*Court was Monday 4/12/2010. I've started this post a million times but i wasn't ready to share it until now.
Pulling into the court parking lot I seen them. The mother and sister. I never in my life thought I would feel the feelings I felt seeing them. The sister who spews hate into the world and The mother who created the monster. I felt sick and angry just seeing their faces.
And then my the face of my friends and my aunt, my court advocate and a woman from the domestic abuse place. The people who help to hold my heart and head together. The faces of hope.
Then it was time... time to face my abuser. With my one friend looking into my eyes trying to calm my fears while the other had his hand on my shoulders. "it's going to be ok, don't look at him" But I couldn't help it. I looked and everything inside me went weak. I couldn't breath. There he was dressed in a yellow jump suit and new white shoes. Panic Breaths. A words from everyone around me. "He can't hurt you" "do you want to leave the courtroom" "Come on lets step outside" and then were moving I'm circled by the people who love me and I still feel so unsafe. Outside the court room the tears are flowing. I wasn't prepared to face my abuser like i thought i was. My aunt's arms are around me and she's looking into my eyes. "it's ok, he can't hurt you, smile and relax this is your day" But suddenly I don't want it to be my day. I want to run. But the support is overwhelming. After awhile we go back inside. I catch his face and........
"Your dead. Your dead!" the words my abuser mouthed to me in the court room right after he winked at me and then looked at me with the same expression on his face that he had when he would beat me. What a fool I felt I was when my heart went into my throat as my stomach dropped to the floor and the flood gates opened in my eyes... I was afraid. My abuser was handcuffed to 10 different inmates surrounded by guards and I was still terrified. When he has something set in his mind to do, especially a crime HE WILL DO IT!.with his hands he makes a sign. I thought he was saying 10 to 2. I didn't understand. I was confused. I asked my friend what it means. I got it wrong. It's 2 to 10. 2 to 10 the time he thinks he will be getting. What he meant was in 2 years he will be getting out and coming after me.
I sat then eyes forward focused on the judge. Occasionally i would peak and he would be staring with a grin on his face or mouthing something to my friends.My advocate is out the door tracking down the ADA.
. The judge asked that the specifics of the case be read and when they read "her neck and breasts were bruised as a result of the attack" They laughed. What the hell is so funny. God did I want to stand up and SCREAM! But I sat there and listened waiting for the judge the sentence. Only the judge never sentenced. The judge deferred sentencing pending a pysch eval.
Then the judge addressed me. "Ms R you may get up and read your statement or you can come back and read it so it is fresh in my mind"
"Thank you sir I will be back to read it to you at his sentencing"
"Thank you for being her Ms. R"
And like that its over. We are out of the court room and hugs are coming from all around. "You did great"
I didn't feel like i did great. I lost it in there. "its rare the judge wants a victim to come back and read their statement at a later date. this is a really good thing" Comments are coming from all around but I feel outside myself.
This was the day I was suppose to be closing a chapter in my life, instead the book is being held open the pages no longer able to turn for up to three months.
There is no more to said. My friends are angry at the blatant lack of remorse my abuser showed. I hugged them and thanked them for being there.
In the car I check my phone and the texts had poured in while I was in court. "Good Luck Sweety" "don't forget I am with you" " You are a strong women make it through this and you'll make it through anything"
There are phone calls to be made. People disappointed voices are all around. We were all waiting to close this chapter. And then the voice that makes everything ok is on my phone and for the first time that day I am manage a REAL smile. Thank you for that.
I come home to my beautiful daughter playing in the front yard. Her smile is contagious as she runs into my arms. Her face. The face of innocence and beauty. How could something so amazing be a part of him. But she is, if only by genes she is.
The days following are tough. My abusers family is harassing my friends and friend of my friends. I feel guilty for having them come with me to court. I try to stuff the pain down but it simmers and boils over. Everyone is feeling it no matter how well i try to conceal it. My daughter is acting out. She's inherited my gift/curse of feeling EVERYTHING. I am losing it. It feels impossible. Damn him for leaving me to raise this child on my own while he had no responsibilities. DAMN HIM TO HELL For what he has done to us.
I am at my wits end and I call my mom. I break down everything that is inside of me. I CAN'T DO THIS. I can't take care of her when I see him in her. I leave early for work and visit a friend. I go in circles and finally the truth comes out. How can i resent the one person who loves me unconditionally. My daughter saved my life. I love her more than life itself. I am allowed to feel pain but I am not allowed to wallow. I need to be a good mother but I don't have to be a perfect mother. I think for the first time since court. I will be ok. My daughter will be ok. WE WILL BE OK because we have each other and amazing supportive people in our lives.
God I feel tired, the last 6 months of not sleeping is catching up with me. i am with my friend and I fall asleep. I dream. I am not ready to share this dream yet but I wake up disoriented for a minute trying to focus the room and reality. I realize there are arms holding me tight and protectively. My abuser may come after one day but today is not that day. For tonight I know I am safe.