Sad Truths Exist in my Heart

This is my perception of how life, society, culture, times and perception have impacted me as an individual. Taking one piece of this story might be insurmountable, but putting it all together I hope to help the reader understand how a simple sarcastic comment can destory years of healing that a person thought they had accomplished.

I was born in 1973, my parents were older than most of my friends parents and had old school values as well. As much as I can appreciate the morals and God fearing home that I was raised in I can now see that some of those old school thoughts set me up for a life of private hell.

(Please note: I know that my parents did an amazing job in rearing me, especially through those teen years! I just want to show how hanging on to archaic thoughts of blame and shame for women can truly destroy a person. My parents were raised a certain way, they took that information and adapted it to create their own tool box of survival skills … they did the best that they could with the information and tools that they had available.)

At a young age I learned that I had to hug others, even if I didn’t want to, because not hugging an elder was a show of disrespect. This seemingly harmless action taught me that my body is not mine and I do not have any personal physical boundaries. When someone would hurt me in a typical kid fight I would tell on them and was often asked, “What did you do to deserve that?” All of these things taught me that I am to blame for EVERYTHING that happens to my body.

In first grade I saw a classmate do something that they shouldn’t have done. Granted, the infraction had no impact on me, but I knew that it was wrong, so I told my teacher. She responded by very publically shaming me and pinning a long tail onto the back of my pants so that everyone would know that I was a “Tattle Tale.”

You might be laughing now, but this only added to my perception that any wrongs should not be discussed with anyone. My pain quickly became my secret.

It wasn’t long after the tattle tale incident that I was touched inappropriately for the first time. My response was to kick him in the groin, I was never told to respond that way, I was never given any form of defense discussion or safety, so this was just a natural fight or flight response. Later that day, or maybe the next, another adult came to me (presumably unaware of the harrowing predicament that caused me to “harm” him). She told me that I can’t kick boys and men there, it’s inappropriate and that I can really hurt someone if I do that. I was never asked why I did it, or how my foot came close enough to connect with his groin, it was all about blaming the child for inappropriate behavior.

These things were all happening in the 1970s and early 1980s, where it was still believed that a girl was “asking for it” by the way she dressed. Although I never figured out how an 8 year old asks for it by what she wears, it’s what I heard the adults around me saying when I overheard discussions about assaults and rapes on women.

Each day brought me more reason to hate being female. If only I were a boy, I could have the power to protect myself, but I wouldn’t need it because I had control over the world and there would be no threats to me or my safety. All of these things congealed in my mind and my most formative years became full of fear, rage, sadness and an inability to accept myself for who I am. I know that I had brief punctuations of good memories, but a constant state of “what’s next?” shadowed every part of my life.

By the time I was a teenager I “knew” that I needed a boyfriend to keep me “safe,” yet I also knew that boys that seemed different were even more threatening to me that the “normal” one’s that just wanted to get close to fulfill that rush of testosterone that overcomes them. I became the bully, I beat the crap out of any boy that might appear to be different or kind … or weak. I took my rage toward the entire male population (save my dad who is and always will be the only man that loved me for me) on poor unsuspecting boys that I couldn’t understand and didn’t take the time to learn to understand.

These acts of badassery made me a challenge to males that just wanted one thing. Add to this that I began to find ways to self-medicate my pain and self-hatred, which put me in harms way more often that I would ever care to admit. Even to the point of putting me in a situation where I was in a public place, unable to ask for help and in a failed sense of finding safety ran to an area of privacy, over a barbed wire fence where a stranger caught me and to this day I can taste the sense of fear that his stale rotten breath breathed into my face as he ridiculed me and had his way. This and other events were never reported because I knew I was to blame and contacting police would mean that I would be ridiculed for the way I dressed or attempting to defend myself or being a tattle tale.

Over the past few months I have been so busy dealing with one situation after another that I have largely isolated myself in an attempt to focus on survival and in rare moments on healing. This has inadvertently left me vulnerable to any communication that seems kind or caring. The vulnerability has made me a target for words of hate by men that have no respect for women.

I barely slept last night because I received a derogatory text from someone that began the conversation with concern about how I’m doing. The comment was painful and in no way can be confused with being a misperception on my part. I am not okay with being treated this way, I have learned that being female does not make me an object to be used, abused and/or discarded by others. Yet, the pain of a lifetime of beliefs based on misperceptions by myself or others is still raw when a comment feels like a threat or blindside me.

