Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hello, Pierce County Sheriff's Department and Prosecutor Are You there?

  While preparing for some legal proceedings I came across this information regarding my, now ex husband and abuser:
                    -   FLORIDA   CRIMINAL   HISTORY   -                      
NAME                             STATE ID NO.   FBI NO.      DATE REQUESTED
COUTU, JAMES MARION              FL-02859046                   02/03/2015
M    W     08/26/1961  5'08''  160     BRN   BLK   IL                       

        SID  NUMBER:  2859046   PURPOSE CODE:P         PAGE:   2
PO PO 15 PO 21      XXXX-XX-XXXX                                  SC L KNEE 
PI 13 18 PI 19                                                              
OCCUPATION                ADDRESS                        CITY/STATE           
TECH                      6061 APPLECROSS ST N           ST PETE, FL          
AKA                              DOB           SOC               SCR/MRK/TAT
SMITH, JERRY WAYNE               09/10/1972    XXX-XX-XXXX                    

        SID  NUMBER:  2859046   PURPOSE CODE:P         PAGE:   3
CONTU, JAMES MARION              08/26/1961                                   
ARREST-   1    07/23/1989   OBTS NO.-0002429306                               
  ARREST AGENCY-LARGO POLICE DEPARTMENT                           (FL0520800) 
    AGENCY CASE-223009                            OFFENSE DATE-          
    CHARGE 001-ASSAULT-                                                       
              SPOUSE BATT                                                    
              STATUTE/ORDINANCE-                     LEVEL-UNKNOWN            
ARREST-   2    04/17/1992   OBTS NO.-0005447499                               
    AGENCY CASE-263074                            OFFENSE DATE-          
    CHARGE 001-TRAFFIC OFFENSE-                                               

        SID  NUMBER:  2859046   PURPOSE CODE:P         PAGE:   4
              STATUTE/ORDINANCE-                     LEVEL-UNKNOWN            
    CHARGE 002-DRUGS - EQUIP - POSSESS-                                       
              STATUTE/ORDINANCE-                     LEVEL-UNKNOWN            
    AGENCY-6TH CIRCUIT COURT - CLEARWATER                         (FL052015J)
    CHARGE 002 -COURT SEQ                   COURT NO.-521992MM009701AXXXNO
              STATUS-                             LEVEL-MISDEMEANOR,1ST DEG
       PROSC DATA-                     DRUGS - EQUIP - POSSESS-               
                      POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA INHALE ETC                  
              STATUTE/ORDINANCE-FL893.147            LEVEL-MISDEMEANOR,1ST DEG

        SID  NUMBER:  2859046   PURPOSE CODE:P         PAGE:   5
              DISP DATE-05/14/1992           DISP-FILED                       
      COURT DATA-SAME         ,DRUGS - EQUIP - POSSESS-                       
                      POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA INHALE ETC                  
              STATUTE/ORDINANCE-FL893.147            LEVEL-MISDEMEANOR,1ST DEG
              DISP DATE-06/08/1992                DISP-ADJUDICATION WITHHEL
              COUNSEL-SELF       TRIAL-NONE       PLEA-GUILTY         
              SENT DATE-06/08/1992
              CONCURRENT ,9210252WCACLA                     
              FINE-                          COURT COST-         $150.00
ARREST-   3    05/10/1994   OBTS NO.-0006616141                               

        SID  NUMBER:  2859046   PURPOSE CODE:P         PAGE:   6
    AGENCY CASE-223009                            OFFENSE DATE-          
    CHARGE 001-BATTERY-                                                       
              STATUTE/ORDINANCE-                     LEVEL-MISDEMEANOR        
    AGENCY-6TH CIRCUIT COURT - CLEARWATER                         (FL052015J)
    CHARGE 001 -COURT SEQ                   COURT NO.-521994MM011481AXXXNO
              STATUS-                             LEVEL-MISDEMEANOR,1ST DEG
       PROSC DATA-                     BATTERY-                               
                      BATTERY   STRIKE OR TOUCH                               
              STATUTE/ORDINANCE-FL784.03             LEVEL-MISDEMEANOR,1ST DEG

