Storytime. That Time I Was Attacked by a Serial Predator (and The DA Called Me About it 20 Years Later).

Today I received a telephone call from an investigator with a California District Attorney’s office (I won’t say which one).  His message said that “no one is in trouble” and he just wants to speak with me about an old case.  When I Googled, I found the man’s name and number on a telephone list for the Sex Crimes investigation unit.  He was indeed an investigator with the DA and I figured I knew what he was on about — I was sexually assaulted in college by a serial offender and I deduced that my attacker had been arrested again.  It’s the only “old case” I could think of and certainly the only sex crime in which I was ever involved.  Of course, as an attorney, I kind of think investigators are shit/pure evil (of the little dick/huge ego persuasion) and I also know they lie.  So I didn’t care to take or return a cold call from one.

Instead of calling him back I called his supervisors and left voicemails introducing myself as an attorney and asking what the call was about.  Later, the investigator called me back and left a more detailed message, this time including my attacker’s name.  Obviously I recognized the name; what an unpleasant, unexpected and unwanted blast from the past that was (is there any other kind?).  The guy they were calling about had been a stranger to me — so much for the “strange men are totally safe because the men you know are worse” liberal feminist trope — and he had digitally penetrated me in a public place.  A Halloween party.  The police report and subsequent deposition for the case were a riot.  The Guy With the Knife In His Head did this.  Ace Ventura did that.  It was surreal, darkly funny and traumatic.

As I recall, by the time I was called in to do the deposition on my assault my attacker had been arrested again, this time for the rape and attempted murder of his common law wife.  They told me he was definitely going to jail on charges related to that and they planned to drop the charges related to my assault as part of a plea deal.  They asked me how I felt about that, explaining that if I wanted the prosecutor to pursue my case, as a victim, they would consider my wishes.  Since he was going to jail anyway I said that was fine with me.  I was busy trying to survive college and work, my attacker’s lawyer was a dick and had harassed me during the depo and I really didn’t care to have anything more to do with it.  I bowed out and as far as I know that’s exactly what happened: my case went away and my attacker went to jail.  The woman he had raped and tried to kill declined to cooperate at all, saying she would not “help white America put another black man in prison.”

Now, 20 years later I get a call from Little Dick/Big Ego who promised I wasn’t in trouble and said he just wanted to talk.  Is that any way to start a fucking conversation?  Jesus.  It was almost as if he didn’t want me to call him back at all.  Unsurprisingly, the guy who attacked me 20 years ago has been arrested again, this time for rape and sodomy.  I Googled his name and read the details of his latest violent femicidal crime.  Apparently, in California, the prosecutor can bring in victims from prior similar cases to show that the accused is a lifelong asshole (essentially) and the prosecutor is hoping, this time, “to put him away for life.”  My attacker had already been a lifelong asshole when he was arrested for what he did to me and the cops all knew him — long before that, they had given him a nickname that started with The.  You know, like The Hulk, The Terminator, The Situation, etc.  I won’t say what the nickname was but it was a shortened version of his last name and he had a history of prior offenses “as long as my arm” as the cops and prosecutors all told me at the time.  So now, 20 years and a hundred lifetimes later, I have yet another prosecutor wanting my perspective on “Mr. The” because apparently, trying to keep a serial woman abuser in prison is like trying to nail Jello to a wall.

Continue reading “Storytime. That Time I Was Attacked by a Serial Predator (and The DA Called Me About it 20 Years Later).”

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Running Through Fire With an Ostomy Bag. Homeless Without Humira. Can You Imagine?

Yet again I am contemplating and empathizing with the plight of the seriously chronically ill in the midst of an ongoing natural disaster, this time raging wildfires in Northern and Southern California.  This morning I read the story of a woman who had given birth via C-section in the city of Paradise which that very day ended up burnt to the ground.  She was still on an IV drip with a spanking-fresh surgical wound and an hours-old newborn, unable to even walk on her own, and was forced to catch a ride out of dodge with a nonmedical hospital worker to whom she decreed: if the fire overtakes this car, take my baby and run.  Gamely, the nonmedical hospital worker hung this woman’s IV bag from the rearview mirror and in just 9 short hours they had made the 20 minute drive to the next town to another hospital where, I presume, she is continuing her recovery from what is, of course, major (and probably elective) surgery and on top of that, likely major psychological trauma from both the surgery and the fire.

