Dedicated to Kyle Lamb

Flying Monkeys and Narcissists explained

Today I’m dedicating this special section of this post to Kyle Lamb, Lt. Flying Monkey aka Johnny Neutral, not only because he dedicated about 30 minutes of his podcast to me (I’m honored), but also because as Kyle said on his podcast “I asked her to answer questions and she hasn’t answered them yet.”  In my opinion, Kyle is the perfect representation of the utter delusion, hypocrisy, passive-aggressiveness, misogyny and blind homerism that is emblematic of overly-invested football fans.  Yes Kyle, you are so special you get your own post, pat yourself on the back!  For those wondering, Kyle Lamb is the rosy-cheeked overlord of BuckeyeGrove.com, a Rivals.com website, and he also has a podcast called Unscripted Ohio.  I recently had a “feud” with this man on twitter, which he called “very public”…because once again he is that special; he then went on to talk about me and our feud on his Podcast.  Now, I can’t tag him on twitter again because Kyle, the non-misogynist, blocked me from his twitter for calling him out and then defending myself by standing up to him, so I’ll just respond here on my attention-seeking blog that Buckeye fans claim no one reads.

And before I go any further, Kyle, I don’t have a subscription to your website, but I have many friends who do and they like to send me screenshots of yours (and Nevadabuck’s) posts about me.  This might come as a surprise to you, but they also think you’re a smug, passive-aggressive, know-it-all.  If there is one valuable lesson I have learned from this experience, it’s – save, record, and document everything!

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Here we go and once again let me remind, Kyle, you asked for it:

To start with, our very public feud started on twitter when Kyle first accused Brenda Tracy of trying to be “judge and jury”  in a tweet which I posted above.  I took exception to his tweet because just 10 weeks earlier, after my ex-husband was arrested for violating my CPO, Kyle ran straight to his website and accused me of  “ambushing my ex-husband” and then on twitter of “manipulating a protection order.  He also previously defended my ex-husband on twitter for “raising his voice” the day he was arrested. Kyle then claimed he stands by what he says and it’s a fact that I ambushed him and manipulated my CPO, yet he wasn’t there when it happened, didn’t witness anything, hasn’t taken witness statements, hasn’t been to the trial and knows nothing of that day other than what little bit was reported in the media and likely what he was told by my ex-husband and his attorney.  Not sure how he can state something as a “fact” when he has no evidence to back it up.

 

Later during our very public feud on twitter, he went on to claim that he never talks about me or my ex-husband and is “neutral.”  I don’t know what Kyle’s experience with protection orders is, unless of course someone has one against him, and it’s obvious to me that he doesn’t understand what a fact is or the definition of neutral, but my ex-husband’s trial for the violation of my CPO is on August 6th. It is open to the public and he is welcome to attend, not as “judge and jury” obviously!

Side note – I’m going to give Kyle a crash course on CPOs and how they work. Here is a link to my non-mutual CPO (My Civil Protection Order).  So, Johnny Neutral, if my ex were to show up to a place unexpectedly and I was there, he would not be arrested unless he refused to leave, which he did refuse at the elementary school.  If I were to show up at any place, except for a school activity (pickup/drop off is not considered a school activity) and Zach was at that place, he would have to leave within a reasonable amount of time.  If he refused to leave he would be arrested.  Now you see Kyle, up until that point we have not had any issues with our path’s crossing and it triggering a CPO violation because I don’t spend my days following him around town trying to “manipulate” my protection order.

Moving on though – should Kyle decide to show up at his trial for whatever reason, he might come to learn that my ex-husband was in contempt of an invaluable order that was put into place for the safety of our children.  His issues are not just a matter of safety for my children, but a matter of public safety. The court order I’m referring to was put under seal to protect my ex-husband from embarrassment…he has a way of getting a lot of his stuff sealed. This is all well and good, however, it was because of this order that he was not allowed to see our children.

Because my ex-husband has a history of disregard for authority and bad case of raging entitlement, not getting our children on demand incensed him to the point that he thought he could violate both the sealed order and the order for parenting time by showing up to the school and grabbing our kids.  Kyle might also come to find out at the trial that my ex was also in violation of our current court-approved parenting plan and CPO, which requires all pick up and drop off to occur at the Powell Police station and that my ex-husband was not allowed to have our children until 6:45pm that day. However, he wouldn’t have gotten them anyway because he was still in violation of the sealed court order.

If Kyle stays a little longer at the trial, he might find out that on that day, I received a call from the Principal at the school notifying me that Zach contacted them and told them he was going to the school to pick up our children…in violation of the court orders.  Now, I’m assuming Kyle with his fancy schmancy education knows schools are required to comply with all court orders…this includes our parenting plan and CPO.  The school contacted me and asked me if I wanted to do parent pick up that day and I agreed to it.

When we arrived, my ex-husband in all his raging entitlement, demanded the school hand over our children, he berated the school staff and refused to leave, prompting both the principal and me to call the Delaware County Sheriff’s office and Powell Police. I guess Johnny Neutral takes no issue with “raising voices” at overworked school employees and in front of other children and their parents. I take issue with it though, school employees who don’t deserve to be treated like crap for doing their jobs take issue with it, parents of school children take issue with it – especially the ones who try to teach our children to respect teachers and school staff.

 

Enough of the trial talk, in Kyle’s Podcast he also claimed that I’m jealous of my ex-husband’s success with his podcast. Not sure what he defines as success, but if it’s enough to pay his back child support and medical insurance expenses, I’m more than happy to let him keep doing what he is doing.  What I take issue with, is that he launched his podcast under the premise of a “revenge tour” and on the backs of me and other people still in the coaching profession. He lured people into his podcast with his shock value and his first 4 to 5 episodes and in his Behind the Scenes series, he made sure to spend time trashing me, my family, my friends and other people in the coaching profession. I mean, he even announced my engagement before I had the chance to!  I suppose I should appreciate his fake support of my engagement. However, he’s been trashing me and my family this entire year while I stayed silent.

