How many of you have ever been falsely accused of something? Was it a minor issue? Or was it a major issue that may have caused imprisonment or even death? The truth is that most of us at some point in our lives have been falsely accused and never even got an answer as to why. There are a lot of reasons that this can happen. One major reason is jealousy.
One of my closest friends who is like a brother to me, underwent a situation where his life was turned upside down. He was accused of stalking and harassing a woman that was a former customer of his. By all other accounts from those who worked with him, this woman seemed to be into him as much as he was her. So, he would give her a card on occasion, he liked to make her smile. There were a total of three times in a year that he sent her flowers. She never once told him that she wasn’t interested. Instead, she went to his bosses. They in turn, wrote him up two different times. I got a call one morning from him saying that he was being arrested. He and I were both stunned. I got an advance on the bail money, bailed him out and started doing some investigating. He was fired from his job, his reputation went through the ringer and all of us who knew what was happening were floored. Not once did this young woman tell him what he did wrong or why. It was only after an attorney was brought in did we discover the truth.
His former roommate sent this woman all kinds of gifts, watched her every week and placed the blame on my friend. He threatened her with all kinds of things. Little did we know that his former roommate and best friend would cause him over a decade of problems. His former bf/rm was so jealous of him that he wanted to take him down so that he wouldn’t have any competition for this girl. The only problem with that is that they weren’t the only men on this earth. She had other choices. She also had the choice to talk to my friend and chose not to. Whatever her reasons were, they were hers alone. Does it make it right? No. In fact, it was a lot of high school drama that escalated into a legal nightmare.
Another very close friend of mine has a brother who was wrongfully convicted for a sex crime that he did not commit? How do I know this? Because he was with me two of the dates in question and the third was when he was with his sister. Yet, the courts didn’t bother to check the facts. They went off of what a young girl told the authorities. This was after she said to him that if “she couldn’t have him, no one could.” I don’t want to take away from true victims. Many times victims are afraid to speak up and should be believed but there are people in this world who will make up something just because they aren’t getting their way and are jealous.
There is a sense of hopelessness when you are falsely accused. You feel like nothing you say or do is going to prove your innocence especially when it feels like no one is listening to you. I think that’s one of the most sinking feelings that we endure. When people are accusing you, there is a feeling of being bullied. It’s almost like having someone attacking you at every turn. It’s very difficult to stand on your own two feet when everyone appears to knock you down every minute or every day. If you ever pay attention to those who are the most withdrawn, you can recognize how they become easy targets. No one likes being bullied. There are folks at my church who claim to be Christian and yet they come off like bullies and are raising their kids to bully as well. They think going after someone who has inner insecurities makes them look good. What they don’t realize is that at some point, they will need the same folks they are mocking.
Words are more powerful than we think. Every day I turn on the news and hear about another person committing suicide because of cyber bullying, or bullying in the schools. It seems like the kids are brought more attention because in our minds, we can’t fathom children dying before adults. The truth is that every word used as a weapon, can have a lasting impression. Don’t tell someone lies just because you think it’s going to make things easier on you. It will come back to bite you. The two men in this blog will never be the same. Their families will never be the same. One of them is working in a job that pays a lot less than what he used to make. He’s had to go on disability just to make sure that he could get the bills paid and yes, before you are all so quick to judge, he truly is disabled. He just doesn’t like to be treated as such. The job he had before all the nightmares occurred, allowed him to be able to do things on his own. They didn’t treat him as a disabled man even though he had limitations. He was in high demand for jobs. After he was falsely accused, he couldn’t get anyone to give him a break.
The next time you hear someone telling a story of woe, really listen. Are there holes in the story? Do they really seem to be contrite? Are they willing to own up to their mistakes? Are they trying to educate others on what happened? Or are they trying to make themselves look so victimized that others cave to monetary demands? Not everyone is trying to use people.
Be mindful of people. Accept them for who they are but recognize that some people will do anything to get their way. Sometimes Karma will come back and handle those who wronged you but it isn’t your place to judge. This is really hard to enforce. I know that I’m a fixer. I like to fix a situation even when I shouldn’t. When someone has wronged me, I lash out through words and then feel like a heel later. I’m really working on that but at least I’m not violent. When I want to take out frustration I either go to the gym, or take a walk, or do yard work to handle my aggression. I’ve been the subject of false accusations several times in my life and will never fully know why. I know self esteem plays a huge part in this but so does being able to prevent some accusations from even starting.
Once trust is broken, it’s very difficult to get back and this is a very real issue. I know for both of these men, they won’t be able to trust their own instincts for a while. People who they would have laid down their life for, betrayed them and made them question everything. I think what bothered me the most is that both of their jobs didn’t even do an investigation on either of these men. They just assumed they were guilty. What proof did they have? In both cases, there wasn’t much if any evidence. The system is not perfect by any means. I do know that most inmates can tell you who is in prison that is innocent and who isn’t. If inmates can tell that, then why can’t society? We look at everything in dollars and cents. There is always something for someone to gain with false accusations. The question then becomes what? What is there to gain? Will the person make the false accusation come out looking like a rose when they are full of briars? The truth is that every case and circumstance is different. In the long run, the lies will come out. It may not be in our lifetime but the lies will surface.
I hope none of you ever have to deal with this topic but if you do, here are some things to help you deal with this. First, don’t panic. If you do, you are playing right into your accuser’s hands. Secondly, assess the situation. Figure out the cards you have and see if you can find the missing links. Third, pick your battle. Is it worth confronting at that point? Fourth – get a support system. Find friends you can trust for support through the issues and Five – Plan how you are going to respond to the accusation.
There are always going to be people who want to falsely accuse for their own personal gain. You don’t have to allow them to ruin your life. And if you see someone trying to take down someone else who doesn’t deserve it, step up. Don’t be afraid. We are all worth being treated with respect and dignity.