A Day for Introspection

It is raining today, the air outside like October, not August.  It is the kind of day so far where it makes sense to stay at home and let the dampness seep in like water in a sponge.  The kind of day where the call of the outdoors is muted by the soft dripping of the rain, the kind of day where there is time to face tasks that have to be done, with all of the plans put on hold and no excuse not to just sit down and do what needs to be done.

I got a call from the Pre-Sentence Investigator yesterday, and it is time to sit down and cobble together all of the words in my head and on scraps of paper into a coherent Victim’s Impact Statement.  She would like to have them by Monday or Tuesday, and suddenly I am scared.  I have kept such a tight rein on my rage, needing to keep it under control in order to be able to function in everyday life; you have seen it come out in blog posts, because that is my outlet, the one way where I can give myself the chance to skate right up to the edge of how angry, angry, angry I am, but even here I can’t let myself go over that edge into sheer fury.  It hasn’t been an option, and it isn’t one now.  I am not good at balancing, yet I have to.  I have to figure out how to express fully what this man”s actions have done to my daughter, to my family, and I have to do it in such a way as to sounds sane and reasonable while also fully examining the damage done and making that shine through the rest of the legal bullshit.

Do you see?  Do you see that this is the only chance we have-Hannah and I-to have any kind of impact on the outcome of this case?  Oh, we have done the legwork; we have gone to the CARES interview in the beginning, and appeared in court whenever our presence has been required, and I have gone to all of the hearings, bullshit or not.  The Prosecutor has said time and time again that making the effort to be seen at even the bullshit hearings will make an impact, but really, nobody notices that; nobody sees.  We have been just another pair or two of eyes in a crowded courtroom, and if I ran into either of the judges on the street they wouldn’t know who I was.  So now we get to do this, to sit down and tell our stories, and hope like hell that it will make a difference.

So much hinges on this.  Oh, not like I am God, All Powerful; I can’t dictate the outcome, and I am not egotistical enough to think that the judge will listen to my eloquent words and suddenly decide that the bastard deserves to rot in prison.  I have learned well that conviction or not, the justice system is definitely on his side, that due to the legal mumbo-jumbo concerned with protecting his rights, ours are second or third on the list.  Maybe more.  But IF anything we say, think or feel is going to make any kind of a difference, this is the time.  And god help me, I don’t want to do this.  I don’t want to have to close out all else and concentrate on this.  I don’t want to sit here at the computer and dig through the layers of anger and guilt (and yes, yes, I know that none of this is my fault, but knowing it and feeling that I should have protected my daughter better are two entirely different things.  And I know some of you get that) and heartbreak, and put them down onto paper.  I don’t want to talk about how my daughter has, in the last year, gone from a happy, sociable girl with her life ahead of her and PLANS, to a young woman uncertain not just of her future and happiness, but of her intrinsic value as a person.  I dont’ want to talk about how some days she has to be prodded into even taking a shower, or how on other days she wants so badly to feel loved and appreciated that she will hook up with a stranger just so she can feel a glimmer of self-worth.  I don’t want to do any of this.

But I will, because it is important.  And I will encourage Hannah to do the same thing, to sit down and try to sort through her feelings and express some of the rage and hurt and shame she is feeling.  I will hold her if she will let me, and I will listen to her scream without flinching.  I will give her a cup of tea and a warm blanket to cuddle up on the couch with, and I will honor her feelings.  And this?  Has nothing to do with the impact statement she needs to write, and everything to do with trying to get this little girl to be able to say “This.Fucking.Sucks. and it isn’t my fault.”  She doesn’t have any real way to express her feelings, always labouring under the impression that she just needs to be quiet and malleable and good, and I really, really want her to do this: to piece it all together and try to find a way to believe that angry women are also good women.  That women damaged are simply women; that the fault is not hers, and that she is still the same abso-fucking-lutely amazing, powerful creature underneath the pain.  That the shame is not hers.

So it rains, inviting warmth and quiet and introspection.  I have steaming coffee at hand, and some music in the background, and I have my heart in my hands, turning it over and over trying to find the right place to dive in.  I hope and pray that I will find the right words, that I will somehow be led to say all that needs to be said.  And I hope and pray that for my daughter, this will be a beginning for her.


16 thoughts on “A Day for Introspection

  1. Kori- Has Hannah read my stories about my abuse? Would that be appropriate?
    Your words in this post are so amazing and so mother-strong and so true. Just sit down and write it all. I typed “right it all” and of course you can’t do that in one sitting. But believe me when I tell you that your words WILL matter. To the judge, to Hannah, to the universe. What you write will be right. I love you and your writing and your righting and your love for your daughter.
    And a lot of other people do too.
    .-= Ms. Moon´s last blog ..Hymns For Real Life =-.

