Sexual Assault in the Home: How This Family Handled It.

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The #MeToo movement is massive right now, for good reason. Since Dr. Ford testified about her sexual assault and Kavanaugh threw a tantrum publicly last week, I’ve yet again gone through the gamut of emotional trauma: avoidance, anger, fear, complete shutdown for a while, frustration, etc. So now that I’ve ridden the wave yet again, that’s it! I’m telling our family story. 

First off, I was sexually assaulted multiple times by multiple partners: 3 in high school, and multiple times by my oldest son’s father. Who denies the allegations because ‘why wouldn’t you have gone to the police at the time instead of accusing me to my face’. While he was beating the living shit out of me. 

But this isn’t about me solely. This is about every fucking victim out there and how abusers are given the blame free card by society and our government. 

Three years ago, my husband and I learned that my oldest son had been accessing excruciating amounts of porn from every device in our home he could crack the security on. He had also become increasingly violent going from irritating older brother to leaving bruises on his siblings. He had also begun stealing from local businesses. So we did what most reasonable parents would do- not allowed him around town alone anymore, took away all device privileges and increased security on them, talked to him about his anger daily and not allowed him alone with his siblings on the same house floor, and enrolled him into counseling. 

Three years ago, 2 months after the porn issue, three of my daughter’s friends told their parents and police that my oldest son, who was 13 at the time, molested them. After my daughter learned that her friends came forward, she did too. Finally. She reported he had been sexually assaulting her for two years. Two years. In our home, right under our noses. He took a plea deal for 365 days incarcerated at a treatment program. We were told by our local prosecutor, police force, and victims services that IF our daughter wasn’t ready to live with her abuser after that we had options for his care. 

The treatment center was consistent and executed a science based program for juvenile sexual offenders. They had a low recidivism rate, short term and long term. We were hopeful that even if he never came home, he might never reoffend and could actually have a decent life without hurting anyone again. 

Ten months into his sentence the state transferred him out of his intensive treatment program into a ‘transitional’ facility with limited treatment. During this time his counselor and he were only worried if he was going to be allowed to come home. Nothing about treatment progress, if he had learned any empathy skills, if he was even ready to come back to the small community that he had impacted so profusely. Our prosecutor and judge extended her sexual assault protection order from expiring that year on the day he would be released for another two years. She was safe at home. I started calling CPS asking for resources, treatment centers, boys homes, whatever I could think of. Their only reply was ‘we don’t help with those things. If you don’t like our stance on this situation call this number to make a complaint’. 

The week before he was released the director of Juvenile Rehabilitation contacted me and said, ‘ok, we’re going to strong-arm CPS into taking him into their care and housing him. We can’t house him after his release date. You have no one suitable to take him. This is our only choice’. 

The day he was released I got a call from the police asking why I wouldn’t pick up my son. ‘Because there is a no contact order between he and his victim who lives in this home and I have nowhere for him to go’. ‘Oh, I’m not sure why they called us then’. ‘I’m not sure, I think they have to’. ‘Well that’s stupid’. 

The next day CPS called me and asked me why I would’d let him come home. That we could drop the order and install cameras and alarms. An actual quote from the CPS investigator: ‘Come on, boys know sex feels good. Why are you holding this against him? You’re going to ruin his life. You’re not treating him like family’. ‘You’re going to break apart your family if you don’t allow him home’. ‘We’re going to make sure you don’t ever get to work or volunteer again if you don’t allow him home’. ‘You are neglecting your child’s needs, he doesn’t deserve this’. ‘Kids are resilient, I’m sure you and your daughter are just making things up’. ‘What he did really wasn’t that bad, don’t let him suffer his entire life for something so little’. This goes on and on and on in various settings and situations but the bottom line was this. When we asked the investigator what would happen if theoretically we did allow him back home and he raped her again, she replied ‘well these things happen. But yes you’d be charged with neglect then anyway’. 

The next 3 months included us having to drop him off at a homeless shelter twice (which parole knew and condoned, which CPS knew and ignored), a stint with his biological father in another state (in a home and caregivers that weren’t equipped to care for him, in a state that ultimately refused to agree to supervise him in the end).  Finally he and I contacted an attorney group that took on juveniles’ cases in similar situations and he petitioned the state for dependency. If we had known about this group before he would’ve probably decided to petition while he was still incarcerated. Because of this my husband and I were slapped with neglect charges through CPS. It came to our attention later that the investigator was foaming at the mouth trying to get our prosecutor and sheriff to bring criminal charges against us. Thank goodness they didn’t, but they had it in their power they could. 

