I always introduce Jeanne as the person who saved my life. She was the first attorney who didn’t give up on me. I filed for divorce three times in another city before I moved back to Tampa, only to never go back to the lawyers’ offices after starting the process.
You’d think the lawyers would have wondered what happened to me – but none of them ever called to find out.
The first time I went to Jeanne’s office, I was literally shaking. Her office was near where I was working and I just went in one day.
After being married to my husband for many years, my confidence had eroded to nearly nothing. He was emotionally abusive and very controlling. Sometimes, he would just disappear for days when he was angry and always said he’d never let me get divorced.
One of his favorite threats was to tell me that without him, I would be living in a box in an alley.
My first concern, though, was for our children. I was afraid that he would get back at me by doing something to hurt them. It was why I put up with his abuse for so long. As it turns out, when I finally did get the courage to go through with legal proceedings for divorce, he took our daughter out of private school within weeks.
Thankfully, I had Jeanne by my side at this point. She wasn’t just someone I hired. She partnered with me and she was a guide.
It took two years for the divorce to be completed. At times, it was really ugly and I felt petrified, but Jeanne was always there for me and knew what to do. She would say to me I am not going to let you quit. It was what I needed to hear.
When it was all over, I felt free and in control for the first time in years. The last time I saw my husband in court, I was so surprised by how I felt. I realized that I wasn’t afraid anymore.
Today, I’m very happy and have rebuilt my life. I never forget to be grateful.