[This is a backdated post written later.]

I titled the last chapter “Conclusion” because I thought the story was now done, unless one day, finally, Richard would come to me and apologize for his actions and for hurting me.  I often dreamed of it, whether at night or in daydreams.

But then everything changed when I discovered that he choked his daughter shortly after we broke off the friendship:

The local newspaper published Richard’s charges, address and mug shot online, and the state’s official online court records published his birthdate as well, so there was no doubt it was the same Richard.

Seeing his face on my computer screen, angry and looking down, with the charges described underneath–I never could have imagined this….

Here is the exact quote from the newspaper, only edited to remove Richard’s name, address and age:

[Richard] was charged March 1 [2011] with second-degree recklessly endangering safety and child abuse high probability of causing great harm.

He is free on a $5,000 signature bond.

On Sept. 22, 2010, police met with a 9-year-old girl who claimed [Richard] choked her and then she awoke on a couch, according to the criminal complaint.

[Richard] allegedly admitted that the girl was not listening and cleaning up and that he had “asphyxiated” her, according to the complaint.

[Richard] said he apologized to the girl when she woke up.

[Richard] will be in court March 31 for a preliminary hearing.

This was also backed up by the online court records, which gave a full history of Richard’s charges and a partial history of court events, including that–as a condition of his bond–he had to follow an informal agreement with Social Services.

On October 3, 2011, when Richard went to court for a plea/sentencing hearing, the court records published that he was declared guilty of battery through a no contest plea, and sentenced to a year of probation.

His no contest plea meant that the endangering safety charge was dismissed, the child abuse charge was dismissed but read into the record and could be used in sentencing, and his charge was amended to battery.  He was found guilty of battery, a misdemeanor.

I hoped he would plead guilty and save his child from the stress of going through a trial, but I thought he would still get jail time.  The initial charges would have made him a felon, in prison for many years!  Even his beloved guns and voting rights would be forbidden him.

I thought my once-beloved ex-BFF would be locked away for years, with a restoration of friendship impossible–but I no longer wanted it.  Friends with someone who choked his own child?  Heck, no!

He must have had a dang good lawyer to get such a sweet deal.  I refused to vote for her when she ran for city council, because getting him a deal like this, made me wonder about her character.

At least he still has probation, still has a guilty charge of battery.  He was found guilty of battery by a court of law for choking the 9-year-old.

This city is way too lenient on child abuse.  This was just a frickin’ slap on the wrist.

As soon as I discovered this, I realized that everything Richard and Tracy ever said to complain about me, was a sham.  I saw that they are the true criminals here. 

I saw that the image they created of themselves to everyone, of being decent, pious and law-abiding Christians, was a lie, a cover.  And now the law had laid it all bare as the con act it is.

I saw all of Tracy’s words against me, evaporate as if they had never been uttered–because none of it is real, none of it matters, when uttered by criminals.  I might as well have dreamed it all.

I expected that they were both ashamed of what had happened, so ashamed that they would creep out of the public eye.  I expected that Tracy would divorce Richard for nearly killing her daughter, and/or that the child would be given to her birth father.

Discovering later that none of these things happened, shows just how much the world lacks justice, how light on child abuse the courts are around here, and how ineffective Social Services is. 

I have discovered other people who complain that Social Services and the courts here are a joke regarding child abuse.

In a perfect and just world, Richard and Tracy would have been tossed out of every respectable circle or establishment, Richard would have gone to jail for many years, the children would have been placed with a loving and NOT abusive family, and Richard and Tracy would have slunk off to some other place where nobody heard of Richard’s charges.

They certainly never would have dared show their faces at my church again, because the shame of what happened would fill them so much that they would not want to face me.

Because they would know that they treated me poorly, that I did not deserve it, and that they had no right putting themselves above me morally or in any other way–whether how I run my house, how I raise my child, what I feed my family, how I act socially, what is “appropriate” behavior, how a wife should treat her husband, how she behaved on 7/1/10, etc. etc...

All her scolds and nasty e-mails to me were just as meaningless as a small dog barking at a passerby, and just as worthy of disdain.

But this world is neither perfect nor just.  Richard and Tracy still imagine themselves superior to me, as you will see if you read here and follow the posts after.  They are probably both narcissists and/or sociopaths.

And Richard and Tracy’s children are the victims, the ones who are made to suffer for this.

The following parts of this story are my reactions in the months following this discovery.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing

 

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