To save legal costs, I’m putting together the supporting documents for the arbitrator. Mostly, it’s account statements: This is the mortgage, here’s the deed, that sort of thing.
But we’re also putting together an argument that I should be reimbursed for some of my legal costs, and to do that, we have to illustrate the ways in which he has stymied this legal process for nearly a year.
There are a lot of documents to go through. Hundreds of emails. Emails demanding his skis and my cooperation. Legal documents I don’t quite understand demanding spousal maintenance, even though we earn roughly the same amount of money. Emails denying the existence of accounts, and more emails admitting those accounts’ existence.
One email from him informs me if I did not turn over his new iPhone, he would cancel my health insurance. The subject line: “The Phone or your health insurance.” It was followed by a notification that since I hadn’t turned the phone over fast enough, he was canceling the insurance anyway.
And so on.
I try to just follow my lawyer’s letter and pull documents that support the points he’s trying to make. I can’t make sense of any of it any more, and when I try to, I can feel knots forming in the back of my neck. They hurt, so I stop thinking and just follow the script I’ve been given.
I’m reading through all of it and even nine months later, even after the Lawyer has told me, “No, you don’t cancel health insurance until things are settled,” I still feel like I need to respond, say something, explain why it is I didn’t want to give him the damn thing, how this isn’t my fault.
But everything I say just turns into a bigger argument in my mind – I said that because he did that but then he comes back with he did this because I did that and so on and on and on.
It exhausts me, this web of justifications I’m trapped in.
I scramble over to the attorney’s office at the last possible minute and give the documents to the paralegal. I explain the various emails to her and why I’m including them. She runs highlighter through the important points so she doesn’t forget later.
She reads that subject line and her eyes pop.
I get ready to explain myself, but she doesn’t ask.
She only says, “Wow. That just says it all.”