After dedicating nearly a decade to the CDA, it became dramatic on Wednesday night. As everyone knows, I had to give up playing due to my health. J though, after a year to rehab first his shoulder and then his wrist, returned to our local Columbia Dart Association. Wednesday night, I got an angry phone call around 10 pm. Apparently, three members had accused me of theft (I never had access to the accounts) and when J stood up for me, they accused him of being involved in it. They also requested J pay back the league so it could go away.
I spoke first to a private investigator, then a lawyer, then a deputy from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. I think it goes without saying, I’m not a thief. Oddly, all three of these professionals informed me that since no criminal charges had been filed in the matter, they felt the accusations were basically a slander campaign to hurt J and I’s standing for whatever reason
I was given an incident report to use at a later date, should my accusers continue to contact me (they have been informed in writing, that they are not to contact me and that if they believe they have proof of my theft, they need to file criminal charges). It is also of interest to note, that as soon as one of my accuser’s discovered I had contacted a lawyer and would be contacting the police department I got a series of texts saying it was a misunderstanding and that J just misunderstood what was said to him and that we should all sit down and talk it out.
However, as the deputy and I discussed the situation more, he told me one of the things a perpetrator of this kind of attack expects is that the victim(s) will be too embarrassed to contradict them or tell anyone that it is even going on. I, however, am not embarrassed by it. I have done nothing wrong to warrant embarrassment, accusation, or thide that this is being done to J and myself. I have no problems shouting from the rooftops that I am being maliciously slandered. He also told me I was not to have a sit down discussion with them about it and they should have suggested that before they started their attack on J and I. He felt they were just trying to backtrack after realizing J and I were not going to let them walk all over us.
The worst part, J and I know why this happened. One member of the CDA does not like me and never has, because I have always refused and continue to refuse to pretend that I am not an intelligent, strong female. I like books. Books have helped me learn many things. I like books enough that I now write books and I have a career that I love that can pay exceptionally well. This means I talk about books and the things I have learned from books. It is not done to make anyone feel stupid, they are just the things I like. Why should I pretend to not to be who I am, just so one person will like me more?
Furthermore, in my need to justify that I don’t need to pretend to be someone else to have dart player friends, I asked a few of them that I had become close to, if it bothered them that I was like this. They all told me, they actually liked me because I was like this.
And that dear friends and readers, is why I struggled on Wednesday night to sleep and why I struggled with a panic attack, high pain levels on Thursday, and decided I needed to be proactive about this situation. Furthermore, this post isn’t just about “getting the word out.” It’s about helping others that may find themselves in this situation. At this moment, no criminal offense has occurred that I can pursue. This is at its essence an attempt at bullying and character assassination. The detective told me, it can only work, if the victims are complicit. He said most of the time, people are too embarrassed to admit that someone has accused them of a crime, so they only deny it when it’s brought up. However, if you know you did not commit said crime, you need to be proactive. You have done nothing wrong. You do not need to be embarrassed about it. If you tell people it’s happening and give the details (like in this case, the accusers actually sent me a text and asked why I had talked to a lawyer since they weren’t going to contact the police about it). Both the lawyer and the detective I spoke to said the same thing… “If they have proof you committed theft, why wouldn’t they take it to the police?” I can’t answer this question specifically, but the deputy suggested the reason was because they know the accusation is baseless and therefore, not worthy of a criminal investigation and they are just using it as an excuse to try to ruin our reputations. If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t be afraid to contact a lawyer, most offer a free consultation. And you can always contact your local police department’s non-emergency number and get advice from them.