When you are raised to be truthful and honest you start to lose sense of yourself when you realize that the people in this world that lie, cheat and steal actually are the ones winning. Those of us that strive to be truthful are left to wonder if telling the truth is worth the
What is the benefit to telling the truth when you see an opposing lie win?
Here is a little story of a court date I had to [yet again] endure with my first husband while trying to recoup over $10,000 in back child support. Having been in court with him 39 times in under 6 years this particular story sticks out because I was stunned at what he got away with when testifying.
We were in Stafford county, VA Juvenile and Domestic Court to decide the matter mentioned above.
After the preliminaries and the "swearing to tell the truth part" the conversation between the judge, SR and me went exactly like this:
judge: "Have either of you ever been arrested?"
When I heard his "no" at the same time as mine my head spun around so fast to look at him that the deputy sheriff jumped up to make sure I wasn't going to come out of my chair and grab him. She stood next to me while I glared at him.
The obviously bored judge sighed and said "Yes Mrs. Skippy HAS your ex husband been arrested?"
Me: "Yes you honor."
judge: "Okay. How many times?"
Me: :I held up 7 fingers: "Seven times."
judge: "Are you sure?"
Not believing I am being questioned for this, I gasped "Yes. And he was convicted all of them."
judge: "Well....let's see, then, shall we?"
I thought "Great. He is going to pull up his record."
No such luck.
The judge decided to just question SR instead.
judge: "Mr. Sr. have you ever been arrested?"
[I was waiting for the "Why, then, did you LIE in sworn court" question. Sadly, no.]
judge: "For what?"
SR: "Drunk in public."
I looked over and dropped one of my fingers - he had six left.
One more finger went down on my left hand. My right hand was still up and had 5 fingers showing.
SR: "Drunk in public."
They both looked over to my hand to keep track.
SR: "Failure to pay child support."
Finger down...and it went on until he admitted to two more failures to pay child support and the kidnapping of our daughter.
I sat there, expectantly, waiting for SR to be arrested for contempt of court for lying.
Or spoken to harshly.
This man had been sentenced to over 6 months in jail for these offenses [again, convicted of ALL] and served a good bit of time.
But no. It didn't matter. The judge just moved forward. He completely ignored the fact that my ex-husband hadn't just lied, he had lied SEVEN times and he had to drag it out of him, with MY help.
I was floored. I reached behind me to hold Pooldad's hand because, really, I couldn't believe it. And do you know what happened? The deputy sheriff [that had recently returned to her seat] jumped up to reprimand ME for trying to hold my husband's hand.
I turned forward, placed my hands in my lap and waited.
What was the point ?
I had heard SR lie in court before. I had heard his parents and his girlfriend lie too - but nothing like this [up to this particular day - it did get a lot worse, later] but I was flabbergasted that this was just taken as an "Oh well. Let's move on." sort of thing.
If I had lied that day in court I know, for a fact, I would've been crucified, but not SR. I saw it so many times I finally gave up and he died owing our children tens of thousands of dollars.
I always wonder if - for all the court dates - if I had been a liar I could've saved my family a lot of angst.
So, yes...I do understand Jeannie's post. I sometimes wonder what exactly IS the point in telling the truth.
I am me. And my Father raised a better daughter than that.