The jury duty case that rocked my core

I can assume that anyone who has been called into jury duty might have the same reaction as me, “why did I get picked?? And why does it have to be on a day that I’m working?? And how did they ever find me?!” I was picked once before but that was when I was moving so I didn’t have to attend it because I was getting married and moving. So, to say the least I was not looking forward to it.

My husband, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of me. He enjoys jury duty and boasts all the time about the case he ended up hanging the jury on the verdict. He didn’t understand my apprehension, repeating over and over again, “it’s just jury duty!

I tried to come at it from a good angle but failed miserably. I arrived in the room where people were stacked upon people for the case. My assessment of everyone else was that they hadn’t quite packed like I had for it, I had my backpack, a book, my iPad, water, and snacks. The day before I had worn out my introverted self by dancing and going to a party so I was more than happy to lose myself in the book I had brought.

They started to call names and we all filtered into the room one by one. I kept saying to myself please don’t call my name, and I was almost in the clear… Until my name was the last one they called. There was a ton of us in there, and you couldn’t tell anything about the case.

The judge tried to get things rolling a little more light hearted, and I knew that this case was something big. Then, she ended up saying it, in a muffled voice, “aggravated sexual assault of a child (less than 6 years old).”

The reaction was immediate from all of us, but from me I felt like I had been run over by a bus. My heart started racing, my breathing changed, and my head kept on saying just not this, I can’t be here. They went into the explanation of sexual assault, and I saw one girl ahead of me on the verge of something. She was experiencing a reaction like me, and she was trying to fight it and was losing the battle.

Her hand shot up and in tears she said that she couldn’t do this case, that she had been molested by her uncle. I knew it from her face that she had a personal experience like me, and my heart went out to her. I just wanted to hug her, to take away that experience from her. Of course, I can’t, and then they ended up asking the question soon afterwards of who else had experienced a friend or family member that had been sexually abused.

There was a mother where her daughter had been molested all of her life without ever telling anyone. Another and another and another, so many stories, going row by row and people showing their jury numbers to be called upon. The girl who had experienced it herself raised her hand again, and then I knew I had to do it. I didn’t want to, certainly not in front of seventy other people, but I just felt sick, sad, upset, and most of all, angry.

I raised my number, was called upon, took a deep breath and stared down. I wanted to speak clearly because they were asking everyone telling their stories to repeat it since they couldn’t hear us. I was not going to repeat this again, and I told myself just don’t cry.

“Well…” I started, taking that one deep breath, “I have been sexually abused as a child, a teenager and adult.” The prosecutor asked me by whom, and I said I would never talk about it, but it’s been by multiple men in my life. They asked where, if it was the same area they had court, and I told them back where I used to live. My voice was cracking severely as I spoke, I couldn’t cover up the emotion pouring out from my body. I felt so raw, like I was completely exposed and naked to everyone.

All I kept on thinking about was this little girl, and when it first started with me. How there wasn’t anyone who believed me when I told them what had happened. The years I’ve spent trying to trick myself that I’m okay, and that this is just the past.

But, it didn’t feel like the past, it felt like the present and I couldn’t escape it. I sat through the entire jury duty, and the defense presented his case that the child could have lied about it. That she didn’t know the gravity of the situation. I felt the horrible feeling of not being believed for something so horrible myself, and how my entire life has had continuos molestation, sexual abuse, and then in my early twenties I was sexually assaulted. There wasn’t anyone who believed me when I told them about it, and then when I was sexually assaulted I was blamed for what had happened.

All I want is for this little girl to be okay, and for this to never happen to her again. I want her to be safe and protected, and I never want it to keep happening to her like it did with me. I just feel these overwhelming feelings of sorrow, grief, and most of all what I felt in that court room was anger.

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Family isn’t just a word

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have an uncle and aunt who technically aren’t my aunt and uncle, yet I’ve always seen them that way. And, for a while now, I feel like I’ve been playing a childhood game where I can pretend that they are my family, even though we aren’t, because they’ve made me feel like family. These two people have made me feel special, and like I was important, since I was a little girl and I’d honestly hardly ever see them.

It wasn’t until the trip where my husband finally met them that I realized I wasn’t playing a childhood game of pretending. It was real, and not only did they call me their niece but they were also super proud of it. It was a unique and awesome concept, being able to show my husband some of my family that had adopted me in. We had so much fun spending time with them, a lot of laughs, and I appreciated the time we got to spend with them.

214Now, I will be traveling back to visit them with my brother, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. My brother has asked me since I was a teenager if I wanted to travel with him to visit my uncle and aunt and I’ve just never felt I could do it. There was the difficulty of getting the time off, not getting paid for taking the time off, getting someone to cover me, and the cost of the plane ticket on top of everything else. Yet, I feel like since my move my husband and I have made a year ago I am more daring, and luckily, have an easier time getting time off to travel. This trip was pre-planned before I found out my husband would be losing his job so it takes on a deeper level of being around family during this time.

