By EL DuBois
Some of you know my story, some of you do not. I wrote a book to have an account of what I have been through, I wanted it down, in print, in case something happened to me. To get my truth out there. The only form of safety I have. I am doing everything, and I mean everything to be heard. I am bringing my story to film to have a visual representation of what I and other survivors continue to endure. Every day is a fight. I want people to understand and stand with me. Fight with me, hear me, and together help me and the millions of others enduring who cannot fight for themselves. (Featured Image Courtesy of Unsplash/Photo by Sinitta-Leunen)
Because the justice system has failed me. Just like it has failed so many countless survivors before me and unfortunately… will continue to fail after I am gone. I will never see justice. That has been made abundantly clear to me. If I want justice, I need to create it for myself. So, I am using the one thing I have… my voice, but once again, I feel like it is being silenced, and disregarded. Each time I go through another ordeal I am told a different version that amounts to the same thing I have been told countless times before… Sit down, shut up, we can’t help you, we will not help you, be a good girl, and keep your head down. Thanks for the complaint but unfortunately, our hands are tied because of the law. So, help yourself, and fight on your own. Sorry, not sorry.
When they say it is a “cycle” it isn’t just a cycle of abuse by the dysfunctional individual that has entered your life like a plague and refuses to leave. It is also a cycle of failure by the people hired and elected to protect the people. I spend every day trying to understand why? Why isn’t the law on my side? Why do lawmakers protect the abusers and watch women, minorities, LGBTQ+, and basically anyone that isn’t a rich white male suffer? Why are our lives worthless? Why when we ask for help are we shown that we do not matter? Why?
It is not just lawmakers; it is the media as well. I could blame it on the fact that I live in a small community or a conservative state, but it is not just that. My story is ignored on a grander scale. How do I know? Because I have spent years attempting to get media outlets to let me speak and talk about this staggeringly important issue. Bring change, but no one and I mean no one wants to hear it. Why? Because I’m not some huge celebrity calling out or suing another celebrity for what was done to me. I’m not gossip news that will sell to their audience. So, the minute they hear the subject of my cause, I am shut down, because it is too taboo. I am passive-aggressively judged and reminded that if I found myself in that situation then somehow it was my fault. Then I am dismissed…Good on you for surviving but we are not interested. Too taboo? Seriously, you would rather talk about influencers’ sometimes fake lives or reality television d-listers? The scripted love lives and drug problems of the glossed overworld of perceived celebrity are much more important than addressing an issue that has been around since humans started walking the Earth? WTAF? Hell, I cannot even get the local paper(The Bryan Eagle) in my community of three thousand people to run an article on my story. We are supposed to be living in a time of “movements”. A time of “wokeness” where other humans stand together, support each other, respect each other, and fight. I have stood in solidarity. I have supported. I have advocated. Yet here I am feeling utterly alone in my fight with just my words as weapons. Failed… AGAIN.
If you have read my memoir Twisted Crown, you know part of my story. But not the whole story. I gave that version of me a somewhat happy ending because I felt “she” had earned it. The reader had “earned” it. After the emotional rollercoaster, I took the audience on I wanted to leave them with hope. But the reality is my story did not end there. It never does for survivors if their perpetrator walks free. And mine is free as a bird. Free as a bird…to torment me and my family AGAIN !!!
I read a lot of statistics about this subject, another attempt to understand how and why. One statistic that really stuck with me is that 70% of abusers continue to stalk the survivors, even after the abuser starts a new relationship or family. Why did this stick with me? Because I understand it. I am living with it. I have been for years. I understand all too well that to the abuser the survivors will always be their possession, a manipulation. Not humans, not equal, not worthy of a say in their own lives. They are merely an object for the abusers to “play with” when it suits them. This play continues in the form of stalking, financial abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault, and legal abuse. They systematically ingrain in you a fear of law enforcement. They make you take the fall for their actions. They push you to fear the police in whatever way they can. To fear the LAW. Laws that should protect you, but ultimately do not. Can you say, “Violence Against Women Act”? Here’s looking at you Cruz, Abbott, Cornyn, and all the rest of the elected officials going in the wrong direction. I would say thanks for making it abundantly clear that I was born a second-class citizen but let us be real. YOU DON’T CARE. So why waste my breath, or my words.
