How Do You Make The Truth Come Out?

by Lillian Csernica on June 21, 2019


Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

I am living through what has to be one of the longest weeks of my life. During this week I have accompanied my mother to the emergency room twice. Mom is quite frail and weak now, receiving dialysis three times a week along with a lengthy list of medications.

On Monday night Mom fell down in the bathroom at her apartment. Fortunately, I was there. I needed help to get Mom on her feet and into her wheelchair, help provided by the local paramedics. Mom’s health is declining. We have now reached a stage that I’ve been dreading.

On Tuesday I went to the courthouse in Santa Cruz and filed for a domestic violence restraining order against my sister. I had 25 pages of evidence including photos which documented my sister’s abuse of not just my mother but my invalid son Michael. I met the morning filing deadline. By 2:30 p.m. the order had been granted. My next stop was the Sheriff/Coroner’s Office where I filled out another form requesting the help of deputies in serving the order to my sister. She was due back from a two week vacation that very night.

Wednesday was a rough day. Knowing that my sister was there, I could not go home. I was afraid of what might happen next. I had no idea whether or not the sheriff’s deputies would serve the order that day, or if the necessary bureaucratic processes would leave me waiting, exposed to the continuing danger of my sister’s presence.

Why do I think my sister is dangerous? On May 28, the night I came home after BayCon, my sister started a fight with me that escalated into violence. I had to grab the phone, hide in the garage, and dial 911. Sheriff’s deputies came. I wish to God I had known I could ask them for an emergency protective order. Had I done that, they would have taken my sister away then and there. I didn’t know. That meant once the deputies left, I was stuck. I couldn’t get my mother, Michael, John, and myself all out of the house at once, not all by myself. There we were, alone with my sister, who had just assaulted me. My sister, against whom I had solid proof of elder abuse and the abuse of a medically fragile, entirely dependent young man.

Where was my husband Chris? In Las Vegas. He’d left the house on Monday, the day before the fight, driving to Vegas for a week’s vacation. He finally came back on Friday night. On Saturday morning my sister started another confrontation. I took Chris outside and told him what had been happening.

Chris didn’t believe me. He kept pushing aside my fears, questioning my credibility and my account of what my sister had been doing. Chris insisted on seeing the police report before he’d do anything about the threat my sister posed to everyone else in the house. Has he read it? I have no idea. The moment I realized he had no intention of confronting my sister, I abandoned any hope for help from him. I had to do what was necessary to protect myself, my children, and my mother, and I would have to do it alone.


In situations of domestic violence, there is a primary abuser and a secondary abuser. The secondary abuser often enables the primary, feeding the victim that classic line, “You must have done something to deserve it.” I had already learned about the concept of triangulation. My husband and my sister were two points on the triangle, side by side, while I was the point at the bottom. I have endured this situation for more than the 6 1/2 years we’ve lived in this house.

You might say my sister did me a favor when she hit me. She slapped some sense into me by making me realize just how serious the situation had become. No more excuses. No more telling myself it wasn’t really that bad. No more accepting the blame and the gaslighting and the cruelty and the twisted power games.

No more.

On Wednesday night, the sheriff’s deputy served my sister and evicted her from my house. The hearing lies ahead. I believe the restraining order will be granted permanent status by the judge who hears my case and sees all the additional evidence I will provide.

My mother, my sons, and I will be safe.

My name is Lillian Csernica. I am a survivor of domestic violence.



Filed under Family, frustration, hospital, Lillian Csernica, marriage, mother, therapy

8 responses to “How Do You Make The Truth Come Out?

  1. You already know what I think…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terelle Terry

    I have been a victim, but I got out. This was before shelters and help. When my x threatened me his lawyer said no woman is worth it. Meaning jail for further violence. That saved my life.
    Terry the elder and AKA Sharon Heisch.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m also a survivor.

    Your husband needs to realize that just because she’s never abused *him,* it doesn’t mean your sister isn’t an abuser. Abusers don’t go after everyone they know, and they are often quite charming to others so that their victims are disbelieved.

    I know this from primary experience.

    You don’t need this mess in your life.

    Hugs offered virtually for now, and in person next time I see you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Lillian,
    I made a rare visit to Linked in and found this. Love and hugs will have to be from afar; we’re off to Anaheim to see our autistic son today, then off to Minnesota when we get back to see my family and from there to DC to bury our grandson. Back around the 10th. So it goes. I’m glad Pat’s in the loop. I can shove some stuff around after the tenth if I’m needed. Again, virtual hugs. And, despite everything, you and the kid looked great at BayCon.
    —Best, Gerry

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Lillian,

    I’m incredibly sorry about what’s happening to you. Although I haven’t been in a similar situation, I have suffered from emotional abuse over the years at the hands of my parents and siblings (two older brothers). Not necessarily cruel, but I’ve had a drip drip feed of naggings and judgements which left me with a serious inferiority complex, barely any confidence whatever and severe depression and anxiety.

    Mother was the major instigator of biting comments towards me, such as: ‘The doctor must be fed up with seeing you.’ when discussing my latest visit to the doctor about my depression.
    I barely knew my brothers, and the comments I received from the older one could be very cutting. The other one hardly ever spoke to me. One sister-in-law was sarcastic and vindictive towards me, the other was a total snob who judged me.

    My parents died within days of one another after I began miraculous recovery from depression with the help of a brilliant mental health team. That was a blessing, because it meant the end of familial obligations. I’ve separated myself from my siblings and extended family because I don’t need their attitudes, and I’ve reached the age when one must choose to
    distance oneself from toxic people, and that includes family and ‘friends’. When people say ‘You can’t do that to family!’ I say: ‘@@@@ that! They’re not my friends. I don’t need them.’

    The same must be applied to you, Lillian.

    Jo xxxx
    Creating My Odyssey


    Liked by 1 person

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