As I mentioned before, I did not write in my journal about what happened after Laura, Bill and I walked out of the courtroom. I just checked to see if I mentioned anything at a later date. I never specifically addressed it, and all I wrote the following day, 26 June 2012 was:
“Yesterday, to me, still feels surreal. I don’t have a strong feeling either way. All I am certain of is he deserves to be in prison.”
When court was adjourned, cockroach boy’s sister and father, who had been seated right in front of us, practically ran out of the room. I remember thinking, ‘good, I don’t want to see them anyway.’ We couldn’t leave right away because the D.A. needed to give me a copy of the restraining order that the court had gotten on my behalf, so we kind of hung around inside the courtroom. When it became clear that it would take a bit longer than anticipated, we left to wait outside. As soon as we walked through the outer door, the sister and father descended upon us. The sister, whose name I never did get, said to me, “I just want to apologize for what my brother did to you.” And the father piped up, “Yeah, we didn’t raise him that way.” To say that I was in shock that they were even speaking to me would be an understatement. I did my best to be polite without really saying much. What did they expect I would say? ‘Oh, it’s okay, don’t worry about it.’ Hardly. It was not okay and I wasn’t going to say otherwise. When the father spoke to me, I thought, ‘no way does he live in Coronado. He had exactly 3 teeth in his mouth, and I am pretty sure there must be a city ordinance that says you must have teeth to live there.’ Seriously, no way could he look like that and live there.
I really didn’t respond to her apology. I thought they would then walk away. But, no, she wasn’t finished with me yet. So then she said something like, ‘my brother is mentally ill and needs help, he doesn’t need to be in prison.’ I said, “Oh, I understand mental illness. I have a brother who is bipolar and he doesn’t take his medication either, but he doesn’t attack women.” I was feeling very uncomfortable and wanted her to leave me alone. No such luck. Then she said to me, “Did you see him? He’s going to be attacked in prison.” And all I could think was, ‘Oh well. He should have thought about that before attacking me.’ What I said to her was, “If you had ever been attacked, you would understand.” And she said, “Oh, I have been. He attacked/raped (not quite sure which word she said here, but the meaning of what she was saying was very clear) me. Twice!” What I wanted to say to her, but didn’t, was, ‘You stupid bitch! This is your fault for not reporting him to the authorities. We wouldn’t be here right now if you had reported him.’ What could I actually say to that? Nothing. By this time, Bill was in between the sister and me and Laura was trying to pull her away. I was extremely upset, but saying nothing to her. As Laura pulled her away, she turned and said to me, “I hope you learn something from this. And I hope you have a nice life.” Those statements made me want to attack her. Really? Of course, she would have no way of knowing just how much I struggled with what should be done with him and whether he would be better served out of prison than in. And of all the people to say ‘I hope you learn something from this’ to, I just wasn’t it. I was learning from it the minute it happened. Stupid bitch.
I was in absolute shock. I could not believe what I had just heard. I couldn’t believe that she verbally attacked me, especially since the judge had just said that there was to be no contact with me, and even though I know cockroach boy did not tell her to say these things to me, it didn’t matter. In my mind she was disobeying the judge’s direct order. The D.A. chose this moment to walk up with my order of protection. (And why I would need a restraining order against someone who is in prison and an order that would expire before his prison sentence is even up always baffled me.) I/we told the D.A. what the sister had just said. She thought it interesting, but it’s not like she could do anything about it and it’s not like the sister was suddenly going to report the crimes he committed against her. And at that point, fat lot of good it would have done anyway. I just wanted out of the court-house, so the D.A. took us the back way down so I would not have to walk by the father and sister and be attacked, yet again.
Even as I am writing this today, I still feel the anger from that day. After sitting through cockroach boy’s stupid attorney’s words and then having the sister come after me because I had the nerve to make sure her criminal brother was sent to prison, I was completely spent. I was so glad this part of the process was behind me now, but there was still a lot healing to be done. I somehow knew this to be true.
Again, it is amazing to me, looking back, how my mind and body protected me. How I was able to do what needed to be done in order to come out the other side. Interestingly, as stressed as my body and mind were during this period, I never got sick. That is, until after the sentencing. I normally do not get sick anyway, and I really never get sick in the summer. About a week later, though, I did get sick. I got a cold and a hacking cough that kept me from sleeping. Still, my body waited until after he was sentenced and in prison to allow the overwhelming stress I was going through to manifest into sickness. Amazing!