Table Experts

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Imagine this…

You are sitting at a large conference table in a very tasteful plush office.  This is the kind of office where one entire wall is covered in floor to ceiling windows, with the most exquisite view of the park/ocean/city/historic district of your dreams.  The opposite wall is also covered in floor to ceiling windows with visually seemless automatic double glass doors.  Outside these windows you observe the effortlessly smooth professional busy-ness of the surrounding professionals.

You have been hand selected to sit in the office with an impressive assortment of uncompromising professionals who are in deep discussion and debate over the attributes of the table they are comfortably sitting around.  You are not included in the discussions and you are unclear why you have been invited to this office.  When the discussion about the table begins to address the firmness and solidity of the table, you decide to enter the conversation, since you know the table is a hard surface.

You say, “One thing I know for sure is that this table is hard.”

No one acknowledges that you have spoken. Only one person even makes slight eye contact with you, then continues on with their conversation as if you had never spoken at all.

At the next opening in the conversation, you try again to insert your knowledge and observations.

You knock on the table twice to prove your point, and you say, “One thing I know for sure is that this table is hard.”

There is a brief pause where you think your comment and demonstration might be acknowledged, but it is not.  No one even makes eye contact with you. The surrounding professionals continue on with their conversations about the table.  The things they are saying focus on your topic:

“I wonder if anyone has considered if this table is hard”

“How would one go about determining if the table is hard”

“Do we even have access to the proper tools to measure if the table is hard, and do we have the proper staff to evaluate those measurements”

“Should we even be speaking about the hardness of the table, why not the pliability of different woods”

“Is hardness even a relevant table discussion”

And so on, so you are aware that on some level at least one of them must have heard your declaration of the table being hard.  Yet, no one has even acknowledged your presence, much less your words.

Now you decide to confront the ridiculousness of the conversation, stand up from your chair, knock harder on the table, firmly declare, “This table is hard,” and knock three more times for emphasis before you sit back down.

You continue to be ignored by the group as their conversations hum all about the table.

You yell, “THIS TABLE IS HARD!” 

You stand up on the table, stomp around on the table, jump on the table, run up and down the length of the table screaming the whole time,

“THIS TABLE IS HARD! TABLES ARE HARD!” 

Until you lose your voice and all of your energy is spent. 

The group’s discussions have continued on as if you, your voice, your truth, your physicality, do not exist in their awareness. You are totally bewildered and exhausted.

After your tirade, the gorgeous glass doors silently glide open and a new professional person confidently walks in.  Everyone’s conversations abruptly stop and all attention zeroes in on this new person. As the doors glide shut behind them, the new professional strides around the impressive conference table and callously pushes aside the seat at the far head, in order to take that place in an intimidating stance – both hands palms down on the table as they lean into the group.

Every previously animated professional now seem to be eerily enraptured  by every movement this new person is making.  They wait in almost painful anticipated silence.  You are so caught up in this dramatically altered tone of the room, that you are staring and waiting for whatever is going to happen with this new person too.

New Person finally speaks, “I am a table expert.  See on my bade right here on my lapel.  My badge says, ‘Table Expert.’ I. AM. A. TABLE. EXPERT! I have come to tell you all, that this table is hard!”  Then the person knocks on the table three times to emphasize that the table is indeed hard, turns, and strides back out of the conference room as quickly as they entered.

After a brief silence, the conversation in the room begins again.

“Wow! This table is hard”

“I have spoken about tables before but now I absolutely know that this table is hard”

“We are so fortunate that the table expert stepped in to clarify that this table is hard, so that now this topic can be resolved with the conclusion that the table is hard”

Your conference table mates are all making eye contact with you now, as if you have been a natural part of their discussions and conversations the entire time.  They are addressing you.

“Did you ever know that a table could be declared as hard?”

“This table is hard, look at this,” they trepidatiously knock on the table a few times with their eyebrows raised in astonishment.

“Did you see the table expert came in and now we know for sure that this table is hard”

“I am overjoyed that now we can rest easily finally really knowing that the table is hard”

You may now roll your eyes.

Welcome to every divorce from an abusive spouse, where you have mutual children.

Suddenly you are a non existent entity on every single topic of discussion.  Unless a professional declares an expert opinion/fact which matches your reality, your opinions/facts mean nothing.

