Last week has to go down as one of the worst.
On Wednesday I received a letter saying I had to attend court because I was contesting the fine I had been issued for failing to attend jury service. If that wasn’t bad enough, I had to attend court on Friday. Yes, just 48 hours notice. As you can imagine, I went into full blown panic mode at the arrival of the letter. I wish I had just paid the fine in the first place. Luckily I have some very good friends who were able to offer some helpful advice. I thank them with all of my heart. I made notes about what had happened and why. I felt I was doing the right thing.
On Thursday I went to the doctors. It was a scheduled appointment to see how I was getting on since the change of my medication. I just blubbed my way through the consultant as I told the doctor I had no idea if they were working as with everything going on I was beyond any level of stress I had previously encountered! She thought that considering I was on such a high dosage of my previous medication that the new one should be upped. I am now on the middle dose of these pills, and to be honest now I have been on them a few days, I am actually feeling quite good with them. I am hoping it is a corner turned.
Thursday night, I didn’t sleep at all well. I felt sick to my stomach all night and it only got worse when I got up! Hubby took the day off work to support me at court, and I am so glad he did, as I would not have been able to do it by myself.
We parked in the city centre and walked to the court. I felt terrible. I found which court room I was in, and then I waited. Listening to all the cases being heard before mine was horrible. There were drug addicts, shop lifters, and even a paedophile. I just felt so horrible. I felt dirty sitting there with other bad people. After over 2 hours waiting I was called. Standing in the dock was frightening to say the least. The judge was horrible. He called me an “irresponsible citizen”. I felt about an inch tall, as he laid into me about how not turning up for jury service was extremely serious. When I tried to explain I had misread the citation because my medications were being altered, he did not want to listen. He threatened to increase my fine to £1000, because he was allowed to do so. He did however after making me sweat, reduce it by half, and allow me to pay it in small amount. It caught in my throat as I thanked him before leaving the court. When I got outside, I just burst into tears. Hubby was really supportive, telling me it was over now. I just felt like the scum of the earth. I felt really unworthy.
I don’t think I had taken my failure to go to jury service as such a serious matter as it actually was. I know it was wrong, and if I had read it properly, I would have definitely have been there. It was my civic duty. I have always considered myself to be a community minded person, and would not have deliberately ignored my duty. It was a genuine mistake.
I spent the rest of the day, feeling like the scum of the earth, because that is what I was made to feel like. I cried every time I thought about it. I have replayed every word spoken at me in court so many times. It was horrible and humiliating. It was an experience I hope I never repeat.
I am now drawing a line under the whole episode. I need to move on from it, and not stew and let it upset me for any longer. I know to use my depression as an excuse for stupidity doesn’t add up, but the fact is, they are inter locked.
My advice to anyone who receives official looking paperwork, is to read it, re read it, and for good measure, read it again. Possibly, even get someone else to read it for you too! I assure you, I wont be making the sort of idiotic mistake again!
I am not a bad person, I’m just a wee bit messed up right now!
Onwards and upwards……