Finally after what seemed like a year but what was in reality 5 months since the attack the court date came around. Since the case had started in Essex the case was been held at the Harlow Magistrates Court. I stayed at my mums the night before as we had to be there early.

I was worried about seeing M, and I couldn’t sleep that night. Several times I got up and looked outside to check on my car and then I went downstairs to check the locks. By the time morning came around I was exhausted.

I couldn’t eat I was too nervous so we set off early, and thank god we did as we got caught up in traffic. I have a pet hate for being late and I am generally early to most things so this panicked me further.

We arrived just 5 minutes after the time stated on my letter and found our way to the entrance, my Mum, my brother and T had come with me for support and my Dad meet us there. It was an odd family reunion as my parents don’t get on but they were all there for me and seemed to ignore everything else.

We went in and were lead to the Witness unit, it had a door code and I was assured M was not able to come into this area. However if I wanted the loo I would have to go out into the main hallway and he had access to that.

I decided to not drink anything as I didn’t want to go into the hallway, a man from the Witness care service came to see me and he gently explained the process of the court proceedings. He was very nice and comforting and made things sound a lot easier then I had believed they would be.

Then we waited, after 50 minutes a young lady come in and introduced herself to us as my prosecutor. She seemed very young and as with all magistrates cases she had only received the case file that morning. Despite appearing young she seemed on top of things, she explained we were on 3rd so there would be a bit of a wait so to get comfy and hold tight.

So we sat there, everyone but me trying to make light conversation, I couldn’t talk. My mouth was dry and my empty stomach churned with anxiety. I would be standing in court going over everything he had done to me. Would I remember the order? I was scared they would think I had made it up if I didn’t but there was so much to remember!

I started to panic and suddenly the room seemed stuffy and hot, I needed to go outside for some air but I too scared to leave the witness unit. My brother came and sat next to me and tried to help, eventually he realised why I wouldn’t go outside and he went to check the coast was clear.

He came back and said he had seen M he had been getting chocolate from a vending machine in the hallway but now he had gone inside a room to the right.

Nervously I got up and followed my brother down the hall to the door. I made him check again and when he gave the thumbs up I dashed across the hall, almost tripping over in my rush to be out of the building.

We only stayed outside for a couple minutes, my nerve gave out and I wanted to be in the secure unit again. So huddled behind my brother I went back inside.

Another hour and 25 minutes later my brief returned and I realised it was now; it was really happening this was it I was going to have to stand up and recount everything with M staring at me.

I was wrong, apparently some of my statements had not made it into the court documents and so she had pushed for an adjournment and the judge had granted it.

I sagged back into my chair in relief, that today was over and I didn’t have to go into that room. But of course it wasn’t over it was delayed. I would have to at some point. If I wanted this to stop I needed to stand up and be brave.

C xo

©2015 C xo

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