While the Skipah and family are figuring out why left turns are rarer than the last steak he ate, he turned to some of his blogging buddies to help keep the lights on in his little digital domocile. My fellow Hoosier Patchwork Kat couldn’t stand to hear about me soaking up the sun and fun on vacation and was more than willing to let the world know her struggles. Without further ado here is one of my long time Skipah’s Realm readers getting the word out for women!
Ex Romantic Partners… Everyone has them (unless you got lucky with that fairy tale relationship as soon as you took interest in finding a romantic partner) and there is always at least one that falls into the psycho category. You know the type: creeping around in every nuance of your life they can find online, creeping by your parents house, tire slashing, petty vandalism, idol threats, finger pointing, smear campaigning ex’s.
Yep, I’ve got one. I’ve been dealing with his shenanigans for almost ten years at this point. Most recently it’s finally crossed the line from annoying to downright scary. It took a good long time, but I finally felt the need to involve the police last year after a couple of incidents, fearing for my safety and the safety of my children. I’m rather public about most things in my life, being a blogger, soon to be author it just kind of comes with the territory and that’s what I’m here to talk about today.
There is a huge deficit in the legal system when it comes to cyberspace and how crimes can be prosecuted. The primary mode of operation of most stalkers, or creepy ex lovers employ these days is sitting behind a computer screen looking for information about their targets. According to the legal system, my ex visiting my blog every day, multiple times a day, finding me repeatedly after I went above and beyond to change my domain, blogging service, name, content, consistently threatening me with lawsuits, leaving hateful, vague threats of violence in comments and emails… none of that is any “reason for concern.”
Bullshit that’s not a valid reason for concern. It is a very real, very valid reason for concern. You know what happens when my ex thinks he can get away with it? He slashes my tires, or eggs my apartment; then BREAKS IN to wash his hands, leaving egg all over my shower curtain and terrorizing my four year old daughter by wandering around and making himself at home. Why didn’t I call the police or fight back after he broke into my apartment you ask? Well I would have, if he hadn’t drugged me with two of my own prescription anxiety pills.
I don’t have clear memories of what else happened that night while he was in my apartment. It all felt like a dream. I remember arguing with him, yelling at him, him taunting me by calling my name the next morning to wake me up, but the rest of the night after choking on the pills he tossed down my throat while I was snoring is a blur. I can make a pretty solid assumption, since he was sexually abusive throughout our relationship, but I don’t know. In fact, due to the drugs I didn’t really remember much of anything until days later. My daughter had been sleeping in my bed afraid of her “bad dreams” about a guy in her bedroom. I thought it was weird, but she had been struggling with other nightmares too in recent months, so I didn’t really put two and two together until I went to put the kids in the tub and discovered egg all over my shower curtain.
I noticed the egg on my apartment building immediately the next time I left and came home. I thought to myself: “Who the hell eggs an apartment? That’s ridiculous!” Yeah… well if all he did was waste some eggs on my front door it would have been ridiculous, breaking in to wash his hands after he picked up all the shells? No, that definitely crossed the line into literal psychosis territory.
What did I do after discovering the egg on my shower curtain? Well I called the police of course. What did they do? Document that I called, and that it was odd to have egg on the outside of my apartment as well as egg on the inside of my apartment, but they didn’t find obvious tool marks on the sliding glass door which is how my ex got in, so that’s all they did. I didn’t expect them to do much else, but I had hoped that they would have taken the time to investigate. If for nothing else, aside from the fact that all you had to do to get into my sliding glass door was lift and pull with a reasonable amount of force and the latch would pop right open. There were signs indicating that’s how he got in, but it wasn’t good enough for the police. It wasn’t what they were expecting to see in a typical break in scenario. Broken glass, tool marks, smash and grab theft. It was the paint being cracked and separated from the door frame after being strained before the latch gave way. It was my sliding door being ever so slightly off the tracks, and my daughter having nightmares about a man in her room. Just like my archives of all the emails he’s sent, comments he’s left, my writing, and his obsessive views to my social media and personal blog aren’t what law enforcement expects to see from a violently unstable ex boyfriend. It sure as hell validates my concern for my safety and the safety of my children, but it’s useless in court, which means law enforcement generally doesn’t waste their time to even look at it.
To be clear, it’s not the individual officers I take issue with. They’re only doing their jobs to the best of their ability. A responding officer doesn’t have the time to read through a near decade of conflict between two people to learn the fact that my ex was heavily involved in criminal enterprises when he was younger, knows a lot of tricks to dance around the law when it comes to breaking in, and getting away with petty vandalism. They don’t know that he enjoys toying with people before he strikes, how violent he can be under certain circumstances, and that he’s had 90% of his record expunged over the years. All they see in the brief time they spent at my apartment, is egg on the shower curtain and me in a panic induced, bawling state of mind.
So the question then becomes, what IS good enough evidence in the modern age? If my years of emails, views and comments aren’t enough, what will it take? Myself or my kids being kidnapped, assaulted, or killed? My ex showing up on my doorstep again? Is the only way that this story will end, a bloody battle to the death between he and I?
I don’t know, and hopefully I never have to find out. The only thing I know, is that after packing as much as I could fit with my kids in the car and moving on less than a moment’s notice seems to be the only legal way I have to protect myself against my ex and his instability. In our new home, if God forbid he finds us again, this will be the sixth different police jurisdiction involved in the fray and I STILL can’t get a restraining order. How many other victims of sexually based crimes and domestic abuse are slipping through the cracks? Reaching out to law enforcement, only to be repeatedly told “We can’t help you.” There has got to be a better way… Somewhere, somehow, something has got to be a better solution than living a life forever on the run, sacrificing my personal freedoms of expression or writing career along the way.
If you would like to get in touch with The Patchwork Kat you can reach her on email, she also is an avid Facebook junkie if that is your preferred method of communication. Either way follow her along in her journey to get the word out for women!