When I told my husband I wanted a divorce, he didn't move out. We shared a house for 10 long months. He wouldn't let me leave with the kids and he wouldn't grant me space. At our first court hearing the judge said I could move out and take the kids with me. I did. After all of the hoops and paperwork I was finally okay to move out. I was not however granted time and space to move out. I left the courthouse with my best friend and under the watchful eye of my husband who had a 9 millimeter gun stuck in his waistband, we grabbed what we could.
A year later, the judge granted me access to my belongings. Again, the system is such a mess. My ex had gone through everything and decided what was mine and what I could have. Four items that I had naively expected to be handed to me were my passport, my 9 millimeter, my 22 pistol and my bullets. Instead I was told they were somewhere, packed in the double garage full of boxes he had ready for me. Later that evening I found the 22 pistol and the bullets, but not the 9 millimeter or my passport.
Finding the gun was urgent as I had moved us into my girlfriends home and we now had a missing gun and a house with 6 children living in it.
Every box was opened and every item was unwrapped and touched. So many boxes, but the next night the gun was found. In a zip lock baggie in pieces. My sorry ex husband had decided that the best way to protect his sweet ass was to disassemble the gun into all of it's many pieces. I was blessed that the man I was dating was able to put it back together and teach me how to put it back together. Gun found, fear of one of the kids finding it was over.
I did not however ever find my passport. I have since moved and opened and touched every item that remains in boxes and have never found my passport.
This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but there are a few items that mean a great deal to me. A driver's license is one of those items. I was at the DMV on my 16th birthday to get my driver's license. I couldn't wait for the freedom driving would provide me. The second item is a library card. Getting a library card is always one of the first things I do when I move to a new area. A library is a safe place to go and be. It is a place where you can sit, safely for hours and let your mind explore. The third item is a valid passport. I received my first passport at 20 and have had a valid one handy and ready ever since, until 2011 when my "disappeared."
When my Dad was in Germany he became very sick twice. Both times I was moments away from purchasing a ticket to fly across the ocean to help him get back on his feet when he would tell me he had it under control. I not only had to have my passport valid, but as a stay at home mom, I had my children's passports updated in 2010 in case we had to go take care of my dad.
I was deemed a flight risk during the divorce and the Judge ordered that the children's passports were to be held in the office of my husband's lawyer. Again, the system is very lazy and no one made sure that ever happened. When I brought it to everyone's attention it was just shrugged off.
I have allowed this to be an irritant of mine for 4 years, instead of getting the photos, printing the paperwork and getting a new passport. Me, who has always prized my ability to say yes and go, let my life be put on hold by my need to hold onto my anger.
I have had the ability to get a new passport for 4 years, but I didn't. I wanted my existing one. I wanted the stamps that show where I have been. I wanted him to do the right thing and suddenly find it.
Part of divorce is forgiving and letting go. Daily I work on forgiving a little more and letting a little more go.
I had passport photos taken and will fill out the paperwork to get a new passport issued. This is a big step at letting go and taking control of my life again. Today, I want my freedom more than I want the comfort and justification of my anger.