You guys, I am so tired. I slept ohhhh……maybe an hour last night, probably less. I had a hard time writing this post. I kept writing, deleting, crying, writing some more, deleting again, crying, and so on.
You see, I have good news; I don’t have to go to court on Monday. Yay! Right? Am I right? “Well then gee Eden, you should have slept wonderfully seeing as how you no longer have to stress out about court now, am I right?”
Yea, you would think so, but no.
I took the kids to the Movie In the Park event last night. I love going to the movie in the park. Like I’ve said before, a good chunk of the town turns out and it’s a big, free, family fun night. Last night they had great vendors and the kids got tons of free stuff. I took both of them into the free money booth. What is a free money booth you ask? Well, it’s a booth (aka enclosed box with a turbo fan) that blows money around and whatever you catch, you get to keep. Money booth = awesome, am I right? (The kids actually did not see the fabulousness of the entire thing and simultaneously burst into atomic tears as soon as the machine turned on, which caused the operator to FREAK out, turn it off as fast as she could, and thrust piggy banks into each of my kids hands. I, on the other hand, was having a hard time stifling my laughs because hello, it's money. We are not standing in a box of porcupines children, we are standing in a giant box filled with money. This is what dreams are made of kids). The library was also there, giving away free hardcover children’s books and the police department came and turned both of my kids into “honorary officers.” I got to relax while the park district played organized outdoor games with them. My friends had gotten there early, saved us a space, gotten pizza, raided the concession’s stand, and took care of us like they always do. My daughter was adorned head to toe in glow stick jewelry right up until the moment she bit into one and it exploded all over her face and then she was just glowing everywhere.
A perfect night, am I right?
With the exception of the money box I spent nearly the entire night choking back tears while feeling suffocated by the lump that was swelling in my throat; enveloped in a feeling of despair like a hug that I couldn’t escape from.
You see, I didn’t want to go to court. I didn’t want to go at all but it felt like the right thing to do. It felt like the right thing to do for my kids. It felt like the right thing to do for myself. It had taken me a long time to get up the courage to have Mr. Attorney Man file the paperwork and once he did, I felt at peace with the decision.
There have been a lot of things in my life that I have had no control over and that I’ve just had to accept and be ok with. I had to accept the fact that I didn’t have an idyllic childhood, because dwelling on it would have just made me an angry and bitter person. I had to accept the fact that I spent years of my life being abused and raped by my ex husband. On top of that, I had to accept the fact that I will never really know where he went, never truly understand why he left; never have details to the questions my kids will ask.
It took a lot to be ok with all of that. It took a lot to get to the point where I realized that the future that I wanted was more important than the baggage that I was carrying around. That in order to reach the destination that I was aiming for, that I needed to set down some of my overloaded luggage so that I could keep moving. So I did. I set down the bitterness, the anger, the shame, the maddening curiosity surrounding my ex’s second life, and I left it all behind. I set down the majority of my past and I walked away from it. Sure, I'm still wearing a backpack filled with trust issues and fear that I’d like to ditch by the roadside sometime soon, but for the most part I’ve been moving along in the healing process at a pretty good pace.
You guys, I can’t shake it. It’s been clawing away at my soul for some time now.
I don’t know how to move past this. I’m completely stuck. I’ve been overwhelmed lately by the feeling of suffocation. Like my soul is screaming from inside, desperately trying to get out, pleading for someone to hear me, but the only thing that I hear is the sound echoing inside of my own heart.
I got raped, I went to the police, no one did a damn fucking thing about it, and my ex is happily living his life.
I don’t know how to move past that. I left the marriage, I deserve to be free of the abuse.
It’s not anger that is holding me back surprisingly. It’s the fallout that it has caused in my life. It’s the feeling of being scared to walk to my car. It's knowing that one minute you can be on the phone and the next minute you have completely lost control of your life. Its knowing that I can’t protect myself. It's knowing that after the latest incident that he still controls an element of my life and that I can’t escape it. It's knowing that I left the marriage but I haven't escaped the abuse.
It is the very real truth that because of him, at any moment I may not be in control of my own life.
So I guess when it really comes down to it, it isn’t the rape that I can’t get over, it’s just the most painful example in the fact that he still has me under his thumb. I am so desperately trying to rebuild the ruins of a shattered life and yet here he is, throwing rocks at my very fragile house.
I’m tired of it. I’m tired of him. I’m tired of seeing things always work out for him while the kids and I struggle so hard. Decide to hit your wife? Sure, go for it, no one will care. Decide that you don’t want to be a father anymore? Sure, just walk out the door and never look back. Decide to have your wife raped? Sure, the police aren’t going to do anything about it anyways. Shake your baby? No problem, your wife will dedicate her life to healing him while you just go about your merry way. Decide to stalk her for a few months because it’s all fun and games? Absolutely, go for it, you’ll never be prosecuted anyways.
