Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful #37a

Ten Things of Thankful

Words. Sometimes they are hard to find and after my week, they are scarce. My mind is numb.

I was so proud of Ase and the weekend with him was wonderful. I knew the week would be less productive because of recovery. I planned for it. (1)The one great gift fibromyalgia has given me is the ability to care for myself. Picture it resting under a cork tree- like Ferdinand the Bull- until a bee stings it. Then I make time to rest so Fibro Ferdinand can settle down to again smell the flowers.

So it was with a hesitant wince that I called the Jury Services line. Hoping my services would not be needed, and they (2) weren't on Monday. I was able to rest.

Jury Services needed me on Tuesday instead. I understand the importance of this civic duty. Justice is important to me. (3) Never the less, I get anxious every time. I mentally walk through the scenarios preparing myself for the worst. With strategies in place and feeling a little better, I went.

Photo taken by kconnors

It wasn't long before my name was called for a large pool of jurors. We all settled into the courtroom and the judge began. He started by saying this jury selection was going to be very different. He then gave us a summation of the case- the person was accused of sexually assaulting three juvenile girls: explained with all the correct anatomical words.

The exact thing that was done to me as a child.

A flashback started, Divine Love overwhelmed me and (4) I recognized what was happening.Years of work kicked in:  I reminded myself that I was here. That was then, that is not now. (5) I felt the security and voices of an online group of PTSD survivors I've been a part of telling me, “It’s not real. This is their trial. It’s not about you.”  (6) Then the practice of yoga. “Feel the chair. Feel the floor. Breathe the air. Look at the walls. Be in this moment.”

I stayed present. I didn't loose my shit. I felt rattled still, but overwhelmingly safe.

Those of us who either had a potential work issue-as it was to be a long trial-or could answer “yes” to four questions:
Have you ever been a victim?
Do you know anyone who was a victim?
Have you ever been accused of?
Do you know anyone who has been accused?

Photo taken by JessicaGale
We were to wait in the hallway and one at a time be questioned by the judge. Walking out of the courtroom I took an (7) anxiety pill.

Over 30 people stood in the hallway.

I struck up a conversation with a gregarious oil field worker. (8) He was loaded with charm and opinions. It was easy to distract myself with his talk about anything manner. Next to me in a chair a woman sat. Quiet and small, I noticed her eyes were leaking. Then tears began to drop. I glanced again and she was struggling. (9) I bend down next to her and told her to breathe. As I smoothed her arm, her cheeks were flooded. I suggested she go to the front of the line and see the judge. Visibly shaken and afraid I was making things worse, I stood up and gave her some space.

A few moments later she was no better. I asked if she wanted to go in next and she simply nodded. I asked if she would like me to help out. She nodded.

So I used that pent-up anxiety energy (10) to good use and boldly told the men at the front of the line that she needed to go next. I held my ground as those around awkwardly looked on. When the bailiff came out, I explained it to him and sent her in.
Photo taken by southernfried

When my turn finally came, I simply told him-with few tears- my experience and its consequences. He interrupted me gently and said, “Do we all agree?” They did and I was excused. I felt no shame. I felt no injustice to my experience. I did not feel victimized again.

I felt strong. Whole. Thankful. Knowing the scar is still there, but the wound, finally is almost healed. I was able to keep my mental integrity and help someone else through it.

A Mother Life


  1. HOORAY for not losing your shit! And I love that you focused the anxiety into the courage to tell the men to move. Great list of thankfuls!

  2. What a strong story of using the tools you have learned, and also standing up to help someone else. I know your presence and help were a real blessing to the woman who was so upset.

  3. That's such a huge, huge, HUGE Thankful, Rebecca, and I'm so pleased you used your own strength and partial healing to help someone else with hers.

    That. Is. HEROIC. And you rock. I think you might even win the TToT this week.

    Glad you didn't have to do jury service. Ouf!

  4. Very nicely done. To take the inner turmoil and transform it (in part, in partial aspect) of an action that helped another… nothing could be made better of your situation than to do that.

  5. Way to not lose your shit and even put it to some needed and incredible use! Awesome achievement! You have arrived! Staying there is not always easy but you did it with a serious sense of grace! congrats and thanks for helping another along the path.

  6. Thank you for the affirmations and love. ALL OF YOU!!! My heart is warm and my courage emboldened. It felt really good to do something with that fight/flight response. I feel like I got another piece of myself back through the whole thing.

  7. I'm in awe of your amazing strength, courage, and grace.


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