Guess who’s not in jail yet?

A few days ago I finished Babi Yar: a Document in the Form of a Novel by Anatoly Kuznetzov. It’s a memoir about the author’s experiences growing up in the city of Kiev, Ukraine during the Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1943. Babi Yar was a ravine just outside the city. The Nazis shot and killed over 100,000 civilians there during the war, undesirables of all kinds, notably over 33,000 Jews over the course of two days, on September 29 and 30, 1941. This was the single largest mass murder they ever committed. Nobody even knows just how many people were murdered at Babi Yar, since none of this was documented, and before the Germans left the city they dug up all the bodies and did their best to destroy them by burning etc., to cover up their crimes. The ravine has now been filled in. In a macabre endnote, a mudslide there killed hundreds of people, perhaps even two thousand, in 1961.

Anyway, there’s a quote from the book that perfectly suits my black mood over the last few days:

That there is in this world neither brains, nor goodness, nor good sense, but only brute force. Bloodshed. Starvation. Death. That there was not the slightest hope, not even a glimmer of hope, of justice being done. It would never happen. No one would ever do it. The world was just one big Babi Yar. And there two great forces had come up against each other and were striking against each other like hammer and anvil, and the wretched people were in between, with no way out; each individual wanted only to live and not be maltreated, to have something to eat, and yet they howled and screamed and in their fear they were grabbing at each other’s throats, while I, little blob of watery jelly, was sitting in the midst of this dark world. Why? What for? Who had done it all? There was nothing, after all, to hope for! Winter. Night.

Sometimes I wonder why I live.

22 thoughts on “Guess who’s not in jail yet?

  1. Cheryl June 25, 2009 / 3:38 pm

    Oh hell no Ms Meaghan – you are NOT going there!!!!!!!!!! Yes you feel terrible and some days are going to get worse before they get better but do let yourself go into a downward spiral.

    You are a truly gifted writer and a Godsend for all the work you do for the missing …who might otherwise be forgotten. You are beautiful, intelligent and have a great sense of humor. You must remember who you were BEFORE the attack. You are still that same person, only wiser and much smarter. NONE of this is your fault. YOU did nothing wrong. The sorry ass bastard who pretended to want to help you is the one to blame.

    Stop reading depressing crap for now and get yourself a Happy Book. You seem like you are interested in a wide variety of things so Im sure there are plenty of better things to read…..have you read “My Sisters Keeper” yet?

    How did work go? Never heard from you yesterday………What about your counselor….have you gone to see him yet?

    • Meaghan June 25, 2009 / 4:53 pm

      I saw my counselor Tuesday. It was rather unpleasant. I felt rather worse after, since of course I had to go over the attack with him. I had breakfast with my minister neighbor yesterday and she made me feel a little better for awhile, but it didn’t last.

      Work was okay. Deflecting questions about my vacation with vague comments.

      I haven’t read My Sister’s Keeper though I’ve heard of it. I’ve got a lot of books checked out of the library now, and for obvious reasons I didn’t get nearly as much read on my vacation as I would have liked. None of my currently checked out books are happy or funny. Most of my reading isn’t.

  2. Cheryl June 25, 2009 / 5:13 pm

    Well go to the library and get something good. Or how about a movie? Do you live alone?

    What did your counselor have to say? Did he put you on any anit-depressants? That crisis number you picked up in DC have you talked to anyone there?

    I know I’m asking a lot of questions but I’m kind of trying to get a feel for your daily life. I already know you spend a great deal of time on the computer doing work but thats about all I know.

    • Meaghan June 25, 2009 / 6:04 pm

      I’m already taking antidepressants, and my counselor can’t prescribe them anyway, he’s not a doctor. I don’t see my doctor until August. By August I should know if I need an adjustment or not. I mean, I just got raped, I ought to be feeling sad right now. But if I am still feeling that way in six weeks, obviously there is a problem.

      To all intents and purposes, I live alone right now. My brother lives in the same house but we haven’t been on speaking terms for years and years (long story). We only talk to exchange essential information (i.e. “phone for you,” etc), and very rarely that, I actually can’t remember the last time I spoke to him. It must have been weeks or months ago.

      I haven’t seen my boyfriend since I’ve been back. I’m going to see him Sunday or Monday.

      • Cheryl June 25, 2009 / 6:26 pm

        Of course you ought to be feeling sad right now. You should be feeling all sorts of things. I’m simply saything that the depressing quote you choice to share with us and the comment you made right under it, tell me you are a little more than just sad.

        Have you scene your boyfriend yet?

      • Cheryl June 25, 2009 / 6:27 pm

        disregard the question about the boyfriend. Don’t know why I asked that again.