I guess, in a way, this is my delayed response to the #MeToo movement. In some ways my silence may have condoned the treatment that I received, but the ultimate consequence of my silence is that no derogatory statement can be made about me that I haven’t already said to myself and at some point believed was a true statement of me.

I don’t believe that there is room in my head or heart for additional pain as I’ve already seen or been through it, now it’s just a knife reopening the scars that have been there for a lifetime.

I am not a victim, I am a survivor of circumstance … a survivor of my personal attacks on myself … a survivor of the old school thoughts of victimization … I am a SURVIVOR.

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He Didn’t Mean to Kill Me

The words that follow are results of some deep soul searching after some seemingly unrelated events triggered an enormous revelation: No matter how much I have “healed” from my experience of surviving domestic violence … I will always carry that trauma with me.

I happen to be a female, my perpetrator happened to be male, we happened to be a blended family that could easily be referred to as “trailer park trash” if the statement was based on our gross income. We happened to live together prior to marriage, and yes, I did marry him because I thought our commitment would prove my love to him and stop the beatings.

We fit just about every myth there is about the make up of domestic violence relationships. THE TRUTH? Domestic violence does not discriminate. These violent actions happen to males and females (either can be the perpetrator), heterosexual or homosexual relationships, your race, age, weight, socioeconomic status … domestic violence doesn’t care! (I’ve even heard it told that professionals that help survivors through the turmoil can sometimes fall victim to the slow lead into manipulated oppression by a significant other!)

The most difficult part of discussing domestic violence is convincing every person in the world that they too could fall victim to the manipulation without even realizing it. Once someone is able to see themselves as vulnerable to a situation they are far more willing to open their mind to hear what is being said.

Time after time I have written in depth accounts of one beating in particular, the one that led me to have the most amazing spiritual experience … but, I had to die to have that. This post isn’t about the specific graphic, blow by blow details of that night, it’s about the long term effects of surviving the chaos of loving a man that was willing to kill me.

Over time and many years of research I have learned that perpetrators of domestic violence tend to strangle their victims to show their significant other that they don’t WANT to kill them, but that they COULD kill them if the other person doesn’t do as expected. It is the ultimate real life game of Russian Roulette, the perpetrator is the gun and the significant other never knows if the gun is even loaded. We never know, until the trigger is pulled!

Approximately ten years ago, which was eight years after my near death experience and leaving my perpetrator for good, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. For the past ten years I have slept with a CPAP machine, without it I will wake up with a massive headache and often coughing and choking. If I sleep without it I am typically taking a short afternoon nap and am fully aware of my surroundings when I wake up fighting for air.

Recently I was in a situation where I had to sleep for several nights without my CPAP. I woke up many times each night, gasping for air, fighting for my life and for about 10 seconds I was sure that my ex-husband was standing over my trying to strangle me to death. Those ten seconds seemed to last forever and even once I was aware of my surroundings my mind and body had been shifted into fight or flight mode … try coming off an adrenaline rush several times a night, by the time I was settled down and able to sleep I had an hour or two to sleep and it began again.

This entire situation was exacerbated when I went to my chiropractor to see some recent x-rays that he had ordered. His first words as he lit up the x-ray lamp? “What kind of neck trauma did you have? The damage appears in a strange place!”

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A normal neck x-ray on the left shows no damage to the neck. My x-ray, on the right, shows damage to the bones from years of  my failure to seek medical attention after being strangled. Note: a normal neck curves slightly to align the head over the rest of the body; my neck curves in the opposite direction.

His question was nothing more than innocent curiosity. Yet, I could not deny that I had only ever had ONE injury to my neck and it was the death of me. Even though the bruises have disappeared the damage is deeper than my heart, the damage is in my bones!

 

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In a close up of my x-ray you can see where years of inappropriate alignment have caused severe deformities in my bones.

I have no way of being 100% certain that domestic violence was the cause of my traumatic bone injuries; however, I can say some things that were distinctly different immediately after that midnight beating:

  • My voice took on a raspy tone, which is worse when I’m tired.
  • If I am not well hydrated I will cough and choke, even on my own saliva.
  • A gland at the top of my neck and base of my jaw protrudes even when I’m healthy.
  • I will become easily winded, as if my throat is closing, if I am dehydrated during exercise.
  • A CT scan of my brain has shown a history of mini strokes and/or severe migraines.
  • My short term memory sometimes seems like it is compromised of swiss cheese.

