can't stop, won't stop

I am just as tired of writing about it as most of my friends and family are tired of reading about it. But it must be shared…repeatedly…as often as it happens.

Yesterday, a man was arrested in my one-time hometown of Frostburg, Maryland for assaulting a police officer. Here is the text pulled from the online article:

CUMBERLAND — A Frostburg man who was arrested by Cumberland Police during a disturbance Sunday in the Virginia Avenue area allegedly kicked two officers as he was being placed in a holding cell at the police department.

David Leo Cassady, 42, was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, failure to obey a lawful order and resisting arrest.

Officers who responded to the complaint tried to calm Cassady and warned him not to continue yelling and pointing at people on the street. He allegedly continued to yell and began to threaten the officer before being arrested.

Cassady was released by a district court commissioner on $500 unsecured bond.

Although the man arrested is not the boy in my story, he is part of the reason I do what I do today with my blog. He is part of the reason why law enforcement needs to change its attitude when it comes to prosecuting domestic abusers. He is part of the reason I have no faith in our justice system.

The man arrested is the person who strangled me, kicked me, threatened my life and my family’s life and held a gun to my head (among other things) when I was 18. He was also 18 at the time.

He is a perfect example of why rehabilitation DOES NOT work for pathological and mentally disordered people.

He is a psychopath. He is a danger to everyone he comes into contact.

I am not the only female he has assaulted over the past 22 years. However, I am the first woman he beat.

At 18, I was too afraid to tell my father about what this boy did to me. I was terrified that my father would end up killing him and spending the rest of his life behind bars. I opted not to tell my father or my mother.

Instead, I went to the police. But the police in my then hometown of Cumberland, Maryland proved useless late one night in the summer of 1990 when I arrived at the station looking for help.

My boyfriend (the now grown man described in the article above) had stolen my car keys and chased me along several residential streets, kicking me from behind. I could not out run him. I tried. After what seemed like about an hour of being chased and kicked continuously and begging and pleading with him to stop, I finally started screaming loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

This seemed to work. My boyfriend got scared, tossed my keys in my direction and took off on foot back in the direction of his parent’s home.

After many minutes of searching and digging, I was able to finally find my keys in the darkness among the twigs, leaves and garbage piled in the gutter. I anxiously walked back to my car not knowing if, at any moment, my boyfriend was going to jump out from behind a house, a shrub or a parked car.

Once safely inside my car, I locked the door and thought about my options. Telling my parents was out of the questions. I feared what they would do to him in retaliation. I also feared what my boyfriend would do in retaliation to their retaliation!

I was raised to believe the police and/or someone in authority would help me when I was in danger. So, I drove straight to the police station.

I walked into reception disheveled and frightened. Although I would describe my then 18-year-old self as healthy, pretty, smart and well-liked, I didn’t feel the least bit confident walking into the police station. For one thing, I had never been to one, and for another, I had never spoken to a police officer in my life.

I approached the reception window. The officer behind the glass looked up from his paperwork and asked, “What do you want?”

His words echoed a few times in my head.

What DO I want? What DO I want?…I guess I wanted help.

I said, “I want help. I want you to arrest my boyfriend.”

The officer chuckled and laughed at me. I became instantly confused.

Why is he laughing at me? This is serious. Does he not believe me?

So, I repeated, “Will you please arrest my boyfriend? He tried to kill me.”

From behind the glass, the officer asked, “How did he try to kill you?”

I remember opening my mouth, but words were hard to find. I started crying hysterically. I couldn’t form a complete sentence to save my life! I vaguely remember mumbling and wiping the tears and snot from my melting face.

The officer interrupted me and said, “If you can’t control yourself, I can’t help you. How old are you?”

I screamed, “I am 18, and my boyfriend just tried to kill me!”

The officer, who was still seated behind the glass, said, “If you expect me to help you, you need to be more respectful, young lady.”

I stood in the reception area with the intense fluorescent lighting beating down on my face and tired eyes. I was so confused.

Can’t he see that I have been running in the dark along the streets for hours trying to get away from my boyfriend. Can’t he see that I have dirt and mud all over my knees and the palms of my hands from repeatedly falling after being kicked from behind? Respect? I respect him. What is he talking about? What is happening?

I started crying more. I put my hands over my face and backed up and sat in one of the plastic chairs along the wall.

From behind the glass, the officer spoke again, “If you can’t control yourself, I can’t help you.”

Control MYSELF!? What the fuck was this asshole saying to me?

My tears and frustration turned to anger. I had been patient long enough.

I spoke, “I need you to take down my name and the name of my boyfriend.”

The officer spoke, “I don’t need to do anything.”

In that moment, I felt defeated. I needed the police, but the police clearly did not want to help me.

