I finally got to read the letter from the Crown Prosecution Service on Monday 10th January 2011.
As my worker passed it to me I commented that it feels like I’ve lived through several lifetimes since that letter dropped on to my doormat at the end of September last year.
Opening it was a surreal feeling.
I knew that it was going to hard to read. I knew I was going to experience very powerful emotions. I knew it was going to hurt. I also knew it was something I had to do. If I’d never opened that letter I’d have spent the rest of my life wondering what was in it, what would it have been like if I had opened it? To be honest my life is full of ‘what if’s’ and ‘if only’s’, I don’t need any more!!
I’m not short of courage but taking possession of that letter and opening it was the hardest thing I’ve done for a while. Seeing it in black and white was always going to formalise the uncomfortable and unbelievable truth – the CPS had failed in their duty to bring my abusers to justice and no amount of explanation was going to help or change that.
Yes the CPS letter was very hard reading and triggered a load of stuff.
They're basically saying that because I could not remember every single tiny little detail of every single little thing that happened 20-35 years ago the evidence was unreliable and considered inadmissible in court. There are other things in it too BUT that's the main thrust of it.
That just makes me so angry, it is just so unrealistic.
I feel like yelling at the top of my voice "just because I can't remember every tiny little detail does not mean it did not happen"... “Just because I can’t remember every tiny detail does not mean it has not affected my life because it has devastated it... “Just because I can’t remember every tiny detail does not mean this decision has not affected me because it has – it has totally shattered me.”
My worker gave me a crash course in how the judicial system works and said the CPS always struggle with cases like these because they aren't neat and tidy and don't tick their boxes and that is why so few historic abuse cases ever make it to court. She said she's witnessed police officers have show downs with the CPS over decisions and crumple at the way in which they treat cases like mine. She said to me "if police officers can feel betrayed by CPS decisions then you're entitled to feel that way too". It is cold, it is clinical and it is unrealistic. She also said "when cases like yours are treated like this it does leave everyone involved feeling what is the point?" My worker said “it's not just you feeling betrayed and let down” which was comforting to know and validated how I'm feeling.
So yeah it's been a really difficult time reading that. It triggered all the stuff about not being believed, minimising things, not feeling validated or my experience being recognised. It triggered all the “it’s not fair” and “it’s all wrong” stuff.
The biggest thing it did was to formalise that “there’s no justice” situation. That is eating away at my insides. Maybe it’s something that only time can help with.