The Court trial & the martyr

As regular readers already know, years ago I was the victim of a completely unprovoked attempted murder by an evil character who is your movie-style psycho killer.

I asked my parents not to attend the High Court trial in an effort to save them from hearing personal details of my life echo around a courtroom disparagingly. There was a vulnerable need to protect myself against mother’s judgemental mentality and those familiar speeches of martyrdom.

I could only envisage my parent’s shame as their son’s life became public before a Jury and a busy public gallery. My assailants defence team were preparing to tear my testimony to shreds with accusations of the most despicable kind. There were only two of us in that room that night, no witnesses, just my word against his.

A High Court trial Jury in the UK are never aware of a Defendant’s criminal convictions until after a Judge passes a verdict of guilty, so for the duration of our humiliating trial, my character came under cruel and degrading scrutiny.

My assailant’s academic intelligence arrogantly tried to justify my extensive injuries and blundered through a ridiculous explanation of why I would jump through a first floor window in a dangerous bid to escape, if I was the attacker. The Jury were there to make a judgement.

The Defendant’s respectable middle class parents sat quietly in the courtroom in support of their precious son, while I couldn’t trust my mother to provide that same unconditional support, not without it being regurgitated sometime in the future with that familiar statement of, “Oh, what a terrible time I’m having.”

On the day of the verdict, I couldn’t go anywhere near the Courthouse. A bizarre and rather shocking twist to this story is that only a couple of years previously, my assailant had actually been sent to prison for life, for the first murder he ever committed.

Two years into his life sentence, he took his appeal to the Supreme Court and the Judges ruled that the Jury in the first murder trial were prejudiced into finding him guilty. Even though he admitted to the murder, those idiotic Judges, in all their glory and wisdom, overturned his guilty verdict and set him free. He had walked free once, this trial could swing either way.

Waiting at home alone for the verdict, I have never felt so nervous in my entire life, the sort where you just cannot get off the toilet, while watching the second hand sweep away the minutes. When the phone eventually did ring, it was the martyr, my mother.

Mum: Well Cat, That’s it finished… (She has that familiar patronising voice, the one that stinks of ‘woe is me’). Now listen, son, I hope we can put this behind us now because me and yer Dad ‘are done’, this is taking its toll on everyone, you know.

Silence

Mum: Hello? Are ye there?

Me: Well? Have they reached a verdict yet? Have you heard?

Mum: Eh?… Oh… Aye, they got him for it… he’s found guilty. Now listen, son, I really hope we can start to move on with our lives. Your only young, you’ll get over it.

Stunned silence

Me: Um…well, ‘Leaving it all behind’ might not be so straightforward for the victim.

Mum: I know that you’re the victim, son, (my tummy turns queasy whenever she uses ‘son’ in that emotionally blackmailing way) but listen, we’ve all been through a hard time over this, we’re all victims, it’s not all about you, you know.”

That telephone call is the beginning of where we are today. There is little point in trying to speak up against such narcissistic thinking and my silence has pushed her further and further away, but the anger, the guilt, and all the things I should have said, but couldn’t, are fuel to the chronic rumination today and this is one of the things I will be working on in therapy over the coming weeks.

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47 thoughts on “The Court trial & the martyr

  1. edwinasepisodes

    Your mother is pretty unbelievable Although i do not know your full story Cat I have read enough from this post to know how terrifying, traumatic and utterly life changing it must have been. For your mum to brush off your feelings so lightly and turn it around so that she is the victim is beyond belief.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Edwina, yes, unfortunately, it was all of those things, but I didn’t realise just how life changing until I started therapy last year. The martyr is and always will be a victim. I’m calling her the martyr just to be polite, I usually call her the witch, but it’s sad to have this sort of relationship, all the same. Thanks for your comment 🙂 I’ll be over to you soon for my daily giggle

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      1. edwinasepisodes

        Well I am glad that your life is changing for the better, and that you can see things (and people) for what they are, no matter how bad!
        Hope you manage to have a laugh today at my place, I think my letter ‘K’ might cheer you up! 🙂

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  2. Sharon Alison Butt

    I detest defence lawyers with a passion. Most of them are heartless, spineless devils who only care about winning a case and I’m sure that MOST know the scum they are defending is guilty. This makes them as guilty as the person they are defending.

