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Court Call Day---Started Again and Resumed

I wrote this yesterday late morning through midday as I was getting ready to head off to my third of my my weekly psycho-therapy sessions since my most recent foray into acute PTSD symptoms.  I had had a pretty good week due to the interactions and expressions sue and I had posted here.  Yesterday, however,
I was starting to feel worse again, and was panicking as I was feeling myself losing the relief I had felt for a few days.  I did post this as I left for the 50 mile drive to my therapist (not only is a good therapist difficult to find, but it is particularly challenging to find an excellent one who is poly and kink friendly, thus the distance we travel to her.)  When I returned home I felt ashamed of having posted it....shame being my primary emotion the last two years.  Too I feared that leaving it visible here and courting reactions from others might damage what I hoped would be a good weekend for the three of us.  As I have processed yesterday's  therapy, and we have embarked on what feels like a nice weekend, and partly in response to ordalie's comment asking what became of this post, I have decided to put it up again, with a slightly amended title.  I have added this introduction and will discuss what occurred with my court call and my therapy afterwards.  The following is the original post which had been here entitled simply "Court Call Day."

Today is the day that I have to phone the court to find out whether I have to report for jury duty Monday.  The call is mandated to occur between 1:00 and 3:00.  Of course I have my therapist at 2:00 and it is an hour drive to her office.  I will leave early and phone them on the way.  It amazes me that now I have almost no time commitments or appointments in my life...typically one or two in any given week..... the court always manages to schedule any mandated activity exactly when they occur.  I had a 9:00 AM Monday appointment with my surgeon who preformed last June's knee replacement this Monday.  This was my 4 month follow-up exam.  I have rescheduled it. Court is of course at 9:00 AM Monday.  The appointment will now be in mid November...... likely that date will be my next mandated court appearance.  My last mandated appearance was at the time of one of my last physical therapy appointments. It is as if somehow they have my calendar to find ways to make anything they require as intrusive and painful as they possibly can....even now that they no longer have charges against me.

I have been feeling pretty well as this week progressed.  Getting to write about the events that happened almost two years ago (two days remain to that anniversary) and their consequences from my perspective made me feel stronger.  Sue commented to me that it is like I recovered my voice to an extent.  It is good to reach out and interact with others somewhat meaningfully even if it is via the internet.  The last two years I feel so ashamed that I avoid facing anyone that I knew before this.  Obviously I relate to t and sue and a couple of times a year to my son.  I'm not agoraphobic.  I go shopping, and buy gas for the car, and go to medical appointments.  I limit my interactions with folks.....but  I am socially pleasant so long as relationships are very superficial.  This is a change.  I was hugely socially interactive before.  In my career I was a small scale celebrity.  I was involved with politics.  I frequently spoke publicly whether to community audiences, or testimony in legislative bodies, guest teaching appearances in universities, etc.  t and sue would joke that if I was alone with someone...say for an elevator ride I would strike up a conversation and frequently have a superficial friendship by the end of the ride.  It was not uncommon for me to be on TV and/or radio a couple of times a year.  Now I can't handle risking interacting. anyone seeing me.  Friends call and I just don't respond.  People who knew me....this year it was a state legislator who wanted me to contribute to (like I can afford that anymore) and work with her campaign call I don't respond.  I answer phone calls from t, sue or my son.  All others I just ignore.  I feel as if I have some horrid disfigureation that no one should be exposed to....or rather that I am too ashamed for them to see.

I am slipping again this afternoon.  Is it the approach of this court contact? Is it my therapy at 2:00? Is it that Sunday is the anniversary of all this followed  by a trip to court the next morning?  Is it that it is dark today?  Is it that I am insane?  Is it that............

My thoughts are invaded by awakening out of being drunk and passed out on my couch, the middle of the night, Halloween 2010, alone in our condo, surrounded by 5 police who pick me up handcuff me and carry me from my home.  I don't know how they got in............I had had no idea they were coming....when I was carried out my front door there were numerous police vehicles with lights flashing and quite a number of police....and to my complete amazement t and sue who were spending the night somewhere else,  or so I thought, were right there with them.  The horrific reality dawned on me that they had called them.  They had made this happen.  My heart broke.  It was only 3 days since sue's 9-1-1 call claiming I was suicidal had brought out the swat team.  I had had numerous assurances from both of them there would never ever be a 9-1-1 call ever again.   Here we were.  Here I was.  Here were the police.

I was fighting and struggling as much as I could in handcuffs carried by five police.  They threw me in the back of a police car.  I tried to kick it apart, beat my head on the window, anything I could do to resist.  I was really not getting at all what was happening or that they had the ability to do this to me.  I actually believed  the crap about your having civil rights in your home then.  I was so naive.  I didn't know that is all drivel and amounts to nothing at all if they and courts want you.  They have carte blanche to do anything they want to you.  There are no limits.

They moved me to a new police car and restrained me more completely so that I could not continue to batter their vehicle.  They drove me about 25 minutes to jail.  I was furious and quite certain this had to be unjust.  I had been asleep in my living room.  I had done nothing.  I was carried out in shackles to be taken to jail.  I was non-compliant when I got to the jail, but finally let them take my mugshot gave them my name etc.  answered the processing in questions.  They took me to a cell.   I was stripped completely.  I was given a sort of padded quilt.  That was my only toilet soap there was an inch and a half thick plastic pad on the steel cot.  That pad and my quilt were the only things in the cell.  I was kept there like that for three days. This was to keep me from committing suicide.  I have never wanted to end my life more.  I was allowed out of the cell for an hour typically at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning when no one else was up.  Then I was allowed to shower, and walk around as much as I wanted in the cell block or watch TV.  The night after the first day they let me call sue. I was forbidden to call t...they had trumped up a domestic violence charge so we could not talk.  I asked her how this had had I gotten there?  The first morning I was allowed a set of orange overalls and sandals and shackled hand and foot to a waist chain I was hauled to court.  I asked what I was charged with and how I had gotten there?  I asked who had charged me?  My lack of understanding was veiwed by the court that I was likely criminally insane.  After court it was back to jail..stripped nude...and back into my cell for what I asserted was solitary confinement...but I was assured it was not solitary it was "suicide watch."

