What are you willing to give up?
The one in blue is off duty. We’re in a social setting without any expectations. Today we’re the same, while in reality we’re further apart than you might think if you had seen us sitting together. I’m trying to understand the ‘inside’ and fortunately for me, my friend wants to talk.
If you’re an activist you can never close your eyes, for if you do, they just might melt together. I suppose it’s the same for a cop. At least, it should be. I know he can’t really help me with anything - but we have a saying in Dutch: who doesn’t shoot, will always miss. Metaphorical shooting is something I’ve been getting better at.
We first talk the basics; the friendly conversation about how we’ve been doing, hobbies and all. Finally: our lives. Obviously, it quickly turns serious when we get to mine.
The idea we begin to discuss is that citizen’s in the Netherlands could be ‘marked’ in computer systems the government and police have access to, so whenever a ‘marked’ person communicates in some way with the police or government, they’ll get notified. For example, an activist who actively critiques the government in the media.
My cop doesn’t want to tell me specifically how the system works, but at some point mentions: “You would probably be somewhere high on my list as ‘difficult’ if there was such a system. You ask questions and don’t give up. About 99% do. You’re one of the 1%”.
I’m not sure if he’s implying something, so I ignore the remark. I continue speaking about the recent legal situation; the two court cases I’m in. I tell about Exurb1a and Simon, and how in Simon’s case, there are strong indications of a judge committing a crime. We talk about rape cases, fraud, the failing police force, the strange messages I’ve been getting and the secret recordings of the police I made. I tell how victims and activists in the Netherlands have started speaking to me secretly, sending me evidence of dangerous criminals walking free. I tell him how the procedures are undermining my recovery; EMDR trauma therapy for my PTSD has been refused to me even by a second opinion. The reason? The police investigations and court cases cause ‘repeated and secundary traumatisation which undermine the EMDR therapy’, which my psychiatrist wrote to my lawyer. The current treatment plan is a week clinical EMDR therapy inside a specialised facility for PTSD treatment, once the cases ‘are over’ - which could take another few years. For almost 3 years now, my therapy is mainly ‘talking’ and ‘sitting this out’, until I can get the therapy I need. Meanwhile, my PTSD is getting worse.
“You know that’s your own choice right?” he asks me.
“I didn’t decide to drag the Exurb1a court case for so long” I reply. “He’s been doing it. If he had voluntarily spoken to the police already in 2017, I probably would have had the EMDR therapy long ago already.”
“You filed the criminal complaint, so it has been your choice.”
“That’s true,” I say, “But I never imagined this would turn into an almost 3 year battle that would undermine my health. What do you suggest? That I just drop all the criminal complaints so I can get the therapy I need? Give up? And then what? Refuse to go to court if I get requested to come anyway, just so I can get the therapy I need, and then be prosecuted by court for refusing to show up? I bet at this point the police would be more than happy to go after me as revenge because I’ve been so ‘difficult’, since what happened in the provisional decision. The police and government won’t look good once this get out and they know it. That’s probably why the police have been requesting me to stay silent about the decision which I’ve now been for 9 months already.”
“No,” he says. “I really hope you won’t drop the complaints.”
“But what are you willing to give up while you’re on this path? Ask yourself. It’s costing you your mental health.”
I tell him journalists too believe ‘something’ is going on. The consuming cases only seem to move once a lawyer or journalist is on top of it and even then, there are strange struggles. The idea something has been ‘going on’ which ‘we’ (journalists and activists) have been wondering about has especially given new food for thought based on the recent recordings I made while I was speaking with the police about Simon; let alone given the judge who refused to accept 90 pages of evidence against Simon, and decided that lying in court decision was a great choice with an activist around. I filed a criminal complaint against the judge which the police refused to investigate, so now journalists are looking into it instead, and I’ve felt so unsafe that I created a will, which will automatically become public in case something happens to me. So much has been happening, I don’t know where to begin or end. I mention it all in a waterfall of words and dates and throw in the statistics I’ve been investigating as well randomly, like fish jumping up the stream.
“I too hope someone will address it,” he says. “But you must ask yourself what you are willing to give up for it. Tell me. What are you willing to give up for it?”
He holds my eyes a little too long. I don’t like it when people do. I see the sociopathic gaze’ and the eyes I remember doing it to me, in my nightmares. When someone now does it, it reminds me of the men who abused me. I’ve been trying to learn myself to do it back when people do it. I try not to look away and stay calm. I feel like my cop is trying to look right through me. I wonder what he sees?
“What are you willing to give up for it?”
“Everything except my son”, I say. “And my family and friends of course.”
It’s true and something everybody knows about me, including the police and courts and the men who try to psychologically abuse me through the system that was supposed to protect me. I’ve lost so much and the result has been among others losing the peace in my own mind: the hell of PTSD. I’m scared of the flashbacks. I’m scared of crying in front of people when I go outside when I am confronted with injustice. I’m scared of the confrontations when others see my startle-responses whenever I hear a sudden sound. I’m scared of people noticing when they mention a trigger and I get upset. I might scream a lot on the internet, but when someone mistreated me at a gasstation, I had a panic attack. I stood up for myself, but I cried while at it and had to leave to calm down in my own car. Last month at the police station I ran away when an officer made a sudden move towards me while shouting. I couldn’t breathe and it took my mum calming on the phone to stop crying. There’s nothing people can take from me anymore, unless those I love. They are the ones that keep me going. I wish I could spend more time with them than I have lately, but legal procedures have consumed every second of my day when I was able to ‘work’. Researching the law has become a daily thing: finding out how to protect those I love as well as myself.
We continue talking.
“I think your path with the police and court is blocked,” he suddenly says. “You should find a way in, outside of the police and court system.”
“You mean through the media?”
“Yes,” he says. “Listen. You need to stop collecting evidence because you have the evidence already. I know there’s a pile of shit. You know this too. The deeper you will go now, the more shit you will find. But again, ask yourself: what are you willing to give up for it?”
I feel chills in my neck when he takes my eyes hostage again. This time I’m not wondering what he sees in mine, but if there’s something I should see in his.
Based on the text in the e-mail, which mentioned but when you become two what will you do?, I found the ‘Gospel of Thomas’ and shared some of the gospels in a series of tweets:
This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive.
When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?
Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.
Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a carcass, and whoever has discovered a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy.
The officer of duty again asks me: “What are you willing to give up for it?”
I don’t know how to respond because my mind is flashing from tweets to the conversation to tweets and the word ‘carcass’ is screaming in my mind.
“That’s a tough question,” I say. “I don’t know what I have to give up, but like I said before, I’m willing to give everything up, except for my son. I can’t stay silent anymore. It’s actually getting more dangerous in this situation for me, if I do.”.
My cop looks at me and sits back. Then, leans forward again.
“You know the Demmink case right?”
The Demmink case has been a controversial criminal case in the Netherland concerning a top civil servant that had been accused of raping children. Demmink walked free and was cleared, but many people until this day believe it has been swept under the carpet in a cover-up. I know about it since an activist and victim got in touch with me and mentioned it too, after sharing me pictures and details about her horror story.
“Yes,” I reply.
“Strange things happened there. You should look into the EenVandaag journalist who investigated the story.”
“As in, get in touch with the journalist?” I ask.
“That wouldn’t be a bad idea.”
“Could I mention your name? Maybe that will help to establish contact”.
The moment I say it I realise how silly it is and I’m not surprised by the reaction: my cop shakes his head.
“Ask yourself what you’re willing to give up for it.”
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