My brother has always been someone I’ve looked to for guidance in really tough times, much more so than my mother or father. My mother likes to look at me for reassurance, and so does my father, so I’ve come to lean on my brother for our rare serious conversations. There may be no serious conversations, only fun, since I will be hanging out with him and my uncle and aunt. I haven’t been laughing very much lately, truly laughing, and with being a rather positive, funny, and upbeat person it’s been hitting me.

018And, of course since I am a happy go lucky type of person everyone around me is aware of the change if I don’t cover it up carefully or if I’m not busy I will just be thinking too much of the ‘what ifs.’ When I’m thinking intensely I am one of those people who frowns or looks slightly angry so I’ve been trying my best to be preoccupied which is easiest when I’m massaging.

I thought of canceling the trip to meet up with my brother where we’d spend the time with our aunt and uncle when I found out my husband is being furloughed. I told myself it wasn’t right to be traveling, to be on vacation, to be laughing, when something so serious is going on. My husband, of course, insisted that I go and that I needed it. Truth be told there’s been a number of years I have wished I could have traveled with my brother to visit our aunt and uncle, yet, I just couldn’t and now I have the chance to. I just got back from a trip and ended up getting sick from that so I’m trying to recuperate as best as I can.

I want to lean on family during this time of uncertainty and I am going to try my best to. I’m not the type of person to let people know what’s going on in my head, what I’m struggling with, but hopefully it will be a relief and what I need.

My husbands job is furloughed

If you asked me if I knew it was coming, honestly, I’d say I felt it and knew that this would be the outcome. I got back from a trip with my mom and something was slightly off about my husband and I could sense it but I thought I was crazy. He took me aside when we’d brought up my luggage and I met him in his room as he told me he had something to say. I immediately stated that didn’t sound good, yet I never imagined how serious it would be.

His job is being furloughed. After many lows and very little highs they are letting him go at the end of the year since they won’t need his position. Tears started streaming down my face and I started crying, he held me as I shook and sobbed in the bed together. My worst fear is for him to lose his job, because I’ve never made enough money for the both of us and not having money is one of my biggest fears and I know this. He is so specific with his field that its hard enough to place him in a job position, so very quickly my world crashed around me.

I’ve been blessed as a kid, teenager, and an adult, that my parents have only lost a job once that I remember, even though they fought about money every day. I’ve never had to face this before, though the year of me searching for a job once I moved definitely put a lot of fear in me of the reality of how difficult it can be to be hired.

My rational side of me says to calm down, that everything must happen for a reason. There is some plan with what happened, there is hopefully an opportunity, a better one, waiting for us at the end of this. If this opportunity is waiting for us, I keep questioning how long we will struggle for it, if we have the money to survive, pay bills, and have food on our table. I can’t even imagine if the opportunity of something better not being there because it is a dark road I do not want to look down, or travel. I was really hoping for things to level out, get easier at least, with my finding a job, yet it’s not meant to be.

If there is anything I have faith in its my husband and I. I love him, and through all of our trials and difficulties it just has to make us stronger. I guess this is the time in my life to struggle, to really struggle, and I’ve taught myself slowly but surely to lean on my husband more over the years. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, every amazing, and crummy thing in our lives is there for us to grow, become stronger, or learn something new about us. So, it’s just been a lot to go through and I just have to trust my husband and hope this will lead us to a better path. I just don’t want there to be too many rocks, sticks, and obstacles for us to stumble over first.

My Unintended Starvation Plan

Maybe I'm going to look like this eventually...

So, the past few days as you can tell from the lack of blog posts have been pretty damn awful and it’s only today where I think I may be on the mend (hopefully) but I thought this on Sunday and then got terribly worse yesterday. Friday and Saturday were basically days where I was incapacitated. I was so bad on Friday that they called around for a massage therapist to cover my shift the next day and called me off. I was really bad yesterday so they have me coming in later for some of my clients who pre-booked with me, but gave me the morning/afternoon to sleep in.

I also have entered into an unintended starvation plan because of being so sick. I haven’t been hungry, I haven’t felt like eating, and mainly have been eating soup for the past few days. I can’t taste anything, even with my nose cleared, and have been forcing myself to eat but with little success.

Mainly I just want to sleep, and yesterday I sounded better than my worst day but my breathing was off, I felt very exhausted, and my head was killing me. Every time I go through something traumatic in my life, like clockwork, I get severely sick at the same time. And, I’m not talking about your every day cold where you get a stuffy nose and slight cough, but you take some DayQuil and it’s all good. No, what I go through just destroys me, and I know it’s because of that huge thing in my life and the stress I’m in just makes my body a perfect breeding ground for that perfect storm.

