Bill Cosby and Our Wounded Hearts by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph

This blogpost is a rewrite and an update from one I wrote on Jan 26, 2020 (I’m Getting Triggered by the Impeachment Trial and I Bet I am Not Alone). I was writing about The Former Guy’s 2nd impeachment trial which rattled my bones and hurt my heart. How often have we seen angry men (and sometimes women) abusing women, abusing the earth, abusing the vulnerable, abusing immigrants, abusing power? And yet the pattern never seems to end. In many cases, they not only get away with it, it is actually celebrated.  

In that 2020 blogpost I included Bill Cosby’s case as a success story. Look how hard it had been, how many years, how many accusers it took for justice to give us the illusion of being meted out. And now pulled away.

In January 2020 there was a blunder (or so they called it) at the National Archives’ in their exhibit titled “Rightfully Hers.” They put up an image of the 2017 Women’s March and blurred out the protest signs. Oh, the irony to blur out women’s voices in an exhibit named Rightfully Hers. Yes, they apologized. But they had to get caught first. 

At the Former Guy’s take-no-responsibility impeachment trial and now with Cosby walking free, we are all watching this grand human play with no promise of denouement or a finale that will result in healing. Abuse is so much the fabric of our culture that is often invisible. Is any more proof needed than the fact that the former guy, a known womanizer and abuser, still maintains support among certain pockets of women? Or that we even have two supreme court justices credibly accused of abuse?

We all know what happens when untethered abusers are allowed free reign. It not only continues, it gets worse. How do we carry on when human justice is denied as it so often is? 

I was raped at knifepoint. That man was never caught. My father, who abused me, died before I really understood what abuse was. I never confronted him, nor did he pay any earthly justice price. My mother, who stood silently by, would never speak to me about it. She went to her grave never giving me details of things I knew had happened before I was of an age to remember. I know at least some of the tale from family stories and the scars left on and in my body. “This big secret” was the elephant in our room when it came to our relationship. We were never close. 

I have learned to live without human justice on this earth. I don’t like it, but I have no choice. My father was very much Former Guy-like except he never had such a big platform. His response to anyone and anything he didn’t like was to sue. He was loud mouthed and judgmental. He would wake people up in the middle of the night to cater to some whim of his. But wow, if he liked you, he lavished you with his riches. And he was rich at one time. But he had made too many enemies and eventually his lawsuits started turning against him. He died from the effects of alcoholism. He was in debt. Near the end of his life he asked me for a loan. I knew I would never get it back. I figured out the price of my guilt (you know for not loving my father enough) and that’s how much I gave him. It wasn’t much. I was right, I never got it back.  

As I’ve written in this blog space before, it reinforces my belief that we each need to find our own healing path, our own pathway through human suffering. And when we come to moments of calm, we need to share our lessons. We need to spread love anyway we can, and we need to fight like hell for those who are still able to get justice here on Earth. Everyone has their story of heartbreak whether it be abuse, illness, unimaginable loss, war, extreme poverty, institutional racism, miscarriages of justice, exploitation or any other number of offenses against a person. How can we face it all? How can we experience it all?

When I first wrote this, it was Martin Luther King Day here in the United States. He was a font of wisdom and an exemplar of social action. One of his quotes resonates particularly deeply with me this year. He said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Amen!

This may sound harsh but a turning point in my personal healing came after my mother died. By that point, my father’s abuse had happened over 50 years earlier. I realized there was only one place on this earth where the battle of that trauma was taking place and that was in my own body. And my body is a rather small battlefield. No one else involved or even who had firsthand knowledge of it was even alive. It was time to lay down my battle.   

I have learned that letting go of pain and replacing it with love is the nature of forgiveness. It is not to forget but to change our own energy around the suffering. And in return for my forgiveness I don’t have to carry the too enormous burden of my history and my family shame. It is the words of MLK Jr that I want to permit to vibrate my bones and heal my heart, not the ugliness of the politics or the court case of the moment.

It has taken me 60 years and I’m not done yet. My heart goes out to the women in Cosby’s case. I want to say this to all of you: Be strong you are already survivors. You are not alone. Healing is possible. You are beacons of light for so many others because you have stepped forward to reclaim your voices. My hope and prayers for each of you is that your healing arc will be far shorter than my own and that it will lead you to inner joy and peace.


