I title this “The Darkness” because I have few clear memories of the months after the pre-trial hearing was postponed. I learned that my new hearing would be THREE MONTHS later on April 22. Never did I think I’d have to wait that long, and when Valentino conveyed this to me, I was crushed. I had been so close to relief from so many fears and worries, and the opportunity had been snatched from my grasp at the last second. That uncomfortable, gnawing feeling you get when you are waiting to hear on something you want to know very badly, was now going to last three more months.
I know I have written a lot about the highs and lows of – by this point in my blog – 14 months of the experience since the day I was assaulted. But there were mini-devastations along the way and I want to be honest about that. I am not going to sit here and say this was a cake walk. God, I hope I’ve not made it seem that way. But three months was such a blow.
More than anything, I wanted to know when I’d be able to eat again like a normal person. I wanted to know when my brain would stop cycling through all the scenarios that awaited me. And I wanted people to stop yelling at me to eat as if I was doing it on purpose. At 5′ 10, I was a size 4, and still heading south. My big, athletic frame was gone, and I didn’t think I’d make it another four months without serious health issues. I lacked proper nutrition and I was fatigued. My gym workouts were lifeless and the worst part is that I cried every morning when I woke and every night. I have always been rock solid in temperament and very spirited. But as my Mom told me, my spark was gone. My parents watched their daughter’s spirit finally start to break, and there was nothing they could do to help me.
I debated a lot with myself about sharing this but being authentic is, in my mind, the responsible thing to do for any victim reading this. It would be unfair and inconsistent to stop now. As awful as it sounds, there was never a time I didn’t realize or ACCEPT that all of this was what I had signed on for when I decided to pursue Marco. In a weird way, it was a breaking down of everything I had believed or been led to believe about myself and it was an opportunity to right the ship.
As a desperate act of self-preservation, I did two things: I called one of my most cherished mentors and asked to visit her as soon as she’d have me because I knew she would help put me back together. And then I booked a vacation for myself to Charleston, S.C. for a week after the pre-trial date. I figured whatever the outcome, the best place for me to be would be away, by myself, face down on a beach.