Thursday, 5 November 2009
The track to justice is full of pitfalls, traps, snipers and highwaymen. It is the best way I can describe filing for divorce and child support.
I remember hearing me men friends over the year talk about the "leaching women using the system with their free lawyers meant to milk men dry". Lord knows I tried but could not find anyone like that to help. I stood in long lines with people who gave me papers to fill out and when asked a question told me to hire a lawyer or that I didn't want it bad enough. Once the legalize was filled out than they wanted money for this and that fee. There were no free leaching lawyers. I can see why after all this women are so hateful by the time they see the men in court.
Oh, than they make you wait. And wait. And wait.
You want it over yesterday. You want it all gone so you can start over. You think that once the judge bangs the gavel it all magically disappears. All the hate and love and resentment and good and bad memories and the extra weight while we are at it.
So I spend about a year going from crying to hope to eating too much ice cream to not eating at all to eating ice cream again. I don't remember much more from that year. I wish I did. It was like my mind was turned off and my survival primal brain took over.
I looked through my closet and found the most respectable dress I could find. One that said I am a responsible mother. I am not a unstable emotional bundle of nerves who can't keep a man. Funny enough it is the same outfit I go to funerals in.
I put my war paint on. First a heavy base. I still have some of my old stage make up when I wanted to cover this mark of wings that don't work. My eyeshadow and lipstick so unlike me, so unbold, so unsluty, just like the pink sweater ladies brigade that dislike me so much. It is what people want to believe is an honorable woman. I look like them. Well a rounder version of them.
As I look in the mirror at a reflection I don't recognize I tell myself I will lose this extra pre divorce depression weight off to the out and about divorcee slimmer me like I used to be back before I knew Ian.
Walking into the courtroom is like walking into a tomb.
The walls and stairs and column. All stone cold.
It seems so silence and dark.
Oh wait that is me, I must remember to keep breathing.
I wish I took something to kill this pain.
But I didn't because I didn't want the judge to think me an addict. But As I breath and sound comes back to my ears so loud I do feel like I imagine detoxing must be to a heroin addict. The sweats start. This make up and funeral suit are so hot with so many people.
I make it to a seat. As sight and sound come back more firmly I look over and see that all familiar face. I smile instectively. He doesn't see me. His is the only face that I recognize. It has been a year.
My mind goes to those places I would not allow it to go before. All those years. All that love. all those babies made. Seeing him hold his first child. Gleaming with pride and love.
The love. I get so caught up in that feeling. Like seeing an old friend again after a long time. Some silly spat you don't remember quite what it was about. Like time to move on with the feeling you had once, a love so strong you can forgive some little trifle thing and get back to being a family.
As I stood I could see him in my waking dream beg the judge time to talk to me, to save is marriage, his family. He realized he made a mistake. He realized that some loved were greater.
Then she walked in with his son.
The son I could never give him.
Not gaining an ounce for the trouble.
He smiles at her and kisses her as she sits with the boy in her arms.
His lawyer whispers in his ear.
I tried not to hate him. I tried not to let pain back in. I tries to hold on to the love I just felt.
I don't remember much of the time there after that. The Lawyer, "blah blah blah" and " so you see he has a new family to support, she has her own means, she has the house, give her no more" and more "blah blah blah" and "loves all his children, this woman kept him from them" and more "blah blah blah".
If I had a friend to stand with me, maybe I would have remembered more. If I had a friend who asked me later at a pub I would have told them just that.
In the end I only ended up with $1000 a month to live off of with the 4 children. Not all school age. Meaning I had no way to go to work. Not that there was much work where I lived. Small towns don't tend to hire the town freak.
I walked out of the cold cold court room after the clap of thunder that was the gavels strike. I was trying so hard to hold on to the images of the past. I tries so hard not to cry. I made it all the way back to the car.
With all those nasty things his lawyer said about me, I wonder if he remembered any of the past at all. He had moved on.
I came to realize all my best days were behind me. I had no clue how I got to the pub. I have no clue how I got home that night. I remember paying the babysitter who wanted double for being gone so long. The next thing I remember was waking up with my old guitair wrapped in a blanket on the deck sitting in the Adirondack chair.
Though I could have swore I saw Moses put the blanket around me.