Don’t let your fear of what could happen make nothing happen.
Today I write partially out of frustration and partially out of realization. I was always a bit tough on the outside. Rarely did I fear things that were not in my control. I was a risk taker of sorts. Don’t like the job, quit. Don’t agree, say so. Ride the bike down the crazy hill, jump over white water on slippery rocks, climb up the steep hill with slipping gravel, leap from the swing high off the ground, and so on. Dealing with consequences was an afterthought. Fear did not guide me…ever. It was there, but it was something to be overcome.
This carried into my relationships with people as well. I never allowed anyone else to bully me or attack me. It didn’t matter who it was. It didn’t matter if I knew you or not, if you threatened me or not, if you tried to hurt me or not. I showed up to the fight and held my ground.
The only exception to this was in my marriage. In that situation, I changed just about everything about myself to avoid his disapproval and anger. I feared his rejection and his abuse. Disagreeing was met with threats and physical pain. I did not see a way out. And, even with him, in the end, I lived my life in spite of his threats. He threatened to kill me, but I continued going to work and school. I didn’t look over my shoulder or allow his threats to control me anymore. It wasn’t easy. It was a decision to wake up every day and not allow fear to ruin my life anymore.
It is very difficult for me to understand how others can put trivial pursuits in the same category of fear. Today I find myself reading and listening to more fear mongering by the media. It frustrates me terribly seeing how others chose to live in fear. If you choose to live in fear, you are only giving your power to those you blame for causing your fear. When we, as a society, allow fear to dictate how we function, we have a real issue. Our media embellashes it and our legal system thrives on it. Do individuals have a right to punish someone beyond their crime because they are fearful? Why do we no longer hold people accountable for exaggeration? Do we really live in a society of individuals willing to put their entire lives on hold out of fear? Do these types of people actually know fear? Why is touching someone battery? Why is looking at someone the wrong way assault? How is touching someone’s knee or arm sexual harassment? Why do we have to tiptoe around worrying about scaring someone or being prosecuted for a violation that is, at best, a bad choice?
I firmly believe that the law was written with the right intent, but it has been skewed to feed into the fears of society. This, it seems, is fueled by an overzealous media that feeds into these fears daily. My thoughts on this matter could easily be turned into a book, so I will get to why it is a blog under domestic violence.
Although I cannot speak for anyone else, I believe that the societal norm that is being put in place is undermining the real victims. There are so many real victims in this world, but our media seems to focus of thosewho are potentially afraid of their own shadow. I see too many instances where the facts of cases are twisted for quick news story, revenge, or personal gain, and I see a number of prosecutors and attorneys who uphold them as one in the same. Putting someone in the hospital out of rage is battery, grabbing someone’s arm in a heated moment is not. Threatening to hurt or kill someone while in close proximity to them is assault, looking at them the wrong way is not. But in today’s world, they are the same. How can that be?
There are people who live in fear, and teach their children fear, because they don’t know fear. I cannot begin to understand why they chose to live that life. They flood the court system with complaints of insulting behavior, bad decisions, and hyped media while so many true victims stay silent.
Remember those who have been beaten, raped, and held hostage in their own home. Remember the children who live in neglect, filth, and hunger. Remember the women who are murdered by their partners when trying to escape. Remember the men, women, and children who are trafficked and sold in the sex market. Remember those who know fear and face it daily with no way viable of escape. These are true victims. Don’t let their stories be buried under what makes the most exciting news story. Don’t undermine their suffering by categorizing what they have gone through with someone who is seeking attention. It is not the same.
I would love to see the media use their power to put some real change in motion. Stop playing into people’s fears and attempting to divide. Stop creating mountains out of molehills and making non-issues into leading stories. Stop creating heroes and villains out of the wrong people. Start bringing light to child abuse, trafficking, neglect, and domestic violence. Break the silence where it needs, and should, be broken.