I realized today what it felt to live in the USSR, Greater German Reich, North Korea, China, Equatorial Guinea or any other totalitarian regime, union or republic.
I don’t state that lightly. Certainly, most Americans under 40 would have no notion of what any of those governmental arrangements represent. None whatsoever. Most of them only know them from an online meme or T-shirt they bought at Target with Mao or Che’s face emblazoned on them to be so “hip and retro.”
And although I’m glad I didn’t have to go live in a muddy foxhole with a bunch of kids who were running away from the police, home, some imaginarily greater trouble in the states, responsibility in general or, God forbid, college, I fell neatly in between a lot of guys that did.
I had a dear grandfather who was born on April 19, 1919. Through no fault of his own he didn’t go fight in any wars, and the USA was probably better off for his service back home as a very successful business man coming out of the Great Depression, which had to be distressing and hard in its own right. My other grandfather was killed right after World War II broke out. So he probably ended up taking the easy way out.
My father did two tours in Viet Nam, for a reason that defies being equipped with a brain. Which is exactly who you had over in Viet Nam walking around in the rainy mud for years at end, when they should have been at home tending to their families, college and businesses.
That’s not to say military service isn’t meaningful, whatsoever. There are countless men and women who we owe a great deal and volunteered their skills, brains, brawn time, and even life for our own purpose of freedom.
In the end a lot of human blood was shed trying to demand a type of governmental control should be in place. A fight for control. Which is what my ex-wife has embarked on a battle for. Not actual control over anything whatsoever, mind you. The divorce settlement with her as Petitioner saw to it that the Jefferson Circuit Court Family Division Six(6) controls all matters pertaining to our family life now, including our mutual daughter aged 5. But she only wants the sensation of it.
And it’s for that reason that today I experienced exactly what it’s like to have other people have control over your very life with no recourse.
I have friends that are Chinese or have lived under a totalitarian regime, by the matter of Coup de Etat, “Democracy,” or any other way that a country had its table suddenly turned upside-down.
Many people in America know what that looks like, because they are now here, having fled that governmental system and made it to our shores alive. But there are increasingly more that live here who have no idea what that looks like. They couldn’t even begin to imagine it, even if it was shoved in their tender faces by their 85-inch TV binge-watching Netflix Docudrama on it starring Jimmy Fallon.
With this past election, it became clear that there is an increasing number of voters who would rather have others make their decisions for them, no matter what that decision may be. Or, just as eye-opening, there is a large number who would rather have others decide their and their family’s life’s fate than to have the incumbent in office 4 more years. What that says to me is that they place no value on themselves or the people they love and will happily have the person standing next to them tell them what to do in every situation. Because that’s what’s coming down to in our larger population.
But I’m not here to talk politics, necessarily. At least not that broadly.
What I was just describing is when people ask to be told what to do. That’s not me and never will be. I don’t care what anyone else does, as long as it doesn’t infringe on my, or my daughter’s life, liberty, happiness or property.
If it were only that easy. But there are people that, not as a matter of political policy, but as an innate character trait, MUST have a sense of control over other people and situations. It’s a character flaw, in fact.
And when you take that flaw and match it up with another tendency to never know when to stop, recognize boundaries, and instead accelerate the situation to see what happens, that problems occur for everyone. As I saw today.
What began as an innocent miscommunication has resulted in arrests, Emergency Protective Orders, the removal of a daughter from being able to see her own father except for 1 hour of scheduled, supervised, paid for by him, awkward and sad father/daughter time. And that’s just the beginning. There are motions being filed against the mother for neglect and abuse, Child Services getting involved, and serious physical and legal problems flaring up all around.
It’s causing me to have to put my job search on pause, as well as my months-long plans I’ve been making to move back to my home state of South Carolina. But these are all just problems. What I’m talking about in this article is Totalitarianism.
Totalitarianism sprouts from the desire to control your neighbor as you see fit. “Tis for thee, and not for me.” And it’s that priority of seeking that sense of control over someone or a situation as the topmost, instead of what should be first. In our case, that should be our daughter’s best interest and welfare.
