So yesterday was my first pretrial hearing.
It was a very different experience for me.
A girlfriend of my mine went with me, she picked me up at home and drove me down to the courthouse. My biggest anxiety was seeing him again.
I saw him - we didn't make eye contact - we didn't say a word to each other. Isn't it sad that so many years of companionship end like this?
So, our lawyers got up and each explained the simple background of the case. His lawyer lied. As in lied. She said "Basically my client came home one day and his wife was gone and he was not able to locate her for over a year."
I didn't say a word - the girlfriend who came with me and knows the both of us also told me later that she was thinking "hmm, that's not how it happened." and it wasn't. If it WAS how that happened I would have taken everything I wanted from the house.
The way that it DID happen was my roommate came to the house with me and HE WAS THERE. I packed a suitcase of clothing with BOTH OF THEM IN THE HOUSE, and she and I left together. HE WAS IN THE HOUSE WHEN I LEFT.
As far as not being able to find me. It is true that I did not give him my roomates address - I didn't want him to harass her. He knew her name, knew that she lived nearby, he also knows my cell phone number (hasn't changed) where my office was located (didn't change) my email address (hasn't changed).
After it was over I told my lawyer that. I said "She lied, that's not true. I can probably find emails to back that up. If he really wanted to get in touch with me he could have at any time. In fact, I tried to meet with him in person to talk and he ended up throwing my mail at me in the parking lot of where we met to have dinner. That ended that.
My lawyer said not to worry about it - she said it does not mean anything and there is no reason to even argue over it.
Ex wants to set back the date of "the end of the marriage" to be the day that I left because he's been making house payments and etc and does not want to include that money in the pile that is to be split. I disagree with this because I tried many times to get this to end over the last year but he refused to work with me. I think the date of the "end of the marriage" should be the date the court ends our marriage and we split money based on that.
His lawyer also said that they do not believe that I should get any sort of spousal support because "we met at the same company and therefore I could easily earn as much as he does." It is true that we met at work. However, I am in a different field that is not as highly paid. That's like saying a janitor and a CEO work for the same company so they have the same earning potential. Not true. Now I understand what people mean when they say his lawyer is very "difficult".
I feel 1 million times better. I'm not all the way there yet - but just getting that done yesterday made me feel like a weight was off my shoulders. We have another court date set for November.
I have been seeing a counselor. I also think I may need to start going to AA. I do not drink every day - far from it - but I'm using alcohol to self medicate. That's not good. I feel stressed and I want a beer. I feel stressed and I want to go out to a bar and just sit on the patio and watch people play cornhole and relax, get my mind off of me. I don't drink to excess, I might have 3 or 4 beers and then have dinner and then go to bed, but I've been tracking my consumption this month and found that I'm having beers 3 or even 4 days a week now, and I never drank like that before. I'm worried that I'm developing a very bad habit of dealing with stress. When I'm stressed out my first thought is more often than not to have a beer to take the edge off. That's not good - I see myself as being at the top of a steep slope that I could easily fall down and to the bottom from. I've been talking to my counselor about that - and she agrees that I need to find a different outlet for stress.
My counselor is on vacation this week but I have another appointment with the psychiatrist today so I'm going to that. I will also tell him about my concerns.
I'm very glad that there is finally some traction on this. His lawyer threw out the number of "360" which is WAY more than I've heard before - but I think she is including my retirement savings which is nearly 100K.
But I do feel as if I have turned a corner. Getting this in front of a judge is good. I almost don't care what happens, it's just good to know that it will get done. Finally.
Seeing my ex was sad - but he was as cold as ice. I didn't really expect anything different. He's a jerk - that's why I left him. But I finally feel like I can start to navigate my way through this.