Saturday, January 31, 2009

This is Not Going to Be A Funny Post. Unless You're an Asshole.




The cat picture is just for cuteness. It's not even that cute. Actually it's kinda gross. And I bet the cat fucking hates it.

This week was a big week for me. I've alluded many times to "that one thing" that's happening soon, but I couldn't talk about what it was. Well, now, it is over. And I can talk about it.

Here's how it was supposed to go down:

The trial of the cabdriver who sexually assaulted me would start.

I would testify. It would suck, but I would get through it, because after all the waiting, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The jury would find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

----------------------

Here's what went down:

The trial of the cabdriver who sexually assaulted me started.

I testified. On cross, the defense attorney (who is known throughout the legal community as a huge asshole, bully, and rapist-lover) accused me of being a liar, a slut, a drug addict, an alcoholic, and, get this: a thief. Naturally he didn't get away with saying all of this. You ostensibly, need a good faith basis for saying that kind of shit, which, he didn't have, so he was not allowed to continue. However, you can't really unring a bell. Especially in front of a jury.

The jury believed him, at least in part, and found him not guilty.

So he's free. Driving around in his cab again. Maybe you're his passenger. Lovely thought, huh? One thing is clear, my days of cab rides are over.

I remember two and a half years ago when this happened. I remember feeling life could never have gotten worse. I had no idea how I would ever survive it. Slowly, though, because eventually he would be put behind bars, it would be ok. Now, though. It's over. No do-overs. No appeals. No anything. Just the knowledge that bad things happen and they never get better.

Right now, I feel it would have been easier for the jury to say "We, the jury find the defendant not guilty, and now we shall proceed to the victim's home and shoot her in the temple."

Don't worry. I'm not suicidal. But I am definitely, definitely very lost. I have no light at the end of the tunnel. There's no silver lining. No other gaywad hopeful expression comes to mind. There is no hope. There's nothing to lift my spirits except the friendly doctors who are all too happy to over prescribe in times such as these. There's nothing. There is no hope.

I don't know what the next step is. I don't think there is.

I am so stupid for not preparing for the possibility that this could happen. Of COURSE it could happen. These cases are hard to prove. Obviously I should have considered the possibility that 12 strangers would think that after spending 15 SECONDS in a cab with a man, I clearly wanted to get it on with him. I should have been prepared. But no. I was prepared for this to be my New Year. Seriously. I didn't make New Year's resolutions because I knew this was just a few weeks away. I made cabdriver conviction Resolutions:

1. Write thank you notes more consistently
2. Return phone calls more promptly
3. Save more money.
4. Go out after work with Squid and Hippie less often and when we do, go to cheaper places.
5. Get out to Los Angeles and D.C. at least once a year.
6. Lose 10 pounds.
7. FINALLY OPEN MY BLINDS. This one is sort of specific to the cabdriver. Since it happened. I've kept my blinds shut. When he was convicted, I was going to open them. I told that to someone who was kind enough to come over and check on me the other day. She immediately opened them anyway. I shut them back as soon as she left.

There were others. But they don't matter now. There never ended up being a "New Year's." Nothing matters now. Yeah. Sorry. I told you this wasn't going to be a very funny post. But whatever. It's my blog. You can stop reading anytime you like, and you won't hurt my feelings.

Ok here's something nuts. I'm totally not kidding. The night before the trial started, I had this overwhelming urge to pray. Like really really pray. I know, that does not sound like me at all, but I am totally not kidding.

Ultimately, I made the conscious choice to not pray. To not to bring him/her/it into the whole thing, figuring that if I had been off of his/her/its radar this long, do I REALLY want to draw attention to myself? It would be like going to the DMV to ask for a copy of your Driver's License, and then all of a sudden they're like "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH did you know you have 34624656 unpaid parking tickets? You'll have to clear those up first before we will even hear what you need."

Maybe that was the wrong decision. Who knows? Maybe if I prayed, then 12 jurors wouldn't have looked at pictures of my half-naked and bruised up body and decided "Oh, yeah, she clearly wanted sex."

I am trying to find something- anything to gain from this. I need a lesson. But there is none. I am broken. I don't care how overdramatic that sounds.

