Friday, December 19, 2014

Pierce County Hearings, Where Truths Don't Matter

  Two weeks ago the commissioner hearing my motion for a permanent restraining order told me I had to explain why my child would take my abuser's side. I had promised even though she is far from a child that I would not speak against her. I shouldn't have to. She had no place in this horrid situation. However, apparently because of her words, her constant presence with my abuser I was not believed. It did not matter the bruises or his past....the prior 911 call...given no weight. I had no credibility. You see if someone in your family lies about you, then it is true. So I was granted a continuance to give me time to gather mud to sling at my daughter. I told the commissioner I didn't want to do that to my child. She was unmoved and said if I didn't she would deny my motion.

  And so, this week I broke my word. I laid out the truth and allowed my other family members to do the same. It was for nothing of course. The order was denied this week anyway. She didn't even bother to read them. It was a formality. Of course it was. If she had granted the order she would have given my claims value and Pierce County will not allow that, not after all that has happened. They have a vested interest in this matter and in making me the villain, the liar and a crazy one at that.
This is what happens when you actually have the gaul to stand up for yourself. I am treated differently the moment I stand before the judge or commissioner presiding over any matter I appear in, which of course have to deal with this matter. They know who I am, or rather who they have decided I am. Well, I do not have to accept that. I define me not any county employee who is looking out for their own good and not mine. My rights have not only been denied, they have been trampled on. I am not going away. I am going to post every court document, every report and email, text messages and screen shots that prove what I say. Every statement and affidavit. I am telling the truth and I can prove it and no one will label me as a liar.

  This is very much like a really bad movie that I would never believe was possible. But it is. I wake up to it every day. And I ask myself, the same thing I will now ask you: How could a man arrested in multiple states for multiple offenses, convicted of domestic assault be believed over a victim with bruises who has called 911 on the same man once before and has no record of any kind? How could  Deputy Larson not turn over to the prosecutor the pictures of those bruises? How could a DA whose office is IN the Crystal Judson Justice Center refuse to look at those pictures when the victim brought them in? How could she actually say "For the record, I am not going to review any evidence in this case"? (I will have her name for you Monday) How could Deputy Kreis get away with threatening the victim and another, Deputy Wulik be allowed mocking and bullying her on social media? I do not know. It frightens me though and it should you too. How could another Official...Richardson by name complete an "investigation" without ever talking to the witness or the victim?

  It was my youngest daughter who pressed me to call the police to begin with. Shortly after we, as a family, had spoken about what had happened that night in July 2013. She called me and said I needed to do it, my son agreed. She texted me back again and said not to. But I already had. It would have never occurred to me that my abuser called them first! Of course he did, she told him everything I said. Everything I did went right back to him. She and her the wife had been in his confidence from sometime by then. Although I would not even begin to realize that until the large Deputy presence that showed up on July 12th 2013 and there stood my I was ordered out of the house with my hands raised, my son and his girlfriend following...guns pointed at us by many officers and there stood my daughter, Jessica Potash Honour and her then wife. I can't tell you the crushing blow that it was. To see her standing there with him...I will remember it always. You might remember her name from a bit of an incident at Gig Harbor High School some years ago.....I wrote a letter to the editor for her then....I would have never known or believed she was involved if I had not seen her there.

  To finally speak out of the terrible choice I had made in a mate again, To admit what I had allowed myself to tolerate and then not believed, not given help and to be be emotionally and financially devastated by the system, whose job it is to protect me...It is too much. That two of my children would take part in this...for what? For me to learn that they had planned together before July 2013, because I had told all my children I was trying to get out of this mess. I had left him 5 times before, twice staying with my oldest daughter Amber. It is hard to accept that she was helping my abuser hide money, bank accounts while she looked me in the face, said she loved me thanked me for watching her son, my grandson for the weekend. She knew.  I am still today devastated. How horrible must I be? How much hate does it take for a daughter to do such a thing? I ask myself this all the time. I ask son and my family assure me it is not about me. It is something in them...but I don't know. How does a family recover from this? My son will not forgive and I will never forget. Never trust...never believe anything that they say. And those that knew of their lies and stayed still...keep doing that. I have no place in my heart for silent consent to evil. Lying about your brother and mother for money or other goods is pure evil.

   When the court ordered my car sold, because we were so broke...according to my estranged husband, who refused to provide any proof of that and was not made to... the proceeds were used to buy my daughter a brand new car. A child who could't afford to pay her bills, now has my life.  My other daughter already had her new car. I paid for that one too. I paid for my ex-husband's attorney's fees and for my own support. And my ex-husband was awarded my premarital belongings. That is what a Pierce County Superior Judge did. I was not allowed an attorney, even though mine had withdrawn for personal reasons with no warning, this after going missing for three weeks at a time, twice! I actually had to have a welfare check done on him! If you are part of the Gig Harbor FB page you already know that, as I sent out a worried plea to have him checked on there.

  I will leave for you here what that commissioner would not read even though it was given over to her, as she demanded that I do not two weeks ago and that was not added to the court record.

Superior Court of Washington
For Pierce County

Michele Reamey

________James Coutu__________  ________

Declaration of
Sharon P
(Optional Use)
(Clerk's Action Required)

This declaration is made by Sharon P
Age:     _____________7* years old______________________________
Relationship to the parties in this action:  ____Mother of Petitioner_Michele Reamey

I declare,
 My name is Sharon M. Peterson, I am Michele Reamey’s mother.
Jessica Honour is my granddaughter. Jess has been a strong willed person from an early age. She sometimes refused to participate in activities that involved other children, as she preferred to interact with adults.
  I love her dearly, and miss visiting with her. When she was in trouble with the school, the judge ordered that Jessica was to be in my custody when her mother worked. We did many things together from lunch, shopping, cooking and I began to realize that Jessica liked to make comments that were designed to shock me.
  A few years ago, Jessica and I had a problem with her cell phone, which she added as under an umbrella account in my name. She did this using my social security number, without my permission or knowledge. Jessica ran up over $600.00 in cell phone charges that I am responsible for. I have called Jessica multiple times and left messages for her so that we can work this out. She continues to ignore me and refuses to acknowledge me or this issue.
 I had not seen her, or spoken to her until seeing her in court November 4th.
My husband and I love her and this is very difficult to see her go down a very dangerous path.
  She is used to getting and doing exactly what she wants. And using whatever means necessary.
  Michele’s relationship with her children was a loving and caring, at some times to the point of spoiling them. When Jessica moved out at 17, she was only rebelling against anyone trying to hold her accountable for her own behavior.
  Amber, on the other hand has at times had a rocky relationship with her mom, the usual teenage problems and rebellions. I have many times spoken to Michele about her not holding her children responsible for their own actions and her not making them accountable.
  I have seen Michele take care of Rory, Amber’s son on numerous occasions, she kept him overnights or stayed at Amber and Beau’s giving them a break because Rory, like his mother, was a colicky baby.