Even when a man or woman survives a beating there is physical damage done and it can last a lifetime. It is deeper than emotional trauma, it is where … in a million years some poor unsuspecting archaeological student will exhume my body and write his dissertation on the evolution of the human neck because society no longer {insert some odd behavior here}.

My chiropractor has been very honest with me, “It’s too late to undo any damage, but I hope to give you better range of motion through treatment.”

I should also note that in 1991 I was in a car accident and suffered some lower back injuries. Those injuries are not evident on any of the x-rays that were done. Yes, two hands of the man that said he loved me did more damage that being rear-ended by a Jeep Wrangler that was traveling at 50 MPH and never touched his brakes.

Clearly, my ex-husband could have left me for dead. I truly believe that he chose to help me for selfish reasons, a man like that can’t control men by angry manipulations, he knew prison wasn’t the place for him.

Whatever his reasons were for allowing me to live … they aren’t important to me. The spiritual interaction that I had as he stood over my lifeless body … that interaction keeps me going, I know that He wants me to “fight back” for others that have been wronged. I will do that until He decides it’s time for me to join him at the pearly gates.

Grrr! Why Spare him!?

*DISCLAIMER* There is a difference between thoughts, feelings and actions. The contents of this post are my thoughts and feelings. As you explore this rant, please note that I am not capable of any of this!

It has been over two years since my children and I left our home of pain, deceit and abuse. Still, I learn of secrets that were kept, most likely for fear of not being believed, or for fear of what could happen if the secrets got out.

Right now, my muscles are tense with anger, my tears as fresh as the day it all came out, and my thoughts of a bloody battle bringing him to his demise are all brand new.

HOW? How does one work so hard to manipulate others? How does one hide this pain for years and years? How? How? How?

The sad truth is that this crap is generational. I too hid behind a masquerade of normalcy, I too kept secrets for years upon years. I continued this in a desperate need to feel loved by a man, any man. My boundaries always shifting to meet his idea of the perfect woman my insecurities and my worthlessness have been passed down via his (whichever “his” you choose) manipulation of me … putting every single one of my children at risk.

Yes, I can’t deny that he made the decisions to harm the innocent, but I made the choice to accept the guise of love because it was all that I was worthy of.

I’m done! This is me! Take me or leave me as I am. I will never allow any more or any less than who I am. I am good enough. I deserve the best that I can achieve on my own. My kids do as well.

I screwed up, it’s a mental screwing daily, but we will survive, because we are better than the mind games that others have played.

WE, ALL 6 OF US, ARE SURVIVORS!

It’s Time to Tell My Story

Today is Mother’s Day, basically, my favorite day of the year. It’s not for the gifts, nor the appreciation that mother’s across the nation receive; although I do love to hear my children and their friends wishing me well and telling me how much they love me … but that’s not all.

Many don’t know this, but I almost didn’t get to be a mom. In a fit of confusion, impulsiveness, sadness and despair I attempted to end my life in 1992. Days later I learned that I was pregnant with my oldest child and chances were that the medication that I attempted to overdose on was in my system as my helpless child was beginning to grow.

The following is MY perception of what happened, others that were present may have a different perception and that’s fine, but that’s your story, this is mine.

I was 18 years old, in 3 weeks time I would be a wife to someone that I had committed to spend the rest of my life with. In a strange twist I began to see things as they were, I stopped looking at him through a lens of perfection and I noticed that everything that attracted me to him was built on lies that I excused when I found out the truth. Reality was that he probably didn’t have the motivation to do much with his life and everything that my mom warned me about was seeming to be accurate.

I was raised that your word is your word and you can’t back down. You stay loyal, you make a commitment and you follow through. Being a teenager I also had this hatred of proving my mom right … I couldn’t go to her and say, “You were right. Can I come back home?” After all, I had left when I was 17 and given up my car in order prove to my parents that I was an adult and could survive.

Now, 26 years later, I don’t even remember what our argument was about, but at that time it was obviously a life or death discussion to me. Quietly, I opened up my cedar chest (a graduation gift from my parents) where the medication was stored. I dug through the contents until I found a box of over the counter sleep aid, not melatonin, the real stuff, the stuff that takes you out in a … dream.