The home she had shared with her husband in Paradise has been reduced to its chimney as a large portion of the state continues to burn throwing hundreds of thousands of lives into prolonged chaos.  Some 10,000 homes have burned and many more people than that have been left homeless, camping out in tents in the parking lot of the local Walmart (if they are lucky enough to even have a tent) living in cars (unless theirs was lost or left behind) or renting a hotel room if they can locate, access and afford one — every room within 100 miles is currently occupied by displaced fire victims and other evacuees.

As a climate refugee myself, before I became a cannabis refugee, I was left homeless after losing my apartment in Hurricane Sandy and I can vividly imagine and feel these evacuees’ pain, stress and grief as they attempt to survive the “aftermath” of an ongoing regional disaster where all has been lost, damaged or destroyed, and that includes all infrastructure, including medical infrastructure.  While the experience of being a climate (or other) refugee in the best of circumstances is daunting, traumatizing and horrific, what are seriously ill people expected to do on top of everything else when they are also tied to the Western medical system either temporarily or for life because they have submitted to alterations/interventions like surgeries, ostomies, picc lines and the like, but where medical goods and services (including ostomy supplies and even intravenous nutrition) become unavailable due to an ongoing natural disaster?  What of those who are dependent on Big Pharma drugs to manage their symptoms or who are addicted to prescription painkillers and psych meds but who, due to circumstances beyond their control, are unable to refill their prescriptions and start to experience dangerous and even life-threatening disease relapses and clinical withdrawal?

Continue reading “Running Through Fire With an Ostomy Bag. Homeless Without Humira. Can You Imagine?”

Aaaaaannnndddddd…We’re Back to Grateful. I Literally Forgot What a Full-Blown Crohn’s Flare Was Like.

So for the past week or so I have been in a full-blown Crohn’s flare.  Being sick as hell all the time anyway, even when my GI symptoms are relatively minimal (meaning, minimal for me as a person with a chronic and debilitating autoimmune and GI disease) I guess I had forgotten how bad things can actually get!  Despite having recently worsening symptoms like crippling fatigue, arthritis in my fingers, toes, shoulders, hips and spine, dizziness and trouble walking, my GI symptoms have been at a blessed minimum lately, consisting merely of having to ruthlessly police my own diet and avoiding most foods available in the supermarket or anywhere; waking up nauseated every single day and having to lay (well, writhe around) in bed for an hour every morning trying to fart (apparently extreme bloating makes one nauseated?  Who knew!); being hit randomly throughout the day with stabbing abdominal pains, gas and bloating, “heartburn” which is really esophageal spasms that feel more like a cardiac event than a gastrointestinal one, pangs of nausea and other distressing sensations, and being glad I live alone so I can accomplish this daily ritual/grind in peace.

Other than that (!!) I felt relatively okay until about 10 days ago when the dreaded intestinal gurgling began.  As far as I can tell the gurgling starts as I become more and more inflamed and less and less able to control my symptoms — is it masticated food trying to bypass an obstruction?  Because that’s what it seems like to me.  In short order I was in a full-blown flare in which my abdomen feels, looks and is like a bloated whiskey barrel overstuffed with boggy loaves of bread, broken glass, 190 proof alcohol, and poison.  The broken glass, alcohol and poison are self-explanatory (severe sharp/gnawing/grinding pain, burning, smothering malaise).  The boggy loaves of bread are my inflamed intestines and that’s exactly what it feels like — for instance, instead of moving and/or bending easily at the waist, bending over becomes grueling and distressing and literally feels like I am working against a waterlogged loaf of Wonder bread where my appendix and terminal ileum should be (abdominal right lower quadrant).  There’s another loaf where my ascending colon should be and so on.  If I drop something on the floor whilst in this sorry state it better be something I won’t be needing for awhile because I literally cannot bend over (or reach!) to pick it up again.

Continue reading “Aaaaaannnndddddd…We’re Back to Grateful. I Literally Forgot What a Full-Blown Crohn’s Flare Was Like.”