The PA finally called last night at 5:00; we are going to trial on Wednesday. Via his attorney, CF said, "I didn't do anything wrong; there will be no deal." We have to go in to meet with the PA on Friday afternoon to prepare for the trial, as both Hannah and I have been subpoenaed. It is odd. I knew this would most likely be the case, that he would take it all the way to trial (after all, what does he have to lose?), but somehow hearing the words out loud was like a punch in the gut. Don't know why-I guess just realizing that there is no way to protect Hannah from having to testify, no way to keep her from having to sit in a courtroom filled with a jury and, inevitably, lots of spectators, and say out loud to strangers what was done. No way to prevent her from having to talk about it in from of him. I have a long diatribe started about victims rights (nil) vs criminals rights (thousand fold) but I just don't have the energy to go into it right now. What is that old saying, that depression is anger without enthusiasm? That fits me today. It won't-can't-last; there is too much at stake now for me to indulge in the selfish luxury of depression and apathy. However, for just this moment, this small span of time, I am allowing myself to feel every single emotion brought about by this turn of events without trying to stuff them or pretend they don't exist. Later I will be able to put on the brave, strong front that Hannah so desperately needs, but right now, it just is what it is.
This is what I know, though. Not how I feel at the moment, but what I know. I know that the only thing that either one of us can do is go in and speak our truth as clearly and forcefully as possible. I am fairly sure at the meeting on Friday that strategy will be discussed, from what to wear to how to appear, but underneath it all is the fact that the only thing we can do is tell our story. That's it. Will it be enough for a jury to convict him? Here in the blog I can say that I doubt it. Too many people still think that what happened was maybe not okay, but not enough to warrant prison time; after all, he didn't RAPE her. However, the truth is all we have, and I believe that no matter what the ultimate outcome, as long as we do what we are supposed to do, there will be healing.
I also know that aside from the repercussions for Hannah, this is the opportunity for ME to stand up and confront my own abuse. In standing up for my sweet girl, I am also taking and stand and confronting the fact that things happened to me that were.not.okay. There is something very powerful about having that opportunity. Of course, I would rather it didn't happen in this manner, but if the opportunity arrives to put to rest a huge part of my past, then I would be a fool not to take it and run with it. Everything in life is intertwined; I know that no matter how shitty the circumstances are, there is the chance for great good to come of it as long as I keep my eyes open and my heart willing.
There is finally in my life the sure knowledge that we are loved and supported, which is no small thing. The people whom I love the most-even the ones who don't understand where I am coming from these days-have never once questioned Hannah. They know and love us both well enough that when told, the reaction was not "Are you sure you didn't misunderstand?" but was instead, "Okay, baby, this is what we gotta do." They have listened to me pour my heart out and rant and rave about the injustice and how bad it hurts to watch things spiral far beyond what little control I have; they have fed us meals and sent emails and been on the other end of the phone line. They have provided shelter and protection for not just Hannah but our entire family, knowing how close we all are and knowing that the safety and well-being of one affect all of us. God, am I blessed. And maybe I didn't know this before; maybe I didn't know that no matter how high the fall or how fast I approached Ground Zero, there would be a safety net. No matter what happens, I can lean back and let go, and fall into love. That? Can't be taken away.
There is no doubt in my mind that things will get a little dicier as the trial comes nearer, no doubt that we are all going to have our moments of freaking out and being afraid and angry and frustrated. For myself, in order to take care of myself as best as I can in order to be able to be there in a meaningful way for Hannah, I plan on being as gentle with all of us as is possible. Evenings of simple comfort foods and bubble baths, mornings of quiet reading and meditation. We will think of something fun and distracting (and free) to do on the weekend, and I will try to help each one of the kids nurture themselves through this. I have to believe that all will be well.