   Michele did everything for her three children and fixed their problems for them. When Amber was caught stealing another young woman’s Coach wallet, it was my daughter that kept a
Police report from being filed. She was a continual buffer between her children and the real world. This was a subject of many talks between my daughter and myself. As I felt they needed
More structure and accountability and my daughter expressed that she just wanted them to know
That they were loved.

   David has taken a lot of the heat and been accused of things while trying to help his mother. He has a good job and is saving to buy his first home. He is self sufficient and does not expect his
Mother, Jim or anyone else to pay his way. He is protective of his mother and this entire thing has made the friction between his sisters, mostly over what he felt was them taking advantage of his mother, and himself far worse than it was. Because Dave would not side with Jim, he has been Threatened and he is constantly worried about his mother, as he should be.

  Shortly before my daughter married Jim, I found it uncomfortable that he would call me whenever he had a disagreement with my daughter, or when she was unwilling to do what he
wanted her to. He would place the phone on speaker and ask me to tell my daughter to do what he said. My daughter was 42 at that time. I was aghast to realize he was serious. At the risk of offending him, I asked that he not try and put me in the middle of their relationship.  Shortly
after this, Jim began to accuse my husband and myself of stealing from them when they were traveling and we were looking after their home. This was hurtful. My husband and myself
would never take anything from my daughter or Jim. Michele had given us permission to make
ourselves at home while we looked after their home, and we were sure not to take advantage of that trust and generous spirit. Something my daughter has to a fault.

  I have witnessed Jim humiliate Amber over eating a piece of cake, stating that she was “fat and should be dieting and didn’t need that.”  My instant reaction was that he was a controlling person. I had experienced this in my marriage with Michele’s father and I worried for my child.
I brought this up to Michele, however she could only see the good in Jim.

  Jim and Michele were often at the gun range. I would call Michele and she would have to call back because of the noise. They enjoyed target practice and shooting in general. I knew that there were guns in the house and Jim made a big deal about taking them out and showing my husband, John.  Jim had been very friendly with us at first. My mother-in-law, my husband and myself were frequent guests at my daughter’s house for Sunday dinners or just to drop by for tea. That
changed as their marriage progressed. We finally quit going to their home if Jim was there.
It became clear that us being there only caused problems for Michele and ourselves.

   Jim has called our house twice recently yelling and threatening us. He has also texted me. I suggested a plan to have property of Jim’s delivered to him and I kept that promise. The trailer was brought to our property to help us move after my mother-in-law passed away. This was a great loss and Michele was only attempting to make the process go faster. Jim left the trailer at the Gig Harbor house for more than six months without taking it. At no time did we mean to cause any problems for our daughter or Jim. I had to finally tell him to not contact us again. Jim accused my husband of once again stealing his property. My husband was born with Cerebral Palsy and has very little use of his left side, and has been experiencing gradual loss of use of his right side. He is disabled, as am I. I am being treated for cancer at this time and to have Jim’s continual abuse and attacks on my daughter and myself is incredibly stressing and disconcerting. This allows us no peace.

  We have tried to make this transition as smooth as possible. We have not requested a restraining order, even though we were advised to.
    Michele has stayed with us much of the time since May, when she had extensive surgery and she could not be left alone or navigate stairs. We have seen first hand the toll this has taken on our child.  She sleeps only a few hours at a time, has many Lupus issues, which made worse her doctor said was due to this continuing stress. We feel she is much safer here with us for the time being and would feel more comfortable with a restraining order given Jim’s threats against us all.
    I had hoped that this would be a happy, healthy relationship for them and the children. I am sorry that has not been the case. My husband and I would greatly appreciate any help you can provide in this matter.

Name:  _________David  P
Relationship to the parties in this action: Son of Petitioner___________________________________

I declare,
   I am Michele Reamey’s  son. I have personally watched as Mr. J. Coutu has threatened my mother, yelled at her and called her names. I stood up to him every time I saw him bully my mom and because of this he tried to threaten and bully me too. I am not afraid of Mr. J. Coutu myself, but I am worried for my mother and what he will do to her. I have tried for many years to get my mother to see who Mr. Coutu really was and to help her leave him. She would make excuses for him and say that she had given her word to stay married to him. Jim liked to show off his money and tried many times to control our family with cash. First he would buy us things, then, threaten to take them away from us if we didn’t act the way he wanted us to.

  Mr. Coutu has been violent and threatening to me on many occasions. One time he tried to hit me with a large planter of my mother’s. He threw it down at me from the upper deck of the house, barely missing me. My mother would get between us and try to keep Jim from “chest bumping me” something he did a lot when he was mad.

  I am upset but not surprised that my sisters have chosen money over family. Jessica has always been out for whatever she could get and my mom wouldn’t see it. She’s been in trouble so many times and my mom always got her out of it. The only time I remember really arguing with my mom was over the way Jessica treated her and that my mom couldn’t see who she really was. Just because someone is born into a family, that doesn’t mean that they will love you or that they are a good person. My mom is never going to love Jessica enough, to make her different than she always has been. I love my sister, because she is my little sister and I have great memories of her when we were little, but Jessica is who she is and that is just the truth.

  Amber is my older sister and we used to be very close. I even lived with Beau and her a few years ago. It was then that I really saw Amber’s anger towards my mom. I tried to talk to her about it, but she was unreasonable. She blames my mom for her father not being a part of her life when she was a child. She has no blame for the father that pretty much ignored her when we were growing up. Why she thinks this is mom’s fault, I don’t get. My mom has always done everything for Amber. She did her homework for her, drove her to school because she was too good to ride the bus. And gave her things and money even when that meant my mom had to sell her own stuff. Amber didn’t care. She just wanted more.

