By Eric Beasley
“Everything I’ve ever done, ever thought, ever experienced, and ever felt, has led me up to this moment in my life. And after accumulating and culminating it, all I can say is, “Ahhhhh!” – Jarod Kintz
They always say politics is a contact sport. When I was an outsider looking in, I had a vague comprehension of this concept. After being politically active for a few years, I’ve learned the full extent of this contact sport.
It doesn’t just mean you, as a politically active person. It also includes your family, your children, and your past.
A while back I wrote about the 28 months that I spent at a “therapeutic boarding school.” You may remember that it was actually a prison-torture camp, where teenagers were subjected to severe psychological and physical abuse at the hands of some money-grubbing religious fundamentalists. I could tell you some stories, most you probably would not believe:
- Kids so desperate to leave that they jump off a 3 story building.
- Kids punched and kicked into a bloody mess, for the terrible crime of asking to go the restroom after 8pm.
- Kids forced to undergo multiple abuses, then become the abuser in order to graduate (escape).
Yes, I became the abuser. As a 16 year kid, I did not have the ability to make the moral choice, break out of the facility and walk the 70 miles to the US border. Go ahead, attack me over it, political people. Feel free, because nothing you say or do will be worse than what I tell myself in reflection. Nothing is worse than knowing about the lives that you ruined for self-preservation.
Some nights, I stay up late. I’m thinking about that convoy blown up by 6-155mm artillery shells placed in the road 1,000 meters from my guard tower. I’m thinking about the force of the explosion, sweeping through the tower and rumbling my insides. I’m thinking about the MEDEVAC that spun up and was on site within 3 minutes, directed by my tower. I’m thinking about the two kids whose last moment on Earth was driving through Bakr village. I’m thinking about what, if anything, I could have done to save their lives.
Every event in my life has led me to this point.
These aren’t the only bad decisions I have made in my life. In the last year, I have been blackmailed multiple times over another bad decision. Political figures in Maryland have perpetuated these efforts, and others have actively supported the blackmail.
I’m done with being blackmailed.
I was married once, many years ago. The details, not important.
We broke up, many years ago. The details, not important.
In alignment with her radical feminist ideology, she chose not to just leave, but to try to destroy my life.
She filed a restraining order. After 2 hours of radical feminist drivel, the African-American female judge threw out the restraining order. Those records are expunged, sealed up in a basement somewhere. Along with the other 3 attempts at restraining orders, which were dismissed before the two-party hearing took place.
Shortly after, I started receiving calls from the Howard County Police. I was being charged with a crime for doing exactly what my ex-wife had requested. Apparently in the same way affirmative consent means you can retroactively revoke consent for sexual contact, you can retroactively revoke consent to be given the contact information for the person filing your taxes.
Neither let up. My chain of command was being called every day, with some new complaint against me. The prosecutor went so far as to call my battalion CSM (Command Sergeant Major) and threaten to prosecute him with accessory if the Army did not take criminal actions against me.
After months of harassment, I made a choice that was simultaneously the best and worst decision I had ever made.
I swallowed a couple bottles of pills. The details, not important.
I spent a week physically recovering. The details, not important.
I spent months in therapy. The details, not important.
I am still in therapy. Some of you have come across me on Thursdays in the Fort Detrick area at noon. Now you know why.
Even still, every event in my life has led me to this point.
The criminal cases were finally heading to trial. The only detail that matters is one day during the settlement conference my lawyer leaned over to me and said “I don’t know what you did, but this prosecutor hates you. This is personal. I’ve been a defense attorney for many years and I have never seen this level of unprofessional conduct.”
The criminal cases finally ended. After my year of hell. There wasn’t even a guilty finding, just probation before judgment for some phone calls. As with the restraining orders, those records were also expunged. The only documentation of these charges presently sits in a locked and dusty basement in Howard County and a large safe in an undisclosed location.
What does this have to do with blackmail?
Over the summer, a political figure found a mention of these expunged records and tried to blackmail me over them. You know who you are.
Another 3 political figures supported the blackmail. You know who you are.
Another 2 political figures have tried using this same blackmail against me in the last month. You know who you are.
But remember, every event in my life has led me to this point.
This is a good time to mention Elyse. You see, Elyse and I met during this madness. We would not have met if not for this series of unfortunate events. She came to the hospital when I overdosed, she was there while I was in therapy, and she was there when I recovered. She’s still here today, a loving wife and amazing mother to my 1.7 children, Zane and (Arthur or Diana, not sure if it’s a boy or girl).
When Elyse found out about the blackmail last summer, she sat on our couch and cried. She told me “How soon can we move? I don’t care what it costs. We can cash out my IRA, let’s just get away from here. I saw first hand what this did to you the first time around and I never want to see you go through it again.”
Don’t forget, every event in my life has led me to this point.
A few months ago, Frederick County lost one of our own. His demons caught up to him, and he made the same decision that I did so many years ago. Until Valhalla, brother.
I got a phone call from another political figure in Frederick County. This person, talking through their tears, told me “I just heard the news and I didn’t know what to do. But for some reason I just knew that I should call you.” Instead of talking in generic platitudes, I told this person my story from a first-person perspective. I knew where this fallen soldier was coming from, because I had been there.
Every event in my life led me to that point, to help a grieving friend understand that it was not their fault. To understand what goes through the mind of someone who wants to commit suicide. To understand that there was nothing they could have done for my fallen brother.
A week later, I lost another comrade to suicide. This time, I had to have the same conversation with myself.
You can blackmail me. You can shun me. You can make little jokes. You can not vote for me for anything ever. You can attack me and my family. There is nothing you can throw at me that I haven’t survived already.
If the only good thing to come out of my political life is helping a grieving friend process the untimely death of a brother-in-arms by their own hand, than I consider it a success. I could quit right now and return to my private life, satisfied with what I accomplished.
Life is not about politics or page views. Life is about doing the right thing. Sure, I’ve made some bad decisions in my life. But every one of those decisions has led me to this point.