  2. With your awesome talent for stringing words together in a way that touch and inspire so many of us who read you, I have no doubt that your statement will make it crystal clear just how this has affected you, your girl, and your family. Open your heart and let it pour out freely and it will be perfect. I have no doubt.
    .-= lynn´s last blog ..There Are No Words =-.

  3. With a mother who understands and loves and has the strength that you have, Hannah will come through it all and, on the other side, is sure to have a wonderful life once she learns how to – and begins to – heal. It’s just amazing how much suffering we can survive when we have someone to support us while we endure it.

    Perhaps it isn’t a bad idea to just let it all out – maybe in a first draft that is just for your – and her. And then you can write a revised version for court.

    Good luck! I hope that, in your case, the justice system will serve it’s intended purpose.

  4. Kori, I think that you sounded very concise and profound when you said,
    “I don’t want to talk about how my daughter has, in the last year, gone from a happy, sociable girl with her life ahead of her and PLANS, to a young woman uncertain not just of her future and happiness, but of her intrinsic value as a person. I dont’ want to talk about how some days she has to be prodded into even taking a shower, or how on other days she wants so badly to feel loved and appreciated that she will hook up with a stranger just so she can feel a glimmer of self-worth. I don’t want to do any of this.”
    That, or something like it, would be a good thing to say in your speech, I think. I believe that is what the people deciding the fate of this man need to hear.
    .-= Krissa´s last blog ..The pervs are after Henrietta =-.

  5. I have plenty of angry if you want me to send it your way– I think angry can be good, it can be cathartic, and totally what one needs to move on. I’m still in the phases of anger, I can feel it’s tendrils reaching out for me, grabbing me on whims. I think sometimes, it’s best to keep that little bit of anger, it always reminds you of where you came from, and how far you have traveled.

    I’m here if you need me.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..2009 Life List Update =-.

  6. Oh Honey…your words brought tears. My heart is with you as you undertake this enormous task. You can and you will do it for Hannah because you are her amazing Mum, her Mum who will stand with her, believe in her and love her no matter what.

    I like the idea of starting your statement with a lot of what is in this post.

    Sending love and many (((((hugs))))) to you and Hannah. Wishing there was more that I could do.
    .-= Kerrie´s last blog ..Madame… =-.

  7. OK…so I came by after getting your comment on my post about blogging and the reader’s expectations and all that. I’m so glad I came…

    You are doing something I have never attempted to do, and I should have. You see, there was a man in my past that should have been taken to court. By me. I didn’t do it. I didn’t tell my parents (until years later). I didn’t ask for help. I wish I would have. So no matter what you say, what matters is that YOU WILL SAY IT. You are doing the very best with what you have. You will do well, I just know it…

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    .-= Heather of the EO´s last blog ..It’s that time… =-.

  8. What an enormous task and enormous pressure to have to put into words what the last year has been like for Hannah and your family. The thing about your writing, though, is that you have the ability to make words sing. I have no doubt your story, Hannah’s story, will start off softly as you find your bearings and your voice, but as you write you will pick up Hannah’s voice, you will pick up my voice, you will pick up April, Ms. Moon, Kerri’s voice, and the voice of everyone who knows your story. We will all be with you in the words on the page. The injustice, the anger, the frustration will crescendo and they will hear you, Kori.
    .-= Dingo´s last blog ..Dingo’s Gambit =-.

  9. Kori-your words are strong and clear. If you write the statement the way you write your posts, the judge will hear the truth.And more importantly, Hannah will hear the truth, which I think maybe will be more healing in the long run than the specifics of the sentencing.

  10. I so get this. How do you voice your righteous anger and not sound like a crazed mom. How does Hannah?

    I hope you both find the words and that those words are enough to put this predator in jail for a long time.
    .-= Tara R.´s last blog ..July Wrap-Up =-.

  11. I haven’t been a very good bloggy friend lately, I’ve been saving every post of yours in my reader, but moving has been crazy. I’m finally getting back on track and I’m sorry that I haven’t been here to support you more in these past couple of weeks, because you need people, and you deserve the best.

    I’m sorry that this whole thing had to happen. I think that despite the difficulty, you’ve managed to deal with it pretty well. I wish there was something I could say to make it easier, or that I could promise they’ll understand what he actually did and how much damage it did.
    .-= Rachael´s last blog ..This is Not My Beautiful House =-.

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