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Well, I’ve learned… the system isn’t here for the abused.
The police lost the paperwork for thirty years, called me in and asked if I wanted to continue the case. I said yes.
He didn’t get sent away. yay him. Good thing that having him in court was good enough for me, thirty years later. Good thing I am not a sum of all he has put me through.
Is it wrong to think – he’s 70 – he’ll die soon??
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,100 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.
My child within is screaming at me. DO IT! My adult self has furrowed brows.
I got a call today – blasted unknown numbers – they never portend anything good. This one left me a message and asked me to call back. Some calls should not be answered. Or should they?
The police wanted me to call them. I did what any self respecting Google fan would do and I searched their location first. I found them located in an area I haven’t lived in or near since I was young. An area I’d sooner forget exists. I returned the phone call – my stomach churning with dread, a dread that only a call from police can elicit. I found myself nearly whispering into the phone as if not giving voice to it would make it gone – like a child stepping up to an adult in fear – knowing they are in trouble, but waiting to hear what for.
The officer was gentle with me, thanked me for calling and told me that they were clearing up old files and they’ve come across one from me as the complainant. I laughed nervously while my mind quickly sorted through years of life and people – unable to grasp onto anything that could possibly be a reason for this call. She said it was *from about 1980 – and it involved*, she hesitated *your step father*? I stopped breathing. She asked me to wait while she collected her files. *No, no… your father, Peter.* My lungs let go. I couldn’t see the forest for all the trees. This was the last thing I’d have expected – the biggest thing of all. How did they find me? My phone isn’t even under my name.
31 years it took them to call. 31 years of me feeling no one cared, and that it all didn’t matter. When I tried 20 years ago to restart this, no paperwork could be found on it. I even quoted an officer who had once come to our home. Officer Lamb… I think. My mother had strangled me one day, leaving finger marks around my neck – and my dad called the police and told them I was dead. The officer told my dad he would *dance on his eyebrows* if he ever made a call like that again. Still, they found nothing. I felt like I was crazy like it never happened. Today I’m told she has information – right on her desk.
I told my dad that I would hunt him down if I ever found out that he hurt his next three children. I called his new wife and told her… all she could say was don’t take it to court and I’ll make sure it never happens. I called the kid’s school and asked them to keep an eye on the kids. Then I put it behind me, or tried. I haven’t done a very good job of it. I’m actually quite a mess and I like to think I hide it.
My earliest memory is from when I was about 7. The rest is gone from my mind – probably best. Night after night of *count to ten and come to my room*. Second after second of trying to squeeze my whole being shut. Of watching the glowing red numbers on a clock and making everything else vanish. Days of incessant counting so I wouldn’t think or feel, hiding, wishing I was invisible. Dreading that knock on the door when I was in the bathroom. Hearing the vicious fights and knowing they were about me again. Nights where terror wore his face, days where it wore hers. The beatings because I was a *slut* at 12, the blood, the fear. I didn’t even know what a slut was. The *you are special, my number one, and this is our secret*, and *if you tell they will take me away* kind of sick love/control, and the lies and pain and horror and secrets. And the deep, deep shame – shame that I was to hold onto for many years to come. Shame I would later learn stemmed from my body reacting exactly how it should… shame that belonged to him for abusing my trust.
All the craziness. Cars being driven up walls, comforters cut in two, walls ripped down, knives carving furniture, climbing off roofs to get the police, screaming, homeless, caught in a car in a *compromising position* craziness. Being fed booze and when I was sick – cough syrup and 222’s… to knock me out for convenience. Living in family shelters, being made a ward of the court and put in a group home for pregnant teenage girls to keep me away from my parents. Seeing my friend being raped by him. My brothers and sister hating me for being crazy – and eventually disowning me. Being raped and then beaten until I miscarried. Going to court – getting no closure. Years of repeating this cycle in one way or another. All relationships have been just that – one type of abuse or another, cycles and cycles of them as if I’m more comfortable with crazy, as that’s what I knew.
And standing up again, wiping the shit off my knees and my soul. Getting help, finding dignity, learning to love again – myself and others. Years of trying to stop hating myself, and of trying to undo 16 years of old tapes they put there… tapes that played in my head and told me I was no good. And it must be true, look what happened! It took 16 years for that to be embedded / imprinted on my soul and it has taken much longer to undo. I’m still trying, and I’m moving forward and trying to be a good person. I try to do what’s right. I’m not perfect, but I don’t have to be – I’m doing my best with the tools I have. I’m right where I should be given the circumstances.
Then today happened. That damn unknown caller just couldn’t butt out. I asked for time to think about what I will do. I have until next Thursday.
I know that it’s right to go ahead – morally. I know that there were others that were hurt and that could be hurt in the future. I know that there is no help for the sickness that has taken his soul, and that he had no right to do any of the things he did. I know that if someone else told me they were going through this I would tell them – do it!
