My divorce was finally final that spring, I had been married exactly 11 years. The divorce was final on my 11th anniversary. Custody, however, was not determined during these proceedings. It was yet to be. I had been naive when the ex had moved me out of the home, and I had agreed to share the family lawyer for the divorce. I was so naive. I was also ignorant of my ex’s income. I had kept the finances while we were married, but found out during the tax audit that he was making a six-figure income. I had believed he only made $30,000 per year. I had made all of our clothing, the children’s and stayed home to scrimp and save. He took everything but did give me $500 per month in child support for the girls. Needless to say, I desperately looked for another lawyer for my custody hearing. I couldn’t afford one, so went to family court to find one that would take my case and found just the right one. We had a battle on our hands.
Teddy Bear continued to visit me and cheer me up when times seemed their darkest. He even introduced me to his brother thinking that if I couldn’t date him, maybe I would be interested in Jimmy. But as much as I appreciated the idea, and thought it was a little funny. No, that wasn’t an option either. Jimmy was sweet and Teddy Bear and he would come over for coffee and keep me company on the weekends when the kids were gone. We’d talk about things and work. We’d talk about me seeing other people. I had started seeing the secretary of the union at work, but it wasn’t really that serious. I did have a date Saturday night and that was going to be interesting, I thought. It was going to be a party. I hadn’t been to a party in a long time.
Teddy Bear looked curiously at me and said “party?” I said, “yes, he invited me to a party, he asked me if I liked to party, and I said I like to go to parties. So I’m going.” Teddy Bear got this grin on his face.
That Saturday night I learned why he had that shit eating grin on his face. I just got my first education on what “kind of party” it was. I went to the guy’s house and there they all were, sitting in the living room passing around a joint and then passed me one. I said, “No, thank you, I don’t do drugs, I’ve never smoked a joint”. He said, “I thought, you liked to party?” Well, not this kind. I am getting an education and culture shock is setting in.
I left the party early, ran a stop light, realizing what I did, I pulled over to contain myself and a cop immediately pulled in behind me. I was so upset. I was crying and rolled down my window to him as I fumbled for my license. Apologizing like a crazy woman. He said, “What’s wrong?” I told him, “I just got my divorce, went to a party where they were doing things I’ve never done before, I’m not doing those things, I don’t have my children with me, I’m just very upset. I know what I did. I will be very careful driving the rest of the way home. I’m sorry.” He just looks at me and smiles gently as he hands me back my license, “Do you need me to help you home? I’m not going to give you a ticket, and it’s late, you need to be more careful. I’ll help you if you want.” I look at him with tears in my eyes, no one except Teddy Bear has offered to help. “Thank you, it’s not far, I’ll be careful, I promise, I’ll compose myself for a moment and go”
My entry into another life has started with more tears.