I have been open about what happened to me. I have been open about what I have endured. But what most do not realize is that I am still enduring it. My child is still enduring. You look at my social media, and you see smiles, “aesthetic”. Whatever it takes to maintain the persona that needs to be perpetuated to “make it” in this business we call entertainment and life. And do not get it twisted… it is a business, and business is good if you know how to play the game. It is a business I am quite frankly over, but whole-heartedly understand I need. If my fight is to continue, I need to reach as many people as I can.
If you are still with me, you are probably asking why now? Why am I calling out the injustice now with zero “Cares” left to give?
I’ll tell you why.
Because I am DONE being failed. Fun fact (not really) if you dear reader has not already realized… our monster, our beast, the one who tormented, tortured, abducted & abused us… he never went away! We worry daily about when he would show up. We are constantly “looking over our shoulder”. We wait to wonder what he will do next. Time… time stolen from us spent waiting… waiting… waiting for the moment he would pop back up and put us right back into that horrible place we have fought so hard to distance ourselves from. And on June 27th, 2021, he did just that, one more stolen moment. A continuation of the mind games, abuse, and bullshit we have been dealing with for years.
It was a Sunday… it should have been an easy day, a relaxing day… but it was not. It started with a call, one issuing a demand from the monster. Then it was the voicemail and texts when the calls went unanswered. Threats, all threats of his possible impending physical presence in our lives. I pushed down my fear of law enforcement. We did what we were supposed to. We notified the police. We kept everything for evidence. We did not know if it was another mind game, threats made to impact our day, or send us into fear. It has happened before, same threats and he was a no show, and it was time wasted on fear. Mind games and time tormenting me, my family, but most importantly my child. She has been through so much. She does not deserve to go through more, no one does, especially not a child. But he does not care, in fact, it is the exact opposite, he finds a sick pleasure in the torment his presence causes, and this time he showed up.
The physical embodiment of our boogeyman walked right up to my door, he addressed my child, and she got the opportunity to tell him something she has been waiting years to say. “Leave my life, don’t contact me ever again” This went over like a ton of bricks, and I soon became his sole focus. I was to blame. I have always burdened the brunt of “his” blame. He was looking for a fight, a confrontation, a justified reason for his presence in our lives, and he got it. The situation escalated so quickly that I felt myself going back to the bad old days where I was right in the middle of the war just trying to survive. Time speeding up but also slowing down. It is a surreal feeling where you are grasping at straws to stay present, not retreat, you are not clocking the details or reactions because you are too busy attempting to stand your ground, put on a brave face, protect your child and yourself, and not let him hold power over you. Because that is what the abuser wants, to feel powerful. Reduce you to their plaything and live off the high of it until the next time. Make their prey endure to feed their beast inside.
And lord have mercy did we endure… I was frightened, shaking, and physically ill by the time he left. He attempted to manipulate my husband into a physical altercation with him, he said horrible things about me and even admitted to the brutal rape that happened in 2016 (more on that later), then tried to retract his statement and place the blame of the rape at my feet. He insinuated I wanted it, invited it. Asked for a knife to my throat and an invasion of my body. And he did it all in front of my child.
And… he got away with it. Again. He sped away yelling threats. The Hearne police officers never showed up, even though our house was on close patrol. I am in no way blaming them, but I am angry because I do not understand. They are aware of the situation. They have been for years. Everything happened so quickly we did not have time to call them once he was there. You go into fight, flight, or disappear mode. You are barely hanging on and I believe I went into some form of emotional shock. Living in the moment, trying to protect my daughter.
