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Husband does Illegal graffiti

addictions graffiti help me

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#1 alison_143

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 03:47 AM

I need help to know how to deal with my husband who does graffiti. Not little things, BIG things. Tonight he got back at 2:00 am after painting 7' tags in two very prominent spots right on the interstate. If I were to call the cops, he would be charged with a felony. He says he does it for the want of fame and street credit. That statement doesn't seem to alarm him at all.

This has been a problem for him for a long time, and he almost couldn't go on his mission because he got busted. He quit for almost 5 years, then something triggered him to start back up again about 2 years ago.

I try not to make a big deal about it because he goes through long stretches of not doing anything major, but when he breaks, he binges. He understands it's illegal, and that he could go to jail, he just doesn't seem to think that is actually going to happen because he's supposedly smarter than the cops and knows what to watch out for. He acts exactly as if this is an addiction, but he refuses to see it that way.

I'm tired of worrying about if he'll be coming home or if he's in jail. He honestly doesn't think what he's doing is that bad. We are active members of our Ward and we have an 18 month old son to take care of so I'm not the only one his actions affect. Any suggestions?

#2 NeuroTypical

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:52 AM

What gang is he in?
If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Ohhh....
If I were a rich man...

#3 Irishcolleen

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:02 AM

If it's not a gang issue perhaps you could persuade him to paint murals for pay. Maybe get him to paint on canvas and enter art shows. Perhaps recognition as an artist would be more rewarding as "street cred."

#4 alison_143

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:38 AM

He's not part of a gang. Just an artist. He has done murals and canvas work but says it's not the same. It's the rush of doing something illegal and getting away with it that keeps him doing it.

#5 annewandering

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:46 AM

Sounds like an adrenalin junkie. Does your bishop know about this? Does he see a counselor?

#6 alison_143

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:52 AM

When I bring up talking to the bishop about it, he sluffs it off. I think he knows he would be told to stop. I want him to talk to someone with authority, be it the bishop or a counselor, but how do you get someone to go that doesn't want to?

#7 selek

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:52 AM

He's not part of a gang. Just an artist.

Horse manure. You need to face facts, not draw pretty pictures around the truth.


He's a tagger.

Artists- real, genuine, legitimate artists- create lasting beauty.

Your man-child defaces other people's property for the thrill of it.



Whether he calls it "art" or not, your husband is committing a crime.

That's a lesson, a habit, and a mindset he will pass on to your child.


It's the rush of doing something illegal and getting away with it that keeps him doing it.

This is very likely the only truth in his claims.

Now- imagine your son or daughter saying the same thing when they get caught.

Does it still sound okay to you?



When he gets caught- and he will- it will affect his ability to provide for your child.

At the very least, a criminal record will make it harder for him to find and keep good and stable employment.

It will affect his credit, making it difficult for him to afford decent housing, school loans, and other needs your child will develop over the coming years.



You think the worry is bad now?


Wait until you have to pay the bills without him because he's in jail.


Wait until you have to take your son or daughter through three levels of lockdown to see Daddy in his orange jump suit during Visiting Hours.

Does that sound like fun to you?



Or is it time to stage an intervention?

Edited by selek, 06 March 2013 - 09:03 AM.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

#8 annewandering

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:56 AM

What exactly does he paint on the walls? Have you seen it?
Selek, I just did a google search on graffiti being gang related. It turns out that most graffiti is not gang related although there is much that is. Many consider it a valid art form despite it being illegal. Much of it is social commentary. There is also the factor of fame and recognition of other graffiti taggers.
The problem I see here is not the art. It is the fact that he prefers it BECAUSE it is illegal. One question I do have about that is it the being illegal or is it because he is well known and 'respected' in it by his fellow taggers? That is really something that a counselor needs to get into with him.

Edited by annewandering, 06 March 2013 - 09:11 AM.


#9 alison_143

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:21 AM

What exactly does he paint on the walls? Have you seen it?

Many consider it a valid art form despite it being illegal.

There is also the factor of fame and recognition of other graffiti taggers.

One question I do have about that is it the being illegal or is it because he is well known and 'respected' in it by his fellow taggers?

That is really something that a counselor needs to get into with him.



My husband is honest with me and tells me where and what he paints. It's always just his graffiti name in these elaborate multi colored designs. To him is IS art. It's not "ugly" and thoughtless for him. That's what blurs the fact that it's illegal. It's his hobby. He is known my other artists around who contact him and congratulate him on his work so he has a taste of the fame he wants from the people he wants it from.

How do I involve a counselor or stage an intervention?

#10 alison_143

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:27 AM

Whether he calls it "art" or not, your husband is committing a crime.

