I once had a life, or rather, life had me. I was one among many or at least I seemed to be....

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PFA's and Finding Peace
Monday, Aug. 27, 2018 12:04 PM

“Healing is not about moving on or “getting over it,” it’s about learning to make peace with our pain and finding purpose in our lives again.” ― Shirley Kamisky

August 9th came and went. I showed up for the PFA out of some sense of obligation even though I didn't want to go through with it. It didn't feel right to go through with it. Every bone in my body was screaming at me to not go through with it. The part of me that made myself show up was telling me that I could convince a judge that Kent needed help. I kept thinking that I could get him the help he needed and everything would be okay. We would go back to being friends. I would help him find a place to live, and I would randomly go over to his new place and take care of him.

This is not what happened. What happened was this: we both showed up for the PFA at around noon. I sat on one side of the room. He sat on the other. We were not allowed to communicate with each other, and he was not allowed to even look in my direction because of the temporary PFA that was in place. The two of us sat in this room full of people seeking protection from abuse for over 4 hours before they called my name. By the time they got to me, it was 4:45. I was informed that I would have to seek a continuance and that it could be anywhere from a week to a month before they'd fit the case on the schedule. Even then, there was no guarantee that we would be seen by a judge on that date. Every bone in my body said, "drop this. This is silly. There is no need for this!" So, that's what I did. I told them I wanted to drop it. They told me to talk to a lawyer first so I did. The lawyer asked me why I wanted to drop the charges and I told her something like this, "because there's no reason for a PFA. He is living over 30 minutes away. He is partially blind and can't see. Every gun he owns is in my possession. If he wanted me dead, I'd be dead. I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you." I then asked her what they do in more severe cases where someones life is actually in danger when they make people come back week after week or month after month just to sit in the same room as the person they fear. She couldn't answer my question, and I told her the system was extremely flawed and disorganized. Then again, this is the government we're talking about. They are notorious for such things. I then asked to speak to Kent.

She sat with me for a little bit with Kent on one side of the table and me on the other. I asked Kent if he even remembered everything that happened. He said he did, but he made it sound like it took place in less than a week. I told him, "No, this happened all throughout the month of June and July." He blamed it on coming down off his pain medicine, which can no longer be prescribed to him. I told him it was a combination of a bunch of things, but it mostly boiled down to his alcoholism, a disease he continues to deny having. I asked him if he remembered telling me he fired D.R. from fixing up our house, all of which D.R. denies even happening. I had spent all morning printing off every one of his text messages to me and I pulled up this particular set of texts for him to see. He said he was just joking. The lawyer read his texts and she said, "Read this for me." He read them. Then she said, "that doesn't sound like joking to me." This continued on for a few minutes but then the lawyer left because it was after 5 pm.

Kent was extremely angry and defensive. He argued with me about turning off his cell phone data. He then pulled out the divorce papers and said, "read this." I read a part about how neither party is allowed to turn anything off while the divorce is under review. He was like, "this is the paperwork you filed. These are your own requests." I then pulled up the text I had received from our cell phone carrier and showed it to him. It said, "You are now out of data. You are in safety mode. To increase your data......" I told him, "I never turned off your data. We ran out of data." Then I logged onto the courthouse's WiFi and showed him where he had used 98% of the data and I had only used 2%.

I asked Kent if he had received his handicap placard from his son. He said no. I told him I had given it to JR over a week and a half ago. As it turns out, JR told them that I never gave it to him. They texted me a few days later asking me where it was. I told them I had given it to JR. I told them my mom had even taped it and fixed it before handing it to him. Then I texted JR and told him to give his dad the placard. He told me that when my mother took it to tape it up, she never handed it back to him. I specifically remember my mother taping it up, saying, "There. Good as new!" and then handing it over to him. I texted Kent's stepmother and told her all of this. They ended up having to report it as stolen by his son to get Kent a new one. Kent's stepmom even told me in text, "I am tired of JR's games. Let the police deal with him." Then she texted, "My suggestion is to not let him into the house again and definitely don't let him take anything else." I texted her back and said that I had the locks changed, the garage code changed and even deactivated the garage door openers. It's a good thing I did, too, because JR had the other garage door opener. When he attempted to use it to get in and it didn't work, he gave it back to me. Otherwise, I think he would have kept it to continue getting in and out of the house.

