Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Here Come the Judge
I never suffered from anxiety. (I enjoyed every minute of it, badoom ching!) I never had moments in my life where I felt stricken by fear or emotion that paralyzed me. Started me shaking, seizure-like. A prisoner in my own body. Unable to control what was going on. Heart racing, body writhing. Mind racing, tears flowing.
Not until the first time I was forced to face my child's father after what he had done to him.
I never knew the power of this. That the polarized side of loving my son with every ounce of my being could be emulated in a physical way. That not just feeling it in my heart when I held him the first time, watched him grow, heard his first words, saw his first steps. That this gut-wrenching opposite end of the spectrum that came out of what I envisioned knowing what my son saw, what he was put through at the hands of his father...
I get sick. Physically ill. Nauseated and shaking. Emotional and incomprehensibly overwhelmed with things I never knew I could feel. I ache for my son, even a year and a half later. I think of his nightmares, those reoccurring sleepless nights where he has dreamt of his father being a monster out to get him. The sad words of a 5 year old child.
The fits of anger and outrage, the emotion a child has no idea how to deal with so he acts out, unsure of where to put it all exactly. I think of his year of counseling, trying to get it all under control, knowing it was never his fault.
Hearing my child of his own volition come to the conclusion he was put in danger, that he was put there by his own father who had broken the law. Words I didn't put in his mouth, conclusions he made remember being taken away in an ambulance, remembering seeing his father taken away by a policeman after a gun was put to his head.
And it all comes back to me when I see him. I could even see someone resembling him and I shudder. Someone walking with the same caveman like lumbering walk down the street and I cringe.
And today I was forced to sit in a courtroom, in close proximity with this man. Disgusted. A man who mentally and physically abused me. Words he admitted in open court today. "Verbally Demoralized" me he called it. As though that made it sound better than being abused. Recounting years and years of witnessing substance abuse by him.
Financial slams by a man who showed up in brand new sneakers and fresh haircut. I had witness who had seen him getting in and out of work-type vehicles at a local Dunkin Donuts with other men, work attired, and yet he puts down no income. Mentions he was staying with a friend and barely able to support himself, when his own sister had told me he had been living in a rooming house. Always contradictions. Always an excuse.
Never a consistent means of supporting my son since the day he was born. Fired from every job he ever held. In and out of jail before I had even met him, license suspended 6 or 7 times. (don't ask what I was thinking when I got pregnant) Again trying to blame his unemployment now on the Quarry Check. Was never an issue before with his previous incarcerations, hiding behind it now. Excuses, always excuses.
But my shut-off notices, my rent, utilities, car don't matter. My son's school tuition, feeding and clothing him for the past 5 1/2 years are clearly irrelevant to him. Remembering the fact he stole from me, my son. Not only monetarily but a piece of both of us. A part of our lives we have been slowly trying to recapture for a year and a half.
I have to lay in wait for a decision from the court. He's ordered to some Auschwitz style work camp and community service. Complaining to the judge he had no means of transportation, to which she (thankfully) haughtily replied there was a train a few blocks away, and he should be grateful she only made it every two weeks and not every.
And so my morning was spent in Family Court, where you go to watch people's lives get ripped apart, case by case.
Here come the Judge.