So,I've Been Thinking...

As some of you may already know, I've been working on a second edition of my book, Intended Harm. I'm not planning on making any major changes or anything. I just want to redesign the inside and change the font. I also figured that while I'm at it I might as well add a few chapters about the civil confinement trial and stuff.

Then I thought...maybe I'll use my real name this time around.

When I first started this adventure in self recovery I was terrified of people finding out who I really was. I thought I could hide behind a fake name and remain anonymous forever. But the more I wrote, and the more I interacted with people, the more I felt like I was meant to share my story.

I know how crazy it must sound to most people...crazy psychopath who's about to be released from prison who has already tried to find me, and here I am making it easier by putting myself out there with a book all about how crazy he really is; and now I want to use my real name?!? I know it sounds crazy but that's not how I look at it.

I look at it like this...I have spent half of my life hiding from this man who is in a maximum security prison. For the longest time I wouldn't use the internet because I was afraid that I would do something that would leave a trace of me that would make it easier for him to find me. I wouldn't let my children join sports or other groups because I was afraid of what might happen to them while they were away from me. I never...and I mean NEVER...talked about what this man did to me because it was too painful. I kept everything bottled up inside, pretending it never happened.

But I have come to accept that I have no control over my life. Yes, I can continue to hide in my house and keep all of this to myself but what good does that do? Who does that help? Certainly not me. By sharing my story, I have finally found peace. I can finally talk about what happened to me. I finally feel healed. But it's not only that. By sharing my story, I have helped many women who have been hurt realize that it is possible to overcome their pain too.

I plan on pursuing my goal of becoming an inspirational speaker and for that I will need to use my real name.

Nothing makes me feel more foolish than when people call me Ms. Eve. Lol!

But I am also a woman of logic and logic tells me that using my real name would only make it easier for Mr. Smith to find me. It's not even me I'm worried about. I'm worried about my children...and my family. Of course, we will all have to take certain precautions when Mr. Smith is released from prison, regardless of whether or not I write under my real name or my psuedonym, so...?

I don't know. Any suggestions?

♥ Jurney Eve


An Unexpected Peace

*Renee, (aka *Mr. Smith's ex-wife)

I am so sorry it took me this long to write you back. I hope you haven't been worried that your letter upset me. If you were, let me assure you that it did not. I am so grateful that you reached out to me. I didn't immediately respond because your letter touched me in ways I wasn't prepared for.

I know I wrote in my book that I often think about finding you so I can tell you just how grateful I am, and that's true. Over the years, I have thought about you and your family often. I wondered how you were doing and how this has changed you. I wondered what kind of woman you are today vs. the woman you were then. I always thought I would have so much to say to you and ask you.

After I read your letter I started to respond right away, but several times, I would write a few sentences, then delete them because they didn't seem to portray what I really felt. Then I'd write something entirely different, then I'd delete that one. I just couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted to say to you. But it has been over a week and I don't want to keep you hanging on worrying about how your letter has affected me.

I think your letter is amazing! I re-read it everyday and everyday I still get emotional...but it's a good kind of emotional. I love that we have both found peace and shelter through God. My faith in God is the only thing that has helped me all these years. By writing my book, I hope to serve God by sharing my story and helping others with it.

You said that you wish you could have recognized his demons and prevented him from hurting me. I hope that doesn't mean that you harbor any guilt for what he did to me. Even if you did recognize anything in him, he is the only person responsible for his actions. I have NEVER blamed you for a second and I hope you've never blamed yourself.

Thank you again for having the courage to send me your letter. It has brought a little more peace into my life.

♥ Jurney Eve


An Unsettling Silence

I once wrote that I sometimes think about finding *Mr. Smith's ex-wife so I can give her a great, big hug and tell her how grateful I am for what she did all those years ago. Without her help the police might have never caught him. Who knows how many more lives he would have shattered if she hadn't been brave enough to step forward? But I can not imagine how difficult that must have been for her.

Over the years, I've wondered about her. I've wondered how she was doing? Was she as broken as I was? Did she hide behind a smile too? How did she learn to trust again? I have always thought of her as another one of *Mr. Smith's victims...and I still do. I've always thought I would have so much to say to her if I ever found her, but six days ago, I received a letter from *Mr. Smith's ex-wife and I have yet to respond to her.

The fact that she had the courage to send it to me makes it that much more amazing. She's probably worried that she upset me since I haven't written back yet and I feel bad about that but I just can't find the right words.

Her words were kind, sincere, beautiful and I loved them. Knowing that she has thought of me as often as I have thought about her was comforting. What's even more comforting to me is knowing that she loves God and has learned to rely on Him the way I have.

We were hurt by the same man but we were healed by the same God.

So why haven't I responded to her?

I don't know!

Usually when I'm ready to write, my words come easily to me but I am drawing a blank. I find my silence most unsettling.

Jurney Eve


Letter From *Ms. Smith

I tried to think of a clever opening to this entry but I decided it wasn't necessary. I think her letter speaks for itself.

