Friday, April 29, 2011
We had the hearing yesterday for temporary custody and child support. It did not go as well as I had hoped. We both share joint legal custody of our boys, so I do get to be a part of the decision making process for them. My estranged husband got primary physical custody, and I get them every other weekend essentially and every other Wednesday for dinner. Plus, he gets nearly one half month of my monthly pay for child support. There are some other stipulations, but I will not go into those. I will now see them less than I already did. I cannot comment on what the court thinks, as I have no idea. I do know that I asked my lawyer to do this with as little bloodshed as possible. I think I erred. I don’t think that was a stipulation on the side of the defense. If my estranged needed public vindication, yesterday, he received it. I guess this is what justice looks like. I was the one to leave. I was the one who left without taking the boys with me. I left them because I didn’t want to cause them trauma. For a separation to occur, someone has to leave, so that is what I did.
I was portrayed as a self centered, crazy, impulsive drunk by the other lawyer. I never thought of myself as self-centered and selfish. Maybe people who are don’t see themselves that way. I know I am not crazy or a drunk. Everything important to me wasn’t there in the facts yesterday. Facts aren’t feelings … I hear it over and over and over again. To me, feelings are very much a factor. I grew up in a very unhappy home. At least it seemed that way to me. Others remember things differently, but the fact they all supported my estranged husband in this custody case gives credence to the type of support I felt growing up. I always felt like we were dodging my father’s anger, and that my mother was weighed down with sadness and depression. She had a lot of migraines. She went to bed early a lot. I remember a lot of evenings laying beside her in bed just to talk to her. I remember many rides in the car with my father in uncomfortable silence. I know they loved and still love me in their way, but I don’t think they knew how to express it to me, or I didn’t know how to receive it.
The last several years before I really got on top of this depression, I found myself sleeping a lot. I found my estranged husband and I sitting in uncomfortable silence or arguing over money or lack of it. We argued about not connecting. We held onto our resentment of our growing apart. I said yesterday that I wanted the boys to have two happy homes instead of one angry and sad home. I still want that. I still want happiness to come out of this through all this carnage.
None of that came out. I want more for my children and oddly for my estranged husband. I want more for myself. I guess if needing to know who you are is selfish, then I am guilty of that. I want to know who I am so that I can help my boys with the process of figuring out who they are. The only way to have real connections is to be real in interactions. None of this stuff comes out when you are on the stand. Its all numbers and do you recall this or that… what ever it is you are supposed to recall. Even though you go over all of this with your lawyer, when you are on the stand after you just put your hand on the Bible, all you want to do is get it exactly right so that you are exactly truthful — at least that was my experience.
I am also guilty of falling in love. That also sounded very sorted and terrible at the pronouncements of the other lawyer. It wasn’t sordid or terrible. It is love. As I have said in past blogs, we didn’t do things as we should have… that is what did come out in court, and it sounded different than it really was. I am not ashamed of who I love. I am guilty of wanting my boys to know her and to like her. I want whomever my estranged falls in love with to be good to my boys and for them to love her as well. That didn’t come out either. Not really. I guess I ring true to my Myers-Briggs INFP label. (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving.) My exact opposite is ESTJ (Extroversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging). I am perceiving that an ESTJ makes a good lawyer and an INFP not so much.
I have learned that not being orthodoxed costs. I have learned that feelings are not really admissible in court. I know that choosing to live authentically costs. I pray that down the road my children will forgive me for what it cost, and that we will be able to be together more in the future. I know that being real is better than being sad, angry, depressed and suicidal. I know that being sober is better than being drunk. I know that there are a lot of people who still love me, and know that I am a good mother. I have tried to be the best mother I can be. I know that being true to yourself has value.
Today I am regrouping. The fight is not over. I will be smarter (who am I kidding – the fact that I am actually posting another blog – yet another article of evidence used against me yesterday — indicates I will not be that much smarter).
I just hope that Rob Bell is right. I hope that Love Wins.
As always, thanks for reading…