Yes, in the good ol' USA, "the land of the free, and home of the brave," the country that currently runs around trying to liberate the huddled masses elsewhere, women are still property. Troublesome property at that.
It's the old patriarchal mentality at work, where a man's a manly-man, & a woman had better be quiet. If you don't believe me now, that's OK, I don't expect you too. Until it happened to me, I lived & believed as you likely do, that justice will have its day. Maybe we have to believe this in order not to go crazy... But I can no longer live in such a fairy tale.
Gone is Pollyanna, the girl who was taught that wrong is wrong, and bad guys get what's coming to them. Gone is the girl who sits at the heart of every woman, the one who believes simply in justice – be it karmic or the law of her land. This girl is among the many casualties of That Day.
I've had such a difficult time starting this journal/blog. I started it because I feared what would happen if I didn't get it all out there – outside my head, out there for others to find. But now that I have this space, I'm at a loss for where to begin, really begin my story.
Due to privacy reasons, which in time I hope will be something I can make clear, I cannot tell you everything. Even if I had the heart to do so. And who can say when it all started? But obviously I need to start somewhere, with something that provides context...
To that end, I bring you: The Cast of Characters.
The Incident: The battery, as defined by law. (May also be referred to as That Day.)
The-Then-Husband: The man I was married to, who battered me. (Also known as TTH, for ease in typing.)
Our son: The boy born of this union, who the courts have primarily placed with his abusive father, deeming TTH as primary caregiver is in our son's best interests.
My daughter: The girl with no blood connection to TTH. Considered to not be part of the family court's care, yet used as a pawn in proceedings.
Hubby: The new husband, acquired after The Incident. Also called Soul Mate & Love of my life.
His daughter: Hubby's daughter. Called this for ease in understanding, without use of names - she is very much Our Daughter when it comes to daily life.
The Judge: A man in black robe who sat in judgment in both the Criminal Trial & Family Court.
Former In-Laws: The parents of TTH.
Pillsbury Dough Boy: The attorney I had for the divorce.
The Other One: TTH's attorney for both all his court matters.
The Shark: The attorney the Former In-Laws hired to protect their Grandparent's Rights.
Miserable Excuse of a Guardian Ad Litem: The female attorney who was to decide what was best for our minor son. (Also called MEGAL for ease in typing.)
Assorted Other Useless People: The pile of humans who either refused to do their jobs, are ineffectual with their jobs, or otherwise let me & my children down when it was their job to protect us. This pile of AOUP includes counselors, child protective services workers, teachers, probation officers, victim's assistance professionals, and police officers. As applicable, their duties & failings shall be listed.
From all this, you'll swear I am a crackpot. A person who's truly only victimized by herself. But stick around, even if only curious, and find out how all of this can happen to you, or to someone you love. Yes, even in America.
In time I will move the cast listing to the sidebar, so that it may be a key to future entries. But for now, here it is.