Posts Tagged ‘pleading out’

accepting the unexpected

April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24

Yesterday I began preparing for the trial, scheduled to start next week. I read the statement I gave the cops the night of the attack and started shaking. The DA had asked me to read it to make sure it was accurate and that nothing was left out.

I was astonished at the details I had given; I don’t remember those things anymore. Eleven months later, I’m not sure when I stopped remembering them; I have to think I shut them out so I could move on.

I was with my advocate, the attorney and the investigator, my team. As I put my sweatshirt on, my advocate asked if I wanted the window closed. ” No thanks it’s ok,” I said, even though I was shivering. “It feels good.”  The air blowing in was cool and refreshing in the otherwise stuffy room.

And then in a few seconds, what I had wanted to happen for almost a year and given up on, went down. Someone came and got the attorney, they stepped out and when she came back she said the guy wanted to plead guilty.

This brute kept me in limbo hell for eleven months, now literally one week before the trial, when I’m finally getting ready for my day in court, the bastard takes his deal. He got to hang in county jail for a year, thereby taking a year off his state prison term. He played the system, didn’t want to gamble with a jury giving him a longer sentence and kept me in a state of hyper-anticipation for almost a year.

It’s good I don’t have to deal with testifying. It’s hard and you never know how a jury will react. The preliminary hearing was brutal enough; the jury trial would have been more intense. Testifying as a victim awakens the cortisol, you’re fighting for your life again. Adrenaline pumping through the body is a powerful current and when it finally subsides, hours or even days later, the result is almost overwhelming emotional and physical  fatigue, for me anyway.  So to avoid that, great. It’s finally over.

I know that, but don’t feel it yet, his decision to plead out came as swiftly as the attack. I was literally preparing my testimony. I felt I was almost done with everything after a long year of start-and-stop-and–start-again healing. But this came so fast and unexpectedly I haven’t caught up yet. I’m waiting.

I’m so glad I decided to go to Burning Man this year. I wish I was in the hot dust now, taking care of my basic needs, riding my bike, laughing with Nora, being alone, being with everyone, letting it all drain into the sand under the blazing desert sun.