On Wednesday morning, July 15, 2009, I dropped my daughter off at the camp she was volunteering at and headed off to the courthouse, where I was meeting with my attorney to file for divorce and ask for an emergency TRO (temporary restraining order) to keep Dick from spending any of our marital assets.
Totally void of all feelings and sense of reality, I parked my car and walked toward the building. As if operating on cruise-control, my body instinctively managed to put one foot in front of the other and guided me up the steps and into the courthouse. While waiting for my turn to go through security, a wave of melancholy came over me. Images of standing in a similar type of line flooded my mind and brought back a sea of memories of what seemed (at that moment) like a lifetime ago. I was reminiscing about the previous summer when my husband, our kids and I were at the airport preparing to board a flight to Aruba for what would turn out to be our final family vacation together. What a difference a year made! How ironic the whole situation was. As I collected my purse after clearing security, I realized that even though the four of us would be embarking on this excursion together, individually, we would map out our own unchartered paths to destinations still undetermined. What I would have given to have been on a flight to the Caribbean instead.
I met up with my lawyer. We sat down at a table in an open area. He handed me a thick stack of papers. I proceeded to read over and sign the documents that would hurl my life in a brand new trajectory. Then we walked down a long corridor to courtroom 105 and entered the door. Immediately my heart began thumping wildly and loudly against my chest wall, sweat started soaking my palms, while my hands took to trembling uncontrollably. “Get a grip of yourself”, I silently scolded myself. “Calm down, breathe, relax,” the voice in my head coaxed my unwilling body. It was no use. All I wanted to do was run as fast as I could out the door, down the hall, out of the building and to my car. Instead, like a zombie, I walked slowly through the gallery, found an empty spot on the bench in the last row and sat down. As I listened to the others state their woes to the judge, a sinking sensation took hold of my insides and dragged my entire being down to a new low. This was one depressing place! It boggled my mind to think of how many people came to this room day in and day out, week in and week out and year in and year out to put an end to something that at one time was supposed to be their “happily ever after.”What was even more heartbreaking was that soon I would be like the others sharing details of my “irreconcilable differences.” Painfully I realized that I was about to be initiated as a new member into a club I had no desire to join.
What was I doing here? Why was this happening to me? My life wasn’t supposed to turn out like this? When did everything go so terribly wrong? Shocked and dumbfounded, I couldn’t stop asking myself these questions over and over as I waited…and waited…and waited.
Since my case was an emergency, I was the last one to be called. Finally, after everyone else had left, (a mere few hours later) it was my turn to approach the bench. Thankfully I didn’t have to speak in front of an audience. I wasn’t ready for that yet. Fortunately the judge approved my “TRO.” A new court date was set for Monday, July 27, at 9:00am. That was pretty painless. Easier than I thought. My body slowly returned to its relaxed state.
My attorney then asked me what time to send a processor to my house to serve Dick with the “Papers.” I told him that between 8:00pm-8:30pm should be good. Instinctively my heart resumed pounding uncontrollably. I knew that all hell would break loose later that evening.