03 December 2018

Bullies II — Town Without Pity, part 2

by Leigh Lundin

Yesterday, we brought you part 1 of a devastating story. That horrible situation is about to grow considerably worse.

girl crying
Part 2, Therapist, anagram of ‘The Rapist’

The court ordered psychiatric evaluation and therapy sessions. There, Honey Barrette encountered horrendous professional misfeasance.

Realizing the girl’s worst fears, the shrink didn’t bother to mask disapproval and dislike. The fault, she said, was Honey’s. Attention-seeking, she said, manipulative, narcissistic, unconcerned about others. False rape accusations are a nasty problem. Honey, she said, would be lucky to avoid jail time or even prison, which the prosecutor wanted.

Then the court-appointed psychoanalyst twisted the knife in a way the original perpetrator couldn’t approach. She ordered the child to apologize in writing to her so-called victim, the rapist. She instructed the girl to write letters of apology to the police and hospital for wasting their time, to the newspaper for headline grabbing. The therapist had perfected the art of bullying.

Protestations from the Barrette family fell on deaf ears. They pointed out the perpetrator was of age and Honey was only fourteen. At the least, statutory rape had taken place.

No, said the psychiatrist. No, said the police. No, said the prosecutor. The poor man had suffered enough.

Making the most of public shaming, newspapers printed the apology. One paper used the case to highlight attention-grabbing teens. The state’s premier, syndicated newspaper wrote a piece about false rape. It featured the psychiatrist’s assessment of the Honey Barrette case. It’s unclear if the shrink went on to publish it in an academic article.

School descended into a deeper nightmare than before. A delighted, self-righteous Alexis and her gang ruthlessly tortured Honey. The rapist’s best friend Colt organized insidious torments. Students stuffed Honey’s locker full of newspaper clippings. They elbowed, kneed, tripped, slapped, punched, and fucked over their classmate without mercy. Teachers failed to halt the unending hammering assault upon a 14-year-old child.

A numb, despondent Honey felt her life had ended before it’d begun. Dropping out of school made problems worse. She became pregnant by an abusive guy who resolved the pregnancy problem by slamming a 2x4 into her stomach, causing a miscarriage. Honey was falling faster than anyone could stop.

She prized one asset, her family. Parents and grandparents gathered around her. The packed up their precious girl and moved across the country.

It took their damaged daughter years, but she found her way back on track, a testament to her inner strength when it’s amazing she survived at all. She turned a sense of humor dry as the desert sands into a survival skill. She obtained her GED and undertook nursing studies.

Honey Today

She sticks close to family and a couple of close friends. Betrayal and horrible treatment at the hands of others has compromised her ability to find a decent man and forge a loving relationship, but she’s working on it. She’ll do it.

Recently she’s been awarded a well-earned promotion. Hard work and responsibility moved her up the ladder professionally. She started at ground level and worked her way up to management, now number three in line from the top. Any company would be lucky to employ her.

Living well is the best revenge, and Honey Barrette makes every effort to make that happen.

Afterword

The actions of the psychiatrist horrified me, a medical professional convinced of one’s own infallibility. Because of her evaluation, authorities forewent a slam-dunk case of statutory rape. Even if the judgmental shrink didn’t believe the girl, she should have considered the tiniest possibility rape could have happened, given the child the minutest benefit of the doubt, and not forced her to write those letters.

After Honey related her story, I spoke with her mother who filled in a couple of details.

Long after the court-ordered psychiatric sessions, the Barrette parents sat down with the court’s appointee to discuss issues. Too late to retract her words and reverse the fates, the psychiatrist revealed she’d misinterpreted the girl’s hostility toward her. She’d belatedly come to believe Honey and further concluded her rapist should have been prosecuted.

The shrink would have done well to remember the words of Omar Khayyám:
The Moving Finger writes and having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Honey at least, is beating the odds.



NB: Except for a single reference to the rapist, I've avoided the word ‘victim’. Honey didn’t use the term and I followed suit.

6 comments:

O'Neil De Noux said...

The strengh of a young woman against all odds. A terrifying story. Thanks for putting this up.

Anne Marie said...

Holy Mother of Christ. It was like an ongoing rape by an entire village. What in God's name was wrong with that sadistic woman to make a child write letters like that? No wonder she was the court's shrink, probably no one else wanted her. She (and the entire town) deserve a public flogging. Please tell Honey that more than her family are on her side. Trust in friends, family, and a higher power. I'm glad she's finding her path.

Eve Fisher said...

I hope that "psychiatrist" was/is stripped of her license and thrown out of practice.
But most women (myself included) have known since childhood that reporting a rape is very, very dangerous, because they just don't wanna believe it. Unless you're a virgin blonde early teen like Elizabeth Smart. And you will be harassed, insulted, and treated like absolute crap. Who needs that? And then, years later, it's all "Well, why didn't she report it?"
Another worst case scenario:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/opinions/arlington-texas/?utm_term=.5dff2b71ad0d

Elizabeth said...

Leigh, that story is truly horrifying, especially the part about the shrink & the letters. I shudder to think what would have happened if Ms. Barrette's parents had NOT backed her up. I'm very happy to hear she is doing well now!

I got your email & will answer it this afternoon.

Leigh Lundin said...

Exactly, O'Neil. I'm glad she found the inner strength.

Anne Marie, if ever a town deserved a public flogging, that was it. The village stocks wouldn't be out of place. I'll see that Honey reads your note.

Eve, I asked the mother today and she doesn't believe the psychiatrist suffered any repercussions unless she happened to have a conscience. That Texas article is another awful incidence. After these articles, the gap between bullying and rape doesn't seem much of a leap.

Elizabeth, Honey was fortunate in that regard. It relating the stories to me, Honey and her mother learned a few details from each other they hadn't known before. Elizabeth, thanks.

Don Coffin said...

If both those events (Part I, Part II) happened in Indianapolis, I am simultaneously mad as hell and depressed (not clinically) as hell--I live in Indianapolis (since 2008, anyway), and I would have hoped for better. And it makes me wonder how many things like that have happened here (or elsewhere) and what we can do to prevent them in the future.