After the initial crocodile tears on Alex’s part, he finally understood that this divorce was happening. The night he finally accepted the end was nigh, he rushed to our Mac desktop and paid off half of our credit card debt with my own debit account. I protested, of course, crying and pleading. But he insisted that “Fair’s fair” and that was my half of the debt. I had no money. No retainer fee.
The next morning, instead of heading into work, I rushed to the bank to withdraw cash from our joint account without Alex knowing. When I tried, the banker looked up at me, white face, and said that the account was drained from a different bank branch moments ago. By Alex. Thousands of dollars of cash. The banker knew our divorce situation and called in a favor with the Bank Manager. They let me withdraw money off of Alex’s credit card. Essentially making him overdraft by $5000. I felt horrible at the time, but it was one of the BEST decision I made during that fiasco. That money saved me and retained my lawyer.
During the initial divorce proceedings, the lawyers had paperwork done, had everything signed, yet no temporary orders in place on who got to live in the house with our 9 month old son. Alex had family all up and down the state. In fact, his mother lived right down the street from us. He still refused to leave the home. I had no family, no friends – nowhere to go but hotels which I couldn’t afford.
It was the worst situation.
The baby was asleep in the master bedroom and I was, again, being asked questions about cheating allegations and lies during the marriage. Alex was following me around the house pelting me with questions and a tape recorder stuck a few inches in front of my face. Into the bathroom to take out my contacts, into the laundry room to switch a load over, into the kitchen to put away dishes.
It was relentless. I finally put my coat on and walked out into the snowy night just to get away from him. He followed me outside with the recorder. I figured he wouldn’t follow me forever because our baby was alone inside. Wrong, Allison. Two blocks in he showed no signs of hesitation. Angrily, I turned back to the house. I couldn’t leave my baby alone.
Once in the house, I went into the master bedroom to sleep, he cut me off from another entrance and cornered me inside. Fed up, I turned and opened the door to leave the room, unfortunately, Alex’s foot was in the way and the door hit his foot. Before I could cross the threshold into the hall, Alex had whipped out his phone and taken a picture of the “mark” on his foot. He called the police right there.
Flabbergasted and slightly amused at his dramatic reaction, I returned to the bedroom to sleep. The police wouldn’t even show up for something so stupid, I thought.
Moments later, I was awoken to police knocking on my bedroom door. My baby sleeping soundly next to me. I couldn’t believe they came. With no glasses on and tears streaming down my face, I looked around at my living room. Baby toys still strewn, my clean carpet under the heavy, snowy boots of two officers who looked thoroughly bored to be here, and my spouse. He sat on the opposite sofa looking calm and collected as he filled out his statement. I looked like an emotional mess.
How did my life look like an episode of “COPS” so suddenly? Who was this man I married who would call the police on me? Now, I think back on that night and think, “Hey dummy! Forshadowing! Say it with me!”
He accused me of Domestic Violence that night. I had to leave the home and stay with an aquaintance in town. Disbelief, shock, grief, anger, embarrassment. It all hit me at one time.
Charges, of course, were dropped by the Prosecutor as soon as it crossed his desk, but I was left with a tangible taste in my mouth of the way the next 6 months of divorce hell would play out with Alex.
He harrassed my friends and family with calls and texts all day everyday. He called the police to do “well checks” wherever he thought I’d be around town. He had me served with papers at my work, subsequently, my boss asked me to resign because Alex was so hostile and agressive during the divorce it was affecting the office staff.
With no job, I was able to spend everyday with my son as much as we could. The Temp Living Order from the court, that finally went through, had us rotating in and out of the house every week for five weeks while our son’s schedule and routine stayed constant. In my off week, I crashed in the college apartment of a dear friend from Portland.
During the five weeks, I compiled “evidence” of Alex’s lax parenting style and abusive attitude. This included finding all sorts of stuff burned in the bottom of the trash each week. Drawings I had done with my son, my son’s birthday cards from my side of the family, my lingerie charred to a crisp, other articles of clothing burned.
I consoled myself during these stressful days by doing silly childish things like cleaning the toilet with my spouse’s toothbrush he’d accidentally left. (Not proud of that, but still funny). Oh and one day he called and asked if he’d left his contact case in the bathroom.
I looked down where it was sitting on the sink and cheerfully said “Nope, haven’t seen it!” then proceeded to chuck it into the snow outside. Not proud of that either… but still funny.
My parents spent thousands of dollars flying back and forth to stay with me and help me sort out this transitional point in my life. They begged me to come back to my home state and be with them. I longed for the warm, safe arms, of …well, anyone, honestly.
I was reeling with emotional stress and felt like a pinball machine during the whole process. Each time Alex would do something, me, my family, and my lawyers would react. We bounced from one thing to the next to the next.