I’ve been feeling triggered lately.
I know I’m not the only one. Women all over the world watched as B.K. was sworn-in as Supreme Court Justice in the U.S. American women rose up in great numbers to do everything possible to stop this, including Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, who came forward in strength and vulnerability to expose sexual assault. No matter the protests and truths revealed, the men’s club won. B.K. assumed his new role, while the ruler of the United States apologized to him for all the pain and suffering he had to endure with the confirmation process.
Is this a dream? I mean a nightmare? No. This is the real deal.
Over ten years ago, which now feels like a lifetime away, I was at the mercy of a family court judge in Hawaii. Hence the trigger. My X and I were fighting over custody of my daughter.
My story was along the lines of – he’s a scary fucker who plays psychopathic mind games, is controlling and jealous and manipulative (think JLo in Enough or Julia Roberts in Sleeping with the Enemy or Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies) frightened his kids, hurt his animals, and had threatened my life.
His story was that he was an outstanding citizen and a superb father and master genius of everything, and that I was a crazy bitch that he diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder.
I hired a guardian ad litem to represent my daughter. From the beginning, he represented my X’s interests over hers. Even when the guardian was arrested and accused of domestic violence himself, the judge didn’t remove him from the case. To add to it all, the judge was Mormon. And you know how Mormon men view women. Women are not considered equal to men and must be subservient and obedient to them.
We spent two and half years in a grueling battle. There were women on one side – my daughter, me, and my lawyer, and men on the other side – the guardian ad litem, my X, his lawyer, and the judge. The boys club. When the trial was over, the judge decided to delay in issuing a judgement. What I didn’t know then is that justice delayed usually means justice denied. Months later my lawyer was sent a letter. The judge wrote that there was no evidence of abuse. He denied me custody and rights to see my child. Everything about her life would be determined by my X. Then I was court ordered to pay all of my abuser’s legal fees.
This is what justice looks like in a patriarchal society.
Do you have a story to share? Write to me @firstname.lastname@example.org