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Now, has my ex-husband been quiet for the last few weeks? Sure. Probably because he doesn’t want anyone to know about this blog, probably because he didn’t think I would ever find the courage to stand up to him again and probably because he didn’t think I would ever be brave enough to talk about the rest of the awful things he did. I mean why wouldn’t he think that, I put up with it for all those years, didn’t I?  However, I know my ex-husband well enough to know that it’s unlikely he will stay quiet for long or that his rages will end, because as Shelley Meyer once said “he has anger/rage issues” and as a Psych nurse she would know better than anyone, that people with his issues don’t recover without intervention, counseling, intensive therapy and possibly medication.

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Click link for Shelley Meyer Full Texts

Back to the Kyle’s podcast, he also claimed that 4 years ago I legally changed my last name from Smith to Carano, which is another falsehood Lt. Flying Monkey is peddling and here is a picture of my license to prove it Driver’s License Redacted.  I have no special affinity for the name Smith, other than my two children have the same last name and it’s common for single mothers to keep their married last name for the sake of the children. It is my legal name, it is easier to recognize me by that name and yes, it is easier for people to connect my story from last year with my blog by using my full legal and identifiable name, Courtney Carano Smith.  However, I currently use Courtney Leigh on my private Facebook account filled with all my friends who couldn’t care less what name I use.  Enough of me carrying on with the details, I’m sure Kyle will be thrilled (and happy for me) to know that I’m getting remarried soon and I will legally change my last name.

Moving forward – on Kyle’s podcast he went on to say that I’m writing my blog “for attention.”  Really Kyle?????? You think I want people to pay attention to the things I’m writing?  How in the world did you figure that out?  Must be that “fancy schmancy” education of yours!  I suppose in theory, it would be more useful to spend all my time writing a blog that I don’t want anyone to read or know about. Again I ask, where was all this talk of “attention-seeking” from Johnny Neutral when my ex-husband was going on twitter tirades, trashing people publicly and promoting his podcast every way possible? Oh yeah, here it is:

 

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Even though Kyle has said he “never talks about me,” on his website he also once discussed a video of me that my ex-husband posted on twitter months ago.  So, I’m going to take a second to discuss Kyle’s post and that video.  First, Flying Monkey – that video isn’t the “real” me and his brother’s account of me isn’t “accurate.” I think you should know, the night my ex-husband started recording my outburst at him, prior to that I caught him cheating on me once again. Instead of admitting to what he was doing, he took a golf club to my car, punched a wall and smashed a picture on the wall.  You can listen to my estranged mother, Tina, talk about that night.

Tina tells detective about the night Zach smashed my car with a golf club when I found him cheating on me:

You see, I used to catch him recording me in different situations, like when I would cry about our problems or when I would vent about his vices. Towards the end of our marriage, I figured out what he was doing hence the reason I said “stop taking false videos” and tried to snatch the phone out of his hand, to which he responded “OMG, she hit me”…very clever of him wouldn’t you say?  And yes, I will be addressing his recordings and videos in another post, because you see, he had a bizarre habit of setting people up and collecting blackmail on me and his “friends” and other people, one of which was an Ohio State player.  Now, I’m not educated in these things, but if this ever came our publicly, I think it could possibly trigger a Title VI and NCAA investigation, considering why it happened and what I found.  However, I really don’t want to talk about this, so I’ll just do my best to keep that little file tucked away…mmmkay?

How do I know all this? Because I am the one that found it all in his google and hard drive the night I left him for good. I suppose someone who was getting involved in the stuff he was involved in would need all that blackmail to keep people quiet. And yeah it would suck for people if he started leaking his “blackmail,” but then at least people will finally know what his idea of friendship is, people will finally know what kind of man they’re dealing with – the kind of man who has no boundaries, no loyalty and no conscience. Oh, and should he decide to leak his blackmail…turnabout is always fair play, right?

 

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Is it just me or does it seem that Kyle delights in the idea of my ex-husband “exposing” people or getting “people’s jobs in jeopardy,” as if that will somehow make Kyle more right about him?  That is exactly the kind of delusion that would make a narcissist like my ex-husband believe that  “all his skeletons” have been exposed.  Delusions that make him overlook the fact that I found dozens of his files (hundreds of pictures, recordings, emails and text messages) and that I took a lot of time and effort investigating his disturbing hobbies.  So to this I say, wanna bet????

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Kyle and his sidekicks then went on to take another jab at me and my education on twitter and on his podcast by claiming that I have a ghostwriter for my blog; as if my BS from the University of Kentucky in Integrated Strategic Communications and my second BS in nursing from Chamberlain isn’t  “fancy schmancy” enough to qualify me to author a blog. I suppose I should be flattered that he thinks my writing is so good I have a ghostwriter, but Kyle, please look up what a degree in Integrated Strategic Communications  is and understand I have been journaling and writing about my experience with domestic abuse for years now and this blog is the first public reveal of my journals.  Let me repeat this for all the people with non-fancy schmancy educations that have trouble with comprehension –  this is my blog and these are my writings.  Then on his podcast, Kyle and his sidekicks also hint that my ghostwriter might be a “notable” friend and then in a way that would put the Riddler to shame, they hint that my notable friend is associated with “Hookem.”

So, I took my dunce cap off and sat at my computer with my non-fancy schmancy education and racked my brains over and over trying to figure out who he is referring to.  Finally, it dawned on me that he must be referring to my good friend, Michelle Herman.  Now to connect the dots for all you people with non-fancy schmancy educations, Michelle Herman is the wife of University of Texas head coach, Tom Herman, and the motto for the Texas Longhorns is Hookem…get it??? I guess we should all believe that Michelle’s Accounting/Finance degree is somehow more fancy schmancy than my own and makes her way more qualified to author a blog.  Feel free to chime in here anytime you want though Michelle, mi casa es su casa!  By the way, I then used my newly acquired super-sleuth skills to also deduce that the go-to diversion tactic for my ex-husband and the Ohio State crowd is – when all else fails, blame the Hermans.

Kyle also mocked my belief that the Powell PD wanted the investigation files suppressed. Again, I plan on addressing that in another post and anyone who is interested in hearing my thoughts on it will just have to wait until then.  Whether or not Kyle is my ex-husband’s mouthpiece, is supportive of him and is “neutral,” I’ll let everyone else be the judge and jury on that.  However, Kyle, let’s you and I end the charade of you not having a direct line to my ex-husband, his family and probably his attorney. I know my education probably isn’t up to your standard of fancy schmancy, but I think we’re both smarter than this.

