oh, i suppose you'd like a little backstory, wouldn't you? ;) i've dropped bits and pieces of it around here, with a rant or two thrown in for good measure, but i don't know as i've actually explained it all. herewith, the Cliff Notes version.
see, my fat fucknut of an ex called me just before Easter to tell me he was getting married. good luck, godspeed. *thwop* the other shoe was that he wanted an annulment. i debated submitting testimony for the first round, and let it go because i really don't care if he gets the annulment. come to find out, he got the preliminary decision by calling me a baby killer. that, my friends, just doesn't fly.
when i went to sleep last night, i kept thinking about the testimony as just another writing assignment. it isn't, of course, but it was the only way i could approach it with half a semblance of sanity. and somehow, that worked. i spent an hour or so today typing up a biography. yeah, i had to step back and view this as someone else's story. i filled four pages with my answers to the questions specifically about children, focusing on those because they were most pertinent and even in the calm space, i couldn't face documenting the entire relationship.
i drove over to the court this afternoon. it occurred to me when i parked my car and got out that i was probably their worst nightmare. see, the bumper stickers on my car include 'you say tomato, i say fuck you', a Darwin fish, 'boys stink', and a few Wiccan/pagan stickers. heh. that, plus i've read a fair amount of canon law and am an excellent debater. and somehow (looks heavenward, thank you, goddess) i was still feeling calm. everything was down on paper, which got me halfway there.
the judge invited me in to talk, even tho i didn't have an appointment. much to my delight, i was able to keep eye contact and open body language. i really didn't feel threatened, by her or the process. she had invited me in because i had asked about seeing his testimony. they really need to revise their notification letters, because apparently i only had a small window of opportunity to see the rest of the testimony. that certainly wasn't clear.
while i didn't see all of it, i definitely heard the pertinent bits. she skimmed my testimony and read selected bits from the ex and Toph. huh. Toph was one of my best friends in high school, briefly my boyfriend, and the person who introduced me to my ex. he was also in our wedding party. that one surprised me a bit.
here's what i learned about myself (she said, tongue in cheek): Toph and i were planning on getting married and having kids. i dumped him for Fritz, and he was shattered. (news to me, that's for sure.) nobody ever thought i'd get married, let alone have kids. i hate kids because they're loud, smelly and messy. when i got pregnant, i dictated to Fritz that i was going to have an abortion, and he could come or not, but it was going to happen. i refused to have sex with him after that. i went to housesit for a friend for a few weeks, called him and told him i was leaving, and snuck in one afternoon when he wasn't there and stole all my stuff. i sued him for divorce, refusing to talk to him about anything.
wow. that is such a twisted version of what happened that i spent much of the discussion with the judge saying 'um, *what*?' and laughing. for starters: if Toph and i were going to get married, that's the first i've heard of it. the road not taken sort of needs to be presented before you can opt out, i think. as to kids, i think it's a bit unfair to take comments out of context. sure, i've said that kids are loud, smelly and messy. well, they are. doesn't mean i don't want them. or if i opt not to have kids, it won't be because i can't stand diapers.
as to the abortion, i shouldn't even dignify that with a response. i'll just say this: it's not a decision to be taken lightly or alone. and our sex life did tank after that, but it hadn't been that great before, either. he had some self-esteem issues based in part on his weight, and it took me a long time to heal emotionally after having my insides scraped out. combine that with lack of communication and a generally failing relationship, and you get a nonexistent sex life.
and the whole sneaking out thing? gah. okay, here's how that went down. we had been talking about separation for several months before that. i had been actively looking for an apartment for about three months. when i found one, the chance to housesit also presented itself. serendipity, nothing more. and sneaking? please. i arranged a time *with him*, so as not to inconvenience him. and he was there when i came by with friends and a truck. if that's sneaking, let's hope he never works for airport security.
yes, i did file for divorce - after he asked me to. i had the money, and a lawyer. at his request, i filed. and as i said to the judge, on paper it looks like all me. choose to make what you will of it. i can't prove or disprove his statement, and i don't really care to do so.
the only squeechy moment with the judge came when she tried to get me to reconsider my decision, saying that i didn't have valid reasons. i finally said to her 'look. i'm not Catholic. you're asking me to renege on a decision based on Catholic standards.' oh, but there's such a thing as natural law which goes beyond the boundaries of the Catholic church... fuck natural law. i had my reasons, and have to live with *my* conscience and *my* god. i'm uninterested in your standards. then she asked me if, in hindsight, i would still do the same thing. that went a few rounds before i said 'hindsight has nothing to do with this. you're trying to assess a decision made seven years ago, and the only pertinent thing is the mindset of the individuals at the time. hindsight has nothing to do with this.' that stopped that line of questioning. did i mention i debate well?
goddess love her, the judge was very reasonable other than that. at the end of the conversation, she said she thinks that i'm a balanced, centered person, more than many people. (i don't necessarily agree, but it was nice to hear, and i thanked her.) and then she summed up my ex. 'he doesn't seem very mature, emotionally. he seems like a passive-agressive individual, with an Oedipal complex who, for some reason, perhaps because he sees you as a mother figure, still needs your approval and acceptance. and he has serious self-esteem issues, stemming from lack of education and obesity.'
i can't make up shit like that.
i still need to wait and see how things pan out, but she may vacate the original decision. oh, he'll still get the annulment. and i'm fine with that. but it will be for something like lack of due discretion (bad judgement). and that fits with my perceptions. that i can live with.