The most infamous case of severe abandonment in our generation, was of course, the brutal and bizarre story of O.J. and Nicole Simpson. I remember when O.J. was a football sideline reporter during a Super Bowl when the network made a big deal of showing O.J. interacting with his beautiful wife in the end zone before the game. I remember being stunned and saddened that he was found to be not guilty. Everyone in America knew that he was guilty except the twelve citizens in the jury box. It broke my heart to see Ronald Goldman’s father be rebuffed in his desperate search for justice for the horrific murder of his son. Talk about a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time! By all accounts, Ronald Goldman was a sweet young man who was just friends and barely so with Nicole.
Audio tapes submitted into evidence indicate that O.J. had stalked his estranged wife. He stared in windows and then raged at her in voice mail messages about sexual acts that thought he had seen. Although at that point it really wasn’t his business what his wife did in the privacy of her home, what he did or didn’t see through those windows activated monstrous abandonment. He had the most extreme and the most dangerous kind of abandonment reaction. If he couldn’t have Nicole then nobody else was going to have her. It is a vicious, primal rage that drives a man to nearly decapitate the woman who he had loved and who had borne his children. It was the All-American dream turned evil nightmare.
I will never forget the white Bronco driving all around L.A. with a caravan of news vans following it on my 35th birthday on June 17th 1994. It sort of made my birthday creepy! I didn’t know how to frame what I was seeing then. I hadn’t had the experience with abandonment that I have gained through the years. Frankly I am surprised that there aren’t more murders or murder/suicides even in affluent communities. Abandonment pain is so prevalent and so explosively hurtful that I fear that there will be more less famous O.J.’s out there. This story was one of the darkest tales of modern or any times. It had it all…injustice, prejudice, greed, murder, sex, betrayal, innocence, media, celebrity, intrigue, a dream team of lawyers, abandonment of children and high drama. I hope that it is a story that won’t be repeated but I fear that it will be.
Mark E. Smith, LCSW (317)507-8866 firstname.lastname@example.org