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Thanks and have blessed day!

My Mother, My Enemy

I’d like to dedicate this post to Jeff Snook, President of the Zach Smith Apologist Club, Leader of the Flying Monkeys, Indomitable Mouthpiece for the Smith/Bruce Family and Author of some book about Earle Bruce that most people have never heard of. (Flying Monkeys and Narcissists explained)

 

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This was a Facebook post that my estranged mother, Tina Clay Carano, posted to her Facebook account in December 2015, after I filed official divorce papers. From this point forward, I will refer to her simply as “Tina” because she is unworthy of the sacred and beautiful designation, mother. As I have said in previous posts, during the 2015 domestic violence investigation, both my parents defended me and were aware of the abuse Zach inflicted upon me. In the investigation conducted by the Powell Police Department, both my father and Tina interviewed with the Powell PD on my behalf. Tina detailed what she witnessed during my marriage and she also turned over her iPad and phone to the police so they could download and authenticate the text messages between her and Zach. Text messages where she admitted to seeing bruises on me and confronted Zach about it (Link: Tina and Zach texts). Her text messages were used by Brett McMurphy in his story; however, her interview was not available at the time of my interview because the Powell PD attempted to suppress all the investigation files and no one had access to any interviews at that time. (Columbus Dispatch Lawsuit)

I have cutup the audio for easy listening, here are short excerpts from her interview, you can listen to the full 30 minute interview here (Tina Carano Recordings) The Powell PD has redacted mine and Zach’s names.

Tina talks about how Zach would degrade me in front of other people:

“Let’s talk about the neck” Tina and detective discuss seeing marks on me from Zach:

Tina tells detective that Zach would admit the abuse to her and apologize:

Tina tells detective Zach would admit to abuse in text messages and offers her phone to the detective:

Tina tells detective about the night Zach smashed my car with a golf club when I found him cheating on me:

Tina tells detective she fears Zach will take a gun to me. Detective talks about his concern Zach will do something to me:

Tina loans Zach money so he can get help, but he lies to her:

Tina discusses my children witnessing Zach’s abusive behavior:

 

In May of 2018, she changed her story after a major falling out between us. In a tactic used by many Narcissists – they will recruit people to help them in their abuse and these people are called “flying monkeys” or “apaths” (about flying monkeys).  Zach used this tactic on Tina and got her to not only change her story, but to also do an interview with Jeff Snook, a man who is close friends with the Smith/Bruce Family and is also their media mouthpiece. Her interview has become the rallying cry of the Zach Smith Apologists Club.  I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard/read “even her own mother doesn’t believe her” as if an estranged parent turning against their own flesh and blood is totally implausible. Below are the interviews that Tina and Zach’s mother Lynn Bruce, did in August 2018 when I first went public with my story.

Tina Carano Says Zach Smith hit Courtney in Self Defense

Zach Smith’s Mom Says Courtney Wanted to Take Urban Down.

Zach’s Mother and Tina Carano interview

I admit that I was very shocked that Tina went as far as she did and that I’m still hurt that she could go so far, but for years we had ongoing issues that were simmering just below the surface.  During those years, not only had she started spending less and less time with me and my sister, she was becoming extremely volatile to the point that she was arrested in June 2016 for stalking and harassing her then boyfriend. I have posted the full report of her arrest below.  In the report filed by her ex-boyfriend, he discusses all their issues and also included the dozens of emails sent by Tina.  In those emails, there are references to me and my sister, but more importantly there are references to Zach and his problems.  Keep in mind, these emails were written by the same women who accused me of being a drunk, a liar and being abusive. You can read the full report here: Tina Carano Full Stalking_Domestic Violence Report

Timeline submitted by Tina’s ex-boyfriend to Naples Police where he discusses her stalking, harassment and issues she had with me and my sister. (click images for larger view)

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Emails where she references Zach’s many issues, p. 80 and 172 of police report.

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On a side note – I am also posting Zach’s mother’s (Lynn Bruce) arrest record, both these women, Lynn and Tina, have publicly accused me of being a drunk, violent and unstable, without a shred of evidence to back it up. In the report, you can see that she was arrested at football game for drunk and disorderly conduct and assault.  She struck an usher then told an officer “You can’t do this to me.  Do you know who I am?  My dad is Earle Bruce and my son is a coach” Entitled much? You can read the full arrest report here Lynn Bruce Full Assault Report

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Background

Before I get into all the details of why Tina changed her story 3 years after the investigation, you first have to understand her background. Before I go any further, believe me, the whole Jerry Springer feel to all this has not escaped me. It’s tragic, embarrassing and disgusting, but it is what it is and I cannot change it. All I can do now is tell the truth about it and hope that if other women see themselves in my story, they take action to change their circumstances. (Advice – Why it’s ok to cut toxic family out of your life)

To say that my relationship with Tina is complicated is an understatement. Growing up, I have been through so many ups and downs with her that I can honestly say, I am relieved to be off the TinaCoaster, even if it had to happen as it did.  She was an abusive mother, who was unstable and unpredictable and would often hit me and my sister with objects like brushes, hair dryers, TV remotes and even her own fists. She would call us names like moron, crazy, little bitches, ugly, disgraces, ridiculous, stupid, and worst of all “mistakes.” At the age of 15, she once she pulled over and parked her car so she could turn towards me in the backseat and punch me repeatedly with closed fists.  Her reason for why she hit me – because “I was talking back to her.”  Many mornings, Tina would wait in the kitchen for me to come downstairs as I would be on my way to school. If the outfit I was wearing wasn’t one of her choices or if my hair wasn’t styled the way she wanted it, she would send me back upstairs to fix it according to her standards. It was exhausting, took it’s toll on my self-esteem and from a very a young age I was filled with anxiety that persists to this day, but guess what?  I still loved her because she was my mother, the only mother I had.

