Saturday, January 15, 2011

Again, Yet Brand New

So.  I went out to put my netflix DVDs in the mailbox, and retrieved the mail from inside it.  I found a letter to me from the Town of Superior.  Intrigued, I opened it to find a letter, addressed to me, stating that since I had not paid the citation for infraction #whatever, I was at risk of having my license suspended or canceled.  Said traffic infraction occurred on December 15.  I went inside and looked at the calendar to see what day of the week the 15th was, and it was a Wednesday, so I was off work.  I supposed it was possible that I'd gotten caught speeding by a traffic camera (although I'm not sure Superior uses those), and that the notification had been put in my parents "bill box" which would explain how I hadn't seen the notification.  But the more I thought about it, the more certain I was that I haven't been in the Superior or Louisville area since the end of November at least.  So for a moment I decided I'd just call the phone number given by the notification on Monday to try to sort out the mix-up.  I thought maybe my driving record had some how been mixed up with someone else's, because of having my purse stolen back in October.  I'm not sure what exactly prompted me to ask my sister if there was a possibility that she had been pulled over and told the police she was me (as she had once asked if she could do when she was driving to Colorado Springs, where there is a warrant out for her arrest), but I went downstairs and presented her with the notice, and asked her if that is what happened. 

Turns out, yes, she was pulled over in Superior last month, and being without a license (it has been revoked for unpaid tickets), she told the police officer that she didn't have her license on her, that she was in fact ME, and gave the officer my social security number.  Unfortunately, our social security numbers are only one digit different, so she and I know each other's numbers.  Then she "didn't know how" to tell us about the ticket and the situation, so now my license is in fact in danger of being suspended or canceled due to non-payment of the citation my sister received.

I can't say for certain, but this may be the most angry I've ever been with my sister.  I was literally shaking I was so angry.  At first she refused to give me back the notice I had handed to her (so she could read it), saying that she wouldn't give it back unless I promised not to tell our parents.  I was eventually able to rip it out of her hands, not tearing any of the important stuff.  Our parents had left to run an errand, and my little sister had gone out shopping, so it was just the two of us at home.  She begged me and begged me not to tell our parents, and I flat-out refused.  I told her that she needs to face the consequences of her actions, which in this case will probably mean spending some amount of time in jail.  See, it wasn't just that she was driving without a license.  She's got a warrant out for her arrest in Colorado Springs, and she's got several unpaid parking and speeding tickets on her record from Greeley to Colorado Springs and everywhere in between.  She's also been placed on probation stemming from the domestic violence charge (which has apparently been taken down to a harassment charge), and will be looking at jail time for not staying out of trouble.  She said the reason she didn't tell the cop the truth was because she didn't want to go to jail because it will mean losing any decision-making rights as well as visitation time she has with her kids.  I told her that she was shit out of luck as far as I was concerned, because now she's dragged me and my driving record into the whole thing.  The last speeding ticket I got was last March, which caused me to have my license canceled, and as I wrote before, I just had it reinstated in November.

The reason I wasn't offered a job working for Rural Metro Ambulance company is because I have more than one speeding ticket on my driving record.  I have since stopped speeding almost altogether.  I generally keep up with traffic, but I very rarely go more than 5 MPH over the speed limit.  My plan is to keep my record clean for awhile, and then apply for more EMT jobs.  Now this.  Now I have another speeding ticket on my record, which isn't actually mine.

I'm furious because my sister is consistently deceptive and because she lies.  She seems to think that if she just ignores a problem, it will go away.  That if she lies and covers up a problem, there will be no consequences.  That's why she was so angry with me when I refused to lie for her (now) ex-husband after he went over and beat the shit out of my friend from school, who later pressed charges.  Apparently I got all the honesty that was supposed to have been split between the two of us.  It was impressed upon me very early on about how lying is wrong, and that when you lie, you get in trouble.  That has always stuck with me.  I'm not saying I'm completely perfect, I lie from time to time, but in general, I am honest as shit because I know that even if you do something wrong (which is actually fairly difficult to do), it's better to tell the truth about it, because it will build character, allowing you to make the right choice the next time because you've seen what happens when you make the wrong choice.  I find it a very simple test of honor: do the right thing.  Be commended for doing the right thing.  Do the wrong thing.  Lie in an attempt to cover up doing the wrong thing.  Get caught.  Be punished for lying and for doing the wrong thing. 

I simply cannot comprehend how she could possibly think that no one would find out that she had done this.  I consider it extremely lucky that I was the one who received the mail today because if she had seen the notice before me, she would have taken it and hid it.  Guaranteed.  And my license would have been canceled, and if I were to be pulled over for whatever reason again, I would be at risk for being arrested for the unpaid ticket. 

I absolutely refuse to allow her to get away with this.  She got on her knees, crying, sobbing, begging me not to tell anyone or attempt to do anything to change it.  I looked her in the eyes, and told her that there was no way that I was taking the fall for her on this one.  Not only does she drive around without a license, but she does it carelessly, and now she's been caught.  She will be forced to face the consequences.  She was lucky when she crashed her van that she wasn't pulled over or caught then, because she'd certainly have been jailed for DUI as well as her warrant in Colorado Springs.

