Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A very bad day in Jury Duty

I have had a very bad day at the Jury Duty thing.

I was assigned to a voir dere and was seated in chair No.9 (in the box) and made through the swearing in and all, but after we returned from lunch the judge read the indictment and my heart began to race and my flesh went stone cold.

There are some things that are so horrific that we push them to the back of the recesses of our minds. Things we don't want to remember and things better left undisturbed. The reading of the charges against the accused unwrapped a whole lot of bad in my mind.

The accused was up on sexual assault on a 12 year old girl. I was assaulted by an adult when I was a child. Don't ask, I don't want to tell the details anyway. Needless to say, I have very clear boundaries when it comes to the importance of childhood and protecting children from freaks that would do them harm.

I was released from the courtroom on what they call "cause". I returned to the jury room to sign out for the day and the manager made me stop and take a couple deep breaths before I went outside.

I am at once relieved that I won't get to serve, and humiliated that others know the thing that I have tried to keep secret. Talking about being a victim of a sexual assault in a blog, or with your shrink is one thing. To declare in a courtroom in front of your peers is humiliating. I feel unclean. I want to scrub the filth from that event so long ago, and the memory of it that now covers me again.

But, this is why they call it a "voir dere", no? One must "speak the truth" even if it kills just that wee part the soul that protected you from it.

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