You get the horns.
Alcoholics Anonymous has another way of saying this. Within the AA Big Book it says:
“We step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.”
“We put ourselves in a position to be hurt.”
Lately, I’ve become interested in the Jodi Arias – Travis Alexander trial and so I followed it closely for the last several weeks. I think the relationship between them and the subsequent murder has a lot to teach all of us about life and living successfully with one another.
Unfortunately, the majority of people see Travis and Jodi and their “fatal encounter” in black and white; they are not privy to the shades of gray that actually exist within the whole matter. Few things in life are only black and white. And normally, people don’t just murder other people for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and this is the case this time as well.
It’s easy to see Jodi Arias as the villain here and Travis Alexander as the innocent victim and on the surface, this is the case. Jodi physically butchered Travis and left him thrown away to rot in a bloody shower. Evidently though, the jury recognized that there was more to this, and I agree. And as hard as it is for the family of Travis Alexander and his supporters to realize, we are right.
Jodi Arias has a personality disorder, (Borderline Personality Disorder), and this causes her to react to emotional hurt in extreme ways. Boundaries do not exist for these kind of individuals. People with BPD have been severely abused as children, emotionally and often physically. They can become like chameleon’s. They will be whatever you want them to be in order to please. They learn to manipulate others expertly in order to survive in their various familial environments. They may appear soft spoken and loving on the outside, (a mask they wear), but the truth is that they feel and fear things quite deeply. They also overreact in rage when they are injured, due to the fear of or actual abuse and abandonment.
Travis Alexander emotionally and verbally abused Jodi Arias. Under the premise of a very religious, upstanding, pure young man, he was living a double life. He used Jodi for hard core sex and attempted to casually throw her away when he was finished. The text messages and phone conversations that were taped between them prove this. By the time Travis realized what and who he was dealing with, it was most definitely too late. Jodi would not be casually thrown away and go quietly.
Like the movie “Fatal Attraction” exemplifies, Jodi was dealing with rage, fear of abandonment, and deep hurt due to Travis’ rejection of her. She felt that she had given everything she could give to Travis, including her body. She loved him deeply, and wanted to marry him and live happily ever after. Instead, she found herself used, abused, abandoned, and discarded to the side like so much garbage. She lashed out and the ensuing backlash was brutal and fatal.
Travis didn’t deserve to pay for his error and mistreatment of Jodi with his life, but life is like that sometimes. Unfortunately, Travis hurt and tampered with the volatile emotions of a seriously disturbed kind of person. He erred by putting himself into a position to be hurt. He messed with the bull and got the horns.
Jodi Arias reacted as an injured animal who can take no more mistreatment. There was no conscience, no fear, and no thought of consequences and retribution when she killed Travis; there was only primitive emotion and rage.
There is a moral to this story. I think the moral is quite clear.
When we go after what we want in life in a selfish, lustful manner, without regard for the feelings and mental state of another, we are quite literally playing with fire. Sometimes our play partner may be unstable. We can lose our very lives over it.
Jodi’s death penalty jury was hung and thus there will now be another jury selected for the penalty phase of this trial. They will retry her as this first jury voted to give her death 8 to 4. Four jurors realized that there was much more to this story than the surface tells us; they planned to give Jodi life. It looks as though Prosecutor Juan Martinez wants Jodi’s death and will be satisfied with nothing less.
I believe Jodi should get the rest of her natural life in prison since we as a society unfortunately choose not to rehabilitate our mentally ill prisoners. It won’t be safe for Jodi to be on the outside interacting with other people, and may not even be safe for her to be in general population. Even if Jodi were helped, this kind of personality disorder doesn’t respond very well to therapy, according to many psychiatrists and psychologists. Many therapists think that those with BPD cannot ever be “cured.”
This is a sad tale that I hope all of us can learn from because while it is a complex situation, the morality of the matter and the lessons here are simple to understand and take in. I’m so sorry to read the various comments and opinions of those on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere that show that people aren’t thinking deeply about what has happened as they side primarily with Travis Alexander and attempt to make him into the innocent golden boy. He was anything but…
I hope we don’t put Jodi to death because she’s like a disabled, wounded animal that deserves only to be penned up and prayed for, at this point. Ideally, if we were a wiser, kinder, more civilized society, we would attempt to fix her and continue to until we could figure out exactly how. We would treat her kindly, not punitively as we prevent her from hurting herself or others again.
As advanced as we are technologically, we do not seem to want to completely apply our compassion, minds, and talents to the human beings that we share this planet with. I hope this will change one day in the future.
- Jodi Arias Jury Foreman Speaks Out – ‘This Girl Was Crucified In The Court Of Public Opinion’ (radaronline.com)
- Jodi Arias jury foreman says she’s not ‘Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson’ (examiner.com)
- Jodi Arias Jury Foreman Tells GMA How They Reached Verdict… And Then Didn’t (mediaite.com)
- Jodi, Joran and Casey: On the Psychology of Evil (psychologytoday.com)