I'm going to see the defense attorney around the courthouse. He's always around. He's super sleazy. I don't know what to do if I'm in a situation where I have to actually speak to him in a lawyer to lawyer sense. I think punching him in the nuts, while providing me the most satisfaction, would probably land me in the most trouble with the ARDC, however crumbling into a crying heap on the floor, while providing him some sort of giggle, is also not what I want to do.

I guess, I would just act dignified, even though I imagine he knows that his client robbed me of most of my dignity two and a half years ago, and he took everything that remained this past week.

His life is so different from mine. It's hard not to wish for this to happen to his own daughter. And have her attacker be represented by a man just like him. But ultimately, I wish no violence against women. I guess.

I don't even know what I'm saying. I feel broken. What's it called when you get in a car crash, and your car is beyond repair? Fuck.. I know the word. I just can't think of it.

Totaled. I feel totaled. I am totaled.

51 comments:

Harmless Error said...

Ok, I don't know whether you expect or want any comments to this, but here I am anyway. Nothing anyone can write in a blog comment, whether that person knows you or not, is going to make this any better. Just know that there are people out there who wish death (I'm serious) to that defense lawyer. And the retarded jurors. And the cab driver, which goes without saying.

This comment sucks - I'm sorry. I'm trying not to use stupid fucking platitudes. There's nothing to say, is there? Still, from what I've read over the past couple of years, you're a strong motherfucker. Hold on to that.

Dunc said...

Grace - you don't know me. I'm just an attorney from Omaha who has been following your blog for a while. But I feel compelled to comment and just say that I'm thinking of you, and I am so beyond sorry for what you're going through and what you've gone through. I'm not the type of person to go on and on in comments, and it seems that you're not the type of person who necessarily wants waterfalls of sympathy and emotional comments, so I won't say much. But please know that a total stranger in Omaha knows, to a certain extent, what you might have felt at some point along this road. "Hang in there" sounds beyond stupid and inadequate, but it's all I can come up with.

I'm sorry.

The Artful Blogger said...

...

I can't think of anything more to say that what I have already told you outside of the blog

Here for you always...

Thinking Fool said...

I'm so sorry, Grace. I wish I had a magic spell that would make you feel perfect. Just know I'm beaming good thoughts from D.C.

Melissa said...

Will you get in trouble if I punch him in the nuts?

And I'm sorry, but I laughed when I saw the cat...I couldn't help it..don't hate me

Grace said...

No, Melissa, you will not get ME into trouble for punching him in the nuts. YOU will get in trouble for punching him in the nuts. Let's take a moment and be very clear: While punching this asshole in the nuts sounds delightful on many levels, violence is never the answer.

Love you for the thought, though.

Erin said...

Grace,

You don't know me. Just a law student in PA who's been following your blog because I think we have the same sense of humor/annoyances.

I know how some of this feels. Not to see the lawyer, or know the lawyer.

I'm so sorry. There's nothing I or anyone can say. I wish horrible things on your assailant.

ArmyGirl said...

Number 5 should stay on the list. Losing sucks. I know how that feels. I've been with you every step of the way and we'll find a yellow brick road together. You're still my bff even if you are temporarily totaled. Love you a bunches.

Shantelle said...

I'm a stay at home mom in Utah who decided not to go to the law schools I was admitted to. Probably because I end sentences with prepositions.... I don't imagine I could get into all that much trouble for punching him in the nuts. So I think I will if I am ever in your area. I just wanted to say (hopefully without sounding too condescending) that I am proud of you. Hopefully when that asshole gets tried again for the same offense, the supposedly unbiased jury will "accidentally" get wind of his previous acquittal and use it as a reason to convict his sorry ass, regardless of jury instruction to disregard. Best wishes, Shantelle

Kristine said...

Before I read this, I'd just finished a post on my jury duty experience. I wished that I could stop thinking about it. Now, I wish we'd been in Chicago and I wish you would've had us.

Lily Graypure said...

I've been out of the law blog loop for a long time, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear all of this. My thoughts are with you.

The Enabler said...

I love you. You know that. Just repeating it.

I'll risk my license to scream obscenties at said defense attorney.

Grace said...

You shall do no such thing, Enabler! I worked too hard for that law license of yours!

Scott Rose said...