I told Kent on the 9th that JR tried to take the tubs full of his childhood toys, too, but I wouldn't let him. I told JR that the court wouldn't let me give him those without his dad's consent. I said, "Your dad is afraid you'll take them and sell them." He laughed and said, "He wants me to take them so I can sell them." I told Kent I found his water bottle full of alcohol in the tub. He looked extremely confused. I told him, "In fact, I found bottles of alcohol." His reply was, "there should have only been one." I then told him about how it was odd that the bottle was full of plastic. I was like, "at first I thought it strange that alcohol would solidify like that, but even when you freeze alcohol it doesn't do that." He then said, "Ah! That's why he wanted the tubs!" He proceeded to tell me how JR must have hidden the bottle in the tubs. I remember JR going through the tubs while I stood there and me telling him that I found his dad's hidden stash of alcohol but I threw it away. Now it made sense why he didn't demand the tubs after that. I had thrown away the bottle he used to transport meth. Yes, I am now full of knowledge about how some people transport meth. I didn't want to know that! It also made me realize even more so that I was doing the right thing because he was probably selling meth on the driveway. For all I know, he was probably smoking meth in the basement. As much as I miss my CDs and DVDs and their sentimentality, JR pawning them was the best thing to happen to me. It allowed me the anger and gumption to kick him out of the house for good.

The last thing he argued about with me was what took place in order to require the PFA. He told me that the cops dragged him in for an interview and that they said the gun that was used was the one my mom threw away for him. He also said that they said I said he held the gun to my head. I tried to tell him that's not what was said. I never did get into how it all happened because it was pointless trying to explain it all. He was extremely drunk that day. I highly doubt he even remembers how suicidal he was. During our conversation, he was so angry and full of spite that he didn't want to hear it. His mentality was that it was all about him and not about me. Not once did he ask me if I was okay. Not once did he ask me how I was doing. I shouldn't have expected him to ask such things because of his depression, but it drove home the fact that he doesn't care about me.

When I talked to the detective last Thursday about the case, I told the detective I wasn't pressing charges. I told him I dropped the PFA because I don't fear for my life. I told him that Kent is partially blind, lives over thirty minutes away, and can't drive. I told him that when I saw him on the 9th, it was the most sober I have ever seen him in years. He was clean cut, dressed nicely, and actually walked straight and tall. I didn't tell him that I have all of Kent's guns, but I did tell him what Kent told me. I told the detective I wanted it known that he did NOT hold the gun to my head. He was 10-15 feet away from me. I then told him how the cops came into possession of the gun, which was NOT the gun used. My mother had shown up and told them that Kent had handed her a gun and asked her to throw it away after he broke it in two. I told the detective it was JR's grandpa's gun; that JR broke it so Kent broke it in half and asked my mom to throw it away. The detective said that matched up with Kent's story. I told him, "of course it does. It's the truth." Then I told the detective that Kent was no longer on his pain medicine, and that, if anything, his son is the threat to him or he is a threat to himself. I told the detective I was never going back to Kent, and that the city's resources would be better spent on someone who is actually worth charging a felony with. I explained the knife incident in better detail, as well. The detective told me that they did not drag Kent in. He came in voluntarily. He also said that they tried to talk to Kent on Monday night (the day I filed for the PFA) but that he was heavily intoxicated. I told the detective I figured as much. I said something like, "Kent is very good at toying with my emotions. He likes to make me feel sorry for him, and gaslights me into being the one to feel guilty by embellishing the truth. He likes to play games the most and loves to accuse me of playing games. It's like when somebody cheats. They like to call their spouse a cheater when in reality they are the ones cheating." I don't know what is going to come of the case, but I am hoping that they dropped it. If they didn't, I'm going to go in there fighting to keep the felony charges off of him and seek him only mental help. I know a lot of victims of abuse say things like, "he would never do that," but I know Kent better than Kent knows Kent and what Kent needs is therapy and someone to force him to be sober. Concerning the neighbor's gun that was stolen, I asked the neighbor to come look at the rifles, but it turns out the neighbor had a pistol stolen. This made me think of the pistol JR said he had gotten rid of. Either way, the man's gun is gone and I have a feeling JR has something to do with it.

