I signed a form today that says I would like for the state to dismiss the charge against Will of assault on a woman.
I walked into the attorney’s office and told the receptionist that I was there to sign some kind of dismissal form for the domestic violence charge on my husband. A woman took me to her office, pulled out a form to fill-in, and asked me for my identification.
When it was time to sign the form, I started to cry. I moved my hand holding the pen behind my back and looked around for a tissue. I put my hand to the paper three more times before I managed to sign my name, and when I did sign, I did it quickly and without watching what I wrote.
I turned from the notary and she asked, “Mrs. Helget, are you sure?”
I wanted to grab the paper and rip it into shreds, but I told her “I am sure” and she notarized my signature on that piece of paper that will help dismiss the charge against Will.
He and his divorce attorney will go to court and say that I dropped the charge because I lied about what happened. His attorney asserted in court last week that “there was no abuse in Mr. Helget’s home,” and I’m sure she’ll say that line again and he’ll love it when she says it. And they’ll use what I did today against me.
So, why did I sign the paper? Because what is “just” is not always “right” and what I want cannot always be the best deciding factor between the two.
Justice would be served if Will were pronounced guilty of the charge and ended up in an orange jumpsuit. It would be briefly satisfying to know that Will had to live in a situation where he was uncomfortable and unloved with the threat of violence (physical or mental) hanging over his head from day one.
I’ll flat out tell you – I feel vengeful. I want him to suffer as I’ve suffered. I want him to know what it’s been like to live with an angry, irrational man who thinks he is right and doesn’t apologize for anything. And if I could choose his cell mate, I would choose one who is just like Will but bigger and louder and who hits him on the first day and, after that, rarely does it again because the sidelong looks and muttered comments are enough to keep Will in line.
Will wouldn’t be surprised to read that. I’ve told him more than once that I wish he hurt like I hurt.
The difference now is that I know Will cannot hurt like I hurt. He doesn’t have the capacity to take it as I have. He’s told me more than once that if he felt like I said I do, then he would have left me a long time ago. I wondered how he could understand my pain enough to know he wouldn’t stand for it, but not enough to make him want to change his behavior. He seems to want me to be in pain, inflicted by him when he chooses.
His controlling nature will continue to reveal itself as Time goes on, in court and out. Maybe Time will reveal Will’s truth on my schedule, but most likely I’ll have a long wait.
So I signed that paper in order to give Time what it needs to reveal Will for all he is.
Vengeance is fiery-hot, but short-lived. If I got what I wanted, there’s no way to know how Will would exit the jail cell. Would he understand any better? I don’t think so. I think he’d emerge an angrier man, not a gentler one, and the “lesson” I sought to “teach” him would backfire on me and our children, in Time.
When I think back on the ways I’ve tried to “make him hurt”, I see that the only one who felt anything was me and those feelings were guilt and shame, not satisfaction. The guilt and shame caused me to become less of who I was because I absorbed the punishments he inflicted afterwards – I felt like I “deserved” punishment because I was a bad person, and it seemed fitting that the one I sought to hurt was the one who did the punishing. I suppose I tried to keep Karma “in the house”.
It is not my job to do (or seek) what I consider “just” – it is my job to do what is “right” to the best of my ability.
For one, a father who’s been imprisoned and dishonorably discharged is not right for Marc or Eddie. They love their father as much as they love me – we are equal, almost “one” in their hearts. What happens to him reflects on me, and what happens to me reflects on him. Will and I cannot end the “oneness” our boys consider us to be – we’re parents.
The choice to sign the paper was right for me because if I had refused to sign it, then I would know that I gave in to the lesser part of me. I would have given in to the part that wants him to hurt.
Now, the right thing to do, the hardest thing to do, is to let go of today and the fact that I signed a piece of paper that eradicated justice in favor of what I think is right. If there’s any justice to be had, it will come in Time.