  3. emma l June 25, 2009 / 5:37 pm

    Meaghan! No honey.

    I’m with Cheryl- you need happy, fun, JOY.

    It sounds obvious and crap but you need to do something you enjoy. Like really REALLY REALLY enjoy. Even if you have to force yourself to do it. Even if you don’t want to. It will help. Its the little things that will drag you back to feeling normal, I know from experience.

  4. emma l June 25, 2009 / 5:38 pm

    (…..Experience with depression, I just wanted to clarify)

  5. Holly P. June 25, 2009 / 5:43 pm

    “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

    This quote from the Talmud has gotten me through much, especially my early forensic classes.

    This, too, shall pass – ride out the current storm.

  6. Joanne June 25, 2009 / 5:53 pm

    The reason that justice is not being done in this country was a strong pro-criminal rights drift, and too many judges who rule according to their own personal beliefs. Since many of them were defense attorneys, they are pro-criminal.

    And defense attorneys also have powerful pull in our government.

    The hands of the police are often tied by criminal’s rights, which often makes it nearly impossible to convict them.

    That and the fact that these creeps commit crime after crime, but judges only slap them on the wrist, if at all, and parole boards let them out to reoffend.

    People often don’t find out how screwed up the system is until they get affected by crime.

    You need to contact a victim’s advocacy group in Washington so they can be made aware of this crime and put pressure on the system.

  7. Joanne June 25, 2009 / 5:53 pm

    Would it be better to see a female counselor who has experience with this issue?

    • Meaghan June 25, 2009 / 6:06 pm

      I don’t think so. I really like the counselor I’ve got, and he’s dealt with sex assault victims before.

      The state of Virginia has some kind of fund to compensate crime victims and I can get reimbursement for my medical expenses like counseling and stuff. I just need to remember to bring the forms to him next time.

      • Cheryl June 25, 2009 / 6:29 pm

        Do you already have the forms? I live in Virginia.

  8. Joanne June 25, 2009 / 5:54 pm

    What kind of support is your boyfriend?

  9. Cheryl June 25, 2009 / 5:56 pm

    Not a bad idea Joanne. I also think its important to go about her daily routine whether she feels like it or not. Gettting back to a normal routine as soon as possilbe is so important.

    Thanks to all of you for commenting.

    You see this Meg?? You have so much support and so many who care about you. You can talk to them too you know.

  10. Cheryl June 25, 2009 / 5:59 pm

    Hi Emma. Depression sucks. I experienced it when I was having my panic attacks. People were constantly telling me what I needed to do to get better and I wanted to tell them all to go away. Thank God they didn’t. Its not always easy but its sooooo much better now. I hope you are doing well.

  11. Meaghan June 25, 2009 / 6:49 pm

    More than sad? Most definitely. This is, unfortunately, a very common state of events for me. I’ve got depression about as bad as depression gets. I’ve been hospitalized for it three times in the last twelve months. Recently I’d been doing much better, better than I had in years, and thought finally things were looking up. Then this happened.

    They mailed the forms to me. They actually arrived home before I did. Also a lot of pamphlets and stuff. According to the pamphlets, the Beast would be facing a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of five life sentences if he’s convicted of all the things he did to me. But they have to catch him first. Sigh. I’m going to call the cops again tomorrow and see what’s what.

  12. Cheryl June 25, 2009 / 7:19 pm

    I can’t understand what the hold up is. If they think they already know who he is they ought to be able to de a decent photo line up. Its ridiculous. Definetly call them. Stay on them. Don’t let them put you on the back burner.

  13. Dream June 26, 2009 / 12:10 am

    I’m so sorry. Is there an officer at Reston that a journalist could call? I know some people who know people.

    Where did they get video tape of this guy from?

    • Meaghan June 26, 2009 / 11:09 am

      The detective in charge of my case is James Austin, with the Fairfax County Police Department. I’m going to give him another call today and see if there’s any news.

      They have at least two videotapes of the Beast — one from the bus where I met him, and another from a gas station where he bought me a soda before he turned nasty.

  14. emma l June 26, 2009 / 8:40 am

    Thanks Cheryl. I’m actually okayish right now. I’ve never been hospitalised. I actually thought it was a once off the first time as it didn’t reoccur for so long. Alas it returned with a vengance not so long ago and has been on and off since.

    Meaghan- hang in there. They will catch the scumbag and he will be punished. We’re all rooting for you.

  15. Joanne June 26, 2009 / 8:56 am

    This big negative may actually be the start of something very positive in your life Meaghan.

    If you have had these issues with depression, they are maybe your body or mind’s way of telling you that something needs to change.

    Perhaps your career, education, where you live?

    A whole new, better life can come out of hard times.

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