My dad wants me to wait to take any action until he's talked with an attorney about what her consequences will be when I do notify the Superior police of what actually happened.  I told him that he's got a very short expiration date of when he can talk to the attorney to get the information because I will not allow the 10 days I've been given to rectify the ticket to pass without taking action.  It's going to be hard as hell to prove that I was not actually the one driving and that I was not the one who was pulled over, but I'm prepared to fight tooth and nail to have that taken off my record.  The problem is that my sister will almost certainly be forced to spend some amount of time in jail; not only for lying to the cop about the license, but technically because she stole my identity.  I'm not sure what the charges are that she may face for lying to the police officer, but I can press identity theft charges if I want to which I'm fairly certain is a very punishable felony.

My sister has said that she will not go to jail.  She keeps saying that she's going to kill herself.  My little sister told her that if she kept threatening suicide, that we'd call the police on her because she's a danger to herself and she can just go to jail now, instead of doing it in a more organized fashion.  She doesn't want my dad to talk to the attorney because she doesn't want anyone else to know what has happened.  She offered me half of her salary (if and when she gets a job, ha ha) if I wouldn't tell.  I told her no.  I told her repeatedly today that she has no choice but to take responsibility for her actions.

When I told my dad what happened, he screamed at her.  His main question was "Why the hell were you speeding in the first place?!?!?"  She thinks she will go to jail for 18 months; this is the consequence that she has been told she will face if she got into trouble while on probation.  Now I think that a traffic infraction may not count against her necessarily, because her probation was for the DV/harassment charge, but the law works in funny ways.  Either way, she will have to go to jail to satisfy her arrest warrant in Colorado Springs.  I'm fairly certain that there is no way out of this for her that does not involve her spending time in jail.  I don't however, expect her to have to spend 18 months there.  It might be 17 months. 

My mom, my little sister, and I all feel that she needs to suffer the consequences of the choices that she's made.  It's absolutely not fair for her to drag me into this, and now it's even worse because I have to go try to explain to the courts that the ticket should be expunged from my record altogether, while I have no proof at all whatsoever that it was not me doing the driving.  The problem with the consequences is that we will once again have the kids taken away from us.  It's possible I think, to petition the court for family visitation time while she's in jail, but it doesn't mean they will grant it.  It means more time that she will be forced to spend away from her children, especially baby S.  While it breaks my heart to think that they will once again have no contact with their mom for some extended period of time, it's probably for the better that it happens this way.  When they grow up to hate her (they will at some point, we all hate our parents at one time or another), they can hate her with the knowledge that their hate isn't unfounded, that she's really not a good person after all.  Perhaps the time away from her mom will be better in the long run for baby S, and she won't turn out as badly as if she had spent all this time with her mom.  It's been made quite apparent to me that early childhood has so very much to do with how we turn out, and I'd hate to see the kids all turn out funny because they've had to go through all of this.

My little sister made a good point.  Jail will be beneficial for our older sister because there, she will be forced to maintain a normal sleep schedule.  She will no longer be able to get high 5-6 times a day.  She will be forced to see a new psychiatrist, who will perhaps take her off the Seroquel she's on that's not helping her do anything but sleep through her baby crying and her alarm clock.  If she goes to jail on criminal charges, which I suspect she will, she will be given a court-appointed attorney, to the end that my parents will not have to take responsibility for paying that attorney.  She will be forced to bear the responsibility of the actions which have caused her to end up where she is.

We had planned to go to the Olive Garden for dinner tonight, all five of us.  My uncle and aunt sent my dad gift cards for the Olive Garden after he was able to use his travel points to get our entire extended family rooms at a nice hotel when we went to Iowa over the summer.  We decided to still go, and my dad sort of forced my sister to go, which made dinner terribly awkward.  She just sat there as though she'd been sedated the entire time, and we couldn't really laugh and have fun.  I advocated for her to go, too, even after the discovery of all this.

Even now, as I sit here and write all of this, she's stopped and asked me not to post this online.  I told her I'd take it into consideration, but it's far too influential for me not to write about it.  This is, after all, a blog about my struggle with mental illness, apparently not just my own.  She asked me if I knew how many lives I was destroying by going through with what I'm doing.  I said yes, I do.  She said that Mom and Dad will just end up having to pay for all this.  I said, no, they won't, there's a plan.  She then stops and whispers to me, "It's okay, I have a plan, too."  And then she told me "Just so you know,  you're the one who's pushed me over the edge."  I'm not sure what to do with that.  She could be threatening suicide, although my parents both doubt it because she loves herself far too much to actually go through with it.  She could be threatening my dog, to which I take great offense, and if I discover that to be the case I will not hesitate to call the police immediately.  She could be threatening just about anything, although my only real fear is for my dog.  I told my parents that I believe that she would attempt suicide, not because she wants to die, but to get out of the trouble she's gotten herself in.

The more I think about it, the more angry I get that she's making threats like that to me at all.  If she had done something like this to a stranger, no doubt she'd be forced to face the consequences.  If a stranger had done this to me, guaranteed I'd use the full force of the law to make sure that it is rectified.  At this point, after all the shit she has put me, my little sister, and my parents through, she deserves to spend some time in jail.  If nothing else, perhaps it will be slightly rehabilitative for her.  I told my mom that there are two possible outcomes: she will either discover that there are really shitty consequences for stupid choices and decide to change, or she will still believe that she was the one who was wronged, and just continue to act as she has always acted.

Either way, I will not take responsibility for her blatant stupidity and her deception.

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