Monday, March 10, 2014

Someone Not Me


I had to go to the nursery to recover from what was my Friday...
I buy plants when I am extremely upset, emotionally.
Plants have always set my brain right, the garden and the potted plants on my patio have acted as therapists many times over.
It is a good vice, I mean a plant buying binge is far better in my mind than other vices.
 
I was called into jury duty. I sent in the card and followed the rules, but really I don't want to serve on a jury as I would have a hard time ruling on someones life.
When I got to the waiting room, a judge came in and talked about
how important it is to be a juror.
I listened and understood that I had no control over the day...and I tried to swallow that.
He assured us that we would not be called for family issues, like divorce or child custody.
I took an exhale of relief.
While waiting, someone from court appointed advocates came in and
told us about what they do in foster care....and speak out for abused foster kids...
I was getting mad, I felt assaulted by the sad situation and I wanted to run from the room.
She left and I went back to the drawing I had brought to keep me busy
and listened from my name each time a pool was called.
On the third round I was called to a courtroom.
I was OK with that, and after sitting in a jury chair as the room was quite full
 the judge read what the trial was about and I about lost it...
 
Crime of a lewd act against a child, and multiple molestation allegations
My heart was about to explode, it was beating so hard and I began to sweat.
When the judge asked if someone had a hardship and he got to me,
I stood before a packed room, shaking (I could hear it in my voice)
 and said that being a woman who has lived through 8years of infertility
I could not emotionally handle the details of the case.
He asked if I had a job, if I was married and if I had kids.
( I was angry, as I had just told him I was infertile...
hell, I told a good chunk of my counties demographic )
He then said it was not a hardship and to take a survey to fill out for the lawyers.
The prosecutor asked my name, and I spelt it as I left the room.
He said he didn't pick the jury, but the lawyers did.
I was fighting crying at this point...as I left the courtroom
I made it all the way to the bathroom at the end of the hall
to totally break down in a puddle.
Then I looked at myself in the mirror and told me:
" pull it together, you can write down why to the lawyers"
Keep fighting it
In another lifetime I was that person who would have wanted to be on the trial,
serve justice and get the wrongs righted.
I am not that person now.
I can mostly accept that.
I am struggling a little;
as I was asking to walk away from a moment of need.
 
I spent the next hour filling out the form,
details about if I knew people who were victims of crime
did I know police officers
did I know lawyers
did I think children's testimony was less valid than adults
and finally an area to tell them if I felt I could be unbiased.
I pleaded that as an infertile woman
I am very sensitive to stories of children and
that the details of this case might send me into a depression, undoing all my therapy.
I told them I could not be unbiased or open minded.
After I finished the survey, I left the building angry
and feeling like I was being forced to witness another horrible thing in life.
 
I got back to my car, knowing I would have to return Monday...
I called my mom to tell her that I might not be able to take her
to her medical procedure on Tuesday and when she said you OK?
I lost it and cried, a lot...no words just tears.
She was patient, and then said "can you tell me anything?
...I said: "the worst you can imagine"
"She said is it about children?"...and I cried
I told her I needed to get some plants
She told me she would foot the bill, I giggled...and then said
"I'm sure your survey will get you excused"
I told her I hoped so, as that was my only hope now.
 
After buying a trunk load of plants and new mulch...
I spent the weekend trying to not think about it.
it was futile.
I dreamt about it, I had quiet moments and panicked about it....
I returned this morning and after waiting,
my name was in the first pool of names called into the courtroom.
The judge excused us.
I looked at the prosecutor and whispered "thank you"
then turned and left the courtroom.
I could breathe deeper
 
I am now home, squeezing the kitties watering my new plants and sipping tea.
I hope I did the right thing


4 comments:

Lisa {Amateur Nester} said...

There is no way I could deal with a court case against a child while dealing with infertility. I think your physical and emotional reaction make it obvious you did the right thing. So glad you were excused.

Mali said...

I think you did do the right thing. You said that there was no way you could be objective. I guarantee that there will be people on that jury, and on any jury, who are unable to be objective, but who won't admit it. In fact, I am sure there are many people with strong views who relish the idea of being on juries. That's a bit scary too.

And I'm glad you're feeling better now.

Rebecca Curley said...

Hi, I have been following your blog for a while as we have so much in common. Thought I was time I said hello and commented on a post... I think you did the right thing... Sittng through a case like that would high light how unfair the world can be.. Would be heart breaking. So glad you are home and taking car or yourself. Rebecca

Rebecca Curley said...

Excuse typos... My cat is climbing all over keyboard