Now I’m 45 – no longer 16. He has three more grown children. Children that could possibly know nothing about this. Am I responsible for ruining their lives if they haven’t been exposed to this yet? I know it’s still him ruining their lives if this goes forward – it was his actions – but I do have a choice now as to whether I let it go or pursue it and to pursue it could make it my fault they are hurt now. Will I get closure from doing this? Is it closure enough that they finally called? Acknowledgment? Validation? Does it matter what I need? What if I do nothing and his kids have kids… and so on and so on.
What if what if what if. Would it be vindictive to go forward with this at this late of a date? Self pity? Or is it the right thing to do, the perfectly right course of action given the pain and horror I’ve been living. Is my closure worth destroying more lives? In his first marriage there were five of us that were ruined. If I go on with this, another four people will be hurt. Is this my concern? I know he is responsible for it, but it’s in my court, as they say. How do I know they aren’t already hurt? What if they hide it like I do, and did? What if me coming forward gives them the strength to come forward? Or they are horrified.
What will this do to me? Will it set me back, or give me a sense of justice. If I decide to go on… do I forewarn the kids? How will I feel if he goes to jail – he’s 65 and it was over 30 years ago? But it was 16 years of my life. I trusted him. When I tried to take him to court last time the judge asked me what I wanted to see happen. I said not jail, but I don’t want him to be able to hurt anyone else, ever again. It’s been so long.
I was asked today if I had it all behind me, and I said no, no I don’t. *Then there is your answer*… is it all that simple?
So many questions. So much to consider. So heavy on my heart. Today I found myself standing by a pond, wind blowing – feeling how I used to feel – and thinking of the song Magic Power by Triumph. I found myself not wanting to talk to anyone. Not wanting to reach out to those that care. I found myself wanting to hide again. I keep going to sleep. My head hurts, my heart hurts.
The moral of the story? Unknown callers are evil.
Follow Up: I’ve decided to do it. I did a video interview with the police..they admitted, basically, to it being their fault for not following up and losing the paperwork.
I have to wait now..to find out if the courts will think there is enough to go ahead. sigh…. this would be a lot easier if I wasn’t having such horrible nightmares, and waking up crying.
Hello Friends and Neighbours:
South Riverdale Community Health Centre’s staff, volunteers, and Queer Action Committee (QUAC), in partnership with WoodGreen Community Services’ staff and volunteers are pleased to invite you to attend the 3rd annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, 2-spirited, Queer, Questioning, and Intersex (LGBTT2QQI) PRIDE BBQ CELEBRATION!
THIS IS A QUEER POSITIVE & FREE EVENT FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY, INCLUDING LGBTT2QQI, FRIENDS, AND NEIGHBOURS.
We can promise all who join us a great party mix of MUSIC, ART, GAMES, FOOD and FUN, along with a RAFFLE featuring great prizes from a variety of local (and not so local) sponsors!
When: Thursday June 24th (Rain or Shine)
Time: 12 noon to 3pm
Where: South Riverdale Community Health Centre, West Yard
955 Queen Street East (just East of Carlaw Ave.)
Our celebration marks the 30th year that LGBTT2QQI PRIDE is being celebrated in Toronto. It has been 41 years since the Stonewall rebellion of June 28th – July 2nd, 1969, when a group of butch lesbians, transsexuals, and drag queens who were patrons of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, fought back in a courageous and defiant show of resistance against New York City cops who had raided the bar.
The Stonewall Riots have come to represent the first real show of resistance against systemic intolerance, persecution, and violence directed at queer and gender variant individuals, as well as the start of what was to become a world wide gay civil rights movement
Spread the word, and come join us in celebration of LGBTT2QQI Pride!
Was there ever a time… did you ever?
As a young girl I believed in magick. I mean – rainbows and unicorns and magick. Forces beyond what we are taught to trust.
Not like the kind I believe in now. Now, it’s tempered with knowledge of the world. It’s interrupted with information from outside. It’s diluted and corrupted. I am Wiccan and strongly believe in karma. I know that what I put out into the world I get back, threefold. I understand that we are all connected, all one. I get that energy is neither created nor destroyed… so I believe in reincarnation. It’s a real mishmash of thoughts and beliefs. lol But they’re mine.
Now… as a child I had a wonder in my heart. It was a wonder that told me there was real magick afoot. I trusted in it. I believe we could fly. I recall finding a wooded area once. I was very unhappy where I lived (physically and mentally) and wandered off one day – I found myself in a place. I spent the afternoon there. I recall thinking that I was in some special safe place. I never found it again afterward. I used to dream in rainbows and unicorns. They say that your spiritual animal can come to you in dreams and I read that unicorns exist in the *in-between* place…between dream and awakening. I knew it was true. I knew that the unicorn was my animal. This feeling in me that all this existed is like being home sick. I know it’s there… and I know I’ve lost it.
I recall finding the oddest thing once. In my house. No one else was home and under a piece of carpet there was a lump. I investigated. I found a wee bag with these teeny weeny little triangle pieces in it. Metal. I thought it was something. I remember trying to put them together in a way that made sense. I knew it had to be something, like a puzzle. But I guess my parents found it and removed it. I never found them again where I had put them.
