Blessings and Difficulties.
As the end of the year approaches, I find myself thinking a lot about the events I lived through this year. I think of all the blessings I received and the difficulties I faced. I do count my blessings and I am so grateful for them. This is the happiest year of my life and it seems as if every year gets better than the last, and I am so thankful to God for that. It’s been a long road.
There was a particularly difficult event I had to face though. I had to do something I dreaded. 5 years ago, I knew the day would come when I would have to deal with the issue all over again. It caused me terrible anxiety just thinking about it. On top of everything else I mentally had to deal with. And I thought about it daily. The feeling almost ate me alive.
What I wanted.
I wanted an extension to my expiring restraining order. An order that I needed to feel safe and be safe for the rest of my life. A permanent restraining order.
Now, just a little fyi. I am not sure how this works in every state. In my state, the first-time restraining orders are filed, if they are granted, they are in place for 3 or 5 years. Depending on the severity of the case. Once that amount of time goes by, you either don’t file for an extension and just let it expire or you re-file for an extra few years or you re-file to make it permanent. It all depends on the judge and whether he thinks you really need to have the order in place. So, I went ahead and filed and he had to be served. And, of course I knew he was going to fight it.
I decided not to hire a lawyer because I did not want to spend thousands of dollars on one. The first time I filed I did it all on my own anyway. Dealing with the court is not easy though. Sometimes the people working there are not very nice and you spend a lot of time in long lines and filling out paperwork. It is a stressful process and court is just not a good place to be in.
Weeks later, the day came, and I had to face my ex-boyfriend in court. By myself. No lawyer, no family by my side. This was my problem and I had to face it and fix it myself. I did not want to get anyone else involved. So, I went to court with my little, stubborn, brave ass to try to win this thing. I was not so brave though, I was shaking the entire time.
As I walked into a court room I noticed the majority of the people in the room were men. It was rather intimidating. I had to convince the judge in front of all these strangers sitting behind me, why he should grant my order. And then I see him walk in.
My heart felt like it was going to pump out of my chest. I was so nervous I almost forgot how to speak. Our case was finally called and we were both given a chance to speak. I tried so hard not to cry. It was so difficult, relieving all the terrible moments that had happened and saying it out loud into a microphone to a bunch of strangers.
The judge didn’t make things easy either. He asked me so many questions and wanted everything in detail as if I had not written an entire 3 pages on this when I filed my order. As if he did not have the previous restraining order information and the police records and his entire criminal history on hand. I could not believe how difficult he made it.
In the end the judge sided with me. When I heard those words, that he was granting me a permanent restraining order, my heart felt like it dropped, my head dropped, my hands held my head, I looked up with tears running down my face and just said “Thank you sir”.