For weeks at the hearing, by the hundreds, said Me Frédéric Bibal at the special assize court in Paris, “you saw these victims and their injuries parade”.

“The question is: what are you going to do with this word?”

“There is the temptation to stop there,” he admits. To consider that “patient listening would be your only office”, as if these depositions had only been a “parenthesis” and that it would then be necessary to “come back to the real trial”.

But “they didn’t come just to make us cry – they have friends for that”, he gets carried away. “We must transform these depositions into motivations,” argues Me Bibal. “The attacks suffered are an element of the criminal trial, of the seriousness of the facts”.

So after him, a dozen lawyers plead to detail the reality of these injuries, often with the words of their clients.

It will be “hard and violent”, warns Me Dahbia Zegout, who comes to talk about bullet wounds from weapons of war, those which have “ripped the muscles, fragmented the bones” and transformed the bodies of those who received them into their “worst ennemy”.

She mentions Eva who had to decide to accept being amputated in the middle of this night of “chaos” and Djamel, who will have to accept it after five months of pain. Pierre, a bullet in the spine, who very quickly knew he wouldn’t walk again. And Gaëlle, “broken face” from a Kalashnikov shot in the cheek, and Jessica, a hole “the size of an apple” in the leg.

Me Zegout describes the “shock of the injury”: his vision of horror, the “smell of grilled flesh”, the breathing that we try to “calm”… Then “the survival of the first hours” with his machines to breathe or eat, and those of the months and years that follow with rehabilitation and repeated operations. Gaëlle has already suffered 40, Sonia relives the shards of bolts penetrating her eye with each new injection to treat it.

– “Less severe” –

Besides, there are the “other physical injuries”, continues Me Sophie Behanzin. “Those that are said to be light and that we do not feel legitimate to mention”, but which “rotten life”.

The scar, barely visible, left by a nut on Marilyn’s cheek, which brings her back “every day” to the Stade de France. Hearing loss or tinnitus, and “survival injuries”: a shoulder that will remain damaged from breaking down a door; Alexia’s neck pain after being dragged down a flight of stairs to rush her out of the Bataclan.

“Still below”, continues Me Marie Mescam, there are psychological wounds. The “less serious”, the “yes, well, it’s not as if”.

But “the human being is not made to be confronted with his own death”, she says, and the testimonies of the civil parties have highlighted “the extent and the persistence” of the post-traumatic syndrome, “which clings, all the time, everywhere”.

Here again the lawyers tell the stories that are similar. Anxiety, nightmares and insomnia, life which becomes a “permanent fight”, “to the rhythm of fears”: those of everyday noise, transport or “the bullet in the back” which could happen “at any time”.

Often too, addictions to treat, families that are falling apart, friends who move away, the life before that we cannot resume, survivor’s guilt.

Finally, there is the violence that comes when you have to “prove”, “quantify” your suffering with the competent bodies, notes Me Isabelle Teste.

“You only stayed a quarter of an hour in the Bataclan? You should be fine”. “You moved, resigned? It was you who decided it”, “You had an abortion? But did you want to have a child?”, “You no longer have intimacy? Prove it” .

The pleadings of the civil parties continue on Monday and are scheduled until June 7.