In May of 2008 I had no job, no health insurance, no car, no self-esteem, no plans and no hope. Plus, I was still facing charges from the car accident back in February. So, we got a kitten and named him Phineas. M loved him. E wanted nothing to do with him. He didn’t care for furry things that could move around by themselves.
We were actually ok. No, not really. That’s just a lie that addicts tell themselves. There was a hell in my head that oozed on to every part of my life and every person in my world that I held hostage in my grief and addiction.
At this point, I was pretty frightened, but not quite enough to do much about it. I was attending some “support meetings”. I had been in touch with my lawyer to let him know that I had done it again. There are a few appearances one has to make in front of magistrates/judges when facing criminal charges. My lawyer went to the initial arraignment with me. I certainly wasn’t going to fight anything. I was guilty. It was a whole lot of hurry up and wait.
In the meantime, I met a woman who attended the same kind of meeting I half heartedly attended. Turns out, her husband was a criminal defense attorney and she offered up his services to me. Great!
I politely fired my attorney and this other fellow went to the next couple of court appearances I had to make. It was all fine on that end of things. At least I knew I had a competent lawyer and I wasn’t going to get a bill. Then I got a letter from the wife explaining to me that she over stepped her boundaries and her husband withdrew from my case. Grrrr.
In retrospect, I’m sure she knew I wasn’t well. I was still drinking and doing nothing to improve my mental health. She had to separate from me to protect her own sobriety.
At this point, my pretrial conference was only a week or so away. I hurried up to call the first lawyer to tell him I made a mistake and really did need his services! Frustrated with me, he looked up my case to see what was coming up and what he had to do. He called me back to tell me there was nothing he could do because another lawyer had been appointed to my case.
Appointed? How? I never contacted anyone. I don’t qualify for a public defender. (Apparently, one has to be dirt poor to get one of those.) Who? First lawyer said it was PKN. I never heard of him. I never contacted him. I never hired him, but he was the name of counsel on my case.
So, I called this PKN person and he doesn’t know me, never heard of me, never agreed to represent me. We were both puzzled. He told me he would not leave me hanging. He did not represent me, but he would appear at the pretrial conference to clear up this obvious clerical error.
The morning I was to be in court this PKN person was a no show. Great. The prosecutor questioned me about my representation. I explained what happened. They sent me to the public defenders office where they told me the exact same thing. PKN was my lawyer. Grrrr.
Keep in mind – I’m in active addiction through all this. So, I call PKN to tell him about himself and I used the f word a few times. He maintained that he didn’t represent me.
In true alcoholic form, I went to my trial without a lawyer. I sat there and cried as I heard verdicts and plea deals and victim impact statements, etc. I heard the judge say my name to the clerk who said PKN back to him. The judge got off the bench and went to his chambers, I guess. About 15 minutes later this goofy guy with Muppet hair came bouncing up to me. I was easy to find because I was the only one left! He said, “Are you Denette Rust?” Um, yes. “Hi, I’m PKN, I’ve been officially appointed to represent you.”
My thoughts – are you kidding me with this? I hate you…
Things are about to go to a whole new level of crazy.