Last night, instead of relaxing and spending a quiet evening watching the latest episode of Ken Burns documentary on America’s National Parks, I sat by the TV with my laptop reading about the people defending Roman Polanski, and getting very angry that anyone would try and defend someone who raped a 13 year old girl.
And my outrage, justified as it is, did no one any good.
I broke one of my own rules about staying mentally healthy. I let my life be affected by something I have no power over. So, i vowed to keep an eye on the news stories, and to try my best to not support anyone who is making excuses for him, or arguing that he shouldn’t have to face justice for what he did all those years ago, but I’m not going to waste my time arguing with people who want to go online and support his freedom. After all, anyone who could possibly dismiss the rape of a 13 year old girl isn’t really worth my time and effort, and isn’t going to suddenly see the error of their ways because of something I say.
So, I’ll keep my outrage and I’ll stay aware so that if there is anything I can do, I’ll be at the ready, but then I’ll go back to living my life. I can’t decide whether Roman Polanski will be extradited to face the State of California, but I can continue to do the work I do for survivors, and continue to live my life the best way I know how. That’s the road to mental health, not the one that focuses on my anger and outrage.
It’s troubling that so many are willing to ignore what he did to that girl all those years ago, but as survivors, are we really surprised? Haven’t we all seen example after example of people who want to do the same to our own pasts? How many people would like us to be quiet and just “get over it”. How may don’t want to believe that someone they know could do this? How many simply don’t believe you? Those people aren’t part of our healing, they should simply be left behind in their own ignorance. We’ve got more important work to do than argue with them.