I was in court yesterday and although I recently graduated law school I wasn’t there to represent anyone, nor was I there to chat with a judge or observe lawyers in action. I was there because I had to drive my mother. It wasn’t for anything too bad. She just had some tickets or traffic violations that hadn’t been paid and were probably some kind of violation of probation, I don’t really know because I didn’t really ask. Anyway, I go to take her and my uncle wanted to come along for the ride. We get there and it’s a small, town court in another county. Really small. My mom has to sign in and she sits in front waiting on her lawyer. My uncle and I pass through security behind her and for some reason unbeknownst to anyone, my uncle signs his name too. My mother yells at my uncle to quit writing his damned name because that’s the list that goes to the judge which he’ll use to call on the people there to go before him. With this knowledge, my uncle starts frantically crossing his n ame out. See, this idiot has been before this particular judge before and from what I could gather, they don’t have that great of a relationship. Plus my uncle thinks there’s a possibility that there could be a warrant for him in this county or some reason they’d wanna lock him up. Basically, signing his name down there was tantamount to turning himself in. What a retard, right? I don’t even know why he would volunteer to walk up in the courtroom knowing all of this ahead of time. Now, nothing happened. My mom got called, she and her attorney went up to the bench and got a continuance. Womp womp. I just had to point out my uncle’s stupidity for the gazillionth time.
Another noteworthy thing that happened while we were there was this piece of conversation I overheard between my mother and her lawyer. Her lawyer is this quirky old white lady who looks more like a hippy art teacher than an attorney. The lawyer was telling my mom that she looked good and was asking her how she’d been doing, how she’d been keeping things together and managing her life. My mom answered the normal things I guess. I wasn’t paying too much attention at that point. Then, the lawyer asked what was it that made my mom decide that she wanted to get clean and sober for good. She replied that it was my grandfather. Since my grandfather was getting older and had been going through some health issues over the past couple of years, she didn’t want to be fucked up or in jail or worse when something did happen. She said she didn’t want to miss out on time with him. I remember when my grandmother (her mother) died, she was in jail and had to get special permission to go to the funeral. I guess she didn’t want a repeat of that situation. Anyway, the lawyer said, “and what about her? Did you do it for her too?” referring to me. Oh, she knows about me and that I’ve graduated from school and all that jazz because, despite what she makes it seem like, my mother talks about me a lot to everyone she knows. So in response my mother says “No, I didn’t worry about her. She’s a trooper. I knew she was gonna be alright no matter what. I was really thinking about my father.”
Now, I don’t know what to think about that. On the one hand, I guess I could see the good in it that she believed/believes I’m such a strong and self-sufficient person that I would be alright whether my mother was clean or running around the streets. That no matter what, I’d be alright. On the other hand, I could be pissed because she didn’t think of me or because she assumed I didn’t need her and that I was always fine. Cuz truth is, I’ve been strong and depending on myself out of necessity or what I believe to be necessity. I think that attitude has poisoned some of my relationships with friends because I can’t accept help or I can’t let people in completely. A lot of the time, I felt like she used that as an excuse to keep on doing what she was doing because I was going to be alright and I didn’t need her to be there. While in reality, I was just reacting to my environment. What I really wanted was to be allowed some vulnerability and let someone else take care of me and protect me. Instead, the people who were supposed to do that thought I didn’t need them to. I guess it was just like going in circles.
I knew she felt that way, I just never heard her articulate it in that manner before. I wonder what the lawyer lady thought. I still don’t know what I’m supposed to think.