Words Fade

Aug. 19th, 2014 07:43 pm
kajel: (Me)
Deeds speak louder than words.
Those words you’ve spoken so many times,
they mean nothing yet.
I am watching.

The words flow from you, one after the other.
These words build upon those you have already delivered.
I am waiting.

What you do lends credence to what you say.
Your actions do not follow the words.
I am learning.

The words, they are insubstantial,
Whispers on the wind.
They're not real.
I am no longer listening.


This is my entry for LJ Idol: S9 Week 18. The topic this week was Disinformation.
kajel: (Me)
If a police officer asks you to pretend to still be friendly with the person who stole your checks and cashed two of them, you will discover whether or not you are a world class actress. You have to be good to smile and laugh with a woman who has betrayed your trust and friendship.

I became my own detective after discovering there were two fraudulent checks paid out of my account. I identified five missing checks from three different check books. I went to the bank to find out exactly when and where the checks had been cashed. I then went to the store and asked them to show me the video of that day and time. I watched as my neighbor and good friend of two years handed my check to the cashier for her cigarettes. I handed the evidence to the police officer that fateful Friday morning.

He hoped to get her to come in on her own and speak to him. That is when I realized he wanted me to act like nothing was wrong, if I could. I am pretty sure I went from good to world class that day. I tried avoiding her, but she was persistent in coming over to discuss the latest gossip. My mother in law was there to see my performance. When the officer asked her to come in and talk to him about fraud, I led her astray. ‘ He must have a question about your finances and the investigation you have going with your accounts’ I said. ‘Of course I mentioned it to him, you told me it was probably the same person who stole your money last month.’ She was panicked, I put her at ease. I deserved an Oscar.

Later, that day after some back and forth between her and the officer, he finally told her over the phone that we knew it was her and she needed to come in and speak with him. I received a panicked text message. It read something like:

‘I didn’t do this, please your dog was dying and you gave me a check that one day to get you some food and stuff. You didn’t want to leave him. I gave you the receipts. If you had told me that these were the checks you were talking about I would have reminded you. I would never do this to you.’

I read the message and laughed. I called the officer. ‘I have a text message to send you. We have admission of guilt.’


This is my entry for LJ Idol: S9 Week 5. This week’s topic was “Build A Better Mousetrap”. These events happened a year and a half ago. They were the inspiration for the thought process of last weeks entry.
kajel: (Me)
Do we prosecute her or not? After all the lies, the betrayal and everything, I think we should. I know you’re worried about her husband and kids. I understand the hesitation. I had those thoughts too. In her apology letter, she tried to reinforce those thoughts. It’s one of the ways she manipulates people.

Does it help to know the officer told me she will only receive fines and community service? Even after all she has done, I don’t actually want her to go to jail. She has to know that there are consequences for her actions. Why should we compromise our values to protect her family.

What happens if we let this go? You know that she will do it again. The next person might not be as savvy as us. She can do so much damage. If she has a record, she may think twice about doing this again. That's what it boils down to. We let her go; we live with the knowledge she will do this to someone else when we could have stopped it.

We’ll need to stand tall and be firm through the end. We’re strong, we can do this. I’m not anyone’s bitch to be used this way. Kindness does not equal weakness. I will never be a doormat for anyone.


This is my entry for LJ Idol: S9 Week 4. This week’s topic was “Nobody can ride your back if your back's not bent”.
kajel: (Me)
Summer has arrived in full form and my children want to go and play in the front yard. They want to go play with their friends that they haven't seen in eight months. I finally started letting them go out in the front yard. I have worried how the neighbor's children would treat them. Mine are too young to understand that Mommy and the neighbor, K, no longer speak. I have put my anger behind me, but I had some residual worries.

The first day that relations were put to the test, we lost power in the house. A huge thunderstorm had just blown through. It was much cooler outside then it was inside. The kids spoke to me for the first time in months. They played with my children and my dog. Honestly, it was a huge relief to realize that nothing bad was going to happen. Later that evening, her husband came over and spoke to me. I heard second hand how the repercussions of that act were not good in that household. I was amused that the next time we were out, her eldest made sure not to step foot onto my property. She still played with my kids, just made sure not to step off the street.

There is a neighbor caught between us, M. I try hard not to badmouth my other neighbor in her presence. I try not to make her choose sides. Anytime during this process, if she asked me questions about what happened, I have told her my truth and let her decide for herself. M has children that are the same age as mine. M and I will only ever be acquaintances. We will get together for the kids to have play dates. We will pass the time chatting when we catch each other outside, but that is all I will ever allow. The fallout with K and the theft and fraud has left a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to neighbors. Also, how can I become good friends with M who is still very involved in the life of someone who did something so despicable to my husband and I?

After telling me that K had not taken her husband speaking to me at all well, she wondered what he thinks of this whole mess. I have to wonder also. Until that incident, he had only ever spoken twice to me in a professional capacity. He works where I have my car serviced. He has not once spoken to my husband and I about what happened. That confuses me. He and my husband had become pretty good friends. To this day I wish that we had sent an email that we composed the night before the arrest warrant was issued.

K sent us an apology email five days after the police officer had called her in for questioning. It started out well, but the end just pissed us off. It felt manipulative. Here is an excerpt.

'My children are very important to me but because of this I could lose them. I'm asking you to please drop these charges I hope you understand these charges will destroy me, my husband and my children.'

When you are apologizing to someone who is truly angry at you, pulling a 'get out of jail free card' in the middle of your apology isn't going to go over well. Making the issue about you and how it will destroy your life is not the best way to garner forgiveness and clemency. Sure, you may need to do it, but do it in something other than your apology.