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In high school, I was cheer captain, on the national honor society, made homecoming court, had many friends and I graduated with honors…it was never enough. I went to college at The University of Kentucky and there I was accepted by my first choice sorority, made many friends and graduated with a 3.7 GPA and a degree in Interpersonal Communications; I then landed an incredible sales job after graduation. Looking back, I had everything going for me in order to be successful on my own. Yet, Tina felt it was best for me to marry young because she was concerned my disability (bilaterally deaf) would leave me vulnerable and I would need a husband to watch over me.  I was 23 years old when my now ex-husband proposed to me and although I believe I loved him then, I felt immense pressure to marry very young.

I now realize that she is one of the reasons I stayed with Zach and tolerated the abuse for so long.  Having an abusive and unstable mother, I was conditioned to that kind of treatment, it’s all I ever knew. She also constantly gave me mixed messages about my marriage to Zach.  First she would tell me to leave him and not put up with the abuse and then alternately tell me I should stay with Zach and get him help ‘for my kids sake’ and to keep our family together. Read more about how child abuse can lead to victims being in future abusive relationships – Trauma Survivors Risk Future Abusive Relationships.

Going further into our background, from infancy and for the first 10 years of my life, I was not raised by Tina. I was raised by a man I believed was my biological father, her first husband Richard. Tina gave birth to me at 20 years old and was in and out of my life.  She was young, uneducated, immature, unstable, abusive and spent most of her days partying and sleeping around. She lied to Richard and convinced him that he was my biological father. He accepted me with no questions asked. He also dropped out of school, Muskingum College, where he played football and wrestled, to raise me and re-enrolled at Franklin University School of Business.  Richard had full custody of me and raised me while working his way through school, eventually graduating with a business degree.  He worked full time as a single dad and gave me the best life he possibly could in spite of the circumstances.

 

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When I turned 7 years old, Tina married a man name Lyndon, who I don’t remember very much about, the reason being – she married Lyndon so he could get a visa to the United States.  They divorced 2 years later. As you can see, Tina wasn’t known for making the best decisions in life, especially as a mother.

It wasn’t until I was 10 years old when I underwent a paternity test, that it was discovered Richard was not my biological father. Tina finally wanted custody of me and started filling my head with lies about Richard and his new wife.  I was confused, angry, and feeling lost.  I was very young and impressionable and I bought into everything Tina told me. There was so much drama during that time in my life, that I regretfully took my anger and hurt out on Richard and my step mom. At 12 years old, I decided that I no longer wanted to live with Richard and eventually I stopped communicating with him altogether.

Although, Tina hadn’t been much of a mother the first 10 years of my life, she seemed like she finally had her shit together.  Like most young girls on the cusp of becoming a teenager, I desperately wanted a mother figure in my life.  I chose to move in with her and my new stepdad Michael, the man who would later adopt me.  Tina now had a new husband, a stable home and a few years later gave birth to a baby girl, my sweet sister.  For the most part, even with all the drama and confusion, I was happy and thriving, which I credit to developing an extremely close bond with my adoptive father. He set a great example for me and my sister by always putting us first.  In every way possible, he took care of all of us and even paid for my college education at the University of Kentucky. I also credit my father for helping Tina get her life together and pushing her to be a present mother during my middle and high school years.

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Life was good for a little while, Tina being Tina though, she continued being abusive mentally and physically to me and my sister and she started once again living a life that wasn’t conducive to a family.  To be fair to my father, he did intervene in situations where Tina was being abusive, however, he is a very soft-spoken and gentle man who is totally over-powered by Tina’s domineering personality.  He is the “peace-keeper” type and I appreciate that about him, he deserves credit for balancing the very strong women in his life.  When I turned 23 years old, her marriage started to fall apart and my parents ended up officially divorced by the time I turned 29. Being the honorable, kind and wonderful man he is, my dad stuck by both his daughters and continued his role as our father. My mother, however, returned to her old ways and gave up custody of my teenage sister and moved to Florida leaving me and my dad to raise her. Throughout that time, we did our best to maintain a relationship with Tina. She kept a condo in Powell and would visit from Florida, mostly during the football season as she was a huge Buckeye fan. She took immense pride in her daughter being married to an Ohio State football coach and enjoyed all the perks that went with it…she really loved those perks!

 

After the divorce and during the investigation, Tina was by my side defending me all the way, but Zach being the emotional vampire that he is, saw the weaknesses in her and started forging a relationship with her, much of which took place behind my back. He continued to give her perks such as football tickets, concert tickets, sideline passes, and would visit her in Florida without my knowledge. Because Zach was so jealous of my new boyfriend, he preyed on her ignorance and began feeding her false information about my boyfriend (now fiance).  When I discovered what was going on, I was irate, disgusted and felt completely betrayed. Knowing everything he had done to me and knowing the conflict and havoc he was still creating in my life, yet still choosing to take anything and everything she could from him, was more than I could handle.

I couldn’t believe that she would continue to have a relationship with a man that was so abusive to me and would also frequently insult her, my father and even my teenage sister. She would also receive information from people in the community about Zach’s disturbing behavior, yet it still wasn’t enough to keep her away from him. This all coincided with Zach’s arrest for Criminal Trespass in May 2018.  During that time, I felt under attack from all sides and it was obvious to me that Zach, facing an arrest, was desperate for allies and he found an easy one in Tina.  Why after having left that toxic and abusive man 3 years earlier was he still so enmeshed in my life?  I finally drew a line in the sand and told her that I would not tolerate her continued relationship with him.  Our fallout wasn’t pretty, we both said hurtful things to each other and as everyone knows, the end result was she chose Zach over me and my teenage sister.

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Where we are now

I don’t believe there exists a family in this world that is without it’s dysfunction.  However, when dysfunction develops into abuse, it’s ok to end relationships for the purpose of self preservation, even with family members, even with parents.  No one should ever have to live with abuse regardless of genetics.  The two most influential people in my life, my first non-bio father, Richard and my adoptive father, Michael have been my world during different phases in my life.  They are the ones that have shown me that a person, a man, even with all his faults can grow and be enough.  I can’t say that Tina hasn’t done some good things for me in my life, but the good does not outweigh all the bad and it isn’t enough to look back and hold on to that relationship.

