To Catch a Predator

On Sunday my cousin sent me a screenshot of a “conversation” between her and a facebook friend of mine. Then she sent me a half dozen others from her friends that have also been harassed by this guy.

They were disgusting, the foulest of the foul.

At first, I was tempted to publicly out the guy. He’s a local and people deserve to know. It’s the modern equivalent of the public stocks. But I found that everybody in my county already knew. I was the last, or near the last.

I went to grade school with him and he was one of my bullies. About 13 years ago he tried to break me and my girlfriend up. I showed up at his parents’ house, where he lived and still lives in their basement, and “convinced” him to stop harassing her. I’m not so easily bullied anymore (no, I didn’t beat him up, but when an angry 6 foot, 280 pound man shows up at your door, you back down). But I saw him a couple of years ago at a party, and he seemed changed. I allowed him to add me as a facebook friend.

He’s been collecting facebook friends and harassing women that he found through his “friends.” He used me to get to two of my cousins and a couple of friends.

Because of my history, I was added to a group that’s collecting information and screenshots of his gross, angry, and threatening texts to present to the police. I’m glad to be a part of it.

I’m disgusted at how many incidents there were. Dozens of people posted their interactions. Some of them are underage (the guy is 40, the same age as I am). The police said not to out him, because some predators get off on the attention (eww), or it moves them to more aggressive measures. I don’t know if this is the police protecting him (his best friend is a local cop and his parents are heavily involved in the community, and police are infamous at dragging their feet on harassment claims due to the ambiguous laws around them), but I hope that they will act. There’s too much evidence.

Some of the messages are to women out of the state. I don’t know the law, but does this make it a federal issue too?

I am far from perfect. I admit that I’ve thought and done creepy things in the past, though nothing on this level. I can’t change the past, and now I’m doing all that I can to make amends.

Being a man in our patriarchal society molds you a certain way from childhood on, and no matter how good you try to be, you are conditioned to think and act “like a man.” I think that bell hooks said it best:

“The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.”

In other words: if you don’t “act like a man” and circumcise your emotions besides acceptable ones like lust and anger, you’ll be beaten down until you comply. The shit splashes on all of us, and we either don’t notice or we accept it. Hell, some people roll around in it.

Consider how many women had to come forward before people believed that Bill Cosby should be charged. How many have accused the president (including admission in his own words, like that he walked into the dressing room at the Miss Teen USA pageants). How many have accused Roy Moore, but he still leads in the polls. Nine women accused him. That’s not enough. To those circumcised by the patriarchy, a women’s word isn’t even worth 1/9th of a man’s.

I want to make amends, and while it starts with admission, it continues with nailing this motherfucker. He attacked my family, he attacked my friends, he attacked children, he attacked people I don’t know but know that they didn’t deserve it.

I’m fighting back.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress against Frankie Fuckboy.

doge in space card redux

 

 

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Review: My Life In Reverse

My Life in Reverse, by Casey Harvell

Not only is this a great read, but it’s a very important book that explores an abusive relationship and finding the strength to escape it. It’s one of those books that everyone should read. We all know someone in this kind of situation and how frustrating it can be to watch them suffer, terrified and manipulated into thinking that they deserve it. The antagonist husband fits the role of Sociopathic Narcissism perfectly, with added twists (like heroin addiction) that keep him unique. I’ll explain below in more detail.

Voice and Story Structure: The main character’s voice is so authentic that you feel like it’s a real person (and you get confirmation at the end that it’s semi-autobiographical, though the many screenshots in the book makes it pretty clear throughout). The structure time-hops to different points in the abusive relationship. Some might find it confusing, but it’s not THAT important to know when these things take place. In fact, it fits the circular nature of the abuse and psychological manipulation: the protagonist leaving and being guilted and love bombed into coming back. Like the nameless protagonist (and most characters are unnamed, giving the story a universal quality) you get lost in the cycle of gaslighting, love bombing, physical and sexual abuse and intimidation, and isolation. Toward the end, the book gets more linear, reflecting the climb to self-actualization and freedom (or is it freedom? Are you ever free after that trauma?).

I love that the author used screen shots, and I especially loved the sourced definitions between chapters about Sociopathic Narcissist abuse (with later bibliography and sites for further information)

Characterization: The main character is very likable and speaks with a clever and funny flair. You feel the constant assault on her emotions and body. You feel the terror of being abused by her husband, a heroin junkie, armed robber (on probation), adulterer, spouse/child/animal abuser, and all around terrible person. He’s so evil that you’d think that he was fake, but the screenshots (and one of them horrifying in its implications) confirm that he’s real. While halfway in, I found myself thinking that the only happy ending would come if he overdosed and died. Imagine the terror of being serial raped (yes, spousal rape is real. I shouldn’t even have to say that) by a man that sticks needles in his arms and a certain bodypart in other women. Who knows what diseases he could have had.

The catalyst character that changes the protagonist seemed a little too perfect, but the story is a romance at heart. If anything, it reinforces the difference between good and bad relationships.

Setting: While the author states that it takes place in a small town, the lack of definitive setting gives it a universal quality. This kind of abuse takes place all the time, in every town. It’s easy to put yourself in the protagonist’s situation, especially because of how common this abuse is.

Plot: As I said, the plot moves circularly for the first half of the story, reflecting the abuse cycle. It can be frustrating at times to see her go through this and be unable to break away. It’s not until the catalyst character shows up that it really moves. Still, there was never a “muddle moment” when I didn’t want to keep reading.

Summary: Everyone that has been a victim of abuse or knows someone in an abusive relationship should read this book. It’s a quick, emotional real, like a quick flurry of punches.

One note: The novel ends about 75% of the way into the book. The final 25% is further information on domestic violence and abuse (complete with before-mentioned bibliography) a hilarious acknowledgements page, information on Harvell’s other books, and an excerpt from another writer’s book.

5 Huge Stars

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux

Sociopathy and Power

I found this article today, titled If you don’t understand how people fall into poverty, you’re probably a sociopath. It’s very well written, and gets to the heart of Sociopathy.

I’ve run into a lot of sociopaths in my career in Special Ed. Since I am also in the mental health system, it sometimes feels like I’m surrounded by them. One of the keys aspects of sociopathy is the lack of empathy. Since they’re not bound by morals or believe that anyone matters beyond themselves, they have no problem stomping on people in order to reach the top.

That, of course, leads to “success.”

Politicians, captains of industry, rich people that use the law for their benefit, no matter who they hurt. They win because they don’t care. The worst part is that they never believe that there’s anything wrong with it. I doubt many sociopaths believe that they’re sociopaths.

Think about this: the people with the most power over your lives are the people that care the least about them.

They call it “filthy rich” for a reason.

Here’s an article called The Money-Empathy Gap about an experiment that shows it better than a simple platitude: The Monopoly Experiment.

Money is the root of all assholes…so is the colon, but that’s a different story.

Like my posts? Follow my website or “Like” my facebook fan page and/or follow me on Twitter. You can also purchase my debut novel, Song of Simon, at any online bookstore or a real one (you’ll probably have to order it). Of course, you can always buy an autographed one from me, just send me a message. Song of Simon currently has a 4.7/5.0 rating on Amazon, so people seem to like it. If you’re looking for something FREE, you can read my serial (soon to be an expanded series of novels) The Watchmage of Old New York. Though it ended in February, it remains one of the most popular serials on JukePop OF ALL TIME!