You think you know what is best for your child that you gestated, birthed, nurtured, fed, bathed, clothed, loved, educated, kept healthy, kept safe, loved some more and spent basically 24/7 with for the first 6 years of their life?  You do not.

You think you know what your child needs to thrive?  You do not.

You think you know when your child is upset and distraught?  You do not.

You think you know how your child learns? What they eat? How they like to play? That they need the tags cut out of their underpants but insist on having tags on their shirts?  You do not.

You know nothing.*

The table will never be recognized as being hard, no matter how loudly you scream, knock, know to the deep core of your soul that the table is indeed hard, and that a table being described as hard is a fundamental accepted truth in our human world, until the professional table expert declares it to be hard.

You need professionals to help your voice be heard about what is right for your children.  Even then, divorce in an abusive situation is unjust and difficult.

If this is your path, I am holding you in protective prayerful light.

If this is not your path, I am holding you in compassionate prayerful light.

Love, Ms Herisme xo

*I would add “Jon Snow” at the end of that sentence, but not only is there no Night’s Watch version of Kit Harrington coming to your rescue (he is too young anyway), at some point you would gladly welcome White Walkers, but they aren’t coming either.  The analogy is lost by adding “Jon Snow” and ruins my whole flow.  But I cannot help at least mentioning it, because, just like we all snicker when Granny says, “Winter is coming,” and we repeat it in an intense earnest whisper of impending doom, I feel obligated to at least acknowledge that out loud I am saying to myself, “You know nothing (Jon Snow),” and flipping my un-curly un-red hair.  Don’t deny – you’re doing it too! Twinsies!

Giant Flaming Elephants

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There are a few giant flaming elephants roaming around our communities.  Some have been recognized for what they are, yet they continue marching about in flames.  Some are reluctantly seen from a safe distance through a dirty window, and appear to not be having an immediate impact, so they are dismissed as illusions.  Some are blatantly ignored, as they go stomping about smashing and burning everything in their path.

 Abuse is a giant flaming elephant in family law.

 No one wants to admit abuse’s disgusting infestation of custody and divorce cases, much less face up to it, acknowledge it for what it is, and provide a platform for true health, safety and personal responsibility.

 “70% of men who sue for custody get it,

and of those men who sue for custody,

80% to 90% of them are abusive.”

 Abuse in marriage is rampant in this world, country, state, county, neighborhood. You don’t think it is in your neighborhood, but I assure you, it absolutely is.  Abuse doesn’t go away with socioeconomic or educational status.  Why this is true is a topic for another time, and does not change that it is true and it is affecting our entire culture, especially children.

 Are you aware that there are programs in your community, which exist to promote healthy relationships between parents and children?

Doesn’t this sound like a wonderful resource for families in need of support?

Are you aware of how this translates to an abusive family situation?

 Father abuses mother (raping her, punching her, threatens to kill her with a weapon, removes financial resources from her to gain power and control, verbally assaults her – you know, the usual).  Mother calls domestic violence center to get help after years of trying to work things out and comply with whatever she believes is provoking her abuser, in order to please him so that he will not be triggered to be abusive anymore (yes, I KNOW this does not work, but when you are in the situation, you do not know this.  You do not even know that you are being abused – another topic for another day).

Domestic Violence center provides services including a counseling session for mother, safety shelter for immediate threats, coordination with other agencies (police, child protective services etc), and sometimes legal services.  Even if the abuser is seen as a threat to the mother and children, the children will be ordered to visit with their father in a supervised situation – with the helpful people who promote, encourage and support developing healthy families.

How is it okay to force children to sit with the human who abused their other parent?

How can we expect someone who feels that they have the right to abuse another human, will not abuse other humans?

Why do we allow children to be counted as property of marriage, rather than as humans?

 

Why do we not believe women when they report abuse?

Less than 2% of women are found to have falsely claimed abuse. 

Are we saying that a woman being abused is okally dokally do, and has NO impact on any other areas of their lives?

Or, perhaps, we are saying that children are not affected by an abusive person abusing their mother?

 

The abuser will become even more angered that he is unable to be in control, and possibly files for divorce from mother. Abuser also files for immediate sole physical custody of children because HE has the home, HE has the family income, HE is being cast out of his children’s lives by his “crazy wife” who is making false allegations of abuse and requires counseling and therapy for her anxiety.  Guess what?  The court grants him at the very least, 50% custody of the children, and threatens mother that if she doesn’t have her own adequate home and income to take care of the children during her 50% custody, father will be granted more custody until she can get herself straightened out.  Also, father claims, mother is traumatizing the children by subjecting them to being removed from their home and father.