I remember walking in the woods and feeling… voices and spiritual. Being one with the world. I had a pretty hard childhood and found solace in odd things. Building forts and running through the woods. Knowing by heart where every footstep had to fall so that I wouldn’t. I was so proud of that. Being able to run through our forest without a trip. Knowing all the bits and parts that made up the forest behind where we *lived*. I was part of that world.
The only other time I ever felt that way was after going through some therapy stuff at 25. I felt I came out of a coma and suddenly life was there. There was music and children laughing and the smell of fresh cut grass and life was all new. I started to see with the fresh eyes of a child. It was magick, I had wonderment in my heart once again…but not the same as when I was a child as it was tainted, tarnished and muted by new knowledge of what the world really held in store. Of what people could really do to you.
I wonder if we weren’t taught what to say, how to think, what to label everything… as children… if we would feel this magick around us?
If I was never told *that is a table*, or * that is orange* – would I have kept my magick names for these items and been free to see them with my young eyes that weren’t told what to see for what they really were?
I’ve seen spirits. They scared me, but as a child I didn’t understand and then there was tv, telling me that spirits were to be a thing of fear.
Would I have reacted differently? Would I have welcomed them rather than run screaming from them? Being ignorant, taught to fear them?
Maybe this is why I hang on to rainbows and unicorns. I have tattoos of both. People think they know what these mean, but they’d be wrong. 🙂 I give them the easy answer. They accept it as they accept the answer to *how are you*…. fine.
I thought communication was hard with emailing when it first started. I still think so. lol
That’s why we invented smiles and winks… to convey what we are really trying to say. You can write something and it can be taken in many different ways. Now we have email, texting, blogging, facebooking….. not human interaction. The art of communication is being degraded every day. Spelling, short cuts and short forms, context. People would rather text, and add that smiley than actually speak to another individual. And you shorten the words so that you can fit more, faster. Fast food society. You say something you wouldn’t say to their face, and add a smiley so that it softens your words and implies you are kidding around.
It’s so easy to misinterpret any given message. In fact, if you type the word misinterpretation into Google – it gives you leads on emails, texts, messages. Even Google agrees!
There is nothing like an evening with friends, or a really good, long, deep chat with a friend. You can see their emotions, feel their words, share ideas. You know they are laughing… they don’t have to say lol. And now, even in daily life, in the oral use of language I hear people say OMG instead of Oh MY God. And lmao. Why do you have to say that? If you are in front of me I can see you are NOT laughing your butt off! It’s so easy to quickly whip off a word or two when you are busy – but on the other end of the line there is a person getting your message and thinking – why are they mad at me? Ha ha ha. Or you post a question mark instead of writing out what you really want to know and the wrong impression is given, the wrong answer provided. Then you have to start over. Are we really saving time? Even snail mail is better than this electronic, cold method of *talking*.
Since the beginning of time the English language has transitioned many times. We have slang in our dictionaries now, as if they were proper words. Take, for instance, the word ‘ain’t’. Ain’t ain’t a word…but it’s in the new dictionaries. How are they going to keep up with all the text talk that’s coming up? Are we going to see lol and lmao and wtf and omg in the dictionary one day? A service provided for people who don’t use the net and don’t text, so they can figure out what’s going on? Ha ha. It’s so much faster to type nm, than to thumb and finger your phone keys and type never mind. Unless the receiver does not know “text talk”. Then you have to begin again, and type it all out. Is it good for us? I think not. It’s almost disrespectful to the art of words.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve always been a reader that I notice and care. I see typos all the time… even in paid for books. And do you know why? Because it’s easier to use spell check than to really look at what you’re (not your) editing! And spell check doesn’t notice that the word you have used is wrong, because it is a word… and in the right context, it’s a correct word. But if you say I’m going over their…. it won’t catch that. So many times I see your this or that..when what they mean is you’re. And then, instead of than. It’s easy for me to catch these because English is my first language and I do read a lot. I do crosswords. I know that not everyone does. So common mistakes, I understand, but destroying the whole (not hole) art of language is distressing to me.
Big thanks to Kelly K for finding this. 🙂
People who inflict domestic abuse on their partners have common traits: They exert control, humiliate their partners, and begin with emotional abuse.
Domestic violence is a common problem that affects many women, and even some men, in the United States. “Domestic violence crosses socioeconomic stratifications,” says Anthony Siracusa, PhD, a psychologist in Williamstown, Mass., and a spokesperson for the American Psychological Association. “Many perpetrators and victims of domestic violence come from what society would describe as ‘good, wholesome families.’”
For victims of domestic abuse, it can often be difficult to admit that domestic violence is happening, and it can be even harder to do something about it. That’s why it’s important to know the warning signs and how to get help when you first experience emotional or any other type of abuse.
Domestic Violence: What are the Signs of Domestic Abuse?
To Read More, CLICK HERE!!