To this very day, I do not know who my biological father is, but fortunately after 21 years, I have reconnected with Richard, my step mom and their now grown children. This re-connection has answered many life long questions, filled a void within me and has made me realize just how much damage one person can do to an entire family.  I realize Richard was not a perfect man, but I do believe he did the best he could and I never should have allowed myself to be manipulated by Tina to the point of cutting off contact with him.

I haven’t spoken to Tina in over a year and I never will again.  My younger sister has no relationship with her either, it’s unlikely they will ever speak again either.  My sister’s thought’s are “if she’ll do it to you, she’ll do it to me.” She wasn’t invited to my sister’s high school graduation, she won’t be welcome at my upcoming wedding, if my sister eventually gets married, she won’t be welcome there either and if she ever has children, she won’t be in their lives as well. I still struggle to understand what possessed her to do what she did, even with all her faults, it’s hard to imagine a mother doing that to her children.  I often wonder if she has the mental capacity to understand what she has done to me, my sister, and my father.  I have no idea how Zach got her to change her story and I don’t know if other people were involved in it or if she received payment for it, but I have my suspicions.  Whatever she got out of it, I hope it was worth it and will carry her until the end of her life.

Best wishes to you, Tina!

 

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Lessons Learned

As cliche as it sounds, hindsight truly is 20/20.  I could spend a good part of everyday  imparting wisdom on other victims of domestic abuse, but for now I’d like to write about some of the lessons I learned from my experience and my advice to other victims.

Never let your spouse control your finances: Financial abuse is another form of domestic abuse (about financial abuse) I was never great managing money and I allowed Zach to completely control our finances.  I take full responsibility for my own ignorance and my mistake. I trusted him and during our marriage never thought he would take money from our family and throw it away on his affairs and deviant behavior.  It wasn’t until 6 years into our marriage when we were trying to build a house that I wised up and started looking into our finances. I was stunned!  He had thrown away thousands on strip clubs and on other women to the point that he had squandered our down payment on a new home. If you are one of those women who brushes off the financial responsibility deeming it too much trouble, you’re too busy or because you feel you’re not great with money, please take the time to educate yourself!  You will need these skills at some point in your life and there is no time better than the present.  There are so many resources on the internet that can teach you to manage money and budgets.

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Run your credit: Everyone should run their credit anyway, but it is essential for women living with domestic abuse to know where they stand financially. link to free credit reports As I’ve already explained, financial abuse in these situations is very common and there are many ways an abuser can hide money and ruin your credit. Run a credit report on both you and your spouse.   I did not learn until after 6 years that Zach was running up two credit cards in my name, missed car payments past 30 days and opened bank accounts I knew nothing about.  He destroyed my credit and he attempted to ruin my father’s credit. He did this by borrowing one of his credit cards to use during recruiting and was supposed to reimburse the card once he received reimbursements from the university.  Instead, he ran the card up to $14,000 by making minimum payments and taking the reimbursement money to spend on himself.  He made sure all bills were emailed to him and that all bill payments were done online. Always make sure you have access to all credit card statements and online bill payment passwords.

Do your research: The internet is filled with resources to educate yourself on the different types of abuse and the various personality disorders associated with abusive partners.  My ex husband would often claimed he was a sex addict, a drug addict and suffered from “chemical imbalances” and he would use these labels to excuse himself from any responsibility for his behavior.  He made promises of marriage counseling, therapy and addiction treatment. He was extremely manipulative and would appeal to my empathetic side by making statements such as “a good wife doesn’t give up on her husband just because he has addictions.” Looking back, I wish I would have done more research on his narcissistic behavior and my empath traits. Narcissist thrive on empaths because they know we truly want to believe the best in everyone and we want to do everything we can to help. (more on narcissists and empaths).

Zach Sickness Texts


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Powell PD investigation file #52

Keep a hidden cell phone, car key and stash of money: Abusers will always try to find ways to isolate their victims and being exposed is the last thing an abusive person wants to happen.  They will manipulate everyone around them and try to drive wedges between you and family members or anyone who can offer assistance. When things would get really volatile and I would threaten to leave or call the police, my ex would often take my cell phone, iPad and my car keys with him to work or wherever he was staying for the night leaving me trapped at home and unable to contact anyone. He also insisted on managing all of our finances and was very controlling with money. While he was throwing away money on himself, I would have to report all of my expenditures to him. (more on isolating victims)

Do not leave the workforce: Not working or having your own financial security creates an imbalance of power in a marriage.  Too often women sacrifice their own careers for the benefit of their families.  In an abusive situation, this sacrifice is too great. The first time I filed for divorce was actually in May of 2014.  I found a temp job with a large company in Columbus as part of my plan to finally leave my ex husband. Once again though, my ex said he would get counseling, he was profusely apologetic and told me things would be different “this time.” The temp job didn’t turn into a full time position and I opted not to keep looking for another job. He never stuck to his promise to get counseling and I regret not pursuing a full-time job. Being employed full-time would have helped me to stand on my own and save my own money.

Trust your instincts: There were so many times I questioned my own instincts and would believe whatever my ex husband told me even when it didn’t make sense. There were always red flags that I overlooked and my ex was a habitual liar. He would quickly come up with a million excuses and I would believe him not because it made any sense, but because I was scared of the truth.

