– A journey of Letting Go
I was so ready to finalize my divorce. The court doors opened and in hobbled Mr. Ex on crutches. It was like seeing the ghost of husband’s past. I know what you’re thinking, and no I did not feel sorry for him. Not one little bit. I know this man. There are only 2 reasons why Mr. Ex was on crutches,
He was faking it to get sympathy from the courts
He did something negligent or reckless to cause his injury
Either way, I just glad that he actually showed up this time.
We had to sit and wait only 10 minutes for the judge to take the bench. Talk about the longest 10 minutes in history or at least that’s what it felt like. My attorney sat to my left and my sister sat to my right. Mr. Ex sat to the left of my attorney. “Just look ahead”, I kept repeating that to myself. I felt like if I made eye contact with him, he would get in my head and I wouldn’t be able to think straight. I needed to stay firm, focused, and strong in my decision to do what I knew was right.
All rise! As we took our seats, I glanced over at Mr. Ex and he was making every ugly face known to man while slowly easing into his seat. Nope, still didn’t feel sorry for him. Neither did my attorney because he dove right in.
The first thing my attorney asked, was why no child supports in 7 months. Now, this is when the B.S started to flow from Mr. Ex’s mouth. According to Mr. Ex, he was currently not working due to a car accident. Being the excellent attorney he is, as he asked more detailed questions, the real story came out, aka reason 2.
Mr. Ex said 4 days ago (yes child he said days) he was sitting in a car at 3 A.M (yes, 3 in the morning) at the gas station (in a known “troubled” neighborhood) when a drunk driver struck the car on his side. He said he went to the hospital and they think he may have fractured his hip. No justifiable reason for hanging out at the gas station at 3 in the morning and no doctor statement. Besides all that, the “accident” happened 4 DAYS ago so, that didn’t explain the other 206 days with no support.
I call B.S but, somehow the judge went for it. She did order arrearage for the missed payments but, put provisions in the order for him to modify the order prior to the 36-month rule in case he could no longer work due to his “injury”. Then because he did not do the parenting class that all divorcing couples with kids have to do, she ordered him to a free online version. I had to sit 4 long hours and pay $75 for this class. I was the one raising 2 teenage boys by myself on minimum wage for most of those 7 months. All the while, what was he doing? Hanging out at the gas station at 3 in the morning.
That was the hard part of the divorce. Mr. Ex agreed to part ways with what we already had in our possession. He also agreed to pay whatever debt that was in our name as we had no joint accounts or debts. Do not be shocked or give him too much credit though, all the bills we ever had was in my name. I just considered this to be a small price for freedom.
As for Thing 1 and Thing 2, due to Mr. Ex’s state of mind and lifestyle, the court granted me full physical and legal custody. Mr. Ex was not even granted parenting time. The judge ruled that he had to complete some provisions and then file a petition to even be considered for any parenting time. I didn’t see that one coming. I wanted to protect my kids from the trickle-down effects of the harmful situations that Mr. Ex loves to revel in but, I never intended to keep my kids from their father. I could only hope that he would quickly and successfully complete the court’s request, so he could get back to being a father.
You don’t know this new me; I put back my pieces, differently-unknown
Finally, the judge granted me my maiden name back. Court adjourned! That was the official end to us and the beginning of me. To everyone around me I was in celebration mode but, once I was alone I was beginning to reflect.
Deep in thought, I was suddenly back to that fateful night of October 20, 2001. Our Wedding night. A 19-year-old me lay in my newly gifted negligee 2 hours into waiting for the return of my husband. I had made an attempted to make our humble one bedroom apartment as romantic as possible for us to consummate our marriage. Candles were strategically placed all around the room giving it this beautiful hazy glow. Our song, You’re All I need, was on repeat.
“Where is he!” I shouted, feeling frustrated and lonely. Checking the time yet again, 12:30 A.M. At that moment in time, I had all kinds of wonderful, lively fantasies about our future together. Calling around to all his family and friends, jails and pleading to God that he was okay was never in my fantasies. Yelling, cussing, lies and suspicions of cheating was not the future I pictured for us. Depression, low self-esteem, loneliness, and empties was not the forever I seen when I gazed in his eyes just hours before at the altar. That night I drifted off to sleep listing to Mary and that night we did not consummate our marriage.
Like a strong gust of wind, my mind whirled around all the stressful situations I allowed my marriage to put me in. My 15 years of marriage was like being on a crazy roller coaster ride in the middle of a tornado. Finally, the storm died down and I got off the roller coaster. I put my past to rest. I got up and walked to the mirror in the hallway. I took a long hard look at myself. From my head to my toes. With a wink and a smile, I said out loud, “Allow me to reintroduce myself”.