Sunday, September 26, 2010

Come Clean? No need, but to recap...

Concerning my prior marriage. At one time or another, I have said all of the following (which pertain to my first marriage) in the clear, and in public. I will link to them as I find them to demonstrate this, but for now, this recap which is prompted by certain folks claiming I need to "come clean" with regard to my past. I already have, so it's not news. Nevertheless, I will pull it all together in one place so that it can be conveniently referenced.
What follows is the content of a letter to a good friend, slightly modified so as to remove personal information and protect certain persons privacy:
"TBM (who is almost certainly Prickett) is going after one of my children. Please understand that this is my STEP daughter. I am in all ways (except for paternity) like a father to her, and she, like a daughter to me.

Neither my wife, nor my daughter has sought the spotlight and do not publish. This is also true of my ex wife whom they are now going after as well. There is a lot of unresolved junk between my first wife and I, I for my part have done everything I could do to put those issues to rest and can do no more unless she does and I am at peace with the LORD concerning it and do not spend any time thinking of the matter, except when it comes up.

For that reason it takes me a while to run down to the vault of old memories and respond to accusations in that arena because I truly don't dwell on those issues until someone does a kind of 'aha' attack on my character.

I have stated in the past, publicly, the following:

A divorce always has one party primarily responsible for it, and in my divorce (without trying to duck responsibility I may have) was clearly my first wife's fault. Having said that I have reflected on my first marriage and pronounced myself a lousy husband. Not a cheater or a beater, but a lousy husband. I could have done better. Much better. I should have.

My wife (according to a counselor and witnesses of the marriage) started trying to break up the marriage approximately two years into the relationship that ended up lasting 15 years (officially).

For a period of time in the marriage it got physical. From about the second year to sometime in year 6 or 7 (maybe 8, probably not) there was shoving that went on. She started it. I regrettably participated. It is my position that this does not absolve me, I think men should be more responsible. Men have the greater physical power. At a point in time I resolved NEVER to touch anyone in anger ever again, and I never have. That was about 1987 or 1988.*

I do not wish to make excuses or diminish what has to be classified as violence, but the problem with the term violence is that it has massive dynamic range. My violence began with what you might call 'gateway' violence, and ended there before it got worse. I am, and was ashamed of myself, it was wrong, but I have not been violent since, and pretty much was not violent before that. Having said that my wife was the first violent person in the marriage, and she was the last, having jumped on my back and beaten me with her fists while trying to pull out my hair about a month before she threw me out of the house. She did this in front of the children.

The worst thing I did in that case was laugh. I had not touched her (shoved) since the time I resolved not to. Before I was married to her, I did not hit or shove. During the marriage I descended into the shoving sort of physicality, I quit, and haven't ever done it again. As I said, I am deeply ashamed of my failure. It is what it is though. I did not beat my wife, she did not seek a divorce for that cause. The restraining order information is frankly news to me. Perhaps she sought one and it was denied. I was never served with one to my recollection. I visited my children at our home (soon to be hers) during that time and picked them up and dropped them off there, I had several conversations there with my first wife, including one in her bedroom after she kicked me out.

I do know she spread the story that I was dangerous in the whole town of Fairfield MT, which is very small. For that reason after a period of time I always resolved to drive around and not through it so that no one could ever say they saw me there to give legs to her claims.

Additionally, I wanted at times very badly to 'cheat' on my wife, and on occasions, very seriously contemplated doing so, but did not. I say 'cheat' for the sake of convention. I have only been with two in my life, my first, and my second wife, and my first wife threw me out of the house prior to my meeting my second wife, though I met my second wife that very same day.

My first wife's lawyer was an amoral man. His name was Michael S. Smartt. He was fond of creating conflicts real or imaginary to then base his case upon them. Michael later became a Justice of the Peace, and spent all his time in his office, hiding his computer screen from his staff, surfing gay porn. He was drummed out of office, and later committed suicide in the basement of the Rainbow Motel in Great Falls. To say he was not a happy man, or at peace with his life was an understatement. He also was charged with extorting sex from other men that he had contact with in the penal system, in exchange for probation favors. That was my wife's attorney.

In the last year my first wife and I were together, 1995, I was (in human terms) solely responsible for finding, retrieving and helping her second son (my step son) get help for his bipolar disorder. After successful resolution of that more than a year long crisis, both her, and her son (who I still care for very much) declared I had saved his life, my wife was particularly pointed about it holding me close to her and stating: 'You saved (his life), no one else could have done it, he knows it and says so, I know it, and all our friends know it. You are the greatest man I know. I cannot even stand next to you.'

Within a month, she wanted a divorce.

There are of course, many more details, some make me look better, others make me look worse. I know I could have done a great deal more to save my marriage, but I did not. If I have omitted anything it is because it would be a limited market chronicle of an obscure relationship that would fill a volume the size of "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich."

From the State of Montana's perspective, the divorce was final in November of 1996. I had not lived under the same roof as my wife for a year. I did not contest the divorce, though I showed up for the hearing. Her lawyer asked for sole custody of the children and as a result of my not resisting, got it.

