But, alas, I am only a muggle and have no such ability.
However, in the world of magic, I do believe I could have helped stop Lord Voldemort from becoming who he was and helped him be a self-loving, caring, Tom Riddle.
Not even magic could take care of that.
So why in the world would I make the comparison of Lord Voldemort to a child like my L? Voldemort is cruel and down right evil. He kills people for his own power and seems to not have a caring bone in his body. He is a bully and a manipulator, a liar and a thief. As a young student at Hogwarts he charmed the teachers masterfully, and even fooled the beloved Dumbledore, as he was convinced Tom was just a child who needed his direction and support. Dumbledore thought that the cruel nature that Tom had been accused of at the orphanage would change as soon as he was under the Hogwart's roof.
Tom was just a child, for heaven's sake, how could he really be that broken?
But Tom was, wasn't he.
Tom's mother wasn't able to show him love once her spell bound husband left her. She withered away and died shortly after Tom was born. Tom had in a sense been abandoned the moment his father had left. Tom was born broken.
Broken can be seen like a truly negative term, but I see it as one who has been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order, by no fault of their own.
But this does not mean something once broken cannot be mended, if done right.
Tom was brought to a school with many people who became his friends, even his teachers showed great respect to him for his abilities, he was in a sense loved at the school. So why did this not fix him? Why did he not change as Dumbledore thought he would?
Because Tom was never properly mended.
Tom's deep feelings of abandonment and hate for a father who left him were his driving force, his only knowledge of who he was. No matter how many peers or teachers told him he was worth more than what he saw in himself, he didn't truly believe them. His deep hate for himself stemmed from the very source that tore him apart. And yes, while Tom was a child this was hard to see, but children do grow up and once they do, trying to change them is a mighty hard thing to come by.
I know without a doubt that Lord Voldemort had Reactive Attachment Disorder or Disassociative Trauma Disorder. Tom Riddle was born with trauma, just as my L was.
The definition for RAD is this:
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is one of the few psychological disorders that can be applied to infants
Children affected by RAD exhibit an inability to form normal relationships with other people as well as impaired social development and sociopathic behaviors due to the absence of secure attachment formation early in life
So while the amazing Harry Potter, by all rights had his own trauma, he was loved while in the womb and cared for by his mother during his first year of life. This truly made all the difference for him, although he does struggle to fit in and has a harder time trusting even his dearest friends. However, while Tom was never abused or physically hurt in any way, his lack of the feelings of love within the womb and feelings of abandonment by his father and the death of his mother, made him who he was. His brain was formed in such a way that he wasn't able to care about anyone, he didn't feel bad when he killed someone, and he truly believed that control or power thwarted any real and loving relationship.
While I pray that my L will never turn into someone like Lord Voldemort or those broken young men who take pleasure in their devastating shootings, I know that it is not out of the realm of possibility. These broken children need our help. They need to not be overlooked by the system and not be cast aside, in hopes that they will grow out of it. If something is broken and not repaired properly or even at all, the break becomes more apparent and less repairable as it ages. But when we repair the break early on, the break can become that person's strongest point. I have seen it with children like my L who receive the right kind of help, the right kind of therapy and repair. They become loving and very caring people who end up doing a lot of good in the world.
Their break becomes about what they have overcome, rather than their downfall.
Lots of love,