Police Report #2

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January Journal Continued . . .

Today I returned home from Chicago to find that Scott had hired a locksmith and gained access to the master bedroom — the lock that I had installed just a few days prior.  It was pick proof, but not locksmith proof. (This was just the start of the Locksmith Fund …. more than a dozen visits over the course of the divorce costing more than $1,000.) 

“It’s my house, my room and now I have the key,” Scott said.  “There’s nothing you can do about it.  Legally I have the right to be here.”  Taunting me, he refused then to give me a key. There was no sense in trying to reason with him.  Even with our counselor reaching out to him, reminding Scott of our agreement, Scott will do what he wants, when he wants with no regards for my privacy.  He meant to torture me, throw me off balance.   

Scott went through my files on the home computer before.  This time I discovered he went through my personal files I kept locked in my bedroom.  Is nothing sacred?  Can’t he allow me one place to be my personal space?  No!  Now Scott had the key to use anytime he felt like gaining access to me and my room!  I won’t stand for it!  Not now.  Not anymore.  Why was he so obsessed with my personal space?  I just couldn’t wrap my head around it!  It was abuse no matter how you looked at it.

In a panic and angry I called the police.  How am I supposed to continue to live in fear with no privacy and no sleep?  I couldn’t just pack up and leave, forced to stay in the marital home for the sake of our children with no money of my own.  (Police Report #2.)

The police came shortly thereafter and asked Scott to give me a copy of the key. Reluctantly he obliged.  I asked the officer what I could do about Scott consistently breaking into my bedroom?  I told him how Scott had terrorized me numerous times in the middle of the night.  I told the officer how Scott had assaulted me before and how his anger outburst scared me.  The officer proceeded to tell me, “Legally you both own the house. Therefore, he has the right to access your bedroom, regardless of your agreement. Unless it’s written in a Court Order, there’s nothing we can do.” 

But one officer did suggest I contact the Personal Protection Order (PPO) offices as an option.  I had been there before back in October when Scott hurt me the last time. But that was a while ago.  Usually to file a PPO there had to be evidence of recent physical harm or eminent danger.  Did I have to wait until I was beaten again, or worse?  In the meantime I contacted my attorney – apparently there was an alternative option.  I needed to file a Motion for Exclusive Use of the Home.  It was obvious Scott was not going to let this divorce be amicable or peaceful as he repeatedly stated over and over.  His actions proved otherwise.

(Looking back, I think this was all a part of Scott’s intricate plan to get me out of the house with his constant invasion of my privacy. More on that later.)  

Exiled 

The following day I removed Scott’s access to all my social media accounts, including Facebook.  He went ballistic.  Scott couldn’t stand not having access to my accounts, by bedroom, my car.  I was a piece of property he owned and everything that went with it.

So in retaliation once again, Scott said he is taking our oldest son, Brandon to Las Vegas for his 21st birthday and our daughter to Miami for spring break.  Scott knows I don’t approve, which I stated on record.  Brandon had just gone on my birthday cruise, which was also to have been his early 21st birthday present.  Lindsey was going to California. 

I don’t understand where all this money was coming from?  I expressed my concerns while taping the conversation on my phone to Scott.  I stated, “these extra trips of yours were not planned jointly nor agreed upon. Therefore you are the one now violating the MSQ and MRO orders as you so often accused me of doing.”  Scott just laughed and walked away.  The rules didn’t apply to Scott.  (And, he got away with it all.  Spend now, ask forgiveness later rule.)

Chicago Bound

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January Journal Continued . . . 

I needed a break and I needed to get my finances in order which meant meeting with our bank branch in Chicago. Road trip time.  For the first time in months I actually smiled and felt a thousand pounds lighter leaving behind all that baggage — and Scott.  I couldn’t wait to be free.

Before I left, Scott sent a text demanding I leave the master bedroom door unlocked.  It was His room, His bed.  Of course I refused.  I hadn’t worked hours upon hours moving all his belonging to the guest room for no reason.  Who knows what he would do now – possibly start selling off my jewelry?  Hack my files?  Who knows! His erratic behavior and outburst were anything but status quo. Scott scared me. And he didn’t like it when I didn’t obey his demands.

Another text from Scott followed with, “Don’t tell anyone while on your ‘visit’ that we’re getting divorced.  It may impact my career.” I’m sure Scott doesn’t want me telling any of our friends about our impending divorce.  Besides, I don’t believe for one moment that a major Fortune 500 company will fire an employee for getting divorced.  It was all about his ego, and Scott’s need to maintain the perfect image.