See a therapist, counselor or any other mental health provider: The emotional and mental toll that domestic abuse and a toxic marriage takes on a person is often difficult to overcome and the effects can haunt you for years. There is no shame in caring for your mental health and if you suffer or have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, please seek proper care and follow your providers instructions to a tee.  As for me, I have been falsely accused by my ex husband’s family and his “followers” of being mentally unstable, crazy and even Bi-polar all of this without a shred of evidence to support these claims. These accusations have come from a man who went to rehab, suffered from depression to the point of being suicidal, and has been diagnosed with some very disturbing issues, which at this time, I am not legally allowed to discuss. The sole purpose of these accusations are to damage my reputation and credibility, further making my life difficult and stigmatizing people who have real issues with mental health.  This is a common tactic used by abusers and goes hand in hand with gaslighting. (more about gaslighting )

Aside from anxiety and PTSD brought on from years of walking on eggshells, trauma and abuse, I have never been diagnosed with any other mental health disorder. In spite of living a nightmare for many years, I have never had any drug or alcohol addictions. Again there is no shame in living with these conditions, but I’m being unfairly accused by Zach’s “network” of having issues that I have never had to deal with (see images below).  I have no DUIs and have never been pulled over for suspicion of driving drunk.  I have also never shown up anywhere “drunk and threatening people” and I did not call 911 66 times, there would be a public record of this if it were true. I’m still stunned at the lengths that people went through to discredit me and that prominent fan sites would perpetuate these false accusations without investigating their veracity.  Considering the circumstances I’ve had to deal with while trying to push myself through nursing school as a single mom, I’ve learned to be mentally strong in ways I never imagined possible. I’m not ashamed to admit that I lean on therapy, self-help books and Ted Talks as I continue to push forward. Find what works for you and stick with it!

There is not a shred of truth to the accusations below, but these are excellent examples of victim-blaming and slander being passed on by Zach’s network. These false accusations have been shared across multiple platforms:

bi polarbucknuts liesbucknuts lies drunk at practice

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Separate yourself completely: Even before you make the brave decision to leave an abusive situation, you should open up your own bank accounts and credit cards. Once you leave, you should sign your own leases and do not rely on your ex for any assistance other than what is awarded by the courts. If you do not have the credit to sign a lease on your own please find another family member or friend to co-sign instead of your soon to be ex spouse! The shame and embarrassment felt having to ask friends or family members for help is very real for victims, but it’s crucial to protect yourself and your children.  My ex husband co-signed my first lease when I moved out. I thought at the time it was nothing more than a rare, but kind gesture and of course I was wrong. He held it over my head and abused his privilege being around my condo.

Garnish his wages for child support:  Do this without any hesitation!  Contact an attorney and the child support enforcement agency to start the process of having child support garnished directly from your ex’s wages. My ex’s wages were not garnished right away with our temporary child support orders and it took many months to have this done.  Prior to being garnished, I had to rely on my ex to pay my monthly child support and alimony.  It should surprise no one that he would often delay or skip payments and would sometimes adjust his payments as he saw fit. My ex husband lost the ability to control me with his money once his wages were garnished. However, once he was fired from his job, the child support enforcement agency could not directly garnish his wages, even though he had/has savings and earns money from his various business ventures and investments. He has not paid child support in almost one year.  He is manipulating and exploiting a very slow moving family court system and governmental agency.

Work with a domestic violence advocate – An advocate is a huge asset to any person dealing with domestic violence. An advocate can provide you with resources such as counseling services and legal advice. (Ohio Domestic Violence Network) Instead, I relied on the detectives to advise me of my rights as well as an advocate that worked for the county prosecutor.  It’s crucial to find another advocate even if one has been appointed to you through a county prosecutor. This is nothing personal towards them but it allows you to get proper resources and legal advice outside of a potential biased courtroom and assist in the enforcement of CPO’s.  I failed to reach out to an advocate that worked specifically for a domestic violence organization until it was too late and the statute of limitations had expired in order to charge my ex husband with a misdemeanor.  Initially, he was investigated for felony domestic violence and the prosecutor did not believe they had enough evidence to charge him with a felony.  However, the Powell Police could have charged him with a misdemeanor instead or at least given me the opportunity to do so.  For whatever reason, they failed to do this and never advised me of this option. (Why wasn’t Zach Smith Charged)

Hire your own criminal attorney: If you have the financial resources to hire your own attorney, their advice is invaluable.  If you cannot afford one, it’s worth trying to qualify for free legal services available to victims of domestic violence (link to legal aid resources).  At the very least, talk to an advocate.  Not hiring a criminal attorney for myself during the 2015 domestic violence investigation is one of my biggest regrets. An attorney could have advised me of my victim’s rights and helped me navigate the investigation.  An attorney could have ensured that the investigation was being conducted properly.  The investigation was kept open for 3 years and as long as an investigation remains open, the evidence, files and any documents related to the investigation are not available to the public.  This is how the investigation was kept out of the media for so long.  I was not aware of this tactic and I tried to obtain the files, but for 3 years I could only access a few of the investigation records.  The Powell PD attempted to suppress the investigation to point that the Columbus Dispatch had to sue in order to get access to the files.   There were politics involved and too many people interfering in the investigation. I was naive, unprepared, and put my trust in the wrong hands. (Columbus Dispatch Lawsuit)

Fight the sealing of divorce records:  Public figures and people in positions of power will often attempt to have divorce records sealed in order to prevent potential embarrassment. This is not something that happens often and once the records are sealed it gives the potential abuser or the non-injured party in the divorce leverage. Many people have claimed that I requested to have our divorce documents that described the abuse I suffered sealed. This is completely false; I tried to fight the sealing of our records.  The records were sealed “ex parte” and without my permission. I was also not given a chance to appeal the motion that was filed by my ex husbands attorney and granted by the judge in our case.  My ex’s reason for wanting the divorce sealed was that he knew the records in the divorce filing were enough to cause him to lose his job. (Eleven Warriors Article – sealing records)

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A Podcast of Lies

Even Charles Manson had his followers…

As I have said before, my ex-husband Zach Smith has recently created a podcast,  which I admit I have listened to, not because I’m a fan, but because I need to know what false information he is spreading about me and others. He is using his podcast to trash people, exact “revenge” and continue his harassment of me and the people close to me. I understand that certain people have taken a liking to his podcast and that is somewhat understandable if you’re the gullible type.  Admittedly, I was once in that category and I fell for his lies not just because he’s so convincing…and believe me he really is, but because I wanted to believe him. I cannot say this enough….his podcast and social media are filled with a bunch of lies and I’m going to reveal to everyone how he uses his platform and followers to defraud people and create fake narratives.

