Thursday, May 06, 2010

For Love: George Huguely and Yeardley Love

Can you really blame kids for getting drunk? Isn't that what they do, as college students? Make that, high school students? Athletes?

Well, no. Not every college kid drinks until he loses control, and not every high school student does this. Not every athlete. We can leave the other drugs alone for a minute, concentrate on America's favorite drug, for this is what docs learn in graduate school. Alcohol is America's favorite drug. And it's likely alcohol did drive George Huguely over the edge.

Here. Read the New York Times for yourself, Juliet Macur's got the byline:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — On a night that was supposed to be a quiet one, with final exams just a day away, more than 1,500 students at the University of Virginia put down their books Wednesday and paid tribute to a fellow student killed this week.

An amphitheater was packed for an hour with students and administrators, some holding candles, all honoring the memory of Yeardley Love, the lacrosse player who was found dead in her apartment early Monday.

Another Virginia lacrosse player, George Huguely, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death. . .

Court documents released this week, though, gave details of how that fateful night unfolded. In an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant, Huguely, a 22-year-old senior from Chevy Chase, Md., told the police that he and Love, also 22, had recently ended a romantic relationship. He said he broke into her bedroom and attacked her, shaking her as her head repeatedly hit a wall. The police said Love’s head was badly bruised.
This post is a little late on the draw, I know. But it's ironic, because I wanted to post about narcissism today, and yet this one smacks of intimate partner violence, or domestic violence, DV. Maybe George Huguely has this disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. We know that some murderers do. I just finished a novel by Alan Jacobson about a serial killer on this. Don't read it if you need to get to sleep at night. Crush. Set in Napa Valley. We get a really good tour of the vineyards.

Today's theme. Crushed grapes, crushed people. Alcohol. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Intimate partner violence.

We can blame alcohol abuse for the murder of Yeardley Love, and everyone will. But while some drink to oblivion, and don't murder anyone, there are those who do. So it's likely there are other disorders at work, what is called a duo diagnosis. It's likely there's another diagnosis tucked inside George Huguely. He's had priors, meaning he's been arrested before. The Washington Post:
In November 2008, Huguely pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, public swearing and public intoxication after a drunken scuffle with a female police officer during a visit to Lexington, Va. The officer said Huguely told her, "I'll kill you. I'll kill all of y'all. I'm not going to jail," in a diatribe laced with racial, sexual and other vulgar terms. She used a Taser to subdue him.
Oy vay, a Taser.

He received a 60-day suspended sentence, emphasis on the suspended. He had six months of supervised probation, a fine, 50 hours of community service and 20 hours of substance abuse education.

Mostly punishing a bad boy. But are kids bad? Can we say an athlete is misbehaving like that, when he's abusing alcohol, when he's cursing out police officers? That kind of behavior, cursing out an officer is sheer narcissism. Most of us cower when an officer of anything just asks us our names. Well, some of us.

But if you injure some people, offend their egos, what we call narcissistic injuries, then you're likely to catch hell for it. At best, you'll be snubbed. At worst? Maybe murdered. Ms. Yeardley broke up with him. She rejected him. End of a promising young life. My condolences to her family, my prayers for her, for them.

Did she need a police escort to do that, break up with George? Some of us would say yes, maybe. Certainly the police are useful with stalkers. Bring a cop to the door of a teenage stalker and that teenager is going to think twice about bothering his prey again. Catch the kids young, when their personalities are still changing, developing, and you never know.

But order therapy, seriously, not a substance abuse program alone.

And maybe we can prevent deaths like this one.



Cat said...

How sad.

When my husband was drinking to the point of black outs, after his first DUI he was sent to a substance abuse program where they told him, how much he could drink in an hours time without becoming intoxicated... they edgucated him so he could drive, just under the legal limit...

And when he would black out, he was crazy...

Jack said...

I lived a very active college life that involved some similar activities. I was in a fraternity. I fell love and was dumped. I was heart broken and miserable for a while. I drank on more than a few occasions prior to and after heartbreak and never acted out like this boy.

Alcohol isn't enough, there is something more here. At least that is my non professional layman's position.

Most of us "suffer" through some sort of loss, romantic or otherwise and never act in this manner.

There is just no excuse for his behavior. Such a waste.

Dawn said...

Sigh. I live in Cville and this has been pretty crazy. I also agree that there HAS to be something else going on with him. Like you said, many people drink to oblivion and never hurt a fly. The lacrosse team has been through a lot. Last year one of their players committed suicide. So, so horrible.

Syd said...

He looks "off" in his eyes. There is something other than alcohol that I see--defiance, arrogance, entitlement, rage?

Anonymous said...

There are more serious mental disorders than narcisssistic personality disorder, (not to say that NPD is not serious)) and they can be characterized by rage episodes--they can present that way--

She's just this girl, you know? said...

I wonder what, as a wife of a certainly somewhat Narcissistic Personality Disordered Husband, is to do when they can't afford therapy. He does not get violent, or suicidal, but instead extremely depressed and begins to act immaturely. Many of the signs are there - needing to change the attention to himself, even though expressed humorously, it's still there, all the time. He doesn't DO anything to progress, and I would love to know how I can help him without actually bringing it up - I'm sure you know that it is a delicate balance.

