so i was sitting here thinking that since it’s the last month of the year, i should do a 31 days of whatever. too bad i’m already a few days late. and then yoda mentioned reflection and i asked her what on earth i would reflect on. and she started listing things that i had completely forgotten about. the main thing being that i went to trial this year. trial. as a plaintiff. at 22 (at the time) years of age.
i don’t even know where to begin on it except that it happened. there’s no changing it. the events that led up to it are forever ingrained in my memory. the fact that the trial couldn’t honestly be avoided. the fact that my mom gave my lawyer $5 from some stupid bet we had and he kept it and said he was going to frame it because it was in his pocket the whole trial. the fact that i bonded with two lawyers, one more so than the other, and they knew immediately how to calm me and relate to me. the fact that i sat at a table in baltimore city with my parents and lawyers at 7pm at night, with all eyes on me, telling me i had a choice to make and the extent of what i was about to endure. the deposition with a lawyer who was just doing her job, but i wanted to throttle her the whole time because she kept asking me questions over and over and showing me a picture i had never seen. seeing the pictures over and over again and having it start to become real. going to doctors and getting independent medical exams with people who didn’t actually make a level headed opinion on my case because of a payout. sitting in a chair with lawyers, defendants and a jury staring at you and peppering you with the same questions just asked in different ways to try to trip you up and you just find your parents’ eyes to feel a sense of peace for two seconds. to have your words be judged. for your every move to be watched. to have to hold in tears when you want to scream because you have to keep yourself calm. to have your lawyer wrap his arm around you when you do lose it and apologize for saying he has to tell you to hold it together. to not sleeping or eating anything because all you can think about are the eyes that are on you. to telling complete strangers your most intimate and private feelings about what you’ve endured.
though it’s one of the scariest and hardest things i’ve ever done, especially because it was my choice. only i could make it. only i could say yes or no. only i could sign the papers. it was worth it. to have everyone in that room except one lawyer believe your story and every word you’ve said. to have complete strangers walk up to you and shake your hand because they’ve never met a child they’ve been so proud of. to have a judge look at you with soft eyes and a quick smile. for it to be over.
that, out of all if it, was the best part. it was over. and since march 17, 2010, i’ve finally begun to heal. and i’ve never been happier.