The Conviction of the Stalker

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From the moment John was arrested, I felt like I was vindicated. Through the initial stalking, people did not believe me; the police, hospital, family and friends…treated me like I was the crazy one. Treated me like I asked for it, I may have caused it to happen and held me responsible for becoming a victim. No one asks for domestic violence, no one asks to be terrorized, it’s not a goal people aim for. The vindication was a relief.

He was arrested in June 2001. The prosecuting District Attorney was an amazing woman, the best I can describe her now is like the character Grace Hanadarko from Saving Grace.  She was straight forward, took no shit, had a tough yet beautiful appearance, yet very caring on the inside. I was in good hands. We had to wait for a couple of months for this case to be brought into court, which was scheduled for August 22, 2001.

Right after he was arrested is when my mom, Joan, started to become very ill.  I have written about that time and it was beyond stressful, therefore having this bullshit court hearing piled on top of her dying was a level of trauma I can’t really explain. If you haven’t read about Joan, please go back through my blog, you’ll get a good idea about her. To help explain those 2 months, click on Joan here and you can read about this shitty time with her.

I thought once John was arrested, we would just have to wait for the court hearing, and I was terrified. I had to come face to face with him, I had to tell my side of the story, be cross examined…it caused me high levels of anxiety. I ended up running away from home for a week and stayed at a dude ranch far from home, so I could be “unknown” and feel safe and have no contact with anyone. Upon my return I had a message from the D.A. to call her, she informed me that there had been a development while I was gone.  Apparently a woman (Vera) that used to work at the same hospital as us once before, called the D.A. and told her that I met with her. Vera told her I met her in a park on a specific day, we sat on a park bench and I admitted that I made the whole thing up and that it all was just a huge mistake. Grace gave me the details of the name of the park, the date and time and location of the bench. Grace then said, I know this isn’t true because you were at the dude ranch during this apparent meeting. I was at the dude ranch, 300 miles from my home, so the possibility of this happening was slim to none. Grace knew this and pressured Vera further about the subject. She then let her know what happens to people who interfere with a felony case and how much jail time she would be looking at.  Vera caved immediately and admitted that John put her up to it.

Wow.  This crazy fucker just doesn’t know when to stop. It did however, put a “nail in his conviction” and he was forced to plead guilty. He no longer had any leverage for a trial, hearing, nothing. He lost all credibility in that moment.  Huge relief once again. I still had to go to court for his guilty plea, in 2001 victims didn’t have a lot of protection at hearings, especially because a stalking conviction was so rare and misunderstood about what the victim had gone through. I didn’t really have much time to think about it though, Joan was on her way to dying and I was stretched so far and so thin.  Between the stalker and Joan, I was a mess.  I got fired from my job at the hospital because I couldn’t focus, which was a fucked up blessing in disguise. It allowed me to be home with my son, focus on mom, wait for the hearing and process everything happening.

Joan died August 18, 2001. I was in court August 22, 2001. I faced that slimy son of a bitch 4 days after the death of my mother and I was strong!  Joan was by my side in spirit and she gave me the strength.  I could hear her words “Men are shit sweetheart, fuck him and the horse he rode in on. You can do this.” So I did. I sat there and listened and I waited for the judge to sentence him, but the judge asked John if he had anything to say before he handed him his sentence. John said yes and looked directly at me “I’m sorry for what I have put you and your family through, those weren’t my intentions and I hope you can forgive me.” That motherfucker just couldn’t stop, he had to speak to me one last time, he just had to have “his moment”. Psychopathic piece of shit. My blood boiled. I raised one eyebrow and gave him the death look and responded with “Fuck you”.

The judge handed him his sentence, and this part really just kills me. Because John had no prior history of domestic violence or stalking, a completely clean record; he served no jail time.  He was guilty of a class 5 felony and now a felon, but no jail time. He was entered into a diversion program, something the county had started new, where John would go see a counselor through the court once per week at his cost for the next 3 years. There was a permanent restraining order against him for me, my son, family, work, and home. No restitution paid to me.

In that moment I thought “IT’S OVER!” It is finally over, I can now live freely and not be afraid, I can heal from this and the death of mom and get a new job.  Nothing could have been further from the truth. “It” wasn’t over, I wasn’t free, healing didn’t begin and life just got worse.

No, John didn’t go away, but I have to stop for now.

To be continued….

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Physical & Emotional

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“There are so many secret wounds, so many types of hidden scars. The soul, being stronger than we think, can survive all mutilations and the marks upon it make it perfect and complete.”

This is from the PBS series Call The Midwife Season 6 episode 6. I love this series because of all of the stories of true life. It’s not just in today’s society we see aweful injustices on women. It’s been happening for years, behind closed doors, victims kept silent.

