OK, for those of you who know who Dean is, I probably just lost some cred…But in my defense, I’m in Ecuador and made it through Halloween and the Day of the Dead! My partner is having a small breakdown, waking from dreams of torturing the White House Administration Staff and almost all powers that be. …Don’t worry, my guy is a gentle soul but dealing with issues of utter frustration at the fact he can’t admit he loves and hates his country at the same time.
Me, I’m also coming down off my own melt down, the Kavanaugh hearings, the #metoo movement, and my own frustrations with feeling hopeless in gaining any ground for change.
For those of you who are old enough, remember when; Victims who came forward were now the ones on trial, then that changed and it became the women’s fault as they “Didn’t follow through on charges against, boyfriends, dates, husbands…” I remember
In 2005 I was living with the man of my dreams. A contractor I met when I was doing touch up’s on my West Coast Island home before I put it on the market. He had issues, that I found out about as we got to know each other. A child of incest, the only son with sisters who also endured a drunken fathers atrocities. At 13, he shot his father to save the girls from another night of torment. Although his father did not die, the story was now public and the Mother and girls got help. The Boy/child was shunned, for bringing this to light, the Social Service and courts gave this young man… nothing…….
30 years later, I should have seen the signs, but I was in love. I sold my house and we left the island together, off to find a new adventure. We were heading to Alaska but got waylaid in a northern port town. It was amazing and beautiful, and with every day we fell deeper in love. The day he snapped and tried to kill us both, was maybe the happiest day I had ever spent with him. He took me to a side of a mountain and stopped the truck, came around and carried me to the side of the road, laughing telling me to keep my eyes closed.
He kissed me and told me to open my eyes. Down below us lay a valley, the evening sun was catching the tops of the fire weed that blanketed the basin. A creek, wide and blue stretched and yawned it’s banks giving way to a herd of elk. A flock of snow geese soared in, squawking joyfully as they landed on a small pond at the east side of the expanse. I could feel the love of this man emanating through his strong arms as he held me tight. He asked me to marry him, said he had put in an offer for the valley and there we would build a home for our grandchildren to come. I said YES!
A few hours later I was fighting for my life. Something inside him that night snapped. I don’t want to write the details..not today.. But the police stated for the record it was the worst case of assault/abuse they had ever seen. I only lived as I faked being dead, which wasn’t all that hard, after he broke his hand on my face he got the fire poker….. Then after spreading gas across the house, he hung himself. I found the strength to rise, my body broken.. the adrenaline rushing, my nightmare…my life…
His legs kicked out as he flailed against the rope on his neck, I ran past screaming to the kitchen getting a knife. Maybe I should have pulled on his legs, maybe I should have stabbed him, but I cut him down……………We ended up on the floor in a tangle, me clawing to loosen the rope that was choking him. Then I saw his eyes, the same blank black eyes of the creature who had thought he had killed me, me the woman of his dreams the woman he had kissed and asked to marry him… I got up and ran, bleeding, naked out the front door, down the steps, out on the road to be almost run over by the neighbors.
I can still recall the horrified look in their eyes, the truck brakes screaming as the vehicle fishtailed narrowly missing me. HE grabbed my hair and dragged me back to the house. And I started to beg for my life.
I’m here today, so I made it out alive. When the police arrived, I was in shock, but he let the police in without a fuss. The ambulance attendant was so kind, the police not so much. I was taken to the hospital only at the insistence of the ambulance staff. There even though I later found I had several broken and fractured bones and still have scars where I should have been stitched. There at the hospital, I was given a once over, then told to stand naked while the cop took photo’s of me. Then I was taken directly to RCMP station and into an interrogation that lasted a hours. The cop was..I was in shock and now dressed in nothing but a back opened hospital gown interrogated, told I could not leave until he was happy with a complete statement from me. After an hour or more, my head clearing a little, both my eyes closing I demanded to be released, that was refused! I was getting hysterical, how could this be real??? What had happened??? I had gone to bed some hours earlier after an amazing wonderful extraordinary day with the love of my life, to be woken by the same man astride my body punching me in the face and now I’m almost naked being interrogated by a fucked in the head cop? WAKE ME UP!! PLEASE.. please please
When I was finally driven home, I was met by the forensic guy just finishing up at the scene of the crime… He was kind, made me tea, got some ice for my face. I told him that his cop buddy was just as insane as the man who did this to me, and I fully intended to press charges against both of them. He asked if I would reconsider, the cop had just come from Vancouver, a burn out from seeing things, bad things for too many years. Think about that.. I did, and I didn’t care…. I was almost happy to be furiously mad at this cop as it helped me block out the fact I had come pretty close to being murdered.
