Monday, April 28, 2014

Justice, Backwards

This is a bit of a departure from metal, but I am compelled to write it beyond anything describable.

Recently, this story was in the news about a woman who accidentally hit a few children riding their bikes at night in her car. One of the children perished, another suffered many breaks (among them a broken pelvis, to whom I say 'Kid, I feel your pain, I am so very sorry for the long recovery ahead of you') and other injuries, while the third managed to walk away relatively unscathed.

Without a shadow of a doubt, that's a pretty fucking horrific experience for absolutely everyone involved.

Here is what angers me, however: the woman who hit the teenaged kids proceeded to fucking sue the family of the child who was fucking slaughtered by her for - get this - "great pain and suffering". This deluded woman has the audacity to claim she has suffered from depression, anxiety, irritability and post-traumatic stress, and that the "enjoyment of life has been irretrievably lessened" since the accident.

Well, no fucking shit.

She is suing them (and the children she hit that survived in spite of her) for over one million dollars.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is your reality. Here you see just one of the many, many examples of our defective, dismembered, and fucking pathetic excuse for a legal system at work.

The fact that the lawsuit even made it so far as to reach the victim's family's doorstep is intensely sickening. Perhaps worse is knowing that there is a lawyer hungrily barking in empty defense of this bitch for dollar bills, who does this despite his presumably intact (albeit ineffective) conscience screaming inside of him how wrong this all is... Like a prostitute, he'll say whatever you want him to say for x-amount of bucks per hour.

And never mind that this self-entitled twit ended a fucking teenager's life and permanently scarred the lives of two others because of her alleged (yet seemingly apparent) negligence, this bitch somehow thinks it'll be a grand idea to take it one step further. "Oh, you've lost your kid? You should lose all your money, too. It's only right. I'm suffering. Wah wah wah". I think it is safe to say those ovaries have never produced an offspring, and in my opinion (if that's the case), the world is fucking better for it.

Of course, if one were to inquire her reasons, I'm sure she would say something smug and douche-y like, "Oh dear, of course I know the family's in pain, but I'm in pain too. Those kids shouldn't have been [insert ignorant parental-judging here] so it really puts them all at fault. I deserve compensation, blah blah.." To which the world would say, "No."

It is but a reflection of society in general. For as long as I can remember, and for as much history as I have studied, it seems a pattern that corruption will seep into anything with power. Systems of law and justice fall easy prey to those willing to manipulate it for selfish personal gain. The complexities of our current judicial system make it all the more simple to play. No, we're not quite as bad as early Rome and their version of the courts, with dictators creating unjust laws and eliminating or adjusting the laws of their predecessors to suit their needs... but it's close. It's scary close. We are probably only a few fell steps away from bringing back the days of openly practiced corruption.

Nor does it stop there. This goddamn "entitlement" issue that so many seem to be having. If you honestly believe that because you live in such-and-such country or because you have an infinite bank account, powerful friends, good looks, "swag" or whatever the hell else that you are entitled to a happy, perfect life devoid of hardship, struggle, tragedy, trauma or distress - you, sir/madam, are a fucking idiot and a blight to existence.

Guess what? No democratic document, person, deity or any other thing can promise you and deliver a life without pain. It is entwined with our fates, more for some of us and less for others. You will never be exempt. You can't escape it, you can't prevent it, you can only deal with it. Blaming others and sending everyone through the tedious hoops of a litigation process will not lessen your pain, nor will it fill the cavernous void that undoubtedly resides within this fucking lady suing her own victims.

Yet for so many people in all kinds of situations, justice fails them all because it barely worked to begin with. No one walks away satisfied.

Losing a child is one of the most intense, unbearable horrors that hopefully none of you ever have to experience. A life created of your own flesh and blood is ended and rather than relief in death, you must suffer with the absence of a large physical piece of you for the rest of your life and be reminded daily that nothing will ever heal or replace the holes in your spirit. Not only this, but you will feel the full weight of responsibility for what happened (even if nothing could have prevented it) and will place blame entirely upon yourself for time immemorial. It doesn't matter if your child is 1 or 100, the pain of that kind of a loss is unimaginable... unspeakable.

Don't get me wrong, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is no picnic, either. I can vouch for that. Having personal experience with both of these harsh realities, I know that PTSD is hell - but losing a child is hell within hell. Especially with what the way in which she claims to have developed the disorder (hitting someone with her car), that's rough but that is nothing compared to what the reality is for the surviving family.

If this woman suing were thinking about literally anything other than herself, she would see that with time, her emotional wounds (if indeed there are any) will heal. Unlike the family who lost their son, she will not have unavoidable reminders like family photos or grieving siblings around every corner. In time, she will move on and perhaps even forget. Not so with the family she is trying to sue. They will forever have pictures on their wall and ingrained in their minds of their beloved son, now gone due to the selfish carelessness of another.

There is just no case there. There is absolutely no sense in it. Why then is even being talked of? Oh yeah, because our legal system is irreparably damaged and there are way too many selfish, greedy shitwits with law degrees or lots of money.

