On Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 I Was Assaulted At the Home of My Child’s Father…
The Snow ball effect is a figurative term for a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger (graver, more serious), and perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous (a vicious circle, a “spiral of decline.) The snow ball effect can be used to describe the effect of ongoing lies. Once you tell one, you end up telling another and another. Hence the ball of snow picking up more snow as it rolls.
WHAT HAPPENED? Minutes before his uncle Roland Griffin arrived from California, Tramell informed me and asked me what I was going to do. To my surprise that he was suggesting I should be doing something since his uncle was coming, but realizing that he was worried about his uncle knowing I was there; I replied back to him, “What do you mean what am I going to do? You are going to have to tell your uncle that I just stopped by”. He replied, “No, I already told him you were not here”. To that I replied, “I have nothing to do with the lies you have told your uncle. You have to come up with something”. I told him there was nothing lying around his house to suggest anything more than that I just stopped by with the baby- so what was the problem with me being there.
As time drew nearer to his uncle’s arrival, he asked again, “Niedria, what are you going to do? You cannot be here when he gets here”. I asked why, as I felt every right to ask since Tramell was the one who asked me there in the first place. Also, this was an arrangement that we came up with to accommodate Tramell’s complicated work schedule which challenged his court ordered visitation days; As was him being knowledgeable that I moved to Alabama until I found work since I had no place to stay in Houston. I felt my child needed a relationship with his father, so I made no argument about traveling back to Houston from Alabama for him to see him on days he was not at work even though they were outside of the court ordered days. I even took it a step further and gave him weeks at a time to spend with his son. So, since I was there at his request and by my willingness; I saw no reason that I was being told to leave, or go run and hide the fact that Tramell and I were on speaking terms.
I expressed that to him and suggested that he must be telling lies about me to his family again. He answered, “You cannot be here because you are not supposed to be here”. I asked him, “Why exactly am I not supposed to be here? This is your home, by whose instruction was I not supposed to be here”? He never replied. “Leave because I don’t want you here”, he continued to state, because his uncle was coming. So I processed that as we are hiding something. Since I had nothing to hide, I reminded him that he asked me to be there- and that I was not going to aid and abet lies and deceit by camping out at a park or driving around to hide the fact that I was at the house. I told him that by him asking me to do that, it VALIDATED everything I have said about him telling lies, deceiving people in his family trying to make them believe that I am such a horrible person and mother.
I went on to say that it is not right that he would continue to have people believe these lies and to top it off by making them think we are not having effective communication. I could not understand why it was so important for him to keep a secret that we were on what I would call, good terms. I questioned what it must have been that he told them so bad about me that it was killing him, for his uncle to find out I was at his home.
“Why would there be a problem with me being here”? I asked. My child is here, you and I are on good terms and furthermore, I have not done anything to you or your family”-so I insisted that he tell me what was going on and why I was not “supposed to be there”. I was not going to leave without my child and I told him that I will stay there and speak to his uncle. If there is a problem, we need to get to the bottom of it right now anyway so that we can move on and raise this child without hostility from family.
Tramell became upset at that but before anything else could happen, his uncle being minutes away from the house—He asked me for the keys to my car so that he can back my car out of the garage so that his uncle will not know I have been at the house. While he was moving the car, his uncle drove up.
The four of us, including my child were in the house about 20 minutes before I asked Tramell if he were going to church since it was 10:45a and he kept saying he was going to feed our child at church. He replied, “I am waiting to see what you are going to do”. Once again, I replied “What am I supposed to do? I am in town so that you can see your son-I have nowhere to go right now. Be reminded that if I leave, I have to get on the road and travel back to Alabama, so child has to go with me. Therefore, I needed clarity on what everyone was going to do at this point. So, I asked his uncle “Mr. Roland, are you just passing through or are you staying the night”? This would have given me a gage on how long he was going to be there and would have let me know what I was going to do. It outraged Tramell that I asked his uncle this (He later told me dad that this was disrespecting his uncle) When Tramell interrupted his uncle telling me what his plans were, I explained to his uncle that the reason I was asking him this question is because I need to know what I am going to do since I just found out that morning that I was not “supposed to be there”, although I had been there all week.
