Thursday, February 21, 2013

fear

When the ICE agents left the house after they searched it, they left something behind. Fear.

For months after, I wondered if they had bugged our house. I waited until we were out of the house to discuss my husband's case, just in case. I especially disliked saying anything too personal in our bedroom because I felt as if someone were listening. I checked under the kitchen table to see if they had left a bug there. Does this sound crazy? At the time, it made sense to me.

When I left my office for lunch, I contemplated leaving by another door just in case police were waiting to arrest me. I had done nothing wrong but seeing how easily they could crash into our lives and leave wreckage behind, I felt none of us was safe. Does that sound crazy? At the time, it made sense to me.

When I was stopped for speeding, my hands shook as I talked to the police officer. When I pick up my kids at school and I see the police officer who hangs around there, I recoil. Seeing uniformed officers brings all the terror back to me; the anger, too.

Using my computer to type in my journal, I worried that the agents had installed a key logger on my computer and could see what I was typing, read my mind. They had access to all of our computers that morning and could have installed anything on it. Why did they leave mine behind for me? It isn't as if they were nice people. Does that sound crazy? At the time, it made sense to me.

I used to walk the dog early in the morning but stopped doing that. The idea of leaving my family behind in the house without me was frightening. If I were walking the dog, who would protect them against agents who invade the house again? The morning of the search, an agent had sat in his car on our street, watching our house; a neighbor had seen him and talked to him. The agent had watched me pick up the newspaper from my driveway. I still look up and down the street for unfamiliar cars when I get the newspaper.

Locking the doors and closing the blinds is still almost obsessive for me. The fear that someone could come into my house, that someone could even look into my windows is still there.

The agents ran through my house with their guns drawn. To get my husband to talk, they threatened to come back and take our children away.

This, and worse, much worse, happens every day across the country. The vast majority of crimes being investigated when law enforcement executes search warrants this way are for non-violent crimes. I cannot be the only person left with fear whispering in the back of my mind.

12 comments:

Jen said...

Child porn is NOT a non violent crime

Marie said...

Hi Jen,

Some child porn contain images of violet acts. True. Now, you show me how looking at child porn is the same as committing those violent acts. Don't tell me that looking at child porn encourages someone else to create more child porn. That may or may not be true but is a separate subject. Tell me where the violence is in looking at child porn. Tell me where the violence is in possessing child porn. Is it also a violent act to possess images from a really nasty bar fight?

Because some, perhaps most, images that are considered child porn are not images of violent acts, tell me why you think viewing images of non-violent acts is violent.

Jen said...

I understand that you are hurting and thus need to justify these things in your mind, so I am guessing that nothing will change the way you feel about child porn as it hits too close to home for you.

I work with exploited children. If you were to speak to the victims I think you would have a different take on everything. I can promise you, whether the images display violent acts or not, they are harmful. These children are being revictimized every time their photo is shown and the pain many of them feel knowing these photos are out there is horrid. You say "Don't tell me that looking at child porn encourages someone else to create more child porn" why? It is very true. If there was not a market for such things there would be less victims. Also, I sincerely hope you know the difference between adults in a bar fight and an innocent child that cannot protect him/herself.

I am sorry for what your husband has done to your family, and I hope you and your children are able to find peace and heal.

Marie said...

Jen, I couldn't help but notice that you didn't answer my questions. Thank you for your kind thoughts. My family is doing well.

Jen said...

Sorry, I thought I had answered your question (the only one I see is "how is viewing child porn violent?") It is violence because it is harming children. As I said above, without viewers there would not be a market for child porn and there would be fewer victims. More children are victims of violence because more people are asking for these images. Also, I work with these victims and see/hear first hand their pain and the harm that has been caused to them. Many of them are very pained knowing that their images are being viewed. That is why I see viewing child pornography as a violent act.

Marie said...

You have shown me no violence specific to viewing or possessing. That was my challenge.

Hanna said...

You tagged this post "home invasion". Invasion being a word with violent connotations. You felt fear and violation having people enter your home, yes? I think what Jen is trying to explain to you is that knowing these photos are being viewed is "soul invasion" or "invasion of privacy" for child porn victims. A violent act in terms of their spirits, sense of self and the safety of their privacy. Imagine waking up every day knowing those police were coming into your home. Those children wake up every day knowing someone is going to be looking at their private parts and viewing the worst day of their lives with pleasure..every single day. If you put half as much effort into feeling as sorry for the victims of child porn as you do for yourself you would be one step closer to not being a sociopath. Unfortunately due to your non acknowledgement of any harm done by child porn I concur with most who read this blog: that you are actually a male pedophile attempting to garner sympathy and acceptance for your sick desires.

Marie said...

Hanna, I am so sorry to disappoint you.

It is possible to hold two thoughts at the same time, for example: 1) child porn is bad and 2) prison sentences for child porn possession are out of line.

Jen said...

Didn't you say your husband only got four years in prison? I'm sure for you and your children that is a long time to be without him, but it does not seem out of line to me. If he had gotten life for having looked at two photos...sure...that would be out of line.

Girliest Nerd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ibrewtea said...

you know what your problem is? You're invaded by fear BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T LEFT YOUR HUSBAND. So you SHARE the consequences of his CRIME.

Maybe you should focus a little less on defending the grown adult who knowingly engaged in a criminal act that victimizes children and a little more on the CHILDREN WHO WERE HARMED in the creation of the images that your husband sought out for his personal use.

Once you stop seeing yourself/your husband as the victim and start empathizing with the REAL victims, maybe--just maybe--you'll be able to move on. But for God's sake...stop polluting the internet with this vomit.

Amy said...

My question to you is this, and I say this out of true sincerity, and with no malicious intentions. You say that the sentence for child porn is too steep, and while I don't necessarily agree, I am curious to know what you think is a more suitable sentence? Do you believe that jail time should even be served in this case?