The ending spoken narrative, stuck with me. Something to reflect on.

 

The Final Straw – The Stalkers Arrest

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It is hard to finally write about this series of events; just know my hands are shaking as I type and I had to meditate into a pretty deep calm before writing.  The above photo is the actual mug shot of John.  I’m trying to plow through this event no matter what; I’m determined to get this written out.

After the event at my sister’s house, about a week later, I was able to finally speak with my dad Clint.  Clint owned a motel at this time about 350 miles from me up in the mountains.  Clint was a busy man, so we could go for weeks without speaking.  I called dad to tell him about what had happened at Sis’s house with John.  He listened carefully and asked what he looked like.  After describing John, dad said “Honey I’ve met John”.  At that moment I still remember the feeling of my heart drop into my gut, it was the sickest feeling to date.  I asked him to explain further.  Apparently this fuck-stick drove 350 miles to meet my dad, went to dad’s motel and introduced himself as one of my friends from high school.  He showed up with a snowmobile on the back of his truck, said he was “passing” through and remembered my dad lived there and thought he would stop to say hello and meet my dad.

My dad, being one of the most friendly men I know, invited him in.  Showed him the house, pictures of me and my lifetime on his walls, toured the motel and then invited him to the bar for a drink.  Dad said that John asked questions about me, such as “What was she like as a little girl”, “What were her hobbies”, “How often does she come to visit”, “Is she coming to visit soon”.  Then proceeded to tell my dad what a nice girl I am, what fun I was in high school and how kind I was.  John received more information about me in that short 2 hour period then he had for the past year and a half.  As dad told me all of this, I cried and shook uncontrollably, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  A level of panic struck me that I can’t explain.

This was on a Sunday that I spoke with my dad, so the next morning after a night of restless sleep, I got up and went straight to the county court-house where I obtained the temporary restraining order.  I knew John worked in the basement of the court-house, but I was so scared and so pissed off, I didn’t care.  I went straight to the courtroom where I got the TRO to see the same judge.  I barreled into the court room and stood at the front seating area and stared at the judge with tears in my eyes just shaking.  The judge looked at me, cocked his head sideways and put his hand up to the attorney who was presenting and asked him to stop speaking.  The judge said “I remember you, you have a TRO on a man who works in our building correct?”  I replied “Yes sir, and I need help now!”  The judge ordered a temporary recess and asked the bailiff to escort me to the judges chambers, I sat down and he asked what was happening.  I told him everything that had transpired from the moment the TRO took place and how scared I was and how the local city police were just blowing me off.  He got on his phone and asked for a sheriff to come to his chambers.  Then called the local city police Chief and told him what had been happening.  After the sheriff arrived, the judge explained that the sheriff would be driving me to the police department and that I would be meeting with the chief of police and their lead detective.  That I needed to stop at my house on the way there and pick up any evidence, basically all of the letters, video’s and gifts.

I had no problem with that, I couldn’t believe it!  For the next 5 hours I spent telling the story in detail and provided the evidence.  The detective and Chief told me that I was dealing with the “Poster child” of stalkers.  That they would be charging him with a Class 5 felony of stalking and harassment.  That it typically was a Class 6, but because he used the Government Postal Service to harass me, it was considered a stronger felony.  They were going to head out to the court-house and have him arrested immediately.  Yet to understand that he’d most likely make bail and only stay one night in jail.  Then the detective advised me to buy a gun, that once again I was only protected by a piece of paper.  They advised me to have a safe person I could call every morning on my way to work of when I was leaving and then when I arrived.  To do the same when returning home.  That my safe person needed to know my whereabouts at all times and if I didn’t check in on the set schedule we agreed to, my safe person was to call the detective immediately.  They increased the police presence on my street in addition.  After receiving a great deal of apologies from the detective and the Chief for their officers failure to comprehend what was actually happening, I had a sense of relief, yet more fear.  Retaliation was eminent, and I had to be prepared.

Upon leaving the police department I went straight to a local gun shop and started my purchase of a hand gun that would be easy for me to use and carry.  Nickle plated snub nose .38 special to be exact.  I’m no stranger to guns, I was shooting them by the time I was six years old with my dad on the ranch.  His name in this story is Clint for a reason, and where I live we have the “Make my day” law.  I signed up for classes to get comfortable with my new shooter.

