortable enough to tell these truths so we could do something about it?

    Please help if you can; I don’t ever want to be the one saying “I didn’t know what was going on; how could I know?” when one of my students is rushed to the hospital for being chained to her bed… thank you, everyone.

  76. In Denver a week or two ago, a woman was arrested for having tied her 10-yr-old daughter’s hands together behind her back every night for over a year to keep her from stealing food. She used those plastic zip-ties to do it, and would cut them off every morning with a knife, sometimes cutting the daughter’s hands in the process.

    The news blurb was very abbreviated, with no real details as to why the girl was “stealing food,” whether the mother thought the girl was fat or not, or what it was all about… but I think it still falls in the same category.

    http://cbs4denver.com/crime/Tying.Daughter.Hands.2.914547.html

  77. Oh, god. That poor kid.

    My mother often threatened to lock up the fridge/cabinets, but never did, since that would be a relatively public admission that I was Bad and that she couldn’t control me.

    That poor kid. I Googled a bit, but since I’m at work I can’t call the police department or that local DCFS to see if there’s any help we as a collective can send to that kid. I think even letters and cards saying “it’s not your fault” and “you’re not bad” would help.

    Also: big hugs to all the people on this thread who did grow up with padlocks/restrictions on food.

Comments are closed.