Ever get the feeling you’re being set up to fail? (Bear in-mind that it’s NOT paranoia when there really is someone out to get you.) So here’s the cumulative information that’s happened in the past week:
When we last left off with Dad, we were all on pins and needles having just barely escaped a field grade Article 15 only to be replaced by the threat of a career-ending court martial, remember? Considering that backdrop, what are the chances that Dad gets a promotion? In the world I’m used to living in, that’s not even a possibility but in Mom and Dad’s world, Dad was not only promoted from an E-6 to a position reserved for officers (like for First and Second Lieutenants) but because of this promotion, he potentially stands poised to be seated at a desk in the same physical vicinity of the high-ranking enlisted! (If that happens, how long do you think Dad’ll be able to even stay seated?)
For those not familiar with military positions, this would be like taking the most unpopular mechanic working in an auto corporation and promoting him to Vice President after the mechanic was notified that he stood to be let go. Besides the whole fish-out-of-water feeling and his persona non grata status, this promotion leap-frogged over at least a dozen officers who were in-line for the position so while under normal circumstances congratulations would be in order, none of us are in a celebratory mood.
Coincidentally and similarly was my son’s notification by Major General Stanley Hyman, U.S. Army (Ret.) that he “has just been selected to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security: Exploring American Diplomacy, Intelligence and Defense to be held in Washington, D.C. this fall 2013.” Apparently, my son’s invitation is to represent both his high school and Hawaii at the Forum that “places him among a select group of the nation’s top students”.
Wow, what an honor, right? Here’s the thing: I love my children dearly BUT I am not one of those parents who doesn’t see their children’s shortcomings and I have no illusions about what they’re capable (or incapable) of. While I’m so very proud of my son in every way possible, there is NO WAY he can even be eligible for this honor because we’re pretty sure there’s a minimum requirement for reading and writing – actually, we’re pretty sure there’s a high standard for things like reading and writing associated with this honor. My son has documented Dysgraphia http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/dysgraphia/what-is-dysgraphia so you decide: accidental oversight, cruel joke or set up?
Personally, my cell phone bill came in that showed how much memory was used on my phone during the month of April, which was pretty substantial – problem is, my cell phone was stolen from my car parked in my driveway the morning of April 12th and for the first time ever in our phone billing history, none of my incoming/outgoing calls and messages were itemized on the bill – cell phone provider still working to figure out how that happened. Weird, huh?
In an effort to reassure herself that she’s doing the right thing by cooperating with investigators, Mom looked up the success rate of sexual assault cases in the military and was devastated to learn that:
- Of 3,192 sexual-assault reports in 2011 only 191 members of the military were convicted at courts martial.
- In 2011, less than 8% of reported cases went to trial.
- Of the cases that went to trial, 191 subjects were convicted, resulting in 148 offenders serving jail sentences and 122 being discharged.
- 1 in 3 convicted military sex offenders remain in the military. http://jezebel.com/5977856/nearly-a-third-of-fired-military-commanders-were-canned-because-of-their-penises
So not only did Mom learn that her case is nothing special or out-of-the-ordinary but she also saw how much WASN’T going to be done about it. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/jan-june13/sexualassualt_03-13.html
Further research only made matters worse when Mom googled “Army CID protective custody” and learned that she had been lied to yet again – that protective custody is indeed something that she and her children could be afforded. From an article entitled “Hopes Betrayed” http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/bosnia/Bosnia1102-11.htm one line states “The U.S. Army placed him in protective custody” – something Mom’s been repeatedly told that the Army cannot do despite her pleas for protective custody since Germany. It’s not that the Army can’t provide protective custody for her and her children; more accurately, it’s that they won’t.
On top of that, no affirmative action has been taken by HPD on Mom’s sexual assault cases that have taken place since she’s been in Hawaii, starting with the 02/20/13 incident. Considering their knowledge about multiple offenses and information on “a person of interest” in their possession (let alone the potential threat to the community) you’d think that Mom’s assaults would be a top priority – guess not…
All Mom could do is cry as she lamented abut the ramifications of all of her actions:
- I’ve put my children’s lives at-risk
- I’ve destroyed my husband’s career
- I’ve endangered the lives of those I care most about
- I’ve disrupted multiple lives
- I’m going to be killed for all this because I didn’t follow the rules – game over
Mom’s case has constantly been referred to as “a bad movie” and while I couldn’t agree more, the life she’s had to live reminds me of a good (Jason Statham) movie entitled “Safe”.
At the beginning of the movie, Statham’s character’s wife has been killed by Russian mobsters who in turn tell Statham that because he embarrassed the Russian mobsters’ family, that they are now going to make “an extra special example” out of him. The mobster tells Statham
Father and mother dead. No brothers or sisters, which is too bad, because I would like to take them from you too. But you love your wife. We know that. So here’s the deal: you’re free to go but we will have eyes on you – not always – but when you least expect it, we’ll be there. Anyone you try to make friends with or even talk to, other than ordering a hot dog or something, will die like your wife because of you.
Eerily, these are the conditions Mom feels she’s had to live under for the past 16 years.
If this was the threat placed upon you, how would you live your life from that day forward? Would you “follow the rules” and “play the game” to stay alive and keep the ones you love safe from harm or would you defy your tormentor, break the rules and take a chance at freedom by extracting yourself from the game? This is the dilemma Mom’s struggled with which is why it’s gone on for 16 years because she’d have momentary bouts of defiance and courageousness (reporting what’s happened) followed by periods of extreme fear and compliance (denial and retractions because something would happen to get Mom “back in line”).
The problem this time around is that the rules have changed because the tormentor has apparently changed as well; the first tormentor has standards, morals and “no cross lines” so would never stoop so low as to harm a defenseless, innocent child but the “new” tormentor holds no allegiance to anything but his own desires and he’s made it quite clear that children are fair game. Mom’s so terrified of the new tormentor that she’s even considered reaching out to her first to see if there’d be ANY chance that he would be willing to help her – that’s how desperate she’s become.
The final twist of the knife came in a phone call from Dad last night where he said things to Mom that he’s never said before, no matter how bad things have ever gotten between them and name-calling was not beyond his verbal arsenal. Completely devastated by his words, Mom’s decided to “fold her hand” – the lies, betrayals, threats and risks are too much and she’s done.
I’ve been particularly insistent since Germany that this is going to come to an end, one way or another – I just never thought that this was the way it would go…