This was the starting point of a whole new level of fear, I chose Kojak to be my safe person and I now had to wait for the next steps.  That evening the detective called me at home and let me know they had John in custody and that he would be spending the night in jail until his arraignment the next morning.  That John was an arrogant ass during his interview process, John labeled the judge and said the judge was a complete asshole and emphatic that he had done nothing wrong to me. Then the JUDGE called me that night and was extremely kind and reassured me, he also told me to know that he did not believe in any coincidences, that if I happen to “run into” John at the store or gas station, that I needed to call the police immediately.  He said “This guy is on my radar, and I will make his life a living hell here at the court-house if I hear he violates the permanent restraining order that will be placed on him tomorrow at his arraignment”.  DAMN! Vindication!

I had a new level of fear AND I was pissed off even more.  Not at the police, but at John.  My old fear turned into anger and I actually prayed I would run into him “coincidentally” so I could shoot him in the face.  Fear and anger combined equals SURVIVAL!  As I write this 16 years later, I still have that same feeling.  I have a conceal carry permit and I swear IF I ran into John again, I will blow his face off.

That night knowing he was behind bars, I slept soundly and deeply.  But that was only for one night.

To be continued…..

The Stalker Part 3

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By this time in the story John was served his Temporary Restraining Order by the Sheriff’s office.  During a gullible state I hoped he would see the fear he had caused and choose to walk away from me and never contact me again.  However, the TRO fueled the psycho’s fire within and he became worse.

I lived across the street from my sister, and she had her own business which she ran out of her home.  I had spoken to many people at my work in the past about her and her business, helping her drum up business.  Little did I know John had also inquired about her by speaking with others we worked with before he left the hospital.  In psycho stalker fashion he called her under an assumed name and set up an appointment with her.  She had never seen a picture of him, this was way before social media, all she knew was he was a psycho stalker and he had worked with me.

He came to her house with an assumed name and spent about 20 minutes speaking with her about “business” stuff and then started asking all sorts of questions about me.  She felt it odd and strange that he kept circling back around to me and then her gut hit her hard about the unsettled feeling she realized she had with him; she asked him point-blank “You’re not Stan, you’re John aren’t you?”  He stumbled in his response for words and she immediately got up and yelled for her husband in a panic while leaving the room.  Within moments of her husband and her walking back into the room together, John was gone out of the house and walking through of the gate of their yard.  Her husband ran out there and yelled at him to never return as he was driving away.

My sister called me in a panic and told me everything, I couldn’t even speak nor respond to her.  I jumped in my car and went home and called the police.  They came over, took the report and said “Since you weren’t home at the time and the restraining order doesn’t include her, there’s nothing we can do.”

The mantra I kept hearing from them was “there’s nothing we can do”…

 

Desperation, Frustration….a little rant

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It’s been a long time since I’ve written.  Life can really get in the way of being able to see ANYTHING!  What does life look like for Katy right now?

  1. Diagnosed with 3 autoimmune diseases.  Able to manage one with diet.  The other 2 are apparently managed with medications, one is prednisone the other hydroxychloriquine.  Prednisone can’t be long-term, causes crazy bruising and causes other health concerns, finished my second course and now it’s out of my system and all symptoms have come back.  Hydroxychloriquine takes months to work, and that’s if it decides to work.
  2. Daily symptoms: extraordinary pain in my feet, burning pins and needles with swelling, swollen painful hands, headaches, low back pain, body shaking uncontrollably from the inside out, insomnia, mood swings, brain fog and confusion, ringing in my ears, fatigue, low blood pressure, dizziness and abdominal pain.
  3. Recently had to move because our landlord decided to sell our house AFTER we signed another 4 year lease agreement.  Have to love the little clauses in a lease.
  4. Husband’s employer decided to reorganize their departments, which left him out of employment, so we lost our health insurance.  We also lost our church, our second home and a lot of our community.  A churches words on stage only run that deep, integrity doesn’t always run deep behind the closed doors of the church.  I haven’t lost my faith in God, but I have in the people who teach it.  Yes they are also human and sin and make mistakes, but actions speak louder than words.
  5. New health insurance is crap and beyond expensive, so I’ve lost my psychologist and psychiatrist, back to a conglomerate healthcare system that has the WORSE mental health department.
  6. Just had the one year anniversary of my brothers tragic death, which is still so fresh I can’t even touch the surface of speaking about it.

I’m done with seeing and experiencing all of this.  Who gets me through it?  God.  I know He has a plan for us and everything we are going through, I know there is a light and I am seeing glimmers of it in the distance.  But-it feels so far away and hard to catch up to.  I want to feel energy again, unity, pain-free, confident and directed.  Instead I feel slow, alone, pained, uncertain and reeling with desperation.

One step at a time, one day at a time, one prayer at a time…it’ll all come back.  Yet my patience runs thin.

Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul; He guides me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.