While doing my rounds this morning, making my way through the spruce grove, I noticed something dangling that wasn’t there before.
It looks like a section of tree came down during our recent high winds.
But where did it come from?
A surprising distance away, actually. It’s the top of a mostly dead tree. There are only a few remaining live branches on the south side of the trunk, from what I can see. It seems that the top now hanging in other trees is where most of the living branches were.
After checking the trail cam files later on, the tree wasn’t the only thing left hanging.
I have some decisions to make.
While I try to keep this blog as a very open, real-life, good, bad and ugly zone, there will always be things I can’t say too much about here, and that I need to be careful of. One of those things is talking about our vandal.
Things had been quiet around here with him lately. He generally tries to avoid me – but I do still see him slowing down to look into the property, or to watch me while feeding the deer if he happens to be driving by while I’m out. He can’t bully or intimidate me, though, so he’s focused more on my mom, instead. Something triggered him in the last few weeks, and he started harassing her with phone calls and leaving abusive messages on her answering machine again. I only found out about it a few days ago. My mother never mentioned it to me, herself.
I now have a copy of the messages, and most of them involve me in one way or another. As usual, my late brother and father were brought up as he accuses my mother of not doing right by him and my late brother, not doing what my late father wanted, and how she is evil and won’t go to the kingdom of heaven because she apparently has given the farm to me for free. There’s more, of course. Lots more. Enough that I made another call to the RCMP on her behalf. A new file had to be started, and I was able to send a link to a file of almost a dozen phone messages like this.
I called it in to the RCMP before heading out to get the hot water tank yesterday, and was told a constable would call me back later. Of course, they called while I was out, but we were able to connect later in the evening.
As has been done before, it was recommended to me to get a peace bond/restraining order for myself. The officer thought I might be able to include my mom in it as well. Otherwise, she would have to go to court – in the same small city I’d had to go to to get our hot water tank, so a fair drive away – to get one herself, and that would be just too overwhelming for her.
It was also recommended that I start the process to have our vandal involuntarily assessed for his mental health. Should that be authorized, the RCMP would arrest him and take him in for psychiatric assessment.
That is a huge major step to take, and one that could backfire spectacularly. Particularly since, while he rambles on and on about how my mother and I are trying to put him in prison, he hasn’t actually threatened violence. And yet, his vandalism was an act of violence. Just directed at things, not people.
Then I looked through the trail cam files. In one of the videos, I saw him drive by. Then, a few second later, he backed up to the end of the driveway and sat there until the end of the video cycle. On the other trail cam, I saw him as he was leaving, so the two videos can be synced for times. This happened while I was out, getting the tank.
After seeing that, I went looking up to see if there was a downloadable form available to start the process of getting a restraining order, or at least see what I would need to include when filing. The province we left has all of these court forms and applications available online. This province has nothing. I did find a phone number, though, and called about it.
I ended up talking to two different people; one about the peace bond, the other about the involuntary psychiatric assessment.
I was able to get a lot of information – and even find out about some things. For example, the “deferment” I was told about is actually called a “diversion”. This gives people without a criminal record a chance to go through counseling resources, and get out of a potentially destructive cycle. He completed that part of the program this past August, and once that was done, the charges were stayed.
So why he keeps going on about how we’re trying to put him in prison, I have no idea. The files are closed.
When I look online about getting a peace bond/restraining order, with the history of vandalism and the incidents I’ve documented of the past while, it looks like I would have no problem getting one. Given the content of his phone messages and his actions, it would seem pretty obvious that we are dealing with someone who is having mental health issues.
But once I talk to someone in person about doing this, and the process is explained to me, it seems that none of that would be enough. I could go through the process and not get the peace bond, and the authorization for psychiatric assessment suddenly seems likely to be denied. And if that happens, once he finds out about it, it could escalate things and possibly trigger a psychotic episode – the very thing I would want to get these things in place to avoid.
If I apply for these and they are authorized, that would definitely escalate things and possibly trigger a psychotic episode. The very things I would be trying to prevent from happening by getting them.
Granted, that might happen, anyways. The only difference is that, with the peace bond in place, the police would have greater powers to exercise.
Or I could do nothing, and he’ll go back into hiding for another month or so before deciding to start harassing my mom again. Maybe nothing will change at all, but there will also be no chance of him getting the help he needs.
So now I’m left hanging.
Is it really worth going through all that hassle to get a piece of paper that won’t stop anyone from doing anything (something that has been acknowledged to me at several levels)?
One side of me says yes. It needs to be done.
The other side says, “don’t poke the bear.”
And here I sit, swinging from one side to the other.