  When I lived with Amber I found out that she had stolen lots of my mom’s things when my mom was traveling with Jim. She took her clothes, that wouldn’t even fit her, her books, which mean a lot to my mom. She took her shoes and other house stuff. When I called her on it she got angry with me and said things like she deserved it or my mom didn’t need it. Eventually I had to move out of my sister’s house. We couldn’t agree on things and I didn’t want to hear her talk my mom down. Mostly because I knew she was lying. If anyone came over or she would be on the phone she would be gossiping about mom for no reason at all.

  Jessica is a drug addict. She has bragged many times about doing cocaine and heroin and has been stealing my mom’s medications for a long time. My mom tried to help her and so did my dad, but Jessica refuses to listen to any of her family.

   My mom cries all the time over what Jim has done and mostly about my sisters. She misses Rory and I get angry because I can’t fix this. If Jim can hurt my mother in any way, he will. He was always telling us stories about running form the cops and getting arrested. He thought that it was funny. Jim liked to call me his n*gger when my mom wasn’t around. Anytime he wanted stuff done on the Kirkland house before it was sold or the Gig Harbor house or the boat, he would call me and expect me to drop everything and do whatever he wanted. Calling me “ his n*gger.” He didn’t care if I had plans or work and would yell or threaten to take away the car he and mom bought for me. Even though it was in my name! He also threatened to kick me off his insurance. I never asked to be put on it, he acted like he was doing it as a favor, or to be nice but really it was just something to hold over my head so I got my own insurance.

  I am sorry my mom ever met this man. She refuses to see the bad in anyone, especially when she loves them. My sisters have taken advantage of this and it’s terrible what they are trying to do. I told my mom to let me give a statement and so did many of my friends and my sister’ friends who my mom let live with us for free when they got kicked out of their own house or just didn’t get along with their parents. Most of my friends call my mother, mom too.  She helps anybody that needs it and because of that Jim has snaked into her life and tried to wreck it. Please don’t let that happen. All she’s asking for is to be safe. I am so angry that my sisters lied about my mom and Jim wasn’t arrested for what he did to my mom. I was there the next day. My girlfriend and I both saw the bruises on her arms upper body and legs. The cop who came
out acted like it was no big deal and didn’t even want to take pictures.  My sisters were acting really strange when this happened. They wouldn’t come see mom or anything. On her birthday, which was the 12 of July, I had to call both of them to even get them to talk to her. Amber admitted on speaker phone to helping Jim hide bank accounts from my mom. She said she didn’t blame him because my mom spent so much money. I yelled at her that the only thing mom spends money on was us kids. Amber got angry because she didn’t know I was listening and then she said “See, this is why we didn’t tell you.” Meaning me. I grabbed the phone to talk to her and she hung up and wouldn't answer my calls or text. Then she started calling mom crazy. This has ruined my relationship with my sisters. I have told my mom not to go back to Pierce County because she's not safe there.  Thank you for your time.

   I should not have to do this. There were no children of this marriage. My own children are adults. I grieve more than I will ever have words to express. It's a mother's anguish and my inability to conceive of a circumstance where a child would do such things to their parent. Mostly, I simply mourn. But I am not going away. I am not going to stop. To do that would be to say that it is okay and it isn't. It would be me saying that I don't matter and that this man, this county has defeated me and that I will never do willingly. I am going to keep saying it until someone hears me. 
There are more court records in at least three other states...I am tracking those down. These aren't the only ones for Florida either, I just figured it was enough for one post. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Golden Ticket or How To Get Away With Domestic Violence and Abuse

    If ever you wish to degrade someone, abuse take what's theirs, simply label them crazy first. That's the golden ticket. The shiny reason for doing anything you like to another. Once the monicker is affixed, their world is your oyster.

   I began sharing my faults and follies here to let it out. I had held it all in so long and the situation I found myself in made silence impossible. When I shared the choices I had made and those made for me, the oddest thing began to happened. At least, I found it odd. Some people labeled me brave. What, wait, no. I am not brave. Not at all. I simply could not shut it out any longer. This is me. I struggle. Don't you? Is that supposed to be a secret? If so, it is a poorly kept one I assure you. We are all survivors of something. We have all been through terrible things. Sometimes maybe even done them. Forgive or ask for forgiveness. That was all I have ever meant to say. Let the bad things go.

  What's happening now is a horrible thing. Not because it is an anomaly, but because it is the norm. Let's see what it would take to put you in the Cray Cray DeVille category.

  Do you perhaps have ADD? ADHD? PTSD? Have you ever felt hopeless? Ever been depressed? Are you on the spectrum? How about your parents? Your children? Were you a happy child? Have you ever had a drink? Taken prescribed medication? Were you ever molested? Raped? Have you been a victim of any crime before? By the way, do you take anything for anxiety? Do you take sleep aids? Any antidepressants? Have you been late on a bill? Wait, have you ever had a traffic ticket?

  Answer any of these questions truthfully, and you too can be labeled flawed. Crazy. Crowned the holder of false perceptions. I really loved being told that one. Okay, I am lying. That one is so marginalizing and patronizing that it is inexcusable coming from anyone with the authority to push anything more significant than one of those Staples button thingys. You know, the red ones you press and they do nothing. One of those. You know who you are. That you have reached a position of authority is an awe inspiring misjudgment on someone's part. That you stay there is a tragic testament to the reality of the system you helped create.  Sorry, playing through.

  If leaders in authority actually believe that an individual is mentally unsound, you would think it would be their obligation to seek help for that person. Most especially if they themselves are deciding the future of such a person. Dismissing what they earnestly believe is a mentally challenged person is reprehensible. Taking advantage of it is criminal. So, either I am crazy and Pierce County employees in positions of power have willfully denied me help, or more likely, I am an annoyance. I am unimportant.

  To discern which is true is an easy enough thing. Judge actions and words. They speak for themselves.

  It is so easy to vilify the victim (survivor!) and to absolve the abuser, poor thing. Let me remind you.

   Nicole Brown was "exposed" as being flirtatious, of involving herself with younger men. The kind that might have been paid for  The L.A. Times reported this and also that her vanity license plate was L84AD8. Which, come on, is motive enough right there. Isn't it? They weren't the only ones....not by a long shot. but here's the link in case you've forgotten.

