I was back in court today. Again.
I was listening to the bail arguments for Haynes. After disappearing into chambers – aka behind the scenes court time – the prosecuting attorney walked out and came straight over to me shaking his head. For whatever reason, the judge decided to let Haynes try probation again.
This is a slightly stricter form of probation known colloquially as house arrest. She’s allowed to go to work and be at home. That’s it. But also, that’s a lot like a normal life, if you have friends over a few times a week. It would be possible to be happy doing that. It would be possible for life to feel kind of normal. Both of those are possibilities I don’t have.
This doesn’t feel like justice.
This process is making me feel voiceless. I’m a loud, assertive, confident person. And this process is making me feel like I have no voice, no say, no sway or influence. Because I don’t. I can’t control any of these proceedings. I can’t change any of the things happening in court. I’m not even allowed to speak during most of these hearings. I just have to sit quietly in the audience side and watch as other people make arguments and talk about how good a person Haynes is. I want to jump up and scream that she will lose in a good-person-off. That the man she killed did more good in his life than she’s done harm. That more people love him than she’s pissed off. I want to argue that the harm she’s done makes her a threat to public safety. I want to point out how flippant she is about the legal system, about the system that is creating the consequences for someone’s death. For Jason’s death.
I want to have a voice. And I don’t.
I’m finally getting angry. Everyone has told me, “It’s ok to be mad,” since the beginning. And I’ve been ok with being mad. But I haven’t been. It’s been too much work to be angry. Why waste energy on a useless emotion? Anger doesn’t get me anything, it doesn’t feel good to do, it doesn’t drive forward any healing. It just rips me open again and lets me stew in impotent emotion. But I think I’m finally getting there and it is just a useless, impotent and painful as I expected. So here we go on another leg of the shit-journey of fucking terribleness.
I want to hate her. To hate her family. That’s where I’m getting angry. I still don’t feel much toward her. But I’m really mad at her family. How can they support her? She fucking killed someone. How can they view her as anything other than that sister that killed someone? How could her parents raise someone so fucking reckless as to run a red light at 60+ mph? How could they raise two people with so little regard for others, because her sister is pretty much as at fault as she is. Not that her sister will ever see legal justice for that.
And yet, I’m also glad she has family support. Because we are pack creatures. We are community creatures. We need other people. And we need other people to hold us responsible, to hold us to standards of excellence that we can’t always hold ourselves to. We need other people to grow and change. And she needs to grow and change. I hope her family is supporting her, and also holding her responsible so that she can grow and change.
Emotions are complex. I can hold both these things at once. I can hold both these things and also the grief, and also the day-to-day knowledge of everything I’ve lost, and also, sometimes, joy. But it is hard. And I’m getting mad about that, too.