Rather than prolonging this pointless conversation, I turned and left. I hopped into my car and drove home.

If the police couldn’t protect me from him, I needed to protect myself from him. During the entire drive home, I plotted and planned ways to get my boyfriend to break up with me. Even at 18, I knew it had to be his idea. I was too afraid to break up with him myself. I feared the ramifications of my rejection of him.

Within a few weeks of the police-station incident, I cut my hair really short. I stopped wearing make-up and started wearing clothes that didn’t fit me. I resembled a homely 12-year-old boy more than the attractive 18-year-old girl I had been so proud of becoming. I made myself ugly and it worked. He broke up with me soon after I started my freshman year in college that fall at Frostburg State University.

One would think I felt free and relieved. One would think I would feel like a brave and courageous survivor.

One would be very, very wrong.

I felt more like a failure for not speaking up. I told no one of the details of that night or any of the other nights protecting myself from him. The guilt of remaining silent engulfed me. And with each story passed along to me over the years about another girlfriend or friend or brother or officer assaulted by my ex-boyfriend, the guilt became more and more intense.

I swore I would never be involved with another man who beat me or threatened me. For almost 20 years after breaking up with this abuser, I chose good boyfriends. Caring boyfriends. That is until I invited the sociopath into my life at age 38.

But once free from that relationship, I knew I could not be silent about it. I knew I would not be able to live with additional guilt.

So, I speak. I write. And I can’t stop. Kind of like that Beastie Boys’ song:

‘Cause You Can’t, You Won’t And You Don’t Stop
‘Cause You Can’t, You Won’t And You Don’t Stop
‘Cause You Can’t, You Won’t And You Don’t Stop
MCA Come And Rock The Sure Shot

I Want To Say a Little Something That’s Long Overdue
The Disrespect To Women Has Got To Be Through
To All The Mothers And Sisters And The Wives And Friends
I Want To Offer My Love And Respect To The End
(chorus and lyrics from Sure Shot)


abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Health, Mental Health, mindfulness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Running, Sociopaths, Spirituality, Writing
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Join the conversation! 32 Comments

  1. […] was one of his first female victims 24 years ago when I was just 18 and he was 18. The police in Cumberland refused to do anything about his threats and attacks against me then and allowed this psychopath to spend two decades terrorizing and tormenting women, children, men […]


    • i have been here. was stalked by my boyfriends jealous ex and the cops basically laughed when he called the police and said he wanted to get a RO on hig ex girlfriend. from his response i could tell they were not taking him seriously, i screamed SHE WANTS TO KILL ME and the cops in the background changed their attitude a little and said “were sorry. were not trying to take your case lightly just because it is a female but unless she is on your property and you have firsthand witnesses we cant do anything” i told them i had emails saved of her threatening to slit my throat from two years prior, they said “those are null if you didnt report them when it happened”. i didnt report them because i felt bad for the girl and didnt want to ruin her life with a RO, thinking she would eventually “get over it”. well its been five years and she hasn’t. the cops said “im sorry i wish we could do more but we have a lot of harassment complaints” we asked “can we at least put her name down in case she attacks us we arent accused of any wrongdoing?” they said they couldnt without questioning the ex and anyone else involved (we all knew she would get her cronies to clan together and lie for her) and they told us “usually the investigation process alone will just antagonize them further. until you get proof of physical harm or she is on your property (which meant inside my apartment building INSIDE my actual apartment….she would sit across the street in her car for hours waiting for us to come out) we can’t really do anything…. sorry that is all we can offer” like wth you cant even just take a name down without exacerbating the situation and then saying “if they do anything before you get the RO you are liable of getting in trouble if you injure them etcetc”. we felt so defeated. now she is pregnant and it has been five years and still she tries to harass us via her friends on fb and stalk our pages. luckily we moved out when she decided to move in two doors down with her boyfriend a month after she found out we had moved in on his street but we dealt with it for an entire year. we would literally duck and hide behind parked cars if we saw her walking by bc we never knew what she was going to do next….. i still dont like having visitors because idont want her knowing where i live. we have nightmares about her crashing our wedding or literally killing us on a regular basis. its awful. i hate that my fiance spent six years with this sociopath, i was nice enough to tell her “you two should remain friends” she immediately saw the empath in me and slandered my name and ruined her life so badly she literally chose to become the “town whore/drug addict” because she said that she was going to end up having to have a lot of sex with a lot ofpeople to “get over it” ….. we thought she was just saying that in a sad attempt to make my fiance jealous but when he didnt get jealous she just went out and did it anyway, as if to say… “i told u i was going to do this if you didnt take me back…. look at my life now because of you… my life is ruined because you broke my heart!!!” ughhhhh. i dont even want to talk about it anymore but im glad to see this page exists, its frustrating because i cant talk about this with anyone i know in real life for fear that “she” might find out. her nickname to us and the town is fatal attraction bc she is really THAT bad…. after five years, moving states away, moving back, getting pregnant, and even having a boyfriend…. she still cant stop. the hardest part is accepting the fact that it never will……


    • Wow. You were very generous and patient. We all hurt when relationships end, and we all need time to process it. But when the bitterness and stalking never ends and seems to get worse, there is definitely more to it than just a broken heart that is in need of mending. She sounds very much like Jodie Arias. But the only good thing is that you are taking her behavior seriously and not dismissing it as harmless.


