I don’t normally like to comment on News stories, especially those which have become a hot topic online and are doing the world wide web outrage rounds.
There are many reasons why I prefer to keep my opinion to myself.
Mostly it is because what is reported in the News, and then spread from mouth to mouth, is like a game of Chinese Whispers. The original story, if the reported story was ever the actual original story, gets lost as people add their own personal stories to it, transforming it.
The things which attract our attention, especially of the negative kind, which is often a more powerful attractor than positive things, tend to push a painful button within. Sometimes we know what that thorn in our side is, we’re consciously aware that we’re seeing our story within someone else’s, and it hurts, making us mad. And sometimes it is hidden in our subconscious, leaking out in indirect ways – our crusades for justice which we tell ourselves are objective and noble, can be inspired by an ignoble injustice to which we were once subjected (and may still be subjected to in our psyche).
I don’t normally do this, but… what is normal?
This is the News story – A Judge Sent 3 Kids To Juvenile Detention For Reportedly Skipping Lunch With Their Dad – via Buzzfeed, which sometimes sensationalises events, glosses over details, however the other versions of it on News sites which are considered (or consider themselves to be) more factual and sober in their approach are telling the same tale, such as this exclusive interview with one of the protagonists of this drama.
An honourable judge has sent three children to juvenile prison because she doesn’t like the way they are behaving towards and treating their father.
Their parents are involved in a very acrimonious custody battle, and perhaps the judge decided to use a shock tactic on the parents to bring some perspective to the matter – that’s the only positive thinking (which society tells us is vitally important to do whenever you’re faced with the darkness of human crazy) I can bring to the judge’s ruling.
Both parents are playing the victim of the other card, and are continuing to do so.
Meanwhile the children get to pay for the crimes of their parents.
Maybe these children are truly as awful as the honourable judge seems to think they are, but why are they that way? And will this experience make them better, turn them into good little children, who honour their father, and will they grow up to be normal citizens of the decent society in which they live – a decent society whose legal system sends children to prison because their parents hate each other.
If they were angry at their father before this happened… I’m sure this will make them love him as he deserves to be loved.
He apparently was given the power by the honourable judge to get his children out of jail immediately – he chose not to use that card as that isn’t the kind of Monopoly he’s playing.
If this experience doesn’t force them to love him, at least it will make them hate their mother as much as they hate their father… because apparently they are in prison due to their mother. She was warned repeatedly that if she did not comply with the custody agreement she would be punished by the law.
The father has accused the mother of ‘parental alienation’, which is a serious issue and perhaps there are those who view him as a hero for a cause. He has claimed that his children’s mother is brainwashing his children, poisoning their minds and hearts against him.
My father accused my mother of doing the same thing.
He was right.
However there was more to the scenario than just that.
He wasn’t any better than my mother during those times that I was alone with him, without her in the picture for a while, or even when she was there, or when I spoke to him on the phone.
I was used to that from very early on in my life on Earth. I was a weapon between warring factions, who used me to get at each other. I knew that, and frankly… it didn’t affect me as much as the lack of real interest neither of them showed in my welfare.
They basically didn’t give a shit about me… the shits they gave were all about themselves and each other.
I didn’t hate my father because my mother hated him and told me repeatedly to hate him too. I hated him for reasons for which he was solely responsible, and because he never took any responsibility for it.
He could have given me the antidote to the poison of heart and mind at any moment, but he never did, instead he injected me with more poison.
Now, that’s just my story, and I know it’s not the story of this family, however… our story and those of others can overlap.
This father is doing what he feels is right… but right can sometimes tip over into wrong when pushed too far, when you’re so focused on your rights that you refuse to see when the rights of other human beings are being sacrificed in pursuit of your own.
This mother is also doing what she feels is right… again… when does right become wrong.
As someone in the comments on the News article wondered – “I can not imagine a back story that would make this acceptable or reasonable. This is like Solomon actually going through with cutting the child in half.”
A mother and father fighting over their children during a divorce is something which we consider normal. We even tend to think it’s the norm for things to get heated, bitter and twisted, for the children to get lost in a custody battle, divvied up like a house, a piece of joint property, and may actually find it abnormal when the split is amicable and fair, especially for the children.
Humans… are complicated particularly in the arena of relationships.
And outsiders like to weigh in on things because… it’s normal to have an opinion about what others are doing wrong, to compare, contrast, to make honourable judgments, especially when it doesn’t affect us, yet does… but we don’t have to own the mess.
Sometimes we need outsiders to help us solve our issues in relationships.
We have come to rely on the law to step in and bring as honourable a judgment as is humanly possible to our complicated relationships. We know things don’t always work out as well as we hoped they would, that’s normal… and there’s always someone somewhere crying foul… those cries may or may not be justified depending on perspective, and stories within stories, and all their alternate versions within versions.