When he realized what I had done he went to tell him mother, whom we were living with. To this day I remember her words, “Get her out of here, I don’t want her dying here.” In that moment I realized that her words were a reflection of my worth; it wasn’t about keeping me alive, or getting me help, it was about her not having to deal with authorities coming into her home to remove my body.

I was taken to the hospital, I remember being to angry about being saved to talk to anyone … I just wanted to be left alone to die. A hose was shoved up my nose and fished into my stomach to pump out the contents of my wishful death. That hose cut off my ability to talk and I couldn’t have been more pleased, it was the closest that I could get to being isolated from the world.

Hospital staff were questioning my fiancé about the events of the evening, but he kept repeating the lie that he had told me to say on our way to the hospital. She has severe back pain from a car accident last year. She must have gotten her medications mixed up and in her tired state took more than necessary.

The nurse came to my bedside and told me that they would remove the hose leading to my stomach if I could promise to drink a glass of “charcoal” I agreed, not realizing that yes, they do serve charcoal in the emergency room.

I took a strong hard sip on the straw before I realized that I was drinking the real deal and charcoal is not a code word for a medicinal cocktail. I wanted to beg to have the hose put back in, that’s how nasty this experience was, but the nurse was too busy grilling me (pun intended) about what had happened to lead me to the emergency room half heartedly fighting for my life.

This poor nurse, she wanted to help me so bad. She asked me nicely, she asked me with compassion, and finally she tried anger, but I wouldn’t budge, I stuck to the story I was told to tell. If only the medical staff would have put a 72 hour psych evaluation on me, if only I had spoke up, if only, if only …. maybe I wouldn’t have spent years hating myself, and suffering in emotional turmoil.

When I left the hospital that night I still had a strong wish to die, I even said a bedtime prayer, “Dear God, please take me in my sleep tonight so that no one will ever have to tolerate me again.” When God didn’t fulfill my wish I spent days trying to find a way to escape this miserable world, but I had to plan better, I had to be sure that I wasn’t found until it was too late.

Before I was able to figure out a plan I found out that I was pregnant. Life became a gift, I was responsible for another human and the only way to take care of that life was to take care of me. This didn’t end my suicidal ideation, it only made them easier to fight back. Some days, even 26 years later, I wonder why I’m here or how worthy am I to have oxygen to breathe. I go on because I know that my experiences in life can help others to go on.

My Mother’s Day wish is for anyone that feels like I did, or sometimes do, to seek help, because you have a purpose. If you are reading this and know or fear that someone you know might be feeling these things, ask! Don’t be afraid to discuss suicide, you don’t have to understand the thoughts and you don’t have to get angry, just being there and breaking down the wall of fear regarding the word “suicide” can help someone get the strength to get help in surviving and overcoming their feeling of being unworthy.

; Sequitur Historia Mea;

;My Story Goes On;

Can You Prove Who You Are?

For the most part I have been avoiding social media today. I’m furious at the world at large, but mostly at the hatred currently being spewed in North Carolina. Just from skimming headlines I can see that two troopers are dead when their helicopter fell out of the sky while attempting to get order from the chaos of hate fueled anger. I also see that one man is in custody, allegedly plowing his car into a crowd of people, killing at least one person.

Why does it matter? White Supremacists? Black Lives Matter? Gay Pride? Etcetera?

Often times we base our beliefs on our culture and family tradition. Few of us hate people based on outward appearance because that person did something to influence that hatred; rather we base our anger on what someone else has done to us or our forefathers. In these instances we no longer see individuals, we see blind hatred, infuriating anger, maybe even murderous intent!

How is it okay to do wrong to a great part of society for the wrong of one individual? How can we accept wiping out certain races because a hundred years ago one person did wrong by another person?

For a majority of my life I believed I was a good portion of Irish. Recently my sibling showed me her DNA profile:

Genetic Ancestry Estimate

As you can see, I am about as Irish as the Lucky Charms Leprechaun!

Clearly, I am not as Irish as I thought, or as I was led to believe by my ancestors! Here I was, thinking that the Great Potato Famine nearly wiped out a majority of my ancestors and in a rush they managed to defy the effects of poverty and starvation to come to this great nation!

