Eye of the Tiger

December 4, 2012

The other day, I had to go to my ex-husband’s ex-lawyer’s office. I’ll call this lawyer “Tim,” since that’s his name. The arbitrator made Tim the escrow agent of a 3 month emergency fund in case my ex did not pay the support. My ex has not paid the support once in 18 months. I have been able to go the the emergency fund 6 times, when it has been funded, and the other 12 months I just sat and waited for a court date. We’ve been over this. I know. It gets boring. You get the picture. My ex does not pay support.  ANYHOW, when I went to pick up the check, I actually saw Tim for the first time since the trial. We made small talk, and he was kind of a jerk, and the last thing I said to him as I walked  out the door was, “”Remember, Tim, I was the good guy.” After I walked out of his office and stepped into the elevator, I started to shake and I couldn’t stop. Just being in that space with this man brought back a lot of trauma for me.

You see, long ago, and in a not so far away city, a trial took place. It did not occur in a court room, but in the arbitrator’s law office. He was a good man, this arbitrator, if not a little naive (which coming from me, says a lot!). In any case, he is one of the most well-respected matrimonial attorneys in the county. He acted as judge, jury, and executioner (I wish), over all the financial aspects of our divorce.

I am not a fighter. I am not good at defending myself. On the first day of the trial, I was in the  hot seat first. My lawyer asked me a whole lot of questions, and Tim kept objecting. The thing is, when someone asks me a question, it is in my nature to be extremely helpful, sometimes going beyond the scope of the question and that’s what Tim objected to. The arbitrator had to admonish me, and I do not take well to admonishment. I got a little teary. I knew that on the second day, Tim would cross-examine me. I was scared, not of telling the truth, because that’s all I know how to do; I was scared of being questioned by a man whose goal was to hurt me and my children. It was his goal because he was representing my husband, and my husband had repeatedly told me he would leave us with nothing.

So the next morning, I arrived at the office building where we were having the trial. I went into the ladies room and took out my iphone and turned on the theme song to Rocky, “Eye of the Tiger,” and I boxed. Left hook, right jab, left cross. Those kickboxing classes came in handy for my bathroom boxing sessions. I did this every morning before trial, and occasionally during a midday break. No one ever caught my boxing sessions, but now you know.


I’d like to say I gave as good as I got during that trial. I felt pretty bloodied and beaten at the end of each day, but every once in a while, I got in a good jab, a jab that made my lawyer smile and the arbitrator’s eyes twinkle, as they admired my spunk. I’ll never be a person who enjoys a fight, but I’m learning to not back down and I’m learning to protect myself. I just need a good theme song to get me going.


10 Responses to “Eye of the Tiger”

  1. I can so relate to your story. I went through mediation with my ex and while it seems like it would be easier than a court date, I felt beaten, bruised and bloodied when it was over. Too bad it has to be that way for so many people.

  2. I can just imagine how alone you must have felt in that situation. Good for you for summoning up the courage to defend yourself.

  3. There are some people who enjoy making others feel small and terrified, and your ex sounds like he’s one of them. We all need a fight song to make us feel powerful. Yours is great!

  4. mindy said

    I will have to remember that. I don’t like confrontation…I get too emotional. Perhaps the next time I need it, I will find my own rally song to get me pumped up. Great post.

  5. Haralee said

    Now when I hear that song I will think of your victory!

  6. StrongerMe said

    Gosh, me either. I hate the fight. I avoid confrontation whenever possible and yet by filing for divorce from a narcissistic man, I opened myself up for the longest fight of my life.
    I get emotional. I cry. I HATE crying when I’m angry. I don’t want to be seen as weak and pathetic, but let’s face it, that’s the way that I feel.
    My court date has been postponed. we’ll see how I actually act when the time comes…if he shows up. He’s been known NOT to.

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