    As for your mum, I’m too angry to comment, so I’ll leave that to the rest of your suppoetive friends.

    Thank you for sharing this and thinking things through wisely. Who wouldn’t be angry? Who wouldn’t be even angrier at themselves for not retaliating verbally at the time? Many many people can’t think of the right words to say back at the time, so you’re not on your own there.

    I hope your mum humbles herself enough to allow her spirit to be convicted of what a horrid parent she was, but unfortunately, it doesnt seem like that’s going to happen any time soon, as she still seems as horrid as she ever was.

    I’m so glad you have your therapy and WordPress support. I believe you 100% and I’m sure many others do too. x

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Sharon… I think the same about defence lawyers, but I guess everyone is entitled to defence. I just wonder how some of them sleep at night.

      My mother thinks she is a wonderful person and a wonderful parent and she truly does believe herself.

      Thank you for your kind comment 🙂

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  3. Priceless Joy

    I agree with Edwina. “This is not all about you.” Seems to me she sees it as something that she can revel in for her own glory. In other words, you need to share some of that agony and limelight with her even though she didn’t experience it. Sounds much like my mother when I went through my horrible nervous breakdown. “You weren’t the only one that had to go through it! I had to go through it too!” (Bullshit). The great thing about it Cat is that we can and have risen above that. Let them wallow in their own ‘pretend’ world, you and I aren’t going to do that anymore. We are leaving them and our illnesses in the rearview mirror. They can have it, if that’s what they want. We can choose to say ‘No thanks, not anymore’.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Joy… What your mum said to you about the breakdown is exactly what mine said to me (I wonder if they’re related!) When my sister was separating from her husband last year, mum called for the first and last time in 16yrs just to say what a terrible time she was having with all this worry.
      What I am trying to work through at the moment, Joy, is the guilt. Every now and then, mum and sister arrive in London and then try to meet up. They’ve come about 4times and I’ve met them half the time,, but it was half the time too many. In truth, they (you and my mum) see themselves as perfect and can do no wrong. We are the nasty ones, the ones who have upset our mother. I can’t help the guilt, but I hope I can soon leave it behind like the rest of the shit. Thank you 🙂

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      1. Priceless Joy

        I understand what you are saying about the guilt. My mother has always used guilt to manipulate me. I fell for it for years and years. Finally (with the help of several psychiatrists) I came to realize that all it was was one of her manipulation tools and that I didn’t have to own it. Yay! That freed me from that horrible guilt. So, what I would tell you is to realize that your mother and sister are using guilt as a means to manipulate you to get what “they” want. It’s not your guilt and you don’t have to own it anymore.

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  4. Life in a Bind - BPD and me

    Oh Cat, I feel so angry on your behalf, it’s literally almost incomprehensible to me that anyone (let alone a parent) can react in that way. I don’t like to comment when I don’t know someone, but really, it sounds like such a damaging relationship, and I’m glad you have a certain amount of distance from it, though every bit of contact must fill you with dread. I’m particularly glad at the moment that you have Paul and that your trust in him has been growing and that you have a solid and safe place to explore all this in therapy over the next few weeks. I know I’ve said it before, but I admire your bravery for coming through everything that you did, and I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like. Looking forward to hearing more about how things go in therapy over the next few weeks, as you explore these issues…

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    1. Cat Post author

      It is such a damaging relationship, but even more complicated when it’s the mother, all sorts of guilt and stuff, but I will try and leave it behind me in the coming weeks, or sooner! Thank you for your words of encouragement 🙂

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  5. therabbitholez

    “It’s not all about you” I know this is your mum,and I don’t want to cross a line here, BUT, this kind of toxic thinking destroys all in it’s path, the very idea that she was a victim just beggars belief.

    I cannot even being to imagine what you faced at the time and all during the trial and the aftermath, that you can even tell the tale is amazing to me and living with the thought that your own mother could care less except in what it could do to feed her inflated need for martyrdom.

    I imagine she must felt that she hit the jackpot when this happened, it just fed her self absorbtion, which is not to her credit but to her eternal shame.

