I’m rushing in traffic to pick my son up from daycare. I had no idea I would be in court all day long, mostly waiting around and feeling uncomfortable that Husband and his entire immediate family were within 20 feet of me.
As I arrive I quickly forget all that happened today as I’m greeted with the beautiful baby smile who is always happy to see me. I hug him like I’ve never hugged him before. The judge didn’t make an immediate decision, she needs more time but clearly there are no police on their way to apprehend our child from my care right now so I’m not worried of the overall outcome, and I honestly never really was.
Once we get to the apartment (as I refuse to call it home), the thought crosses my mind that it’s looking less likely that this will be a temporary short term stay and more likely that we’ll be here for a while. Apartment living is definitely an adjustment coming from our beautiful large dream house but it has its perks. 1. Garbage chutes for unlimited garbage 2. I can vacuum the entire apartment using just one outlet. 3. My son is in my line of sight pretty much from wherever I am.
I play with my son, sing and talk to him with extra care and consideration tonight until he’s ready for his final bottle. He lays in my arms and stares at me inquisitively with wonder, he ever so softly plays with my hair exploring it’s texture, his attention shifts to my new necklace as I replaced the one I usually wear that his Daddy bought me and then to my wedding rings where he delicately touches the large princess cut solitaire diamond. I place him in his crib and for the first time since he was a newborn I stand there and watch him drift off to sleep peacefully.
I close his door quietly and sit on my couch. It’s coming, I can feel it. I start crying, for all I’ve been holding in, for my son who’s daddy doesn’t want us to be a complete family and for the pain I’m in. Once I received notice of this urgent motion the tears stopped and a fire was lit. My mama bear instinct was kicking in and no one was going to take my child. I was able to remember the reason I left, that I wanted my husband to get help and so for 11 days I pushed the pain aside and focused on what needed to be done.
An outsider wouldn’t have known the turmoil I was really in. I was functioning well, I was working – remained focused and did my job well and continued to manage my staff well. I had several moments were I was sincerely laughing in the company of others, I was smiling again and one would expect the opposite but truthfully while this legal stuff has been stressful, a level of daily stress has been removed attributed to no longer residing in a toxic environment. Even though I was unwillingly preparing in rebutting an awful attack on my husband, I was functioning. That’s not to say my life is really peaches and roses, on the contrary where he is concerned I have fallen apart. I haven’t talked much to anyone of what’s going on except him. I have blown up his phone with anger, sadness and pleading and begging to withdraw this motion. I’m grieving a death, I’m grieving a loss and the only one I expect to understand is him. But he’s saying very little, he rarely acknowledges my existence. In fact he’s made more malicious efforts to make my life difficult. He closed our joint bank account leaving me scrambling to redirect automatic payments, one of which is a car he drives and pays for but is in my name. He’s abandoned all committment to the car altogether despite our joint financing on it and in fact acquired that expensive vehicle even though he blatantly lied when I confronted him with the quote I found as he said he wouldn’t make any changes to the car without talking to me. He’ll say I threatened to have the car towed and while I have made that threat in the past if he continued to drink and drive, I made it clear in my separation letter I would continue to pay his insurance on the vehicle. He’s made all these decisions unilaterally and it’s not reflecting well on him.
The judge was annoyed that our file was already overflowed with so much paperwork, this was due to him. She could see this was a turbulent case and called our lawyers in and advised Husband and I should go down to mediation. I did not want to but I did anyway. In my discussion alone with the mediator beforehand she quickly got a grasp of our case, the reason I left and why we were now here. She encouraged me to tell Husband I love him, I told her I did not want to because it would be met with rejection. When he was brought into the room all I saw in him was a closed off mile high wall of anger. Still the mediator encouraged me to disclose my feelings and I did, as expected he shut it down. It quickly escalated into an attack and I was done. I left the room first as Husband stayed to speak with her because he always needs to get the last word in to feel justified. Shortly after the mediator came and found my lawyer and I in our interview room, she closed the door and said it was very obvious he’s in denial of his alcoholism and it’s very obvious he’s angry at me for forcing the issue. She grabbed my hand and told me I absolutely did the right thing in removing our son and myself from the home.
Onward into the urgent motion we went. A few days beforehand I mentioned to my lawyer that I knew his family would be there to support the complete removal of a child from his mother as well as enjoy in witnessing any humiliation that came my way. She was very surprised to hear that they would actually be there but asked if I wanted them removed. I said I didn’t care, yes I’m uncomfortable in their presence but I have nothing to hide. Well my lawyer asked the judge to have them removed anyway seeing my discomfort with them close by all day and upon Husbands agreement, out they went. The motion itself was mostly Husbands lawyer stammering and stuttering just taking up precious time. I’m sure his lawyer is a great, intelligent person that I would respect if she wasn’t paid to attack me but it was very obvious she was young and nervous – truthfully I could’ve argued his points better for him and I felt like doing so just to get on with it. I had many pieces of physical documentation rebutting his attack but my most powerful was the months of banking statements documenting a pattern of alcohol purchases every second to third day totalling just over $1400 – his excuse is that they are “work related gift card purchases” in which he doesn’t provide any expense reports for. His most powerful exhibits were my ugly mouthy reactions, his lawyer did a good job of highlighting that well. In the end we were encouraged to try to communicate effectively and we’d receive written notice of her decision within four or five days, and in that moment I knew for sure our son was not going anywhere. I’m sure we would’ve had a decision then except he overflowed the judge with additional unnecessary slandering pleadings. I was happy to get out of there, I was feeling sick all day – a different but familiar kind of sick feeling. I’m ignoring the fact that I could be pregnant and purposely did not stop at the store on the way home to pick up a test because I know if I am, Husband will not care and in fact he will try to say it’s not his even though sex with someone else is the furthest thing from my mind.
I stand up from the couch and I stop crying. I walk into my bedroom and begin to undress and then I finally take my wedding rings off ….for good.
Up Next – Day 25: The Judge’s Ruling