Systemic Evil

This is a little piece of my book, and I’m posting it here for the Family Court Victim blog owner because her story really touched me. She commented on The Other Side of Charm, and I thought this part of my unfortunate tale might speak to hers. Here’s her comment:

“I look forward to your book. Keep us posted on a release date. I am in a similar situation. I have an adult “bully” also. His bad behavior has been rewarded by the family court system and he hides behind his badge. I pray for you and all the other moms out there like us and our children. I, too, have been destroyed in every way imaginable—psychologically, emotionally, physically, financially, mentally and spiritually. I am convinced that HE will not be satisfied until I am totally destroyed. It is not just enough to hurt me and control me. He wants me completely destroyed.”

And so here’s a bit of my book—a part that I thought of when I read this author’s comment. I’m going to jump you right into the middle of Chapter 16, Can’t Diagnose Evil:

They won’t care about your history they won’t care about his history they won’t ask you any helpful questions they won’t want you to volunteer any information. You won’t know that evil when left unidentified often gathers force in groups that it often seeps into systems that are designed for good, molding up their interiors with a wet stench and fusing up their joints. You won’t know to put together the words systemic evil even after friends advise you that the magistrate will blame you for everything that the magistrate is a hard ass toward women that the magistrate won’t ever let you go back to your farm I know one woman who fled with her daughter after a beating from her husband with nothing not even with her glasses and when she asked to go back and get them later this magistrate said you’re the one who left without them, so no, you can’t go back. You won’t know to use the words systemic evil even after you complete months of research on domestic violence issues in the United States even after you start complaining that there are gaps in the system and most courts especially rural courts treat battered women very terribly, so terribly that most attorneys will advise those women not to bring it up at all because it will lead to a lot of angry and humiliating questioning and in most cases a far more negative outcome. You will be outraged by this who’s going to protect the kids involved when battered women can’t even tell their truth your attorney will tell you listen, you don’t understand something, the court doesn’t protect children the court doesn’t care about children the law treats children like property of their parents so when you divorce, you’re basically dividing them up. And why would they give equal parts to a woman who lets herself get beat up. This will piss you off even more you will rise out of your chair how am I letting myself get beat up I LEFT and why is that my bad and not his and what about children’s rights!? He will turn to you coldly you think children have rights? Children don’t have rights. You have rights. Your ex has rights. Your children are your joint property. They don’t have rights. Even with the outrage and the disbelief and the rush of dizziness you’ll feel over this news, you will still not know to utter the words systemic evil. You won’t know how to consider that the system lacks empathy. That it lacks remorse or a conscience and that without careful external monitoring that it can and often will become completely corrupted by judges granting favors to hometown attorneys while ignoring perjury and lies with the result of ruining second chances and wrecking children’s lives and taking honest people down by serving itself up as a weapon of destruction and the court will not feel remorse for being used this way it will destroy every asset it will take the equity a woman could use to buy a house for her children and it will divide it all up between the attorneys the system will keep a conflict alive for years a clever attorney knows how to milk an angry man like a cash cow we need to file we need to appeal we need to object and I have a lot of friends who are experts and the magistrate is friendly with them, too, so you should consider hiring them it will really boost your case and when it’s all said and done, the court and it’s inherent systems will have no sense of responsibility for the destruction, the bomb doesn’t feel bad when it rips open a city and the system can look its victim in the eye and say with great confidence this is entirely your fault you’re the one who married the guy and we’re all just doing our jobs.

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