 

The court agrees.  Father has no criminal record.  Mother has no hospitalizations from suspected abuse.  The court has no professional evidence or proof that father is abusive, so they rule as if this is a “regular divorce,” and tell the father and mother to go to mediation and work everything out like adults.

 

Even if mother has some proof of abuse (Dr reports, photos etc), father hasn’t abused the children, so 50% custody and mediation it is. Mother is forced to negotiate the terms of her custody and divorce with her ABUSER, who is abusive to her.

How can you negotiate with someone who fundamentally feels the need to abuse you?

You are not on even ground and by that very nature cannot negotiate.

Why do we expect that a difference of opinion can be mediated when one party has all of the power and control?

Our custody laws do not make any sense for abusive situations.

 

The laws are the laws and the court has a responsibility to uphold the laws.

I do understand that.  I also understand that laws are not entities unto their own.  They did not create themselves, nor do they interpret themselves.  Humans are making laws.  Humans are interpreting laws.  Humans are often doing this on behalf of very vulnerable other humans.

 

Abuse in divorce and custody cases is so incredibly rampant, that it has become marginalized, causing laws to swirl around and enforce the ultimate legal system drive of power and control.

Guess what abusers want?  Power and control. 

Guess who wins in legal battles? Power and control.

Too frequently, custody morphs into institutionalized abuse by lawmakers and courts who blithely absolve themselves under the auspices of upholding ‘fundamental parental rights.’

 

Only in the very rare case, are children and mothers protected from the abuser by court order.  Ironically, the abuser is the one who helps them the most by his concrete abusive/criminal actions which physically prevent him from having responsibility or contact (he is in jail, in rehab, in a mental illness facility etc.).  However, even then, a judge may, and usually will, order some kind of contact between the abuser and his children.

This may include forcing the mother to drive her children (at her emotional, financial and time expense) to jail/rehab/mental illness facility every week in order to spend time with their father.  If the mother indicates that she is unwilling to, or unable to, comply with that suggestion, the judge will order that a social worker come to her home, remove her children and transport them to visit with their father. Especially after the abuser’s attorney argues that the mother’s extreme anxiety is harming the children and frightening them, as evidenced by her bizarre dependence on her therapist and domestic violence shelter support, and therefore she should not be involved at all with the care and support of her children as they rebuild their connection with their father.

You know, because fathers of any kind are better than no father at all…  WTF  … because studies show that children who have the (safe and healthy) influence and (safe and healthy) support of two (safe and healthy) parents, they are statistically proven to do better in school and as functioning adults.  Except when this is quoted to you as a reason for placing your children into contact with an abuser, all the “(safe and healthy)” bits are turned into the disregarded flaming elephants, because “property parental rights” trumps all.

In my case…

In my case, we have a temporary reprieve (which on the surface appears permanent), due to the father’s serious mental illness combined with dangerous behaviors, which have led to him being placed in the State’s custody for a few years.  And while in their custody, he still managed to violate court orders, which resulted in him having additional restraints on his ability to be responsible for himself, much less a child.

Even given all of that (and the lethal threats he made), there was continued talk of him obtaining at least 50% legal custody of our son, right up until the last few weeks before the final divorce.  This would not have been unprecedented, unfortunately.  This could have been a disaster.  I would be in the same position as countless other women, and be forced to co-parent with an abusive person – which is probably in my future anyway.

To me, our current orders are a temporary reprieve, because at any time, father can appeal the court to modify custody, when his “treatment is successful,” and the State has fulfilled its commitment to be responsible for him.  I can assure you, the judge will change the order, should that come to pass.

In the meantime, I have to bring my son to a reunification therapist so that she may facilitate contact between son and his father.  I truly respect her opinion and understand she is obligated to provide some context for contact.

I do not understand WHO, outside of the legal system,

thinks that physical contact between my son and his father is okay.

Inside the legal system, they have this ability to make it seem like an awesome idea only because it fulfills some legal obligation which has nothing to do with keeping a child safe and healthy.

