As of yesterday, the clamp that had been placed on my tongue has officially been released! Now let me fill you in on all that happened.
My ex-husband and I haven't the most cordial of relationships. For the past nine years, since I left him, he's constantly begged for me to come back to him. Let me tell you right now, there's no chance whatsoever that will EVER happen. He was physically and mentally abusive throughout our relationship, as well as constantly lying and completely neglectful of his family. Since we've been apart, he's contributed NOTHING to help take care of his daughters and continues to be completely useless - while still asking me to come back and swearing he's changed.
Well, about 4 1/2 months ago, I started seeing someone. It was the first relationship of any kind that I'd had since my previously long-distance relationship that ended in May 2008. Apparently, the asshole ex-husband found this one more threatening.
A couple of weeks after I'd started seeing this person - whom I shall affectionately refer to as PB (short for "Photo Boy." He's a photographer, and this is what I dubbed him during my initial pining, which was frequently related on Twitter) - I went to my ex-husband's to pick up the girls. (Him I shall refer to as "the asshole," with no affection whatsoever.) He decided to start accusing me of all kinds of ridiculousness - including such things as neglecting the girls for my boyfriend by leaving them at night to go see him, which NEVER happened. He did a lot of shouting at me. I did a lot of shouting back, "No, that's not true!" Knowing how vindictive he is and how much he likes to make trouble for me, I feared that he might decide to call in authorities to check out his claims and just make my life hell.
At one point, he was screaming in my face with his nose less than an inch from mine. I slapped him. It was a reflex really. I pulled it. I didn't even slap him hard enough to leave a mark. He said himself it didn't even hurt. And it was one single slap only.
He immediately backed off and shouted to his mother in the back bedroom, "Mom, call the police! Rachel just hit me!" (He lives in a trailer with his mother, as he is unable to remain gainfully employed. He hasn't lived on his own other than for one year since we've been divorced, or in the four years prior to our getting married, for that matter. And he's 45 years old.)
He had no need to call the police at all, of course. And he had no need to scream that accusation out either. He was holding his cell phone in his hand at the time. He called the police himself and told them I hit him.
They arrived and I admitted that I did slap him, that it wasn't hard and that it didn't even leave a mark. I told them that he was screaming in my face. My daughters backed that up. Still, by law, they were required to cite me for domestic violence.
aWell, the city prosecutor refused to drop the charge (no idea what kind of lies he told) and I decided to fight it. I pled not guilty to the initial charge. The prosecutor offered disorderly conduct instead. I refused that as well. I've seen men who beat their wives get the same charge. What I did was nowhere near the same thing. I asked for a full trial by jury.
Well, that case was finally set to come up April 21. My lawyer got the prosecutor to finally drop the charge down to a minor misdemeanor, which he told me was about the equivalent of a traffic ticket or a noise violation. I was tired of having to be moderately polite to the asshole every time he called - which is often five or six times a day or more - because of the power he had in being up to testify against me. I finally took the deal just to end it all.
And by the way, PB did not allow himself to be intimidated by the asshole's making trouble for me. He stuck by me through it all. And we are four and a half months into what has been a surprisingly fantastic relationship, stronger than I ever thought possible.