This was sent to Aunt B via email
Hello Aunt B,
I have a not so unique problem, for 18 years I was in an abusive relationship both physical and mental. I had two children from this marriage.. My son then 14 and daughter 12 when my ex husband gained custody. Lawyers, Psychiatrist and Counselors, all were involved. (I am trying to be brief) Anyway, on March 3, 2003 my ex gained custody, he went to the school and took the children from school. The school didn't phone me or anything to tell me they had been taken, only that he (my ex) had shown them a piece of paper and they allowed him to take them. We went to court. I was ordered to "visit" my children" every other week I had to drive 100 miles every other weekend to pick them up and to deliver them back. My son, was never present, when I asked where he was his father said he was busy. My ex continued to tell the children I was a drunk, druggy etc., All was a pack of lies. Furthermore, he told my kids that the abuse never happened, when in fact most of the time they were present for all of it. So for the past four years I wrote letters only to be returned, birthday cards were sent back torn up with hateful letters inside calling me various names. So, this year January 2007 I quite sending anything. My new husbands sister has a daughter, my daughters age and they became close when I married in November of 2001. She has turned herself into a surrogate mother and told me that my 10 (at the time) told her that my home smelled like sex, booze and cigarettes. Now, I do not claim to be a "go to church every weekend type person" but, I am not a boozer nor have I EVER had a promiscuous life, in fact I have had two relationships and married both men I have had relations with. I spent every penny $45,000.00 in legal fees and psychiatrist, produced police reports, restraining orders and medical records proving my ex was an abuser.
I saw my daughter for the first time today and she claimed she wanted to get to know me, I immediately did what any mother would do, went to her. She is 16 now and immediately asked me why (screaming) I would not let her stay with me longer. I walked away. I honestly do not know what too do.
My Dear Friend,
I had to delay answering you, hoping that I would have a more unbiased opinion, on the matter. Thus far, I am still pissed about this and can not hide it.
I just so happen, to have gone through a similar experience, when my babies were little. To get back at me, my husband used my children as pawns and his allegations were false. I was able to win back my sons but not before I lost a precious amount of time and a piece of my mind. I do believe it drove me to insanity and it was a struggle to come back. It hurt so bad and I can certainly understand your plight.
I'm not sure what you are asking me? Is it to ignore your daughter because of the things, they said or the allegations? If that is the sum of your question, let me answer that first.
If you are the kind of mother, as I am and was, you've just gone through a horrendous situation. I'm quite sure it was a virtual nightmare, you could not escape. The accusations were bad enough but they added insult to injury by not believing you. Then, you were punched in the gut by having your children taken from you. To further the pain, they lied about you and told people fictitious things, which fueled his accusations, in the first place. Yes, your own children said this, didn't they? The question is why? Why did they further that horrible scenario, with incredible lies?
This is what I believe happened;
It is self-evident that your ex-husband has the power of persuasion, a natural salesman with dirty deeds, done dirt cheap. It was all at your expense. He not only beat you into submission, for a moment but he really did a dirty job on your children, too. By your own admission, he did beat you in front of them. If he never laid a hand on them, this would be enough, to set the stage, the plausibility factor, that he is capable of bodily harm. Your children, naturally would do and say his biding. The similarity is likened to; Stockholme Syndrome
Read about this and Battered Women's Syndrome. I do believe you may have suffered from this. It is a personal observation and only an opinion. Why would I think this? Well, you went to court, armed for bear and were defeated. Did you appeal it? You may not have had the means to do so, financially. This is not a lax in your motherly duties, let me point this out. But you were once again defeated by a man who beat you down, physically and figuratively.
Let's go back to the children and their part in this. First, let me point out to you, your husband was in contempt of court by allowing your son to not attend the visitation. It may have been your sons wish to not see you. But it was, his father's duty to make him see you. He was then in violation of a court order. Your son is entitled to his opinion, which was probably, no, I'd bet coerced and put upon him. Out of loyalty to his father, he refused to see you in the guise of "being busy." But it is the obligation of the father to follow the letter of the law. If your son had chose to not attend school, it is the responsibility of his father to make sure he went. He may not have been happy with it but he was a minor, therefore the state makes the rules and the father would have been fined, after a certain amount of time, that your son did not attend. I tell you this, trying to point out the similarity here. Your son, regardless of his opinion, should have been made to go to visitation. But I think his Dad was or acted like he was damn proud that his son, showed his loyalty to him, to avoid seeing you. It was probably encouraged. I tell you this, so you'll look at the power your ex wielded, over the children. Your son, was probably, in some sick way, rewarded for his arrogance against you. The mind set was then in place, that it's a good thing to hate your mother. Children are so impressionable. You scare them into doing, your bidding and to say and communicate all the lies to facilitate a positive reinforcement. I think this is exactly what he did. This is another form of abuse. After a while, the kids may even believe the bullshit, they've been fed and told to say. It's so sad, isn't it? You paid for this dirty SOB's game. So did your babies. But the games not over Girlfriend, remember this.
