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Friday, July 22, 2011

Facebook And The Case Of The "Voluntarily Missing" Mother....

Today a local woman who went missing a few days ago, has been "found" and classified by the local Police as "voluntarily missing". I had actually never heard of that particular phrase, my personal choice is "I am running away to join the circus!" I am not making light of the situation but rather saying I understand.  In some of my recent posts  I have blogged about the racial bias of missing persons cases in the eyes of the media. How missing caucasians are more likely to be headline news than say a missing black woman. So of course I had a rush of emotion when I clicked on the Facebook link to my local news show and it said Fresno woman goes missing, and she was white..... I was at first mad that here was another white  missing woman getting media coverage, then I remembered what I had written. "When someone is missing, there are those that are left behind to deal with the events that will follow, the people that love them. I hope none of us ever have to experience the emotions they do every moment of the day not knowing if their loved one is ok. In all of these instances race does not matter, time does." So I instead requested to friend the missing woman on Facebook as her family had asked the public to do to be able to download a flyer that I would post at my job near a Greyhound Bus Terminal. I saw her ex husband and her daughter on the newscast and knew that they did not deserve to have to deal with this.

So when I saw the recent feed on my Facebook that she had been "found". I felt relief for them and was glad she was ok. I know a lot of other people will not think it was ok for her to do what she did.To just up and leave her child and people that cared about her. To leave them with nothing to go on. Then I also felt a sort of kindred spirit in her. I don't know about anyone else but I can really honestly say I too had thought just taking off and disappearing may be best for those I loved, that they would be ok. Some will say that is cowardice to run away from your "problems". Everyone has problems right?

Yes everyone does, but sometimes those problems are so overwhelming to us as individuals and the mere thought of being a failure, or unable to handle the stress of what our lives have become, is too much to bear. I do not know all of the details of why she left, but it does not matter. I understand why she did it. Maybe you won't. What I do know is what a powerful thing Facebook is. Her page had over 4000 "friends" all praying for her safe return, ready to go and post flyers or go on searches...amazing! What a great community of people in the Central California Valley we have. I hope those same people will be open minded about her "return" and will be nonjudgemental and instead be grateful that the outcome was not far worse if not for her sake, then for her daughters.

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