        SID  NUMBER:  2859046   PURPOSE CODE:P         PAGE:   7
              STATUTE DESCRIPTN-BATTERY                                       
              DISP DATE-07/26/1994           DISP-FILED                       
      COURT DATA-SAME         ,BATTERY-                                       
                      BATTERY   STRIKE OR TOUCH                               
              STATUTE/ORDINANCE-FL784.03             LEVEL-MISDEMEANOR,1ST DEG
              STATUTE DESCRIPTN-BATTERY                                       
              DISP DATE-08/08/1994                DISP-GUILTY/CONVICTED    
              SENT DATE-08/08/1994
              SUSPENDED SENT-                     CREDITED TIME-0002 DAYS   
              FINE-         $130.00          COURT COST-          $20.00

        SID  NUMBER:  2859046   PURPOSE CODE:P         PAGE:   8
RECORD WAS REQUESTED PURSUANT TO 943.053(3), F.S.                             
       AS MANDATED BY FLORIDA STATUTE 119.071(5), FULL SOCIAL                 
       EXAMPLE: XXX XX 1234.                                                  

        SID  NUMBER:  2859046   PURPOSE CODE:P         PAGE:   9
THIS CONTAINS FLORIDA RECORD ONLY.                                            
UNKNOWN AS TO NATIONAL RECORD STATUS.                                         
END OF RECORD                                                                 

  Before Pierce County chooses to call the victim of spousal abuse a liar, someone should have at the very least done a background check on the accused abuser. Three arrests? 2 for spousal battery
 No, I had no idea who I married, and two aliases? I received this from Florida LE. 

    So, three wives, three battery incidences. And what appears to be a drug related DUI....

  Let me just say the things this man now accuses me of, he has been convicted or plead guilty to. He had told me long tales about his wives being drug addicts/ alcoholics/ crazy and spendthrifts but never did he mention these things.

 Since when does Florida have a better track record for dealing with Domestic Abusers than Washington State? I have yet to hear back from Illinois, California, Wisconsin and Colorado.
I don't know if anything I find out about this person could surprise me anymore. I lived with a stranger for 7 years.... I am more scared now than ever. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Abuse by Proxy (Edited)

  When I have to share the facts of that sordid mess I found myself in I am invariable asked..."Why did you stay?" or the more prevalent one "If you were so afraid, why did't you just leave the state?" Run away...

   I've tried to believe that these questions are well-meaning, however sometimes the tone in which they are delivered makes that difficult. Opening myself up by asking for help also means putting my head on the block to be judged and sentenced. Am I worthy of help? Did I deserve what happened to me? Should I have known? My all time favorite: Did I really love him, or just the lifestyle we shared? I have pretty much heard it all by now. It amazes me the things that some people actually believe that these are acceptable questions. This isn't the 1950's. Why is this attitude still prevalent?  I still don't know.  However, at those times I practice that rare gift honed in childhood, I show no emotion. Not on the outside, because what these inquisitive souls have conveyed is that it's not safe for me to share with them. I protect my mental state as best I can and I move forward. It doesn't mean I don't feel the condemnation, I feel the verdict of guilt by failure to flee, of my own poor choices and failings. I know them intimately. In fact, Judge Rumbaugh stated from the bench that I "was the author of my own misfortune." See his cleverness there? I wrote a blog about what still happens in Pierce County and he wanted me to know I was going to pay for that. And I have.

   Did I love my abuser,

  Yes I loved him. No I did not marry him for money. (That one is rather insulting to both of us.), No I do not do drugs, I do not drink, no I did not have an affair with my lawyer (yes, my abuser actually put that in his court filings), I love my daughter beyond words and I will say nothing more about that here...what else is there? Oh, yes...these;

  I did't leave my home (although at times I stayed away), my family, my few friends, all that I had, because I refused to give him anymore. He had taken so much already and I wouldn't allow him to burgle me further. I am not speaking of the tangible things that he has taken, the money or objects we had collected together. I mean the important ones, things like my self worth, sense of wellbeing, my own friends and those he picked for me. The ones I came to care for. Funny how I never noticed we only socialized with his social group, Not until it was too late. How isolated I had become.
   I have come too far. I have fought too hard, for this man, for this county, to make me bow my head again. No more. Am I frightened? Yes, every day. I hate writing that here. I hate admitting to myself and most certainly to anyone else that truth. It is bare, naked and horrible, but it is honest. Please, let me be clear, I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I am a happy person. I am grateful and blessed. I do not want sympathy, nor pity. I simply want to be safe. I asked for help because this overwhelms me. All I asked is that the laws to be enforced,  and to be left in peace. We are all deserving of that.
I worry sometimes...about who comes after me. He's invincible, Pierce County gave him that. He knows there are no consequences. We really don't matter. Money and image is power.