I am also ordered to send weekly updates about my son to father.  At this time, to us, father is a stranger – and a dangerous stranger.  He weighs about ½ of what he did when we knew him, his thick black hair is gone because he shaves his head.  Yet, I am supposed to willingly and obligingly, send information about my young child to this person every single week, who, for all I know, still intends to murder us.

 

My story is just one of many. 

Even here in our community, my story is one of many.

I am one of many flaming elephants.

 

According to my attorney, who has 25+ years of experience, my story is one of the scariest she has encountered (um, I would rather not be special in this regard), yet, in terms of the relentless abusive power and control tactics used in custody cases, I am, sadly, not at all unique.

Justice, as seen by rational reasonable humans, is rarely served in custody cases. If you are seeking human justice, go to a religious entity.  Power and control are always served in custody cases involving domestic violence.  When abuse is involved, the children and abused spouse, ultimately ALWAYS lose.  The best you can hope for is that you are a strong enough parent with a strong enough child, to survive until that child is an adult and makes healthy choices for themselves.

Children are manipulated by the abusive parent.  Children are silently abused by the abusive parent.  The abused spouse is never ever allowed to not be connected with her abuser, unless they want to abandon their children to the abuser.

What message are we sending to victims of marital abuse? 

Don’t report it, or you’ll lose your lifestyle/money/house/much of your children’s time/any ability to potentially protect your children from the abuser/dignity/privacy/etc?  (why abusive men get custody link here)

What message would you send to a mother in an abusive marriage? 

Are you prepared to support the consequences of your advice?

What are you doing right now in your community to help these mothers and children in need? 

How can we help prevent our daughters and sons from entering into these situations?

Can you see this giant flaming elephant?

What do you do once you see it IS there?

 

Love, Ms Herisme

Fear is hard stuff

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Fear is SO super hard.

Fear just doesn’t go away until it is truly heard.

 And sometimes, even heard, fear sticks around

and becomes louder and louder and louder

until it isn’t.

 psst… that is OKAY.

We exist in this strange culture and time which insists that anything below the measurement of “happiness,” or the pursuit thereof, is an anomaly to be feared/hated/shunned etc.

I doubt that at any other time in human history we humans have so uncompromisingly insisted that anything less than “happy,” somehow defines us as being wrong or flawed.

The truth is that life itself is a series of glorious, tedious, horrific, devastating, lovely, heartbreaking moments.

And that is OKAY.

 Yucky messy stuff happens. 

Mental illness obliterates a family, people lose all of their life savings in an investment gone awry, fires destroy lives, girls and boys are raped, drunk drivers kill people, MRSA takes over a body, cancer is diagnosed…  and there are many, many other fearful awful things that happen in our communities everyday.

There are also heaps of wonderful things that happen to us and in our communities everyday!  Those should be celebrated in your way.  Birthday parties, a nice glass of wine, a pat on the back, filling a gratitude jar, taking that vacation, etc.

Consider this – sometimes we spend so much effort squelching the very real fears that we all experience and have, all in the name of “happy,” because, “happy” = “successful,”  and we are desperate to be successful.

Which is true.  You do feel successful when you feel happy.

 However, success is not dependent on being happy.

Don’t make your definition of self success and acceptance, dependent on you being happy.  This is where I think we get twisted and mess up.  We equate having fears, doubts, bad experiences, horrific experiences, with personal failure.

I see you, community, doing hard things everyday, being successful at them, and going unrecognized for it.  These are not “happy” things you are all doing.

 You are sitting with your Grandmother and holding her hand while she dies.

 You are going to the courthouse with your friend to support her facing her abuser.

 You are getting up every day and feeding your family with meager foodstamp purchases.

You are taking your niece for a molestation exam at the pediatrician.

 You are calling the Sheriff’s office, again, to turn in new evidence that might be the key to keeping you alive.

 You are showing up on time to your oncologist appointment for biopsy/scan information.

 You are giving your children skills and confidence to not fall prey to another bully.

 You are taking your fatherless child to a Father’s Day activity, because he is desperate to participate, but where you know he will be ignored because all of those other Daddys are (rightly) taking care of their own children.

 (I do not wish for anyone to experience awfulness)

 While all of these things make you a successful person, none of them are “happy” or in the pursuit of happy.  You are afraid to do these things.  They may trigger your own serious anxieties because of your experiences.  Yet, you do them all because they are important and necessary to do.

Let’s not shun our fear, or pretend like life’s messinesses are anomalies.  Let’s embrace and support each other on how to show up, with solid resources, despite our fears.

