Written while sitting in courthouse:
I read the comments that an attorney wrote on a blog about our case on his firm’s website. He thought it was a pity that I was so consumed by the case, and as evidence quoted me as writing that my life was clearly divided into before and after. Obviously as a criminal defense attorney he doesn’t deal with victims at all.
This is the way it always is for victims of violent crimes. The whole universe is turned inside out and your perspective is forever altered. The crucible of pain, grief and fear burns away the old you and someone new emerges. That doesn’t make you an object of pity. You just can’t fit back into your old skin. You have felt things and seen and heard things that make it impossible to be the person you once were. An innocense is gone that cannot be recovered.
You can’t stuff the genie back in the bottle – once he’s out, he’s out. You may be weaker in some ways and stronger in others. The things that you care about and the things that bother you are different. You may have more tolerance or less. It varies with the individual. But, whatever form it takes, change is universal among crime victims.
Could you stand in my shoes and experience what I have experienced with no effect on who you are? No. Nobody can. People who have lived through a terrible earthquake or a hurricane are allowed to acknowledge the change in their lives. So are the victims of 911. Why are we expected to be different? I remember looking at the faces of tsunami victims with recognition. I knew that look of overwhelming shock and pain. I’ve been that person. That was the start of my journey, and I’ve come a long way down the road since then. A difficult road. A rocky road. I’ve travelled far enough along it in 4 years to know that there’s no going back to the crossroads to join the path you were on before. The gate is closed. Monkey.