Hi Grace,

Sorry, I don't have anything profound to say here except that I am sooo very sorry and sooo very ANGRY!!! And the only thing I can think of are violent thoughts against both the defense attorney and your assailant. I'm trying to find some silver lining, but I can't think of one at the current moment. Sorry I don't have anything more profound to say, except that I love you and am thinking about you.

Love,
Scott

Grace said...

Hi Scott-

I'll be in LA for 5 days the second week of February... Let's snuggle it out.

Scott Rose said...

Perfect! I just got a new couch which is perfect for snuggling.

Vittoria said...

grace,

i know that nothing like "sorry" can help now, but... i'm so sorry. and while i totally understand (and vaguely giggled about) the whole, god-dmv thing, i DO believe in karma and so the douche bag motherfucker who did this to you...

... and maybe even more the douchebag motherfucker who DEFENDED HIM...

will definitely get theirs. a karmic punch in the nuts if you will.

i think you are wonderful and lovely and awesome (even if we don't actually know each other) and know that one day you will able to open those blinds again.

my thoughts are with you!!

Anonymous said...

Grace, I'm sorry. Being victimized by the perpetrator, and then by the system that should protect you, is a marrow-sucking drain of the soul. Back in the early 1980s, the crack police squad in my supposedly hip Northern California city took care of their own. Cover-ups, lost police reports, real made-for-TV movie stuff. I wasn't even allowed to be a victim. It's not right, it's not fair, but it happened, to you. I hope you will choose closure, and sooner than later. This is your life. You were victimized. You get to write the next act. What are you going to do?

Fianna said...

I don't have a law license to lose, I will punch everyone on the wrong side of this in the nuts.


I wish a better year for you.

Midwesterner in D.C. said...

All the previous comments cover the territory...no adequate words, this sucks, etc. etc.
I do have an uncle that once told me that he has a guy "that can take care of anything"...
I'm pretty sure this is type of situation he was talking about.
I especially agree with the "strongmotherfucker" description used above. Hang your head high and walk tall. Grace rocks (and has a great blog).

Alleged Lady said...

Grace--

Wow. This post was really difficult for me for several reasons...First and foremost, because you are one of those friends of mine that is on the cusp of being in the "really good" category, and I simply adore you.

Secondly, because I am a criminal defense attorney.

I have this giant "ick" feeling that keeps growing inside me with every passing minute. I absolutely cannot imagine what you must be going through, and I am not going to pretend that I am able to. I feel this strong urge to defend "my kind"- but I am heartsick at your pain. I guess all I can say is this: there are defense attorneys with ethics, who are not sleazy, and do it for reasons that they feel are somehow large and fundamental. This asshole that you had to deal with not only a sleazy sonofabitch, but he's a bad defense lawyer-- because a good one knows that you must walk a delicate balance between defending your client and destroying a victim. I fucking hate him for that-- not only for what he did to you, but frankly, what he is doing to me as I sit here.

This is turning into more of a rant than I wanted...and it might be coming off totally wrong. I guess, just know-- I adore you more with every time I see you, and I know that I'm not the only one. Keep your chin up-- and use this experience to make yourself a better lawyer and a better advocate for victim's rights. No one can say why things happen-- I'm not on great terms with the Person Upstairs either-- but if this experience makes you that more zealous, that more dedicated, that more passionate about your job-- then you'll save some other woman the pain that you're now going through.

your friend/colleague/future opponent,
Lady

Butterflyfish said...

Grace, you don't know me either, but I wan to bring you wine and hug you. There are no words I can write here that will bring you any measure of comfort. You have been vitimized in the worst way a woman can be, and hung onto the prospect of the verdict as the closing of the door that would allow you to move forward. Now you have to find another way to close that door. You are in my prayers, sincerely because I do pray, and I pray for your peace.

Cirkuspeanut said...

Grace, I'm yet another one of your faceless blog readers, but I just wanted to tell you I'm so sorry this happened to you and that the justice system failed you. I'm just so sorry.

Squids love recluse spiders said...

First of all, I love you and am thankful everyday that I met you and have you in my life.

Second of all, you know that I live my life entirely on silver linings and optimism, so I'll spare you my usual cheer because I know you know that I see the light at the end of your tunnel, without me having to say it.

