She Has a Book…

Caroline Walsh
4 min readJun 7, 2022


“But my ex-wife is an influencer…”

Nobody cares.

“And, Caroline, she wrote a book…”

When asked what the subject was of the book, he said he didn’t remember.

“I deleted everything off my phone…”

Is deleting everything the reaction of an innocent person? His sad excuse for his lack of supporting documents was…sad.

“Look at the timeline…” he took out his conspiracy theory of a map, something that shouldn’t have been allowed into the room.

The timeline “revealed” that this allegation of abuse fell just as his child custody hearing was coming together…one of his two child custody hearings that have been going on for at least 4 years.

“The timing is suspicious…”

This man would have almost literally been prepping for a custody hearing in any given month since his first partner fled with the child out of fear of him six years ago.

A line of questioning not fully answered, the panel let themselves be misdirected and he circled around again.

“But you see, my ex-wife is an influencer. She influenced her.”

With her influencer status? To start, calling his ex-wife an influencer was dismissive to her career. She had a degree, she worked with Nike, she was a bad ass surfer, runner, and working mom. She was not a 22 year old “influencer.” Her husband was smart and supportive. She had traveled the world, ran races, and was as stable of a mother as she could be while having a pathetic parasite of a man who wouldn’t let her be.

And even if she was an influencer….

Perhaps it was his time in the military, perhaps it was sheer arrogance and overconfidence, or perhaps he really did not realize his paper trail had become more robust than a 1990 AAA cross-country triptik.

Whatever the reason, he didn’t understand that the internet allows people to search and view various types of records, including criminal records. Fear can be confirmed. Attacks can be seen in the light that they should be viewed.

Not only criminal records, but a few dollars can get you close to the full story written out in court records, whether criminal or not. Once you realize the thread is worth pulling, it’s not hard to unravel the sweater. If you get a lead on the cities they have lived, you can develop more of the story from local court records. That is, if the subject of the search has a trail of misbehavior that continued to confirm fears and suspicions, which he most certainly did.

“She’s an independent woman…”

Was he really trying to flatter me during a hearing? He didn’t respect independent women, he tormented them. He tormented them until they couldn’t take it anymore and they finally sought help.

Whatever I said, he mirrored. He even changed his story from what he had originally said in the interview to more closely match mine. Is no one noticing this? Why aren’t they asking about the change? I submitted a question directing the panel towards the change in story. It was asked, then moved on from.

“Why did you call him over?”

I had already answered this. Why did I have to defend myself when he could brush away giving a real answer and the panel moved on? What the hell was this circus? My body knew what was happening, even if I couldn’t put together what I was being dragged through.

“I need a break,” looked at the trash can and the recycling bin. Which one would I vomit into? I hadn’t thrown up in years, but I felt it coming. My body wanted to purge the pure disgust. The break provided no respite.

He used it to solidify his attempt to steal the show, which he stole. It wasn’t stolen because anyone believed his claim of his special ops commitment to mission, service, and integrity. It was stolen because he sprayed bullshit at them, forcefully, out of a fire hose, for many minutes. They were soaked in it. Getting back to the point would have required a clean shower and time to process the shock at how much bullshit could be spewed at once.

“…(but it is) a process, rather than a single incident, and yet our entire criminal justice system is set up to address incidents, not processes.”

The chaos did not matter though. Like most smart, independent women, we didn’t know the legal system. We didn’t think in terms of hard evidence or timely reporting or 911 calls. We weren’t careful with our messaging in attempt to try to incriminate. A smart, independent woman seeks distance and protection, not confrontation via police officers. She blocks phone numbers, she runs away, she tries to live her best life and seeks help when absolutely necessary.

The haunting experiences are on repeat in No Visible Bruises. It reads as if there is a predator playbook. How do these abusers all make the same moves? What in human nature allows for this to exists? What in our society enables us to put a stop to it?

Instead, Michelle saw what so many other women before her had seen: that an abuser appears more powerful than the system.

The variety of red flags…has seen before; the quick courtship, the isolation and control, the unemployment…the narcissism and lying and stalking.

The trifecta (of the abuser) is cyclical: minimizing, rationalizing, blaming.

The men (in abuser recover groups) excused and contextualized the bad behaviors of their fathers, while demonizing their mothers.

Act for act. Behavior for behavior. Attitude for attitude. As a society, we are only now slightly aware of the behavioral patterns of a predator. As women, we are slightly aware of predatory behavior on a personal experience-level, however only if we have the emotional distance to see what is happening and the background information or confidence to know it is not an overreaction. The background information that, for some people, can continue to grow in its availability.

And yes, she does indeed have a book.

And her therapist told her to keep writing and releasing, so here you go.



Caroline Walsh

Former CIA Analyst and Coastie. PhD Student. Author of Fairly Smooth Operator: My life occasionally at the tip of the spear, available now!