Where Is the Line? Post 1

Where is the line between justice and revenge? For those of us who are victims of abuse, there is a need to speak out. First (at least for myself), I have learned not to keep secrets about my past tucked away inside of me. They hurt me and that’s a bad thing. Second, sometimes by talking about what has happened to me and what I have learned, I am able to help someone else. That’s a good thing.

On the other hand, whenever I sit down to write I must keep this question in mind. Where’s the line? It took a while for me to be willing to admit that I have a very uncivilized part of me that wants revenge. I’m not accustomed to feeling like that and it’s been a real stretch to find a way to deal with it.

The choice I have made in this life is a path of healing. Recognizing that I am still capable of that kind of unthinking rage and hatred has taken a great deal of inner work. I have finally accepted that this is a part of me, but it is also my firm belief that I don’t have to act on it.

Therefore, every time I write an article about abuse, I have to be very sure about my motives. I choose not to return a harm for a harm. If possible, I will return healing instead. But there is another consideration. Justice. What does justice mean? Good question, I think I’ll look it up.

OK, I just looked it up and surprise, surprise! The definitions for just and justice1 are for the most part conditional. By conditional I mean that there are many references to rightfulness and lawfulness. One definition for justice states: the moral principle determining just conduct. The following definition is: conformity to this principle as manifested in conduct.

That sounds very dignified and well thought out but it doesn’t really say anything. It’s all contextual within a given set of morals and ethics. Then I got curious and looked at the word “just.”

The first definition there is: actuated by truth, justice, and lack of bias. That is a little clearer. Truth is theoretically truth, unfortunately, much of my childhood memories are repressed and what has surfaced, I have been told is fantasy — a lie.

I finally believe what I remember, but can I prove it? I don’t know. Who might I need to prove it to and why?

“Lack of bias” also sounds fairly straightforward, but it’s another slippery term. Abuse is a very personal matter and subject to a lot of emotion. I can see how difficult the search for lack of bias can be; although many will be surprised to find out which way my bias goes in this case.

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