And then there was that sister of hers:

If a family speaks out about the results of domestic violence on their lives...that is what you get. Also, amazing how they carved so many slashes into a person's integrity for no other reason than they have chosen to expressing their pain.

  Do you remember the front page of the Tacoma Tribune for April 26th, 2003? The Saturday morning David Brame killed Crystal Judson? I am very sure her loved ones do. It was a write up on his virtue and accomplishments. A comparison between his accusing, estranged wife and that shining example of Law Enforcement he was held up to be. Try to find a copy of it. I can't. I remember it clearly, however, for reasons that need not be shared here.

 Although, if you check the Tacoma Tribune's archives, you will find this:

  How about Amanda K. Russell. Oh, you haven't heard of her? Well, she wasn't killed by anyone famous. She didn't get noticed until she got dead and Ray Rice beat his fiancĂ©. Then she became a beacon for domestic violence advocates and community activists. A silent Siren's call that only the unjustly indigent can hear and echo back to the waiting world.

  If you haven't noticed, as a society, we like our victims dead. Alive, they are troublesome, stirring pots and making waves. They really do need to shut up and stop making problems. They're liars, unstable and probably guilty of sins that make them unworthy of our help. I mean if their abuser isn't punished it is their fault right? As one Pierce County Deputy's wife said to me on a community Facebook page "There must be something more to the story I was not sharing." Lest we forget, the law is for the powerful and the dead. You see, if they can no longer speak for themselves, then we can! We will varnish over any misjudgments we may have made about them. All will be forgiven if you get murdered. This becomes our time to shine. We will hold vigils, demand justice and attend the funerals. And that mud we used to smear their reputations? Well, we will simply wipe it off and throw it onto their graves. We are all about upcycling. Wait, is that downcycling? Details, details ashes to ashes and all that.

   This really is our moment. We will proclaim our belief in the ending of Domestic Violence. We dedicated a month (October) to it after all and a color (Purple). We even changed our Facebook pictures to proclaim our solidarity to victims, with the caveat that their abuser's aren't a friend/family member/neighbor/co-worker/bandmate/schoolmate/sports figure/famous person, unless of course they do end up murdering their victim, because in that case we can show our importance by saying things like "I always had a bad feeling about them" or "Well, I really am not surprised, I heard..." fill in whatever truth you know about your friend/family member/neighbor/co-worker/bandmate/schoolmate/sports figure/famous person which you have conveniently ignored until it suited you. If you did not actually know them of course, you are still not out of the game. There is always "We shared the same dry cleaner. It could have been us!"

 Do I sound angry? It's because I am. I have worn out words like; horrid, frightened, isolated, overwhelmed. Someone asked me recently, while trying to ascertain if my experience was worthy of attention, why I still bothered about this? I was divorced. I was free. I will admit for the split second between thrilling at the very ideal of freedom (note name of this blog) and slamming into that continuous brick wall separating those being made sport of, from the mere spectators.

   I am not free because I am not safe. I am not safe because my abuser knows he can act against me with impunity. I am not free because I can't expect the same treatment from local law enforcement that any citizen is entitled to. I am not safe because my abuser is free. I am not his first victim. The others are not free either. He maintains relationships with their friends and families, just as he does with some of mine. For some victims it has been well over twenty years and still he watches. Enjoying the voyeuristic thrill of keeping his eye on them. The power of reminding them he is still in control. As he still does with me.

  No, I am not free. I am not safe and I am not going to stop either talking about it. Because I know that he never stops.

Stay safe and uncrazy. Trust me this side of things is not a place you would want to experience.

Some give the golden tickets, some use the golden tickets and still others are crushed in order to mint them.

Behind The Blue Wall: "A case against 'Tacoma Immunity" [New Takhoman]

Behind The Blue Wall: "A case against 'Tacoma Immunity" [New Takhoman]

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Very Beginning and The Mystery of The Disappearing Restraining Order, or SOP in Pierce County

  I have written for as long as I can remember. Through journals and those composition books with the black and white covers...margins of magazine and old envelopes piled up with tattooed thoughts I did not want to lose... This collection of words is different from those others in many ways.

  Firstly, the most overlooked and offhanded thing about it is also the most important. Let me explain, this blog started in another place. It was a coffee table size book filled with clean crisp paper just waiting for whatever was knocking on my skull in a mad attempt to be let out. Same as all the other ones. But that is not exactly what it became...I mean it did, but not as planned. You see I bought that first journal, the repository for what was to be a celebration my new marriage and to write all the wonderful thoughts and experiences I was sure would follow. I really was quite sure that I had finally gotten it right. Well, as things went along the pages became filled with unhappy things...sad and at times tragic traces of disappointment and fear. I wrote feverishly when my abuser threatened me. When he became physically abusive, I marked it down just as he had marked me. Why it never occurred to me that my words were not safe I cannot now say. I should have foreseen their demise...but no...because, who does that? Who reads someone else's most private of thoughts and then removes them? An abuser...that is exactly who.

  It happened so casually...him coming home sometime in early Autumn from a few days on a business trip. No sooner had he arrived then he announced that he was going to start a fire in the little rock lined pit on the other side of our fence. It was close to the cliff and the rocks and water 100 feet below. I was puzzled but I didn't say much. He made it clear that this was happening and he was in no mood for silly things like questions. I stood upstairs in our shared office and watched him do it...take out that insanely expensive leather book with it's onion skin pages filled with my pain...he lit a fire, first pouring fuel from one of those cheap plastic red gas containers and then clicked the trigger on a fire starter. Woosh and it was gone. I never said anything. I just stood up there three stories above him in the semi darkness as he silenced those words forever. I don't know if I was angry. I remember feeling helpless. I hadn't known he had taken it with him, I had never hidden it and he had never asked about it. Again, I had been collecting my thoughts for decades, it never once occurred to me that anyone might steal them...might destroy them. Who does that? Seriously, I do not understand.
I never said anything to him. I just withdrew a little further. It was not as if he would have noticed or if he would have cared. I was becoming increasingly aware that I was once again trapped.

