Well ... after months of frustration, confusion, and prayer, Court Day for Red finally happened. I was a ball of stress yesterday. Like most, the unknown is what terrorizes me most. The closer it got to time to leave, the more my stomach turned into giant knots.
For those of you that are new here, and as a refresher for others, Red had two charges pending against him in criminal court: one count of domestic battery (the fight with me) and one count of fraudulent use of a debit card (my dad's). It didn't matter what was going to happen when we got there, it was going to suck. I *knew* it was going to suck. But, I guess I just wasn't prepared for the level of suck it was going to be. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever experienced a level of sucktastic as we went through yesterday.
If you haven't read the whole story, it starts HERE and continues for two additional posts.
For the past few months, when my father and I have discussed the circumstances, we have agreed that this entire situation is sad and difficult, but it would be important for Red to experience the consequences of his actions. When we got to court, the prosecutor had informed me that the entire time, my dad had been calling her office repeatedly, trying to get the fraud charges against Red dropped. I was so frustrated. Look, I don't *want* to see my kid in trouble - no mother does! But, I have held closely to the fact that if you're going to go against the grain, you gotta face the music that comes along with it. Red has a narcissistic trait that makes him feel like he's above reproach, and that is one of the biggest reasons I needed to follow through with this, and I thought my dad had agreed. Apparently not. I was upset that he had lied to me - telling me the entire time that he was going to follow through with the charges, all while hounding the state. I was also upset with his reasoning. He testified on the record that Red is his "sole heir" and because everything he has is Red's anyway, there's no reason at all why Red can't just go ahead and spend his money. SERIOUSLY?!? What about the four pages of insufficient funds charges, and the fact that Hubby and I had to buy his groceries for two weeks because of the hole Red dug him into? I guess that doesn't mean anything. I know, I sound bitter. Well ... I AM bitter. How in the world am I supposed to teach Red to be honest and have integrity when his own grandfather turns 180's like a figure skater and lies to judges?
After we got through that catastrophe, it was time to deal with the domestic battery case. Oy. I just ... I just ... I don't have words. The prosecutor offered Red a deal, and he decided to refuse it. Which meant we were going to go to trial. Seriously? I was heart-broken. I just couldn't even conceive how bad this was going to be. Until ... it got worse. I was patiently waiting for the judge's assistant to give us a date when the trial would be. And then, suddenly, I realized ... it wasn't going to be scheduled - it was going to happen RIGHT NOW.
Wait ... what? Are you kidding me? Um ... ok. Here we go. I almost had a nervous breakdown right there. I was very thankful for the prosecutor though. She squeezed my hand, and went to work. Hubby and Dad had to leave because they were potential witnesses. I felt very alone. Hubby had been a real Prince the entire time, not leaving my side, arm around me for support ... and I watched him walk out the door. I took a deep breath, and then remembered I wasn't alone. Not really. Hubby wasn't there to hold my hand, but God was with me. I was still very concerned, but I knew that whatever was going to happen, things would be alright.
The prosecutor called the investigating police officer first. He spoke about the marks on my arm and on my back. The defense attorney, on cross, tried to rise reasonable doubt that Red caused the marks, that maybe they were caused by the paramedics or the hospital staff, but he stayed strong. Then, it was my turn. I couldn't look at Red. I knew if I did, I would cave. So, I stared straight at the prosecutor. I had to recount the entire evening. I hated it. Every last second of it. I'm so grateful to the prosecutor, though, as she was very kind. Then the defense attorney had her shot, and she was SO frustrating. I have to admit, I wasn't as nice to her, and at one point, I even got somewhat rude. She was still trying to create a hypothesis that it was anyone but Red that could have caused the bruising. At that precise moment, she was trying to get me to say that the radiologist would have to grab my arm and twist it into place in order to get x-rays done. I said, "First of all, I'm pretty good at following directions, and put my arm where the man told me. Secondly, I don't think that either one of us are trained radiologists and know how they do their job." It was rude, I'll admit it. I'll also admit to feeling a bit smug, especially because she was stunned. I threw her off her game and off her rhythm. It felt good.
Then, the prosecutor called Hubby, and rested. Then the defense attorney called my dad. Which was important, because he was the only other witness. While some of the smaller, more insignificant details were murky, he got all of the rest of them right. I sat behind Red during their testimony. I watched him shake his head. I watched him scribble notes frantically to his attorney. I watched him slump in his chair. It broke my heart. I was completely torn.
The judge ruled against Red. The sentence he got was slightly heavier than the original deal the prosecutor offered him. One year supervised probation, 50 hours of community service, counseling, family counseling, anger management, curfew, an apology letter to me (no less than 250 words), and an essay on familial relations (500 words). He was so angry, and I was completely heart broken.
I knew walking into that courtroom yesterday that I was facing a lose/lose situation. It wasn't like I was facing some big bad meanie - I was facing my son. My baby. Fourteen years have passed, but I still see his bright orange hair and gray eyes looking up at me as I tie his shoes or read books to him. I camped with him in Cub Scouts. I rocked him to sleep at night. My baby. But it was more miserable than I had been prepared for. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to say it enough ... I love my boy. With every single breath I take, with every fiber of my being, I love this child. I have hopes and dreams for him, and I pray every single day that I'm able to help him realize those dreams. I pray that he doesn't hate me forever for having him punished this way. I pray that one day he understands that I wanted him to understand that life is hard, and to be an upstanding man, you have to be accountable for all of your actions.
Today has been hard, trying to figure it all out, trying to discern how I feel. I'm crushed. I'm scared for Red. I'm annoyed at my dad. But I know that God will use every one of these moments for His glory. Someday.