   There are things I don't understand. Those friends, who knew about his past, who enabled his illegal behavior, who helped him-how do they live with that? Some vanished immediately. At first that hurt my heart. Now I see it was a kindness. Because the vultures who came around to pick my bones, those few, feasted on the little trust I had left. They would say all the right things in the beginning. I let my guard down. I believed in them. They had very specific questions. They gathered up my words and passed on my pain, as if it were a treasure. I suppose in a way it was. To lose a marriage is devastating, friends... heartbreaking. To be betrayed by those you love-well it is a mournful thing and I will never understand it. Some pain can't be healed.

    I hope they believe that they were helping their friend. There is money involved. And my abuser played victim far better than I. Everyone deserves friends and support. I don't want to strip away anyone's relationships. Those who have actively tormented me? Who delivered me his messages, and reported back to him, why? Were their lives just too boring? Did they feel excitement at someone else's pain? I do not know.
   They make themselves abusers by proxy. If that was you, please stop. It was a case of repeated abuse and divorce. Unfortunately, things that happen all the time. Please, just remain dignified and respectful, follow the law. I mean no one harm. I am hurt, not angry. I only want safe passage. All I have ever wanted is that.

  It is okay not to believe me, I don't expect anyone to blindly accept my words.

  Believe his. He has admitted his behaviors, the bruises of his handprint, his bragging of how low he will bring me. There is little doubt. It's a terrible thing to be bullied, spied on, right out in the open. I never thought it possible. You see, growing up my life was filled secrets. Other people's secrets. That I can comprehend. This new sport of harming, hunting someone, with glee is even more frightening and I will never understand. For complete strangers to hate someone they do not know for saying the truth, how is that possible? People don't hate you when you lie, they pay you no mind- but be honest and that will get you enemies.

  I know it sounds....paranoid..I know. I hear it too. But it's the truth so it will have to do. His embassaries took turns coming to my door, wanting entrance. One brought my now ex-husband's girlfriend with her. To our home. Expecting me to let them in. As if that were acceptable or in any way a healthy, normal behavior. Who does things like that?  That neighbor, faux friend told me in the first days of that nightmare, when I was still shellshocked and aching that she didn't like the way my husband treated ME, However she and her husband found him to be a great friend.

   How does that happen? How do we go from compassionate, caring individuals, to turning a blind eye to a monster? I still find myself asking "Who does that?" to no one in particular. Knowing that if anyone ever tried to explain it to me, I wouldn't understand it. And so, I am here...forever puzzling How could this happen and how many more are there like me? How many times has Pierce County refused to enforce the laws? How many women have felt the weight of not only their abuser against them, but an entire County? I hope that you never know what that's like.

   I have had what seemed like perfectly kind people, some joint friends, some acquaintances call to foreign support, within a few words it becomes clear, this is just another recon mission. Some offered a kind word, a strong shoulder-yes, I fell for that a few times. I have cried and grieved with those who were there only as reporters. Correspondents in that brutal war. Was it a desire to be part of something? Was it boredom or loyalty? I don't know. No matter how many times I try to, I will never comprehend it. I feel as if it has become a sport for some.

  Who decides who is deserving of protection? Who is worthy help? I am sorry for this situation. I am repeatedly apologizing to people who really should not have to be troubled with the embarrassment. Still, I will not be silent. I can't. I am all I have. I am never going to stop. Not until this changes.

  I asked someone I trusted, respect for help and she let me know I was opening myself up as a target and then she went radio silent. I don't blame her. I understand. Words are easy, actions much more difficult. People weighting the percentages and tallying up one's values. I know, by now I know this.

     The irony that this is Domestic Violence Awareness month is not lost on me.

  I also accept you are judging me. I can't control what anyone thinks of me. My abuser has already painted me a Gollum. I tried to stay above the fray. Things were messy enough without adding mud... I was told to expect that too. Still-isn't it enough? Really? If I had done everything he has said and more, would I still be deserving of his violence? When does an abuser's actions become acceptable? That one is rhetorical. In this no fault state, why would a person set out to smear another in divorce court? Power, control and money, evil.

