Monday, November 11, 2013


I can’t think of anything more torturous for me than what I am feeling right now.

After almost a full day of changing judges and postponements, my BF has finally gone in to the courtroom for his custody hearing.  He was supposed to go in at 9 :15, it is now just past three, and I, being just the stepmom, am waiting on a hard wooden bench just outside the courtroom, waiting, not allowed in since they are not my kids.

He is trying to get shared custody, a process that he started in April, and a process that has been infuriatingly slow.   Not once since the very beginning of our relationship have I felt so much an outsider.  I have been there every step of the way, making phone calls for him, seeking out documentation, lawyer visits, the whole shebang, right up until this moment.  In this moment, I am set aside.

I doesn’t matter that my future is being decided on the other side of those double doors as much as everyone else in the room.  If he wins, I will go from being an every other weekend stepmom, to 50% of the time.  I will share in all the details and responsibilities that it entails, homework, packing lunches, school pickups, but I can’t share in this.  By supporting his decision, I have effectively committed myself to a relationship more than any other in my past, the next 15 years at least.  If he loses, I will share in his grief for the home and family that could have been.

No matter that I am as involved, I don’t get a say, I don’t even get to watch.  I get to sit here, alone, for the next few hours while the lawyers and my BF and his ex fight it out.  Waiting.

If I am honest with myself, I know that whatever happens I will adapt, that is not what worries me.  If we win, her anger at me will multiply and there will surely be even more attacks on me, and that is a burden I am willing to take on if it means I can shield the kids 50% of the time and offer them stability.  If we lose, I worry about how my BF and the kids will take it.  We have a couple of friends who lost their custody battle 5 years ago and now they are picking up the pieces of some very damaged teenagers. 

I think that is what worries me most.  If we lose, i twill reinforce the idea that she is all powerful and all deciding to the kids, and I worry they will stop standing up for themselves and give up.  I don’t want them to lose the confidence and empowerment we have worked so hard to instill in them.  I would hate for them to think that it’s not worth fighting for your family against someone like her.  I want them to see that if you fight together, as a family, you can win.

But it’s the waiting that is killing me, wondering if it’s going ok, if she’s lying, if the judge seems to believe her.  At this point I can do no more, it is up to the judge, and I know I should let go, let the proof speak for us.  All I can do is wait, hope, and who knows, maybe even pray a little.

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