God, I love my daughter. My incredibly smart child had the foresight to press record on her phone and catch the entire incident on video. We now had solid proof. I thought yes, finally. I will go down to the police station. I will play them the video, have them listen to the threats on voicemail, show them the texts. We got him, we finally got him. Because here is the deal, I have never had solid proof. My abuser is tech-savvy, he uses burner phones, spoof apps, floating IPs, intimidation through strangers. Says and does just enough to warrant a threat but nothing that can be physically traced back to him. This is not an episode of CSI. I do not have the FBI resources to help me. I live in a rural community where the police do not even have a “tech” department. So, you name it, and I’ve dealt with it, for years. Abusers are not ignorant people. They are usually exceptionally smart. Sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists, and know how to play the game to manipulate the system, especially a flawed system that favors them and their actions. That is how they get away with their vile transgressions. My monster is no different, in fact, he has the same personality disorders that created Ted Bundy. Another white male manipulated the system until he could not anymore, the only difference between those two is Ted was a killer. To my knowledge, my monster is not. Could he be, in my opinion, yes, most definitely? Would he get caught? Nope. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
So, what do we do? We go down to the police station with evidence in hand. Finally! Usable proof.
Or so we thought. The officer was very nice, understanding, but unfortunately, his hands are tied “legally”. He didn’t watch or listen to the video. He did take photos of the vile messages I have been receiving and listened to the voicemail. He took a photo of the deplorable message my daughter received after the incident. A message that included phrases like “YOUR MOTHER IS A LIAR; I WILL EXPOSE HER” more threats. I know these threats; I have lived them for years. I have been called a liar, crazy, a whore, trash. You name it, he’s called me it. If what I have to say does not line up with what he wants the world to perceive him to be then it is all lies from a crazy woman scorned. That I can handle, it is par for the course at this point. Three sides, his, hers, the truth, and all that. I’m prepared for that because all I can do is own and tell my truth, something he will never be able to do. But what is unacceptable. The worst part as a parent was watching my daughter shut down because he placed the blame back on her, made her feel less than. He told her “Don’t come looking for me when you are older. I have no kids anymore” Not that I think she would ever go looking for him. She sees him for what he truly is, but to say that to a child to put her through that trauma. It only solidifies the fact that he is a vile individual. One that still walks free… and here is why.
The laws favor the abuser.
I live in a world where my boogeyman can be caught on video threatening my life… my husband’s life… my family… and all that can be done is a Criminal Trespass Warning.
One, by the way, that is not even valid until the officer can physically speak to the perpetrator and inform him. Oh, and FYI currently is not valid because the officer has only phone numbers I can provide, most likely invalid numbers because again my monster is tech-savvy and uses spoofing apps to mask his number. Apparently, my daughter(a minor) and I do not meet the criteria for an emergency protection order. So, we walked away with nothing but a warning.
A warning to keep our guard up, know our surroundings, do not go to places alone… watch yourself and call us if he is caught on the property. That way we can issue the CTW in person and if he violates it again he can go to jail. Next time? Again? Really? Oh, and most importantly lock your doors, build your castle walls high and hide. I wanted to laugh hysterically and scream with frustration… WHY!!! Don’t you understand? He will never be caught. This is what he does. He will come back, many times, I just will not see him until he has a knife to my throat and by that time it will be too late.
But hey, when that happens, given I am lucky enough to survive… again! At least then I will meet the criteria for an emergency protective order. The one I desperately need now… before I am attacked… not after.
I am scared, genuinely scared for my life, my husband’s, my child, my family, my animals. Everyone and anything… do you know why? Because he will continue his attacks on my family and our animals. They have all been targets and the only thing worse than an obsessive monster is a vengeful one. And now I have both, and that is exactly how he likes it.
So, tell me what I can do? Please if you know then tell me. Because the laws, the judicial systems, they are not on my side…
Tell me why there is a law that states that if I or my child have not been physically harmed by this individual in the last 30 days, then we do not meet the criteria that entitle either of us to an emergency protective order? Tell me why there is this kind of statute of limitations. One that does not protect the survivors… it protects the perpetrators. Tell me why I need to survive a physical or sexual attack one more time to warrant “protection” on a criminal level and every other violation of our lives is considered CIVIL… civil which means, lawyers, and money, and the court system where I can prove nothing. I will have to be in the same room with my abuser and watch as he goes free because he knows as a privileged white male… he will get away with it… again.
