Of course, because I actually needed to get a good sleep because I had to head out early for court this morning, that meant I got almost no sleep at all!
Only part of that could be blamed on the cats being destructive in the night. 😉
Amazingly, it got cold enough that, for the first time in a couple of month, at least, I had to sleep with a blanket! Of course, I could have just closed the window, but I didn’t want to fight with the box fan, which is tied down so the cats won’t knock it over. When I finally did sleep, I was awakened by the sound of our furnace running! We had actually dropped to 8C/46F overnight. Some areas dropped to 6C/43F, and people were concerned about frost hitting their gardens! Our frost date isn’t until September 10, and that’s earlier than the areas the got colder last night.
Meanwhile, we’re supposed to hit highs near 30C/86F or higher, over the next few days.
I turned the thermostat on the furnace way down, so it wouldn’t turn on again. We keep so many windows open during the night, the last thing I want is for the furnace to kick in! 😀
Since I was up anyhow, I did some of my morning rounds quite early. Which the cats seemed to appreciate. 🙂
I was really thrilled to see both Rosencrantz and Nosencrantz, in the kibble house. Rosencrantz ran off when I got closer, but her baby stayed. Even when I topped up their food bowl by their junk pile home, Nosencrantz stayed in the kibble house to eat.
I found the canister for the new bird feeder on the ground again this morning. I am guessing the raccoons have figure out how to open it. I might move the garden cam to face the bird feeder, just to confirm what’s going on, so we can use that to figure out how to stop it.
I didn’t have time to check the trail cam files, though, before I headed to the courthouse. I got there good an early, and the only person already there was the security guy.
Starting after midnight tonight, our province is lifting our police state, somewhat. No more mask mandates and a number of other restrictions are lifted, though of course they’re still restricting actual healthy social gatherings, like weddings and going to church, even though there are pretty much no limits to how many people can go into retail stores. It’s all so arbitrary, it’s a wonder anyone takes the restrictions seriously anymore.
I could see a huge difference when I got to the court building. For starters, the security table was right outside the courtroom door, rather than at the entrance. I still wore my Mingle Mask, just to avoid the hassle of having to explain my medical exemption, and no one even reacted when they saw me.
After identifying myself as the applicant, the security guard looked up our vandal’s name, marked that I was there, then told me I could wait there in the hall, where they have comfy chairs to sit on. The last time, people were made to wait outside. While I was waiting, quite a few people that appeared to be staff congregated around the security table, just chatting, or sitting in the nearby chairs with their laptops. I could hear the security guard asking people what they thought about no masks starting tomorrow, but couldn’t hear the responses.
Eventually, our vandal showed up, and I honestly did not recognize him at first, because he was wearing a mask. Of the many things I hate about the masks, the elimination of people’s identities is one that I think is among the most damaging. I’m glad we live as isolated as we do, because being surrounded by non-entities, even as little as I am, is seriously starting to wig me out. As a lifelong student of psychology, I understand the how and the why of it, which does help, but it still doesn’t stop it from happening.
The main reason I figured out it was our vandal was because, as he checked in, I heard him mention his lawyer’s name. That and the security guard made a point of turning to look at me. Then the lawyer showed up, and they disappeared around the corner for a while. Eventually, the lawyer came over and introduced himself to me, asking if I was okay with talking to him. He assured me he was double vaxxed. I told him I didn’t care. (His personal health information is NONE of my business.) We did have a bit of an issue with him moving away when I got closer to him, and I had to explain that I couldn’t hear him, because of the mask. He accommodated that, though I still had to adjust things. My hearing is actually quite excellent, but I have an auditory processing problem. Instead of hearing words, sometimes I just hear parts of words, gibberish, or even have blank “spaces” where words should have been. Basically, somewhere between my eardrums picking up the sound vibrations, and my brain interpreting them as words, the signal is lost. If there are a lot of distractions, or if there is something like a mask to muffle speech, it makes it that much more difficult. So I do things like close my eyes, so I can “hear” better or, as I had to today, lean an ear closer and not look at the person speaking. Thankfully, the lawyer had good enunciation, so that helped.
What he wanted to talk about was the sort of conditions for the restraining order I would agree to. Much to my surprise, he was the one who brought up our vandal voluntarily giving up his guns. He also said our vandal had mentioned video I had of him doing stuff, and I ended up giving him copies of images I had in my stack of papers. These included screen captures of our vandal actually damaging the gate, both times, doing things like walking up to the gate and giving the finger down the driveway, the glued locks (from his response to those, our vandal had actually told him about that; he’s never admitted that he glued our locks to us before), the barn doors being screwed shut, etc. I even included the partial list of things our vandal took from the property, that we know off. I told the lawyer flat out that, if he could have a “psychotic break” and do what he did to the gate, what’s going to stop him from having another “psychotic break” and coming over with a gun? Or trying to burn the house down?
When I brought up the need for a psychiatric assessment, he started to say, going for counseling or therapy. I said no, and explained that when I pressed charges before, our vandal had done that, by court order, and while he was apparently going to weekly counseling, he was still leaving horrible messages on my mother’s answering machine about me and the property (I explained the property ownership situation, too, since our vandal thinks my mother gave me the farm, for some reason). Counseling clearly did not work. He needs a psychiatric assessment and a diagnosis.
He then went back to talk to our vandal. When he returned to me briefly, before we went into the courtroom, he asked if I were willing to drop the application if our vandal got a psychiatric assessment. I said no. There’s a reason the police kept recommending we go through with this and, as much as I’d like for this to all be over, we can’t trust him. As it was, something the lawyer said in passing tells me he had to convince our vandal to agree to at least getting an assessment.
Which is actually a big step forward, even if he still can’t admit he’s responsible for his own problems. So when we finally went in front of the judge, it was officially recorded that I agreed to not go forward with the application for a month. During this time, our vandal has to get a referral to a psychiatrist and get an assessment. There is another court date in September to follow up, but I may not need to be there at all. The lawyer (with warnings from the judge about potential conflicts of interest) agreed that he would keep me informed, so I don’t have to be calling the court office all the time. I was actually asked to take the stand, where there was a microphone, from the start, so the judge could ask me questions and clarify some details.
After I left the courtroom, the lawyer soon followed and asked for my email address (I already gave him my phone number). He then asked if I wanted to agree on a certain number of sessions with the psychiatrist, but I said no; let’s wait to hear what the psychiatrist has to say, because this is such an individual thing.
Then that was it. We were done.
Now it’s all on him to meet the conditions within the time frame.
In the end, I think this went well. Our vandal may actually get the help he needs. We used to be so close in the past, and I would love to have a relationship with him again, but that can’t happen until he gets that help.
One of the things I made clear with the lawyer is that if he does anything stupid again, I’ll be applying for the restraining order all over again if I have to. He was agreeing with me before I even finished saying it. Our vandal may be in denial, but his lawyer knows full well he has no defense.
We shall see what happens over the next month.
I don’t intend to get my hopes up too much, to be honest. I fear our vandal is a bit too far gone for that, but you never know. I’m just relieved that we finally got in front of a judge and got to move forward. It’s been 9 months since I made the application.