I guess today and all the days that follow it will feel like this, until the Jerry Sandusky trial is over. Waiting on the kind of justice that’s never going to show up, no matter which way this thing goes.
Short of a meteor landing on his head, Sandusky doesn’t go away. He’ll own a presence, inside or out. Because as much as monsters thrive in darkness, the sad truth is they do not succumb to the light shone upon them. They still own the moments they steal, and the lives they steal those moments from. A criminal trial ends his reign of terror, but he still possesses something his victims never had. A chance.
I’ve listened to a lot of people talk about the “healing process”. They talked about it when Penn State played Nebraska in the first game after Sandusky was arrested. They talked about it again after Penn State hired a new head coach. As if ‘healing’ is a one size fits all solution; as if sexual abuse can be covered up with the fresh paint of games and new faces on campus.
It didn’t happen then, it won’t happen with this trial.
The process of healing does not happen on command. It is not convenient, it is not pretty. You can’t dress it up to mean something it doesn’t. Victims of sexual abuse don’t concern themselves with healing so much as they concern themselves with trying to find a reason to keep going. To heal is to make whole again, and that ain’t happening.
And when this trial is over? It’ll be like the circus leaving town. The news vans will fold their tents and the lawyers will clean up. After which we’ll get more of the “healing process” round of summit table talk. Spoken by people who have no idea what it means to search for pieces of yourself that you can’t find, because those pieces belong to someone else and always will.
It’s a hell of a thing to be a child who prays not to wake up in the morning.
This trial, and its outcome, won’t heal that.