This is what an elevator full of fabulous people look like
and more people
So many people showed up for my daughter and I that they had to move it to a bigger courtroom.
Sweeter still? STBX was already in the smaller courtroom and in order to get to the bigger courtroom, he had to walk right through our posse.
It was the first time that I registered sincere discomfort in him.
Then, once we were in the larger courtroom, with all of us wearing our badges made by PAVSA with a picture of a screaming cheetah that said "Silence is not an option", my daughter and I read our impact statements.
We were told ahead of time that we were to address the court, not STBX. We both stuck to our script and made it through without falling to pieces.
Then his lawyer stood up and asked for a special dispensation which would mean he would go to jail and not prison.
Because all his lawyer wanted to focus on was the here and now. HERE AND NOW. NOT WHAT THE PAST WAS.
If the law is on your side, pound on the law. If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. And if nothing is on your side, pound on the table.
Then STBX stood up and told about how he has been devastated for the past year, crying on his delivery routes, knowing that he needed help, blah blah blah. That he was afraid to disclose to me because I often said BAD THINGS ABOUT PEDOPHILES. (Hmmmm, saying that you were abused and needed help doesn't mean that you need to disclose to me the fact that you had an urge to touch little children. I stated in my impact statement that he should have asked for help BEFORE becoming a molester, not after wards.) He also tried to refute the fact that he confessed to me before turning himself in to a pedophile help line. He said it all came down at the same time that he had a girlfriend and it was hard because our marriage was on the rocks.
Note to STBX: You were the captain that parked that boat on the rocks...tell it to the coast guard.
Mid-way through his address, he turned to Marina and started to talk to her about how he thought that, when he confessed, that the two of them would be able to go through family therapy together and straighten it all out.
Everyone in our group visibly choked at that one. "Hi honey, I know I showed you hard core porn and asked you to repeatedly reenact it upon me starting when you were nine years old but don't you think we can just sit down together and work it out? Cuz daddy loves you! That's what daddies do when they love their little girls!"
I put my arm around my daughter's shoulder but she was as rigid as stone. I made sure to look off into the distance and not meet his eye. I very nearly stood up to block his view of her.
Then the judge told him he needed to turn around and address the court. He then wrapped it up with how much he loved his kids. Know what he didn't say?
As two official members of the legal system told me later, all he did with what he said was to hang himself. He has been living in his own world for so long that there is absolutely no grounding in reality. Today made that evident for all to see.
Then it was the judges chance to speak.
He started out by recognizing STBX's attempts at therapy and said that was a good thing.
We all felt our stomachs turn.
He then said that it was an invalid argument to state that STBX was devastated for a year but waited until his affair was found out to fall apart and confess to a call in line.
There was no special dispensation.
The sentence is 90 months in prison which adds up to be 5 years time served along with ten years of parole in which, should he ever darken our doorstep during that decade, he will return to prison.
I got to watch as he was put into handcuffs and led away.
This is what a fabulous group of supporters did when all the hugging was done.
These are two very tired ladies, ready to have some down time.
I have never been more proud of my daughter than I was today. She is strong, capable, beautiful, and amazing.
If he is allowed to show up to the divorce hearing on Tuesday, I hope it's wearing one of those lovely orange jumpsuits. Come hell or high water, I want a picture of that!