Third of all, what a delight to have so many people, strangers, reach out to you. Reminds me of your cold weather/whiskey story.

I love you and wish I could make you believe in the silver lining I live by.

Daisy Duke said...

I'm really sorry the Enabler's comment was really from me. Because he was using my computer & didn't log out of google. (Ahem Enabler, Ahem.)

But! I love you. And he does too. We'll both risk our licenses to yell at him.

Anonymous said...

Dude -

Sorry for the trouble these a-holes caused you . . . but take control girl . . . know that at the hour their respective demises, that defense attorney nemesis-of-yours and that molester will have much to regret and much more to account for . . . That's the only thing you can know for sure about their destinies . . .

You can only control what you do, and how happy and how fulfilled you are . . . so keep the damn blinds open, let the sunshine in and enjoy every last moment of life . . . in the end, it's incredibly short and you should surrender no more of it to these people.

Good luck.

legallyirrelevant said...

I can't imagine how difficult this is, and obviously have no words to make it go away of different. But remember they will have to live with the guilt of their lies until their dying day. On their deathbeds they will remember what they did. You know that truth and the only thing you can do now is decide whether you're going to let their guilt consume you as well.

If you see that jackass defense attorney take everything in you and smile. It will eat at him more than all the screaming and cusswords ever will. Don't give either of them the pleasure of taking more of you than they already have.

Oh. And in your mind beat the ever-lovin' shit out of both of those assholes.

Hugs.

five tomatoes said...

All of this sucks. I hope that defense attorney falls down the stairs at the courthouse and everyone laughs at him and it somehow gets put on YouTube for the whole bar to see because you can be a good defense attorney without being a smarmy jackass.

I'm sorry you didn't get the closure you were looking for and I'm sorry that the system didn't reach the right result here. :(

Anonymous said...

You ever think of telling the rapist you were a dyke? He might have left you alone.

The Laundress said...

First of all, Anonymous 7:47, get dead, ok? Not fucking funny. Secondly Grace, for what it's worth, from a big fan, who has followed your blog for more than a year, I realize that words can only go so far, but know that people out there are pulling for you. I know (on a certain level at least) what you're going through, and I know that it's devastating. I'm not a big pray-er (pray-ette?) either (because I've been ignored far too long myself to believe in some Big Benevolent Teddy Bear in the Sky), but I will be sending love and healing energy your way, to the best of my ability.
There is nothing approximating justice in this world, save that you create within your own sphere. But you know that already. You'll still be Grace. Maybe a little sadder and wiser. but you'll still be Grace. Much love to you and for you. Oh yeah, and I am MORE than happy to risk my license to kick both of these fuckers in the nuts.

Jane Know said...

Grace,
I am so sorry to hear this. It makes me unbelievably pissed... beyond compare...
I can not fucking believe they found that asshole not guilty.
Just know that I am here for you, whenever you need a friend.
I love you.

Lisalu67 said...

I'm devastated by this result, Grace. I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I believe in Karma. I've seen the wonders of it before my eyes. People get what's coming to them. One day, the wrong person will climb into that driver's cab. And, one day, Mr. F*ckface Sleazeball, Esq. will represent/piss off the wrong client. You can't be that much of an a-hole and not create enemies. You are the strongest, smartest, funniest, most beautiful woman I [don't] know. ^^^^ Look at all these people who love you! Rise above and prevail.

rem said...

I've avoided your blog because I knew this was coming. I told me a long time ago. I felt brave today so I came here. I'm not. You are. I could never love anyone or anything like I love you. I feel like people are made up like trivial pursuit pies. I think you'll be my pink piece of pie. That was always my favorite slice. You are not totaled. You're re-routed. I'll be there anyway I you want me to be. And speaking of trivial...i'm sorry i can't say anything that matters or that's helpful. i love you.

Brita James said...

Grace, I'm not qualified by any means to give advice or suggestions on anything but all I can say is....I'm so sorry, good things shouldn't happen to good people but for some reason they always do. The system and this world operates backwards at times. Know that you're fucking amazing and secretly one of my few heroes (heroines?) in this world.

This chapter in your life, however hurtful and fucking awful, is closed. The resolution wasn't what you expected and it doesn't change the fact that it happened, but don't let it ruin you. Push on, push forward, if anyone can do it, you can. You're a strong, amazing woman and I fucking heart you and as evidenced by this blog, a lot of others do too.

