Midlife Madness and Restraining Order Abuse

Posted on April 26, 2016


“Of the 760 women approached [of menopausal age], 539 (71 %) returned completed questionnaires. A total of 155 women (29%) had a score of 12 or more on the general health questionnaire and were identified as probable psychiatric cases.”

C. Barbara Ballinger, British Medical Journal (1975)

Translation: About every fourth woman you meet “of a certain age” is at least a little off.

Men in this age group, besides—perceiving their virility to be on the wane—are commonly said to experience “midlife crises.”

In investigating and writing about abuses of restraining orders for five years, I’ve heard from plenty of teenaged and young adult victims (who are not uncommonly represented by their very distressed moms or dads).

The really hairy stories, though, come from people in midlife. I’m in midlife, and I’m fending off allegations from women who have begun (or are fast approaching) “the change.” Here are some statements one of them made to a police detective in January:

  • Jennifer said Todd wrote in his blog on 10-31-15 “Your lives have an expiration date and so do you.”
  • Jennifer said Todd also wrote, “You don’t want people like me thinking about people like you, think about that.”
  • Jennifer said Todd’s dog died in August 2015 and that he had said that once he didn’t have dependents he would go crazy and seek justice.
  • Jennifer said she believed Todd posted several blogs in which she believed he was a danger to others which included seeking retribution and “going biblical” and “seeking his own justice.”
  • Jennifer said she now carries a handgun due to her concern that Todd is a threat to her safety.

Note especially the last statement. This woman, who has monitored me for 10 years (and will have read this post before you), has also referred to my mother in her incoherent remarks to the police.

She works as a research specialist in the University of Arizona Department of Psychiatry.

My accuser, who is (peri)menopausal and whom I’ve met once in 10 years, was evicted from her home last summer after she accused her husband of something in 2014, which inspired him to lose his cool and flourish what police called a “killing knife” in an intoxicated rage. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A former bartender, he’d previously been convicted for cocaine possession. My accuser was cited for impaired driving in 2011, though she wasn’t convicted. Her brother has been charged with DUI and imprisoned for violent crimes. The head of the University of Arizona Pharmacy College, where my accuser works or has worked, was indicted in November on three counts of sexual assault allegedly involving the use of “date rape drugs.”

The accusations against me began right at the same time. As I tried to urgently impress upon a Tucson judge this week, that’s probably more than coincidental. As I also tried to urgently impress upon him, I’m not the one whose mental state should be under suspicion.

People in midlife can be powder kegs with short fuses, and it’s hardly rare for their orientation to life to be more backwards-directed than toward the future.

Midlifers can devote an exorbitant amount of time to worrying the question, “Where did it all go wrong?” Those with accountability issues also wonder who’s to blame, and the answer they arrive at is never “me.”

A woman I’m in contact with, Betty Krachey, was threatened with eviction from her home not that long ago, because her long-term boyfriend (of decades) had designs on it and maybe nursed plans to trade Betty in for a newer model. She was issued a restraining order, which blessedly she managed to extricate herself from with the help of a lawyer (something those in her situation often don’t know is an option even if it’s an option they could afford).

Many or most respondents to this blog who report deep-seeded conflict are in their 40s or 50s. They’re served with restraining orders whose hyped or false grounds are motivated by resentments that have simmered for years or decades. Midlife is when they reach a boiling point.

It’s also a time when people’s familial infrastructures crumble. They lose friends, siblings, and parents. Safety nets tatter or disappear.

They are, accordingly, less accountable to others for their choices. They’re more socially isolated, and therefore less socially inhibited. They have fewer people to answer to for what they do, and they don’t have the fear of rejection that they might have had when they were younger. They tend to be more callused, disillusioned, and jaded or cynical (or crazier). This can mean they’re less scrupulous, too.

Appreciate that accusation is the perfect way to:

  1. “get even” for past slights and indignities (real or imagined) and/or
  2. “ditch” a spouse or boy- or girlfriend and keep shared possessions (including the home) and
  3. “reset” the clock.

A quickie process that lets a person swan into a courthouse, breezily recite some accusations, and skip back out in under an hour with a renewed lease on life is therefore bound to hold some attractions for the embittered midlifer.

That’s besides anyone of any age with moral deficits and a pen.

Copyright © 2016 RestrainingOrderAbuse.com

*Update (2018): Legal actions brought pursuant to the allegations against me referenced in this post were in each instance dismissed (two to 20 months later). The matter, which goes back 12 years, is detailed here.