As for Kent, I wrote him a long letter that I put in with his mail telling him all that was going on in regards to the house, and then telling him that I was sorry that things turned out the way they did. I wrote that hopefully, one day, when he is ready to hear my perception of the events, I will be there to tell him. I wanted to remind him that I was the only one completely sober the entire relationship between me, him, and JR, but I didn't because the words would have just been a jab at him. They would have only been written down to make myself feel better, and that's not the right thing to do in this situation. I went on to say that somewhere along the way we lost sight of each other and also lost the ability to communicate properly. Respect and communication disappeared. I then told him that I was going to give him JR's tub of keepsakes because JR isn't mature enough yet to value the sentiment of holding onto such things. I ended the letter saying something like, "I told you I couldn't continue to live like this. I couldn't continue to live with an alcoholic and a smoker, let alone his drug addicted son. I no longer wanted to enable both of you, and in the process lose myself. I asked you to go to AA and you made fun of it because it was too christian. I asked you to go to marriage counseling and you argued that therapists aren't credible people. I didn't want to be the only one trying to make this partnership work. It was wrong of me to demand that you change yourself to better suit me. I know I can't change you and I no longer want to do that. I no longer want to carry around the anger and hate caused from all the bad events that took place over the years. Know that I have forgiven you and your son, and I hope that you can forgive me for my part in all of this someday, too. Most of all, just know that I will always care deeply about you and I do love you. I hope that you find peace with yourself and that you learn to love and accept yourself, as well."

I do not know if he has read the letter. I don't know if he threw it away or if he ripped it up or if he's holding onto it. All I know is that writing the letter was therapeutic for me, and it felt like the right thing to do. I am always going on about what feels like the right thing to do. I have learned from all of this to stop looking to others to make my mind up for me, and to listen to my gut. My gut has never steered me wrong, and it doesn't act up if I make the right choices. I say to myself all the time, "I may not want to do that, but it's the right thing to do." There is a peace that comes with doing the right thing, even if it's the hardest thing to do. I would much rather do the right thing than live with the knowledge that I could have done the right thing but didn't.

Now that I'm living with my parents and getting proper sleep, I find that I'm a lot happier. At the moment, the happiness comes and goes. I'll catch myself enjoying something only to find myself thinking about how I'm enjoying it and then feeling guilty for enjoying it. It's been hard moving on from my husband of nine years. He was my best friend and my companion. I was also his caretaker. We had a toxic relationship for many years because neither one of us was very good at being a friend or companion, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't a very good caretaker. I look back on all of it and know that I could have done better, but considering the circumstances and everything we went through, I have accepted the fact that I did the best that I could. He doesn't think so. He'd disagree, but he also doesn't see the whole picture. I don't know if he ever will.

In other news: My brother is working on writing a novel and he wants me to read it, but I haven’t made the time to focus on reading it yet. I feel bad about that, but at the same time I feel overwhelmed by everything else that the last thing I want to do is focus on “editing” a book. I also keep wanting to write a novel myself, but I can’t seem to bring myself to start it. I’m not sure what’s causing this. I think it’s a need to move around instead of sitting around because if I sit around I find my mind wandering. If I move around and keep myself busy, then I don’t have to think about all the things going on in my life right now. I know I overanalyze everything to do with my life. Maybe I should have gone into psychology in some way so I could overanalyze everybody else instead.

Anyhow, I do find playing Guild Wars 2 a nice distraction sometimes. Also, when I’m watching TV, I have to be doing a variety puzzle book at the same time or my thoughts wander. When I’m driving, if I’m not talking to somebody else, my thoughts wander. My parents like to listen to easy music when they are driving, and if I’m the passenger in their car, the music drives me nuts. They find it soothing, but I completely find it aggravating. A lot of that music plays on my emotions and the last thing I want to deal with right now is my emotions. I feel like I’m overwhelmed with emotion, almost as if I’m bipolar, which I know I am not. I am just tired of feeling at the moment, but I also know it’s important to feel these emotions and process them. I just don’t want to right now. My brain and my body need a break.

Speaking of breaks, I am going to stop this entry here. Until next time....

In 19 Seconds

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You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...

- Dr. Seuss