My husband and I composed an email in response. It laid out all of the issues we had with her and why her apology was too little too late. It outlined the reasons we were so angry. Most of them had little to do with the money she actually stole from us. Here is an excerpt from our response.

'You had plenty of time and opportunity to come clean about this, but you chose not to. When we told you that we found checks were cashed against our account, you demonstrated that you were not only willing to lie to us, you also proved you were willing to throw A and J under a bus (again) to save your own ass. Well, it doesn't take much to see how this sheds a light on your past statements about them. Not only did you cross a line, you kept running. 

Even after you signed a confession, we were led to believe your confession was coerced and not given of your own of your own free will.  You confessed, yet we were still made to feel like we had done something wrong, by accusing you of a theft you know you committed.  How are we to believe your remorse is sincere when you are still not taking full responsibility for your actions, claiming your confession may not hold up in court?  How many lies are still out there?  

Any friendship we had with you is gone due to your actions. Any felonies that you are charged with are due to your actions. We gave you plenty of opportunity to come clean, but you didn't. The fact that felony charges were the only thing that drove you to write this email is enough to point out we cannot trust you, or your word.'

My husband wanted to sit on the email overnight before sending it. Sitting on the email led to us not sending it. I was planning to email it to her and her husband the next afternoon. However, the arrest warrant came out that day and the police officer called her and told her to come and turn herself in. I received a nasty text message from her and that was that. In the end, we decided it wasn't worth sending after that happened. Sometimes though, I really wish we had. Her husband would have at least understood where we were coming from. He would have been clued in on some of the things that she had told us that I know he didn't know about. It might have helped make living with them for years to come easier.

I do a lot of things for people. Sometimes they take advantage. It is good to know that when it is important, I am not a doormat. There are boundaries that you just do not cross. I will allow a lot and give more than your fair share of the benefit of the doubt. If you run roughshod all over my trust, I am going to do something about it. If I think that giving you a 'free pass' for what you did is going to lead to you doing it again to someone in the future, I will make sure you won't ever be able to do it again.


This is my second entry for LJ Idol: Exhibit B. This week we are doing two topic. This entry is for the email that made you feel like a BAMF. The first entry for The Heart of Time can be found here.
kajel: (Me)
We live in a cul-de-sac in our neighborhood. After a house fire in 2008, we started getting to know our neighbors better. By the end of 2011, my husband and I had become really good friends with the couple directly across the street from us. Last summer, they didn't have air conditioning and they spent four to five evenings a week in our home.

It was wonderful. She was a stay at home mother also. We would have coffee together most mornings. We planned shopping trips together, swapped babysitting, traded recipes and cooking duties for dinners. Her children were a lot older than ours, but loved coming over to play with them. Our husbands started going on bike rides together for exercise. They watched our home and dogs while we were on vacation last summer. Her mother came to visit from Pennsylvania and let me know how much my friendship meant to her daughter. I was touched.

In late summer, they began having financial difficulties. Checks went missing and were cashed. She accused another couple we had introduced to them. They let us know there was an investigation, she had seen the other couple on video cashing her checks. In the next few months, we discovered we were being lied to by the wife. The discoveries started small, but they began to snowball. We were getting ready to address our concerns with the husband, when our checks went missing. In the end, the neighbor's wife had defrauded her own accounts, accused our friends of the crime, stolen our money and tried to convince authorities I had given her the checks to buy groceries for me and just forgot.

I don't understand the motivation to do something like this to good friends. It has temporarily shaken my trust in people. An acquaintance offered to watch my children for fifteen minutes while I ran to the store to grab medication for my son. I couldn't take her up on it. I couldn't get past the fear of what might happen. I am more distant with new people I meet. I will be getting a new next door neighbor soon. I have no desire to meet them. One positive, we did not destroy our friendship with the other couple. We stepped back, but we waited for proof that we could see before cutting our ties. I am thankful that, although I believed the neighbor's lies, we waited for the hard evidence.

Everyday, I hear a car door, look up, and see her going about her business. Everyday I wish we had confronted her, but this wish is a double edged sword. We don't wish to feed her need for drama, her need to twist words to show herself as a victim. I haven't been able to step out of my home without obsessing over her and what happened. I wonder what my other neighbors think of us. We don't know them well, but she and her children do. I have been trapped in this nightmare of negative thinking. Breaking of trust hurts. It creates rage, pain and stress. The nightmare isn't a good or healthy place to live.

I have said to myself, 'I will not allow her to run me out of my own front yard!'. Only to realize, I have allowed it. The neighbor is outside in the cul-de-sac, and I decide to get the mail later. I herd the kids into the backyard so that I can avoid any awkwardness. With time, the pain and rage begin to die down. They get replaced by awkwardness and avoidance. The nightmare continued, only now, with different emotions.

How do you get past the pain and stress of betrayal when you see the individual everyday? This weekend, I took the kids out in the front yard. It was a beautiful evening and we played for a couple of hours. The neighbors came out and it no longer mattered. The nightmare is over for me. It is a new day and, today, I can look at her out my window and feel pity. She is going to have a felony record over a minor amount of money. Money she didn't even use for necessities for her or her family. I can finally let this go. This nightmare may haunt her the rest of her life, but I am out of it.


This is my entry for LJ Idol: Exhibit B. This week was an intersection, and my partner is [livejournal.com profile] alycewilson. Her entry can be found here.

The topics were I Wake Up Strange and Oh, Lord, We're Not Talking ______Again, Are We?.
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