Once trust is destroyed, it is impossible not to question motives.
This week was to be the second hearing for my order of protection. Those of you who read this blog know that a month ago, I was victorious in court and the first order of protection was granted. But the abuser appealed two weeks later, and I was facing a de novo appeal hearing, one that would assume a clean slate and in which I would have to prove my case all over again.
Imagine my surprise when my attorney called me Thursday morning, less than twenty-four hours before the hearing, to tell me that the appeal had been dropped. My abuser had decided not to go forward with the appeal; he and his attorney legally and completely ended all proceedings. After I heard the news, I could hardly believe it. I just sat in my chair and I cried. Over. Just like that. His dropping the appeal is like an admission of guilt. And he cannot appeal again; the order stays in effect for the next year.
I want to believe that upon thinking things through, his sense of responsibility has opened his eyes to the wrongs that he did to me. I want to believe that he will truly seek healing and forgiveness; that he will enter treatment for his anger issues and that he will never harm anyone else again. I want to believe it with all my heart. It is what I've prayed for, what I've hoped for.
But I don't believe it.
Instead, I find myself as hyper-alert as ever, waiting for the next shoe to drop. Waiting to hear what he'll do next, waiting to wake in the middle of the night to find him standing in my bedroom, watching me. Waiting for more vandalism or destruction of my property. Waiting...
This was another victory. I hope he has truly changed direction. I loved him once, you know...and even though he destroyed that love, I never wanted any harm to come to him. I still don't. I just need to feel safe. And now, I guess I'm waiting for that, too.