This will be a hard post for me to write, but please stick with it to the end. I intend to.
At the age of 6, I no longer had contact with my father. My parents divorced when I was 2, after which my mother had custody and my father had every other weekend. As I was turning 6, my mother was re-marrying, and for reasons never adequately explained to my 6 year old self, my father decided to relinquish all legal rights to me. With the stroke of the judge’s pen, I was no longer my father’s daughter.
I was fatherless.
That feeling has continued now, into my (ahem) 40th year. And I intend to write about it more, but not in this post.
Alot happened between the age of 6 and adulthood, as you can imagine. But the important part of this portion of my story is that I went on to law school. And from law school, I took my “dream job,” as a criminal prosecutor. Actually, I had always wanted to be a police officer, but as my grandfather had been a NYC Police Detective, he felt the street was no place for his first-born grand-
daughter child. So, to law school I went.
In law school, I excelled in criminal law. I just had a knack for it, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I love all things criminal law.
As a prosecutor, I started where everyone straight out of law school does. Traffic court. Fun stuff. Luckily, my time there was short-lived, and I quickly moved through misdemeanors, a year at juvenile felonies, followed by a year of drug felonies.
And then I started at the Sexual Assault Unit (SAU). I had already gained a lot of experience prosecuting sexual assault cases in the juvenile felony unit — prosecuting kids who rape other children or sexually assault then in some other manner. In SAU, the law was the same, but the offenders were older.
Sexual assault cases, rape cases, incest cases, well, they are just the hardest. Not only the evidence, but also the emotions. As I’m sure you can imagine. But I did well with the cases. And “enjoy” wouldn’t be the right word to describe my work on those cases, but I felt they were a righteous challenge, and I’m always up for a righteous challenge.
That, and there is no better feeling in the world as when the jury convicts a rape offender and the victim says “Thank You.” There are no other words for her to say, and those two words just say so much. I remember all the victims I’ve worked with and even now to this day, years since I served and thousands of miles away, I wonder how they’re doing.
Imagine my surprise when two years ago I am involved in a telephone conversation with my mom and the subject of my natural father comes up (all following a lunch I had with a recently-found brother, but again, a topic for another post), and my mom proceeds to tell me that he (my natural father) never knew his father either. His mother (my grandmother) was raped by a stranger in a park at the age of 16. She choose to keep the baby (my natural father). The rapist was never captured.
I never knew this.
That rapist’s granddaughter grew up to prosecute rapists.
I think so.
I definitely think so.