That's a lesson, a habit, and a mindset he will pass on to your child.

When he gets caught- and he will- it will affect his ability to provide for your child.

At the very least, a criminal record will make it harder for him to find and keep good and stable employment.


I've tried talking to him about all of this. He doesn't consider it a likely possibility. As absurd as that is to you and me, that's how he sees it. I don't disagree with anything you said, but cornering him and scolding him does not help. That's why I need to figure out a different way of handling this.

#11 NeuroTypical

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:53 AM

He says he does it for the want of fame and street credit.

What gang is he in?

He's not part of a gang. Just an artist.

Who does he want fame from? From whom does he get the street cred? You mention other artists - are they taggers too? Also supposedly not in gangs?

(Just seems like an awful lot of non-gang-related gang activity going on here.)

Edited by Loudmouth_Mormon, 06 March 2013 - 10:25 AM.

If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Ohhh....
If I were a rich man...

#12 Irishcolleen

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:53 AM

Perhaps he could take up skydiving or base jumping for the adrenalin and use the art for extra income. Some people are born with a need for a rush- that's why so many are involved in extreme sports. I have an adrenalin junkie for a kid. She was born to do everything fast, she crawled fast, walked at 8 mos., runs, skates, ski's and drives fast in addition to climbing everything in sight. God just made her that way. We have just had to channel her need for thrills into a positive action. She is an aviation major and is looking forward to serving in the military after college.

#13 mdfxdb

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 10:37 AM

It's too bad you married a child. He needs to have consequence to his actions. He cannot jeopradize his family. I would suggest you move out, and see what he does. Unless of course you want to be in a position as previously mentioned of having a jail-bird husband who can't provide for his family. He is engaged in illegal activity. This has both spiritual as well as earthly ramifications.

#14 alison_143

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:03 AM

It's too bad you married a child.


I don't need to be judged. Every marriage has their issues, and this one is mine. By no means do I justify his actions and I agree completely that he needs consequences. I need help figuring out how to make that happen and how to help him grasp the seriousness of his actions. The suggestion of skydiving is feasible. He is an adrenaline junkie and that could possibly satisfy the need for a rush.

#15 mdfxdb

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:10 AM

You're not being judged, he is. What he is doing is what a child would do. He doesn't care enough for you to avoid dangerous behavior.

What if his behavior was robbing liquor stores (for the excitement of getting away with it)? Would that be bad enough? Let's say he knows how to not get caught (ha ha), and he does it without anyone getting hurt, what would be the problem with that? Oh, and you get all the extra $$$.

If he goes to jail you and your family will be hurt. He is willing to take that chance. Are you? Will you support/tolerate his activity even though it could hurt the family. If so, then you are just as guilty as he is.

#16 alison_143

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:10 AM

Who does he want fame from? From whom does he get the street cred? You mention other artists - are they taggers too? Also supposedly not in gangs?

(Just seems like an awful lot of non-gang-related gang activity going on here.)


The fame and credit comes from other taggers who otherwise lead normal lives. I can promise you there is no gang related activity. No violence, no marking territory, no fighting. Just graffiti. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that any of this okay, I'm just saying you don't have to make my husband out to be a monster. He has a problem, he needs help, and I need help facilitating that.

#17 alison_143

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:14 AM

Will you support/tolerate his activity even though it could hurt the family. If so, then you are just as guilty as he is.


I'm not supporting it, tolerating it or facilitating it in any way. However, I can't watch over him every minute of the day and I shouldn't have to. I'm not his babysitter. Since he is proving to not be capable of making responsible choices alone, I need help figuring out my next step.

#18 mdfxdb

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:17 AM

If you are not holding him accountable for his actions then you are supporting it. Where there is no consequence he will not change or modify his behavior. You're right, you shouldn't have to do this or supervise him. Children need supervision, not adults.

Your next step is a consequence for him. He needs to understand that his actions do have an impact on other people.

#19 DHK

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:21 AM

I wonder if he can do community service cleaning up graffiti in the community?

Talk to someone at the police station and ask about community service opportunities.

I would then consider giving him an ultimatum:

- Complete and log in 24 hours of community service hours cleaning graffiti... or you may leave him or you'll turn him in to the policy and be arrested for the crimes he is committing.


This is just one way that he can complete restitution for his crimes, and maybe do it without being arrested for it himself.

Just a thought.

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"But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21).  President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had "never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life" (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ." - Neal A. Maxwell, October 10th, 1978.

 

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#20 alison_143

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:22 AM

That's my problem. What is the consequence? Calling the cops? Getting rid of his paint? I literally have no place to move out to so that isn't exactly doable. What is a good enough consequence?




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