This question is one which many people will ask after reading these posts. I can say that, in part, it is something akin to ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. A syndrome in which hostages and kidnap victims become loyal to their kidnapper.The first answer is this: Because the house was in such bad shape when we moved in, each and every improvement that we did, made it better than it was. In that way, I suppose we convinced ourselves that since it was better, it was growing to being okay. I know we left it better than we found it! *
The second answer is that it was only upon writing the previous blog, and seeing the photos, (there are more), in conjunction with obtaining decent housing, that I honestly did not realize just how bad it was. And, yes, to the point that I did shed some tears regarding that condition, and how they treated me, but also tears as to how Pima County Justice Court and Pima County Superior Court responded to me.
There is also the fact that we were desperate, having been illegally evicted at a prior location, (again via the corrupt Pima County Justice Court), even though my rent was paid at the court. My mother was in rehab at the time, and it was just too much. They saw us coming. I didn’t see the house prior to moving in, but my son did, and he just wanted a roof over our head. My heart sank when I first saw it. To be perfectly honest, it is the worst place I have ever lived in, including two other states! And finding another place after being evicted, (albeit illegally), would be difficult. So we stayed.
I do not know if, in my heart of hearts, I can ever forgive them, including the court system which took their side, via ignoring the counterclaim which we filed. The Judge Pro Tem, Thomas Benavidez and Blythe Edmondson should both be ashamed of themselves, but I doubt that they are. Xavier Verdugo should be ashamed for inserting himself in such a way without looking at the facts and following protocol and civil procedures. Lisa Royal, (Court Administrator), should be ashamed for not taking proactive action to make certain that the rules of civil procedure are precisely followed. Adherence to the rules is imperative! Judge Metcalf, Pima County Superior Court judge should also be ashamed for allowing a slumlord to get away with retaliation and lying under oath, and for allowing an attorney to get away with making false pleadings. The ball was in his court to make certain that Pima County Justice Court adhered to the rules of court, and make certain that the truth and fairness ultimately prevailed. He didn’t. He did not even try. As an American citizen, that stung, and it also hurt.
The other tears were for my mother, as the shady slumlords interfered with my grieving period, so that interrupted process rose to the surface, and I cried again after writing the previous blog. I was not ready to go through all of her things. When she passed away, we had to get her items out of the townhouse she was renting, and even though we got rid of an enormous amount of items via donations, the empty carport and shed were soon filled with her items. We both just shut down after the initial shock of losing her. She was 97 years old and kept everything, including items that belonged to her 5 siblings who preceded her in death. So this process forced me to deal with something which I was not emotionally prepared to do. It is no wonder that I am emotionally and physically exhausted, and missing my mother even more.
The Judge Pro Tem, Thomas Benavidez, did not even seem care that, on the day of trial, I was suffering with severe bronchitis and sinusitis! I provided him with the medical statement showing that I was seriously ill, and initially, he did not even want to accept it from me. The video of the courtroom hearing shows that. He didn’t care. Any person with one iota of compassion would have continued the hearing for that reason alone. I had just sought medical treatment over the weekend. He should have known that a person who is ill and taking medication was not fit to present a case, and in fact,I had not even been able to adequately prepare for the hearing. But again, his actions gave the impression that he didn’t care and that he only cared about the slumlords and their attorney.
And, yes I moved, but it was out of fear, and knowledge that, despite being wrong, they would more likely than not, despite the rent being paid, pull another ‘surprise’ and send the constable to ‘kick me to the curb’ rent paid or not, retaliation or not. All they seemed to care about was the slumlords. So I looked for another place, and only out of fear. Even while moving, having paid rent at my new home, that fear remained, which I expressed to all of the friends and neighbors who helped me move. But even after I had moved, the attorney had submitted a document which alleged that I was only appealing in order to stay within the residence – I was either already gone or packing to leave. I continued and continue to fight what has been an injustice. Why? Because as an American citizen, it is my right and my civic duty to do so.
So as they celebrate the false and fabricated victory, I cannot help but wonder if they will find peace knowing that they have hurt someone and robbed them of their constitutional rights. Knowing that they were complicit in assisting a slumlord to retaliate against a tenant. Knowing that they were complicit in unjustifiably wrecking havoc into someone’s life. If they do have inner peace, then, I am justified in believing that they lack integrity, empathy, compassion, and most of all, honesty. So there’s that…
(*Documented in a 2011 pleading in answer to their first attempt to evict me in 2011 … which they lost by the way.)