First chapter of the second part of my book...
Finding Your Way Home Part 2 Chapter 22
Witness to Injustice: Is There Any solution?
“It takes two to speak the truth-- One to speak and the other to hear.” Henry David Thoreau
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle, and the other is as if everything is a miracle.”
~ Albert Einstein
OK, we all know divorce sucks. As I wrote previously, usually one person is at least hoping it will bring some benefit—just as usually, at least one is not of the same opinion. Sometimes both parties agree they want to--or must--divorce. BUT—even such an agreement on the need for “dissolution” is not a total anesthetic. There is no recipe for a pain free divorce. We have invested too much in any marriage not to feel pain when it ends. And I don’t think we, as a society, “get” that. We let people act as though there is no tragedy, no loss, no reason to offer solace. Maybe this is one reason so many people create nastier messes in divorce than in anything else they have ever done or will do. Maybe this is the only way we seem to have to say “ATTENTION MUST BE PAID.” There needs to be a better way.
But in this segment of my effort to share what I have learned, I want to talk about two things- injustice and the wounds that brings… and the role of the witness in healing. And as much as possible, I want to flesh out the very real ways in which truth really can set us free.
I have been reading a lot lately. That happens when I find myself baffled by circumstances I find myself in. I have found myself in a series of circumstances where I have been unfairly treated—even physically assaulted—and it was pretty darn baffling. It was unjust, in the extreme, but it was so peculiar that I felt there was a lesson in it all. And slowly I am finding the lessons I was sent. It took more patience than I thought I had. It took immense courage, even when I was sure I was too exhausted to be heroic. But, I hung in. Now I feel very much stronger.
So I have been seeking truth--as soon was I was able to get my energy up to it! (If you are in such a situation, know it may take time.)
I have learned two things—ONE, just how and it really feels when you are suffering and you really do not deserve it. (Yes, this does happen!) TWO—it still holds that even so, you have the power to set yourself free. (Although, as I say, it still may take a lot longer then you want it to. Much longer.)
The truth is… the truth really does set you free. (But as one of my belly dance teacher says, first it will really piss you off! But would you rather be pissed off for a few minutes, then liberated—or bitter and weighed down for a lifetime?)
So—now we come this next segment of my book. I am going to shed some light on why a false belief system persists that the courts are (or should be) fair and why the twin truths of conflict (that courts are not “fair”) and that where there is deep conflict --blame, bitterness and pain-- only patience, changing your thinking, and time will fix it) are not popular. (A hopeful note—there ARE solutions!)
In this society we seem to think the courts dispense justice. Sadly, families—parents, often, sadly in conflict--also think they dispense relief from their dilemmas. If this were true did, the courts would be doing what marital therapists don’t seem to be able to do!No, courts do not dispense relief. But we are so used to the unconscious mind set that they do that we can’t see how unlikely it is.
There is a growing body of work on why educated, otherwise rational humans persists in beliefs and courses of action which are irrational or self defeating. I submit that going to a court for any sort of relief is just such a course of action, in almost every case. Irrational and self-defeating. In the one case I know of where custody was changed from Mom to Dad without a huge mess, Mom was so clearly struggling that in a more perfect world, she might have been able to take a better route to the change than having Dad file with the courts. It would have saved a lot of money if that had happened. So, the kids are now with the better parent, because Mom fell apart. On the whole, a good outcome--but publicly humiliating for Mom. On the public record for all time.
Justice? I don't think so.
We call our police, along with the courts, the “justice system.” Maybe this is a form of justice—IF you compare it to armed combat—or, if you are a woman, being disposed of as property. But for men, being told they have to dispense funds to a family they are no longer part of, or a soused they no longer enjoy—this is not “justice,” and it is not “fair.’ There have been studies done where experimental subject refused a deal where they would get nothing if the other partner makes an offer of an division of windfall that saw seen as unfair.(In other societies where anything was seen as a gift the amount offered was always taken.)
No, we have no way reached the place where “justice? is dispensed by any of our existing hierarchical systems with their zero-sum paradigm, is going to be of real value to disputing humans let alone those who are already in pain and distress when they enter the game. Heaven help you if that is your situation!
How do I know? Glad you asked. This book is not about platitudes… it is about what I have lived, so… here we go.