    It's hard to reconcile the man I thought I had married to and the truth of who he really was. It's difficult for me and I was there, it happened to me. I understand liking him, loving him, believing him. I did, and for that mistake I am dearly sorry. On the upside, I am learning compassion on a Jedi level and for this I am grateful. I am learning not to hide, to speak up and to ask for help. I have made new friends and reconnected with my family. There really is a silver lining. Be safe and be well.

  Those who aided this abuser will be made to answer for their actions. I have to believe that. Because the world's a good place and God is in His heaven. The truth will out. It always does.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rabbit Rabbit

  If you had asked me in early 2013, I would have said that my marriage had become difficult, my relationship to the person I had married was strained on good days. I knew this was the way of any long term pairing. I could reason my way around most anything. Even an abusive marriage. It's what I did best, making excuses for other people's actions at my own expense.

It's the echo of that little girl so long gone now, but ever present. The five year old who was a pedophile's favorite play thing.

  Sometimes, to survive, we bargain ourselves away. It is a hard habit to break.
In July of that year I was finally finished negotiating with my abuser. Harsh words lead to threats, threats to a physical attack. I was done. We were done, but I had to bide my time.

   Just as on every other occasion apologies were made. Attempts to keep me silent. I obeyed. I stayed still. Every trapped animal knows not to move when their predator has them cornered. I watched the clock, knowing he would be catching a flight in a few hours.......It's funny how survival instincts come back to you, just like being pushed off a bike, you learn how to fall so it hurts less. It took me one more day before I was brave enough to report it. I was trying to minimize things again. Trying to find a way to stay in the balance between reality and the fairy tale I had lulled my judgement, my dignity, to sleep with.

  The Deputy who came out was named Larson. I showed him the bruises on my arms and wrists. The ones that were a perfect map of what was done to me, in blues and reds and purples, some of my favorite colors. There was a bloom of vivid hues on my chest where I had been held down, a knee with weight behind it, on a stone floor. Deputy Larson agreed to take pictures, only after my son insisted. When I bared my shame, my humiliation his response was almost flippant  "Those don't look too bad" he remarked without emotion. I should have known then. I should have realized abuse here was tolerated. His questioning was odd. Did I think my husband was cheating, was he seeing someone? I did not care, that was the last thought in my mind.

   You see the artist, who left me a canvas study in realism, had promised to kill me, to kill my family and I believed him. I still do.

  I forced myself out of the house and filed for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. I cried the entire time. I hated crying. However I could not stop the flow of tears and with them self blame. I had to enter and reenter information at a Domestic Violence kiosk near my home. I misspelled my name, my address...forgot my birth date. All I could think of was what he was going to do... When he found out I told, what was he going to do to me?

     It's not what you don't know that hurts you, it's the truth that leaves scares that burn.

  Somehow I thought that little paper Pierce County issued me was a shield. A safety net. I was such a child. By January he had broken the order multiple times. Deputies would be called out, but nothing was done. I was told if he was still there when they showed up they would arrest him. That would prove a lie. In September, that flimsy court order was no match for an angry estranged spouse and a sympathetic Deputy. I had been gone out of town for a few days. When I came home I discovered the garage door had been kicked in. I called 911. It took an hour or so, me sitting on the concrete block block steps, grown cold as the sun faded out. That time the Deputy was Kreis. He stepped out of his police vehicle already speaking. "I was just here the day before yesterday. Do you know why I was here?" I confessed I did not. He said my husband had called him out to the house. That he had wanted to file a report against me. That I had taken his things.

  I had my own question. I was shaking as I asked it. "Why didn't you arrest him? He broke the restraining order and you were right here." Deputy Kreis was unmoved. He stated that my estranged husband had said it was not in effect. He later said he didn't check to see if there still was one. He didn't want to discuss it with me. What Deputy Kreis did want to talk about was my divorce. He asked me "what it going to take to end this?" four times he asked. He stated that my estranged husband had told him "all about me." I stood in my driveway stunned. Silent.  Deputy Kreis was not done. Taking a step towards me,  he made air quotes with his fingers and said "Let me give you some "friendly Deputy advice", sign whatever you have to sign, get out of here and get on with your life."

