Someone recently commented about how I have somehow managed to keep this inside of me, or not to have posted about our attack and Jim's stabbing. Initially after the attack, I made a few brief posts and for those I think you can find them in the archives for May 2008 and perhaps even June 2008. I did save some footage that the local tv station broadcast the day of the attack as well as the few days immediately following it. Not for the faint of heart, but if anyone is interested in watching one of the news reports, simply click HERE to view. You'll need a simple media player to view this file.
Ultimately, three young men were arrested and charged with the attack on us as well as the stabbing of Jim. While all three of them participated fully in the attack, only one of them actually stabbed Jim. This was probably a good thing as the one fellow doing the stabbing managed to stab Jim a total of twenty four times. While a number of his wounds were defensive in nature, three of the stab wounds were extremely critical ones, and for whatever reason, should have been life ending rather than life threatening. To this very day, his doctors are still utterly amazed that Jim managed to walk away from this alive. He now has a near four inch scar on his neck where the knife ended up slashing through. By sheer luck or miracle, his main artery managed to be missed by the smallest amount, although the knife managed to damage nerves and tendons in this area. Jim still suffers the aftermath of this wound today as he has yet to regain feeling along that side of his body from the top of his head down through the upper part of this leg. He is by no means paralyzed on that side, but it is very apparent that some form of damage has been done, not to mention the loss of strength and co-ordination vs his other side. His lung was pierced which caused it to collapse at the site of the attack, plus his liver was also pierced b y the knife. Additional liver issues is exactly what a recovering addict wants/needs to deal with later in life as well! As a result of these two wounds, Jim now also has a major scar on his chest running from the end of his throat to his belly button due to the emergency surgery required to repair these wounds. Lucky me got to witness this entire attack.
To say that we have both been dealing with issues since this attack is definitely a bit of an understatement. Obviously, for Jim, his immediate concern was getting his health back which has required a lot of work on his part. He has had to go through some brutal physiotherapy sessions to get himself back to close to normal. He still has a long way to go but at least he's able to even do this, something the doctors weren't too sure of this time last year. Pretty soon he will be starting therapy to deal with PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am currently in therapy myself getting help for the exact same thing. Initially, I had no idea how much this attack had affected me and my outlook on life and the rest of the world, but the longer that I am in treatment, the easier it is for me to see the damage. I have mixed feelings about everything IE the attack, our recoveries from it, the accused and what will ultimately happen to them. By this, I am referring to their ultimate criminal trial which has now been postponed twice. This is so very frustrating as we are now waiting once again to get subpoena to testify. Initially, the trial was to be held in January but that was canceled. We got another subpoena for the trial to begin May 7, 2009, but less than 24 hours before it was to start, we received a call stating that it was going to be adjourned until a later date and to disregard our most recent subpoena as we would be issued another once a new trial date had been set! Grrrr...Apparently one of the defendants decided he wanted/needed a new lawyer so now his new lawyer needs time to prepare.
I have mixed feelings about having to testify in court as in I'd really rather do anything else but this! I know that if this does actually proceed to a trial then I ultimately may have no choice. Obviously in the end, I will also do the right thing. I guess because for so many years, we lived in that gray area of drugs and dealers that for me, its kind of a knee jerk reaction to avoid the law and courts at all costs. Its like I'm being a rat of some sort if I testify against these three. I know that I am not, that this is an entirely different situation. These are people that you had never, ever seen before that day. These are people that don't run with the same crowd that we used to run with, nor will they ever. Yes, its now been three and a half years since I removed myself from that environment, but its still hard to shake off the stink. Also, ultimately, these three attacked and deeply affected me and mine, and by their actions, very much made it personal. I also know why they are dragging this out delaying their day in court, even though, to this very day, not one of them has been able to make bail and have sat in jail since about three hours after the attack. I understand that one of the accused is still only a landed immigrant to this country and that there is an extremely good chance that once he has served his sentence, that he will be deported back to his country of origin - the Sudan. I suspect that the other two - who happen to both be brothers - are counting on getting two for one credit when sentencing is finally handed down.
The thing is that, honestly, I don't really care what happens to these three now. Whether they are released five minutes after their trial ends, or whether they are sent away for another few years it doesn't really matter. Their damage is already done. No sentence or punishment will give us our old life back. Its gone, over, changed forever.