Wednesday, August 11, 2010

clean slate

Real life and all the responsibilities and obligations linked to it are sometimes almost not to bear. I am sure all of you know what I am talking about here... Generally speaking, it`s not easy to be successful in both business and private life and, even more important, to fullfil own expectations. Not to mention the expectations from family members, friends, business partners, neighbours, church...

And sometimes, there is just no way to not let other people down. And I just hate these moments.They literally make me sick.I had one of these dreaded situations not too long ago, in court actually... and just thinking of it makes me want to vomit. In theory, there might be psychological means out there to help me cope with the feeling of screwing up, but actually I don`t use them. Or to be more specific: I dont know how to use them for me!

There is not much I can do to take the sting out of it. In my life, I just have to be -or at least have to pretend to be- strong and invulnerable. It would only hurt me, if I would show any weakness in court. And my clients...well, who would want a tarnished lawyer? The clients kind of expect me to radiate an aura of die-hard and self-confidence. So I deliver...

However, every so often a scene from House md comes to my mind. Its from the 3rd season, in which House makes a big mess of his life. He breaks the law, is mean and unfair, hurts the people around him. And in the end, he sees no other way out but to offer an honest apology to his enemy Michael Tritter. Tritter is the guy in the show, who could easily make things good again as far as Houses pending criminal trial is concerned.

[Cut to House walking into Tritter's office]
TRITTER: Complaint department's a across the hall [House walks over to him] I'm busy, can I just assume that you told me how unfair I'm being and...
HOUSE: [cuts him off] I'm sorry... You could throw a dart at all the adjectives between arrogant and unhinged and I'm sure you'd hit one that describes me. There's a reason I operate that way... I live in pain. Pain that on good days is merely intolerable and on bad ones will suck the life-force right out of you. Doesn't mean that I've handled this right, actually, means I was wrong.
TRITTER: Thank you. I know that couldn't have been easy for you to say. Even if you don't mean a word of it. [Tritter starts to walk away but House follows him]
HOUSE: I'm sorry! You can hook me up to a damn polygraph.
TRITTER: And I'm sure you'd pass. The thing is I've never been interested in what you have to say; all I care about is what you do. I'll see you at the hearing.
(House MD - 3.11 Words and Deeds. Originally Aired: Jan 9 2007. Written by: Leonard Dick. Directed by: Daniel Sackheim.

This scene has a big impact on me. Because even though House is sorry for what he did, and even though he gives a sincere apology, the one person who could help him, Tritter, does not forgive him. There is nothing House could do, to make Tritter actually forgive him. House just has no way to make amends for his deeds. 

And btw. for me, having to go to court has nothing to do with assuming a responsibility...Having to go to court - in most cases- only means trying to find a way to NOT assume any responsibility at all.

And I think that is exactly why I do belive in the concept of domestic discipline. 
In a dd scenario, it is possible to screw up, pay for it and just move on. And this my friends does sound wonderful in my ears. First of all, there is a partner who is generally able and willing to listen to your words. Somebody who cares enough for you to take some time to deal with the infraction. Somebody who is interested in making you feel better. A person who is willing to give you a clean slate again. A person who thinks you do not deserve to make yourself crazy with guilt and shame and embarrassement and the sense of failure.

To me, it is a relief to have situations in life, in which it is possible to honestly confess things, get punished for it and then all is forgiven. And usually I am the one who is not hesitating to give my partner the good feeling of a clean slate. However sometimes, like right now, I just want that feeling for myself...


  1. Tina:

    You have a clean slate every day you wake up. We either live with regrets or we live to learn from our experiences and try our best not to repeat our mistakes. Don't be too hard on yourself. You're human. I remind myself of that often, and it really does help me.

  2. Hello, Lawyer,

    I'm glad to see that you are back, and very happy that you found someone to be in your life with you. I am sorry that you are having a difficult time right now; I hope it gets better soon.


  3. I don't remember reading how you feel about switching but if you are up to that, you can awitch sides of the equation and be punished and forgiven. You just need to have the final word. It doesn't hurt any less if you do.

  4. Watching House? Are you living in the US now?

  5. Am still living in the greates country on earth. Germany :-)
    But my fellow readers, I am coming to the US. Will fly to California next week...Hope to have much to tell you after my trip.

    As far as switching goes...well, we will see. Not sure about that.