It was the Spring of 2012.
I slid my lawyer the retainer check made out in the amount of $16,000 across her desk and sat back in my chair.
I was so frustrated… this was one of many, many multi-thousand dollar checks I’d written her and a long list of other lawyers over the past three years. This latest Family Court case was based on the fact my ex simply decided to start sending me monthly child support checks made out for a fraction of the court ordered amount.
For some reason, my ex had a fire burning deep in his belly to make me suffer financially, physically and emotionally for our divorce – even though he was the one who asked for it. What made it worse was he couldn’t care less if our kids suffered too.
Don’t get me wrong the marriage was horrible (I knew that early on) but I did my best to make it work because we were “married”. I believed that meant for better or worse and most importantly we’d started a Family.
The one thing I care more about than anything else in life are my three kids.
I valued family above everything and I was determined to work my hardest to make this family work.
My ex was determined to climb the corporate ladder and make a lot of money.
His grandiose sense of importance, preoccupation with unlimited success-power-money, wanting to only be associated with highly successful or high-status people, his sense of entitlement and lack of empathy made him really, really good at it.
But, he was also not physically or emotionally available to me or our kids. When he wasn’t away from home on endless business trips, he was “working late” or preoccupied with a project. The only way he became involved with one of our kids is if they showed a skill or quality that heightened his sense of success, then he would hyper-focus his attention on exploiting that while losing sight of our child’s well-being.
So, I worked double-time being the best mom and dad I could be, by being hypersensitive to the needs of our kids. Taking care of 110 per cent of everything in the household.
Believe me… I’m no Martha Stewart or Mother Teresa but I did become very good at spinning our home life reality into something that looked like a picture-perfect storybook.
But after endless (and useless) marriage counselling, three kids and 23 looooong years, I was exhausted and depleted. I actually looked forward to the divorce; hoping it would give me a respite and my kids a chance at genuine peace and happiness.