  And so, I put my words where he could not find them. Where they would be safe. I put them here. The first part of my blog, the one I later repackaged in order to hide it, I wrote the night that my other dear words died on that pyre. The moment is right there on the side column. September 2010. The exact time I started hiding myself. Later, when he discovered my blog I had to do some editing. He was reading it...I don't know when he found out about it, he mentioned it ever so casually. I tried to not jump out of my skin. As soon as I was alone, I refashioned it here and there. It had to pass muster because if it didn't, if he got angry, things would not go so well for me. When it came to giving my blog a title, I was completely stumped."Looking For My Escape" was meant to be a place holder. Something to put in the little box so that I could get to the important things I wanted to say. I had always meant to change it. Had made several attempts to rename it... but I could not think of anything else... It is right. This has always been about escaping. My fear, my pain, my mistakes and yes my abusive relationship.

  Of course I am still not free. I am, in many senses but not really. I am still in a battle that I may not win. I still have to fight to be heard and to have my words, my pain recognized. It is up to me to see that no one else ever has to live through what I have in the last 8 years. Why? Because I know. I know what a monster lurks behind a con man's smile and I know how some in Pierce County treat victims that they find inconvenient. I know how complacent others can be and the next victim might not be so lucky. She might not get free. I have an obligation because I know and because what has happened is wrong and if it does not change it will continue. I have felt the fear, ridicule, shame that is meted out to women who refuse to shut up and walk away. I feel the judgment and the slurs. I am not deaf, I know. It is why I stay out of Pierce County unless I cannot avoid it and I never drive there myself anymore. It is not safe for me there. I cannot go home. I live in a small room at the back of a family member's house. There is no privacy or any of the comforts of my own life, but I am safe. And I am thankful. All that I have is gone from me. All my routines of living in the Harbor...just gone. I cannot tell you how sad this makes me. How I grieve for my home, for my friends and my favorite book store, my dear rituals perfected over 16 years of loving that town...ashes all of it. I can't go back.

  There was another strange thing that happened on this pile of bizarre things. That first day in court, November 4th, before court began, my stepfather handed my estranged husband the paperwork for a permanent restraining order. His response was odd. He smirked and with a sneer that he hides from most he stated that it had been dismissed and then he tossed it into the perfectly placed trash bin by his chair. I grabbed it back out and headed down to the Domestic Violence Office in a panic,  I was assured at the counter that it was not dismissed and I filed the notice of service. When the court date came for that restraining order my wasband's attorney asked for a continuance. There should be no need for one. He again repeated the idea that they thought that the order had been dismissed. The commissioner stated that it had indeed been dismissed, but that was an error and she was NOW, that day vacating the order and continuing the hearing. I asked how this could have happened. The court doesn't move without an order...who filed an order? Why was I not notified? I got no answer. I am told it was an accident and no one knows who demised the order or who asked that it be dismissed. I don't believe that. Not for a moment. And so, because I have no choice I add one more break in the procedure that we all count on to the list of things that have been wrongly done. How much influence can one man have?

  I never wanted this, none of it. I am tired and scared and mostly alone, but I will keep going. I will complain and keep speaking out until someone listens. Until this changes. I am not going away. I will not be quiet and I will not be dismissed as less than by an abusive system which is archaic and power hungry. I received a call today...The advocate at the Judson Center, the one who wanted to know why I kept coming into their office, because they could not help me....she phoned to remind me I have a court date for that Restraining Order on the 2nd of December. That was all. Just be there on this date and an off hand "do you have any questions?" Actually, I have reams of them, but none she would ever answer. How does anyone do this? I do not know.

  This experience has made me realize a pattern I never saw before. When someone is in the wrong, especially if they are in a place of power they will attack the victim. Instead of just allowing things to develop, instead of investigating or regulating they will start a smear campaign instead of saying" let's look at what this accuser is saying" and working to prove, or disprove the claims made they say instead "she is crazy, she may be a drug user, she was married before...." Never do they say "could what she is saying be true?" that would be inconvenient and to a person with power, money and influence that would just not do. Either I am the most tenacious liar who happens to control what at least three Pierce County Deputies say and do, or I married an abusive man who has strings he can pull. You decide, because one are going to have to.

  To those who have abused their positions in Pierce County, a simple message: If you did not do it, I could not write about it. This would have all been so much easier and through by now if you had only done your jobs. Whatever it is you think you will gain from this...I hope you feel it is worth it. Because it has cost you more than you are aware. I may never prove what you have done, but you know it and those around you know it. You yourself have proven out your true nature. Own it.

 In case you never read it...the original blog for September 2010:

   Every night I dream of escaping...of getting away from this self-made prison.
It isn't always the same, but I always make it out... It is... so sweet... freedom. I seem to have traded it away so easily while awake and I yearn for it in my sleep. My own double life. It makes it easier to deal with the reality I have chosen. Sometimes I fashion my own escape. I win the lottery or I write a great screenplay or book. Then I wait, I say nothing, patiently, quietly, until he is out.   I take every trace of me from this house. EVERYTHING of ME and I DISAPPEAR!   GOD, I love that dream best! I fantasize  about where I will go, where I will live, how I will take care of the people I love and how they will love me back. I play the lottery sometimes, but I have never won more than $50.00, which would not  get me very far. I always tell myself that whomever won needed it more. I try not to think about it too much or cry. Do you think you can run out of tears? Trust me you can't. I read somewhere that tears are toxins leaving your body. So, it is actually good to cry. I must have a lot of toxins. I am making up for lost time. When we were growing up we weren't allowed to cry. Someone should have told my father that little factoid about tears. He would have smacked you though. So yeah, you would have had to duck or send him a note or something. Really, I don't think he would have given a damn about toxins. He had a very rigid, narrow view of children and their place in life. It is painful to admit that I married someone who is a lot like my father. It is tragically predictable, really. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

In Pierce County The Best Victims Are Dead Victims

  I was told if I spoke up about what was happening to me I would be sorry....

  If you have read this blog from the beginning, you know it is not the first time I have heard that threat. You also know that that would never stop me....

  I have spent my entire life living under the threat of what would happen to me if I told...if I expressed the truth... Once I had escaped it I could never go back to that fear.  I will not do that for anyone or under any threat. No.

   So, an update on crazy:

    If you live in Pierce County you have a right to know. You have become involved whether you wish to be or not. This journey into surreal happenings continued as I went through the process of divorce.

