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Truth Series: Fait Accompli

Updated: Jan 23

My attorney sent me THE email:


It has been exactly 122 days (or over 4 months) since our original meeting in the courtroom. I stared at his email in disbelief. I’d been waiting so long, I almost couldn’t believe the day had arrived. I began the mental tasks necessary before I clicked on it.

  • Gotta wait until my kids are in bed- just in case it is horrible.

  • Gotta make sure I’ve washed my face and brushed my teeth in case I get really depressed and don’t feel like taking care of myself after I read it.

  • Gotta let a few friends know I received the decision and not to worry about me if I don’t tell them what her decision is.

  • Might wanna have a glass of wine either to celebrate or drown my frustration.

Unfortunately, the perfect plan was deterred by my intolerance of painful patience. I opened the email late in the afternoon. 2 pages. After 4 months of waiting for 2 pages that read, in summary:

I’m trying to figure out what I feel. I’m incredibly annoyed she made me wait an ungodly amount of time to repeat the magistrate’s decision. I’m relieved she validated the contempt charges I initiated. (I’ll pick apart the details of the decision and her unnecessary references to my communication style as “dictatorial” in a future blog.) In the bizarre family court world, I think this is sort of good.

But, I’m just "blah” about it because I’m distracted by the looming Christmas earthquake arriving in the next 24 hours.

2 extremes will collide in the next 24 hours. The emotional high: watching my children open their presents tomorrow morning on Christmas Eve. The emotional low: watching my children climb into a car, also on Christmas Eve, to stay with their father for a week. No amount of arguing, praying, or fussing at God ever makes it feel better. But, this year, I’m ready for it. I know it’s going to suck. No way around it. I don’t deserve to suffer this loss. There is nothing fair about it.

I have to survive the storm. I know my trauma responses increase long before my mind recognizes the approaching emotional tsunami:

  • Tightened jaw.

  • Increased the grinding of my teeth at night.

  • More frequent ringing in my ears.

  • Insomnia.

  • Sharp headache over my eyes.

  • Increased scalp Eczema. (to name a few)

I know being prepared is critical so I:

  • Have a good movie series prepped that I haven’t seen- this year I’ve chosen Yellowstone.

  • Have a few projects prepared that I can complete with obvious, measurable success- I’ll be rearranging my office, and organizing my basement and closet.

  • Have the plan to meet a friend or 2- I planned a couple of lunch dates.

  • Have scheduled exercises with accountability partners to make sure I get out of the house- For those of you who know me, I’m a big Pilates fan and my classes are lined up.

  • And most important, have grace for myself if I don’t stick with my plan because I’m too sad.

This holiday season, if you are struggling, be kind to your heart and patient with your body. You aren’t crazy and you aren’t alone.

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