Why do I believe his podcast is such a problem? My issue with his podcast isn’t just his use of it as a tool for continued bullying and harassment, but it’s symbolic of the imbalance of power between me and him. This imbalance of power for so long has allowed men like him to inflict so much damage to women or anyone who attempts to defy the status quo. His podcast, his connections and his social media are a perfect example of a systemic inequality and the impact that inequality has on victims like me who do not share the same influence.  Through his connections and influence he has consistently escaped accountability and wreaked havoc in my life.  In comparison to me, Zach has a Twitter account with 61K followers, he is the grandson of Earle Bruce, a former beloved Ohio State football coach, he grew up in Columbus, he and his family have many connections throughout the community, at Ohio State and in the media.  A woman like me, in a position like mine – without the money, power, connections or influence isn’t just fighting an ex-husband, she’s fighting an institution. The college football industry is worth billions of dollars and dominated by powerful men with substantial influence; women in this industry are often treated like nothing more than accessories. I will not be the first woman or the last to be steamrolled by a broken system that often silences women and harbors abusive men with little to no repercussions.  

Getting back to the podcast – Zach has ranted over and over again about exposing people and getting revenge, but let me say that this podcast isn’t just about exposing or exacting revenge on people that he falsely believes “hurt” him.  It is so much more than that. It’s about becoming irrelevant, a narcissist’s worst nightmare and Zach is a textbook malignant narcissist and malignant narcissists are widely known to be abusive. It’s also a means for deflection and projection, a technique he often used on me during our marriage.  If he can rant about others and trash their reputations, then he can draw attention away from all the awful things he did. Additionally, no one will listen to a Zach Smith podcast unless he can tie influential public figures to it and unless he can concoct outrageous stories to keep people listening.  Zach knows how to work social media and he knows that there is no way for anyone to verify the information that he is putting out there. 

He is essentially defrauding everyone that is listening and exploiting his ties to Ohio State and people that are still in the business. He is capitalizing on this trend of people only caring about headlines and not bothering to investigate or even read the meat of a story. He is also taking advantage of defamation laws of public figures, knowing that they either can’t sue without proving malice and damages and won’t bother to sue when there is so little to gain because he isn’t worth the legal fees.  He is also aware of how the college football profession functions and he knows that people still working for major universities will not give attention or credence to his podcast.  Athletic directors will not allow their coaches or staff to engage with someone like Zach, it isn’t befitting of a prestigious program to allow their employees to roll around with a pig.

One of the more disgusting parts of his podcast though, isn’t just the lies, but the people that are supporting him and using their platform to promote it.  Are people so blinded by overzealous fandom that they refuse to see what is right in front of them? Even after having dealt with Zach’s behavior for so many years – the lying, gaslighting, physical abuse, bullying, threats, etc. – it still sometimes shocks me the lengths he will go to and how dishonest he is.  The lies he tells are truly astounding. His stories about me are 100% false and have reached a level of emotional abuse I could never have imagined.  Even more disgusting are the people who surround him and are willingly enabling and coddling him.

I wish I could address all the lies and personal attacks he has levied at people on his podcast and social media, but there are just too many.   Let me start by addressing some of the trash he has spewed so far, these are not in any order and I’m sure I will have to post more rebuttals to his podcast in future posts:

  • That we had a crazy night together in May 2018. I’m almost at a loss for words about this accusation and its a perfect example of how perverse this man is. There is not a shred of truth to this. Let me just say the things he did during our marriage were so disturbing and degrading, I would never touch that man again.  I will never forget how his indiscretions and deviant behavior forced me to go through extensive, painful and humiliating STD testing. Yet, even through all that, time and time again, he would make me uncomfortable by making lewd remarks and sexual advances towards me.  He has no boundaries and it’s sickening that he would publicly state something like this.

Sure Jan

  • He was talking to Urban about being promoted to OC and he was an “up and coming” coach. I have to admit this one made me chuckle.  After 7 years on staff and no promotions, he was actually being told by Urban Meyer to start looking for other jobs, which he did try to do, but could not find anyone to hire him. Why else would he interview at Alabama for a lateral move with Urban’s consent? He was given raises, but that was only to keep him quiet and around long enough for recruiting and until Urban could find a suitable replacement. Why did Urban want him fired? Zach’s antics had worn on Urban and he was only keeping him around because of his loyalty to Earle Bruce. He often made comments to other coaches and staff members that once Earle passed away, he was getting rid of Zach.  Earle Bruce passed away on April 20, 2018. Why couldn’t Zach find another job? Because coaches talk and his reputation as being unhireable had spread fast throughout coaching circles. If he had been worth anything as a coach, he would have been promoted or offered a job by one of the departing coaches. Consider the coaches that have left Ohio State for head coaching gigs (Fickell, Herman, Withers, Ash, Vrabel) and Zach’s “friends” and connections in the industry (Addazio, Rhule, Holliday, Locksley) and yet none of them offered him a job.Hartline_Redacted FinalClick image for larger view
  • He got offered the job by Alabama.  He did not get offered that job. Nick Saban did interview him, however, there was a female that worked in the recruiting office at Alabama that had a relationship with Zach after we divorced.  Their relationship did not end well after she discovered the truth about him…she found his phone and some very disturbing things were on it.  She tracked me down to tell me about it and we ended up becoming friends, more on this later. She informed Coach Saban about what she knew and Coach Saban then reached out to other coaches that had worked with Zach to find out the truth about him.  He did not hear good things and Zach was not offered the job.
  • The 2015/2016 football season failures were all Ed Warriner’s fault.  I have a lot of respect for Ed as a husband and father. In the time I got to know him and his wife, Marybeth, I found him to be a loyal and faithful family man.  Zach’s attacks on Ed and Marybeth have more to do with the fact that they both wanted him fired because of his behavior and the preferential treatment he was being given by Urban.  The friction between the Warriners and Zach became so bad that at one point Marybeth and Zach got into a nasty confrontation at the football facility during the 2016 season.  I’m sure that Ed has his faults as a coach, all coaches do, but keep in mind that the man blaming Ed is also the man that spent much of the 2015 & 2016 football season missing meetings, skipping recruiting trips, sleeping around, and abusing drugs and alcohol to the point of being sent to rehab by OSU in May 2016.  He might have been a good recruiter, but Zach was dead weight as far as coaching was concerned.  He was too busy taking pornographic pictures and videos in the offices, abusing alcohol/drugs and spending time on websites like Dickflash.com and Model Mayhem (more on this later) to actually do any coaching.  I can’t imagine being saddled with a coach like Zach and the friction it was causing the staff was any help to Ed Warriner.Zach Rebab text_RedactedZach Smith Rehab emailClick image for a larger view 
    Click to read more about misogynists
    Link to OSU investigation files
  • That he had moved on with his life and that my boyfriend and I could not move on with ours and we were jealous of his success.  Zach was extremely jealous of any man I dated.  Zach did not want a divorce even though he was abusive and a serial cheater with sex and porn addictions. He would frequently berate me and my boyfriend and at one point attempted to get him fired from his job for kidnapping when we took the kids to Disney World (Zach texts about Boyfriend)  He legally tried to get him out of my life, he stalked me at my home, which resulted in a trespass warning from the Powell PD not to go on my property again.  He violated the trespass warning, got arrested for criminal trespass (ZS Criminal Trespass Arrest report) and then lied in the media about it being a set up (criminal trespassing texts) He eventually got charged with disorderly conduct while physically intoxicated (ZS drunk and disorderly conduct) for showing up drunk and stalking me at my home in the middle of the night. (neighbor reports Zach stalking my place) Does this sound like a man who had moved on with his life?  (Zach Smith Audios)

