Finding Strength Through Battle

Tomorrow will be the end of a long and tortuous process.  I am hitting a new milestone in my journey of change and I cannot wait for the finish line.  Tomorrow I will face the X in court for the completion of our custody battle that has been dragging on since January.  Ten months of fighting, negotiating, disappointment, rage, fear, defeat, determination, rage, exhaustion, rage….it’s finally over.  And it’s just the beginning.

I haven’t written about this battle until now mostly because it changes so often it would be outdated the minute I finished writing, but also because the emails back and forth with my attorney were taxing enough.  I haven’t been able to even talk about most of the process with close friends…and especially with my mother I tell everything to (and often regret).

We have been divorced for over a year already but not more than 5 months after the divorce was final the X decided to buy a house with the girlfriend 75 miles away from his children….and forgot to tell me! In true X fashion he thought if he told me at the very last minute there would be nothing I could do about it and I would just have to live with it.  A tactic he used often during our marriage.  I truly lost it and stewed during that 2 hour drive the next day to pick up the kids.  I vowed to never return to that house and made a set of demands.  If he didn’t agree to those terms on the spot I was getting a lawyer and there would be no playing nice this time around.  I never shook so hard as I stood in front of his house, screaming for all the neighbors to hear, and was fully aware of the girlfriend listening from the upstairs window.  I was so angry I couldn’t even put words together.

I don’t think I really even had intentions to take him back to court in that moment.  I really would have rather not spent the time or the money fighting what I knew would be an exhausting fight.  For the 8 years we were married he would do drastic things like this and I would yell and scream for a while, get over it, and tell the funny story to our friends of the time X was such a jerk (ha ha ha).  I stewed for another 2 hours home, comforting the kids who were already complaining about the long drive and getting restless.  This just fueled my fire even more.  I didn’t know what to do.  This was completely out of my control.  How could I finally be rid of him, and yet his poor decision making was still affecting MY LIFE!!  I knew I had to break this cycle of him getting away with asinine actions and do something.  And this time it was bigger than him vs. me.  This was affecting my kids.  And no one messes with my kids.  So I called his bluff and got a lawyer.

There were times during this process where I felt like I was her again.  That broken, insecure woman who would rather surrender than endure the hell that was arguing with him.   That I would rather sacrifice my values and my voice than to stand up to him.  I would stay strong on the phone with my attorney and then immediately break down sobbing as I hung up the phone.  I could hear his voice in the responses to my negotiations. His rationale and need for control were jumping off the paper.  I would start to get twirly and angry like I used to.  It took all of my strength not to text him or call him after reading his requests.

I have held my tongue and have kept my poise in his presence for all of these months and it finally ends tomorrow.  We have spent thousands negotiating and renegotiating.  I am exhausted of this charade and now await the result.  I don’t know what the outcome will be, but if nothing else, at least I was able to see this fight through to the end.  And maybe he will see that I am not the woman he was married to, I won’t tolerate anything but respect, and I will do whatever it takes to do right by me, and by my girls.

Wish me luck…

 

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