THE ASSAULT: After those words rolled off my tongue, Tramell sprung from his seat a foot away and charged me. He grabbed me by my neck with both of his hands, forcing me from an upright forward position until my back was against the chair. He pushed me back with so much force that the front two feet of the single seat sofa came up off the floor and back down. He held me restrained by neck, to the back of the head rest, thrusting me back and forth and said, “I will kill you Bitch!” I could see his uncle get up from his chair, which was directly in front of me face to face roughly 6 feet away. He pulled Tramell back. I reached for the phone to call police. I could hear his uncle tell him that he cannot do that in front of a child. I reported assault by contact and threat on my life. Once I realized Tramell was outside I went back downstairs where his uncle was. I explained to him that this was not the first time this has happened but that I was glad I had a witness this time. His uncle strayed from that conversation to say that we need to do better than that. I agreed with him but wonder what was it that he missed about what just happened that he was not competent enough to draw the conclusion that something is wrong with his nephew for getting that upset about me revealing that we have effective communication. I told him that he should question that as well. I told him that their family should intervene and there is no reason someone should get that upset over their family knowing that we are on good terms. I added that there are lies being told and if Tramell family would allow him to be human and make mistakes he would not have to lie so much to them. He wouldn’t have had to lie in the beginning and therefore wouldn’t be trying to cover anything up. I told him that he should be able to look at what just happened and figure out that there is more than meets the eye. For Tramell uncle to place me in the category with his nephew and say that WE need to do better for our child, let me know that he did not see his nephew at fault. I told him that by my understanding, WE were “doing better” and that it was not until that morning that it was thrust upon me that I was not supposed to be in the house. I told him that no one should be able to dictate who a grown man can allow in his home, but because they have-this has become the result.
When the police arrived, Mr. Roland Griffin told the officer that he didn’t see anything. He told them that we did not appear to be arguing and that we were not in the same room. I plead my case to the police and the deputy who arrived. I was given 2-3minutes to tell my story while Tramell listened and interjected. However, when Tramell began to tell his side—-he told the police I made up the entire event. The police asked me to step away from all of them. I explained to the police that I wanted to press charges because I have a witness. Obviously, not knowing that the witness would lie; I guess I live in a world where I still think people do what they are supposed to do. The District Attorney was called. As a result of the version of the police officers story, which sided with Tramell and his uncle, the District Attorney did not accept charges. The police did not pursue further. The investigating officer, who never investigated, said that since I had no bruises, marks, scars or blood then it was my word against two people.
THE REVELATION: Speaking up and speaking out is detrimental. You enable the abuser when you protect them. I decided to speak out about this because it is domestic violence no matter if I were bleeding upon cop’s arrival. Violence against women has no place! It starts with simple assault. Perhaps this is the abuser testing the waters to see what and how much he/she can get away with. When there are no consequences, it happens again, as in my case. When someone will assault you in the presence of someone else, with no regard, they know that they are safe from ruin and they will do it again. When they do this, it speaks volumes about how untouchable and powerful they must think they are. When the police rest on a conclusion that if there is no blood or bruises, the abuser hears I can get away with this as long as I don’t leave a scar.
THE AB– USER: When the police were there the first time this happened years ago, in giving his version of the story to the office; out of the blue, Tramell mentioned that he was a pharmacist. For him to continue to throw his PhD around in instances like this says there is also negligence displayed in law enforcement that they would see him as a more credible person since he holds a PhD. Most abusers know this. A lot of them are in positions of power or positions with authority. They are used to being in charge and want to make that connection with law enforcement.
The abuser will make the abusee appear to be needy; they will attempt to discredit the abusee by assassinating their character. Their objective is to convince the law and anyone else who will listen, that they have everything to lose, therefore would never do such a thing; and that the abusee has nothing. In my case, for Tramell to mention that I was unemployed, not looking for a job, sitting around the house all day collecting child support and looking at family feud; whereas he is a pharmacist, was his malicious way to skew the officer’s perception of me and therefore finding his story more believable. While the only part of that which is true, the fact that I am unemployed by corporate America, it still has nothing to do with him assaulting me. It was not even the topic of discussion.
Anyone would agree that effective communication is key between two parents when raising a child. It does not matter if the parents are together in the same house, married or apart and co-parenting from two separate house holes. When both parents are able to communicate with each other cordially and respectfully, it fosters a healthy environment. Families on both sides of the parents also play a role. Their role is to encourage communication between the parents and/or support the parents want to have healthy communication for the sake of the child. When you have families on either side that influence one of the parents otherwise, a snowball can occur. When one parent is dishonest and deceitful about the relationship that he/she is having with the child’s mother/father, a snowball can occur as well.
So what would make a person be dishonest about having a working relationship with their child’s mother/father? Isn’t that what you should have? I know one thing in particular. If you have told one lie about the parent that lead to another and another, in efforts to make yourself look good and the other parent look bad; it has ultimately shaped your family perception of that parent to the point of no return. Fostering a lie is perpetuating the lie…leading people to believe one thing encourages them to act a certain way—. You are single-handedly responsible for manipulating a situation and now you have a snowball. You have placed yourself in a situation where you have to continue the lie and now to more people or you will have to face the humiliation of truth about your snowball of lies.