Janet Maika’i Rudolph. “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE QUEST.” I have walked the spirit path for over 25 years traveling to sacred sites around the world including Israel to do an Ulpan (Hebrew language studies while working on a Kibbutz), Eleusis and Delphi in Greece, Avebury and Glastonbury in England, Brodgar in Scotland, Machu Picchu in Peru, Teotihuacan in Mexico, and Giza in Egypt. Within these travels, I have participated in numerous shamanic rites and rituals, attended a mystery school based on the ancient Greek model, and studied with shamans around the world. I am twice initiated. The first as a shaman practitioner of a pathway known as Divine Humanity. The second ordination in 2016 was as an Alaka’i (a Hawaiian spiritual guide with Aloha International). I have written three books: When Moses Was a ShamanWhen Eve Was a Goddess, (now available in Spanish, Cuando Eva era una Diosa), and One Gods. In Ardor and Adventure, available in Spanish. Cuando Eva era una Diosa

Categories: abuse, Abuse of Power, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General, Healing, Herstory, sexual harassment, Sexual Violence, trauma, Women's Voices

Tags: , , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. We surely do carry the abuse in our bodies and that there is no justice in the world is a reality…

    Abuse abuse abuse – last night it was the Bombing – fourth of July bombs bursting in the sky – we had to leave home to survive it, and will so again

    Dogs suffering from PTSD just like me. This time I was prepared to run – setting up the car with a comfy bed – BUT this abuse simply goes unnoticed – we just call it a celebration.

    Unfortunately once PTSD lodges itself in ones cells there is no healing – just escape or endurance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know Sara, I do think there is healing. I’m not completely there yet myself but I have learned to love and appreciate little moments and I think this is part of healing’s pathway. And that’s been my point, that sometimes we need to carry on with our healing even when there is no justice.


      • It’s those moments that matter – for me the damage runs too deep – I have learned to live with it. It’s different for everyone.


        • I am so sorry, Sara, that the PTSD in your body is lodged so tightly. It is a terrible burden and pain to bear. I agree with Janet that it can be healed, as least in part, as I have experienced that healing in myself. It can take an enormous amount of work and is painful, but as the healing happens it makes life a bit sweeter.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, Iris, thank you for sharing this. I find even that the healing journey itself can be a sweetness. I have been doing some work on this process for myself. I imagine at some point I will be able to express more, perhaps a future blogpost.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Yes Sara, I agree how different it is for everyone. I honor your journey as it has been so rough and yet you have been and are such a warrior for the environment, for those more vulnerable, and yes, even for yourself.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re right: there is no justice anymore. I bet everyone who reads your post will understand your point. With the former guy and rapist Cosby walking free, what hope to women have of living free and safe? How sad this is for all of us. Yes, there are some good guys; let’s hope they rise and the abusers sink. Hope hope hope. Bright blessings to us all!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wise and wonderful post, Janet. Your bringing your experiences here to FAR makes me think of all the circles, formal and informal, where I’ve seen so much healing happen through listening, witnessing, and understanding that we all have to find our own healing path while finding and accepting the support of others. And, of course, being present to help others heal is healing to us, also. Thanks so much for updating and sharing this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Carolyn, yes, yes, yes, healing circles, sacred witnessing, supporting each other, loving each other and ourselves. And thank you for also pointing out how when we are present to help others heal, we ourselves heal and vica versa. It really is a beautiful process, heartbreaking sometimes, but still beautiful. Thank you for hearing me.


  4. Crimes committed twice. First, the perpetrator and second the justice system…at this point mostly governed by white men. When I feel like I have no control over a situation, I free myself with the hope that “karma” will right the wrongs in its own way. My heart cries for those who have suffered injustices.


    • Karma, oh boy, I do sometimes indulge in fantasies of karma coming to get those who have hurt me and/or hurt others.

      But in my finer moments, I think of the MLK, Jr. quote and then I pray for love and forgiveness for my parents (even on the other side of the veil; my father who abused me and my mother who turned away.


  5. Well f**k! They let the bastard go? … (checks the internet – because his ‘rights’ were violated)… horrified and disgusted, but not surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for this post. Seeing him walk free was so triggering. What a travesty of justice.

    Liked by 1 person

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