He accused her of maliciously severing his finger and spitefully pooping in their bed. She said he beat her up before he sodomized her with a bottle. There was more of course. And every gory detail was steeped in bitterness and hurt.
As Johnny Depp and Amber Heard shared the sordid details of their deeply dysfunctional marriage with the world, many people were taking sides, usually with the assumption that one of these two troubled celebrities was the perpetrator, while the other was an innocent victim.
How about you? Did you find yourself taking either Depp’s or Heard’s side as you listened to their testimony or scanned the headlines?
For the record, I did not. For me, it was obvious that they both perpetrated and they both had been victimized. But that’s a hard sell in our polarized society.
Our current culture is steeped in the concepts of victim and perpetrator. Unfortunately, those simplistic categories simply do not accurately describe any human being.
We have all caused harm. We have all been harmed. While accountability is crucial, and calling out perpetrations is necessary, we also need to provide paths for healing. Labeling each other or ourselves doesn’t allow for positive change. In fact, it can perpetuate the perpetrations.
I’m sure you have strong feelings about blame and shame. How does it play out in your personal life? Leave a comment below or click on over to my article on Medium and join the conversation already in progress there.