Updated: Jun 9, 2022
I will never forget the viral photo of a sobbing Gabby Petito helplessly in the back seat of a police car, and the utter knowingness of the emotions she must have been experiencing that I felt throughout my own body. The thoughts she surely had..."You don't understand! It's not me! It's HIM. HE is the one who did this to ME! Please help me."
After my own breakdown in the back seat of a police car in December 2019, as a friend hugged my head while I keeled over in anguish, the officer began driving towards the family that did this to me. I snapped, "Don't go that way and parade me around the parking lot of my home!" He obliged. He wasn't soulless.
On the way to the police station, I repeated the sentence, "If only you knew the whole story. You don't know what really happened," as I continued sobbing.
He must have felt that something was off, because once I was handcuffed to the pipes next to his intake station at the department, his first question was, "Did you actually touch her?" You see, when I left my third story apartment to get away from the chaos inside, I turned downed the staircase, where my ex's sister was already in place with her phone in hand, recording me. Never in my life had I taken another person's property. I certainly hadn't thrown it, but that day, after more than two month of intimidation, harassment, lies, gaslighting, and not having eaten or slept much, I was at the end of my threshold for emotional and mental abuse.
I squared off with her, gave her camera the bird while silmulaneously calling her a "cunt," threw the phone over the staircase towards the parking lot, then turned and continued down the stairs.
That same officer was standing at the top of the stairs when I left he apartment. When I turned away from the sister to continue down he stairs, I caught a glimpse of him. He was looking to his right. He did not see what had actually happened, and at the station, he knew this. He didn't see that contrary to the sister's claims that I had physically assaulted her by hitting and striking her, I simply walked away. He didn't hear the step-father yell, "There she goes!" as I walked away, clearly indicating that they were hoping I would lose control, or the mother hiding in the first floor hallway also already recording as I was taken down to the parking lot. He was not aware that just five days prior to this event, I specifically asked my ex not to bring his sister over, because she caused disturbances in our complex, or that for over a year and a half, I expressed my apprehension and eventual fear of the sister to my live-in boyfriend/partner. He didn't know that I had text a friend just a week prior tooth's event that I was considering getting a restraining order against the sister, but did not want to cause any trouble for her children and husband. He did not witness any of the other interactions during my ex's visits to the apartment; how aggressive his sister was, that I would leave and wait for a neighbor or friend to let me know when the coast was clear so that I could avoid the aggressive and fight-prone stance of his sister. He didn't hear my ex tell one of my closest friends that I was "no longer human" to him anymore.
I still haven't watched the video that ended up on TMZ on Christmas Eve, but I read the comments. Most people saw very clearly that I had been pushed too far. Many said that they would've done more than throw her phone. Friends who watched the video called to say that it was CLEARLY a set up, to provoke me into reacting. And that reaction, was all this officer saw. Why? Because the narcissist and his family made the first call to the police. They had already smeared me; discredited me by branding me crazy. I imagine they threw in, "She's an actress, so don't believe anything of her cries or tears." The police (three of them), ready to protect and serve, yet lacking the awareness and education on the tactics of a narcissist, jumped at the opportunity to show up on a Saturday morning to stand waiting with a group of twelve people until I came out of the apartment. I didn't stand a chance.
In my experiences with police, they are very quick to tell me that they "cannot give legal advice." I once asked an officer what the law was in regards to filing a restraining order. They gave me that statement. Now, I didn't ask for legal advice; I asked for the law. As officers enlisted to enforce the law, you would think that they could tell you what that law is. How our legal system is structured to disadvantage those with lower incomes is another topic, but there is an inherent problem in that an officer of the law cannot recite the law which he was hired to enforce. In the case of psychological abuse, there are little to no laws, which means that officers have little to no understanding of the abuse. It isn't something they need to understand because it isn't a law they have to enforce.
Gabby's boyfriend made the first call. Police went to a scene in which they had a predisposed opinion of Gabby. Their actions and protocol modeled this opinion, while an abused and traumatized Gabby, whose system is barely processing the shock of what led to the police arriving, is not able to think clearly or function rationally.
Recently, an article was published titled "Probe Finds 'Unintentional Mistakes' in Petito Police Stop," pointed out clues to the truth; a cut on Gabby's face...."
Narcissists are notorious for flipping the script. In my discussions with fellow victims, I have heard unbelievable and astoundingly unjust horror stories involving arrests. One man's wife punched herself in the face before police arrived. Police couldn't help but fault the husband. A very well-known narcissistic abuse coach was arrested after her ex-husband and his sister planted drugs in her car and rigged her brake light to fail so as to attract police attention. As of this writing, I am still awaiting trial for the false accusations against me.
When the UK passed emotional and psychological abuse laws, the first order of business was to educate law enforcement on the new legislation. Officers were taught which signs to look out for, so that they could avoid further traumatizing the actual victim. In a country considered as progressive as the Untied States, why has there been no progress made to protect our citizens against psychological abuse? Why does it require legislative change in order for police departments to take a serious look at the dangerous strategies of the psychological abuser?
The devastating event of Gabby Petito's death could have been avoided. The police were RIGHT THERE. Her future killer was RIGHT THERE. What wasn't there? Psychological abuse-informed law enforcement officers equipped with the tools to openly perceive a situation, surmise that something was "off," and that Gabby Petito was a victim who was, and would continue to be, in very clear and present danger.