I just read your book. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done next to turning my back on the one person I believed in, my ex husband, the monster that hurt you so long ago. I'm sure it still 
feels like it was yesterday, and I'm sorry. I have thought about you and your family almost daily over the last 19.5 years. I have prayed, cried, worried, asked about you. We have most likely talked to many of the same people in the "system" over the years.
I have often thought about trying to find you but didn't want to add to your pain. How would I even begin that conversation? When I read that article in Sundays paper it just made me sick. That reporter was just so utterly clueless.
If meeting me is still something you are interested in, just say so. I have always wanted to know that somehow you found God's peace in your life. I am so sorry for the hell he put you through, I wish I could have recognized it in him, prevented it, found him the help he so needed, before he hurt you. I wish I had known the demons he had hidden.
If I don't hear from you I will certainly understand. All in God's time. 

 I haven't responded to her yet but I will...soon.
Jurney Eve


The Sunday Paper

Yesterday, my whole family got up bright and early...
well, we got up at 8am which IS bright and early for us on a weekend.
We were going to drive to our hometown and visit my husband's family. We hadn't exchanged Christmas presents with them yet and my husband's baby sister had a baby of her own a month ago that I had yet to cuddle and bond with him.
Once we were all packed for the night, loaded into the car, and getting ready to pull out of the hour behind phone rang. It was my friend *Marie. I could tell she was upset about something because she sounded like she had been bawling. Her voice was shaky and she was out of breath. Once I got her to calm down, she told me there was an article in that morning's newspaper about *Mr. Smith. And it must have been a doosey cuz she was pretty upset over it.
I was uncharacteristically calm about the news and I reassured her that it was ok. I told her I couldn't read it because I was driving but as soon as I got to my mother-in-laws' I would call her.
That was the longest 4 hour drive of my life.

(Actually, I spent 4 hours on the George Washington bridge in NYC once. Now THAT was the longest 4 hour drive of my life. Four hours and I went four miles. I will never take the George Washington bridge again!)

So, four hours later, I arrived at my mother-in-laws and I finally got to read the article.
(I changed the names to protect the innocent...and the ignorant.)

What Price Is Too High?

>*Mr. Smith spent 20 years in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl. Now a judge must decide whether to release him on parole or civilly commit him to a psychiatric facility at taxpayer cost of about $175K a year.

After 20 years in prison, a man -- who admitted he raped and would have killed his victim had she not escaped--could soon be released into the community.
It will be up to a County Supreme Court Judge *Ms. Frank to decide whether *Mr. Smith, 48, should be released on parole, or be confined to a psychiatric facility under New York's civil commitment law.
*Smith has served his maximum sentence after pleading guilty in 1991 to first-degree rape, a felony.
According to court documents, he offered to help a 17-year-old girl after striking her with his pickup truck while she was riding her bike. But after she got into his truck, he tied her up, drove her to a secluded area and raped her. The girl got away, running into the woods when *Smith returned to his truck to get his gun. He said he would have killed her to avoid being arrested.
*Smith was in court on Thursday for a disposition hearing in his civil commitment case--the last step before a judge decides his fate.
If confined, *Smith would be committed to a psychiatric facility for treatment for at least one year. At the end of that year, he'd be up for a review and the court would determine if he had yet completed treatment and could go free, said *Clark Kent, the assistant attorney general who is arguing on behalf of the state to civilly commit *Smith.
But under the civil committment law, there is a requirement that four phases of treatment be completed, and no offenders are even near release more than three years after the program began in the state.
In 2007, state lawmakers approved civil committment to route dangerous sex offenders whose sentences are ending into treatment in secure state psychiatric facilities.
Now the state is coping with cost and space strains as a result of the program. The average annual price tag to treat sex offenders in secured facilities is about $175,000 per person, making New York's program the costliest of its kind in the nation.

*Smith's Case

Court documents show that before the 1991 incident, *Smith had been convicted eight times for different crimes, with three of them involving a sexual element:
>A conviction for public lewdness;
>A burglary conviction which he plastered a woman's walls with clippings from pornographic magazines;
>And a felony count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment: *Smith tried to kidnap two girls--one of whom was 10 years old--within hours of each other, *Kent said.
Following a petition from the attorney general's office to confine *Smith to a psychiatric facility, a jury decided in November that *Smith had a mental abnormality--a requirement to civilly commit a sex offender in New York.
The only decision yet to be made in *Smith's case is if he will be detained at such a facility, or if he will be released into the community on a parole-supervised program known as SIST, or Strict and Intensive Supervision and Treatment.
Under SIST, offenders are required to wear GPS monitoring devices and are regularly subjected to polygraphs.
According to state data,eight of the 94 offenders ordered into SIST from 2007 through Nov. 30 are now charged with new sex crimes.
Twenty-one others are accused of non-criminal, but sex related violations of their release terms.

