Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Boot in the Face

On Wednesday I had a meeting with my solicitor, a pensions actuary and my husband's barrister. I had been told to expect my husband and his solicitor in the virtual meeting room.

 (Yes, that's right. Over 4 years since my separation I still don't have a Decree Absolute and still no financial settlement. Consequently, life is very difficult for myself and my sons.)

The meeting was scheduled for 12pm to suit my husband's requirements. However, he didn't turn up and no apologies were made. Instead, he sent his barrister rather than his solicitor.

Of course, the reason my husband didn't turn up is that he is too afraid to face me himself. Too afraid I will call him out in front of other professionals. 

Anyway, during the course of the meeting, my husband's barrister treated me like he was at court hearing. Trying to qualify everything I said in a condescending manner ("I think what Mrs Turley is trying to say is...") and, at one point, when I said that the report needed greater clarity so that a layman could understand it, he said he'd never heard of the word "layman".

I assume the point of this rather pathetic act was to try and make me feel foolish and undermine my confidence. Of course, I knew the word existed and that I had used it in exactly the right context. So, I just raised my eyebrows to express my disbelief that the barrister didn't (apparently) know such a word.

The barrister's condescending manner continued. By the end of the meeting, I was tearful and could hardly speak.

Ever since an image has been replaying over and over in my mind. It is the image that accompanies the words below of George Orwell in 1984:

 “There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever. ” 

 I think it is time to rewrite that quote:

 “There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget women of this world, men will always be intoxicated by power. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on a woman who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a man's boot stamping on a woman's face— forever. ” 

That readers is the sad truth. The physical strength of men has made them kings, rulers and politicians throughout history. Women all over the world are subjugated by men. Their genitals are mutilated, they are assaulted, raped and murdered to satisfy the lust and greed of men. Women are second class citizens ruled by men and their egos.

I am tired of being the understanding, empathetic wife doing the "right thing" and conforming to my Catholic upbringing and traditional values.

I am a very patient person. But on Wednesday something finally snapped. I am done with being a patient, empathetic woman. I am not going to be bullied by my husband or his barrister. I don't care if I walk away with nothing from my marriage because I will have the love of my children and I will still have my voice.

No one is going to stamp on my face anymore.

And I will use my voice to its best effect.


  1. The irony is the immorality of not financially supporting your children glares. I'm sorry you have to go through this. But I can't help but think there is some relief for you and your children not having to live with your husband. He must be incredibly selfish. I hope there are much brighter days ahead. You are a very talented writer.

    1. Thank you, Ann, for dropping in and your supportive comment. I appreciate it:) I am indeed much happier not having to tread around his ego. I would, however, truly like to move on with my life which up until now been prohibited by the drawn-out proceedings. The events of the last week seem somehow to have crystallized my thoughts and I am resolved now to continue with my writing. I have a lot to write about.

      s you can imagine, I have a lot to write about.

  2. I feel mad on your behalf. It's truly awful how long these things can take - especially if one party is not prepared to play ball. I've seen a sister-in-law go through it and it was eventually resolved but not before many tears were shed and tempers lost. I do hope you get it resolved soon for everyone's sake even, as you say, you don't end up with a settlement you're happy with. Sometimes you do just have to walk away but of course you need to be free to get on with your life if you do as a divorced woman not one still legally attached to a waste of space.

    1. Hi Wendy, I hope you're well. Certainly very busy from what I see for a quick visit to your blog earlier.

      Yes, I am looking forward to a new life and the sooner, the better. I plan, in the first instance, to continue my education and some writing. Most recently, I am have been studying law. In fact, if we get as far as a final hearing I may well represent myself. That will scare the shit of out my husband more than any barrister. Ha, ha.

  3. Sad to hear that this divorce is being dragged out for so long. Why isn't the judiciary pushing things along? Sounds like your judicial system is as broken as ours (oh wait, yours prosecutes people for improper language, so yours is even more broken). Your husband sounds like a complete douche.

  4. I have not been impressed by the law so far and have encountered quite a bit of incompetency, G. I had to change solicitors at one point and am currently represented by a far superior solicitor who pays attention to the detail. So far, the law has not enforced my husband's lack of engagement and breech of a court order in the proceedings but should we go to a final hearing then I think it will most likely come back to haunt him.

  5. You go, girl!

    Like you, I find it shocking that the law, so far, has let you down with that court order (that wasn't). Perhaps, with it all having come so far, it is still worth hanging on until a court can rule how the assets should be divided ...?? A certain ex-husband-to-be is never going to suggest or agree to anything reasonable.

    This doesn't help you, but I was reading recently about the sub-postmasters who were convicted of theft when they were completely innocent. The Post Office (which has the power to prosecute) knew there were problems with Horizon but maintained that it was working just fine.

    If the law is an ass, what do you do? If there is no 'rule of law' enforced, what does that say about society?

    1. I am deeply shocked at what I have seen in some areas of the law Fordfocusmum- a judge making orders without sight of the proper documents, my former lawyer screwing up my papers and the practice shout-down by the law society, a barrister determined to belittle me by denying the existence of a word in the English dictionary (which is truly pathetic). From what I've seem so far the scales are tipped in favour of institutional incompetency.


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