Without the hard stuff, the messy stuff, the deepest darkest fears, we never will be able to embrace the tiny miracles happening around us everyday, and truly find our moments of happy.

It is okay to be afraid. 

Being afraid is normal. 

It’s okay to suffer difficulties. 

Difficulties are normal.

It’s okay to experiences successes.

I will cheer you on.

“Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you’ll have to do it afraid”

You are courageous, especially when afraid.  You are loved.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

 

 

Blank Spaces

She could be so (BLANK) if only she would (BLANK)

Are you the girl/woman/lady that everyone fills in the blanks for?  I am.  Or, at least, I have always been that girl/woman/lady.  What are we now – biologically female gender identifiers? Broads? Chicks? Birds? Pink Ladies? East Coast? West Coast? She-humans, for the win!

She could be so pretty if only she would lose weight.

She could be so successful at work if only she would play the politics game.

She could appear to be more professional if only she would tame her hair/wear these clothes.

She could be so accomplished if only she would apply herself properly.

She could keep herself safe if only she would follow my instructions exactly, perfectly, to the letter and never ever ever question or deviate or passively aggressively self-sabotage blah blah blah blah blah

 No?  Okay, it’s only me then. Embedded shame is hard.

 If only I could accept my responsibilities,

possibilities and limitations, then I would be content.

 Wait a minute.  Hold up.  That might actually be true.

Sharing my vulnerability, I have tried to determine if I am a psychopath, a sociopath, an empath, telepath, homeopath, allopath, or on a warpath, footpath or bypath.  Too much for me. I am no longer “she could if she would.” I am a NewPath.

I want to “call deep on my courage”

to fill in my own blank spaces,

and allow space for them to be appropriately filled.

 She could be a determined NewPath, if only she would.

I will.

pssst… you are invited too, you are worthy and loved.

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ppsssst… and now you may sing “I’ve gotta Blank Space, baby, and I’ll *not* write your name”

NewPath Relief…

Note to self:

Post Rule #1  Keep in mind that not everyone is reading with the same context as your writing

 Where are we today?

The 5K post was a long time coming.  I wrote that in the Fall of 2014, when I was desperately attempting to make sense of the absurd twists, turns and terrifying swirls happening in and around my life.

I am okay.  Mr Heishim (now he is 7 1/2) is okay too.

Mr STBXH, now Mr exH, is safely in the care of the State at a facility far away from us, which specializes in meeting his needs.  All of this has taken a terrifying and painfully long time to happen, with the indispensable help of our entire extended community.  There have been desperately unfortunate series of events in between 2014 and our current temporary resolution.

Re-read the last part of the last sentence.

Current TEMPORARY resolution.

Well, obviously, our divorce is not temporary.  However, the care of the State facility is temporary and only guaranteed to January of 2018.  After then, as mentioned in the 5K plea, as long as Mr exH can declare himself as not being a threat to himself or others, has followed prescriptions, and decides he should no longer be under their care, he may choose to no longer be under their care.  But, let’s not borrow trouble from tomorrow, when there is SO much to do today!

I call myself a New Path

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I call myself a NewPath.  A new path to walk.  A new path of thinking.  A new path of feeling.  A new path of sharing. Not everything on my new path will be smooth and easy.  I have no expectation of that.  Not everything on my new path with be difficult and terrifying.  I have no expectation of that either.  My expectation is that I am different than who I was and that journey has compelled me to offer a space of sharing.  I have been provoked into a tangent journey in my life.  I am a NewPath.

There are many of us who have experienced absurdities, nonsense, scenarios beyond expectation, desire, interest, and our own ability to see beyond them as we are experiencing them (and sometimes long after).  If you are interested in figuring out how you might help those of us through these experiences, consider reading this linked post.

Stories which provoke NewPaths will be shared here.  If you are interested in sharing your NewPath story, please let me know.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

What to do, what to do…

WOWZA!  What an overwhelming response from the first post.

Thank you for all of your continued prayers, positive meditations and projections of protective light over us.  We are truly blessed in our extended communities of support.

I also received too many (one is too many) similarly awful tales that you were brave enough to share. I am paraphrasing one situation here, to protect your privacy:

“Thank you for sharing this. 

My husband threatened to kill me and our son too,

but then changed his mind because we weren’t worth going to jail for”

This is in our sweet little community and playing out

right underneath our noses

right now.

