I know it's April Fool's day, but I promise you this is no joke.So.
I don't even know where to begin.
I guess I should start at the beginning, right? Isn't that what they always tell you to do? So, here it goes. From the beginning.
Tuesday morning I was called for jury duty. I've never actually had to show up for it before, I usually just call the night before and my number has been dismissed. However, that didn't happen this time, so I trekked my way downtown to the court house at 8:00am. I was herded into the building, told to fill out a form and proceeded to wait for several hours before being called to sit in voir dire. While I don't feel like I have the strength or frame of mind to retell the story of the 2 day ordeal right now, I will most certainly explain the process in a future post.
Instead, right now I just need to get some things out of my brain. But I can't. Because I was chosen to sit on the jury for a trial and as most of you probably know, that means I can't talk about it at all. But, what I do feel is acceptable, is to talk about the emotional toll it's already taken on me.
The trial started immediately after we were sworn in and I was somewhat unprepared for the entire process. While I knew the basics of the case from voir dire, I didn't have time to comprehend or process the idea that I, along with 13 other strangers, would be responsible for deciding someone's fate.
You see things on television, you hear things on the news, and you watch courtroom drama in the movies, but I don't think you're ever truly prepared for it in real life. My first impression would be that I could easily handle this, that it would be fairly simple to detach my emotions from everything and logically decide guilt or innocence based solely on the facts. However, as the gravity of this situation set in that evening after the lawyers gave their opening statements, I began to feel uneasy. Anxious. Nervous.
I immediately called the Captain and he invited me over to his place for dinner. He knew I didn't want to be alone, and I don't think that I can ever truly express how grateful I am that he is in my life. I stayed most of the night. We, along with his roommate, watched a movie that was absurdly silly; the kind of comedy movies that I usually loathe for their blatant ridiculousness, but welcomed last night.
Around midnight I headed home to get some rest before court began the next morning. When I got home, I took a long hot shower and lay in bed for hours. I didn't sleep at all. I couldn't close my eyes without images flashing in my head. I couldn't think about anything other than what had happened, what my responsibilities were, how I would cope with missing classes for 2-3 weeks, (Yes, the trial will take that long. I'm sure you can all reasonably guess as to why that would be) and how I saw so much of my past in the situations I was being forced to intently listen to and impartially judge.
I'm trying. I'm trying with ever fiber of my being.
Ultimately, I believe that this will make me a stronger person. That this is a life experience that few will ever have the opportunity to encounter and I should embrace the way it will transform my life. Because it will transform it; it's already started to...
I know that my emotions aren't about the case, or the people involved,it's about my past and how lucky I am to have survived it. I am so fortunate to have the most wonderful people in my life and I would be devastated without them.
I don't know how I'm going to be able to handle this for the next few weeks if the first three days have already done this to me.
I never expected to have this visceral of a reaction.