Patriarchy, Law, Justice, Motherhood, And Love

Let me write a few words.


Five years ago, I made a decision out of pure necessity. It was literally a decision about life and death.


I have never been afraid of death, as I do not believe it as the end. I believe it is unknown, and have taught myself to make peace with it.


As I decided, I stood by and watched with a heavy heart and tearful eyes; My friends walked away from me, and the family did too. All of a sudden, I found myself the center of stories. I tried initially to speak, but it was nothing but lost noise in the middle of a dense forest that no one even dares to gaze upon. I stopped when I realize the futility of my attempts to explain.


I started to think. Who am I trying to explain to? Who am I trying to get acceptance from? Who am I expecting to stand by me?


No one.


I was challenging a culture, a norm of a society, a way of life, belief systems, patriarchy, which is enabled by women and men.


I gave up everything to keep two souls that I vowed to keep safe and protected. It's one of those decisions you make when you are scared out of your mind, and yet you make with nothing but faith in God and hope.


It was not easy.

Not on my children or me. They were told how bad of a mother I was. How I will abandon them for men. How I care nothing about family or my loved ones. I watched my son take a knife to his head at the age of six because he couldn't stop hearing someone's voice.


That was almost four years ago.

Last year, in the middle of my workday, I received an email to be in court to defend a protective and restraining order against me. The accusation was that I am a danger and threat to my children and a few others. I ran out of my office, got fired for it an hour later, was ordered not to see, or be able to be with my children for 14 days. I was given 10 minutes on the phone and 15 minutes to be with them during their lunch hour.


A trial was done, which ended in the dismissal of the accusations. The legal system is not cheap. Many of my friends and strangers helped me financially. In the middle of all this, I found a job, started working again.


This would sound ridiculous as I, who lived it, can not believe it happened. We had no money at times after the legal fee that I have sold the books I had been collecting for over 20 years. My kids gave me their piggy banks.

I have never endured that much stress and pain in my life. It was heartbreaking to watch that my children are paying for my choice to live.


I, to date, can not understand how we are capable of things that are beyond cruelty. That's just me. I have never been able to conform to the normalcy of this world or fit in.


As this year unraveled, I found myself back in the same courtroom. This time, after spending thousands of dollars that I do not have, I gave in. Signed whatever was asked of me. So that my child doesn't have to remember his 10th birthday as the day he and his sister was forcefully taken from their mom and pa.

If you ever wonder about the existence of God, I can tell you. He/she/however you address does exist. This April, I got on my knees, and I told him, "I can no longer do this. I am exhausted. I can not endure the pain and suffering. More than anything else, I can not watch my children being punished. Show me a path, give me the strength to get us out of this." He sent me someone who can contain the storm, not without its tests, but someone stronger than I am.

Today, I will sign a document that admits false accusations because I no longer have financial or emotional means to fight it. I will agree to the legal authorities that I am a danger to my children and can not be left with me overnight. I will agree to two 8 hours without a single night with me in every 14 days. With this pain I hold as a mom, I pray to almighty to give my children strength, give me the strength to keep the pain in and live with it till I need to, to provide me with the courage to not turn my back on this world, and forgive all involved including myself for hurting two innocent souls.


I wrote the below paragraph first before I wrote what you read above.

"I have been in a constant back and forth communication with you. I asked you to send me an updated order to review.

Would you mind telling me the reasoning behind this move of yours?

I don't live in a world of law and court, Ms.

I live in the real world, where there is a discrepancy between justice and law.

Where women are sidelined and abused for merely challenging the patriarchy.


I know this matters none to you as you are a lawyer, and you are trying to fulfill the oath you took as a lawyer.

I am saying this to you not because I am angry or have any hard feelings.

It saddens me when women of your caliber, education, and power do partake in things like this.

Yes, I understand this is your livelihood.


Which brings me to the question of morality and ethics, of all of us.

Which makes me ask myself the question,

"Will I keep silent if I see a woman being raped and thrown to wolves."


Maybe, just maybe, divinity does have a plan for me. I hope one day you do not have to answer for the choices you make that hurt innocents.


My journey with you is coming to a conclusion. It was an experience working with you. May God have his grace bestowed upon you.


I do not have a printer at the place I am in, I have not read the order. Whatever it is, I will sign it.

Have a beautiful day and weekend.

"


As I finish writing this note here, I sit with tears in my eyes, watching my husband make me tea. Sitting next to me proofreading because, well, he is a geek like me. I almost lost him a week ago. There is no one to blame but myself for that. I sit here and think why this man is here and why he loves me when everyone else has written me off.


The answer I found, my saving grace in knowing there are people like my husband who become the standing ground and pillars of strength to people like me who challenge the wrong and get exhausted from it. They hold us when we can no longer stand up. Together, we give the generations a fighting chance against the wrong our predecessors and we have made.



With love and gratitude and prayer,


Saj

#law #justice #storytelling #strength #pain #life #motherhood #love

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Sajatha Jaffer  |  sajatha.jaffer@gmail.com

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