You are sitting at a large conference table in a very tasteful plush office. This is the kind of office where one entire wall is covered in floor to ceiling windows, with the most exquisite view of the park/ocean/city/historic district of your dreams. The opposite wall is also covered in floor to ceiling windows with visually seemless automatic double glass doors. Outside these windows you observe the effortlessly smooth professional busy-ness of the surrounding professionals.
You have been hand selected to sit in the office with an impressive assortment of uncompromising professionals who are in deep discussion and debate over the attributes of the table they are comfortably sitting around. You are not included in the discussions and you are unclear why you have been invited to this office. When the discussion about the table begins to address the firmness and solidity of the table, you decide to enter the conversation, since you know the table is a hard surface.
You say, “One thing I know for sure is that this table is hard.”
No one acknowledges that you have spoken. Only one person even makes slight eye contact with you, then continues on with their conversation as if you had never spoken at all.
At the next opening in the conversation, you try again to insert your knowledge and observations.
You knock on the table twice to prove your point, and you say, “One thing I know for sure is that this table is hard.”
There is a brief pause where you think your comment and demonstration might be acknowledged, but it is not. No one even makes eye contact with you. The surrounding professionals continue on with their conversations about the table. The things they are saying focus on your topic:
“I wonder if anyone has considered if this table is hard”
“How would one go about determining if the table is hard”
“Do we even have access to the proper tools to measure if the table is hard, and do we have the proper staff to evaluate those measurements”
“Should we even be speaking about the hardness of the table, why not the pliability of different woods”
“Is hardness even a relevant table discussion”
And so on, so you are aware that on some level at least one of them must have heard your declaration of the table being hard. Yet, no one has even acknowledged your presence, much less your words.
Now you decide to confront the ridiculousness of the conversation, stand up from your chair, knock harder on the table, firmly declare, “This table is hard,” and knock three more times for emphasis before you sit back down.
You continue to be ignored by the group as their conversations hum all about the table.
You yell, “THIS TABLE IS HARD!”
You stand up on the table, stomp around on the table, jump on the table, run up and down the length of the table screaming the whole time,
“THIS TABLE IS HARD! TABLES ARE HARD!”
Until you lose your voice and all of your energy is spent.
The group’s discussions have continued on as if you, your voice, your truth, your physicality, do not exist in their awareness. You are totally bewildered and exhausted.
After your tirade, the gorgeous glass doors silently glide open and a new professional person confidently walks in. Everyone’s conversations abruptly stop and all attention zeroes in on this new person. As the doors glide shut behind them, the new professional strides around the impressive conference table and callously pushes aside the seat at the far head, in order to take that place in an intimidating stance – both hands palms down on the table as they lean into the group.
Every previously animated professional now seem to be eerily enraptured by every movement this new person is making. They wait in almost painful anticipated silence. You are so caught up in this dramatically altered tone of the room, that you are staring and waiting for whatever is going to happen with this new person too.
New Person finally speaks, “I am a table expert. See on my bade right here on my lapel. My badge says, ‘Table Expert.’ I. AM. A. TABLE. EXPERT! I have come to tell you all, that this table is hard!” Then the person knocks on the table three times to emphasize that the table is indeed hard, turns, and strides back out of the conference room as quickly as they entered.
After a brief silence, the conversation in the room begins again.
“Wow! This table is hard”
“I have spoken about tables before but now I absolutely know that this table is hard”
“We are so fortunate that the table expert stepped in to clarify that this table is hard, so that now this topic can be resolved with the conclusion that the table is hard”
Your conference table mates are all making eye contact with you now, as if you have been a natural part of their discussions and conversations the entire time. They are addressing you.
“Did you ever know that a table could be declared as hard?”
“This table is hard, look at this,” they trepidatiously knock on the table a few times with their eyebrows raised in astonishment.
“Did you see the table expert came in and now we know for sure that this table is hard”
“I am overjoyed that now we can rest easily finally really knowing that the table is hard”
You may now roll your eyes.
Welcome to every divorce from an abusive spouse, where you have mutual children.
Suddenly you are a non existent entity on every single topic of discussion. Unless a professional declares an expert opinion/fact which matches your reality, your opinions/facts mean nothing.
You think you know what is best for your child that you gestated, birthed, nurtured, fed, bathed, clothed, loved, educated, kept healthy, kept safe, loved some more and spent basically 24/7 with for the first 6 years of their life? You do not.
You think you know what your child needs to thrive? You do not.
You think you know when your child is upset and distraught? You do not.
You think you know how your child learns? What they eat? How they like to play? That they need the tags cut out of their underpants but insist on having tags on their shirts? You do not.
You know nothing.*
The table will never be recognized as being hard, no matter how loudly you scream, knock, know to the deep core of your soul that the table is indeed hard, and that a table being described as hard is a fundamental accepted truth in our human world, until the professional table expert declares it to be hard.
You need professionals to help your voice be heard about what is right for your children. Even then, divorce in an abusive situation is unjust and difficult.
If this is your path, I am holding you in protective prayerful light.
If this is not your path, I am holding you in compassionate prayerful light.
Love, Ms Herisme xo
*I would add “Jon Snow” at the end of that sentence, but not only is there no Night’s Watch version of Kit Harrington coming to your rescue (he is too young anyway), at some point you would gladly welcome White Walkers, but they aren’t coming either. The analogy is lost by adding “Jon Snow” and ruins my whole flow. But I cannot help at least mentioning it, because, just like we all snicker when Granny says, “Winter is coming,” and we repeat it in an intense earnest whisper of impending doom, I feel obligated to at least acknowledge that out loud I am saying to myself, “You know nothing (Jon Snow),” and flipping my un-curly un-red hair. Don’t deny – you’re doing it too! Twinsies!