Prego and the Loon

Beauty and the Restraining Order

In Restraining Order on October 9, 2012 at 7:16 am

Family court is an interesting place… crowds of people fill the hallway, waiting, anticipating, nervous… some happy, some sad. Ladies fill the women’s restroom just waiting to be the next to paint their face. Tears fill their eyes… maybe they just lost a husband or a child. A story just like mine. It’s interesting that in many rituals you get so dressed up for that one last good-bye. A bon voyage party, a graduation, a funeral, a divorce, and even a restraining order against your husband. Why is it we want to look so beautiful for one last good-bye?

My heart is racing, my hands are shaky, and I anxiously keep looking around and peering over my shoulder to see if he is going to show. He was suppose to appear at 1:45 pm to settle the restraining order, divorce, and custody. Where is he, and what is he thinking? Sitting at a bar knocking back another drink, coked up with some floozy… bottom line he is currently a no show. Funny that he claims to care about his child and want to see his child yet he can’t seem to make it to this court date.

He never showed up at court that day, and because all issues had already been tried once before the judge let us push on without him. The judge granted a five year restraining order to protect myself and our son that day. This is the maximum protection, time frame the court will grant. In addition the judge finalized the mediators recommendations which consisted of my husband having supervised visitation upon completion of an alcohol assessment and a 52 week batterer program. The courts even granted me child support. I was never interested in the money, mostly fear of being tied to him for the next 18 years. It was always about our son’s safety.

Before leaving the courtroom that day the judge spoke to me. She mentioned that she was proud of me for getting out of an abusive relationship, to continue to take the proper steps needed to protect myself and my son, and to start fresh with a new begining. The judge was clearly proud of me. My friends and family were truely proud. I was proud of myself for what I had accomplished that day at the courthouse. I received everything I asked for in court that day. So why did I leave with tears in my eyes? Was I hurt he didn’t show after I was up all evening choosing the perfect outfit, or… That he didn’t care, and no longer loved me? Or that it is the end of this chapter of my life? Many things went through my head at that moment… the romantic moments I shared with him, the physically and verbally abusive nights, where is he at and why didn’t he show up, is he stalking us or are we safe… Although the thought which sticks out most in my head is that this day represents the END of the beautiful dream I hoped to share with my husband, the happy family fantasy, and my white picket fence is no more.

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  1. Great job! I wish my experience was as positive as yours was! To bad I was on the receiving end….:(!

  2. Congratulations on your graduation from one school of Hard Knocks. In this piece you were able to sum up both the experience of the day plus the experience of the marriage. I’m glad you could hear that the judge was proud of you. So many women get to this step and they are the no-shows. I too, am proud of being able to share your experience through your writing. Please keep writing.

  3. As a lawyer I am in family court all the time. I am immersed in it, and have seen cases similar and emotions, words and actions. At the end of the day it is about your child bing happy healthy and safe, and of course of of you being healthy and safe?

  4. So true about the END of a dream, a happy ending, a lifelong journey with the love of your life. It’s heartbreaking, and hard and lonely. I want to say that I’m so proud of you for taking those steps, for being stronger than you may have thought you were, for being a wonderful mother to your child and most of all, for being human. God Bless You!

  5. You are a brave inspiration!

  6. I give you the utmost respect for your comment about it never being about the child support. I was told I was a fool when I denied a sum of money per week which now would inevitably make life easier but I wanted much the same as you, to protect my child and unborn child. I have learned though the value of money on an expensive lawyer can swing in the other persons favour and lies are undoubtedly covered up and you stand alone in a soundproof room where you feel nobody will ever hear you.

    • The courtroom is a scary place, and entering alone can be frightening. A sea of emotions race through your head clouding your vision of the task at hand, and it is very comforting to have a fancy lawyer by your side. Although don’t let this discourage you. With or without a lawyer this is your case, and you know the scenerio best. You are your best evidence, and now you just need to prove it. I filed my paperwork, and when doing so I provided pictures, documentation, statements from various parties (including doctors records), letters from support groups… my list could go on and on. It is not easy, and you may not have all the evidence you need but don’t sell yourself short due to funds. Thanks for reading a bit of my blogs, and providing your support… my friendship is a blog away!

  7. I remember my day in court, for my divorce 7 years ago. I understand the tears – it’s a lot to lose (the dream of a picket fence life).

  8. Thank you for your transparency and truth. Only those of us who have been in your shoes understand the emotion.
    Good for you for getting yourself and your son safe despite the emotion.
    Too many of us end up dead because we romanticized the whole deal.
    Endings are always beginnings. You may not have had that dream at that time, but you have no idea what God has in store for you.

  9. Thank you for your transparency and truth. Only those of us who have been in your shoes understand the emotion.
    Good for you for getting yourself and your son safe despite the emotion.
    Too many of us end up dead because we romanticized the whole deal.
    Endings are always beginnings. You may not have had that dream at that time, but you have no idea what God has in store for you

  10. I identify with your story because I lived through something very similiar 30 years ago – and prevailed in court – when my son was just little. I also understand your mixed emotions. I was briefly transported back in time. Very well written.

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