(Edited - paragraph added).
So, in addition to having a lull in our work flow, this past week, clearly, I have emotionally identified with Meghan (perhaps overly so), being scapegoated in my own dysfunctional family (for both different and similar reasons to Meghan, as there are several reasons other than race why dysfunctional groups scapegoat), then having a child with/marrying back into one.
Just to recap, here's a list of the top 5 reasons why scapegoats are chosen in dysfunctional families/groups according to dysfunctional systems theory:
A) The newest member.B) Different from the other members (race, nationality, faith, politically, gender, region (i.e., Northern versus Southern), personality, or even just the poorest/most powerless).C) The most sensitive member, often perceived as "weakness."
D) At least one other member of the established dysfunction group/family is jealous of the scapegoat and/or fears of loss of power, popularity, position, and/or possessions in a tiered-power dysfunctional family/group.
E) The member is outspoken/spoke truth versus pretending/enabling - just like the child pointing out the emperor was not wearing clothes, and was in fact, naked, in The Emperor's New Clothes.
Her situation took me back - including the feeling as if she was "losing her voice" and it didn't matter what she did or didn't say, her words will still be twisted and she would still be ascribed/projected upon the worse motivations.
In fact, I literally have said the exact same thing, admittedly, when I began and maintained a blog, during my own situation 15 years ago, and refused to be bullied from it. You can bully me out of everything else, but I will not lose my voice entirely in my own space :)
Thus, I have been her biggest cheerleader :)
However, as validating as it has been to see her situation on a scale so massive that we can't ignore it anymore, it has also been triggering (make of that word what you must, but it's a valid description of your emotional reaction from something painful from the past resurfacing).
In other words, though it's been incredibly validating, the down side is, not only was this an unpleasant reminder of some similarities in my own past, but I was saddened because I know there are many, many Meghans in smaller communities, all over the world, who are penniless and powerless, and who will never have have the money or powerful social network to just pick up and leave and get out to start a new life. They will never get to tell their side with Oprah Winfrey, nor can they afford to fight any legal battles that come as a result.
That's not a criticism of her, that's a "Finally, someone with enough money and power can do so."
However, the realization that in my own community, and in smaller communities all over the world, there are thousands more Meghan Markles, penniless and powerless, has been the downside.
Though I am happier now than I ever would've thought I could be, with my amazing husband and a small (but growing) support system, there are still days I wonder who I will see at the grocery store or while out and about, what they've heard and what they believe; and sometimes that happens, and snarky things get said; and it's not like you can pay for an assistant to go get these things for you.
And you have to allow ignorant, uninformed, rude people say these things to you, based on lies - not only because they aren't the slightest bit interested in your side or the truth (people prefer like the most dramatic versions of stories), but if you do say anything, it will likely only make their perception worse.
I'm still dealing with that, and some days, I'll be honest, it's still a struggle - so the only advice I have, for the rest of the Meghans in the world, never getting to tell their side to the world on Oprah, unable to just pick up and leave or afford to legally fight these things, is I can tell you from personal experience - it still can get better :)
Though you may feel trapped, and you may even be trapped to a certain extent for a while, you actually are NOT trapped - you aren't "damaged goods" as you think, and the world would NOT be a better place without you, regardless of how damaged, or insignificant or unaccomplished you may feel thus far - I promise - as long as you have still have breath in your lungs, there's still time :)
You can and should still get out, just say "no" to all of the guilt trips, stop listening to all of the lies and all the repeated abusive messages ( that either you're still allowing to be said to you or leftover tapes in your head), all of the traps laid - and at least distance yourself from the toxicity with boundaries - do not allow this abuse of you continue, and definitely don't continue it for them, of yourself.
You may have been made to believe otherwise, because the loudest mouths are often believed, but believe me, you can find amazing, kind people who are willing to believe your side and truth, and it's okay that the majority of your community believes lies and twists and piles on and thinks mob rule makes the mob right - you didn't want or need them anyway, and really, what have they ever really done for you?
And also, don't forget that this is a first - and we were lucky enough to see it happen in our lifetime and it's just the beginning - a scapegoat "Meghan" like us, but on a global scale, finally got to tell her side, which was heard around the world - and she was believed :)
Yes, it's true - it is also daunting that still in our society, in 2021, it does seem to still take a man sitting beside a woman to validate her experience, in order for her to be believed :/
And yet notice, even so, those so inclined will say she "manipulated" him into it, both men and women (usually the type of women saying that are exactly the type of women who manipulate and bully the men around them, themselves, and therefore assume other women do, too lol).
That's fine - accept that those people will never evolve, they will never change, and you can't make them; because they are unwilling or incapable of self-examination, re-evaluation and adaptation, and they will die off like dinosaurs, still blaming you and screeching at the sky in vain, in resistance to any change at all, positive or negative.
But you survived - and you can even thrive :)
So shake the dust off your feet from their houses and move on to the next house - because maybe not in the next house down, or even the next house after that, but in the next few houses down, there are many more open and willing to adapt and change with you :)
Human evolution, adaptation, and advancement is slow to progress, often reaching more Southern and rural areas last.
Even if you're stuck there, you're not "trapped" - you're not the only one in your community that has experienced this, even though it may feel that way. They're perhaps just staying isolated and quiet, because they're powerless and penniless, just like you - but they're there, trust me:)
I'm perfectly fine, I promise you - I just felt like I should unplug from all of this now, and enjoy my better life, rather than focus on reminders that take me back too far into the past - so I'm just taking a few days to do just that :)