Most of you also reached out to ask what you could do to help.  YOU are brave and courageous to engage and ask.  I am not sure that if I were in your shoes, I could harness that bravery. Actually, I am fairly certain that I would not.  Not because I don’t care, but these situations are uncontrollably frightening: no pause button, no do-over, no Cliff’s notes, no IMBD preview, and no secure tidy ending.

If you are still with me, and wondering

What to do…

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF SO THAT YOU CAN BE A RESOURCE. 

You must remember to put on your oxygen mask before assisting other passengers in this life, including children.  Without you having oxygen, you’re risking all of us perishing without your help.  And, we need your help.

CHECK IN WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

Be respectfully relentless, if you have to.  In crisis, our decision making and perception compasses are off balance and we are often unable to determine situations for what they are, but feel as if we are keenly aware.  Remind us we are loved and how your words and actions are coming from a place of love.

STOP DEHUMANIZING PEOPLE THAT YOU DO NOT APPRECIATE.

We ALL struggle.  We ALL love.  We are ALL humans trying to be humans.  Sometimes, we ALL miss the mark.  No group of humans are not humans trying to be humans.  I am not suggesting to not have healthy boundaries/ideologies/values which guide your behaviors and life.  I am suggesting that once you place someone into “they are all scary and awful and hateful and the most terrible etc,” you have given yourself, and others, permission to treat another human in an inhumane way.  Stop doing that.

Stop giving up your responsibility to other humans. 

Pray for them. 

Send them positive light. 

Meditate on their human-ness.

This may seem contradictory to your awareness of someone being abusive or mistreated.  It is not. They are humans struggling without support. You might choose to not invite them into your home, or introduce them to your children, but you might choose to take an extra bag of toiletries to your local shelter this week, or donate to another local resource who is already servicing professional interventions. (for example, if you are driven to help overseas refugee children, find their local resource and donate to them – Red Cross, UNICEF etc)

KNOW YOUR COMMUNITY RESOURCES.

Your friend that is in an abusive relationship needs professional help.  You can provide your friend with telephone numbers, or make those telephone calls yourself.  This is not dehumanizing your friend or the abuser.  Both your friend and the abuser need interventions other than what they are experiencing, professional interventions, before someone is hurt further.  Their intervention may include a religious leader, legal advisor, the police, social services, a judge, rehab, or some other mental health/professional intervention.  Make one of these professional intervention entities a recipient of your philanthropy, either with money or time.  They can use your support too.

Wouldn’t you rather donate to your local domestic abuse shelter so that they can provide adequate counseling and legal support, rather than donate $20 for a t-shirt at your friend’s 5K because they were murdered by an abuser? 

You are not responsible for the decisions that either your friend or the abuser make.  You can be responsible for knowing what resources are available in your community.  Believe me when I tell you, ALL of us know someone in, or has been in, an abusive relationship.  ALL OF US do.

Agencies you might want to be aware of:

Emergency Assistance                              911       (call for ANY suspected emergency situation)

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)  (multilingual/ confidential)

National Alliance on Mental Illness 1.800.950.2624  (confidential)

Finally,

I ASK EACH OF YOU TO CHECK ON A COMMUNITY AREA THAT YOU FREQUENT

– the grocery store, your library, the salon, the gym, etc and see if there is a brochure or list of community services for people in crisis, available there.  If there is not, contact one of your local agencies (domestic violence shelter, non-emergency police number, food bank) and see where you might volunteer to distribute their list of resources, or to put a list together.  I bet your local library has a community resource brochure or web page.  If not, ask to volunteer there to put one together, then distribute it to the community areas that you frequent.

Thank you for your enthusiasm and interest in helping.  You are the key to our living, not just surviving.

Love, Ms Herisme and Son Heishim

When you run my 5K…

Here is the truth.

 When someone wants to murder you, nothing can protect you.

 -Repeat-

 Nothing can protect you

 Nothing can protect

 Nothing can

 Nothing

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A few years ago in our town, over a very short time period, there were three ladies who were brutally murdered by their husbands.  Two of these husbands also murdered their own children.  The third intended to, as far as I’m concerned, but wasn’t given the opportunity, so he just killed his family’s cats, his wife and himself instead.

