April 27, 2022

Johnny Depp, Amber Heard & why Justice is a Double-Edged Sword.

*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.

The trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been difficult to get away from.

Every day I run into it, even if I’m not scrolling through social media. I’m generally avoidant when it comes to society and culture, but only because I can easily be overwhelmed by it. The moment my curiosity gets a bite of something, I will dive down rabbit hole after rabbit hole.

I’ve been on both sides of gossip. I’ve been on both sides of torrid love affairs, betrayals, and all the complications humans living in a community become entangled in.

I’ve been on both sides of a complicated, even unhealthy sort of relationship. I’ve dated the Bad Boy/Black Sheep. I’ve dated the Prince. (I’ve dated the Bad Girl and the Princess too.) I married an opera singer. (I divorced an opera singer.) I’ve dated guys with dark childhoods like mine.

I’ve been on the side of the partner who felt that their relationship was a prison they could never escape from. I’ve been on the side of the partner who had to sleep in her car to survive the night with a man who was drunk, violent, and lost in the madness of his own head. I’ve been on the side of a partner with no money of her own, no family of her own, and no real path to safety or redemption.

I’ve been the partner who could no longer trust her own reality. I’ve been the partner who once self-harmed because my emotions felt too painful to endure. I’ve been the partner who was kept from therapy because the therapist was advising me how to escape my dangerous relationship and wanted to set me up in a women’s shelter.

I’ve been that partner, the one who was told, “I have a job. I have family around. No one will believe what you say.”

But I got out. Things got better. I was so lucky that I found the support that I did and was able to find myself where I am today.

That’s all it was—luck and the ability to keep going. Not everyone gets those things. Not everyone survives.

I am clever and I am kind and I have a joyful heart. I also have a lot of experience with manipulators and abusers, and was conditioned to believe that love and respect was something to be earned, not just freely given.

The cycle is now broken, but I paid for it with wounds to my body, my spirit, and my soul.

But never my heart. She kept fighting and protecting me as best she could. My mind kept me alive by learning as much as I could as quickly as I could. I had the resources to find a therapist who was skilled and fearless. She connected me to others who could help protect me. I am a success story.

Not everyone gets that support or those privileges. Not everyone makes it out alive.

We are in an age of enlightenment. We have unlimited knowledge at our fingertips, and our brains have an intellect that can be sharpened with wisdom and experience. We are slowly waking up to our own need for self-love, boundaries, and learning how to be true to our own beautiful energy. We are learning that patterns from our childhood can be stopped and recreated into something healthy. The world is getting better and, more importantly, kinder and more tolerant.

And with that comes a responsibility to understand when people are in danger. To ask real questions. To be brave enough to notice ugly behavior and not accept it.

I have watched clips of the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial. I’ve had so many fantasies of a courtroom like that. I kept pages of printed out documentation and screenshots and chatlogs. I have textbooks with notes in them, and I knew what I wanted to say. I knew what truth I wanted to get other there. I knew how to get my justice. But I also have the privilege of my life not drastically changing with or without that justice.

After watching bits of this trial, I reflected on some of my experiences. I wrote down some thoughts. I even imagined some things I would say.

Mostly, I thanked the heavens that I didn’t have to go through this experience. And I pray for the people who still do.

It’s messy and awful and retraumatizing, even when you’re not directly part of it.

I’m not a judge, a lawyer, or related to this huge case in any way. I get to walk away from it and go on with my quiet life where my name has little impact on the minds of others.

I do hope, for all involved, that cruelty and evil is punished and that justice reigns.

And after justice reigns, I hope the innocent can find peace and tranquility as a reward for a fight well fought.

We usually know in our hearts who to believe. We just might not always like the answer.

I wish peace for you too, dear reader.

We all need a bit of it right now, don’t we?


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