The social worker at Queens Emergency Room commented, "Wow, this sounds like a really bad movie" (I'm glad mom wasn't conscious to hear that one) when I explained how mom received the internal injuries that they were now documenting on our second day home. Although we came in through the ER in the morning, we literally spent all day (to nightfall) at the hospital. Then that night is when my husband felt that someone had broken into our house. Scarier was the following day when my husband’s office was broken into – too coincidental my husband DID make a police report on that one.
Valentine’s Day - need I say how unromantic it was? But I DO have to share this amazing story: Not being out of each other’s eye sight for more then two minutes for close to a month (as you can imagine) can be trying. Mom woke up early Valentine’s Day and since it was the break of dawn where no one would really recognize her, she asked if she could take a walk by herself to a close-by convenient store. Not seeing any harm in such a quick errand, I thought it would be ok but felt I had made the wrong decision seeing mom’s face upon her return.
Mom looked to be in shock so my heart immediately raced. “Are you ok? What happened?!” I asked. Mom said, “You won’t believe it: I went into this little store and picked up a few items. When I placed them on the counter, a local guy came up behind me and said he’d take care of it. I told him it was ok, I got it, but he said ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ and paid for my things anyway”.
Does that TOTALLY melt your heart or what? And if you take a step back and look at this all from afar, here you have a grim, depressing and desperate situation graced by a moment of true, selfless human kindness and light. If you ever had any doubt that angels exist, let this example serve to be proof. What that man actually gave to mom was worth more than what he purchased for her a thousand times over.
Back to the cold, hard reality of the day however, the fact was that we couldn’t stay at the hotel any longer; credit cards maxed out, we needed somewhere safe and off-the-grid to stay since my house still appeared too risky to return to.
One aspect of the domestic violence movement that I think is pretty cool is how the “shelter system” came about because initially, it was women helping women (like WHW in Maui) and survivors opening their doors and homes to fleeing DV victims and their children; but because resources like DVAC, CFS and the HSCADV (under former Executive Director, Carol Lee) already betrayed mom, asking for their assistance now would only be a waste of precious time. Thankfully, another DV survivor mom graciously opened her door and home to us. All seemed well until mom received the following email that Saturday night (Sunday morning in Germany):
From: Mr pig Killer <email@example.com
Date: February 17, 2013 10:25:54 AM GMT+01:00
Today is your day, sleeping beauty! Sometimes you just don't get to wake up! Lay down with the rest of the gods, your time in the sun has come to an end! Babies are no longer in the safety of the angels! God has come to redance your soul! Bright lights out! Prepare to meet the gracious maker! Ha ha beautiful bitsy:), game has come to an end!
So here’s the problem we had with this email (besides the obvious): back in Germany, mom suspected that her house was being bugged – but how do you prove something as crazy-sounding as that?
Whoever was attacking her appeared to know her well AND know where she was going and when she’d be there. We looked around the house but didn’t know what we were looking for exactly; after the “What God?” incident we purposefully talked about a lot of hypotheticals to see if any of the topics we mentioned re-surfaced anywhere else and one of the “tests” concerned the nickname “Bitsy” (as in “Ha ha beautiful bitsy” from the above email).
Mom said she never told a single soul about this childhood nickname – that neither her husband nor ex-husband knew it or knew of it – so mom told me to use the nickname in the presence of a particular person and I did; funny how it just suddenly turned up, huh?
The good news (yes, actual GOOD NEWS!) is that the NCIS agent we’re working with said that it’s completely illegal for any military service member to bug or record civilian conversations so if/when this psychopath is finally apprehended that can be heaped upon the other charges like rape, assault, terroristic threatening, etc.
The other problem with the email is that we had all the lights on where we were staying so despite the European time stamp on the email, what was the "Bright lights out!" in reference to? Were we being watched? And if so, how far away (or how close) was the watcher?
We called HPD to report the email but mom could see in the officers’ faces that the story was too far out and funky for them so the net result was total discouragement and more confirmation that no one would believe any of this.