This isn’t right on any level. I want to scream at lawmakers... help me please! If not me, help my daughter! Stop making ridiculous changes to laws that are not even helping in the first place. I have had the restraining order, the emergency protective order, I have done what I was supposed to. What the laws will let me do. I have fought tooth and nail to protect my child. Spent thousands on lawyers, been through a grueling custody battle that took a year, and in the end, even with his history of violence, arrests, drug abuse, and mental instability he won. The Robertson County Court on behalf of the State of Texas awarded him a path to supervised visitation, one he never utilized, but still an option. How would that make you feel?
But now, with no acts of violence, it all means nothing, because there are certain criteria we do not meet to warrant protection. He walks free, on parole, but still free. It has been just a little over a year since he was let out of the penitentiary. (Oh, did I forget to mention that part, the one where he went to jail… not for the violent crimes… no never those… more counts of violence than one “person” should be able to rack up, but he still got a deal.) The violence dropped, the indecent exposure… dropped… the violations of protective order… dropped… the criminal mischief… dropped… all so he could have a plea deal on drug charges. Charges that only got him a year in the pen. Charges that only stuck because he could not weasel his way out of them. He was caught on video smuggling heroin and Xanax into the county jail. HEROIN & XANAX. And he did not even serve the whole sentence, he was in TDCJ for maybe nine months at the most. You would think that time he was incarcerated would have been a respite, but it was not.
As a survivor, your mind is constantly attempting to think ten moves ahead of your abuser. That’s right moves… because you are playing their chess game, you do not want to. You are forced to. Each move they make; you make a counter move. Either they win or you do, and then it starts all over. The incarceration, a new game, a new variable. You start thinking about the “friends” he will make in prison. Favors he will accumulate. Friends and favors he can use against you or your family. You now have not just your monster to worry about, but his associates, the stakes grow higher, the game has new variables. And I assure you, he will utilize everyone and everything at his disposal. Like, phone calls, harassment from inside. He called, sometimes twenty times a day. Messages were left on my voicemail saying “I love you, I miss you, I want my family back” in the place where he was supposed to speak his name. Another fun fact (not), that has been part of my learning process is this… if an inmate uses different phone cards to call with, the eight hundred numbers change. So, I stopped answering numbers I did not recognize. You are probably asking yourself…
Why didn’t she just change her number? I didn’t because that would have been giving in to him, giving him what he wants. Enhancing the game, a challenge to find me, confront me, torment me. I must take a stance, hold on to what is mine. I control what I can when I can. Why do I keep having to be the one to adjust my life to accommodate his brand of crazy? Oh wait, I know why. Because it is my fault correct? I did something to warrant this attention and the laws favor the abuser so as the “victim” I need to be the one to adjust. I hate the word victim by the way. I am not his victim, I refuse to be a victim, I am a survivor damn it. The least society could do is respect the title I have literally earned with broken bones, blood, sweat, and f***ing tears. Victims are the souls who did not survive and this world gets staggering amounts of victims and survivors on a daily basis.
But I digress, back to “moves” on the invisible chessboard. He wrote letters to me and my daughter the whole time he was incarcerated. Letters that I kept as evidence. They never contained outright threats. Just declarations. Smart, remember, never anything blatant in print, just veiled insinuations only I will understand and see as a threat. A language is spoken by a predator that only his favorite prey will understand. Eventually, the letters went unopened, placed in a drawer. They started out as the same old declarations. I’ve changed, I love you, I want my family back. Send money. Seriously, send money? The absurdity of it all should surprise me, but it does not. Threats, they were threats. This is unfortunately not my first rodeo, nor will it be my last. I wish I had read all of the letters, maybe then I could have known my next moves. Been more prepared, if that is even possible. Which honestly, I do not think is. And here is why…. sociopaths give you just enough time, space, hope, and rope to hang yourself. They lurk on the edges of your periphery giving a false sense of security. It makes the gratification of power all the more enticing. The further you get away from the violence, the more normal your life becomes. The more complacent you become. You spend every day pushing back the past, the demons, the memories, and nightmares scratching at your mind. That in and of itself is enough to keep you busy. So, some part of you starts to ignore what and who is lurking out there waiting…
You pray that the extent of being an obsession, caught in their web, their game, that somehow after all of these years your escape will be finite. And somehow, someway, that complex, sick, soul-sucking obsession will waiver & disappear… but it NEVER does. I deluded myself into a safety bubble. Ignored the attempts to get my attention. Stayed in my house with a security system, doors locked, behind my wall. Yes, I have an actual wall, one put up to help me and my daughter feel safe. One that he walked right through on Sunday because he can.