   I appeared in Judge Stolz court room for pretrial. I had made a motion for a continuance so that I might retain counsel. My attorney had unexpectedly and without warning withdrawn for personal reasons having nothing to do with this matter. I was not given the 10 days that were required by law. Judge Stolz did not care.  She immediately denied my motion, stating that she had already made her decision before ever taking the bench. I was not allowed to be heard and her attitude towards me was...aggressive and surprising. She was curt to the point of ruddiness and I had no idea as to why. She argued my estranged husband's case for him.... I was...well again, shocked. I have no history with her or the court. I have no police record of wrong doing. I came to the court an equal to any other, or so I thought. In retrospect I should have known.  I tend to see each person I deal with, each department of Pierce County government as autonomous. This would prove an error on my part.

   That Judge Stolz would hold such a negative impression of me based on no interactions and very little in the file before her was as telling as it was shocking. I was simply attacked out of hand. What is one to do?

   Let me just say this here again...this is hard. It is brutal and punishing. I have lost so much that I love through all of this. I am harangued on social media. Threatened and bullied. I have had my finances and possessions plundered. Those who hold themselves out as supportive to domestic violence victims have turned their backs.... Everything has a price and telling the ugly truths carry the highest of all. This is not "fun" or exciting. It is scary and grueling and lonely.

   That will not stop me though. Because I am not alone. This has happened before and it will happen again unless someone stands up and says "No more. This is wrong."  And if I do not fight for myself who will? If I do not believe in me, I am lost. I have come too damned far to allow anyone else to take anything more from me with out a fight. No.

  And so I made a motion to have Judge Stoltz recuse herself given her comments and ruling. When we came into court on the 4th of November I was ready to argue that motion. I was surprised to find that Judge Stolz had reassigned my case to another judge while upholding her motion. My family and I made our way to the third floor to a far off courtroom with no one but the players in this case present. I again asked that my motion for a continuance be heard, it was immediately denied by Judge Rumbaugh.  He stated that the trial would go on immediately. I had nothing. No papers or documents I was empty handed. The Judge gave the opinion that justice needed to be swift, not just.  I was made to represent myself while my abuser had full legal counsel, before a judge who actually inferred that I was a drug addict. Again, I did not know Judge Rumbaugh, had never appeared in his court and his disparaging remarks about my person where intimidating and false. I am not now, nor have I ever been a drug addict. To be so attacked by a Justice from the bench is incredibly brutal and cruel. That this man thought that it was allowable leaves me incredulous. After the Judge Rumbaugh's inappropriate words from the bench I asked HIM to recuse himself. He refused. I asked for a hearing on the matter, I was refused. I was forced to question my abuser on the stand with both Judge Rumbaugh and his counsel peppering verbal insults and innuendo at me. I can't express the fear this brought me. I was nauseas and at one time asked for a break, again Judge Rumbaugh denied even that.

 How does this happen? Where is this okay? This is OUR county. Yours and mine and this effects you too.  I am not safe in my own home, which by the way I was ordered out of by Judge Rumbaugh with less than 3 weeks notice and with no where to go and with no funds to move. I am homeless with $400.00 a month. I will have to go on assistance, which you will pay for while my abuser enjoys a healthy six figure income. My share of our finances has been denied me. Judge Rumbaugh even gave my personal property I came into the marriage with to my abuser... this was done by a Pierce County Superior County Judge. This was clearly punitive and beyond his Honor's authority.

  This is what happens if you tell the truth. If you stand up, this is what you should expect. There is no justice here and nothing, NOTHING has changed. They can place all the hopeful names on buildings and convene summits and have fundraisers galore, but if they do not stop the rampant abuse of power in Pierce County nothing has changed. If you are not the "right" kind of victim....well, there is no help, no justice for you here at all. In a county where who you know and what you have is more important than what crimes are committed there is no justice for anyone. Least of all an abuse victim with no connections and few resources.

  And if you point out the wrongs done by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Pierce County Prosecutor's Office and now the Pierce County Judicial System, woes be to you.

   I came to the justice system looking for protection.  I received a red couch and a car payment that is what I was awarded. With just under 7 figures in net worth,  I am left to a life on food stamps. My support will be less than $400.00 a month. This is clearly a punishment. If you do not know already, my medical condition prevents me from working, something Judge rumbaugh was well aware of and dismissed breezily as predating the marriage. This is not even an error, it is a lie. I was married in 2008 and my condition was diagnosed in 2013. Facts matter little if you find yourself on the wrong side of the Pierce County System.

  Why am I treated differently than other victims? Because I dare to expect Pierce County to do it's job? I am bold enough to demand they act in accordance with our laws and policies? Because I will not be quiet and sit in the corner? Because I know that I am just as valuable and just as worthy as anyone else?

   Is it because Pierce County likes its domestic violence victims dead?

  I mean a dead victim gets all the right treatment. Too little, too late...but still. If you live in Pierce County and you want Deputies to protect you, if you want the Prosecutor to press charges or a judge to actually follow the laws they are all sworn to dead. If your abuser kills you, now you have value. That is something they can get behind. There will be news conferences and speeches. Passionate proclamations of fighting the good fight and justice.......if you are breathing, you are an inconvenience.

  I made mistakes. I married a man believing he was one thing, when he was another. I loved that he gave to my adult children things that they had done without growing up. The cars and trips, money and time...I was so thankful. Every mother wants these things for their children. I should have walked away. I did not. After the marriage, things came up...things that did not make sense or that left me alarmed, I held firm. I was married in the church and not believing in divorce, I stood fast.

  He had a temper. He had secrets. He did not have the same moral compass or belief system that I did... He spoke of women, minorities actually, anyone that was not him, in a derogatory manner...I thought I could change that...yes, I realize how stupid that I made excuses and allowances.
When I was hospitalized and diagnosed with several chronic illnesses his wandering eye came to the forefront. This lead to the violence of July 9th 2013 and me reporting it on the 10th.

 Several things have caused me to wonder about all that came after that first call.

    Firstly was Deputy Larson's comments. He was the one who came out when I finally got the courage to call for help. Let me state here that my abuser knew I was calling. I told him so. He was several states away and I had told him exactly what I was going to do on the phone the evening of the 9th. I wanted to be honest, to be upfront. I didn't want him surprised and I didn't want him coming home while I was still there.

