Two years ago, my world was torn apart, the Socastee community feared for its high school students and Officer Erik Karney nearly lost his life. To acknowledge that this was all caused by the actions of my own son is, even today, almost unbearable.
What makes it bearable is to see my son starting to smile again. To hear him talk of a future, past all of this, makes me hopeful. The hard work he is putting forth, in every opportunity given to him at DJJ, makes me proud. His social worker and I are continually impressed with the efforts and strides he has been making in his therapy; he now has his GED, he will be starting college classes soon, he has been promoted to captain in the JROTC, and he is a final inspector in the upholstery shop. To know he is finally learning to let go of the hate, anger, hurt and sorrows he has carried for so long gives me peace.
Christian is my child and I love him with every ounce of who I am. While the bullying absolutely caused his double depression, dysthymia, rage and suicidal feelings, it did not cause his actions that day. He alone is accountable for those and he accepts responsibility for them.
He is paying his debt to society. I am grateful that he was able to realize the horrors he intended to do at lunch or break were not in him. Otherwise, casualties and additional injuries were sure to have happened. I am forever sorry though that he couldn’t see any other way out of what he had started, except through Officer Karney. I carry tremendous guilt that he did not feel he could call me, that he didn’t know I would forever be by his side and would have helped him get the treatment he so desperately needed.
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I am so very fortunate to be able to see him every weekend; to have those opportunities to make sure he knows now that I am always in his corner and how much I love him. I write this letter, not to open old wounds, but to thank Officer Karney again for his integrity, honor and bravery that day. I could never thank him enough. He saved my son’s life when he least deserved it or wanted it. Officer Karney is and will forever be my hero. There is not a single day that goes by that I do not think of him and my wish each time is for only peace, health and happiness for his family and him.
Thank you Officer Karney.
The writer lives in Socastee.