Why? Because I do not meet the criteria.
When it looked like the Hearne Police Department could do nothing substantial, I reached out to my local Robertson County DA. Lord knows at this point they know my story. They watched it play out in real-time for years. Hell, I was held captive in a house in their County for months. He got away with that too by the way. I spoke with the DA’s assistant, sent her all the evidence. She spoke to the DA Coty Siegert on my behalf, he reviewed the evidence and she called to tell me… His answer to my plea for a criminal charge…”You and your daughter do not meet the criteria for an emergency protective order. We suggest reaching out to your divorce lawyer and seeing what can be done civilly”.
CRITERIA? Really starting to despise that word.
So, here is my criteria that doesn’t mean a damn thing because he has not physically or sexually assaulted me in the last thirty days:
- Seven years spent in intimate terrorism.
- Three valid escape attempts where I was caught, brought back, and “punished”.
- One year in captivity after abduction. A prison with no visible bars, but a prison still. Six years (on July 30th) since the escape.
- Continuous stalking.
- Continuously being called crazy, a liar, whore, to anyone and everyone who will listen.
- One brutal rape. (This one I feel an immense amount of guilt about because instead of reporting it at the time I shut down. It was a year before I told anyone. But that is a story for another day, one that is just a small piece of the broader picture. I did however keep the clothes from that day, covered in DNA, this is the rape he admitted to on video Sunday, tried to change the narrative on, and the rape I finally told the police about. Offered the evidence I had, and I was shut down. I guess that is a he said she said can of worms local law enforcement wants nothing to do with.
- Three times he showed up at our house and made his presence known.
- Monthly attempts to speak to me via text, social media, letters (while incarcerated), countless phone calls.
- Thousands of photos on various phones taken of me in my everyday life (grocery store, gas station, child’s bus stop)
- Three successful attempts of approach and intimidation by individuals on his behalf.
- Countless threats, countless declarations of love & how this is his family & that I will always be his.
- Five known incidences of him watching our house (his own admittance)
- Slashed tires
- Cut brake lines
- Ominous flower deliveries with unsigned notes on birthdays and holidays. All written in that code that is a threat only I will understand
- Two animals we know of murdered. 1 dog poisoned 1 dog with its throat slit.
- Four fractured vertebrates in my back
- One broken collarbone that still dislocates.
- Dislocated left shoulder that will randomly dislocate.
- Both ankles broken.
- Broken left wrist.
- Dislocated, separated, broken ribs.
- Scare tissue, on most of my internal organs in my abdomen.
- A forced hysterectomy blamed on cervical cancer and endometriosis, but really stemmed from years of abuse and mutilation.
- Three corrective surgeries from the “endometriosis” but all unsuccessful because the scar tissue would just continue to grow… hmmm… I wonder why?
- One arrest for attempted murder.
Yes, in July of 2009 he was arrested for attempting to murder me in public. He was out on bail within twelve hours and his charges were eventually dropped down to third-degree family violence. He got eighteen months probation. I got a terror-filled summer, a miscarriage, and coercion into doing everything his lawyer said I needed to do to make his charges go away or be lessened. I also got a warning from an assistant DA that I would regret my “lies” like I had any choice in the matter. Because regardless of what you believe my choices were either do as I was told or death. Mine, my families, my animals. Those were my choices. That DA never forgot me, and when given the chance a few years later, when I was the one pushed into taking the fall for the “outlaws schemes” that DA made sure the State of Texas threw the book at me, and he did it with a smirk on his face. One white man punishing a female because he could. He had the power to do it, and the will to “put her in her place”. But again, a different story for another time that is just one more piece of the broader picture.
