Filing for divorce was not an easy process. I had some time when I got back to Canada to sort out what I was going to do and how I was going to do it, because E was away at work. He worked at a camp in a remote area so I didn’t have to worry about him for a while. But I knew he wasn’t going to be happy once he was served with papers and so I wanted to make sure the kids and I were safe.
WAY harder than it should’ve been.
I figured I would just explain what had happened in Kenya (and more) and that I wanted to file for divorce and possibly a restraining order and that because of E’s erratic behaviour, I didn’t know how he would respond. My mom offered to watch the kids for a couple hours, while I headed to the court to deal with it.
Common! I was denied at every turn. First, I couldn’t file for divorce because we hadn’t been separated for a year yet. Then, I couldn’t get a restraining order because the abuse had happened not only out of the country, but wasn’t recent enough for them to consider it dangerous for myself and the kids now. I was given a crappy lawyer through a program called legal aid, which helps people who can’t really afford to hire full on lawyers themselves, but the thing is, legal aid lawyers don’t give a shit about your case. They make less money then on their other cases and couldn’t care less about your outcome, so they push it to the bottom of their pile.
My lawyer did nothing unless I called or emailed a minimum 4-5 times per situation and even then I had to do all the research myself to make sure everything was being covered. So many times I found things through my research that I would bring up to my lawyer and he’d be like “oh yeah… I didn’t think you needed that” Ummmm I kinda need a custody order in place among so many other things. Anyways.
After 2.5 months I finally got my statement out with my lawyer and E was served with divorce papers. This whole time he never once asked to see the kids or even talk to them on the phone. He would only call or text me to harass me about money or that we should get back together. And I thought about it often.
Until one day I came back to my parents house after dropping the kids off at the day home to get some things before I headed to school. It seemed fine at first, I walked in the front door as per usual, and no one else was home, like I expected. But then I saw the back patio door was open and my stomach was in my throat so fast. It normally takes a lot to get me scared or rattle me but when I saw that door… I can honestly say there was a fear like I’ve never known that crept in. I knew E had finished his shift up north recently and was in the city now but other than that I didn’t know where he was staying or what he was up to, and in that moment, I thought he had broken into my parents house.
I called my mom to see where she was and why the door was open… but she was sure she had left it closed/locked. Now my heart is pounding. I’m in stealth mode now. I slowly and methodically checked in every closet, behind every door and under all the beds. I even went out to the yard and dug around the bushes. Then back into the house to do it all again. I checked places that I KNEW there was no logical way E could even fit into! But I looked. Behind shower curtains and under stairs, all the while trying to calm my breathing so it wasn’t to loud and slow my heart which I thought would pound right out of my chest at any moment.
He obviously wasn’t anywhere in the house. But my mind was too far gone. I had been having nightmares about him stealing the kids and taking them back to Kenya. Or breaking through my window at night and beating me to death. And in that moment, because of that stupid door, I felt my nightmares were alive.
I realized that day how deep the damage E had caused in me. And even though I had filed for divorce and had been trying to stay strong, keeping the kids away and ignoring all the manipulative texts… a part of me had been considering getting back together with him. Until that day. I realized was scared of him. My body had never reacted so dramatically in fear to anything before this point, and not since.
It was that day I knew it didn’t matter how many years or ridiculous accusations or drawn out conversations it took. I was done with E. Forever.
-Rihanna/Love the Way You Lie Part 2-