You’re in the Driver’s Seat

You’re in the Driver’s Seat

“You’re in the driver’s seat”  My detective told me, for at least the 10th time.
“You can decide how we are going to handle this”

Sticking with the car analogy – if I was in the driver’s seat, it was a shitty car. The breaks didn’t work and there was no power steering. The windows didn’t open; if they did I would have crawled out.

I understand why he said it, and he even explained it. “You’ve been in a situation where you had no control. I want you to know that you are in control of this process. You can decide how far we take this. I’m working for you”.  But it was a lie. It was the kind of lie your hiking guide tells you when you’re crying halfway up the mountain – “Just a little farther”.  If you knew it was going to be another 4 hours in the pouring rain you would just go home. They need to lie to keep you going.

The whole process was filled with hurry-up and wait.
In the beginning things were happening so fast… “Can you come in tomorrow to give a statement?”
“In 3 days we need you to go to a police station to identify a photo lineup.”

Then nothing for 2 weeks. I called for an update and didn’t get an answer.
In mid May, “When can you come in for a secondary statement?”

Then there was nothing for 15 months.

I tried contacting the crown prosecutor myself – not advisable. She was rude, probably overworked, and had no idea who I was despite the fact that my life was in shambles and she was the only one who could make it better (so much for the driver’s seat). I spoke with a civil lawyer and any police officers, detectives, or social workers who would listen to me. They all said the same thing. “You just need to wait. This is a long process. No news is good news.”

(No news is not good news. No news is no news.)

Fast forward to September 20, 2013. The worst phone call I have ever received.
“I got some information back from the crown prosecutor, and I would like to meet with you about it. When can you come in?” It was Friday at 10:30am.

I hung up the phone and dead-eye stared at my computer screen for 10 minutes. I zombie-walked down to my friend’s office and sat down without saying a word. She was sure I had seen my attacker – “you look like you’ve seen a ghost. Do I need to call someone?”
“No. My detective called. They have a decision about the charges. I need to go”

I sat with him in the same interview room we had been in twice before. I vomited as soon as we sat down.

“We are not moving forward. There is not a probable chance of conviction. The crown prosecutor wanted me to apologize to you. She told me it was a hard decision to make.”

I don’t even remember any of the words he said after that. I am sure there are several reasons why they were not moving forward but all I could think about was the 8 hours I spent in the hospital. I was thinking about how it took weeks for the bruising to disappear. I was thinking about how I was still having panic attacks and living in fear. I still to this day wonder what more they could have been looking for. I was physically beat up, there are hospital records to prove it. I still have neck problems.

I didn’t ask any questions. I went home and sat on my couch, silent, for hours.
Over the next weeks and months I did so much research and learned that this is it. The end. There are no further steps I can take. I am living in a nightmare for the foreseeable future, and he just walks away unscathed.

If that’s the driver’s seat, I would like to leave the car.  




Hi! I'm Elizabeth, a blogger on When You're I spent 2 years struggling with PTSD and panic attacks following a violent attack. I want to use my experience and my voice to raise support for others. I desperately want to make the world a safer place for girls and women, especially my two little sisters. Keep talking, Keep sharing. When You're Ready, I'll be here.