There was a day in high school I think I will never forget. Before the first class, I was sitting in the cafeteria with some friends when a message came from the loud-speaker. I was called to the office, and I had no idea why.
Once in the school office, I was ushered into the vice principal’s office and asked to sit. Soon my psychology teacher, coach, and several administrators entered, and I could see they weren’t happy. They began to interrogate me about my activities the previous day after school. On that day I left school as usual and went home.
I answered the questions truthfully expecting them to believe me, but their demeanor told me they didn’t. I didn’t have any idea why they were upset, but they repeatedly asked the same questions. Frustrated I finally told them I had answered the questions and I was going to leave.
The coach erupted violently, getting in my face, and yelling at me. He ordered me to tell the truth, or he’d “take the curl out of my hair.” I knew he could get physical with students. Once, he took one of my classmates to the weight room where he smacked him around for forgetting his gym clothes too many times.
Remembering the police shows on television, I figured I had a right for an attorney to be present. Well, at least my mother. So, at this point, I said I wasn’t answering any more questions until my mother was present. I would have asked for my father, but he was at work.
That’s when the coach really got angry. He yelled in my face so close I had to wipe his spit from my face. At that time, I realized I wasn’t going to be afforded the same rights as a criminal on the street. But, being seventeen, I was old enough to know he wasn’t going to hit me in front of witnesses.
Eventually, they let me go to class, and within a few days, I learned the reason for the interrogation. The same classmate that coach smacked around in the weight room had entered my psychology classroom after school and written graffiti on the blackboards. The graffiti was about the coach and was profane.
I learned I was not the only student interrogated. Other male students were falsely accused since we all had psychology class the last hour of the day, so we had the opportunity. I never received an apology for the interrogation. I’ve also never forgotten how it feels to be falsely accused.
Last week I witnessed a woman cry as she told how her step-children were accusing her of giving their father poor care. They said their father claimed she hadn’t been feeding him properly or giving him his medication. Caregivers know the Alzheimer’s sufferer can’t be considered a reliable source. It is common for a dementia patient in a memory-care facility to claim they aren’t fed because they don’t remember receiving their last meal.
Because they often have delusions, they might report someone is stealing their personal possession or someone is trying to poison them. A novice with dementia patients might be easily misled by their loved-one. Instead of the exhausted caregiver receiving sympathy and assistance, sometimes they receive unfair accusations. Sometimes this results in lawsuits and removal of them as the caregiver.
I recently read of an adult child who is suing his step-mother for placing his father in an Alzheimer’s facility. He claimed his father was unhappy, was poorly treated, and wanted to go home. That describes virtually every dementia patient when they are initially placed in a facility. When I read the article, I sympathized with the step-mother and thought how naive the son was. I figured he should take care of his father for a few months to become more educated. Sometimes when falsely accused, our only relief comes from our relationship with Christ who was unjustly blamed for our sake.
With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, But, through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. Proverbs 11:9 NASB
© Copyright 2018 Ronald Milburn