Thursday, January 4, 2007

Freedom

Freedom.

What a deliciously sweet word.

I went to the courthouse today, and on my way, I was remembering back to the last time I had been to this courthouse with The Slug. It would have been August 2004, when our divorce was granted. Funny, try as I might, I couldn’t remember that day, at all. I could remember the day I appeared before the judge in my divorce from C1, but my memory could not recall the day of my divorce from The Slug.

I take that back. I remember walking out of the courthouse afterwards. I remember the drive back to work, and the phone calls I made to all of my family and friends. I could not remember appearing before the judge. I could not remember sitting in that courtroom. It was if my mind had blocked it out, completely. Strange.

I got to the courthouse, his truck was there. I reminded myself, I have nothing to fear here, I have a lawyer, we have an agreement, nothing will change. This is just a formality. Still, I wondered, I questioned, I worried. Up the stairs to the courtroom, and then it hit me. All of the memories of that day. Sitting in that courtroom waiting for our case to be called. Being sworn in by the judge, taking the stand and testifying to all that we had agreed upon. Today would be much the same.

He sat waiting outside the courtroom, we chatted, mostly about the girls. The unspoken giant elephant in the room was the reason we were there. He was subdued, thoughtful, withdrawn, polite, sincere and contrite. All those things I know he is very capable of being for a short time. All those things he can pretend to be, to pull at the heart strings, and stir up the guilt.

I could see the guy I could be friends with. And now I have to find a way to be friends with him, to set aside the anger and pain, and do what’s best for the girls, always. He looked defeated, deflated. I almost felt sorry for him.

I had to remind myself of the hell he had made my life in the past. That no matter how defeated he looked today, there is a monster lurking underneath, and he can turn on my in a moment. I had to remember that I had to do this today, to be free, to move, to start a fresh new life. To be able to live a life I am unable to live here.

We walked in, we appeared before the judge, we testified that we agreed that the parenting plan we submitted was in the best interest of the girls. I testified that I would like the court to grant me permission to relocate to Lincoln County after the girls finish school. He testified that he would not contest it. It was straightforward, no surprises. Went off without a hitch. Except the hitch in my heart, seeing what this was doing to him. It was hurting him, more than he would let on. It’s hard to celebrate a victory at the painful expense of someone else. (The guilt he was inducing in me was powerful indeed.)

I knew I would walk out of that courtroom today, and look and feel unchanged. I also know that I am profoundly changed, I am just unaware of the changes right now. I know that the realization of all that has happened will hit in a day or two. But for now, this demon has been slain, and I am victorious. I am free. My life is now my life. The girls are now mine.

Freedom.

What a glorious sweet word.

1 comment:

M. S. said...

Woo Hoo! Yea! Yippee! I'm happy you have found freedom.