 

So now our community runs 5K’s in their honor to raise awareness and money for victims of domestic violence.  Well, we run them for two of the white ladies, and one family’s children.  The third woman and her children were a lower income Hispanic family, so our subtle, not so subtle, racist community doesn’t run for them.  But, that’s another topic for another day.

 

What kind of husbands, fathers, sons, uncles, men do this?  Men who are sick.  Men who are crying out for help in ways that go unheard.  Men that are abusive, controlling, ill, and violent in such duplicitous ways that their neighbors and communities, even their own families and spouses, consistently describe them as the “nice guy next door.”

 

How do I know about these things?  Well, I suppose when you read our story in the quaint local paper, or the little paragraph on our sign-up genius/donations webpage, you’ll get filled in.  Maybe you won’t know about any of it until you show up to support our sponsored cause at our memorial 5K, which might be your first 5K and you’ll feel all the community support feels by signing up for the cause.  “Oh my, how sad.  I think that I saw them at a thing once when they did something.”

I know these things because I’ve seen it happen before.

I know these things because my husband is very sick.

I know these things because my husband wants to murder our son and me.

I know this because he said so.

 

Not, “I’m going to kill you for not putting out the trash, you knucklehead.”  More like, “I am your apocalypse, I’ll make you drink my blood, I’m Sly Stallone, Our 3 hearts beat as one, and I know God doesn’t forgive murder.”  You know, he wants to LITERALLY, in the truest sense, kill murder kill us.

 

Let me tell you, um, yikes.  It is extremely scary, and life altering, no matter how sick you know a person is, to know that this other human being wants to hurt your child and you merely for being who you are, for existing.

 

“Get a lawyer,” you say?

“Call the police,” you say?

“Get him to a hospital,” you say?

Done, done and done. 

 

Here’s the catch though, none of these well-intentioned institutions can actually protect us.

“No, no!” you say? 

“You must not have followed the correct procedures. 

You must not have said the right things. 

You must not have filled out the correct police reports. 

You must not have found the right Doctors/hospitals/lawyers, because if you had, you and your son would be safe.”

 

Indulge me with a moment of your time to dispel these lovely, comforting, and overly confident in naiveté myths for you – to decimate your glorious happy bubble.

 LAWYERS:     super negotiative finesse and super law knowledge

The lawyer may file papers for you, provide legal advice to you regarding the laws in your particular state, navigate your local court.  Your lawyer has to work with all of the other lawyers, judges and court personnel long after your legal issues are over, and therefore will not be vigilante advocating for what you think is “right” all Hollywood style.  Also, your lawyer has heard and seen every disgusting side of humanity, most likely, and can only represent actual proven truth – not conjecture, predictions, heresay or those dreaded feelings of yours (tip: see your therapist for those fun times).  What you vehemently insist is non negotiable and the most important things for you and your child, may not match up with the actual laws of the land, and may not be within your lawyer’s capabilities.  Not because they are incompetent, but you will know this because of your lawyer’s undeniable extreme competence and professionalism – both of which you will need if you need a lawyer at anytime in your life.  Also, lawyers are not superheroes with any superpowers, other than super negotiative finesse and super law knowledge.

 POLICE:  need actual proof

There’s a funny thing about the police too.  They cannot arrest or detain anyone because you suspect something or are frightened of something.  They need actual proof (gasp!) to do either of these.  If someone uses their words, like, I don’t know, “I’m going to murder you” and such, yet they don’t actually murder you, the police cannot arrest that person.  As told to me, “words are just words, not actions,” and “if every written threat to kill someone equaled an arrest, most people on Facebook would be in jail.”

 MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS:  HIPPA

Hospitals, Mental Health professionals – hey, guess what?  They are even funnier than the police and tighter bound than the lawyers.  HIPPA – google it, as it is AWESOME in a so very not awesome way for anyone with an adult loved one who has a serious mental illness.  Also, as an adult, no matter what your condition regarding mental illness, your self-reporting is absolutely the only information that the Mental Health professionals can and will take into consideration.  Psychotic much?  Okay.  Do you feel homicidal or suicidal?  Not right now, you say?  Okay.  Do you want treatment?  No, you say?  Super!  You are clear minded, discharged and free to go.  This also frees the hospitals and Mental Health professionals from adhering to any bugaboo “duty to warn” an intended target (insert me, our son) for a psychotic homicidal mentally ill patient (insert my husband), because they just verbally confirmed that the patient can verbally say they are not homicidal right then.