But none of the above-listed criteria is enough because of the 30-day statute.
Nothing criminal can be done, only civil if you can afford it and want to pay the money. I can only imagine what other survivors are going through, dealing with the same issues. Being reduced to a certain criterion, expected to fix it, speak up, fight back. All while hiding in fear. SCREW THAT. How much proof does law enforcement, legislation, the media actually need? Apparently, more than I can provide because my word is worthless. I’m a crazy liar… remember? A whore that really just has some taboo drama no one wants to touch with a ten-foot pole…
And no usable proof…
Without solid proof of stalking linked to him. I have nothing! I.e. his use of apps, floating IPs (as simple as using the free wifi at McDonald’s or a Coffee shop), or going underground so he cannot be found. The law says… I have no usable proof. Even with photos & video. Jesus, I HAVE DNA!
I had a 2-year restraining order as part of my divorce (it was never followed by him) but it is no longer valid. I was told I needed to reapply for a new one every two years. I thought once a restraining order was in place it was good forever. I had no idea you had to reapply & spend thousands with a lawyer in an attempt to get it back in place. Which you guessed it… you need usable proof for. Can someone please explain to me why restraining and protective orders need to be reapplied? Put back in place, like suddenly the individual terrorizing you or your family, or both are going to magically become stable.
So, basically, if I am understanding everything I have been told, and all of my personal experience. The way the laws are set up an individual with double-digit domestic violence arrests/charges, and assault charges, including the above-mentioned charge of attempted murder, can walk right up to me anytime, anywhere, including my own home because the officers cannot find him to verbally make him aware of the Criminal Trespass Warning. I am not safe. I am a target and not legally protected. The 30-day statute of violence criteria allows for all of his past transgressions against me to mean nothing.
So how am I not to believe he has the LAW and the system on his side? He has proved that fact time and time again over the years. That outlaw does not have to do much to manipulate the system to his will because apparently, unlike me, a female, he was born into a society that favors a particular gender, race, and class.
So, tell me, dear reader. How many times do I need to hear everything I need to do? How many times do I need to be told ” oh that’s just a piece of paper, what you need are self-defense classes and a gun”? Well, check and check, been there, done that. I live in Texas, where people utilize the 2nd amendment like that bitch is going out of style. They will shoot first and ask questions later. And no shade whatsoever to those people. Utilize your rights. As my bestie would say “you do you boo” But that is not me. Why? Because I am terrified of guns. Once you have been on the barrel end of one, you are not too keen on picking one up yourself. Or at least that is my own personal opinion. My husband is military, and trust, he knows how to use a gun. But why does he need to shoot first? Why does he need to compromise his own moral integrity? Because of crazy? Because of the insufficient legal protection?
Tell me why I live in a society that refuses to pass laws calling for stronger protections for survivors but is okay with telling me… it’s just a piece of paper… it will not protect you. True, a piece of paper will not protect me, but damn people. I would still like to have it. Why is it insinuated by some, or outright said by others that I or my family should respond to violence with violence?
Shoot first, ask questions later. Become a murderer, if need be, it is on y’all to rid this world of that problem… because honey… we have done all we can, and besides it’s just a piece of paper and crazy doesn’t respect it. It’s on YOU… Not the LAW. The law is on your side if you shoot on your property. Then it will be justified. There is your justice.
