Justice Fatigue: It’s a Thing and it Happens to Many of Us

Epstein is dead. I did not see that coming. Sometimes I am so naïve. I think good things happen to people who are good. I think the bad guy gets caught. I might as well add unicorns and fairies to my list because I’m clearly delusional. I heard one Epstein victim anger crying this morning because she’ll never get to face him and hold him accountable. Kinda relatable.

This justice thing is exhausting.

I don’t have to tell the thousands of you out there who are still pursuing answers for your cold cases, your rape, or your abuser that the pursuit of justice is tiring. I follow many of you on Twitter and I watch and support your efforts to keep hope alive: to fight for answers, seek justice, pursue the truth. But it can be so slow and painful and sometimes we just want to give up.

I totally get it. I lived 20 years thinking my dad and Charlene were killed by a local. Someone in their world who had had enough. Maybe a boyfriend of Charlene’s. Maybe a business deal where my dad was just a bit too clever and screwed someone over. Never did I think it was a stranger; that it was not motivated by passion or jealousy or anger. Low and behold, it turned out to be a demon. Pure evil. Or was it?

Oddly I have spent this summer binging on horror movies.

Some have been really good and some have been awful (my little list below). All of them, for me, have been funny. That’s because I don’t believe in demons. I don’t. Having lived for almost another 20 years in fear of an unknown assailant, who had eluded the law and managed to hurt so many people, I’ve had my fill of fear.

I do think, maybe, there are monsters. Sociopaths who don’t belong with the rest of us. People who have no empathy, sympathy or connection to others. I suspect they do have feelings, but they aren’t like the feelings we have. I suspect their feelings are more like a hunger or compulsion to do the evil they do. And whether or not the monster has been caught, all the waiting is so damn cruel.

I think that’s what makes “justice fatigue” so much harder.

Justice presumes the bad person will get what he or she deserves. That’s a good outcome for normal fuck-ups. Humans make mistakes – sometimes bad ones – and there should be consequences. As I write this time is still ticking on an acquaintance who committed several bank robberies and crossed state lines in the melee and he’s still serving his 35 years. Basically, his whole adulthood. Ironically, he’s at peace with the consequence. Hopefully he’ll be paroled next year and he has every intention of quietly trying to make a contribution and live a good life. That’s how it should work.

Instead, whether we are searching for or have arrested a real monster – DeAngelo, Epstein, this trash human in El Paso – justice turns into an obscene dance that’s about everyone else except the monster and the victims. For those with a vested interest, I don’t know, say like the victims, it becomes an uncomfortable journey of hearings, news stories, missing the point, speculation, and fatigue. And this is what happens when someone gets caught. We know there are many, many others out there who haven’t been arrested. Some are monsters and some are just really bad people.

I don’t have a remedy, but I encourage you not to give up.

Justice fatigue, regardless of whether or not your crime has been solved, is just that. Instead of drowning in it, I encourage you to name it, put it in a jar and set it on the shelf. For many of us, we might not get the answers we seek. But I assure you, if your intentions are honest and your efforts sincere, you’re creating energy that helps us all. I am buoyed by those who won’t give up. We all have days when a pity party is justified. But when you’re done being sad and frustrated, get back to work.

If you need help, join me on Twitter @jcarole. There’s a whole squad there who fight through justice fatigue every damn day.

Jen’s Little List of Summer 2019 Horror Movies on Netflix

The Perfection: cello music and rage

Woman in Black 2: period piece, good story

The Autopsy of Jane Doe: thriller, autopsies

American Hangman: Donald Sutherland slays it, some cheese

The Rite: gorgeous Italy, devil stuff

The Endless: weird cult stuff with a monster

Now your turn – what else should I watch?!

Chicken Little: The Night the Sky Fell

Today’s blog is strictly personal. Last weekend, we made a mistake. We accidentally forgot to open the door to our chicken roost so the chickens had to sleep in the coop without the protection of the roost. Around 3am, I heard a horrible noise. I cannot say enough about how horrible that noise was. I thought, don’t worry, “the girls” are safe – they are in their roost.

But of course, they weren’t. When I finally heard what was clearly a chicken sound in the melee, I ran outside to find a huge raccoon attacking my darling little Sweet Pea. She was already dead and our other bird, Lily was in a stupor. I chased the raccoon away in a screaming fit that shockingly, my neighbors did not hear. I managed to get the roost open, get Lily inside and get myself back into the house.

I woke my eight year old daughter up to tell her the news. Frankly, I figured she had to have heard the noise but she hadn’t so instead she had to deal with a freaked out, adrenalized mom. She did a good job too because I was a wreck. Who knew I had become so attached to my little chickens? As a telecommuter, I realize they have become like co-workers to me. I go out and talk to them when I need a break. They are steady, centered companions who don’t react to stress or office politics.

Sweet Pea had a rough start in life – bullied by another hen we had originally. But we made a change and life was good. She was a beautiful Silkie mixed with Cochin and had the prettiest gold chest. She had just started laying and while the eggs were rather small, I admired her steadfast effort.

A friend from Flickr – a woman whom I have never met but shared great chicken stories with via photos and comments – was a great support. She offered advice and consolation. My cousin, who reminded me we share a “farm girl” legacy offered by our grandmother, told me we should get a new chick as soon as possible so Lily, my stunned survivor would have something to focus on.

Meanwhile, on a pragmatic front, my mom, always the trooper – saved the day. She offered to come clean up the mess and brought supplies for a proper burial including a headstone that Katie fixed up. We said our goodbyes and went to the feed store to bring home a new baby chick: a Rhode Island Red. The cutest darn thing you’ve ever seen.

Lily was a godsend for Sweet Pea nearly a year ago and it turns out her mothering instinct is still there. We slipped the baby under her wing as soon as it was dark and the magic began. She’s already taking the baby out for walks in the coop since we are having warm sunny weather. Just wait until she finds out her “baby” will grow to twice her size. She’s going to feel like Michael Jordan’s mom – no doubt!

So this is my little tribute to a sweet little bird that made a difference in our lives. We pet owners share that sweetness: the joy of new love, the enduring attachment as we care for them and the sad farewells.

If you’d like to see some of the pictures, I have posted them on Flickr.