Worse yet, I was lead to believe that my father’s great aunt was the cause of the Great Chicago Fire that wiped out a large portion of the city. The result was for Mrs. O’Leary’s brother-in-law to flee the city and head for the hills of West Virginia to keep his own family safe from the anger of an entire city. As the family fled they dropped the “O” from our last name and would forever be known as “Leary” with no relation to the family whose cow destroyed a city.

Research (and lots of it) has taught me that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow most likely did not start the fire. There is also a great chance that some neighborhood boys accused of smoking cigarettes in the barn did not start the fire … there is a possibility that the fire was caused by a meteor shower which covered a good part of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana on the night that changed Chicago forever. This is neither here nor there, as the same research taught me that Mrs. O’Leary’s husband did not have a brother that ever lived in Chicago as family folk lore taught me to believe!

My family was never known as O’Leary, at least not in recent history. Moving forward in my quest for genealogical answers I now know that I am searching for the family of “Leary!” What a relief, I am no longer living a life of deceit of my heritage! Am I really free from the unknown, though?

The search continues, briefly, my research came to a slamming halt when I discover that my ancestry comes to an end in Canada in the mid to late 1800s. There it appears that Daniel Leary has a live in maid and the maid’s three children. The maid and her children have the last name of “Harris.” Within a decade of that discovery it seems that Daniel and his maid, “Mary,” get married, move to Pennsylvania and either Daniel adopts the children or they assume his last name.

If this is the case, I’m a Harris masked by a Leary! This doesn’t change the fact that my last name is Leary, but having a distant cousin come to the same conclusion leaves me to wonder … for 150 years we are Leary’s, we live and die with this name … prior to that our family history is quite elusive … obliterated really.

When my sister showed me the DNA results I hurried into the app to search for possible relatives. My hits for “Leary” equaled exactly “ZERO!” However, my hits for distant “Harris” cousins proved to be numerous.

With all of this information I can sit in turmoil and hatred because I don’t know who I am anymore! I can’t do that, I just can’t! Who cares if family folk lore was wrong? Who cares if I’m a “Leary” or a “Harris”?

This all as no impact on my life, because I am me, a child of God. A daughter of two amazing parents. A sibling to the best five siblings a girl could ask for. A mom, a girlfriend. I am me!!!

If you are so sure of your heritage that you are willing to kill in the name of your forefathers, in the name of your skin color, in the name of your religion, in the name of anything that matters to you; I ask you to keep one thing in mind: YOU were most likely created behind closed doors … when it comes to it, there will come a day that only God will know of the true parentage of you and all of your ancestors!

Is it really worth killing and/or dying for beliefs that have changed and will continue to change from one generation to the next? Does it even matter!?

Government Gives Survivors the Bird

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence

The pursuit of happiness, as once envisioned by our forefathers is now a joke! My family has been feeling this since February 15, 2016 when we invited the “system” into our lives in a belief that the system would protect and empower us to escape a dangerous, destructive, and dysfunctional family system. What follows is a true example of what can happen when we think we are people and our safety comes before a government budget. As I portray our truth I will start my story with a “he said, she said,” because I never thought that I would have to prove the steps that my family took to protect ourselves from danger just to be screwed by those that are set to protect society! I will also be including information from personal emails between myself and an individual in a perfect position to protect YOU from criminal behaviors. There is also information that is readily available to the public, though it takes some knowing where to look, then hours of digging to find what you’re looking for. In the interest of “knowledge is power” I will be linking to this information to save you time in looking up the hidden truths of the system set up to protect the criminal from prosecution to the fullest extent of the law as the government protects their ASSets!

On February 15, 2016, I was given information that my daughter was a victim of sexual assault by a man that professed to love, honor, and protect myself and my children whom I brought with me to the marriage. I had suspicions for a long time prior to this, but when I confronted him he responded with a web of deceit meant for me to believe that I was crazy. When I was given the information I immediately contacted police so that an investigation could begin. I was informed that there was nothing that they could do until my daughter was in the community to be interviewed (at the time she was in college a few hours away). I explained to the officer that I have two minor children with me and could not return to the home as I felt that we were in danger of further abuses. I was given information for a local domestic violence shelter as a temporary solution.