zach texts drews phone threatening to contact his work

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  • Tom and Michelle Herman were the leak to Brett McMurphy because of a recruit –  This story is a as fake as Zach’s victim and father’s rights narrative.  Zach claimed to have evidence of this, which he has never produced because it doesn’t exist, unless he’s spent these last 9 months trying to fabricate it.  I’ll reveal more about how I came into contact with Brett McMurphy and why I chose to do an interview with him in a later post. The truth is, since 2015, Zach had an axe to grind with the Hermans.  I’ll also get into all the details about why they had issues, why I chose to leave them out of my interview and provide evidence for it in a later blog post. In short though, Zach was going to do whatever he could to damage their reputation because of how they intervened after the 2015 domestic violence incident…and yes, back then while they were at Houston they did intervene.
  • All I care about is money.  I have not received a child support payment in almost a year. (Motion for Contempt_Child Support.) Prior to that, I was awarded $1,892 per month in child support and $3K in alimony for 3.5 years.  (Divorce Decree_Alimony see p 6.)  The kids live with me 70% of the time and I pay all of their expenses out of child support and alimony, including all of my nursing school expenses/tuition. My child support and alimony payments were calculated based on Zach’s salary from 2015, which was around $180K. He received over $120K in raises since, yet I never took him back to court for an increase in child support.  I’m not complaining because I know there are so many women suffering and living off so much less, but I was definitely not living a life of luxury nor was I a gold digger.
  • He has 50/50 custody and that is why he does not pay child support –  He has our kids 30% of the time Shared Parenting Plan see Pg 4 and he does not pay child support because he would rather spend thousands per month at Kinsale country club, the local bars, liquor stores, amazon.com, etc. than support his children.
  • A flight attendant & coaches sex ring being run by the DFO at a small school – my eyes are rolling so hard on this one I might need surgery to get them back into place. The sex ring stories are false and another attempt by Zach to draw attention to his podcast by using outrageous stories.  I’m actually surprised he isn’t being sued by the DFO he accused for this one. That DFO wouldn’t necessarily be considered a public figure, so the standards for defamation in his case would be lower than anyone else.  You never know though, there is still time on that statute of limitations. Regardless, Zach is the last person that should ever be discussing deviant sexual behavior by anyone for any reason.  The white house d*** pics and amazon sex toys do not scratch the surface of the things Zach has done.
  • Butch Jones is a douchebag, a horrible coach and horrible recruiter – Butch Jones is just another casualty in the Zach Smith saga.  I have no idea what Butch Jones is like as a football coach, I do know that Zach desperately wanted a job with him when he was hired at Cincinnati and Urban pressured Butch Jones into hiring Zach, but Butch refused to even interview him.  Naturally, Zach being a narcissistic sociopath took Butch’s slight to another level and has had a deep-seated hatred for him ever since.
  • Dan Mullen has an illegitimate child –  It was never any secret that Dan Mullen had a child before he was married and he has fully embraced this child and has never attempted to hide that from anyone.  Zach’s issue with Dan Mullen is that Dan Mullen despised Zach and like many others, always thought Zach was a lazy, worthless coach who rode his grandfather’s coattails into the coaching industry.  He had zero respect for him and wouldn’t even consider hiring him for any job at either of his stops as a head coach.  Isn’t it interesting how some of the most successful coaches in the industry wanted nothing to do with Zach? Wouldn’t that speak volumes to most people about how Zach’s colleagues viewed him as a person?
  • He is fighting to see his children and fighting for father’s rights – This might be the most offensive of his fake narratives.  Again, Zach has visitation with our kids once a week and every other weekend. He lost visitation for a few days when he refused to comply with a court order put in place to ensure the safety of our children.  This court order is currently under seal to protect him from embarrassment.  He then went on a rampage and violated the CPO when he attempted to take our kids from school without permission. The parenting plan states that his parenting time that day did not begin until 6:45pm and the CPO states that all parenting time exchanges must take place at the Powell police station.  Instead of following court orders, he followed me into the school, berated the staff and got arrested for violating the CPO  (my 911 call).  Of course, he then ran straight to the media and blamed me again claiming he was ambushed. Zach Smith arrested at school.

My 911 call from Elementary School

  • He knew Aaron Hernandez was gay – I have no clue if Aaron Hernandez was gay and neither does Zach, but Zach is the last person that should be talking about or mocking another person’s sexuality.
  • Announced my engagement then went on to say that my fiance is the reason why I no longer speak to my mother and that he couldn’t handle being with “an ex wife of an Ohio State football coach” (hold on while I try to control my gag reflexes) – Way to beat me to the punch with MY engagement announcement. I’m truly flattered. Obviously, he could handle it because he put a ring on it. The issue was learning how to deal with a sociopath not Zach’s job title. There are many reasons why I no longer speak to my mother. It is a very complex and heartbreaking story that I will explain in another post.