Secret Mission

I went to stay with our friends Tim and Alyssa Johnson.  We met 26 years ago when Scott started working for “The Cereal Company” the same time as Tim.  They have continued to be our dear friends ever since. We visited them constantly over the years after we moved away.  They even managed to visit us while living abroad in both Ireland and the Caribbean. 

Now while staying with them in Chicago, I confided in Alyssa about the divorce.  She wasn’t surprised having known us for so many years and the struggles I’ve endured.  I asked her not to tell her husband, Tim, initially about the divorce.  First, I wanted to quiz him about the various savings and investment plans The Company offered.  Tim was close to the same level in The Company as Scott and I needed to know exactly what investments that entailed. So, over the next few days I cleverly worked in various questions about the plans and retirement programs that they were both participating in and took meticulous notes.  

Inside Scoop

Shortly after filing for divorce I’d reached out to another Company wife, Kim who had recently signed her Judgment of Divorce.  She had a difficult divorce as well, and warned me early on, even bringing me a journal instructing me to write down everything during the process. I am forever grateful to Kim for her advice and gift that day.  It’s the same journal I am referring to now.  She indicated that her ex-husband had failed to disclose a few of those retirement plans during their divorce. To her dismay, there was nothing she could do now to recoup those lost funds.  Knowing what had happened to Kim, I wasn’t about to let that happen to me as well and so I drilled Tim for information as best I could.

Retaliation 

Scott continued to inundate me with messages while I was in Chicago, now proclaiming that he was taking the kids to Florida for spring break among other things.  We had discussed this before and had agreed that, because our daughter had won the state competition for DECA, she was going to go to California for the national competition.  We simply couldn’t afford to do both.  Besides, we had agreed that she couldn’t take that much time away from both her high school and college classes. Scott just wants to punish me for going to Chicago. It was ok for him to travel and go on numerous “guy trips” each year.  But not ok for me to even take a weekend away.  That was his retaliation.  

(Scott claimed later that every time I left the house I was abandoning the family – even when I would drive an hour away to meet with my attorney.  He would state this repeatedly in our child custody and arbitration hearings.)

I spent a few blissful days with the Johnson’s free from obligations and divorce able to exercise my free will and just go with it.  I can’t remember the last time I did that.  I also made the rounds and visited a few other friends from the old neighborhood where we used to live in the Chicago suburbs.  Finally I met with our banking account executive and got access to the accounts online and a working ATM card. I informed him of our divorce and asked that he alert me if Scott made any other changes to our account. 

(I am surprised that our bank neglected to inform me that Scott had made special arrangements to cash out our E*Trade stocks at that local branch receiving $71,000 in cash just a few days prior.)

Moving Day

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January Journal Continued . . . 

I was exhausted by Scott’s continuous efforts to pick my bedroom lock, always having some lame excuse; claiming he needed access to the thermostat, the medicine in the cupboard or something else.  Our therapist Sally reached out to him, reminding Scott of our agreement that he would reside in the guest room. Finally forced to acknowledge our agreement, he was now procrastinating moving his stuff to the guest room stating he didn’t have time due to work constraints.

I couldn’t take another sleepless night by that point, and so that morning I proclaimed it moving day.    I called a locksmith who assured me that the new lock he installed was “pick-proof.”  After the locksmith left, since Scott refused to move his belongings to the guest room, out of the kindness of my heart (and for my sanity) I moved everything.

Initially I considered throwing everything out the windows like you see on TV. But that would mean violating the MSQ/MRO orders if I removed anything of his from the house.  Instead, I packed up Scott’s clothes and personal items and moved them to the basement, two floors below, taking one step at a time.  Stairs were difficult since my second knee replacement revision.  It took me hours and many, many trips, but worth every bead of sweat to get him out of my personal space. Being a bit obsessive-compulsive, I actually color-coordinated all of his hanging clothes and put the others neatly in the dressers.  Anything that didn’t fit or wasn’t seasonal I put into moving boxes and labeled each one accordingly. I then wrote Scott a letter and posted it on the master bedroom door explaining my actions. I asked him to respect our agreement so we could move ahead peacefully and amicably. 

When Scott returned home later that evening and saw the new lock I had installed on my bedroom door, he lost it and angrily began banging on my bedroom door. I was thankful that both the children were away, and tried to ignore his temper tantrum as he shouted, “You have no right to move my stuff!”  Further adding “It’s my house and my bedroom!”  He accused me of violating the MSQ/MRO orders, even going so far as to make a copy of the Orders and sliding them under my bedroom door.  Imagine what would have happened had I thrown all his stuff out the window! 

I felt safe for the first time in a long, long while having the new lock in place. I slept well that night. But that didn’t last long.  

Scott would later claim in court that I  threw all his clothes down the stairs. Thankfully, I took photos of all of his items that I had neatly moved, hung and put away.