AND I too am more than willing to return to Chicago and kick the shit out of that a-hole DA's nuts, repetitively even. Keep it in mind, I wear a size 12...

Fannie said...

It was brave of you to share this Grace. I am so angry and sad that this happened to you. And I hope someone files a complaint with the ARDC against this embarrassment-to-our-profession for his unethical behavior.

Anonymous- It takes a sick person to want to hurt someone who is already so clearly hurting. I hope you find the help you need to deal with your own pain.

vcugirl said...

I feel like I may have said this before, but...

You're my hero, and I thank the cosmos/ fates/ powers that be for you every time I see my sephora mascara, recall my screwdriver dependency, or remember running down your street into your croc-footed self at 1am, too terrified to be in my own bed.

boxed white wine, babydoll.

Let yourself feel, let shit suck. Because one day, it won't suck as bad.

Until then, just know you have a big fan on the east coast.

Jax said...

Grace. I'm so very sorry the legal system we were trained to defend has completely and totally abandoned you in many regards... My thoughts are with you and I, too, would like to punch this assface in the nuts...then kick him with my 3 inch heel. I cant imagine the courage it took to fight him in court...or even share this story. I'm sorry.

Vernacular said...

You wrote about staying in Chicago because of the strangers who help, about that woman who held your hands toward heat while you cried.

You are totalled, but there are so many of us who are strangers, who want to help you a little, to heal you a little or a lot if we can.

I can't imagine what makes a baby grow up to be a rapist.

But I can imagine you, a strong, wise lawyer, bringing justice where you experienced a lack of it.

Your story has been in my mind for days.

I wish you a million kind Chicago strangers. And a few wonderful, close friends.

Laughing said...

I know that this won't change anything but: Thank You. Thank you for being brave enough to report. Thank you for having the perseverance to endure the endless exams, the questioning, the repeating your story. Thank you for being courageous enough to go through with pressing charges. Thank you for having the strength to testify. I was too afraid, too ashamed, and too defeated, so from those of us who have been there - and especially from me - thank you.

You survived. You survived the attack and the onslaught since then. And now? You get to decide how you will rebuild yourself. You should know that even though your case didn't win, your story helps me to rebuild. Your courage helps me remember how strong I am to have survived what I did. So, I hope you can find something that helps you to rebuild in the way that you've helped me.

Shelley said...

Hi, Grace:

I am an attorney in OR who represents victims of sexual assault and abuse in civil cases, and I just found your blog. What a post to start with: it's incredibly strong and shows a completely healthy reaction to what happened. You are brave and strong and powerful, and it will be OK, but it will take time.

Whenever you can think about it, consider a civil case. Seriously.

virgo1sign said...

Grace, Honey, you know I love you so so so much. There is cabin in Oregon with our names on it. You are not alone.
Love,
Magic vag

Overflowing Brain said...

So I'm lucky comment number 42.

If nothing else, the fact that you have 42 comments on this post should be a big deal. Because 42 people care that this happened to you and in NO WAY think it's okay.

Frankly, for what happened, I think you are kicking ass at life right now. Because I would've laid down and quit. I would've. But you are a strong person. And that doesn't mean you're not entitled to be hurt or damaged by this experience, but know that you're kicking ass at handling it. This doesn't come with an instruction manual.

I was sexually assaulted in college and I didn't even report it. I wish I could go back and do things differently, but I can't. At the very least you did what you were supposed to do. And maybe the fuckface cab driver will change his ways. Maybe you affected change.

If not, then you should definitely just go around punching people in the nuts. Because I think that eventually that really will make you feel better. Truly.

If I could give you whore hugs I would, know that I've been thinking about you and I wish so extremely, that this had turned out differently. I really do.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow - I am a criminal defense lawyer too. I wonder what I would do if I ever had the occasion to defend a rape case. I hope I am not an asshole. I will chant to myself "Remember Grace, Remember Grace, Remember Grace".

Hellafied said...

The thing is that here platitudes won't help. Silver linings won't help. There is nothing that will reassure you that these horrible people will get what's coming to them. And I get it. It's why the blinds stay shut. It's why you feel helpless. And lost.

