6/14/08

Behind Closed Doors

Have you ever said to someone, or had someone say to you what a wonderful person so-and-so is? I'm sure you have; we've all probably said, or thought, that very same thing at least once. And some people truly are that way, in and out of the public eye. Some people would give you the shirt off their back, and mean it. But, there are others, the ones who aren't so wonderful, helpful, generous or heroic. These are the people that fool us, the ones who wear a mask in the community and become someone completely different when the doors to their home are closed to the outside world.

This is the case for my oldest friend, when dealing with her ex. I normally don't blog about my friends, simply because of their privacy. If it's something general, it's one thing. But, another reason? Because of this ex. Because something as simple as me mentioning dinner, drinks, etc., in this blog would be used against my friend, misconstrued, twisted and made into a drunken whore fest all the while neglecting her child. So, I don't say much here.

Tonight, it's different. Tonight, I'm pretty disturbed, worried and pissed off. My friend has been harassed and verbally abused by her ex since she was pregnant with their son. This man is well known in our community; he is a firefighter as well as a paramedic. He threw her out of his house late at night while she was pregnant, threatening her with the sheriff if she did not "get the f*** out of this house." She changed her phone number to get away from the constant calls and text messages, and he called my house, then my job using the fire department as an excuse to get me on the phone (scaring me, because you automatically think something terrible has happened to your family), and then came to my job. He phoned her mother numerous times, yelling, threatening and swearing on the phone and answering machine. All of this after treating her like dirt while her grandmother lay in a hospital dying, then cracking jokes at the funeral, and getting angry because she didn't have him walk her to the casket.... because it "looked bad" that he didn't.

At the time, my friend was pregnant, going to school full time and working part time. She made a room and a home for her son, with her family's help. He offered nothing. A family member of his called and threatened to take the baby from her, due to what she had been hearing from him. All through it, my friend never denied him access to knowing what was going on with her pregnancy. She allowed him to be there for the delivery, to spend time with the baby in the following weeks. all of which was repaid by him demanding a paternity test and revoking the birth certificate when she wouldn't sleep with him.

I have heard their calls in the last couple of years, seen the text messages he sends to her. I have never in my life seen someone be treated the way he has done to her, or spoken to the way that he speaks to her. She is screamed at, cussed at, threatened... and in the next breath she is loved, needed, please come see me... it is scary the way he goes back and forth, at random, for no reason. She's filed a report on him, months ago, for being physical with her while she held their son. Why? she wanted to leave after picking up the baby from a visit, and he wanted her to stay.

She has been far better than i would have. She has never stopped him from seeing his child, never fought him on anything other than looking out for the baby's best interests and keeping him on a schedule. Which was met with the response "it isn't about his schedule, it is about me." Know what, asshole? It's not. It's about the baby, whether you two are friendly or not. It should always, always be about your child. And my friend is the most conscientious parent I know. That child wants for nothing. They are close, and she does everything with him, takes him everywhere. Her main goal is raising her son to be happy and well adjusted. And he is. He loves her beyond reason, and she him.

Now it has progressed. My friend wants to move on, to build a life for her son and herself without the fighting, the worrying, the constant over the shoulder glances. She called the sheriff this morning after a pretty vicious exchange, and asked what could be done. It has gotten to the point where is truly is afraid. He drives by all hours of the night- in the ambulance while working, I might add. The phone he uses to text things such as "you are trash" and "screw you bi***"? That is the phone provided to him by his job. He calls, harasses and does all these things on county time. He worries her, scares her and causes her to hesitate in making any moves that will rock the boat, for fear of how he will react. We have all been there and seen it, seen him scream at her, heard how he rages on and on.... He has made multiple scenes in public, even being escorted out of a building where he was fighting with her and her friends.. I get where she's coming from.

So, she called the sheriff department for advice. Not to file a report, but just to ask. Not even one hour later, she gets an angry message that he has been informed that she called the sheriff. He has friends in the department, so tow and two add up pretty quickly. So, again the sheriff is called, and apparently, oh whoops, whoever did that? Was in the wrong. It is just like she said- what if he needed an excuse to go over the edge and attack her physically? Hurt her, kill her? then the sheriff department would be responsible for alerting him to her call- something they are NOT ALLOWED to do.

The problem I have is with this supposed community standing. Who is he to get away with such things? To treat anyone, but especially the mother of his child, in this way and be excused, even warned, when she expresses concern for her safety??? Why should he get to play Mr. All American, and use county vehicles to stalk someone? Especially when he is already the guy no one wants to work with, the guy no one has any good feelings for.... he has had major altercations with more than one co-worker because of his pompous, my crap smells like honey attitude.

But where does this end, for my friend? When does he stop getting special treatment (other than the strait jacket he deserves) because of his occupation? A job does not a hero make. Behavior and attitude does that. And what behavior and attitude makes him is an abuser, plain and simple. A controlling, isolating, manipulative abuser.

Why do the abusers seem to get special treatment while victims are left wondering just where to turn to feel safe? I mean, if you can't find confidentiality and safety from the police, where can you find it?

Welcome to small town Ohio, folks. Drive something with a siren and you have a free pass to whatever behavior you choose- especially when your best buddy wears a badge.

1 comment:

Melinda Zook said...

This is definitely steaming me up too. What an a- hole and the fact that people are letting him get away with acting like such a...excuse me, bastard, all because he is a firefighter! No one is allowed to treat people like that...in fact, I think people should be more upset about this nonsense. I really hope your friend gets away from him! It worries me because it sounds like he has too many people on his side and there is something definitely wrong with that!