As a child I was a great fan of CS Lewis and the Narnia books (the Christian subtext passed me by at the time). In one of the books there was a world known as the World between the Worlds- this was a silent place, a sort of crossroads from which it was possible to travel between an infinite number of worlds.
I had an experience that reminded me of this world during my divorce. It did not (unfortunately) involve magic lions or talking beavers but in its own way was a transforming and moving experience. It was also the day that the matriarchy almost got me.
It was one of those fantastically quiet and bright days when even the grass and the trees seemed to be waiting for something to happen. There was no wind and only a slight mist to obscure the crisp sunlight. This gave everything an unreal air as if it were nothing but a painted backdrop.
I was depressed at the time, and yet even my own spirits were raised a little by this day. It was a day of possibilities, of new beginnings.
I was exhausted to the core of my bones. I had given every ounce of my strength into maintaining a relationship with a woman who was becoming more and more ill. I had been denied proper sleep for many months due to the constant dramatics and had also become overwhelmed by the chaos that she brought into every aspect of my life- all of which had to be dealt with by me as she was completely irresponsible.
Finally things were looking up. She had assaulted a police officer and was on the run from the police for a while in relation to another offence. Furthermore she had been placed on list 99 due to a series of sexual assaults upon children of both sexes. Unfortunately the removal of immediate danger was the signal for my body to collapse into a deep state of exhaustion. She was able to obtain legal assistance to launch a whole series of legal attacks that had only one real purpose- to cause expense. I was denied any legal advice or representation and had to discover the law myself.
This was because I was on a low wage and therefore unable to pay for a lawyer while she was refusing to support herself in the hope this would increase her divorce settlement.
I therefore had to face experienced lawyers without even knowing the law- all while suffering a serious illness.
It was on one visit to the county court when I had my 'world between the worlds' experience. I wandered into the wrong area of the courtroom where men were waiting to pay fines for minor criminal offences. The atmosphere here was almost festive. The majority of the men there (almost all were men) seemed to be career criminals. They swapped stories about prison and their latest adventures. Suddenly this began to seem attractive.
Matriarchy offers men a devils bargain. It offers freedom from responsibility, casual sex without parental responsibilities and relieves the man of any duty to behave as a man. This can be very attractive if life has kicked you in the guts and you are rolling on the floor in pain. The downside is that it steals your soul- all the strong and decent qualities that make up a man and a father.
The matriarchy invites self pity. It tells you it is OK to be weak, to cry and live off others. The only real crime is to judge another person.
Matriarchy destroys men. It makes us criminals- but it relieves us of responsibility as it does so. I came very close to joining the matriarchy that day. I stood outside of the courthouse for a long time, feeling the silence of that silver morning, feeling myself free to take whatever course I chose.
One of the ways in which Maria had managed to abuse me was to turn my 'patriarchal' sense of right and wrong against me. She had me rescuing her even as she dragged me to hell. It was tempting to release myself from all right and wrong and simply go with the flow. Right and wrong were simply not factors a family court takes into account. The family court system in the UK runs a 'no fault' divorce system while at the same time blaming the man for everything. Wherever we see feminism we also see the death of right and wrong. It seemed to me as I stood there that I had simply been the fall guy for feminism and that my sense of ethics were nothing but a weakness. Perhaps I should become a criminal if this is what the feminist state rewards?
I am not sure how long I stood there, but I remember saying to myself 'let me do the right thing.' Shortly after this I filed my papers and went home.
In fact I did decide to remain within the patriarchy. I supported myself and dragged myself from depression through strength of will. I even fought my divorce on the grounds of right and wrong- even though feminism has abolished it.
And I won.
Sometimes I wonder if that thing that I said to myself 'let me do the right thing' was in fact a prayer to the God I do not believe in.
I have no idea where the strength came from. Perhaps the patriarchal God replied.
Sometimes people change when they finally admit to themselves that they lack the strength to do anything for themselves. From that day onwards I have worked to loosen the claws and hooks that the matriarchy embedded deep within me. Each time I do this I become stronger, more decent, more moral. More of a Man.
Perhaps I will pray more often.