What happens next here with Anastasia’s Ethics Complaint adventure?
Will it be another adventure of a lifetime, sorting out the Dark from the Light and righting whatever had gone amiss for me that led to my needing to file an Ethics Complaint, to start?
I think so and I would hope so!
And indeed it looks as if that is the way we are headed; into a process of “ongoing conversation to achieve some clarity” about my situation, to be facilitated, it appears, by a representative of the ITAA Ethics Committee.
The charge, as I understand it, of that representative, will be to “listen and to start to work together” with me to find options for truth, reconciliation and healing on my behalf.
Who could ask for more?
This is what I would wish for every woman facing a situation like mine!
Here we have the next steps of a process that is likely to be lengthy and involved. Processes, actually, that will transcend and transform the darkness of certain events.
I would probably be kicking up my heels with joy if decades of emotional debris, broken professional networks and personal relationships, colleguael respect and awards, credential and financial losses, had not made this a most complicated issue to resolve.
That aside from all kinds of other related and tangential stuff I will be needing to sort out about my life in general, as it has been these many years since the offenses of my sexual harasser, power abuser took place (1985 – 1992).
Add to that – where is my professional life to go now?
And how will the changes ahead affect my personal life, as the wrongs of the past are to now be righted?
All to the good is what I surmise lies ahead.
But the bounty won’t be a simple excavation to access or easily attained.
In the past few days, since I received my Ethics Complaint response communication, I have, understandably, been reviewing many aspects of my situation, as it stands now, also contemplating, from my sole vantage place, what happens next.
It is altogether too big a bite to chew on and swallow whole!
Too big a landscape to view for what is now to happen in my life in future days.
Too big of a picture to wrap my mind around, quickly or easily.
I am reminded here of how hard it has been to wrap my mind around the tangle of my father’s relationship, for a time, with George Barris, most famous, I imagine, of all of Hollywood’s custom car designers!
To the child’s mind, residing in me still, it is difficult to this day!
I was only eleven or twelve when my father hooked up with George, in some kind of custom car business arrangement. The product the two created became a full-scale custom car enterprise called Custom Corner. The business, taking up most of a city block, sat on the corner of Vine Street and Willougby in Hollywood, throughout the 1950s into the early ‘60s, not too far from the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine, diagonally across from Desilu Productions which was, at the time, on Willougby.
It was an impressive endeavor that brought my father to reclaim some degree of personal confidence, following my infant sister’s death, my mother’s mental breakdown, her subsequent acting out and the divorce from my father she then instituted, back in Ohio. My father and I, being away from her in California, part of the year, as we were to be then, also gave us enough of a distance from her to begin to regain some semblance of normality that only being significantly distant from her could accomplish.
She had, by this time, become frequently violent, with one manner of chaos or other of upset, the norm.
My very small town father had spent most of his growing up days in the village of Loudonville, Ohio. As a parcel of nearby Ashland and Holmes counties in Ohio, this tiny community, set on fewer than three miles, even today, has less than 3,000 people. If memory serves me, in my father’s youth, it had around 500 inhabitants.
From Loundonville my father and his family moved to Canton, Ohio, for a time, where extended family members lived. From there my father went into the family business, with his father, in smallish town, Elyria, Ohio. The business was a auto wrecking and junkyard business, a very lucrative endeavor at the time, being that it was now World War II and supplying metals to the federal government had lined his pockets and that of my grandfather, grandly.
Well-situated as a young and up and coming businessman, my father had married my mother, involved himself in the local Jewish community and civic affairs, had me -- and – went on to live a typical small town life.
Transporting himself to California after our family upheaval, my father was impacted greatly by Hollywood -- and -- not in completely positive ways that I can recall.
Actually, for my father, Hollywood was a bit of a mixed bag, I think, which brings me back to George and the lasting influence he has had on me.
Some of it has been good, even priceless, as I can attribute my boundless creativity, often turned into business enterprises, to what I saw in the working together of George and my father.
Who else, but George could have shown me how to be totally free of thinking inside the limits of imaginable boundaries, almost always able, instead, to see that the sky is the limit?
And George and my father working together to create magnificient, state of the art custom cars such as one they collaborated on for Liberace?
Somehow, however, whenever I realize I am having trouble and not able to wrap my mind around situations in my life with clarity: finding the balance between big and small, close up and faraway, personal and public, I am taken back to George in my life -- George who was to become almost BIGGER than life throughout the world, sitting right in front of my face, disrupting my special relationship time with my father.
The clearest example of this dissonance I can recall has to do with George following my father and I out of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in downtown Hollywood, close to midnight on a New Year’s Eve, when I was having a “date” with my father -- and -- imposing himself on our evening.
Over the years, that evening would return to my mind – and my heart, repeatedly, coming back to remind me that George had stolen my time with my father that night. And, always resentment accompanies the scene, exacerbated in my jealous child's mind that he was driving a rather broken down jalopy!
The nerve of him!
Who was this man that could steal my father from me?
Especially driving himself around in that beat up vehicle, up against the adoring, adolescent glow my vision of my father carried for me, along with his huge, shiny Cadillac?
And then go on to become so BIG himself!
The proportion baffles me to this day!
Proportion, it is, I guess, that bewilders me now – and -- far from the first time in my life
For example –
- I am presently surrounded by flood damage so severe that access from my house to the main road is blocked and might remain so for as long as a year we are told;
- I live up in the mountains on ten acres of land where I, especially as a writer, bask in my solitude and the gentler sounds of nature;
- I have spent very few days in recent decades beyond the boundaries of the U.S.A. with myself rarely leaving this land where I live, in close to twenty years. Since I lost my eyesight in 1998, I seldom go further than nearby towns, with only an occasional trip, now and then, to D.C. or Baltimore.
- By contrast, the ITAA Ethics Committee seems, from all I have gathered, so far, to be convening in South Africa, of all places!!
- My Ethics Complaint is against an internationally prominent member of this dominantly psychology-oriented association while I am a mountain woman, at this stage of my life, as well as, by birth, a small town girl.
- Many years ago, I made a purposeful choice to leave the fast paced, achievement, power and status-driven track life behind. No Hollywood life, no D.C. life, for me! Instead I have gone farther and farther into the nearby mountains of West Virginia, close enough to get to those urban areas, if I choose. But faraway enough to keep them at a sound distance from me, along with their various toxicities and pollutants.
I am considering this, today, as I do all kinds of wondering about my life, my relationships with others, privately, organizationally, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, all the way to South Africa!
For a bottom line from today’s musings, I can’t help but being drawn to an article I read yesterday on the internet titled “Want To End Sexual Harassment? Landmark Study Finds Ousting ‘Bad Men’ Isn’t Enough.”
I was particularly struck by the closing comment of that piece –
“To transform a culture from being one of disrespect and derision to be a culture of respect, everyone needs to know where the problems are and what the flaws are so that everybody can be working on it … said Lilia Cortina, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Michigan and one of 21 experts who authored the report.”I have kept myself as separated as I could from society, politics and organizational dysfunction for decades. It is relatively easy to accomplish this distancing up in the mountains, even with internet access.
Could it be that, now, I will be, sooner or later, called to come out of my hidey hole to serve in the aid of the healing in areas I chose, deliberately, to leave behind, at least to achieve my own healing?
Makes sense, doesn't it, when transforming the Dark Side in individuals, relationships, groups and organizations is my expertise?
Of course, more to come.