This is part seven of The Crime Hump Chronicles, the creative non-fiction narrative of quantum events.
It’s been one year since my whole world changed. One year since my seemingly ordinary life became, well, less ordinary. It was this day a year ago that the clients of a child protection agency in Eastern Ontario learned that their personal information was publicly posted on the internet. I would be blamed for this, accused of being a hacker who stole and posted the information online. I was later arrested and charged. These charges are still pending and so are my release conditions that say I cannot post any information to the internet about the agency in question.
I did not know it a year ago, but a series of life-changing decisions lay ahead of me in a roller-coaster ride of a defence that continues. I’ve only ever wanted to tell the truth and I was completely shocked about the implications of doing that. Lawyers really don’t like when their clients make decisions based on principle. It started with the phone calls. The media, MPP’s, lawyers and a ton of messages on social media and email that persist still a year later. It’s a mix of a lot of angry people and a lot of supportive people. Still, a year later I’m being stopped in the street, or stared at in the store. It happens in waves, correlating to when my court appearances make the news.
To help cope with the situation, I write. I write about what I am allowed to write about anyways. I try to write like you would when documenting on a shift report. I try to write about only what I see, objectively. I don’t pay attention to the rules of writing. I frequently lack context in a single article and catch a lot of flack for that. I even wrote a parody of a Shakespearian sonnet about my upcoming trial.
Over the past year, I have learned a lot. I’ve learned about small town police policies, local lawyers and courts and how intertwined service providers and family and criminal court can be. I’ve learned about politics, legislation and its impacts on social service delivery. I’ve seen unique families reduced to numbers or “quantitative data” used to rationalize a liberal agenda. I’ve learned about exploitation and corruption and if it can be, it will be exploited. I’ve learned to play the game, the invisible rules of the social classes and how to throw the game up in air and say, “no more!” Most importantly I’ve learned to keep writing, to keep bringing the message to new people.