Saturday, February 2, 2008

On Violations of Reasonable Community Standards and Values

I woke up this morning in a place of re-evaluation. For the last six months my life has been turn literally upside down. I have had to look deep inside myself and look at what is it exactly that I believe and if that belief has brought me closer to freedom or further away. Sometimes it is hard to tell...I have met many people with various philosophies about life - various practices, methods and processes that they swear will bring liberation. In my short 38 years on the planet I have realized a very important factor in liberation/freedom which is in the deep knowingness of one's self worth. We either engage with people, places and processes that deepen our sense of self worth or we don't.
Yesterday, as I went to pick up my personal belongings from my former home. The sheriff informed me that I would only have access to one room where my former husband had place my items. There was nothing on my legal papers that said I could not have access to the home but the sheriff deferred to my former husband who had decided what he would give me. I walked into a tiny room right off the side door of my house to find what appeared to be my belongings dumped on the floor intermingled with trash - similar to how it looks when people are evicted. There were socks, underwear, books, trash, books, pillows, etc... in a pile. I simply walked in and begin to pack it in a couple of boxes I brought with me. My friends came into the room and silently helped me move the items into the car. My former husband and the sheriff chatted it up - he told him he was a doctor that served veterans and the sheriff shared he was a war veteran - I think they even exchanged cards.
I realized throughout this experience I have had to repeatedly defend my humanity and the message I got from Spirit was to stay true to who I am even in the face of being treated like the dirt underneath someone's shoe - to know what is true integrity and stay in humble humanity - because this is true power.
After some deliberation I took my son with me yesterday to pick up our items because I knew he needed to witness this event. I knew that in the world of male patriarchy that my account of the situation would be dismissed. I wanted him to witness the role of every man in this situation - I wanted to show him the choices that each man in this situation made. I wanted him to witness the righteous men who showed up to help us pack and move our belongings. I wanted to make sure he knew who towed the good ole' boy line (in black face) and who really was about walkin' their talk. With the youth actions always speak louder than words.
So, I share this knowing that I am rearranging my own thoughts and beliefs. I am looking at what it truly means to be in a community and what it is that I can offer a community and what it can offer me. For the last couple of months I have met with a beautiful group of people who in my deepest respect I call 'the healers'. They are both men and women who have come together and opened their hearts to healing themselves, their families and their community. I can't thank them enough for being there for me and my son during this time - for sitting with me during my rage, my sorrow, my epiphanies and my new found joy. I know our work is good work and it will help us all.
Sistah C


Ken said...

Greetings Sistah Goddess: You experience is not a bit unusual for women or men. In actuality I have been on both ends of such breakups and have deep, abiding sympathy for you and your child. I have a few hopefully encouraging insights for you.

1. Despite the drama surrounding the matter, you were just handed the most incredible gift. Your freedom. There is a reason for you having it at this time. We are being subtly forced into two opposing camps of people. Those who have bought the party line and those who haven't. Those folks who exchanged cards and looked the moral other way while you literally groveled your way out of the relationship and your home are by far the big losers. They have committed to a false sense of self, a false sense of security because of that self and a false sense of self worth. If your tenure in the relationship was peaceful and spiritually connected, you must not see this as failure or loss on your part. If your analysis of your role in the breakup exposes issues you must address, then it is time to do so.

2. Chief among the reasons for marital failure is the sense that any party has entitlements to ownership, rulership, domination or command of another. Just as many women attempt to rule the roost as men. This will never produce harmony. Equitable partnerships based not on what degree you have, or how much money you make but on the common human denominator we all share, must be the foundation of a successful marriage.

3. The real loser in all of this warfare is your son. Whether he remains balanced about who he is will be determined by how you treat the son of the man who grievously wounded you. Too often, the attributes he acquired genetically from his father plus those he learned from imitation will trigger your rage. Be careful to protect him from this.

Mbali said...

it was an important decision and gift for you and your son to witness what he did, both in the light of the different men. I can only imagine that as a parent we would want to shield our children but that does not teach them the warrior work that needs t0 be learnt in the face of inhumane actions.
Ubuntu Mbali

Sistah C said...

Hey Ken,
I thank you for your insight -indeed I am free. I wished in some of this that there was honorable closure but in the end I just had to contend with myself and my part in all of this...
Lucky for me that my former husband is not my son's father. It was not however a great experience for my son being the step-son of this man. He was also very abusive towards him as well- a much larger part I will have to live with as we move forward. My son and I have grown even closer as a result of this experience and we talk about the importance of respectful relationships.
Again, thanks for our insights.
Sistah C

Sistah C said...

Hey Mbali,
Thanks for your comment. At first I refused my son when he requested to come and help retrieve our belongings but when I mentioned it to my wise friend (who was going to help me that day) he offered that my son may feel a stronger sense of closure by contributing. My son is 15yrs old and I realized that he is growing into a young man. Lately, we have spoken a lot about what this means.
Thanks again for your comment.
Sistah C