  What is the proper response to such a statement? I stayed still. That night I made an online report of the incident, not for the first time.  Sargent Batista called in response.

  He promised to talk to Deputy Kreis. He assured me there was no reason to make a written reprimand in Deputy Kreis's file. He would not need to talk with my Step Father who had witnessed the conversation. Actually, that was about the gist of his phone call. It was not about the continuing escalation of my abuser's actions, or any plans to keep me safe. No, it was all about helping his own officer.  In the weeks since, there have been more incidents, my mother has been threatened and things stolen from her property. There is no need to point a finger in these things. My estranged husband readily admitted he did it. Yet he is free and I am still trapped.

   I would discover the man I married had a history of assaulting others. A history of arrests. A history of being in possession of guns despite being banned from them. He had been a member of two local gun ranges. He spoke before Kitsap County Counsel to support Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club. I cannot wrap my mind around that one. When questioned by Pierce County Deputies, in the Summer of 2013, he stated the weapons belonged to me. They did not. In fact they were held in the name of his friend, a gun dealer who sold them to him. Ironically the very man who introduced us, on the gun range in Gig Harbor.  Now, in his latest filings with Pierce County Superior court, my abuser states the weapons are his personal property, that they always were and he seeks them back in the divorce.

  It doesn't matter what he does. He has become emboldened and I am hunted, haunted, tormented with no end in sight. That this is happening here....HERE unfathomable.  For all the fine talk, nothing has changed. I was at the Crystal Judson Justice Center today and I had to ask...."What happens to the others like me?"  What happens when no one will help. When Pierce County Sheriff's Department not only refuses to uphold retraining orders, but actively inserts themselves in domestic violence cases on the behalf of the abuser?

  I am afraid to leave my home. Afraid to be outside. I am fearful when I see a patrol car. Fearful of people. I trust no one. How can I.

I cannot be the only one.

  Where do we turn? Well, for me, I turn to you. Please, pass my words on...remember those that came before and those that will come after and let there be a clear message "This is not okay."

 I send you love, strength and hope, never forget hope. I've no idea what to do, but I am not going to cower. I have overcome too much. This will not be the thing that ends me. I pray, I am not prey. I will not be silent, I will not be still and I will not give up. I will slip the snare.
An Update
I went to the Crystal Judson Justice Center and spoke with an advocate, she was kind and understanding and seemed incensed at the way I had been treat. She walked over to the Prosecutor's side of the building and spoke with someone. She said she would find out why nothing had been done, why charges weren't filed. When she came back she was just as earnest, but not as passionate. She numbered off the list of reasons that the prosecutor chose not pursue the matter. Firstly, she explained they never got the pictures. The ones Deputy Larson had to be prodded to take. Secondly, she said I waited three days to report the incident. I did not interrupt her, I just sunk further into despair as I didn't matter, what happened to me was never going to matter. I did not bother to correct her. You see, I reported the assault the morning after it happened, correcting her was pointless. I have gotten used to this by now. Then she gave me a third reason, the one that carried real weight. I was in the middle of a contentious divorce and they had not moved forward. 
 Actually, it was 2 days before that and one day after I said I wanted a divorce, he was several states away. When I felt safe. I just left. They weren't going to help me. He had been so determined to file first. I didn't care. I had made an appointment with an attorney, but that was a week away. I really didn't realize that it mattered who filed first. How wrong I was. By not filing the paperwork myself, something he did, I set myself up as the villain. A scorned wife. Here we are in 2014, in a no fault state, and if the male files first the female is automatically not to be believed. How 1950's, stereotypical. I am many things, however typical is not on that list. I am a person. I have the same right to not be hit, not be harassed as anyone else and I have the same right to justice and safety. I have never been in trouble with the law, my last speeding ticket was in 2004 for 3 miles over the speed limit. I am private and don't make friends easily. I am guarded. That doesn't make me less than. The fact that in this county a man can still get away with this is nauseating. The things that Pierce County Sheriff's Deputies feel it is appropriate to say to potential victims, whether they personally believe then are not is appalling. Nothing has changed. Nothing. When this man abuses his next victim, and I am sure he will, Pierce County will hold a bit of responsibility. They have sent a clear message and a road map on how to get away with domestic violence. The CJJC says there is nothing they can do for me and they have no idea what I can do. It is devastating. The prosecutor never spoke to me on this matter, never asked for pictures, never even gave me a reason as to why charges would not be filed. I wonder why weapons charges haven't been dealt with. On this last day of Domestic Violence Awareness and while gun control is on the ballots I sincerely want to know why the laws we already have set in place to prosecute violators are not informed. Kitsap Rifle And Revolver Club has my estranged husband signed in as a shooter in there log books. They have him recorded firing on their range. Recordings they have been required to keep. He was listed as a member of that range and on February 13th 2010th (I will check that date) they have footage of him illegally buying a shot gun from a duped retired police officer. A deal that was struck with that same gun broker who supplied his other weapons. It will be on those recorded tapes. Taken on the rifle range on one of the 4th or 5th range, if I remember correctly. I remember it because I am so...shocked panicked that someone who was banned from being around weapons would knowingly do such a thing. It is still the good old boys club and they stick together. Laws are what they use to intimidate those who don't silently scamper away, not for those that they favor. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Whys

