Every time I see a law enforcement officer of vehicle, I have to fight a surge of adrenaline and the rush of anger and negative feelings that plow into me like a runaway train.
I remember a time, not so long ago, when I would say a blessing to every law enforcement, military, or first responder vehicle I saw. I taught t hat blessing to the evil Genius so he could say it, too.
These days, I am more moved to mutter something a little less positive and a little more bitter towards law enforcement.
I am fighting this new instinct. I don't want to feel anger or hatred toward anyone who hasn't themselves done me wrong, but it's difficult.
Whatever anyone feels about Someone and his past, or what put him in prison last year, or anything else for that matter...whatever HIS experience was and the reason he had that experience...my children and I were NOT part of his alleged crimes and we did NOT deserve to have our rights so thoroughly violated. We did NOT deserve to be threatened with the removal of my children from our home and my care because ONE officer didn't like that the Evil Genius's room was messy. We do NOT deserve to be treated like pariahs or ignored by the people who were supposed to represent Someone in court but did nothing.
Our home was invaded, searched, and parts of it damaged. Evidence was fabricated or left behind (generally folks agree that it was left behind on purpose so they could "find" it a third time and use it to create yet another case, perhaps one against me this time), my property was taken and used as evidence of a crime that wasn't committed, children were scared, and all of it unlawful.
Even typing that little bit, I am angry. I am trembling. My shoulders hunch and my head ducks down, and every sound is magnified and distorted to become those heavy-footed thugs tromping up my steps to take my children away.
In and out.
I am breathing.
I make an effort, now, not to shy away from law enforcement when I see them, not to cross the proverbial street or turn in a different direction or leave my grocery cart and walk out of the store. I am trying to seek out positive stories of officers saving children from hot cars, or rescuing puppies or helping families of ducks across the road, assisting addicts into rehab and offering continued support, buying groceries for hungry families. I am trying to avoid the stories, so many more stories, of law enforcement abusing their power, killing, ruining lives with impunity.
I am trying not to hate. Hatred is a cage. Anger is the lock. Compassion and love are the keys. I am well and truly bound up right now, stuck inside this cage, and I want out. I want to look on law enforcement the same way I look on every other being, and that is as individuals worthy of love and compassion no matter who they are or what they have done, the same way I look on the other prisoners when I visit Someone, the same way I look on my neighbor who has chosen to hate me simply because I am me without ever really knowing what that means, the same way I look on all of the angry, hateful, spiteful, mean, blind, beautiful, loving, kind, and compassionate people in the world.
It's a struggle. I wish it wasn't.
Still, I'm trying.
Hatred is a cage. I will be free.