As I write this article, I am watching the hearing of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. I value forming an opinion based on both sides of a story.
Truthfully, I had empathy for both individuals. I’ve been wrongly accused, Dr.
Ford and I have common careers, and she earned her Ph.D. one year after I did. Most importantly, I have worked with many courageous women and men who have crumpled, survived, and thrived after sexual abuse. The accused nearly always deny any wrongdoing. It is not unusual for families, friends, clergy, and co-workers to support the accused and not the abused; a sad reality. Watching the hearing, I had personal and professional emotions of admiration, compassion, and hopelessness.
As I give this writing one last edit, the Senate committee voted, straight down political lines, to move Kavanaugh forward, without further investigation, toward a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. Then, they decided to give the FBI a week to investigate further before the vote. For a moment, the hope of democracy is revived. Your guess is as good as mine, but this article has a submission deadline.
The publication date of this article is my birthday, and I can only think of the dichotomy between the Senate committee vote and the joy of my birthday. An example of how we often face simultaneously opposing emotions.
I was born in the old hospital in Akron, Colo. I was the fourth daughter of a housewife and a Veteran/carpenter/rural mail carrier. I, as well as my sisters, was supposed to be a boy. I don’t know the chosen boy name, but because they had no girl names designated, Jennifer Jones, an actress on a magazine cover in the hospital room confirmed my name.
When I was young birthdays were uneventful. My mother apologized when I was older, saying, “I’m sorry I didn’t have parties for you.”
Fast forward twenty-five years. One week after my oldest son was four years old, I had my twenty-fifth birthday, and on the same day, my daughter was born.
I’m still smiling.
We don’t always see each other on the actual day, but we celebrate. It is a special gift.
Memories of our birthday are varied: Little girl sleep-overs; princess cakes; shopping trips; surprise parties; trips to NYC and Vegas; grand dinners; painting and cooking classes, all with hugs and laughter.
It doesn’t get much better.
No Senate hearing is going to divert my birthday celebration.
How do YOU balance difficult emotions with personal celebrations? I’m going for a walk.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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