“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.” (Abraham Lincoln)
When the infamous events of 2009 unfolded, there were many aspects of them that were indescribably difficult for me, personally. Some I have written about, some I have never addressed, but all of them I let go. Because I don’t see how you can triumph over adversity, or move beyond a challenge, or most importantly HEAL, if you’re still hanging on to the hurt. So, regardless of the difficulty, I made a conscious decision to let it all go.
Here’s one example.
One of the hardest consequences of my former husband’s crimes were the attacks on my personal integrity. Out of the entire nightmare that was one part of it that gave me great grief. (I know, to each his own! But having been taught to live a life of integrity and to value honesty above most everything else, it was a tough emotional blow to know a heavy shadow of suspicion lay over me in the eyes of many due to the actions of the man I was married to.) What I wanted more than anything (other than to wake up and discover my life wasn’t real, that it was only a nightmare) was vindication. I wanted someone in a position of authority to publicly defend me, to acknowledge my innocence, and to make an irrefutable statement to the world: “Andrea Merriman is innocent. She didn’t know about the crimes and she wasn’t involved in any crimes.” But that doesn’t happen in cases like the one I was thrust into against my will. I learned that firsthand in 2009.
So I let it go. T0 heal, required that I let all of that go.
I made the conscious decision to know I knew the truth: that I was, am and always have been an honest person. I decided to not care what other people might suspect or erroneously believe about me. I chose to carry on and to continue to live my life the only way I knew how—with integrity. I abandoned all hope of vindication, or of anyone defending me or my integrity, publicly. I healed.
Imagine my surprise, then, on June 20, 2012 when the episode of “American Greed” featuring the crimes of Shawn Merriman played on televisions across the nation and a federal agent said something like, “There is absolutely no evidence that Andrea Merriman knew what was going on or that she was involved in it.”
I NEVER expected that!
In fact, when my friend called to tell me about it (as I can’t afford television, satellite or cable I couldn’t watch it, real time, myself) I couldn’t believe it. She said, “It’s nothing we didn’t know, but did you ever imagine you’d hear it on national television?” Nope. I can’t say it enough—I honestly never expected that. But I also couldn’t be more grateful to the good man, and federal agent, who publicly stated the truth.
The unexpected life just keeps getting more unexpected!
And sometimes, as a part of the glorious highs and extremely devastating lows that are a part of each person’s journey, you eventually get exactly what you’ve wished for. It may not come to you when you want it, it may not come when you think you “have” to have it (after all, I had to move forward and heal without mine.) But now I see that it was better that way.
It was better for me to heal without it. I think I became stronger because of it.
“At the time, when you’re being dissected and judged it’s pretty brutal, but in hindsight it’s great and – it sounds cliched – you do come out the other side better and stronger.” (Kate Bosworth)