I needed a lawyer. When I found one he was sure to tell me how I was the stupidest person on the planet. I sure was glad he was on my team. He was a little harsh, but I was told that he was a great lawyer. After much arm-twisting, he finally took my case. Every time I called him he would ream me a new one. Trying to focus on my job was becoming a problem. Every day you just got up and did the best you could to make it to see the sunset, and try to repeat it the next day. My wife kept calling me, but I wouldn't answer the phone for fear of going to jail.
We had a court appearance in December. We hoped and prayed that my lawyer would get this thrown out of court. I had turned myself in. I had no previous record. No speeding tickets. My wife was not pressing charges. When I got to the courtroom, I finally saw my wife. It took everything I had not to run over and hug her. My lawyer could not get the charges dropped. It was an election year, and everybody kept playing the “What if he really is a wife beater and kills her..” card. My wife had written a letter to the judge. She asked for this all to go away. She cried. This didn't budge anything. Another court date was set for January. They lifted the protection order slightly so I could at least communicate via phone, email, text. But I still could not come back to the house, or be within x amount of feet from my wife. Once again my wife asked if she could hug me at the end of the court session, and it was such a feeling to finally have her in my arms even if she was balling her eyes out. I whispered to her that we would get through this. God wouldn't give us anything that we can't handle. I held her tight, and pulled back and looked into those brown eyes I had been dreaming about and took a mental picture knowing it would be another month until I saw them again.
Then it dawned on me. This was December 12th. My next court appearance would be in January, and I was not allowed to be with my wife. Happy Holidays.
Christmas came. I was at my sister's house with my dog. My wife had gone to her mother's for the big dinner. I watched my sister exchange gifts with her boyfriend. As all my money had gone for legal fees, I didn't get her a present. With the gift giving over in about 4 minutes, I pondered what Christmas is. It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus that I turned to on that day, and I opened the bible and just kept reading. I'd like to say I found a verse that soothed me, but I would be telling a lie. It felt like the day I knew my Grandfather was dying in Texas, and there was nothing I could do. You just try to make it through the day. I took a mental snapshot. I took inventory of how this felt. I watched some old Christmas videos with my sister and made it through the day. I do remember thinking that it could be worse. I could be homeless and that there are people who have it much worse than I did, and I thanked God for that. I've never been so happy to see December 26th in my life.
New Years was the same. Feeling so much like an outsider. Who doesn't get to kiss their wife on New Year's Eve? Me.
At the next hearing in January, we surely thought the restraining order would go away. I had started anger management classes as a preemptive strike. I think my lawyer had some more negotiating with the DA that he was trying. In the end, nothing happened. A final court date would be set, and the restraining order stayed. It reminded me a bit of when we first dated. Living an hour apart, there were lots of phone calls. Lots of tears. I kept hearing about the wonderful things that were happening to my step-kids and I was missing it. My stepson had got a new bike for Christmas. There was no rewind.
So again I say to you. If you have a chance to walk away from an argument. Do it. Whatever you have to do to stay out of the legal system, DO IT. This isn't a movie or a Christmas special where the Grinch's heart grew three times its size and you all hold hands and sing at the end. Don't let Hollywood fool you into thinking everything ends like an after-school special.
Both my wife and I would take turns having bad days. One would be the cheerleader for the other. We just took it one day at a time knowing that I would eventually get to come home…. or so we thought.