What would you do for your friends? Lie? Steal? Cover up for them? Take the blame? Murder?
All any of us want in life is to be loved and accepted by someone. We don't always know when 'fake friends' are taking advantage of us or using us. So, many times, we'll do whatever it takes just to be included. I know I did.
I let my so-called friends talk me into everything; skipping school, smoking, drinking, drugs, stealing, running away, sleeping around, etc. That's crazy! I didn't want to do any of it, but because my 'friend' wanted me to, I did.
Last night I watched "The Bling Ring," about these teen wannabe's in Hollywood who used a new kid with a panic disorder to help them break into all the celebrities homes and steal their goods. At the end, when everyone was arrested, the boy that was lured into the whole thing said, "I didn't do it for the money. I did it because I had friends. I've never had friends. And I liked how I felt when I was with them--I was a different person."
Now they are all facing prison time!
Recently I spoke to two different mothers who have special needs boys, who just turned adults. Both boys share pretty much the same story. They had been lured by a young teen girl saying she was 18, and that she liked them, wanted to go with them, and wanted them to do sexual things with her and her friends. Of course, these boys, given their mentality (functioning at only a 10 year old's age level) jumped at the chance to have a real relationship with someone. The girls videotaped the event and have not only made these boys a laughingstock in the community, but now they are facing prison time as well!
Even movies portray that you have to be a certain person or look a certain way to get the hot chicks!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Too bad the movies have it all wrong. True love is not found in a person's looks or position they hold, or the abilities they have, NO it's found much deeper--in the heart!
I raised four children with varying disabilities. Between them they had dyslexia, learning disabilities, Asperger's Syndrome, emotional impairments, bi-polar, panic, schizophrenia, heart condition, ADD, ADHD, not to mention OCD and ODD. None of them had many real friends growing up. Many times they were lured into giving their money and prized possessions away. Even as adults, now, people still try to use them, but I've educated them to be on the look out about such friends.
Today people with disabilities are increasingly becoming victims of what is called "Mate Crime" where fake friends take advantage of, hurt, and sometimes even murder them. These fake friends show up when these individuals get their disability checks and finagle them out of their funds. Some have even moved into their homes and lived off them!
Worse yet, one innocent victim, Stephen Hoskin (below), a man from the UK with learning disabilities, was tortured to the point of death by his fake friends. Stephen was taken to a viaduct where he was forced to hang by his fingers from railings, then they stamped on his hands, which caused him to fall 100 ft to his death. Tragically 90% of mate crimes go unreported, due to those with disabilities keeping it a secret because they want friends and will do anything to keep them! (Read Full Story)
This story and others only prove that we must work even harder to educate our disabled children, our community, and those who could and should protect them! Together we can stop abuse, change hearts, and save lives!