What About the Watchers?
As adults of childhood adversity, we live in this constant state of struggle. All of our anger and blame is aimed at Uncle Joe or Mom’s boyfriend, the one that caused us physical harm and yet here we are, years later, with no resolution. Many turn their hate and anger inward towards themselves. We become the outwardly dysfunctional ones, the crazy ones. We end up with the labels. Mental… Physical… Societal. It’s kind of flipped upside down. Right?
Why is that?
Does our struggle lie in the need to convince the watchers? I define the watchers as the ones in your story that were always around but did nothing. Just watched. I know for myself the more I backed out of the situation, the more I realized the constant turmoil I felt had less to do with the men that hurt me or with any of the physical aspects at all, really. My suffering was bound up in the need to be seen and heard by the watchers. Validation. Just like you, I wanted desperately to be the one they chose to protect. I wanted them to say yes that did happen to you… just like you say. And now it’s over.
Which in and of itself is interesting, the pain was a lifetime ago. I am an intelligent human being… and yet, insanity.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. -Albert Einstein
Affirmation: I stand strong in my truth and walk forward with purpose!
Needing to defend who we are and why we are here every day for the hereafter equals suffering. And here lies your power… the ability to choose something different.
It is a crazy phenomenon. The Watchers. Is it because it hasn’t been that long since we were, I always want to say selling, but no, we were paying people to take our girls? We married them off with dowries. The size decided the quality of our husband or the greed of the patriarch. Often this chosen mate was much older than the child he was taking home. In some places, this is still the norm. WeThe girls? They didn’t/don’t carry as much weight in their homes as the cattle or chickens. The animals or the crops brought money into the home with the exchange. The girls were/are considered a liability.
Then we have the human slavery that is alive and well. And collectively? We are the buyers. We are the watchers. We trade our children for money… The big sports stadiums filled with men. Our national past time? One of the hottest spots.
So we bump up against an intellectual outrage backed up by an underlying acceptance. Men will be men… Boys will be boys.
It is never okay for an adult to have sex with a child.
That means if a person is being aroused by a child and there is any touching at all. The line is crossed. Period!
I can’t imagine that if you were to ask any human today if they thought it was good practice for children to be coupled with grown men that they would intellectually think that was a good idea. Or it a good norm for a society to allow women and children to be beaten… But… when it comes a time, the tribe often rallies around the one causing harm and the microscope turns towards the child. What did you do? What were you wearing? The guilt and self-doubt lands in the child’s lap.
Why? Why? Why?
Recently, a man in a nearby town admitted to molesting a young girl over a period of years. He was a fireman… a deacon in his church. A large portion of the community is in arms that this girl is ruining a good man’s life. She is dragging his name through the mud. In spite of his confession, the community announces to the world that they choose not to believe that he would do that… He’s a good man. His minister openly weighs his good deeds against his indiscretion. The good deed list had more words.
And then you look deeper and ask how did he have access to her, consistently, in the first place? Where was her mother? Where was her family? Why was this allowed? Did they just turn their heads and pretend not to see? As time went on, he brought his son as well. Why not… No one was watching. He’s such a “good” man.
Just a head shake… Right?
It is always easier to look at someone else’s situation than it is our own. I think most would hear this story and feel outraged for this girl. Yet we turn around and in some ways, it is our story as well. These choices happen in families all of the time and then our personal inward struggle turns to the frustration of convincing.
Deepak Chopra ask me once how long it had been since I had been physically harmed. I responded quickly… I was sixteen… But…
So often, we spend a lifetime trying to convince those around us of our truth or try to convince ourselves of theirs. We can shove it in the closet, but inevitable the dichotomy of it pops out at us in the most random ways and it’s suddenly thrown back out front.
I am an avid animal lover! I have an amazing dog, Nina. We are both rescues. She goes everywhere with me, literally, except when I get on a plane. I don’t know how many times I have had a worried human approach me about leaving her trapped in the car. I thank them for their concern and assure them that I am aware and will be right back. I walk away wondering if the same actions would be taken had I trapped a child in the car.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. -Edmund Burke
I think the process of healing and forgiveness gets tangled up in how we have chosen to distribute the responsibility. I am not talking blame here. I am talking about being able to see what is. Truth. It’s important to understand the parts everyone played in your circumstance, and why. It is important to see how your truth is being interacted with now. Are you being supported now? It is important to let go of the need to defend, lay down our labels and let them be carried by those they belong to. I mean… Hitting, violence, inappropriate touch. If we were looking at the scenario from the outside where would our objective mind put the labels of dysfunction… With the ones hitting or the ones being hit?
We must see clearly what is to move out of what was.
If people are privy to information pertaining to a murder, robbery, or any other crime for that matter, they would bear some part of the responsibility for staying quiet. But I think for us, it’s as much our game as theirs. In our struggle to hold tight to the idea of what we wish were, we vacillate back and forth between trying to convince them to see and going along to get along. We want desperately to hang onto our idea of family and support. Here is the tricky part. We must begin to weigh words against an action. If the words say love as the action is causing pain… not so good. If the words speak to support and the actions leave you hanging… not so good. It takes discernment when filtering through the illusion and your reality.
Integrity comes when our thoughts, words, and actions are in harmony. We must learn to see the difference.
Affirmation: I am a woman, the creator of life. I am one with all that is.
The trick is to be able to look through the eyes of the observer and steer clear of blame. Each person is walking into your circumstance with their own baggage that creates their perception of what is. We are released by seeing and understanding each person’s motivation and story… Take a bow… Send them blessings…
And from here begin to make our own choices!