Depression? I think not.
In an article that appeared in the TwinCities.com Pioneer Press yesterday, Lakeville, MN dad Steven Alexander Cross was released from Dakota County Jail after abandoning his son back in July. It seems that Cross is full of excuses as to why he could not even see to it that his son was properly cared for before he ran for the hills – well, the California community of Cambria. Close enough. What kind of parent slinks out the back door, leaving a good-bye note for his 11 year old saying get on your bike and ride to the neighbors…hope you have a good life. Are you kidding?
Now I know a lot of folks who read my blog are therapists, consultants and clinicians; but I don’t want one phone call telling me that he’s probably clinically depressed and that he is not responsible for his actions. That’s garbage and we will all get our fill of hearing Cross attorney whine about that. I’m not clinical, but I am a private investigator and my training tells me that this man was in control of his actions. What happened here is clear: Cross decided to wait until he was at the point of no return and sneak away. It’s called premeditation. Why? Because he took time to leave a note – he didn’t just walk away. If he could take time to write a note, he could have waited for his son to return home, made sure that his son would be well cared for, and then leave.
The problem is that he’s been lying for so long he can’t face his son with the truth. He even goes so far as to tell his son in the note that the Sheriff was coming to take the house away. Oh, that’s rich. Cross has no culpability at all. Instead, he blames the Sheriff so from this day forward his son will have ill will toward law enforcement. Why didn’t Cross say, “I screwed up and we can’t live here” to his son? I suspect it is because he had built his relationship on lies and it was just easier to tell another lie than tell the truth.
Take a moment and go back with me to 2002 when his son’s mother was denied her parental rights. Cross decides to tell his son, “Your mom has died” instead of telling him the truth: “Your mom can not see you anymore.” Who cares what the mom did, that’s not the issue. The issue is that she is not dead and at some point in time when the son is of age, he can sort it out with her if he chooses. But Cross took that away. Cross made a calculated decision to lie to his son. Everyone knows what happens when a lie is propagated; another lie must be told to support the first one, and so on. School teachers and friends are told the lie and relatives are drawn in to keep Cross looking good. Again, it is premeditation. The problem is that when the house of cards Cross built began to fall he would be forced to own his lies, but not if he blames losing the house on the Sheriff. He even planned where he would escape: to the land of fruits and nuts where he can flip burgers and start a new life. So, what’s the deal Cross, couldn’t you take your son with you to California? Of course not, because then he would have to own his lies.
I am sick and tired of parents who lie to their kids; parents who sit around hold up in their condo hovels whining about not being able to find some work because they are too proud to pour Starbucks or too lazy to find a new home for the dog because he’s another mouth to feed that we can’t afford right now. What ever happened to holding each other accountable? Don’t these lazy parents get it? Children don’t care whether you have one car or two; they just need their life to be grounded in truth. When truth is taught as a way of life relationships between parents and their children become bonds of steel where trust lives. When truth is the foundation, the rest will take care of itself.
Cross in his laziness created a web of lies and deceit which he fed over at least the past nine years. If Cross wasn’t lying he would have recognized the signs as they were approaching. As I said on Facebook: Cross should have downsized in 2002 and when his work began to dry up when the economic environment changed for architects he would have been able to live off of savings while her reinvented himself. When does Cross become culpable? I suppose now, but only because he has been caught.