Continuing from Down the Rabbit Hole…
Except the court house 10 blocks away, where they supposedly say it can be done & be seen the same day, cannot do it because we don’t live in this county. We go back to our county.
Oh sure you can do it… except this certified copy of the decree is not good enough. See where it is stamped, original signed by judge? You need a certified copy of that signature.
Hope after hope, we follow the trail of each tea cup around the table. We can almost taste the victory of the promised refreshment…
Except no one can see the judge the same day. It’s just not done. At least not in Muscogee County.
It doesn’t matter if it is simple, we are told the earliest we can be seen or get a court date is 30 days out.
I’m falling to pieces. Our family will be separated… not by war or deployment… but by the Passport Agency and the court proceedings. If only there had been a way to be seen by the Judge in Atlanta.
I’m crushed and I’m having a moment with my family… When I see the Judge’s secretary go down the elevator and come back up… I wonder what’s that about it… when the security from the first floor walks out of the elevator. Who then cheerfully approaches us. Tells me I can’t rush the judge and tries to escort me from the building.
What on earth did that have to do with anything? I had a great deal of respect for the complexities traditions of court, but that was downright insulting. He retracts and tries to be nice. If you can’t do anything for me, then please leave me alone. I am a human being overwhelmed by my circumstances and being consoled by my husband… Who was I disturbing?
Who are you to control the emotional break drown of my moment?
Serve and Protect. That tea cup came back around the table to mock me.
It made me realize that as a Police Officer I was once as emotionally guarded as this secretary and security guard. It’s usually the result of one or two things.
You see so much of it you become numb to it. OR you think your position in society is safe and above the crazy prattle. Which basically means you have never walked in the shoes of the other person. It also means when you fall, you will fall harder than anyone else.
I thought I was cheerful and helpful back then, but now it dawned on me that if you can’t help the person tap into those resources… you’re not really helping them out of the situation. You’re doing whatever it takes to get them out of your office.
The most helpful thing I did for those in some sort of crisis was giving families a domestic violence packet.
It was helpful, because it pointed out the domestic shelters in the area near or far. Or it gave instructions on how to pursue a protective order, but it didn’t proactively protect them. It didn’t help them absolve their financial or emotional dependency on the abuser. Everybody else got the phone book.
When you got away from the house full of pepper, the baby turns out to be a pig…
Telling me to go get a lawyer 5 min before the end of the business day, is like finding a needle in the hay stack. Who is available? Who is most familiar with how to handle it? Who is willing?
If any of the public servants I met had been genuinely helpful I should have had a list of lawyers I could look at and pick from, preferably by their specialties or availability. A starting point. It’s how I find my medical provider each time we move… and if there is an emergency before then there is always the Emergency Room.
Here. In this place of life and death of the soul… There is no ER. You hope you don’t bleed out before you are seen. My emergency is not their priority, so we fall through the cracks. They don’t live in my shoes, so I keep walking. Because standing in the road wasn’t getting me anywhere.
But first I break down and cry. I have come a long way. I wish I was the same person who was emotionally detached. But I am not. I cry for the people who have walked this path alone before me. I cry because no one cares.
We head back to the hotel.
The reality of our family being separated pins me down in the hotel sheets and I can’t move.
I want to die.
I wake up in the morning and I find giving up on living does not mean that you die. At least not right away. I have been here before and I know I am in a dangerous place. A place hard to recover from if I don’t start fighting back now.
I decide that people who do nothing but crush the will and hope of others are evil.
I call a family meeting. We were told we need to pick up tickets on base before the office closed for an evening flight. There is just enough time to try the passport office one more time. We make a run for it. The last hope that can keep us all together…