Sunday, April 27, 2014

2 Weeks of Struggles and Victories

It's been a long two weeks since I last posted here, and much has happened.

The week before Easter, I was informed by my doctor that my constant fatigue could be the result of sleep apnea, I will have a sleep study Monday night, and he said that if this is sleep apnea, I need to lose close to 100 pounds in order to get the symptoms to possibly die down enough to no longer need a machine like a C-PAP machine.

Easter Sunday, I went to leave my house to go to the Unitarian church I am a part of, and heard a constant thumping sound, and quickly turned around after about a block to go back home, realized I had a flat tire, both front tires were too far gone to be driving on anyway, so I replaced them both.

Then this past Tuesday, the Psychos returned. Yes, the two from The Confrontation that I can't even bring myself to call my parents, because they don't deserve it. I was setting up a new lawnmower I bought in my garage when I heard "Happy Horse", my Black Lab/hound mix barking for a few minutes as though there was something he saw at the front of the house.

I heard a woman later at the back fence talking to Happy Horse and petting him, I looked out, and it's Mrs. Sociopath. I close the door to the garage and lock it. I called Granite City's police dispatch, and told the officers about The Confrontation, and that because of their attempted assault back in December, I would not come out of the garage until the officer arrived.

Despite telling the officers that showed up about how disappointed I was that the officer from The Confrontation didn't even ask me if I wanted them arrested, one of the two officers simply told them to leave and not show up or contact me again, took down my information, and had asked what had been going on before, then left filing no police report, and no arrests.

I was frustrated with the lack of response from the police department, and I knew how much good an internal complaint would do (none), so I went to Madison County's courthouse to try to file a restraining order. I was referred to a case worker for a local legal aid group that helps file the order.

She told me to fill out everything that had happened, all abuse and harassment, on the record or not. Despite listing this incident and The Confrontation (which both had law enforcement as witnesses to them), being forced off medication for depression, and being barricaded in the house and threatened with violence if I tried to leave, the judge sent a deputy to tell me (they don't even let people filing for restraining orders sit in the court room), that they felt there "wasn't enough grounds" for a restraining order.

I felt so defeated and frustrated that for a while, I considered going public with my story, under my name, trying to contact local media if any outlet would pick it up and embarrass either Granite City or Madison County into doing the right thing. I was talking to some online friends about it, and I was shocked at the response I got from the author and activist M. Dolon Hickmon, the writer of 13:24.

He went first to Granite City's mayor, then their police chief, demanding answers from them as to why nothing had been done, telling them that he would start making complaints to Madison County's state attorney's office (a state attorney is Illinois' equivalent of a county prosecutor/District Attorney), and Illinois State Police about their failure to do their job.

Everyone changed their tune, Granite City's police chief instructed the lieutenants for each shift to notify any officer responding to a call at my house in the future that they are to arrest them as soon as they see them on my property, and that he does not want to hear any more complaints about a lack of proper response to a call again. Granite City's chief also said that he will look into the last two calls, and question the officers involved about why they declined to arrest them.

They also were supposed to send a lieutenant to serve a written notice I prepared that would tell them that they are not to contact me or show up at my property again, and will be promptly arrested if they show up again. I haven't been notified yet if they have done this, I will check later.

I am so grateful to M. Dolon Hickmon for his help though, no one was willing to listen to me, no one was willing to help, or to consider me as a victim of a crime. The only people who even tried to take me seriously in the legal system before he stepped was the caseworker that helped me file the restraining order application, and the deputy that handled the process for the court. I don't know where I would be without his intervention with Granite City's government.

Life started looking up after this, this past Friday, I went to the final court appearance for my legal name change, and the judge granted it as expected. My birth name, which I hated, and at times, felt like a cattle brand on my back from my abuser is no more. I am so glad. I had planned to get a tattoo to celebrate, but I was low on funds. I had considered getting a tattoo of the emblem of the band Bad Religion. I think I will get this done soon, though.

One of my fellow bloggers sent me a copy of a PACE, one of the booklets from ACE, the awful fundamentalist curriculum I grew up with, to burn in celebration of my name change, which I happily did. I nearly blew myself up with a gas can after rubbing alcohol wouldn't get it to light for some reason, flames backed up into the gas can, and caused gas vapors in the can to burn until I put the cap back on the can to smother it (don't worry, I'm fine).

Another victory is that the loan I need to get the air conditioning and furnace system replaced in my house will be finalized this week, now that I have flood insurance on the house, it's going to be a big help for when I sell the house later, and I definitely need the air conditioning, St. Louis summers can get temperatures of 100-102 degrees with high humidity. Hopefully, I will have enough left over to replace my old car, which doesn't have much life in it in the process.

I also noticed that anti-cult author Steven Hassan, has been linking to my blog, citing me as a resource on the Independent Fundamental Baptist cult, I'm glad to be counted as a reference on that group, and hopefully more people will be informed about them.

I know this post has been rather intense, so here's a little light heartedness for you. This is Happy Horse with my neighbor's blue nose Pit Bull puppy, they always like to bark at each other, and run up and down the fence.


  1. Kudos to Mr. Hickmon for helping you. I'm glad that the powers that be are taking your situation more seriously.

    The gas fire must have been alarming -- I'm glad you didn't get burnt crispy!

    Keep us informed about the sleep study and possible sleep apnea.

  2. ARe they going to inform your parents that they will get arrested if they show up at your property?

  3. I could be wrong, but I don't think they could legally arrest your papers that day. There are reasons our laws are set up that way. Now if you get a restraining order and they show up, the results will be different.

    1. They were already forced off the property once, they should have been arrested the first time for the attempted assault, and the second time for showing up when they knew they were no longer welcome there.

    2. I was refering to the first night, not the time they showed up. If the police had told them they would be arrested for showing up and they did anyway, it was as it stood

  4. I'm so glad to hear that you were able to get the police and local government to behave responsibly. I've been following your blog for a while and I have to say that your story has been a harrowing one. Best of luck to you.

    Btw, isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol comes in two different concentrations: 70% and 91%. The lower concentration doesn't burn very well because there is too much water in the mixture, but the 91% burns quite nicely.

  5. Glad things are going well for you! :)

  6. A no trespass sign could be helpful, assuming you don't already have one. Anyone shows up and you can ask them to leave. If they don't, the police should arrest them due to the combination of written & verbal warnings (the sign counts as a verbal warning in most states). In addition to The Sociopaths, this could also come in handy if the former pastor or other unwanted church members show up.

    1. A no trespass sign is not a legal document, it has no force of law behind it. The only way to stop them from bothering him again is to get a legal no-contact restraining order which prohibits them from ever contacting him in any way or being within, say 1000 feet of him at any time. That, if they violate it, will send them to jail. Just telling them not to bother him isn't going to do anything because it has no legal weight.

  7. Sleep apnea is a real problem and may not be related to weight (though it often is). My buddy, who now works in Africa with the CDC, is as thin as a rail, but due to the way his mouth is formed has sleep apnea. I too have apnea and the doctor I saw noticed that my tongue is "scallopped" -- it has ridges on the side from rubbing against my teeth which means my mouth is too small for my tongue. I've been on the CPAP for a number of years. It's great. I can't recommend it more.

  8. Don't be too weirded out or upset by the Sleep Apnea diagnosis. I have it too and use a VPAP machine that pumps the air in and then cuts the pressure low for me to exhale. Not everyone that has it is related to weight. Mine is the type that would not be helped by weight loss. Either the signal is not getting from the brain to the lungs or something else is haywire. Gotta be on the machine the rest of my life and I'm happy about that because I feel so so SO much better now.


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