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    1. Cat Post author

      She certainly doesn’t like it if something takes her limelight of suffering and will always put her hard times above anyone, she’s the same with everyone. Such a life sucking experience and a very damaging one and even when I don’t hear from her, her toxicity is still running through my veins. It’s all to do with her being the mother etc, but I’ll work though it, I know I will. Thank you for your support

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  6. Rich Devlin

    It would be a little easier to dismiss an outrageous response like this if it came from someone other than your mum. I do hope you are able to work through this and in your own time put it where it belongs – the trash! Take care of yourself and know that many people support you as you move toward healing.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Rich… yes, it makes it all the more complicated because it comes from mum. I’ve worked through worse than this in therapy, so I’m sure I can move past it. Thank you for your support

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Ellen

    Not just a frightening time, but also, what a lonely time you had then, with no one to be on your side, no matter what verdict the court came back with.

    Do you think if you actually said some of those things that go round and round your mind, to your mother, you would feel more resolved? I notice you withdraw, which is what I also do, and sometimes I wonder if it would help to speak up more. Not so much for fixing the relationship, but just for how we feel.

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    1. Cat Post author

      It was a very lonely time. My sister and ex partner stood by me, but eventually I wouldn’t even let them in. Every other friend from the church buggered off long before the trial.

      I did think about this when Ron suggested it to you. I feel there is little point because of the narcissistic behaviour. It would only cause arguments and enormous drama’s and I would be demonised by everyone for upsetting the apple cart. I am the only one to stand up to her in the past, but I just gave up. The rest of the family tiptoe around, afraid of getting on the wrong side. She see’s herself as the opposite to what I see and nothing I can say could ever change that. So, it wouldn’t resolve anything in me, only add to the guilt. I don’t know how I will manage to leave it behind me or where she will fit in to all that. The rumination is all about trying to resolve that in my head, but as you said recently, we can never resolve anything that way. I only started talking to Paul about it last week, so I’m sure I’ll move forward with it… it starting to really give me a headache 🙂

      Thanks, Ellen

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  8. cardamone5

    Your mother is an asshole. I’m sorry, but she is. You lived through a horrendous experience, then had to relive it during the trial, but you were brave and endured, and your attempted killer was found guilty, and hopefully, will remain in prison so no one else will become his victim. Focus on that victory (which I’m sure doesn’t feel very joyful) and forget your mom.

    Love,
    E

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    1. Cat Post author

      Lol Elizabeth, I didn’t know you could use such colourful language 🙂 but I agree wholeheartedly. I think it’s complicated because…well… she’s the mother. It’s all about ingrained guilt that will soon be varnished out, no worries about that. This is me just starting to talk about it in fragments. Only two weeks ago, I couldn’t find the words to unravel so many knots in our eternal problematic relationship. She believes in her own perfection and I’m just the nasty son who takes pleasure in upsetting his mother, that’s the hard guilty part. Anyway, when I started to unravel the childhood trauma, I started on my blog first and then in therapy. That trauma has faded into the background and I’m hoping this issue will too. Thanks Elizabeth for your support and making me laugh 🙂

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  9. Bourbon

    Oh wow. Your mother is a lot like mine in that respect. Any hard time I was having (including also getting attacked by a drunk stranger) was immediately her hard time. It was always “get over it” unless it was her struggle in which case it was woe is me x 100. I’m sorry you have to deal with such heartlessness from your mother when you needed someone there for you the most I’m sure!!

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Bourbon… Yes, I have related to some of what you’ve said about your own mother. It’s the guilt that gets to me the most, but I’m sure I can move past that as well. Thank you 🙂

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  10. Send Sunshine

    You are amazing! You show such courage and give inspiration to so many! I would love to be your soul sister and let you know just how proud I am of you; for being you and for sharing your difficult journey.

