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Over ten years ago, domestic battery was not a topic I wrote about or supported the victims of; it was an everyday lifestyle. It was a lifestyle I overcame, but it seems that I will continue to pay for it while he actually STILL pretends it never happened (2 felonies later...the entire justice system must be delusional).

After one particularly harsh incident where he got convicted of "intent to do serious bodily damage", I got a visit with the oral surgeon. You see, he had knocked out my front tooth, broke my jaw, and loosened ALL of my front teeth. I cleaned the tooth off, put it back in and broke his nose before I left. This was particularly harsh for me because I spent 3 years in braces, headgear and oral surgery AFTER being emotionally abused be adults who loved to tell me how ugly I was because of my teeth. And no, these weren't harmless jokes, they were outright cruelty. Bastards.

When in my mid 20's this post-battle oral surgeon wanted to go ahead and pull all my front teeth, I politely told him what he could do with that concept and went home to follow up with a soup diet and lots of prayer. I wanted to forget. The judge on the other hand, didn't.

He ordered this asshole to pay for any dental work that had to be done as a result. And even though the judge made him stand up and say what he did, and the hospital sent x-rays, this man still declared it never happened.

Imagine my joy when just last week my oral surgeon repeated those same words to me.

"Kathy, We need to pull them from eye tooth to eye tooth." followed by this gem...

"Once we pull these it is going to cause a chain reaction and the rest of them are going to have to come out."

Awesome. Did I break down in tears at the oral surgeon's office? Damn straight I did. Did I feel like I was back in that life over ten years ago? Yep...and have ever since I heard those words. Did I end up confronting him in a polite manner to remind him that he is supposed to pay these bills? Stupidly enough, yes I did.

But it never happened. He never knocked my tooth out. Regardless of x-rays, medical reports, and oral surgeon's recommendations, he never did it. Well I guess we can all go home now because none of this really ever happened. But then there is that pesky appointment next week where I get 4 teeth removed and replaced with a "flipper".

Did I consider small claims court, which seems like a no-brainer since this is already court ordered? Yep, sure did. As I put off my house payment to make a $%*#ing oral surgeon payment, I thought about small claims.

Here's the deal. The first time I went to court over this one ordeal, I had to hold my hand to mouth to apply pressure to my teeth so they wouldn't come out when I talked. In Indiana it doesn't matter who hit who first or anything else. I defended myself and broke his nose, so I got charges too. So the second time I went to court, the prosecuting attorney actually apologized to me and told me not to take the plea he had in his hand after asking if I was the one who had originally appeared in court covered in blood, holding my teeth in.

The third time I went to court was when HE was charged and his lawyer basically asked me to lie. See, when it comes to domestic battery, there is apparently no end to the efforts people will go to in order to keep the abusers out of harm's way. I didn't lie and he STILL just a slap on the wrist...pending 7 years in prison should he violate probation...which he did and never went to prison.

So will I take him to court? You know, over the past week or so I have cried almost every. single. stinking. day. I have felt those feelings of being worthless and I have relived every moment of that day. Do I want to stand in a courtroom again and discuss my teeth and the payment he owes for them so I can hear him deny it yet again? (Btw...in his words, he NEVER hit me...ever. From what I hear, that's pretty typical of these guys to just wipe it from their memory.) No, I'll be late on the house payment. I'll work a couple of weekends. What I won't do is subject myself to a courtroom atmosphere and a huge lawyer's bill to rehash all those feelings again. Sometimes it's just cheaper all the way around to pay it myself.

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