You know what Grace, just be you. I know you and you're wonderful. It's the only thing you can control in this endlessly frustrating and senseless world. Be you in the face of ambivalence. That is your fight.

It's hard enough to get by everyday pushing toward a smile, start all over and try again WITHOUT something like this happening to you.

But that smile is not dependent on this moment. YOU get to choose what makes it happen and more importantly what won't make you frown. It's the beautiful irony of life all at once knowing that you can control your destiny.

Just be you and happiness and peace and certainty will eventually force those corners of your mouth up into a smile. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next week.

But when it does happen I hope for its permanence.

Hang in there and keep writing about it! It works.

Isabel said...

Hey, I just wanted to say I know how you feel. I was raped over a year ago and I have NO case against the rapist.
I hate the fact that he is still out there living his life, smug and secure in the knowledge that he got away with it. I hate that he will never have to pay for what he did, and that I maybe could have changed that.
But to use an old line of my mum's "the best revenge is to be happy". Because in however many years time when he's lying on his death bed, looking at his grandkids, all the shitty things he did are going to come crawling out of the woodwork to lay one hell of a guilt trip on him. Maybe he's even wondering if some bastard will treat his daughter the way he treated other women. And the likes of you and me will only have to worry about the time we walked out of a shop without paying for something by mistake :)

Tokidoki said...

Hey, I wanted to say I understand to. My rapist was never prosecuted, I never reported it, there's no evidence. Knowing that he doesn't care and gets away with it, while I'm suffering like hell is the worst. It's just this big gaping abyss of hopelessness that turns the world upside down. I'm not even in college yet, but I'm pretty sure I want to be a prosecutor of sex crimes. I'd hate to reassure you by saying he feels guilty, because most rapists don't. Mine never did.

The only advice I can offer you is to be angry-you have every right to be. If you see that shithead lawyer, flip him off while his back's turned. When you're alone, scream and yell about everything that happened to you, about the injustice, and beat the crap out of a pillow or throw ice cubes in a bathtub. (Odd suggestion, but someone gave it to me once and it helped.)

You're incredibly strong for reporting, testifying, and surviving to this day. Keep on truckin'. :D

Sigh said...

This is dispiriting. I'm sure it won't help you at all, but I've just had a holy shit moment... because it also had not occurred to me that when the man who raped me goes to court over it, he might be found not guilty (I keep thinking that they HAVE to convict when they see pics of the bruises, but it sounds like that is not the case...).

Maybe I can figure out a way to prepare myself emotionally for that? Maybe, once you've started to heal a bit, once you've had time to rebuild a bit, and recover a bit, you could suggest what might have helped you to prepare?

bookmoth said...

You don't know me. I was in a situation similar to yours. I was raped. I had witnesses. I was drunk, and the man who raped me was a security guard appointed to "protect" me until I got sober. A woman walked in on us and saw everything. The law in the state I was in said that since I had voluntarily gotten myself drunk (even drunk to the point of being sick, having blackouts, having a doctor examine me and a guard dedicated to watching me) since I never lost consciousness, I was able to consent.

Despite 2 months of trying, I was not allowed to press charges. I couldn't have a criminal trial.

What I could do, and what I am doing, is filing civil charges.

This comment is a very long-winded way of saying, talk to a lawyer and ask about filing civil charges. The process isn't as mentally intense as a criminal case, so I think you'll be up for it, and since the evidence doesn't need to be as overwhelming, you have a better chance of winning and getting that personal satisfaction of having people agree that yes, something wrong occurred here and should be fixed.

Just because the criminal trial is over doesn't mean your quest for justice should be.

I get deposed in about a week. I'm scared as hell.

Please, look into civil action.

bookmoth

Tish said...

I'm totally late in catching up on my blogs obviously, and I don't have anything to say other than, "Shit, Grace, I'm sorry."

But shit Grace, I'm sorry.

Tish said...

Also, I have apparently had too much wine since I just realized that I commented with my real name rather than my blogger name.

Suffice to say, the comment above came from a blogger you have read at times.

Anonymous said...

Stay strong -- time helps.

And I'm willing to punch that sleazy guy in the nuts too -- he better never show up at the hospital I work in.