Looking at Marriage in a Glass Half-full/Half-empty Way
A Minute to Myself (31)

Stood Up by the Judge, Again

Well, this whole court experience or lack thereof has caused even my father to become cynical. He told my mother the night before my scheduled court appearance on June 20th that it wouldn’t happen. And, unfortunately, that has come to pass (or not). The judge, the judge really did stand me up. At seven in the morning of the 20th he called in to his boss (the chief judge of the county courthouse) and told him that he wouldn’t be coming in. I’m sorry if he’s sick, but enough already.

I, of course, did not find this out until I walked into the courtroom with my lawyer and there was no one there in a robe. His clerk told us that he wouldn’t be coming in. Incredulous is all I can say to describe my state of mind. And the tears just started streaming, and I lacked the ability to even attempt to stop them, mascara or not, public place or not. I looked at the clerk, at my lawyer, at the other people in the courtroom (not at mr. ex, though) hoping that someone would do something, would say something to stop this reality from unfolding. But no one did. He really did stand me up.

I am a person who can generally smile, but since this happened yesterday I have been unable to smile. I tried, I really did when someone smiled at me, but I couldn’t break it; my cheeks didn’t bunch up in the charming way that people’s cheeks do when they smile. No, a pretend smile that barely moved the lips was—is—all I can muster. I know that I am not sick, that I am healthy, my daughters are healthy, and everyone I know is basically healthy and I really should be thankful for that. And I am. But this weight—this dark cloud—that is hovering over me is too, too much.

So that court date that was to discuss the fact that on April 17th the county clerk or scheduling judge forgot to actually schedule my case (to discuss the fact that mr. ex has been harassing me and not paying the bills and not paying me what he is obliged to) and that Mr. Judge listened to mr. ex and closed the case because… because mr. ex apparently said that I was not there, and he listened to him. And since then Mr. Lawyer told me one wrong date, and mr. ex cancelled one date, and Mr. Judge cancelled one date three days before time, and then, well, stood me up at the courthouse. I am so tired of hearing my lawyer tell me that “this has never happened before.”

The judge does not have any dates open to reschedule the hearing until July 18th. My lawyer will be out of town next week, so I can imagine by the time he is back there won’t be dates available until August, or, gasp, September. Again, this is not even to discuss the issue—harassment and his being a deadbeat dad—it is merely to reopen a case that should not have been closed. Closed because, it appears, psycho ex found an “unorthodox” judge to listen to his rants when neither I nor my lawyer was present (a big no-no).

And the humiliation of mr. ex insulting my attorney as Mr. Lawyer stretched out his hand to him only to have it rebuked with a nasty “Lawyer’slastname, get into the courtroom.” Oh, the nastiness, oh the fact that these delays delay my ability to sever more significantly my ties from this man. Doesn’t anyone understand that these delays affect lives? That these days alter the course of my psyche in only a bad way?

* * *

It is summer. And since last summer I have been divorced from this man. And for over three years now we have been living in the same house, “living separate and apart” as it is called. I’m still trying to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is blocked by a boulder, but it is getting more and more difficult to believe.


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