Unbelievable

I’m calling about the story you guys printed on May 23 regarding the Labrador and his lover/owner (SD on the QT: “LGBTQIA-Z?”). That is so sick! I just can’t believe you guys printed something like that.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Like Sherry

I read the May 23 Reader cover article written by Eva Knott about Sherry Chu Chang’s murder (“She Gave Her Son an Ocean-View House, a New Lexus, and $130,000,” May 23) and was moved to tears.

The author described my life for the last twelve years, supporting a grown son. Like Mrs. Chang, I have done everything humanly possible to “help” my son. Like Mrs. Chang, I have never given up on my son.

My son is now in his late thirties, surviving somehow on the streets. He gets in touch with me when he needs money; other than that, I don’t hear from him for weeks. He has not worked in over five years and, just as Sherry Chang wrote to her son in an email, I feel as if he has ruined my life. I have been consumed with his life and his problems since forever.

When I hear from him, I think, finally, he means what he says. He’s going to figure this out. I believe him when he says that he wants to shape up and find a job and get off drugs. I believe him when he tells me that it’s not his fault: he doesn’t know how his truck got broken into, he doesn’t know how he lost his wallet, he doesn’t know how he got ripped off. He doesn’t know how he lost the money I gave him last week. He will pay me back, he promises, if I can help him out, just this once.

I know many parents say this, but my son seemed like such a smart child when he was growing up. How could a boy with so much potential end up like this? For years, I have blamed myself. For years, I have blamed anyone I could, desperate to find an answer. The answer is that there is no answer.

I have spent countless sleepless nights worrying. I wait for that call from the San Diego Police Department or the local sheriff’s office. What has happened now? The ugly world of drugs has changed him. Like Sherry, I don’t want to think of him with his “ugly face,” his altered demeanor, the face that drugs and living on the streets has given him.

He is no longer welcome in our home. My husband and I cannot trust him any longer. We have bought him cars, trucks, insurance, groceries, paid his rent. I have paid for him to attend various vocational schools, because he dropped out of high school when he was just 16. He always has a reason why he cannot work.

When he left high school, I objected so strongly; I told him that he would ruin his life if he had no education. I told him about how much potential he had. I told him that he should not quit, that if he quit, he would be quitting for the rest of his life.

He has been arrested four times in San Diego County for various crimes — mostly drug-related, once for grand theft. He is now a Prop. 36 probationer. I have drawn the line at providing attorney fees. He uses a court-appointed attorney when he has to appear.

Like I mentioned before, I have never given up, but I am very weary, like Mrs. Chang. I think I know how she must have felt when she told her son that she was moving away. I, too, have tried geographical changes, hoping to escape, but I could never escape my past.

It was so very sad and scary to read about Sherry Chang’s murder. She must have been so scared, so unbelieving. Sons are supposed to love their mothers, aren’t they? Sons are not supposed to murder. Whatever happened in his mind? Whatever caused him to snap? Mental illness, drugs? She still loved her son, no matter what. Whether his mental illness was chemically-induced or genetic, he put his mother through hell when she was alive, and while he was murdering her. Her waking life sounded so familiar to me: work, pay his bills, work more, earn more money, pay him more, no peace, no sleep, constant worry.

I pray every day: Dear God, make my son well, give my husband and I some peace, give us one day free from worry, free from crisis, free from chaos.

I can identify with Mrs. Chang. I think I know how tortuous her life must have been. I can only speak for myself, but when I gave birth to my only son, I never imagined what a monster he would turn out to be.

I hope that now, finally, Sherry Chu Chang has found peace.

Name Withheld
via email

Could Be

Regarding Sue Garson’s letter (“Kafe Hitler,” May 16) regarding Josif Djugashvili, aka Stalin. Yes, I noticed that too, but didn’t really give it much thought. I thought maybe Djugashvili was a common name, but then Mark could be a relative.

Richard Watson
via voicemail

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