Back in January my father was arrested for setting fire to his ex girlfriend’s house down in Florida. At the time it broke my heart, seeing him go to jail. However it had happened before. He had been in jail for a short time, and then he always found a way out. Part of me figured that this time would be just like all those others. My brain couldn’t process the fact that he may be there for an extremely long time.
It’s now November, and there have been countless pre-trials and hearings in the last 10 months. And still nothing has been decided. My father is still sitting in that cell, and we still don’t have closure. I’ve been waiting and waiting to find out how long he’s going to be stuck there. Even if they say it’s for the rest of his life…there will be a sense of relief. It’s not knowing anything that’s just tearing me apart. They say everyone has the right to a speedy trial…but honestly I think that’s all a load of crap. There’s nothing speedy about making everyone wait around for over a year just to start the trial.
I check the court dockets down there religiously, just hoping for some kind of information. I can’t call down there to find out, and I’m trying to keep his family out of the middle…but I have to know. And two days ago, they finally posted the date for the start of his trial. March 27th, 2012. It makes me sick to think about it.
These things get stretched out all the time…look at any highly publicized court case. Great example…Michael Jackson died over 2 years ago…yet the trial surrounding his death is still going on. Matter of fact, the verdict is supposed to come out today. So I guess this all shouldn’t be shocking to me. It will be just over 14 months since my father was arrested by the time he goes to trial. And that’s saying that he actually goes on the day they’re claiming. With our luck, I’m sure it will be rescheduled.
I feel like I can’t calm down until it’s all decided. I try so hard to better myself, and learn from the things that are happening. I’ve been trying to move on from it all and not let it get to me. But I’m not sure I’ll be able to, as hard as I try. I need to know…I need the closure that comes with the end of court. Not necessarily because I want to know how long he’ll be in jail (which of course is part of it). But also because I need someone to finally tell him no. I need to see that for once this judicial system isn’t completely screwed up…and will stand up to criminals. I need justice for once in my life. He didn’t burn my house down…but he’s hurt me and my loved ones more times than I can count. I want him to finally serve the time for it.
And as I sit here I’m going all psychologist on myself. This sounds crazy to me, but I know it’s true. I need a judge to say that my father is guilty…because if he does…that will mean that this isn’t my fault. I know I didn’t put the gasoline in his hand, I know I didn’t start the fire…but part of me still blames myself for the situation. Crazy I know. But my father has spent a long time programming my brain to make all of his actions my fault. And I’m still working on not thinking like that.
So I guess it’s only 4 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days…until I have a chance of regaining my sanity. Not that anyone’s counting.