I'm going to get very personal here. I am almost reluctant to tell this story, but it is mine to tell and I feel it is strikingly relevant.

Many years ago, in another life, I dated a jerk. An abusive, manipulative, psychotic jerk. Did I mention in this life I was a total idiot? Anyway, I digress...

Anyway, for total idiot reasons I couldn't escape it for seven years. I've heard a lot of people ask why people in abusive relationships stay for so long. Well, many reasons; chief among them, you either have nowhere to go if you were to leave, you are scared for your fucking life, or because they are very good at manipulation and/or acting to where they can make you feel as though a) they really love you and it'll never happen again (paraphrasing), or b) no one will want you because you're shit, or perhaps even c) you provoked/deserved whatever they did and if you don't do this or this this in future it'll never happen again. They were worded in a myriad of ways by a smart an eloquent speaker, which eventually either convinced me or wore me down from trying to understand just what the hell he was talking about. I gave up, accepting my place in the world and my inability to ever rise above it.

After several hospital visits, unspeakable losses and damage done both tangible and intangible, and one too many abrupt throw-everything-you-own-in-a-trash-bag-and-run type of moves from house to house, I finally decided I was done. I had nothing left to lose, because it had already been taken from me. I sent him a long-winded text detailing how I would no longer subject myself to his cruelty, citing things he had said and done that were unforgivable in my view and were thus my reasons for severing contact.

A month later, I had just begun to put my life back together. Even though I was then sleeping on a couch on a covered patio at a relative's with my two cats that I had managed to make the exodus with safe and unharmed, I had finally known peace for the first time in ages. Just peace - waking up and getting through a whole day without a single person yelling at me or hurting me. No more angry calls blaming me for every little thing that pissed him off. Just total fucking peace.

That is, until I discovered that I had a warrant for my arrest.

I had never been arrested for anything in my life. In fact, my most recent visit to court had (until then) been to attend his hearing for charges of domestic abuse that had been filed by the state against him, not by me. It was actually because of me that the charges were dropped - not one of my brightest moves, for see where it got me just a few short years later.

Apparently, since the message was long and each text limited to a certain amount of characters, it had been easy for him to pluck one piece of the multi-page message out and present it to a magistrate, showing them his own words in quotations and claiming he was now scared for his life. I was being charged with extortion, which is a serious felony I thought was typically reserved for people who call in bomb threats or loansharks. I'd only really ever heard it mentioned in mafia movies. I was fucking appalled to see in any way associated with me.

Without a dime to my name, and whilst in-between jobs, I had no hope of soliciting a lawyer that would actually defend me the way I should have been defended. Instead, I visited every lawyer I could and begged for advice, all while retrieving copies documents proving my innocence of the charge itself, hospital records detailing the many visits wherein it was suspected or I had admitted that I was a victim of abuse and built up a very large file of favorable evidence. It was more than enough. The manila folder with everything I had collected was literally 2 inches thick. Once I had shown my less-than-apt court-appointed lawyer all the work I had done, we were confident. I ended up getting the charges dropped, but only because I fought tooth and nail to build my own case when the legal system meant to protect us betrayed me and threw me to the wolves.

I vanquished those fucking wolves, like a BOSS as a matter of fact. Still, though.. where is the justice for me? It will never be in the court system, and I've realized that now. Karma serves her justice to all when she can and in her own time. I needn't worry. I am no longer a prisoner of that cage. The apathetic and complacent me I once was is dead. I was reborn into a beautiful life and have no regrets or burdens from my past, knowing all I did was right and true. Cheesy? Maybe. But there is some satisfaction on looking back at a situation and knowing that you never compromised your morals or ethics no matter what was happening around you.

Again, though... what of the others? The countless others who have been involved in ridiculous litigation like this crazy woman who had the tragic accident with the three boys? Who is protecting the grieving parents of the child killed from being "legally" harassed by the person who allegedly killed him? What about all the women who stood up to their abusers and were charged themselves? Who is preserving morality in the courts?

Not too many, I'm afraid. I don't do politics anymore, not after working in DC and being fully inundated with all the arrogance, corruption and self-love among the lawmakers on the Hill. Who knows if more oversight or less would fix anything? I don't have an answer for how to fix the problem, though I wish I did. The only thing that might make any sort of difference is if more lawyers and more people would abandon their ideas of entitlement, their selfishness and greed and try to remember what is truly important while actively attempting to be a better person, but you might as well put that up there with achieving world peace in terms of viability. It's just not going to happen.

As I've said, the world will never be one big happy place. There will always be sadness, darkness, and anguish within it... and there will always be beauty, light, and love at the end of each tunnel. For those of us that still secretly wish for a worldwide kumbayah jam sesh and want to better things, all we can do is try to help whenever we can and keep being as good of an example as we can. We can't control others, but we can control in what way we respond to them.

The rest is up to fate, luck and karma. Those bitches are known to run late... that is, if they ever show up.

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