This series is a form of creative writing known as fan fiction. Detective Robert Goren is a regular character on the Dick Wolf television show Law & Order: Criminal Intent. What follows is one longtime viewer’s breath of life into an already popular character.
I’ve noticed a definite change in myself since oh, maybe November. I think back then I was reacting, at times overreacting, to everything around me. When the ex-cop got into Carmel Ridge to see my mother — something just changed then. I hung up the phone after being alerted to the situation and I was not the same person. It was as if the ground shifted and I was left grasping for footing; only the sudden movement was actually in my head. I’ve lost my cool at work before; I’ve gone to bat for the most heinous of perps because somewhere, somehow they struck a chord with me. I’ve rhumba’d my way around the interrogation room with a man nearly my size and I’ve crossed the line (table) on more than one occasion to sit beside someone that I’m supposedly nothing like. So many situations where I’ve just sort of seized the moment and trusted my instincts (or flew by my ass, depending…).
Those instincts told me that as much as I hate having my mother locked in a safe place, it is indeed a safe place for her. The things on the outside that trigger her so much and make it impossible for her to actually live out here, they can’t get to her. It was the trade-off for having her there, the piece of mind that came from knowing no one could intentionally set out to harm her. She was protected and shielded from that.
Except for that one day when that lousy excuse for a human being walked into that hospital. He knew that speaking to her, asking questions of an old woman that is too fragile to live in the real world as we know it, he knew that it would harm her. Break her a little bit more. I never saw that happening. In spite of what I see everyday on the job I never really believed that someone would aim so low. Tormenting an unstable old woman, I guess I’d have thought that she would be off limits even to someone missing a portion of their conscience.
That day I lost something, part of my own mind I think. Someone saw her as a target, a way to get back at me. My doing my job cost her one more tiny piece of herself. She slipped a bit further away then and to be honest, she has yet to really come back to where she was. I’ve felt responsible for every step backwards, every break, and every setback that she has suffered since. At first I was ballistic and that got me nowhere. Reacting didn’t help or change anything. The mood swings weren’t just wicked, they were dangerous. I had to force myself to keep in control until it became easier. Now I feel precious little, overachiever that I am.