The urgency of the situation required that my minor children and I sneak into the home to grab our prescription medications. We left with those and the clothes on our backs. I honestly believed that the police would at the very least request that he leave and make the home available to us at the very least, but ideally arrest him. As a matter of comfort and trying not to traumatize my children more than had already happened we sought safety at the home of a relative. However, we ended up at a shelter a couple of days later.

On February 19, 2016, my daughter joined us at the shelter and police were contacted. Interviews happened, emergency protection orders sought, divorce papers filed, and Child Protective Services (CPS) contacted. It was a dizzying flurry of activity that was frightening, infuriating, and sad; I also felt a weight lifted and an amazing amount of safety.

Per the court I was instructed to pay the extra funds to have the Sheriff’s Department serve all of the legal documents “for safety reasons.” Several days later I received a phone call that the papers had been served, but he was found unresponsive and as the deputy stated, “he is passed out, drunk! He is in his yard with no coat, I have called an ambulance.” What the deputy did next blew me away, he failed to disconnect the call and I could hear him telling a paramedic, “I pulled up and I thought, holy sh*t, I hope that f***er isn’t dead!”

To condense this story a bit, the following months was an endless barrage of delays in every possible court case that we had going; criminal, divorce, child support, and even a hearing to terminate his parental rights. It seemed that everything was hinged on the criminal case, which was scheduled for December 7th and 8th.

Friend of the Court offered the run around by stating that they were not receiving the documents that I was sending regarding my proof of income. They also stated that were not receiving the other party’s documents. In all honesty, as angry as I was at him and his indiscretions I had to offer him the benefit of the situations since I had sent my paperwork three times! My attorney hand delivered the documents, which obviously could not be ignored and finally I was given a hearing date.

Upon arriving at the hearing my ex was noticeably absent and Friend of the Court advised the judge that neither my ex or his employer were cooperating with requests for proof of income. A warrant was issued for “show cause,” however, I have since noticed that said warrant had mysteriously disappeared from the documents of my online file! To this day I have not received a penny of child support, nor have I been given a judgment in the matter.

As instructed my daughter contacted the Prosecutor’s Office the day prior to trial and it seemed that my ex was missing and the case was listed on the voicemail of the office as “resolved.” To my children and I this meant he had run, killed himself, or was somewhere lurking, watching us, and waiting to pounce. This was not the man that I married, but I had lost that man long ago, I no longer knew who he was or what he was capable of.

On December 31, 2016, my ex-husband was located in the hills of Big Sur, California. There he was taken into custody and proceedings began in Michigan to have him extradited.

The trial was set yet again, but the stress of everything was getting to us. One of my children was admitted to the hospital due to overwhelming stress of this situation coupled with expected stressors of a young adult. Upon getting word of this the prosecutor stated we should seriously consider a plea deal to save the children the added stress of testifying.

In several emails between Joe Bizon and myself regarding the plea deal Joe was informed that my daughter wanted prison time, the need for him to register as a sex offender, and the ability to make an impact statement to the court. I told Joe that if these requirements could not be met than we prefer to go to trial.

In an email to be dated April 8, 2017, Joe Bizon states, “I am okay with that, but I am pretty sure that means a trial. That is ok. I think we are ready.” Ultimately, a charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree was agreed upon with the Prosecutor and Defendant. This directly defied our requests as it is a misdemeanor and my daughter had reported five years of abuse, also the maximum time for this is 9 months in county jail. Per the above linked article the Prosecutor states that the victim agreed to these terms.

Through this process I have learned not to believe everything that you read, even if it is written by seasoned reporters. To be sure these lies were correctly stated I paid almost $30 to get the transcripts for the plea hearing. Every word in that article is backed by the transcripts in my possession.

In an email dated April 24, 2017, Joe Bizon informs me, “Mr. Eitniear entered a plea to CSC 4th degree. That is a felony sex offense.” I was positive the label of felony for the charge was incorrect, but I was not prepared to argue that. Instead I researched legislation for the State of Michigan. As I suspected the charge is in fact a misdemeanor.

At this point our hands were tied and our only glimmer of hope was our impact statements. My statement was sent to the judge, but was not read in court, therefore it is in the court file, but I’m not sure if it is a matter of public record, so I will refrain from sharing this. However, my daughter’s statement was powerful, witnessing her anger in the courtroom was to see my daughter transform from a victim to a survivor right before my eyes! Portions of this can be read here.

