The Storm and Petition

It’s been quite a week here.  Two sentencing hearings.  Something that can really only be described as a courtroom circus.  A lot of emotions, screams, accusations, tears…

Personally, there’s been a lot of meditation, tea, and more questions as my husband and I have dove head first into Kansas laws, sentencing regulations, and the like as this shit storm rages.

Short recap:

Last August, my husband and I’s niece lost her life as a result of child abuse.  It’s become very clear that drugs were very much an issue in this case.  In the end, both parties, the boyfriend and the child’s mother, ended up making plea bargains to lesser charges that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

As a result, you can imagine the amount of questions that have risen from the plea agreements and the sentencing.

And the outrage from a good majority of people that feel the sentences weren’t tough enough and this isn’t justice, even though both parties received the maximum sentencing  they could as dictated by our laws.

And of course on the flip side, sentencing being too tough or unwarranted or there should have been no charges at all.

It’s not hard to see how something like this can divide a family pretty quickly.

It’s extremely tough being in the middle: to have an open mind to both sides, both arguments when you’re surrounded by family, friends, and a community out for something they call “justice” which smells an awful lot like blood.  And when everyone wants you to pick a “team.”  And even if refuse to choose a team, treat you like you’re automatically against their team.

AppelJuice and I have tried to maintain that neutrality as there are other children involved in this case.  It’s because of them we’ve tried to sit back and examine the evidence, the laws, previous cases that while they appeared open and shut to the outside eye ended up not being so cut and dry and shocking communities, how past history does and doesn’t play in to sentencing, etc.  It’s been a hard road to be on, especially when his sister is the mother and it’s his family threatening to tear each other apart.

It’s because of the above that AppelJuice, and myself, have chosen to take the route of advocacy, regardless the outcome of this tragedy.  He and I have realized that there’s a lot of gray areas in these cases and that while lawmakers seem to be desperately trying to protect the rights of fetuses, once they become children, there is a gaping hole they can fall in to.  The law (in Kansas) is tough on people who hurt, endanger, or sexually violate children, but when it comes to taking a child’s life, the law has no differentiation.

This is why AppelJuice has created a petition for the Kansas State House, calling for Harsher Punishment for Child Killers in Kansas.  At the very least, the laws need to be reviewed and revised.  It’s why I’ve been tweeting about it and a bit more about what our family is going through on Twitter.

If you can, if you’re so inclined, please take a moment to read the petition.  Sign it if you feel moved to do so.  I urge you to look into your own state’s laws regarding these matters. Look in to ways how you can be more informed about Child Abuse and its prevention.

This is a matter that no one wants to hear on the news or see in the papers.  Child abuse is needless and senseless.  With the right knowledge, awareness, and tools families can help prevent it.  As a family going through this, it is my sincere wish that no family have to endure this turmoil.

With love, light, and probably a few stray Raid dog hairs,

Scruffy, the Druid Lady

The Quiet Storm Rages

Once upon a time awhile back a posted a bit about my absences due to real life.  My own hellfire, I called it.  I’ve wanted to expound on that since a good portion of it is reaching an end in the next couple weeks.

I haven’t really been able to talk about it much.  We still can’t really, but those that were following, that supported us through the GoFundMe for the littles involved, I wanted you to know that I’m thinking about you guys and am still very grateful.  I’m overly grateful for my guildmates that have been with us as my husband and I have been going through all of this over here and been patient through the frustration and tears and outbursts we’ve had.  All of you guys have been amazing.

The new friends on Twitter and Twitch that have been following, waiting, watching, listening…you guys are awesome.  I’m not sure where we’d all be without you guys silently and vocally showing support for our family.  Offering us shoulders to cry on while we sort through grief, through red tape, through uncertainty, through completely uncharted territory that no family should never have to go through.

Some days, my heart feels stitched together to keep from breaking.  Some days it feels empty and devoid of strength.  And some days, it feels like it might burst from the love, strength, and compassion that others show us and I in turn can express to our family.

The last week has been difficult.  This week, it feels like a calm before another storm.

Next week, criminal sentencing begins.  The next month, there will be the start of a whole new side to the outcome of what happened back in August.

I’m hoping that soon, we can all talk freely again without the fear of things being misconstrued or taken out of context.  And maybe, just maybe, we can start to find a new normal.

I am hopeful for those days.  And I look forward to the day I can share it with all of you.

Please stay with me just a little longer.  Until then, thank you for letting me take the time to sort this all out.  And thank you for supporting this little gamer girl as she starts to explore new horizons.