The next day they sent a female detective who was nice, covering her stations collective asses. I wrote out my statement. By now they had researched me, and found I wasn’t some junkie or crazy person, just a newbie to their little community. I was a homeowner, a woman who had run corporations, self made and well liked on the island I had just moved from.
They then sent another man from the RCMP, he too was also very kind. He read my statement sitting at my kitchen table with the saddest look in his eyes… My statement about all that occured that night had him on the verge of tears.
A few days later he returned with updates on my case. I wanted to follow through with the charges. I didn’t want revenge, I wanted this man to get the help he needed and to possibly save the next women he, “fell in love with from certain death” The officer again went back to my statement and said, have you talked to anyone?, friends, family anyone??
I was too embarrassed to do that. I had so thought that I had finally met a man of my worth, someone who deserved my trust and love. How could I tell the people who were so happy for me, that I again had chosen another psycho. That I had sold my wonderful home and was now living in this small town, unable to even drive my truck for groceries as I was a black and blue and purple and yellow-green MESS. The officer was very very nice, he almost begged me to seek counsel, gave me a card of a women who worked with abuse victims, pleaded with me to seek her out.
I was hesitant, the last “professional” I went to help for .. well I laughed and it hurt, guess that Dr. didn’t help much… Here I am again. But this was a women, maybe she wouldn’t ask my bra size or date my ex.. Not so funny.
I eventually went to see her. Only to find she had already read my entire witness statement?? WTH?? Why does this woman have my statement I gave to the police? After a few minutes she looks at me and says; “Are you crazy? Did you not see the warning signs??”
I try to explain that this man and I who had been together for most of the year had never even had a fight before that night. But she does not want to listen to me in the slightest, rambling on and cutting me off. I go silent, I am angry, I am hurt, I am again shocked by the lack of professionalism. THEN, then she starts to tell me all her problems, how she has been seeing this married man for the past two years and…… I got up and told her she needs to seek better help than she is offering and walked out.
The officer called and asked if he could come by later that day. He was concerned. I met him on the porch, I told him that although I believed he was trying to help, sharing my statement without my consent was a big breach of my trust, and that the woman he thought was doing the community good.. Well she was more screwed up than I. And I highly suggested that he NEVER recommend her to ANYONE!
He was one of the good guys, and we remained friends over the coming years. He then introduced me to the town D.A. Now here was a woman I came to like, smart and savvy, she listened and understood. I actually held no grudge against this man, BUT he needed help and unless I followed through with these charges. She and I also became friends over the next two years.
What I didn’t understand was that he could hold this up so long. Over the next 18 months we went to court 3 times. Each time I had to tell employers, new friends what was going on as they would certainly read it in the local paper. It was hard, embarrassing, but in a town of that size….
Two years later I get my day in court.The officer and two others, my old neighbor, my ex’s boss, the Doctor and ambulance lady all come to court. ((AGAIN)) I am called in to see the prosecutor, only to find this beefy whiskey smelling guy in her office. I ask where the DA is? I am told she was given the day off and he had made a deal with the defense lawyer and my ex would not be on trial, the terms of his charges would be 6 months in anger management.
I came out from the office white-faced. Everyone asking me what was going on, I said nothing as I let myself be led into the courtroom. As I zoned out, thinking about how much I had endured to get here and it was all for nothing. Someone was tapping me on the shoulder, I look up and the courthouse is looking at me.
“Sorry, I missed that” Was all I could say. The Judge looks at me and says; “I read your statement and that of the witnesses, I have seen the pictures, are you OK with this sentence agreement?”
I stood up, my knees weak looked him in the eye and said, “And I actually have a say in this?” To which he looked down and I left the room.
And people wonder why women keep silent.
Would I do it again, the two years of shit, embarrassment and humiliation? The unpaid leave, the social stigma, the court system who originally wanted to label this man as a dangerous offender but let him off with by-monthly group therapy?
I was trying to get him the help that wasn’t given to him 30 years prior, to help him from not killing someone.. Yeah I would do it again. Would I suggest another women come forward…..That I would have to think about long and hard before I would make such a recommendation.