I sent her a letter in 2001 stating I was divorcing her and had communicated many times to her that I did not regard the Civil divorce as valid, until I made a decree of divorce. That may have been the basis for her restraining order, an order I was not aware of and never tested.

Nevertheless, it is now clear to me that though she has remarried (the basis of my letter of divorce), I still care about her. I have not publicly expressed anger about the invasion of my stepdaughter's life until now, nor have I expressed much anger over their past threats to "out" my first wife, but now that they have, I feel a very strong desire to protect her as well. I would advise those using her name publicly that she has not been legally connected to me for 14 years. To drag her into this is to place yourselves in peril from a woman who knows how to defend herself in a court of law. Proceed at your own risk, but I don't think you will find her willing to discuss the matter."
I have always been forthcoming about this matter, and will be so long as I draw breath and possess the memory necessary to recall it.

*This apparently is being seen by some as an admission of a 5 year period of continuous violence.  It was intermittent, not continuous.  It was punctuated by incidents like my wife kicking a door down.  Eventually I saw there were only two ways out.  Escalate, or quit.  My first wife came from a violent home where the answer was "escalate."

Another reason for mentioning who started it is NOT to fix blame.  As noted, I blame myself, however few the incidents were, or however "light" in terms of force they were.  They were my fault, entirely.  Inevitably though, someone asks "why did you shove her, even if it was only a few times?"  The answer is not that I spontaneously started shoving my wife, she shoved me (not an excuse for my behavior) and I chose entirely on my own, to respond in kind.  It was a terrible and stupid, sinful choice.  All I am saying is that I didn't just start shoving my wife because I was angry with her, or for some other reason.

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Now that you've examined your conscience in part, may I suggest you find someone who has the power to act in per-sona Christi to absolve you of these sins!?

The Pharisee said...

Christ is my go between.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Well. Go camping for a week and continue the internet hiatus with house guests on either end, and miss all kinds of drama.
I'm catching up, or trying to.
Against my better judgment and normal practice I followed one of your links to that other site. I saw two minor but interesting things:
People who I know were part of the KS when it started on the SLTrib blog claiming not to have a clue what the KS was or what it stood for.

And this bizarre set of values expressed by Stamps:
"...he took the wife abuse to the next level and he is now an internet cyber bully! "

Regardless of the accuracy of any of those charges (even if they are both fully true)- it is seriously disturbing and really creepy to consider 'cyber bullying' to be worse than actually physically abusing a flesh and blood person in a hands on way.

In what sort of a world is cyber bullying somehow 'the next level' up from wife abuse?

Not mine.

The Pharisee said...

Count me as not knowing what "KS" means.

Also, unless anyone mistake, I don't blame anyone for whatever "bullying" I might be involved in, be it cyber on in person. I would submit that my "bullying" in person was over about half a lifetime ago and consisted of shoving. There were less than 10 instances of it, and probably more 5. The only reason I mention who "started it" was to head off the next question which is "why did you push your wife?"

My answer would be that it was the rationalization I employed, that she shoved/hit first. It gives me zero excuse unless I'm shoving her to get her out of the way of an oncoming bus. I have become for that honest clarification of remarks I have made previously and elsewhere over a rather long time on the internet, a "wife beater."

I don't care. I didn't "abuse" (in the shoving or hitting sense) before that short period of time, I didn't do it afterward. I was married longer after that "abuse" ended than the period before. It simply wasn't a factor in my divorce because I quit doing it, and as abuses go, it "wasn't that bad."

Please understand that I regard it as bad, and always have. I was and am and will remain deeply ashamed of it, and regard it as all my fault and wrong. Another thing those that characterize my "confession" keep failing to recognize. For 5 out of my 56 years, I shoved my wife around. I quit on my own about 22 years ago.

I am fascinated by the fluid self serving horror over "cyber bullying expressed by persons like John (Stamp). From an anonymous blind for over two years they have researched the opposition, mostly through information provided to them willingly by their opposition. For instance, it was said that I left bread crumbs all around.

Yes dummies, I did. I also left the whole loaf on the table in broad daylight, I'm not hiding.

So we end up with cyber bullies themselves who stalk claiming Stalking and Cyber Bullying. It is in fact surreal. Now it's supposed to be worse than physical abuse. I suppose that could be possible in some cases.

My advice remains the same as it always has been and the declarations I make, the same:

If you want to be anonymous, don't publish. If you want to stay anonymous and disregard the first rule, be polite and respectful of your opponents and those you write about.

Yes you have the right to TRY to stay anonymous insofar as you can.

Yes you have the right to be free from illegal attempts to find out who you are. If however people use information you publish about yourself, and put two and two together with that information, discover who you are, you're nailed. Quit whining. Enjoy the daylight. Don't publish pictures of your opponent's DAUGHTER, so they "known how it feels." I have NEVER done such a thing nor do I endorse it.