The Testimony

In court Thursday, *Frank--the County Supreme Court judge--heard conflicting testimony from two psychological experts on *Smith's liklihood to reoffend.
*Bruce Wayne, a psychologist employed by the Office of Mental Health who testified on behalf of the state, warned that *Smith was dangerous and needed to be detained. *Wayne said he had diagnosed *Smith with antisocial personality disorder, sexual sadism and psychopathy.
"The triad puts him at the highest level we know of potential to reoffend," *Wayne said.
*Lex Luthor, a Massachusetts-based psychologist who testified on behalf of the defense, disputed *Wayne's testimony. He argued *Smith shouldn't have been diagnosed with such disorders, that testing methods used by *Wayne were unacceptable and that, even if he was a sexually sadistic psychopath, that doesn't necessarily predict a higher recidivism rate.
"*Mr. Smith is a rapist," *Luthor said. "I do not believe today he would be adequately diagnosed as a sexual sadist. Even if there is an element of sexual sadism, recent data shows very little to no correlation with the liklihood to reoffend."
*Luthor also said because *Smith has aged 20 years, his likelihood to commit another sex offense has decreased.
An issue of concern, *Kent said, was that *Smith admitted during recent therapy sessions to having violent rape fantasies--something he said occurred before the 1991 incident. But *Luthor insisted that *Smith's admission was therapeutic, and a sign that he is trying to make progress.
Before adjourning and reserving her decision, the judge admitted this was an issue of concern.
"It's a troubling situation we find ourselves in now that, if you participate in therapy, you are kind of hanging yourself legally." *Frank said. But the defendant was ina court of law, not a counseling session, she added.
There's no clear timetable as to when *Frank will issue a decision.

What this article fails to mention is that while *Mr. Smith was serving 20 years in prison, he managed to obtain a few addresses of people involved in his case and send them threatening letters. He tracked me down a couple of times and he pretended to be my step-brother in the hopes someone would send him my picture.

What this article also fails to mention is that because he was convicted before Megan's Law went into effect, he can not be made to register as a level 3 sex offender, which is what level he should be. Level 3 sex offenders are the most dangerous. Usually the highest level most people see on that little flier that gets mailed to your house are level 2's. However...he will only be required to register as a level 1 sex offender. They are the least dangerous offenders. If a level 1 sex offender gets released, no one in the community is notified.

*Mr. Smith could move in right next to you and you would never know!

But, honestly, I will be happy with whatever Judge *Frank decides because whether he is confined to a mental health facility or strict parole, it's more than I expected. I've spent the last 19.5 years thinking he's getting out and roaming free and there's nothing I could do about it. This is a victory for me.

So, I say...que sera, sera.

Whatever will be will be.
Did this article make me angry? Yes! I felt that the reporter was saying that saving money was more important than our safety. And I just think that *Lex Luthor is an idiot.
But I've had a long time to prepare myself for things like this.
And I just have to marvel at God's timing because I can't help but think, if I never wrote Intended Harm and had it published last March, then this article would have devestated me. There's no doubt about it. I can only imagine what kind of hot mess I would be in at this very moment.
But I DID write Intended Harm, and I DID publish it for the whole world to read...unfortuneatly the whole world hasn't gotten the memo yet...And because of that it no longer hurts to hear about.
What should have been a day of tears and binging for me, based on the past 18 years, was instead a day where I felt surrounded by love and support from my friends and family. The amount of support I got yesterday, and am still getting today, reassures me that sharing my story was the right thing to do.
I am so grateful to all of you.
You give me strength.
And I thank you.

Jurney Eve


Conversations With Kd

Kd - I wish I could touch a rainbow.

Me - That would be really cool but honey, nobody can touch a rainbow.

Kd - Uh-huh! God can.

Me - Well, yes! I suppose God can touch a rainbow.

(Me with big smile on my face, feeling pretty good about myself for teaching her about God. It's obviously sinking in.)

Kd - If I were in Heaven I could touch a rainbow too but that'll never happen.

Me - What do you mean? You don't think you'll ever go to Heaven?

Kd - No, only God and Jesus can go to Heaven.

Me - That's not true. SOME day you'll go to Heaven and be able to touch a rainbow.

Kd - REALLY?!? When?

Me - Well....(long pause as I panic and struggle to find the right words)....A LOOOOOONG time from now...when you're REEEEEALLY will eventually...die and get to go to Heaven and be with God and Jesus and touch as many rainbows as you want to.

(Unsettling silence from the back seat for a few moments, then...)

Kd - Grandma and Grandpa haven't died yet.

(She says this last line like she's in awe of this fact but I'm not sure what's going on in her head. Maybe she's sad because she knows they're old so this means they might go to Heaven soon. Then again, maybe she's happy for them because they'll get to touch rainbows soon. Who knows. A few seconds later she returned to singing Elmo's World so she must be OK. I was so worried that I'd traumatized her. Lol!)

Oh, what can of worms did this conversation open?!?

♥ Jurney Eve


I think I just cracked a rib!