Posted by: speakoutservices | June 30, 2011

Waiting for Justice: The Entitlement Trap

How will he act when he comes home? 

Will he be nice to me today…or not?

How bad will it hurt?  

I must be really bad for him to hate me so much. 

Such were my repetitive worries as a child waiting to be abused – and waiting for the help that never arrived.   Multiply this by minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of utter helplessness and powerlessness, and what was left?  A human shell who had gone numb.  An enraged soul seeking revenge.  A depressed person dragging through the day.  At times, all of the above. 

Eventually time became my friend and blessed me with adulthood, but how do you conceptualize “choice” when you have never experienced it?  Life carried on in perpetual victimization with the teacher who was unfair, the boss who expected too much, and the friends who were selfish.  The line between who was truly hurtful and my imagined injustices began to blur.  It seemed the world was simply out to get me, and my sense of entitlement grew with every wrong.  I was owed – big time.

It seemed the Universe had played some bad trick on me and reversed the rules of decency and fairness.  When you do bad things, you are supposed to have bad consequences, right?  So why was I watching my perpetrator prosper while I was writing big checks to my therapist?.  When you have needlessly suffered, aren’t you “supposed” to be redeemed in some manner?  I needed my ship to come in soon, and have it not be the Titanic.

I can intimately understand how people who have experienced mounds and mounds of repetitive injustice make the headlines in the newspapers.  They are the ones dragging guns into the schools and workplaces.  I know this pain and how it penetrates every cell in your body calling you to become the Universe and make justice finally attainable – calling you to the entitlement of power.

But to violently act on this calling turns you into the same mold of wrong you wish to destroy. 

It was this single thought alone that stood between me and the front page of the Dayton Daily News.  I knew in my heart that I could never, ever become that which I loathed.  My perpetrator had taken so much, but he could not steal my inherent goodness unless I gave it up myself.  Over a very long time, I worked through the anger and resentment of prolonged injustice.  Age and wisdom has helped me accept that I live in a frequently unpredictable, unfair world where there are no “rules” about how, when, or if justice will be served.

Perhaps this is why I have dedicated my life to advocacy for abused children.  If there is any justice to be found in the world, it will come from those who take action.  A child growing up with fairness is a child who will make headlines for the good of humanity.

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