  It never occurred to me that HE might call first. That in telling him what I was planning on doing the next day, I was setting about my own downfall. He spoke to the sheriff's office first. Who does that? You are going to be reported for your own actions and so you call the Sheriff's office to undercut your victim's statements? This is an abuser on a level I cannot comprehend. That Pierce County could be so duped by him is frightening.

  Deputy Larson's remarks that "those aren't too bad" when photographing my bruises was shocking.  That The Pierce County Sheriff's Department would ignore physical evidence of an assault, bury the photographs and then the prosecutor, who by the way has her office at the Crystal Judson Justice Center, would state in a meeting that I insisted on that "for the record, I am not looking at any evidence you provide" is staggering. There is no help. Who stands a chance when Pierce County officials refuse to do their jobs with such passion? How much fight do you have when the doors are slammed in your face and not only is justice denied you, it is turned against you? How do you think you would fair? I will give you an insight, it is frightening. It is lonely and powerless and at times feels hopeless. And it is where I am now.

  My abuser has influential connections. He has money and power and the way that this case has been handled by Pierce County shows that out. When else could an abuse break a restraining order over ten times and have no consequences? His friends train Deputies on firearms, they go to the right meetings and give in the right amounts. I had hidden all that was done to me out of shame, embarrassed that I had found myself once again in an abusive relationship and now, I am alone, with nothing. Even I was used against me.

   I am not going to stop. I am going to appeal this matter. I will speak to it until words fail me and I will fight until I can no longer battle. Because I matter, victims matter. Because this is wrong and if it has happened to me, it has happened to others. This is not okay. Abusing victims by proxy is not okay and no one is blameless. If you say nothing when you know something is wrong that makes you complacent. Giving safe harbor to abusive behaviors because you have a relationship with the abuser is furthering their abuse.

 When Pierce County Deputies take to social media to mock and bully a victim it is wrong. When their friends and family pile on it is worse. When their command condones it, it is criminal. This is not okay. It is never going to be okay and I refuse to shut up or hide.

  Please, take a moment and tell Pierce County that intimidating victims of abuse who stand up to bullying and use their voice is not acceptable.

 Pierce County Sheriff's Department
     6006 133rd St NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332
      (253) 798-4940

  • Crystal Judson Justice Center
    718 Court E, Tacoma, WA 98402
    (253) 798-4166

    Pierce County Superior Court

    Stolz, KatherineSuperior Court Judgesupcrtdept2@co.pierce.wa.us253-798-7573

  • Rumbaugh, StanSuperior Court Judgesupcrtdept18@co.pierce.wa.us253-798-6650

    Abuse is never okay and abuse of power is a crime. I am not going to go away, I am not going to stop. They have taken all that I care for from me. All I have is this space and these words and those are my own. Be safe. If you see something say something....although in Pierce County that has consequences you might regret.

  • Friday, November 7, 2014

    Secret Keepers and Enablers or How the Harbor Rolls

        There are secrets that we keep to protect those we love and the ones we hide to protect ourselves. For a species that strives to find the truth, we really don't like it. We are resentful of anyone who rips away the nicely organized fantasy of "not in our town, our neighborhood, our house". Lies. We tell ourselves and each other the most convincing fabrications and half truths to avoid the reality we are claim we seek.

      I can't tell you the amount of pain telling the truth has cost me. I have given far more than a pound of flesh. I don't check my e-mail anymore. Rarely my phone. If you want to be sure to multiply what ever harm is being done to you name, it out loud. Proclaim whatever you are stuffing down so that your world seems perfect. So that your friends won't know...I mean don't we all want our friends to think we are more "together" than they are? That we have figured this all out? Isn't that what we do? Covent each others places in life? Ticking off who has the nicer car or home or spouse?

      I knew when I called 911 my life would change. I knew it when I filed for a Restraining Order too. It was as if everything was rushing by me and I could not stop it. I was powerless then and I still am. Anyone who has come from abuse understands what that means. To not have control of ones safety or how others perceive us. To explain everything would be to strip the lies away from those I love the most and that is my biggest secret. How does that go..."I love too well." My abuser uses the best weapon against me of all...those that mean the most, knowing to speak against them goes against all I am.

      When we started our relationship I was struck that he never talked about how I looked. I liked that. Never used one of those lines...seemed rather disinterested. The perfect way to draw me in....He would talk about things he had done, I half listened and believed even less. They all seemed like storied you tell each other in high school or 30 years later at a class reunion. Random and shocking. That is what he was good at. Out of the blue he told me he had no empathy. He had taken some personality test that a seekers church had required all of their worship team fill out. He played in their band. Went on and on about playing rock songs for the Jesus crowd. Liked what he called the exposed flesh that comes with a church of the lost. It seemed a bit "Glory Days" to me, the people we socialized with changed but his stories didn't. It wouldn't matter if they had, I wasn't listening.

      He would fly to Florida on business and come home with stories about how horrible his ex-wife was doing. Spend days talking about her and how he had gone to dinner with her brother or other family members. They had been divorced over 20 years...I thought he must still love her...but no. He just wanted to know she was miserable. That he had taken all he could from her including her family. He keeps tabs on all of his exes. I ignored it. When a family member had a problem that so many stumble over...too many doctors willing to give out medications to numb what they didn't want to feel, he stepped up. He came from that background...he could relate, let him handle it. Then slowly he started taking over other things, rearranging my life...I was M.I.A. I had been married before, I know the give and take speech. I trusted implicitly. In our first years together on the few times we argued he would call my mother....I was 42 years old and my husband was calling my mother to tell on me...okay, it was a bit odd...I finally told my mother nicely to not engage in those conversations.

      We all con ourselves into thinking we have good judgment...that we know who is lying and who is not. How many times have you been fooled by someone you knew in your heart was honest and straight forward? It's always the ones we love the most who cut us the deepest. So, we put a little plaster over the gapping hole that only truth can inflict and we soldier on. We agree to the lie. I am as guilty as anyone. He told me a condensed version of the domestic incident with his last wife, slowly more things came out. Not having the money to buy a car part so he hustled around town until he found the same make car on an used auto lot and talked them into letting him "take it for a spin, to see if his girlfriend liked it"...he harvested the parts he needed, took the car back and told them it ran like crap and he wasn't interested. He ordered a faucet set offline, expensive the kind guests admire in your powder room.  Impressive. When they arrived there was a large gouge and a scratch and he couldn't get his money back. He had ordered them from ebay after seeing them while staying in a hotel on a business trip. So, the next time he went back to that hotel he had tools in his suitcase and that marred piece of hardware that was unworthy of him, and he swapped it out. Came home with another, chic and shiny.

