When I returned home, my challenge was seeing Amy on Sundays and not being allowed to speak to her, terrified she'd show up with a boyfriend. Westwood left me out on major news, and I found that an elder had died three weeks earlier, one I'd helped build a wheelchair ramp for in March. No one told me. I went to church and rarely got more than a smile anymore. I saw car-loads of church friends--they didn't wave.
I never mailed the rings--never took time to visit my post office, but I knew when Amy practiced for praise team, 2 1/2 miles away. I emailed her and said I'd drop them on her car during my bicycle ride. She didn't reply--her usual practice in her new life of freedom, so I carefully, as inconspicuously as possible, dropped a bag with the ring set and a race number from Mt. Evans, on her car. I was shortly called to my pastor's office where it was implied that I was stalking Amy and when I explained, they implied that I was lying. They told me where to sit in church, when I was allowed to go there, whom I could speak to or email, ordered me to take photos of Amy off my website (to this day she has photos I shot at her brother's wedding on hers). If I didn't follow their rules, they'd take 'legal action'. Amy could sit anywhere and speak to anyone she wanted to (including my family). They made Amy look a victim--when did I ever have the power? I eventually lost all my friends, my church, quite a lot of money, and my entire post-Air Force life was based on my relationship with Amy--all gone. She lost nothing, and kept her precious reputation. I quickly told them in perfect accent,"I can't go here anymore". What stalker drops $3800 of jewelry on your car? Apparently when I dropped the rings off, everyone in praise team practice stopped, wondering what I was doing (Amy probably never spoke up). That didn't go well, because the pianist was the wife of the elder conducting the pastor's meeting, and his sister-in-law was the head of praise team.
They knew me! They knew I was a cyclist, mixed errands and workouts, and Amy knew I was coming. They were friends, or so I thought. I've never raised a hand to a woman in my adult life (I beat the crap out of my sister as a kid), but I was in suspicion from people I gladly called family, people I comforted in death, led classes for, raised money for, campaigned for, authored popular newsletters for, and babysitted for. I never ate a child. I was upset with Amy (who wouldn't be?) and my emails weren't always totally nice, so they felt she was in danger. Their implications of stalking were baseless. I never went by her house (or her mother's), and except for the mountain top voicemail, hadn't phoned her after she said she wanted a clean break in February, the few times I did email her, she didn't ask me to stop, and on one occasion told me she'd do whatever it took to help me heal(evidently she didn't mean it). I removed her from my internet 'friends' lists before she removed me. I sat near the front of church, as I had for over 16 years--it's not my fault that she sang in praise team up on the stage. Did I look at her during services? Of course--everyone did. Stalking? For a woman who said her family would be mean to me (this was one of her reasons for a break-up), she seemed afraid to say anything directly to me, but she and her family hid behind a church from a threat that was in their head. As far as my few emails, Amy knows I'm flexible with the English language. I mean, when she read my poem "Pigs with machine guns", did she think I was arming livestock? Of course not--they have no opposable thumbs! Those were private conversations, private emails between two people who were extremely close. The thought that I would physically hurt Amy is insanity. I'd die for her. I was always her protector. It blew me away how people I trusted so completely, loved so honestly, could treat me so cruelly.
August 22: The counselor I'd seen for four months, Lori Roe (Lion of Judah)recommended by Focus on the Family, accused me of stalking her. I'd sit securely across the room, professing how I hated touching people, while she went nuts over beautiful Gizmo, bought him treats, toys, and admitted that she and a client had decided to get dogs because of him. She shot the June 17 photo of Gizmo holding a balloon in one of our sessions (the photo was her idea), so you can see we had a good time. When I'd see her other clients in the lobby, I'd tell them I was there for Gizmo--he thought he was a dog. She also gave the most ridiculous reaction to me being pushed out of my church,"Well, Amy was there first". Outside of counseling, we had no contact. She'd told me in counseling that my actions with Amy were a normal part of the grieving process, and now I'm a stalker? Had the entire world gone mad?