(Firing the jury within)
To all those who received a notice to become members of the jury within my head, those invitations were sent out in error. Some of them long ago. Some of them more recently. Please disregard those notices.
It has come to our attention that you do not quite understand the function of a proper jury. Clearly you were not provided clear and adequate instructions. The purpose of a jury is to come to just decisions, weighing all the evidence as best as possible. It is also not the purpose of the jury to hand out sentences and severe, lifelong judgments.
We have come to this decision to release you all after carefully weighing the evidence and history of your service.
You have been relentless in your judgments and sentences.
You have been severely critical from your first day of service, criticizing the way that I look, the way that I walk, talk, think, play, laugh, all the ways that I simply am myself in the world. I worked hard to try and please you. Unsuccessfully., thank God.
I am happy to report that I have not forgotten who I was before all of your judgments began.
You criticize my face, my body, my hair color, my eye color, my shape, my weight, my diet. You shame me into withdrawing from being seen and heard (even though that is what my soul craves), telling me that others will be even more harsh than you. And that their opinion matters more than whatever I may feel or think.
You have been a lifelong companion, criticizing and judging my school work (straight A’s were the only thing good enough), my college experience, my choice of careers and my performance in that career.
You shamed me about my relationships and choices that I made. Yes, I made some less than perfect choices. I am human. You even criticized me for that. You shame me for a failed marriage. We were both young and quite human and inexperienced in the art and skill of relationship. And we are still good and deep friends, having cast aside your terms for our own.
You berate me for being too quiet, yet jump in with negative comments when I do speak up.
You even shame me for my aging body and mind, as if living and learning this long has no merit.
You judge the way that I dress, yet quickly jump to attack anything new or different that I may try.
You relentlessly attack the kind of daughter that I was, never good enough in your eyes.
You even attack the kind of pet parent that I was, blaming me for not trying hard enough at the end with one of my 17 year old kitties, even though the vet repeatedly said that this kitty was so sick.
You judge the sadness that I often feel, telling me that I should be constantly cheerful and that to be sad is to not be grateful. Can you not see that I am grateful for the sadness as well, that it carves out that much more room in my heart and soul for deep joy?
You relentlessly fill my basket of regrets, lest I run out.
You are harsh even now, as I write this. You berate my writing and my painting, comparing me to others and telling me that I don’t have the right to do either.
You judge how I have avoided conflict, yet are ever constant in letting me know that whatever conflict I have engaged in, it was wrong somehow. Even laughable. Shameful.
You may have meant well, so I will take that into consideration. You were doing what you thought would protect me from the harshness of the world, bringing that harshness inside so that it would stop any more from coming in. I understand your intentions. However, your services are no longer needed.
And to those jurors who were immediately rejected because you might have been too positive in your opinion of me, I apologize. You may be getting new notices and invitations in the mail soon. Your input will now be valued and accepted. I thank you for your patience for the time it has taken to realize your value.
And so, jurors who were invited in error, it is time to leave the jury box.
I have had enough.
I have had enough.