Well that is all for to therapy.

That was the end of yesterday's post.  I phoned the court as ordered when I arrived at my therapy appointment a few minutes before we were to begin.  I reached a clerk who couldn't find my name and asked if I really had been told to call.  I couldn't resist asking her if she thought that I would call and ask about jury duty Monday, in the middle of the two hour window you are mandated to call in, with my prospective juror number, if they had not sent it to me.  She looked further and finally said I did not have to appear Monday she thought.  It is frustrating not knowing, imagining that if I am to be there Monday and don't appear, they will come get me again.....but I will have to trust the information she gave me.  I have rescheduled my surgeon appointment Monday for no reason.

I went into therapy.  I talked about the last week, our posting here, sue's first appointment with the therapist Thursday evening, and we delved on.  The Therapist ( seems so impersonal to refer to someone who has been so important to the three of us as "the therapist") is pushing a lot into the issue of how ashamed  I feel of this whole experience and how crippling that shame is for me.  She eventually into asking me what I had done I was ashamed of.  She cannot see any behavior I engaged in that should have warranted the treatment I had at the hands of the justice system.  She can understand why I would be enraged, hurt betrayed, unhappy depressed all of those feelings I certainly have had and have processed through significantly.  But she is mystified by my sense of profound shame.  The most I can come up with by way of explanation is that people are not treated as I was unless they are profoundly damaged, evil, wrong, guilty, horrid, awful, etc.  She told me (she used to have a practice doing psychology with jail inmates thus she is a credible informant) that that is quite frequently the case frankly that the system does this kind of thing to people unreasonably and without cause.

She wants to explore why it is that this has been so totally debilitating for me.  She can imagine my hurt, pain, expense, discomfort, record etc. but this overwhelming shame-based inability to function at so many levels seems curious to her.

We (well she and I following her) arrived at the realization that the great depth of what I am feeling is not about what happened at the hands of the police, or t or sue, and certainly not about drinking (although she thinks my not drinking is a good thing) but is about a powerful predisposition I have to see myself as profoundly defective as a result of my mother's abuse of me as a child.  She tells me that in 25 years of psycho-therapy the child abuse I lived through is the worst she has ever seen.  She wants to work with me on healing that.  Over the next week I am to work at having imaginary conversations with my mother in which I tear her a new one for the things she did to me.  She has other things she intends for us to do regarding this.

She also gave me a pep talk reminding me that PTSD does not just go away but is rather diminished overtime by decreasing frequency, intensity, and duration, of acute episodes, and how far I have come since she met me a year and three quarters ago.  It was really poignant for me when she told me that I will get my life back.    Judy told me too that if this had not occurred during a three year period in which I had four major surgeries, lost both my parents and my mother in law, lost my career, lost 55% of my body weight, and lost my daughter, I might have had greater resiliance too.  She also told me to ignore the assholes who want to describe this all as a function of alcohol (which I haven't had any of for nearly two years anyway), or being a "dry drunk," or just not letting go (like I wouldn't let go of this if I had a way to do that...this hurts!!!!), or any of the other crap that people on the Internet who are ignorant and not friends will say.

As I have processed this, I realize that I have not felt well, good, happy...since October 28, 2010.
This morning with sue we played and made love and interacted and I felt like there was sort of a small window.  Not that I felt well, but that I could imagine the possibility of feeling well again someday.  I can see how much better I am now even at my lowest points than I have been since this began.  "Well" doesn't feel like something I experienced before all this and will never feel again.

Who knows maybe a corner has  been turned, or is at least coming into sight.



  1. I'm not good at saying comforting things, Tom. But my feelings are affected by what you have written. And by what Sue has written recently, too. I am just glad I live in a country where the kind of treatment the system gave you is hardly imaginable: Filipinos may be inefficient and lazy, but they are a gentle people. Americans have a reputation for violence, and some are even proud of it.

    I have read your blog, with interruptions, for about five years. I am of course powerless to help. I have lived a long life and the longer I live the less I know what if anything to do when I read sad stories. This comment window is here, you write this blog so that others can read it; when we read it we want to help, but ... seems impossible. I am not a wise man, but my email address is available in case anyone should feel prompted to write. I can just say, it's good that the emotional weather seems to be moderating, and may become sunny.

  2. As to complete Malcom's comment and with so mush sadness from Europe, because like him I've been reading your blog since years....

    Iam so sorry to say this here, but you, americans of USA, you no longer live in a democracy state of rights... Be quiet, be ghosts, pay your taxes and die quickly without a move or a scream...

  3. America's future is here :

    and please never call police... NEVER EVER...

  4. Tom, this is a very powerful post - for us readers as well as for you I think. I smiled as I read Malcolm's comment, but I feel the same way, "I'm not good at saying comforting things... nut my feelings are affected by what you've written".

    I guess what I'll say is I hope you find peace and I believe that you will.

    And lots of us are pulling for you, and sending you good wishes.



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