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  11. mandy smith

    My stomach’s queasy reading this, Cat. It makes me so sick that that monster was let out and then nearly repeated another murder. But just as painful is your mother’s response. Yet, why am I surprised? She needs you to move on so she can get back to her sewing circle or whatever the f*%$ she does. I’m so sorry if that hurts, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I remember cutting the ties with my mom when she said to me about my stepfather, “Let it go, what he did to you wasn’t nearly as bad as what was done to him as a child.” Mothers do not say those sorts of things. Toxic, Cat. I’m so sorry.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Oh God, Mandy, I can’t imagine what must have been going through your mum’s mind when she said…THOUGHT… that, it beggars belief. It’s weird, one thing I notice is that I am more shocked at someone else’s mother than I am of my own, yet they can amount to very similar narcissistic behaviour and damaging consequences.
      The tragic and very sad thing about this case, Mandy, is that he didn’t “nearly” commit another murder, he DID. I was the lucky one, but the others were murdered and dismembered. It’s truly unbelievable stuff, but you would be surprised just how many people all over the world have this kind of experience. Letting psychos out of jail to kill again, is soooo common.
      Anyway, the aim is to let go of the guilt and stop the flamin ruminating and then decide where she fits in. Thanks Mandy 🙂 There was a day when I would have placed her first and then see where everything else fits in, second

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      1. mandy smith

        Oh wow, Cat, I thought that psycho had gone to prison for one murder and released to nearly kill you. I didn’t realize there were others. Horrible. I would like to know that story–I’ve always wanted to study the psychopathic mind. My daughter is a crimes reporter and the things I hear are unimaginable. Day in and day out, there’s so much. Why do I try to understand them?
        I know exactly what you’re saying about hearing someone else’s story or about their mother, etc and you just feel ape shit over the insanity. We get so conditioned to our own stories–yet the thought of anyone else putting up with it sounds outrageous. I guess that’s why they say to step outside yourself, write down your story and replace your name with your best friends name–what would you tell them to do?

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  12. sensuousamberville

    Could have beens, should have beens and what ifs will always plague us when we revisit our past, if we had done something differently… I think though, with your mother, there was nothing that you could have said that would have improved your relationship, or to get the support you should have had, she was/is in her own world. If you had said all the things that you now wish you had, what would the result have been? More dismissal, disbelief or just another brush off maybe? The past, with its torments, is past. We can’t change the past, we learn to live with it. We have to. Yikes is right.

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    1. Cat Post author

      She is in her own world and nothing I could’ve said would’ve made any difference. It might have given her more to be a martyr over. Yes, and I realise that change of the past needs to happens within me. It’s the guilt I need to somehow let go of and then decide where she fits in, can I learn to let it all go overhead or do I just need to stay clear… is this an all or nothing (BPD) mentality?…mmmm…who knows, but I’m about to find out through the coming days/weeks. These posts are the first time I have ever been able to unravel some of it into words, so it has helped immensely to identify exactly what and why I feel guilty and it is amazing that people were able to see in just a few words what I suspected over a period of years. Thank you, Amber

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  13. Glynis Jolly

    I have a question I’m hesitant to ask, but because I read about all that you have been through…
    Well, anyway, here goes — Do you feel that you have no other choice but to accept your mother as she is?

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hiyas Glynis… what do you mean… rather than accept, bugger off? I’m thinking about it, but in a way, that might be running away. She’s easy to lose touch with. If I don’t text, she’ll never text me again, as easy as that! I need to wait and see what this leg of the therapy journey takes me. Who knows, I might even find a way to tolerate her, albeit at arm’s length. Thanks Glynis 🙂

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  14. Darque

    Thank you for your courageous decision to share your inner-most thoughts & feelings ~ your life ~ with us… You are an inspiration to your “virtual world friends”. You remain in my thoughts…

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  15. borderlinefunctional

    Oh my god. Speechless about your mothers self-centered and invalidating existence. :/
    Very glad to hear that there was an appropriate outcome at court though. That must have been hell for you to experience but you show such strength in working through it and blogging about it all. ❤

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  16. Jean

    I think you are doing the sensible thing by putting as much distance and silence between you and your mother as you can. If you told her what you felt, you would be making yourself vulnerable and giving her a chance to hurt you even more. It might well lead to an entanglement which would be hard very painful and hard to get out.
    You are doing great!
    And I hope that psychopath spends a very very long time in prison this time.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Jean… you are so spot on about the entanglement any confrontation might cause. When the other person is so closed off to other people’s point of view, it’s pointless to attempt any discussion. The best is to maintain that distance. Thank you for your kind comment

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  17. Creatopath

    I can’t believe your mum said, “you’ll get over it.”. That’s awful. What also makes me mad is the judges letting your assailant out of prison, ready to reoffend.

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