***Note: I fully recognize that not all police officers are jerks, and this is not meant to be a generalization of all police officers, but those who use their power as a police officer to abuse others physically, psychologically, and emotionally. I, in general, appreciate and respect the very difficult job that police officers do, and I am grateful that there are amazing cops out there who are not ass holes, but instead, amazing human beings.***
Soo…It’s been awhile. *Cue Britney Spears Break the Ice Music Video*
For those of you who know me, and those who have read my previous blog pieces, it has been a really rough year for me; I left a job of almost 5 years because I was feeling unhappy and stagnant within the company, I had a brief contract with a brand whose boss was unreliable and had made a bad name for herself within my market, and I cut my father out of my life because I finally realized that I was seeking an external validation from him that would never exist. It seems harsh, but my father has and will never respect me as a woman, as his daughter, or my autonomy (at 30 years old). As far as he is concerned, I belong to him because he is my father, thus I should live the life he wants me to live. I had to finally accept that I will never be good enough for him, just like he was never good enough for his father.
Then, when I thought things were settling down in my life, I had a really traumatic car accident; I had a gran mal seizure while I was driving, causing me to hit a light pole (that was clearly in my way, GAWD). There was thankfully an officer on duty (lol, duty/doody) that saw the entire incident and was there to help when I woke up. To add insult to injury though, as the paramedics were loading me into the ambulance, however, the officer on duty informed me that she had to issue a ticket for “Failure to Control Speed”, which in Texas, is $300.
It felt like a slap in the face to almost die, be told how lucky I was to survive by the officer, and then for her to hand me a ticket. It didn’t register until much later how fucked up it was on the part of Harris County, TX. When it finally dawned on me that I had received a ticket for “Failure to Control Speed”, it honestly felt like I was being punished for surviving. They took complete advantage of a horrible situation caused by a disability to make a profit, so to them, I say: fuck you Harris County, and any other county that would punish someone with a disability for a situation completely out of their control.
The court experience was even worse. As I was waiting in line to see the Assistant ADA, I noticed that there was a disproportionate amount of Black and Latino people standing in line as opposed to white people. Then I noticed blatant racism; the cop in the room helping to keep things in order blatantly ignored a black mother who’s daughter was underage, and when the mother tried explaining that to the cop, she didn’t even bat an eye, she just continued to speak to the daughter. When I turned to the mother after that experience, I pointed out that she had blatantly ignored, and she mentioned that a Latino mother with her daughter farther up in line was treated with respect. We were both furious.
Finally, when it came to my turn to see the assistant ADA, I tried explaining to her that it was caused by a disability, she ignored me and said I could either pay the fine, go to Defensive driving, or go to court.
To top everything off, at the time I had just started a new medication called Topamax, so I was only half aware of what was going on. I was so dizzy, confused, and overall frustrated. When I tried to explain again with my step-dad present, who has a law degree, the ADA and the cop told him to leave, stopped the conversation and without so many words, told him to get the fuck out. Then she asked me if I thought I was special, and it felt like she was calling me an entitled white girl. I finally lost it. I looked at the cop, still in a medication-induced haze, and cussed her out. Yep, you heard me correctly, I cussed out a cop. To the best of my recollection, I said something to the effect of, “What the fuck is your problem bitch?!” . There was an audible gasp in the room. I stormed out of the room very dramatically (as you do), still hazy and dizzy, and was probably sounding crazy as I talked to another mother in the hallway who was there for her son. She said that she understood, but that she was going to be respectful to the ADA and the cop in the room.
I later got to thinking that her response might be a result of fear conditioning from the police, as she was also a black woman. I desperately hope that that wasn’t the case, but if it is, we desperately need to hold police officers accountable for their sometimes shitty behavior.
Later on, when I Googled the name of the cop that I cussed out, it turned out that she has made a second career out of writing about her experiences as a cop, and it all came together – not only did she have the sense of entitlement because she was a cop, but she had let the local fame get to her head. It felt like discrimination not only because of the “conversation” with the black mother I had witnessed earlier but also because I have a disability. There was no compassion, no empathy, just utter disdain for my protest to be heard.
As a sheltered white bitch, I finally witnessed for myself the level of systemic racism within not only the Harris County Court system but Texas in general. I am BEYOND disgusted by the court system here, and a small part of me hopes that the cop previously mentioned is eventually put in her place. Fuck. That. Cunt.
So as a result of this seizure, I was not allowed to drive 3 months, which normally wouldn’t be such an issue, but those of you who don’t know about Houston, there is no public transit and really no infrastructure to create one. My job, at the time, required me to drive a grand majority of the time, and so that part of my career was and is essentially over. It’s taken me a long time to get over the physical and psychological damage created not only by the accident but by the court experience as well.
The most devastating part was and is trying to re-establish my life, my goals, my everything while keeping my disability and its limitations in mind. I was in deep denial for a long time regarding my epilepsy, but that denial came crashing down on me in what felt like an instant. I can no longer pretend that everything will be fine if I just wish hard enough.
I’ve had to grieve the life I lived previously to the accident, to grieve a certain amount of independence that I will never be able to have again, a life without constant medication, and for the woman I was before all of this.
Thank you for reading; I am grateful for your time and grateful for the love and support from my family, friends, and anyone else who has reached out during this past very difficult year.
Part 2 Coming Soon.