 

“No, no, no, no, no,” you say. 

“That cannot be.  I know that the hospital can commit someone and detain them.” 

 

Sure they can, until the adult patient says they want to go and don’t want to hurt anybody or themselves.  The adult patient who two days prior sent multiple homicidal threatening emails prompting a Protective Order through the court system, after being picked up by police for threatening to blow-up the hotel he was staying in and to physically harm housekeeping, yes, him, indeed.  Clear minded and well = discharged.

 

“Wait a minute,” you say.  “Is this the same guy who was picked up by the same police for erratic and disoriented behavior within 36 hours of being discharged from the hospital after a nine day forced stay?”

 

Thusly I say unto you, “yup.”

 

And so, what are we doing right now?  How are we keeping safe?

 

We have a protective order. 

It’s like a restraining order, except it begins with the letter, “p.”

 

We have had open communications between local domestic violence groups, child protective services, police, sheriff, pediatrician, therapist, school, workplace, lawyers, family members, close friends, church etc so that everyone is aware of the situation.

 

Words, words, words, words, words.

Here is the thing about words. 

They cannot actually physically protect you.

Here is the truth.

When someone wants to murder you, nothing can protect you.

Repeat

Nothing can protect you

Nothing can protect

Nothing can

Nothing

 

You can pray.  You can hope.  You can peek around every corner waiting for the something awful to happen.  You can file every paper, you can contact every agency, you can spread your story far and wide, but absolutely nothing can protect you.

 

You cannot run away because a psychotic adult can hire an almost unethical lawyer to prevent that, especially since you have a child together.  You know, because the law protects parental rights.  Even for a murderer.  Or, in this case, a wannabe murderer.

 

More awesomesauce for this hearty party…

Have I mentioned that our son was forced to attend supervised visitation with his father, who incidentally, in case you misunderstood something previously read, wants to murder us

and we have a protective order from a judge in a court showing they believe his father is too dangerous to be around him?

No?  Well, it is true.

 

So not only has our son been frightened of his father’s behavior because of our previous domestic violence in the home, and his father’s attempt to hurt him because I refused to allow him to hurt me anymore, but also re-traumatized each week by being forced to sit in a room with him for an hour and listen to his father’s manic nonsense.  Or, as I refer to it, “institutionalized abuse in the form of re-victimization.”

“Son, your father is too dangerous for us to be around him, except you’re still going to have to sit with him for an hour in a room each week and be subjected to his psychosis.”

 

Our son was six years-old.

 

Anyone else finding this uncomfortable, barbaric and unbelievable?!!?

 

Any else feeling like this might be truthiness/movie pitch/rantings instead of reality?!!?

 

Me too, except I AM ACTUALLY LIVING IT.

 

For now.

 

Until we are murdered by my husband

 

and then the police can actually arrest him,

 

and the Mental Health professionals will be forced to treat him,

 

and the lawyers can move on to their next case

 

and y’all can carry on planning and running our 5K.

 

When you run my 5K, you should expect tastefully decorated and chilled bottles (not plastic, duh) of water, with matching, tastefully decorated GF, DF cupcakes, which will, of course, have some kind of added unexpected nutritional value (“oh my! I would have never known kale was in there if you hadn’t told me!  Amazing!).  And napkins.  Cloth commemorative napkins, which could maybe double as a glow kerchief or brow sweat mop, as you desire.

 

As you round the corner to the obscene amount of brilliant festive balloons (clear with floating glitter inside, white ribbon) and giant silky white ribbon indicating the finish line, someone, most likely my irreverent Uncle or sardonic brother, will point you in another direction, yelling, “Just kidding, this is a 10K all the way!  Run it for Mrs Herisme and Little Heishim! Go, go, go, go, go!”

And you’ll do it for the cause *fist bump*!

 

Psssst…. Just a thought.  If my husband could have actually received appropriate quality mental health support and guidance, my son and I probably wouldn’t be murdered.

 

I guess then, though, you’d miss out on my sweet tale

and my lawyer would be about $70K short.

 

Tra-la

 

Love, Mrs.Herisme and Son Heishim

Please note, dear Readers,

I should have prefaced this post by saying that it was written in the Fall of 2014.

For an update on our current condition, please read the post dated 4.21.16.

Thank you for checking in on us xoxo