  2. Wow. Just… wow. Is it sad that I’m not surprised you got that sort of treatment when you went looking for help? It’s like a bad cliche.


  3. Oh my gosh memories from long ago… I remember being asked the same type of questions , I felt belittled by the officers. I was told I was being way to hysterical and they were unable to understand me and if ” I didn’t straighten up they needed to move onto another call” WTF .. Also I want to thank you for being here , your blog is such a great resource to so many.


    • Thank you, Becki! So often people say, “Oh, that was just a bad cop. They aren’t ALL like that.” Hmmm? Really? They aren’t? I think one bad cop can infest the attitude of good cops and make them all like this. We know all too well how easy it is for evil to infiltrate and take over any good that could be done. It’s easier to be evil, I think, than it is to be good. Takes more energy. The majority of cops are lazy, in my opinion.


  4. Wow Paula, that is so disheartening about the cops. As I was getting ready for work this morning I was thinking about why domestic violence offenders are not held to the same standard as people who hurt/kill strangers. Is it to somehow say that if you knew them, you must have done something to tick them off so it is somewhat ok? I know many victims go back to their abusers and it is difficult to prosecute when the victim decides not to testify, but that shouldn’t mean law enforcement gives up. More women are murdered every year by someone they know as opposed to a stranger. A report issued a few years back by the government claims the opposite is true of men. So do men get better justice than women? I don’t think that is true, it is more that our society puts more emphasis on stranger violence than domestic violence when there is way more domestic violence going on. It is a very sad world we live in. Think of how many people would be alive today, how many children would have their parent if law enforcement would simply hold every violent crime to the same standards regardless of whether the victim and the perpetrator knew each other or not. Thank you for continuing to speak up <3.

    Click to access fvv.pdf


  5. You ok? That must have been horrible reading that! You could get ptsd from someone holding a gun to your head, and reading that article could trigger you to relive it and go through it again! 😦 …. You can’t make order out of disorder. Or sense out of nonsense.


  6. Such sad stories of abuse – from so many.

    Police abuse is inexcusable! They are being paid to protect and serve ALL people. However, the action/inaction of the local police has been documented as causing the death of people such as you who write about your stories of mental and physical abuse.

    Police officers have been accused of incarceration of innocents, plotting against innocent persons to get a conviction and further their career, causing death of an innocent while ignoring the actions of murderers and abusers.

    Some of these cases can be contributed to lack of training; personality, inexperience. Often elected police chief with none of the qualities needed to supervise such an important job just sweeps under the carpet or out the door anything he doesn’t think needs an investigation. (Ray’s story WordPress, Justice for Raymond, he was murdered by poison and the police all the way to the DA and AG refuse to investigate the case in Montgomery county, PA). So abuse is not just a woman problem, imagine a husband explaining that he is abused to a police officer.

    Nepotism in small community police forces is another factor, adding to that friends of the cops and you have the perfect motive for a cover-up of any crime, especially family crime.

    Until there is recourse for citizens to hold the politicians – both elected, appointed or hired responsible for their performance on the job, there will be no relief.

    God bless.
    Ray’s Mom


    • Thank you, Shirley. Too often we overlook the men who have been victims. I didn’t intend to do that with this story. I receive messages form many husbands and boyfriends. But I do think it’s easier for men to be heard by the police. It’s also easier for men abusers to lie to the police about what really happened because a woman’s “emotions” make her look crazy and unbelievable.

      This is definitely not a gender issue. It is a justice issue. And I read your posts every day and can’t fathom how deep and far the corruption goes. All we can do is what we’ve been doing up to this point—writing, talking, posting, tweeting and hoping we are heard and our efforts aren’t in vain. I don’t think they are. I am hopeful a change will happen, sooner rather than later.



    • Paula, You have done such outstanding work to promote justice that I can only say thank you and continue the pressure. I, in no way am critical of any gender of the abuser, it is the abuser. God knows there are way too many in graves that could have been saved with proper police work. That is where my battle line is drawn, oversight, regulation and accountability. They can escape prosecution for admitted wrongdoings. Perhaps they will lose their job – just to go on to another community and continue the same line of business…..corruption.