No, no that is not my justice. Here is why… every single damn survivor knows… VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE ANSWER… yet here I sit being told once again…
There is nothing THE LAW can do, only what YOU can do…
Every day for over a year I have watched at least one news story about the global pandemic. It has been sad and changed the world as we know it, but it has also brought me to a very tangible realization. Since the dawn of man, there has been a global pandemic killing off the population. A taboo, secret plague, one society says “don’t speak about it, keep your mouth shut, we don’t want to hear it”. A human virus in physical form that has been taking countless lives since the human race began. It is called VIOLENCE. It starts in the home. Makes its way into society. Where we make excuses for it. Turn a blind eye to it. And it continues to kill on our watch! The CDC gives us advice and data but where is the urgency for this violent pandemic taking a life every minute, where are the legal mandates to keep the abuser away from their victims. NONE! ZERO! There is no team of scientists looking for a cure. No money was spent on resources to really help us, no group of politicians working together to bail out those suffering or affected by it. There is only silence…shhh… nope… sorry…not sorry… don’t want to hear it… 30-days… shitty laws, getting shittier by the day and people suffering, dying, being stalked or locked inside with their abusers.
I do not need to name the officers that have failed me over the years. I do not need to name the numerous media outlets that have deemed my story uninteresting they know who they are. I do not need to name the countless lawmakers/politicians that have failed my gender and basically anyone who is not born the correct gender, race, or class. I do not need to say any of their names… I do not know or even remember all of their names… but I know this much, I’ll be damned if I end up a statistic or a hashtag where people are saying my name. Every Monday the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)honors a victim. Someone whose life was taken. That will NOT be me! I am writing this piece because that will not be me! Damn it universe, do you hear me? THAT WILL NOT BE ME! I survived!
So, now what? What are my options? Well… if you have been paying attention you will have picked up that I am playing chess with my life, a new game just started, and by this point, I am a master.
So, is it not obvious? I play my version of a queen’s gambit. The first move appears to sacrifice the pawn putting my opponent at a disadvantage. Cutting off their ability to win from the jump. Who is the pawn? Oh, I’ll never tell. But I will say this, it is not me… and never will be me… ever again.
If I have learned anything it is that I must watch my own damn back! Be four moves ahead. Because the system put in place to protect me, and the media who only care about the glossy, sure as Hell won’t have my back. Protection is not for me, and at the rate, society is going… it never will be. Knowledge is power because I learned the name of his parole officer.
So you would think… check & mate… right? But, nay, nay, dear reader this is Texas. Think again, his parole officer was given all of the evidence… and he still walks free. Imagine that?
The justice system has failed me once again. No one will protect me but me. Thank you State of Texas, Thank you Media Outlets. Thank you for showing me how little my life is worth. Hopefully by the time you read this… I’m still here to keep fighting. Because my chess game looks as though it will last a lifetime.
Jeez, think about it…the rest of my life… be it a day… a year… ten years… hopefully, more… it will be a life spent fighting for change. Fighting to be heard, to be seen, to feel as if my story will be a catalyst for a long-overdue movement. But most importantly for a justice that makes sense, not just for me, but for others. Protection, resources, education, Hell a damn voice that will be heard, acknowledged, and ultimately respected in a way that shows us, yes us, not just me that WE MATTER. OUR LIVES ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT.
Basically, all of the things that every human should be born with… but isn’t. We are given the “perception” we have all of the above. However, we do NOT. Because we live in a society where the “perception” is what matters most. We are given just enough by those with power to create the perception… this false sense of empathy and outrage by those in a position to ACTUALLY make the changes, create the movement, support the cause. Change legislation, but it never happens. So what do I do? I am one person, one voice…
I do everything I possibly can…
I started the Twisted Crown Foundation because it was something I could do. A step in the right direction. There are many great organizations out there offering different forms of support to survivors. All of them doing what they can. Twisted Crown is now one of them
If you would like to join the fight then please visit www.twistedcrownfoundation.org Get involved, support this movement, spread the word.
It only takes one voice… right?
So, I am over feeling as though mine cannot be heard.
And wholeheartedly prepared to stand up and fight.
El(Erica)Dubois is the author of several books including (TWISTED CROWN). A book that details her domestic violence experience. A story she felt needed to be told even at the risk of angering her abuser who continues to terrorize her and her family.
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