Every day for 18 consecutive days I watched the sex offender registry and his name never showed. On the 18th day I contacted the probation/parole office to find out who screwed up this time. I was frustrated to learn that based on the charge he plead to and the fact that it is only one count he is registered on a NON-PUBLIC sex offender registry. The very idea of this baffled me, that defeats the entire purpose of a sex offender registry! I was dumb founded, so I headed back to Michigan Legislation where I found this:

The public internet website described in subsection (2) shall not include the following individuals:(a) An individual registered solely because he or she had 1 or more dispositions for a listed offense entered under section 18 of chapter XIIA of the probate code of 1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.18, in a case that was not designated as a case in which the individual was to be tried in the same manner as an adult under section 2d of chapter XIIA of the probate code of 1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.2d.

(b) An individual registered solely because he or she was the subject of an order of disposition or other adjudication in a juvenile matter in another state or country.

(c) An individual registered solely because he or she was convicted of a single tier I offense, other than an individual who was convicted of a violation of any of the following:

(i) Section 145c(4) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.145c.

(ii) A violation of section 335a(2)(b) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.335a, if a victim is a minor.

(iii) Section 349b of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.349b, if the victim is a minor.

(iv) Section 539j of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.539j, if a victim is a minor.

(v) An offense substantially similar to an offense described in subparagraphs (i) to (v) under a law of the United States that is specifically enumerated in 42 USC 16911, under a law of any state or any country, or under tribal or military law.

This information can be located here.

All the worry, the stress, the emotional turmoil … the YEARS that this man perpetrated, the severity … duration, none of that came into play in the plea deal or sentence, every bit of it hinged on this being the only time that he got caught and his past criminal history, which is basically non-existent … so, he spent five years committing crimes, but that’s okay, because we never really caught him!

The pursuit of happiness? The system has made this a long shot!

 

One Victim’s Transformation to Survivor

“According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 1 out of 4 girls will experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. It also states that most cases go unreported. You made me one of those statistics. For 5 years, this went unreported. For 5 years, I was one out of four girls.”

As my daughter stood before the judge and a courtroom full of strangers I listened as her nervous tension squeaked past her vocal cords. There, with her back to me, just a foot away I listened as she addressed her perpetrator. I knew she needed a reminder that I was there, but I feared touching her; I didn’t want my anger to override her emotions through my touch.

At the suggestion of another I did reach out, and something amazing happened. As my hand touched her back and began to rub (as is customary of our interaction during tense moments) her voice grew loud, she was angry and she let it be known. My little caterpillar that spent most of her life hidden away in a cocoon of secrecy suddenly emerged a beautiful butterfly … it was that instant that the room turned into the color of tears, not only for what she has had to endure, but for the empowering strength and inspiration she has become.

Prior to my daughter reading her impact statement the prosecuting attorney said, “Now you are very soft spoken, but you need to speak up so that the court can hear you.” However, I’m pretty sure that the prosecutor thought that her booming voice of anger was going to smack him in the back of the head!

She stood there reading the details of his years of abuse, she stated her hatred for him, she spat out memories that have become nightmares, and she yelled at him as she told him that she has been diagnosed with Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder! All the while she watched him, hoping to see some reaction from him, but as is his trait, he was completely emotionally removed from the reality that the rest of us are facing. He could not look at her, or anyone. She completely owned the courtroom as she told the truth, all eyes were on him, including those of other inmates. He could not look at here, could not make eye contact with a single soul in the room. His shame moved around the courtroom like a bouncy ball on speed! She flipped the switch today, she let him know that he can no longer intimidate her.

Per the plea agreement my ex-husband was supposed to be released today with credit for time served (159 days) and the order to register as a sex offender. Yes, this is merely a slap on the wrist, but as long as the victim remains informed the prosecutor is free to reach any deal that he (or she) wants in an effort to save money on trials. However, the judge has a heart … he added 91 days discretionary jail time (if he violates probation), 5 years of probation and registration as a sex offender.

In my victim’s impact statement that represented all five of my children I had requested an addition of the five years of probation, never did I think we would actually get it! Yes, he was released late this afternoon, and our lives are back to checking over our shoulders, but even if the sentence came out to be exactly what it was supposed to be there is nothing more empowering, satisfying, or inspirational as seeing your child transform from victim to survivor, caterpillar to butterfly in an instant right before your eyes!

For further information: CSC Victim Scolds Perpetrator