They placed him with an aunt on my side that I didn’t think would be able to care for him and keep him out of trouble. I’m not going to go into detail about the issues with her, though it’s important to point out that she lied about giving him a cell phone and blamed me in meetings for his behavior. So, according to himself, his caregiver, and one fucking state agency, he was not liable for where he got himself in life. Sure enough, within a month he had yet another no contact order against him for stalking a girl at his new school. A month after that he started leaving me death threats on my voicemail. A month after that he told me at our very last visit at the CPS office that he assaulted his sister and her friends because he hated me, and wanted me dead. Two months after that I relinquished my parental rights, ultimately forcing the state to take him on. Through the stupidness of a Juvenile Rehabilitation employee I learned 5 months later that he was incarcerated yet again. 

The state’s position on sexual assault between siblings is that it’s not that big of a deal, that parents are responsible to every extent and they are not allowed any kind of help or resources. If the abuser assaults his/her victim again it’s the parent’s fault, and God forbid you ruin that abusing child’s life with the ‘label of sexual predator’. 

Now tell me, what trends do you see in my story that you see in our media covering Ford and Kavanaugh? What about Trump? What about Daniels, Cosby, the Catholic Church, Weinstein? 

What did my daughter and her friends have to go that 16 month span of fear that he was going to come back into our home and community? CPS went to my kids’ school and interviewed them individually without an advocate in the room. The investigator asked my daughter if she wanted him back and if she loved him. Of course she said yes! She was fucking EIGHT YEARS OLD! She has so much guilt and fear coming forward, that all of this was her fault and she didn’t deserve to be safe, because her abuser’s residency status was more important. Who in the living FUCK does that!

I’m done. I am so done. I believe Ford and every other person that comes forward with sexual assault allegations. You have no idea what it’s like for them. You have no idea the fear and guilt and shame we feel on a daily basis for the rest of our lives. Then we have to live with commentators and community members and our neighbors telling us this isn’t an issue and why would you ruin someone’s life like that. 

I don’t care if he was 13 years old. I don’t care that he was my son. I have been broken for so long over his treatment of his family and others, which was never ever ever displayed in his home or by his peers towards him or others he might have witnessed. He knew better. He grew up better than that. And he threw it away and he was enabled and now his life is shit and will continue to BE SHIT because the state we live in and his extended family allowed him to shift blame and claim he doesn’t need to make things better for himself, his victims, or his community wherever that may be. Or maybe he’ll actually get elected into power, like Kavanaugh. He has shown that he doesn’t care who he hurts, he will always find someone to give him sympathy and shift the blame to others. By throwing tantrums. 

I hope to never see my son again because of what he did to his sister. His sister hopes to never see him again because of what he did to her. And that’s where we’re at, and will continue to be probably for the rest of our lives, three years later. 

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Shattering

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I know what happened now.

It took me years to know. And I wasn’t the one to solve the puzzle. I had to have it put together nearly completely before I could wrap my mind around it. They were the pieces of the puzzle that put themselves together for me, for authority, for the universe to see. The pieces that were battered and torn before they could even make something of themselves.

It was he that tried to hide the pieces from me. Who chose to sidestep me and others, to make us feel that we had lost our minds. Our reality wasn’t real. It was all wrong. Everything was upside down, topsy turvy. Misguided assumptions, innocence misplaced, faith and trust shattered like a lightbulb whose filament exploded and we are the pieces, scattered on the floor, unable to make ourselves one again. He the filament, the one that made me, gave me my purpose. He betrayed me and maybe it’s because I couldn’t contain or direct his heat the way he thought I should. He punished me. He punished all of us. Instead I made more of me, more of us, and we ended up in a dustpan swept into a pile by the law, filament pieces and glass shards, placed into a neat pile of documents and reports and told ‘you can make yourselves whole again’.

Well maybe I used the wrong kind of glue. Or I trusted that we could become a productive light of the earth again, if I just tried harder for and with him. My fingers shook as they tried to in vain to hold him to me. He wouldn’t fit. He careened his head back away from me, pushing and stabbing me away. He had chosen to break from me, and cared nothing for how he left us.

Broken broken broken. In our nice neat pile I could not pull myself into a piece resembling of my previous self. He to be the inside of my being no more.

We have to move on. We have to find the right cement, or find another purpose. To turn our lightbulb shards into a mosaic glittering in the sun, bringing our pieces together to form a new kind of beauty. I need to know I can be recycled, repurposed into something even I can admire.

I cannot forget the past. I cannot move forward. But I have to, because that’s what us humans do. We turn our shattered selves into beautiful mosaics, pieces of this and that we’ve gathered throughout our lives into something beautiful and worth living for.

He is no longer my purpose.

I shall make myself again with no filament, relying only on the energy I know I contain to light my path, for myself and others.