  7. As so many have said, this is an amazing story. It is the details of such stories that drive the point home, and enable us to add a bit more to our own understanding. thank you!


  8. Paula!!! I agree! we have to keep telling our stories, cause if we don’t others will not hear them. It’s appalling how the system is! We have to arm ourselves with knowledge, that’s the only defense and keep on telling the world!


  9. Paula, I’m so glad you decided not to be silent. You are able to articulate what I, and probably many others, can’t.

    And the thing about the police? I know some kick-ass cops who protected me when I needed it. But the majority of them are drawn to it why? Because they’re control freaks and, as cops, they are not only paid to be that way but respected by some as well.

    People who are drawn to law enforcement are sometimes looking to serve and protect. But, more often than not, they’re looking to legitimize their personality disorders.

    It’s hard to differentiate good from bad sometimes, at least at first. But the things you contribute to the conversation Paula are, at least for me, perceptive and thoughtful and you provide an insight I didn’t have before, even with my therapist.

    So PLEASE, don’t stop. And none of the rest of us should stop either. It’s the only way the world will finally get what’s going on–that there are people who walk amongst us who are basically evil and will never change.


  10. I’m so sad the police weren’t there for you and that this happened at all. Keep telling your story, you’re touching lives everywhere! xo


  11. Paula, (((((((((hugs)))))))) I understand your sense of responsibility to never stop talking about domestic abuse, psychopaths, and sociopaths. Although at such a young age you did EXACTLY what you should have done. A persons family should not have to take the law into their own hands in order to get justice. My biggest fear wasn’t that JC would kill me, it was that if he did my son would make sure he paid and it would destroy my son’s life.
    I am hoping that the police every where are being taught how to deal with domestic violence more effectively. 12 years ago, after being ambushed by my ex I was told by the police to keep my mouth shut and not start anything. After getting no where with the police and being stalked, and threatened out of frustration I walked into the ppolice station and demanded they take my name and make note of the fact that “I am not suicidal”. The cop just looked at me and smirked, “And why would we need to know that?”
    I said,” Because I don’t think I’m going to make it through the weekend alive”.
    He just stared at me for a minute and then asked if there was anything else.
    I felt so totally abused and helpless. It is inexcusable that the victim is victimized by the very people hired to help them, often times their own families and friends because people refuse to acknowledge abuse. Silence is the abusers greatest weapon. By speaking out you, me and countless others are disarming the abusers.
    Great post, thank you for sharing, it must be very difficult to relive it and to know he continues to abuse after all these years. You have done all you can.


    • And everyone just looks at you cross-eyed and in disbelief when you describe your experience with the police. I shouldn’t have to lick a cops ass to get him to serve me. I refuse. They can arrest me if they don’t like it. It’s insane! I feel for you too, Carrie. I know the desperation.


  12. I am very disturbed that his repeat offender, this waste of human flesh, was released on $500 bond. $500? Is that for fucking real? I wonder what the bond cap is on those charges? Surely it’s higher than $500.
    Also, I am so sorry this happened to you. How frightening, and then to have that cop jerk treat you like an inconvenience. I have never met a cop who gives a shit about a beaten woman. They may exist, but like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, I think they’re fabled.


    • I thought the same thing about the pittance of a $500 bond. That means he only had to pay $250 to get out of jail!


    • It’s mind-boggling. Seriously. Had it been $2500, he might still be in jail, where he belongs. Had it been $2500, well, nevermind, I was going to say he may think twice next time, but then I remembered these kinds don’t think or learn, no matter the financial consequences.


  13. Dear Paula, this article is timely as I was thinking of taking down my post regarding the ex-narc in my life. People think I haven’t gotten over him or I would just stop writign and talking about it. I don’t think they realize the depth of the damage that these people do to us. As it turns out my insticts have been correct. The ex has had a new mistress (he is still married) for the past six months. Her flags went up and she googled him and found my blog–a friend of a friend confirmed that it was all true. I don’t know what has happened as she never contacted me directly but it turns out we have a few friends in common. You are so right the crazyness just never ends. I hope my blog helped her but to date I don’t really know.


    • If those doubters only knew how very “over these fools” we are. It’s how we were made to feel about ourselves that is hard to just “get over.” Forgiving ourselves for falling for the pity parties and the lies and the manipulations. These assholes don’t deserve good people feeling sorry for them or providing them with love. They don’t deserve it. I’m sure she read your blog and could see herself in your experience. I am sure you helped her. Positively positive!


  14. Is that cop behind the window still alive? I assume he’s retired by now. You should take a signed copy of your book and shove it down his misogynistic fucking throat! If you want, I’ll do it for you. I love the DC area — happy to stop by for a visit when I’m done.


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