      He regaled his friends with this story and sure maybe they wouldn't do that...but hey no harm no foul. I mean he is always so fun and kind and who is he really hurting. And so we all became secret keepers. We shielded him from his actions. Did things we would never do for this puppet master. He was good, he had been doing this along time. And this I know, there are good people, kind people, that see what he does and turn a blind eye. Maybe they are like I was and feel it is more fluff than fact or maybe because it isn't happening to them they are content to stand on the sidelines and covering for him.

      Above all he is a braggart. He can't keep his own secrets, he must impress with his cleverness, his ability to fool people who think they are smart...It's what he loves most. Feeling the power of manipulating people into suspending their own belief system and bending laws...I understand. I fell for it too.

      I never ask anyone to take my word for it....I will prove it right here...Keep in mind, I have never gone to his work or home or friends...every interaction that has necessitated a 911 call has come from my abuser contacting me. His breaking the restraining order. I can't understand how experienced professionals can't see that pattern. Well, they simply have chosen not to care. They have taken sides and I am ignored or worse taunted on social media by those I reached out to help from.

      Don't take my word for it. I will post the July 12th Police report here and you can read his own words...story number one and then there is an ever evolving shuffling of facts and fictions that followed. Whatever it takes to gain your confidence. He will make you feel important, he needs you,  you are his protector. I know, that used to be me. But listen to his words. Be smarter than I was. So determined to have my happily ever after I filtered out truth.  Listen to the way he talks about women, the way he triangulates females and pits them against each other. He has been doing this along time. He is good at it.

      There are those of you reading this that know exactly what he has done, you know the lies and the tricks and you may have even participated in them. Whether this was your chance to have an adventure or you are like I was, not really believing he meant what he was saying, you know.
    You rubber stamp his behavior and spite me for saying the truth. Makes perfect sense. We all are against domestic violence, stalking, harassment, until someone we like or love is the one doing it. Then we blame the victim.  No one wants an ugly truth to wake me from a beautiful lie.

      To those of you that have lied, tricked enabled...that is on you. That is who you are. Own it. I am not going to give up. I am not going to be silent. I have come too damn far in this world to let you or anyone else define who I am. All evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

      I give you one thought...if they are right....I am just some crazy woman who is bitter....if they are wrong....what then? What do you imagine an abused person looks like, how do you think they act? Overwhelmed, emotional, scared, untrusting.....sound familiar.

       This is happening here. In this town and being condoned by those in power. That scares me and it should scare you too.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    Peace And Love

      Okay, I have been that parent, friend, family member who takes up another's cause no matter which side of right they are on. I am certain most of us have. There is a lot to be said for love and loyalty. It is very difficult to be on the other side of that equation. That being said, Have I named names...well you know I have. Am I sorry, no. How are we ever going to change this if we do not start sharing it. If you are a friend, colleague, spouse of someone who is called out for not using their best judgment, instead of making matters worse for everyone, why not talk it through and use your own calm point of view to make an inroad to a solution? Help the situation.

      This entire thing has changed me, profoundly. Some salt, some sweet. Do I like being spoken of in derogatory terms on social media? Well, no, no I do not. Did I report Why? That I cannot tell you. Either I think more of others than I do myself or I am doing all I can to stay above water and affecting someone else's life or job because they attacked me on social fb is really not my priority right now. It does however make me more of a hermit. Because these people, saying these cruel things, for their own entertainment...they have power, control and the are my neighbors, friends of friends. I have had to block or delete more people since this started than I did the ENTIRE 2014 election cycle. That is saying something right there. Since when did standing up for yourself and telling the world what happened to you become a problem? Yeah, only if you are the one in trespass.

      So, I humbly ask...can we just not.... Not add to each others woes. Not call names or cause each other pain? Not ridicule and judge? What does it serve? When someone I have not spoken to in over 8 years and barely knew then jumps into the fray from several states away...why?

      Stop it. We have all done it... a knee jerk response to seeing someone you love, trust, care about being revealed as less than you believe them to be. And so taking up their cause. I get that. However when you come onto social media and call another human being should expect to be called out. It makes you a bully. You are no longer being a friend you are creating a larger pile of crap for your favored soul to crawl out of. Congratulations.

      Again, I am not anti ANYBODY. I was in an abusive relationship. I grew up in one. Both true statements. When I speak up because it has become more than I can take or when it spills over to others....and you decide to insert yourself into that situation...I am going to call you out. Doesn't mean I don't like or respect you, it means you have overstepped your boundaries. If you feel it is professional, respectable, helpful to ridicule others ....please, you really can't be surprised when you get the mud you are slinging on your own sleeves.

      Lets all take a deep breath. Treat everyone as you would your own loved ones and don't create drama and hate baiting. It doesn't make us clever or smart and certainly not powerful. It diminishes you. I write you, however, I mean all of us, myself included. I have learned so much compassion through this. Grown closer to people I always wished to know better. I have formed new friendships and am finding my own feet.

      No one should have to tell an officer that hate baiting on social media, engaging a victim of abuse case is not the wisest of choices. I can't believe I have to write that here...but apparently I do. I will give you a hint when you are dealing with an abuse victim...and you bully them, they will fight back. It is how we survive what we have lived through. If you think that you are adding to the betterment of our society or being a better LEO, spouse parent, child, by behaving that  Let us be. Follow and enforce the laws as they are written, not selectively as you like. That is the behavior that causes so much negativity to be laid at all LEO's feet. Congratulations, you tarnish an entire group of brave people who do a thankless job full of so much stress and danger. Was that you intent? If the answer is yes, hey keep it up you are doing a band up job. If the answer is no, please just be the kind of officer that you looked up to as a kid. Be the good guy. We need you to be that. Okay?

      If you are a part of a support system for LEO, Military, Firefighters, please keep holding them up. You serve another thankless job in the shadow of the realization that any night could be the one that you lose your own hero. Thank you for what you do to care for them. It is not easy. I am not your target, nor are you mine. I simply wish to be safe and life in peace, exactly like you.

       Remember when you hold someone down, you are the one laid low. Peace and Love people. Peace and Love.