When is enough, enough?
When will I ever be in control of my life without constantly being in damage control mode from his actions?
I'm tired of looking at my body in the shower and knowing what someone has done to it. I'm tired of knowing that I got raped because I chose to pursue him for child support in the past. I'm tired of knowing that my life seems to be a revolving series of healing from things that I have had no control over; child abuse, spousal abuse, rape, abandonment, etc.
It sometimes feels like my entire life has been one continuous free fall and every time I think I've finally landed, the earth dissolves beneath my feet again. I need to gain some element of control in my life when it comes to my ex.
Enough is enough.
He owes me money, quite a bit of it actually in unpaid child support related items. I decided that enough was enough, I refuse to let him walk all over me anymore. I was tired of saying no to my children because their dad didn’t want to be their dad anymore and I was left alone to provide for all of us. This has just been the latest example in how his failure continues to weigh on my shoulders.
So I had Mr. Attorney Man draw up the paperwork and set a court date. I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to go, but I needed this. I needed to know that I wasn’t backing down this time. That after all he put me through the last time I pursued child support, that I still wasn’t going to back down.
I need to not let him have the final word and that is so unlike me, because normally I don’t care what anyone else thinks of me, but this, this I needed.
I needed him to see that after nearly a decade of abuse, that I was still standing.
Then low and behold my ex calls Mr. Attorney Man and in between claiming to be poor and broke himself, he basically spews a bunch of lies that he would bring up in court. He also said quite a few things that infuriated me, particularly that I should work harder to provide for my kids and that he just wants to be left alone. Basically, when I thought he wouldn't even show up to court, it now appears that it could be a little bit more of a struggle.
My ex hit his children and over my dead body will he ever see them again, but I refuse to let him pretend as if they don’t exist. I work my ass off every day to make sure that those kids have everything that they need and he thinks he can just pretend that they don’t exist? You don't get to abuse your wife for years and then move on to the next one. You don’t get to rape someone and pretend it never happened. You don’t get to throw away children because they no longer serve your purpose.
You don’t get to shatter people's lives and then get upset when things inconvenience you.
After talking with my ex, Mr. Attorney Man told me that for now we will have the case continued. He then presented me with a few options as to how we can handle this, one including a five year payment plan paying $100 dollars a month towards his debt. FIVE YEARS. You’re kids are not a car dude, you don’t get to finance them. I’m not a bank and I didn’t agree to give you a loan.
Mr. Attorney Man gave me some logical advice, all of which I promptly (and probably stupidly) ignored, and then we got off the phone. He has my best financial interests in mind and I understand that, it is what I pay him to do, but he can't possibly understand how much deeper this runs.
If I choose to take this to court, at this point it could go either way. The county that I live in has a reputation for ignoring what any other county would consider iron clad proof. To add to that, my ex lies and cries on command and his current “reportable” work status, or lack thereof, could bite me in the ass in court.
I could agree to an arrangement with him and have some sort of guarantee that eventually I will be paid or I could take him to court and risk walking away with nothing at all.
Yet despite the lack of guarantee, my gut says to go for it, go to court. It isn’t about the money. Providing the best for my kids isn’t always about being able to provide for them financially. They need a healthy mother. They need a good example of self respect. My daughter needs to see that it is not ok for a man to walk all over you. My son deserves to be acknowledged by the father that shook him.
I refuse to make my children hide in a corner for the rest of their childhood because "daddy doesn't want to be bothered."
None of us deserve to be swept under the rug with a ridiculous five year payment plan and walked all over, under his feet where the dirt lies, because he can't be bothered to look us in the face.
I don’t want to settle.
I need this. I need him to see that I am stronger than him. That despite what he throws at me, that I’m not just going to fade away into the background because he has decided that he is done with our family. I spent eight years of marriage hiding from him. I need to know that I didn’t take every punch, every hit, every rape, for years and years just to give up and agree to be tossed out like trash.
I need the final piece of my self respect back and unfortunately, he has it because I let him steal it from me.
I want him to see that I won’t stop fighting. I want to pick my sorry ass up off the ground and show him that I am still standing. I want to be able to tell my kids that I fought for them.
There is a distinctive difference between surrendering to accept a life situation for what it was knowing that the rest of your life is worth more than being hindered by it; and being stuck in a situation that you can't get out of.
I accept my past for what it was; ugly. I accept it and I'm choosing to move past it because I know that the rest of my life is so infinitely important that if I keep looking backwards, I will never be able look forward enough to walk towards my beautiful destination.
What I will not accept is the fact that I am still stuck in an abusive situation. That I will not accept and that I need to get out of.
But what if I go to court and I lose?