Being persecuted for something you did not do is hell, but then being guilty of being dumb is just as damaging to self anyway. Why fight the smear campaign? Why fight the threats? Why do anything at all?
I may not be guilty of neglecting my daughter, but I was guilty of being dumb and not fighting the kidnapping of my baby girl.
The attorney didn’t think the odds would be in my favor and playing it safe for the long road was the option I took. I should have done it all so differently. I blamed myself. For everything. So I took what came my way and pulled up my pants and took the chuck to my chin like a man.
I was afraid of being convicted. I was afraid it would get worse. The way Brent was so committed to following through with his threats.
In that fear I learned that those decisions would be the ones I would regret more than any other decision I ever made.
My baby was kidnapped. The police believed a drunk man over me. I read a study once that stated that police believe men’s version of an even 89% of the time over women. I am living proof of this statistic. Over and over this has been my truth.
And I’m over it!
So here I am world! See me! Shouting from the rooftops as loud as I can! I did not neglect my daughter. I did not let my husband take me back. I did not do any of the dozens of other things Brent put out there that I did!
He did though. He did take my daughter. He did stalk me. He did plant evidence on my laptop, in my home. He did break in to my home. He did coerce and manipulate others to join him in humiliating me. He did talk other people in to believing his lies about me. He did talk about having me killed. He did coerce people to make statements and make false police reports about me and by me. (Or a fake me, that is).
I am over living in silence. I am over pulling up my pants and taking it on the chin.
I grew up learning to take responsibility for my actions. I was not guilty for everything Brent ever said about me, but I was guilty of being naive. I was guilty of thinking that walking a brief distance away from the car where my tired daughter sat strapped in a car seat to get my beach belongings only to turn back around and find her gone. I am guilty of thinking,
Who would ever take a child not there own that I know?
Answer: a madman. A monster. My first lesson was, in his mind at least, to give him what he wanted. Over my children’s needs and my own. That’s when the fear set in. Coupled with responsibility and accountability and we now have a stage set for my own destruction. And I allowed it to happen because my own guilt of being an idiot and putting my child anywhere near a monster proved I was guilty of something.
So I took it. I took it all.
I blamed myself for everything, so I fought against nothing. I let myself be run over. I also set the stage for my husbands family to run on a platform that would be the most harmful and detrimental experience of my life. And that of my daughter. With lies, exaggerations and conscious decisions made by those whose only concern was to win. Even at the expense of harming an innocent with their lies to her about her mommy. With the interrogations after my time with her.
So I live with this face that haunts me. Knowing this is how she looked and felt when she was found in the car in a strange place with a scary man that was passed out behind the wheel.
And the police, after I spoke to two different cops, anxiously asking for help finding my daughter, believed that vile man when he said I left them to their own devices and I’m the one that parked illegally in a place where I’ve been going for years. Knowing exactly where to park and knowing exactly where I parked that day with witnesses that could prove it.
But I was not believed. I was the villain. I was the one who hurt my baby girl. Me. The one she clung to during all times of fear and sickness.
I took it for her. I took it for my family. I blamed myself.