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Emotional Day

Hi guys.  So it’s 6:35 in the evening and I am writing to you from high atop Two Pershing Square in downtown Kansas City.  The only one left in my office after a stressful day, I am enjoying the peace and quiet of a serene office and the comfort of knowing that a horrendously difficult project is almost done.  I stayed late to work on this monstrosity of an assignment (more on that in a moment), and in so doing, missed my bus home.  You’ll recall from yesterday’s awful situation (see here for a refresher) that the woman who assaulted me has agreed to take the later buses.  Not wanting to be in any way, shape, or form in her presence, I opted to go ahead and stay until after my daughter’s soccer practice, when my husband can make the trek downtown to pick me up.  The quiet here is nice.  I can articulate my thoughts and actually b-r-e-a-t-h-e after a rotten day.  Before I go in to any of it, I wanted to say thank you so incredibly much to all of you who posted incredibly supportive and amazing comments on Facebook last night.  You don’t know what your support means.  It’s funny, I guess.  After being sick last year and taking that journey so publicly with all of you (and receiving the hugest of the hugest outpourings of love and support), I should have known that all of you would come through again, hugs and support and love aplenty.  I thought that maybe you might all think less of me for having allowed this situation to continue as long as I did.  Nope.  Not even close.  Only love and support.  You guys are fantastic.  You make my heart happy.

So today wasn’t even in the realm of what you or I would call a “typical good day.”  Not (period) even (period) close (exclamation point).  A major assignment is due of me at the office tomorrow, and I thought I had done a really amazing job on it.  The message was delivered today that I indeed had not done quite the whiz-bang job I previously thought.   I am a perfectionist when it comes to my work, and so I took this very, very seriously…and personally.  By the end of the day, the kinks were worked out and with one more tiny piece of information we’ll get tomorrow, the project will be finished and on its way to our National Office in Washington.  But to start the day with the enormous cloud of self-perceived failure hanging over my head didn’t give me quite the boost I needed for the events that followed.  I went to the Kansas City Police Department this afternoon and gave my report to a wonderful officer, who treated me with incredible grace and respect.  I actually apologized to him when I left.  He sees horrible, horrible crimes, and here I sit complaining about something so incredibly small (I mean, I know it’s not small, but you know what I mean…)  He said something perfect.  “A crime is a crime.”  And he’s right.  And she had no right to do that to me and I had every right to be there.  He took the report and discussed my case with a detective from the Kansas City Assault Squad.  He gave me a case report number, and told me to call in three days to see if the report had been filed.  The overachiever in me (damned perfectionism) called tonight.  (Yeah, it’s not filed yet.  I’m not surprised either.)  I asked what the process was from here, and he said that once the report was filed, a warrant would be issued and she would be arrested and booked and given a court date.  I’d then be called and told to come and testify on XYZ date.  He said that in many cases like these, defendants plead out.  It’s not worth the trial.  He seemed to think that the worst that would happen would be that she’d get probation.  I made it very clear to him that I did not want her to serve any jail time.  I see this so clearly in my mind.  She is older and hearing impaired, and I worry for her safety.  This isn’t about punishing her.  Or hurting her in any way.  This is about changing her behavior.  I almost began crying as I said that to the officer.  Mind you, at the same time that I am having this conversation, another woman was crying uncontrollably in the lobby of the police station.  My boss and I couldn’t make out what she was saying, but it was obvious that she had been harmed in some way.  I cry when other people cry.  I love.  That’s just me.  So add my rotten morning to my horrible evening the night prior to my worry that my assault-er (is that a word?) would be harmed in jail and it took me everything I had to keep it together.  Officer Hamlett (he smiled when I said, “Oh, like the story…minus a ‘t!'”) said that it’s hard to predict what will happen because he didn’t know if she had any prior convinctions, but that once the warrant was issued, it was out of our hands.  I know I did the right thing, but it doesn’t feel good inside.  I want this over with.  I just want to put this bend in my road so far behind me that no mirror will show it.  He wasn’t sure how long the process would take.  I suppose that’ll depend on how busy the Assault Squad is.  God, they have so many other more serious cases than mine!  I feel so guilty tying up their system!!!  (I know I shouldn’t).  Boss #2 told me this morning that I had to do this.  And that I shouldn’t feel a bit guilty about it.  She said that we’re all responsible for civility, and she’s right.  Wish I didn’t feel so bad.  You know, this was all compounded by the morning I had and the “Jen-the-epic-failure” notion I carried around at the office today.  (In Boss #2’s defense, she did later step up and try to get me to understand that she didn’t think I’d failed…but it was too little too late after a horrendous day).

It’s 7:00 now.  Soccer practice is over at 7:30.  I am so looking forward to going home and having a hot shower.  No lunch today (so I’m starving).  Just didn’t have the heart.  Thank you again for all the love and support…and for cheering me on today.  It’ll all be over soon, and I will have done the right thing.  Just hope “soon” is really soon.  Anyone wanna go to court and cheer me on while I testify? (I’m only half kidding when I ask that, by the way.)

Yeah…and about that whole NaNoWriMo, writing-about-how-much-I-loved-that-book thing?  I’ll be back on the case tomorrow.  I owe you two devotions now.


  1. Cheers for a better day tomorrow. That’s the beauty of things. Hopefully, there is always a better day to be had tomorrow.

  2. Hi Jennifer,

    Adult bullying is a serious problem and I’ve experienced it often – although I’m not as easily intimidated as I was as a child. Good for you for standing up for yourself. If I could make a suggestion to make this easier for you as you go through this empowerment transition – give up your attachment to the outcome of either changing this woman’s behavior and/or her not doing jail time. As a society, we need to recognize that there are consequences to our actions – and if this woman’s consequence is to serve in jail because she assaulted you on numerous occasions, then it may take jail time to get her to change her behavior. If she doesn’t see her actions as having done anything wrong then to her you are just going to become the crazy lady on the bus who took advantage of a hearing impaired woman. She’s going to tell her story about you from her perspective and filters regardless of what you do. The only person you can control is yourself. So often we hear people say “I can’t go to jail” – but then don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time!!! It seems society doesn’t want to take any accountability for their actions. The woman may not be aware of her actions – and as a result, she’ll be able to state that she did nothing wrong – on all those occasions. Her behavior is about her. Your behavior is about you. And ask yourself, is trying to potentially minimize the consequences of her actions against you assisting you in empowering yourself for standing up for yourself? Give yourself permission to allow the outcome to flow the way it is meant to flow. You stood up for yourself. Celebrate that life accomplishment. And go on to write your book!

  3. Virginia Roccaforte Pretz says:

    You did the right thing! REMEMBER how you felt when this was happening..SHE needs to feel that when she gets arrested. You have to hit bottom before you can accept and change you bad behaviors. You did this bully a favor..Maybe even saved her life in the future…. I hope it opens her eyes.!!!! Now, along with that hot shower Missy, you need to thank God for your courage and strength to do the right thing. It isn’t easy to turn people in when you are a kind person. You did good and you should be proud. I am! <3 Love you! Have a relaxing weekend..Mom V

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