Writer | Speaker | Activist


Writer’s Note: This is a stream-of-conscious journal entry I wrote on May 9, 2017, where I spent close to four hours waiting in a small conference room for the first Pre-Trial Conference hearing in my daughter’s child abuse case. Although the case was settled by plea agreement five months later, our civil case is still pending. Some of the semantics I used I now understand are inaccurate. Some of the statements I made appear to support the arguments that have been made against me about my motives in pursuing charges against my daughter’s father and can potentially be used against me in the future. Even so, I am choosing to publish the raw, unedited journal entry because when I ran across it the other day, I was amazed at the power it still has to show the gamut of emotions that ran through me that day. As I begin the emotional journey of preparing to tell our story, this seemed like a good place to start.

I’m incredibly anxious right now–I have no idea how this is going to go today. I’m waiting in a room next to the courtroom so I don’t think that I will have to face Dale today. It’s sort of unfortunate, actually. I was hoping to be able to look him in the eye and let him know that I am here for her.

woman writing in journal

The attorney just came in and it doesn’t look like we will be able to bump the charges to a felony because of the severity of the injuries. I do hope that we can still seek some jail time for him. It isn’t right for him not to spend some time alone in jail. 

Now, more than ever, I want to take Alissa away from here–to someplace where we can enjoy the freedom of not having to consider him any longer. 

I am disappointed that things turned out this way. After all the work I had done to add him to her life–after all the grace I extended him–after being so understanding and forgiving–for him to hurt us so much is just devastating. 

And to think, just two years ago, my life–our lives–were on the border of perfect. 

Funny how quickly life can change. 

It amazes me how many people show up to court in jeans and t-shirts. Where is the respect for our country and the due process of law? Unbelievable! Then again, it just goes to show the general lack of respect that is happening in this world. When did everyone stop being so kind? Or have we always been horrible people, but we were just better at hiding it? 

I think about the masks we used to wear as a society–the front of the house, so prim & proper while the back was overtaken with weeds–the inside was unkept. I think in some way, social media has become that mask–we put only our best forward, save for the odd argument that the nosy neighbor overhears. 

But I’m not sure if it’s better to show our brokenness so casually. 

The think about Brit’s program that is so amazing is that so many strangers can come together and be so supportive of one another. But is that a good thing, that we can trust strangers with our deepest fears & flaws, but we cannot trust those we are closest to with the same? 

I wonder why that is.

I am resisting the temptation to bide the time with my phone. It’s crazy how tethered we are to those things. Had I known I would be waiting so long, I would have brought my book in. 

There are so many things I wish I could say to Dale, but I simply don’t believe he has the capacity to understand. I genuinely believe that he has no moral compass and no concept of how he’s hurt Alissa.

I still feel unbelievably idiotic that I was duped by him. I would not give Alissa back for the world, but if I could make him anyone else in the world, I sure would. 

I hate him so much. 

I do appreciate the lesson in resilience I am being taught. Three years ago, I thought that the stuff with my parents was going to break me. But it didn’t. I just don’t understand why my child had to be hurt for me to be taught this lesson. 

Maybe it isn’t about resilience, but forgiveness. I know that I will get to a point of being able to forgive my mom for all she has wronged me. But how am I supposed to forgive Dale for hurting his own flesh & blood? First, by denying her, then by strangling her to the point that I have to wonder if she will ever be the same.

I often wonder how this trauma will affect her relationships as an adult. I know right now, she’s starting to like boys, but will she ever be able to develop the deep, intimate bonds of love & trust with someone? Will she turn to other means of coping–drugs, alcohol, reckless sex–with the pain she’s been caused inside?

How will I fare? I already know that I have no desire to open myself to someone else. Todd was it. He’s probably the last man I will ever give my heart to. 

Please God, send Dale to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. 

The DA just came in–they are asking for a continuance–RRR! Have you not had enough time to prepare for this? Why are you fighting? Do you need time to concoct more lies? To find enough people to testify that you aren’t a total piece of shit?

I just want to be done with this so we can start to move on. I needed resolution today. I needed to know that he is going to be punished. I need him to not be free to do as he pleases. Fuck. 

This cannot be happening. How is he getting away with this? You choked my daughter and have been so unbelievably detached–you only care about yourself. You care nothing of what this is doing to her. 

Alissa is going to be devastated. 

How do I make him disappear? I hate that little fucker. I need him to be punished for what he has done to us.

They are going to ask for a continuance for “new discovery.” Bullshit. What the fucking hell new could have possibly come up? What a fucking dirt bag piece of shit. He’s fighting this because he does not care one bit about how this has affected anyone but himself. Fucking hell.

I’ve been waiting an hour now, hoping to be called up soon. I’m ready. I am going to advocate for Alissa. She deserves justice. It’s not my fault that the defense has not had time to prepare. 

The DA said that we could consider dropping the charges to get a plea, but I’m not willing to do that. We will go to trial if we have to, so that Dale’s shit baggery can become public record. 

Fucking bastard.

The courtroom is quite busy today. So many people are coming in and out. I’m just waiting my turn–anxiously. Journaling is helping to keep me calm, so that is good. Lord, please protect Alissa.

I don’t know how I am going to handle breaking the news to her. The good thing is, she’s on to him. She totally knows what a selfish piece of shit he is. You want to show the world your true character? Let’s go. 

My daughter deserves better. 

I am so grateful for my tribe. They have all been unbelievably supportive of us. It is a true testament to what living a good life will do for you. 

I am starting to feel nervous. 

I can do this. 

You are amazing. You have the power, wit, and wisdom to protect your daughter. You are strong and confident. You can and will advocate well for her. You have an amazing support group that is going to provide you collective strength. 

You’ve got this!

Today, when all of this is done, you will go home and be the best mom you can be. You will love your daughter and show her that you are here to protect her. You will get through this with strength and dignity.

I am so amazed at my ability not to lash out and say things that could be used against me. 

I am not a perfect mother, but I do put my child’s best interest in front of my own.

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