I know I need to let go of the stress, and I know I need to try to not control everything, but the man will be moving next week and I need to move out of our apartment and back in with my folks. I’m really upset, and I think I’m finally coming to terms that this is happening and I’ve been trying to pack and then I got hit with this cold from hell, or whatever it is. I rarely let him take care of me, yet I haven’t had a choice lately and he’s taken the best care of me the past few days.

I’m not used to depending upon anyone, and I’ve come to depend on him and I’m just going to miss him so much while we’re separated.  I’ve made my decision that this is what is going to happen, he will move down there and I will follow him after the wedding, but it just doesn’t make it any easier to go through.

Crying over Spilled Martinis

Do you need a hug? Says the overstuffed kitty.

So, we had our work meeting, our end of the year annual one where we go through everything. And though I didn’t win as many awards as last year, I still ended up getting emotional (once I got home, of course).

Two chocolate martinis, one champagne, and one vodka and cranberry did not help this. Being given on top of those drinks four more drink tickets didn’t add well to the situation either but I resisted the alcohol. With all of that stuff in my system I cooled down, drove home just fine but ended up getting back and having everything hit me. A work scrapbook of all of the pictures from our year we had in 2011 didn’t help and a card made out to me with some sweet stuff did not sweeten the deal.

I became a bawling mess. I mean, I’ve cried over this move and losing my job, obviously, but this time it was hard to keep it in at our meeting which of course the alcohol didn’t help the situation. I faked it like a champ until I got home and then broke down once he asked me what was wrong. I feel better now that I’ve let it out for the time being. One of the girls who I knew from work, who is hilarious when she drinks, insisted on me coming with her to a local bar for more drinking.

Her insistence sounded like this, “I’m going to buy you a drink there so shut up and come with me to the bar!” I turned her down and headed home to try to take it easy and blubber like a baby once the man asked me what was wrong. Plus, I had enough drinks that I waited until I sobered up before I came home and paid special attention to the road.

Our meeting was fun, but kind of draining for me at the same time. I’m thinking of maybe asking some of the girls to go out with me before the cat comes out of the bag, which won’t be for months.

Hormones are a dangerous thing

Hormones make you want to crawl into a hole...

I have the cutest, sweetest, client who comes to see me and she used to see me more often but their financial fund kind of dried up. She’s just one of those people who you meet and you’re kind of like “You can’t be for real… I never knew someone like you could exist!” Just as sweet as marshmallow fluff,  and so we’ve gotten to know a little about each other over time. She’s one of those few clients I discuss a little of my life with her, and she does the same with me. The last time I was really concerned about her because she came in my room and started crying, and it truly did kind of break my heart.

When she told me why, it really broke and then tore my heart still beating onto the ground.

She and her husband are trying to have a baby. But, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it is sounds. She has the same thing that I have: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I was diagnosed with it just when I was a teenager, I’ve been on birth control pills ever since. It’s where there are a ring of cysts encircling the ovaries. When they found out about it I had a cyst the size of my ovary, or bigger, that I continued to have for 2 years. Being put on birth control pills was rough, I went through different brands that made me physically sick and the patch which made me want to scratch my skin off and like it was burning my skin at the same time. I’ve gone off birth control (of course, before dating anyone) with no success. I can’t be regulated without it, I’ve tried and failed.

My client tried to get pregnant the natural way, but had to resort to hormone injections. And, they were just making it too much for her to handle that day. It makes you feel pregnant with all of the side effects and just really is like, what I would think, being dosed with steroids.

I want her to get pregnant so badly. I know she wants it so terribly, and I find it so heartbreaking. She’s only a client of mine, but since the last time I saw her I was worrying about her. She was so funny when she came in, she said she was craving Mexican food and Mexican music. She told me she thought maybe, possibly, she might just be pregnant. And I want her to be. I wish I could make it happen because you can see it in her face, and even feel it in her body she has been working so hard to make this work. My client would be such a wonderful mother since she is so sweet, and I could see her spoiling her little boy/girl like crazy.

My client even asked me, since she was really thinking maybe, possibly, she might be pregnant if the massage might hurt it. If I was early in my career I would scared to do it, because I don’t want to do anything to mess it up. But, massage can be done in any period of the pregnancy, and I’ve had tons of experience doing it from the first, second, and third trimester. We talked about her family this time, and her husband’s family, who she loves, is going to drive up from god knows where to get bring her craving for Mexican food home to her.

It’s such a fine line to tread… I want to ask her if she is pregnant the next time I see her, but I will be so heartbroken again if it’s not true. I’m going to let her take the initiative, she knows I’m so rooting for her. If she comes back and says she’s pregnant, I don’t care if I’m in a Spa, I am going to leap for joy, make a ruckus, and I’m hugging her. It would definitely make my day to find that out! I feel like she’s meant to be a mother, and she’d make a wonderful one.