A blast from the past. I don’t watch much TV. I turn it on in the evening, and often pay no attention to it. It’s just for the noise.
Tonight I’m watching the news, which is something even more rare than watching at all. I hate the news. At least, network news. But tonight there was a story about the CT Supreme Court reversing the decision on Michael Skakel and sending him back to prison for the murder of Martha Moxley. They showed the Supreme Court Room, and boy, did that bring me back to some difficult, yet triumphant memories.
December 2, 2010, exactly 2 years after the first day of our trial in Superior Court. More than 3 1/2 years since I had left my ex. 2 years since my son had come to live with me. I remember sitting as a spectator, because that’s where the actual parties to the cases sit, in that auspicious room. The pomp and circumstance was palpable. Classrooms of students from local colleges filed in to watch the proceedings. The officer in charge of the courtroom gives all of us instructions. There was not an empty seat. Classrooms have to book it way ahead of time. The Supreme Court hears 2 cases a day. I had been waiting for 2 years to be heard. Two years from the 3 day trial my ex and I had, as he attempted to make sure I got less than 10% of the estate from a 32 year marriage. He lost that first Superior Court decision. He appealed, and then requested to have the appeal raised from the Appellate Court to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, every asset from our 32 year marriage, every dime, was in his possession. I had a paycheck. That was it. (And just for added stress, my son was in a bad car accident 4 days before, broke his ankle, totaled 2 cars. Of course the man with all the money did not contribute one cent to the deductible for his health insurance, or on a replacement car.)
7 chairs at the bench in the front. Like 7 thrones. The people who sat there would decide my future. I hoped they were just, I hoped they could see the truth about what had been done to me. Each atty gets a certain amount of time to make their case. My son’s GAL (guardian ad litum) sat with my attorney, to help her if needed. Because, he got it. It took him awhile, but he finally got it, and for the last year, and during our initial trial sat on my side. When my atty made her case, she didn’t even need all the time allotted. The judge in our Superior Court decision could see my ex coming 100 miles away, and did a ton of research for us, since there was no law regarding our issue. He wrote 7 pages, citing cases in other states. It was all in our brief, not much needed to be said. The point was that for him to prevail would have done a grave injustice, I think is what it said.
The justices argued with my ex’s atty. Not mine at all. They had some questions, but not many. They had a lot of questions of my ex’s and some actually argued with him, telling him that what the judge did, he was supposed to do.
In the end, I won. The decision was released April 18, 1 day before my 60th birthday. I had been secretly asking the Universe to give me the decision for a birthday present. Really.
They called my ex “unconscionable” 9 times in their lengthy decision. Unanimously.
And, my case made case law in CT. No one will ever be able to do to their spouse what he tried to do to me again. That makes me proud, really. And really, eases some of the pain of waiting 4 years to finally be free of that man.
A couple of years later, a Yale 1st year law student contacted my atty. His first assignment of the year in contract law had been to write a brief on my case, and could he come and see her for about an hour, and see some of the files. Imagine that. My case, my 4 year struggle ended up being a case which Yale University used to teach contract law.
I could go on, about how my life changed that 60th birthday. How I went house hunting, and bought my dream house, and later segued that house into this lovely life I now have in Florida. How I didn’t even consider having a date until I was moved into my new house. I hadn’t wanted to embroil anyone else in that mess. I learned that avoidance of something doesn’t mean you’re ready for it. I fell in love with someone who devastated me emotionally as badly, if not worse, than my ex did as he tried to separate my son from me, and hurt me financially. What my ex never did to me, my first love after divorce did. No need to expound on that. It’s all in the pages of this blog. I’m pretty cautious now.
Funny what just a flash of one picture can bring back.
Love and light everyone.