Alas, it is not the case for both parents. That’s my top priority. The control mandate is the top priority for the mother. Resulting in the call for Totalitarianism.
Reduce all communication down to the thumb-texts of a Smartphone App. That was her request, which I not only obliged, but paid for a year’s subscription for her as a gesture of good-will. Good enough.
But these theatrics began back on May 3. She drove to my house to pick up our daughter, which would have been fine. But she arrived unannounced, for the fifth time. And when I didn’t realize what was going on, she decided it would be as good as any day to create some problems for everyone.
After yelling and making a spectacle out of herself in the yard, with me and our daughter inside, she drove out to the street, smoked something for a while, and called the police to come over.
With their arrival, she became hysterical enough for them to tell her to calm down twice. She told them I assaulted her. That was all it took, and the fish was hooked.
At that point, it clearly was about control. But that wasn’t good enough, and a red herring had to be thrown. So the assault charge. And then to double down, she took out an EPO on me.
So size this situation up: This person who drove herself over to my house with no announcement or invitation, suddenly remembered that she feared for her own and her daughter’s safety to the point of having me arrested and criminal charges filed with an EPO filed, and having it court ordered that I no longer be within 500 feet of my daughter or her. Except for once a week, for one hour, with supervision and a camera, which I must now pay for.
OK. So that’s now in place for her. But that’s not enough.
We finally have our first visitation last week after almost a full month of not seeing each other(father/daughter) and she shows up with stitches in her forehead covered by a bloody bandage. Unbelievable.
So today, a week later, I ask the “Children’s Safe Haven” where we meet, which is a depressing room in the bottom of a filthy office park, about taking some photographs of my child’s head where the damage was and the stitches still existed. I was told “No photos allowed.” even though the reason I wanted to take them of MY OWN DAUGHTER, was to prevent her from obtaining more injuries. That reason wasn’t reasonable enough apparently, and I was simply denied. Nope. Not going to happen, even if I wanted to use them to alert Child Health Services. I suppose if a child came through the door with a broken arm, two black eyes, and a hammer sticking out of their head, the same policy would be in place? Simply astounding. The “Executive Director” was contacted by cell phone, of course, and the same answer was delivered: “No.”
But it doesn’t end there, no. While my daughter and I were having our supervised hour of father/daughter time, the supervisor kept saying “RED!” no matter what I said. She was controlling my thought and speech. I couldn’t mention going to go get ice cream at a future time, I couldn’t tell her the details of a 3-D printer I bought for us to make all sorts of cool things, I couldn’t say anything that was not in the prescribed handbook, which of course I did not have to reference with each individual sentence and thought I had to tell my own child. And of course, our daughter hadn’t been spending her nights pouring over the boundaries instated by the Children’s Safe Haven, so she was committing infractions left and right as well. It wouldn’t have surprised me if a 200-pound swastika-emblazoned, mustachioed nurse came bounding through the door to call the whole thing off.
So, to summarize, just by the whim of a person simply saying someone assaulted her, with no witnesses, no justifiable injuries – she showed some bruises in court that could have come from anywhere, along with a new-found cut aside the older photos of bruises that she didn’t even remember where she obtained it. Some evidence.
From that one statement, my life, and our daughter’s, have been turned upside down, for the sake of someone having the sense of control, versus what’s best for our child. And I paused and realized, that is the exact same situation that a totalitarian government wants to render. No ability to have anyone to turn to, no sense of responsibility, no choice or involvement in any matter. It’s all handled by someone else, blindly and without a care of what’s best. Just to be utterly in blind compliance to some dreamt-up policy some likely unequipped person who had no skin in the game at all wrote at an indefinite and out-out context time ago.
So I’m doing everything I can to right the ship containing my daughter and myself that was capsized on a whim. But there are many people around us right now that have that same unappreciation of freedom. Until it’s denied them which, by their own willingness, is at any time. It’s living in your own little safe spot with your vulnerable belly warming by the Sun. Until the dogs you asked for come for you, too.