Friday, February 21, 2014

Elephants of Dust

 It starts as a little thing really..a bit of easy emotional housekeeping. Someone lifts the mental rug
and another sweeps whatever issue between them under it. There is an agreement to let it be. No one can see it and so, just as when they were children, they believe it does not exist. As time goes by, this ritual is repeated again and again.

 What started as an easy way to keep the peace has become a lifestyle. Eventually one person cannot see another for the mole hill, turned into a mountain, standing between them. Some will try to climb it only to either slip and slide and come rolling back down in complete failure or they will huff and puff and mop their brow at the effort it took just to reach the top of that mount of denial, vowing it is far too much work. Planting themselves on top of the hill and refusing to budge and vowing to never make the trek again. Others prefer to go around the subject. It is a journey of many words and it is equally exhausting.

  As always happens, someone new comes along and see the lump in the middle of the room. It might be an elephant made of dust, one never knows it is covered so well with threadbare cloth. Unaware of
the rules, this well meaning soul will lift up the carpet and peer beneath, sending up great waves of half forgotten slights and unresolved issues drifting on the breeze.

  There will be great clamoring, protests and complaints. Sputters of "how dare you interlope!" and the like shall be shouted from on high of the mount. The visitor will be perplexed. In an effort to solve a problem that can only get larger and will someday out grow both the rug and it's room, they have unwittingly become the target of scorn. An instigator. The lesson is simple. Some would rather wallow in piles of ash then to live together in truth.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sent From My iPhone

 In the best of cases breaking up is hard to do. When for reasons that still baffle, the vitriol takes on a level so toxic as to be harmful to one's health, well what to do? I received this yesterday:
Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 4:17 PM, James C**** 
Look in the mirror u will see the most evil person. Don't believe me?  ask your children. They know. Pitiful wife pitiful mother what a pitiful human being. Enjoy your miserable self
Sent from my iPhone

What does one say to that? I have a lovely relationship with my son, we are very close and he is my rock. My daughters are more tricky. Those who know me are aware that I was my grandson, Rory's caregiver for his first year and a half and what a joy and honor it was. Such a blessing to watch that little soul grow and change from baby to toddler.

  However, when this ugly business started last Summer sides were drawn and no amount of tears or words can change that. I am out of my element. As hard as my childhood was, as much as I have overcome, I have never dealt with an individual such as this. 

  My son say to ignore it. As a mother that is hard. We ache for our children when they struggle or when we are at odds, I cannot turn that off. 

  It was my youngest daughter I wrote about last. The one who insisted on taking me to my appointment with the hema/Onc Clinic. It was sickening today to learn that when she left his office she went to call this man who has caused so much pain. He was all too happy to share that with me. 

  There are others he has fostered on me, coming with the mask of friend, when in reality they are extensions of him and his cruel plans. I am setting this here for a purpose, actually for two. Firstly,to show the truth and secondly, to say stop it. Stop pushing and poking me. 

  He indeed said it would be best if I killed myself and I know now he means it. I am holding on by faith and by looking back over my shoulder and saying "I have come too far." 

All I ask is that you leave me be. I do not need pity or sympathy or anything else. Do not come to my door as friend when you are anything but. Because no matter the excuse you give yourself, your actions are your own and they define you don't use me as your excuse. I wish you peace and I pray that you never have to go through anything like this. It is going to make a hell of a tale of caution for others someday