Anonymous said...

This is what domestic violence looks like at age 22.

We pretend it's something else, just as we pretend that middle school bullying isn't a direct precursor of adult workplace bullying.

Look at this incident as a domestic violence killing, because that is what it is.

Look at their photos. The anxiety and uncertainy in her expression are obvious - that is not a happy girl. That is a frightened girl, a very unsure girl. His photo? Brute belligerence, hungover or not.

We have got to start making the connection between adult dysfunctions and their childhood and adolescent beginnings.

lynette said...

domestic violence for sure. i think it starts in 6th grade. i am myself working on making this a topic in our parent education series in my town, dating violence.

this is one of my biggest fears. when my daughter (who is 15) broke up with her first boyfriend, i kept asking how upset he was. not that he had EVER done anything to indicate that he was anyone but a very sweet boy who adored her. but sometimes you just don't know.

personally, i could not care less what the pathology is here. alcohol would just be an excuse. ever hear anyone blame a venti latte for their overstimulation? people like this should be stopped somehow, reported, arrested. i am sure he assaulted her before this event.

people (mostly men) who become abusive when drunk do so because their inhibitions are down -- but the abusive tendency is still there. there is still violence.

this story made me feel sad and sick. i am so sorry for her family.

Glimmer said...

You are right that heavy-duty counseling is needed for someone who displays this kind of violence. Not just substance abuse treatment. When I was young and stupid, I was with someone who would get out of his mind drunk and mouthy. Tell off people, police, anyone. He had a mean mouth but was not physically violent and never had to be tasered/subdued, etc. And this horrible story is a reminder that it simply cannot stop at substance treatment. There is the "athlete" angle, but please, this transcends.

Remember recently the story of the former high-level Bush administration lawyer (John Farren) charged with brutally attacking his wife after she refused to drop her divorce lawsuit. I had read that his temper was legendary and she described it as explosive. The man had worked at Commerce and was general counsel for Xerox.

Why is there such resistance to treating explosive rage like this? Obviously both men in this case could afford treatment, lots of it. So obviously they resisted/refused. How could you possibly think this was normal or want to continue life this way. Fury is exhausting/eviscerating.

Wonderingsoul said...

Hi TD,
I apologise that my response is a personal question... but I read your post and I suddenly felt a bit worried.
In terms of what you write about, I hadn't heard the story (guess it wasn't reported so muchin UK) but the tragedy is one that seems to happen with reasonable frequency... Jilted Lover Kills Ex isn't an unfamiliar headline...
I agree with you and everyone else that it takes something more than just an average personality to react in such a way... A disorder of some kind is a necessary ingredient in a murder like this...
NPD? Maybe...
I worked with someone who had NPD and it was 2 years of progressive hellishness whereby they got increasingly paranoid and narcisistic as relationships went on.

My worry was arose when you said,

"That kind of behavior, cursing out an officer is sheer narcissism. Most of us cower when an officer of anything just asks us our names. Well, some of us.

But if you injure some people, offend their egos, what we call narcissistic injuries, then you're likely to catch hell for it. At best, you'll be snubbed. At worst? Maybe murdered"

... and I thought... oh my gosh.. if apolice officer stopped me I'd cower and be contrite... but AFTER I may become enraged and indignant and wish I'd said such n such etc...(go over and over in my head)

Does tht mean that I am a closet narcissist?

Hope you're well.


Anonymous said...

I think there were a couple of problems here: spoiled jock, raised to believe he was entitled to anything he wanted, with an alcohol/drug/rage problem.

Smitty said...

I am intrigued that the man confessed, telling what he did.

He was not so drunk that he could not remember.

I hope this means we won't waste money determining his innocence.

Beloved Parrot said...

You may enjoy The Last Psychiatrist blog -- NPD is a favorite and frequent topic.

Ben Dover said...

I have to agree with the NPD diagnosis in regards to this guy. Narcissists tend to behave like perpetual 3 year olds, throwing temper tantrums to get their own way. It appears that his altercations with Ms. Love, the police and including his argument with his father and cousin on a boat, all point to temper tantrum like behavior. I get the impression while reading about him that he's had a very spoiled and privileged life up to this point; rather accustomed to getting his own way. Ms. Love had the audacity to tell him "no", and because she dared to deny him what he wanted, and possibly thought he deserved, she had to suffer a violent death at his hands. Just another temper tantrum for George, only this time it went too far. Unless daddy's money buys him a really good lawyer that can get George out of this pickle, he may finally have to live with the consequences of his actions; something he's probably never had to do before this point in time.

Glimmer said...

Steroids. Think about it.

Monica said...

George's background provides some clues. His prep school Landon does have a jock culture. His hometown Chevy Chase has many cases of money being used to buy DUIs, hide other infractions, pay off people to look the other way. So these kids learn that covering up is acceptable. Even his neighbor Mr. Preston went on record to say: "George is very polite, gets along well with adults." Really? Let's see, he had to be tasered by a female police officer for vulgar sexual remarks and for threatening to kill her. Other attacks and other red flags beg the question: Where were George's parents in this. Was George given professional help for his obvious issues (i.e. gender sensitivity training, anger management training, substance abuse counseling.) Were the parents actively involved in that process? If they had been Yeardley Love would probably be alive today