You did not say to me, that this is what was going on but I'd be willing to put up money, that this is exactly what has happened. You also did not tell me, why you walked away from you daughter. But I have my beliefs and I think you were hurt by her actions, naturally so. When they said that your house, smelled like, "sex, booze and cigarettes", can't you see that, it is and was, an implanted and inflammatory statement? Really, I do not want to get graphic but how many children know what sex smells like? No, they were told to say that and your husband, well, he probably wears a condom for a hat. How low can you go?
As far as I'm concerned, for what he has done, he deserves a life sentence. It would be, in a perfect world, illegal for him to have corrupted his children as he has done and the sentence would be for him to do Life. In my perfect world, he'd be beaten down, in Prison and learn what it is to submit to a bully. I would love to be a fly on the wall.
My suggestion, to you, is to do your homework. I have provided you, a couple of links, already. I will put a few, at the bottom of this post. For you to heal, you must understand your adversary. Your ex-husband is a piece of shit to the 10th power but you need to see what his game was. He used your children, in that game and you have all suffered for it. But truly, you must forgive your daughter, for doing her father's bidding. You must reach into your heart and look for understanding, that it, is not and was not her fault. As far fetched as it may seem, your son is not to blame, either. He was trying to please his father, they both were. Can you not see, how miserable he would have made it for them, if they'd shown any loyalty, to you? I'd bet that, your name was not to be brought up, for fear of a barrage of insults and inflamed conversation. They most likely learned very quickly, that, if they even brought you up, they'd have to endure and have to hear, all his hateful remarks, about you. So, the kids adapted, as they usually do, did what they were told and began to believe the crap they'd had shoved down their throats. Can you see what I am saying, is true?
You've been through a tumultuous time, in your life. You've suffered such indignities and now, in spite of that son of a bitch, I want you to rise above it all and begin to heal from this. But how do you do this?
I don't know if you are a Spiritual person but I do know this much; My Higher Power has stated, "Vengeance is mine," and you must plead with him for retribution, for yourself and for your children. You pray that the truth is exposed. You pray that he warms your children's hearts and He whispers the truth, about you, in their ears. May the scales be lifted from their eyes, so they may then, see the truth. A day of reckoning will come, be patient and pray for it. Pray fervently. You must do your homework and pray for wisdom so, you may see through the ruse your ex has created. You must pray that your own heart can see to forgive your children and understand it was not them, that did this to you. They were a victim, of his dirty game, just as you were. You must forgive your son, as well as your daughter. As much as it all hurts, forgive and bring your daughter back into your heart. When you do this, the truth will begin to unfold and she will be able to see it, in your eyes.
I am not a Legal Eagle but I would prepare a statement, describing the whole situation. I would then mail that to every attorney in your area and ask them if, out of the goodness of their heart, they could, possibly represent you. Many attorneys do charitable work, once a month or whatever and you ask them, if they can not do it, can they recommend a reputable attorney, that might take the case.
Your key piece is the fact that your husband is in contempt of court, if he does not allow your visits and communication. I hope you have all of your correspondence, returned and you state that you have this, in the letter to the attorneys. You may have grounds, not only for a Children and Youth Dispute case but you may have a Civil case? If you can prove all this, that he did not provide your son for visitation and all your correspondence was returned, he clearly in contempt. You may not even need an attorney to file a case with the court. This'll burn his ass. But if you don't even try, he wins. He has damaged you and your children with his actions. I would further, go back and appeal that judge's decision. The Judge had to have proof to make his decision. The burden of proof was on your husband. Fight this and even if you do not have the financial capacity to hire an attorney out and out, send out the letter and call the courts and tell them what is going on. They will have to file on a Contempt hearing. Don't let him win, even if it is only getting yourself right on this whole thing.
You must re-invent yourself, so you will shine. You must rise above this and you must put on my Bitch Belt and become an assertive, unstoppable woman. Yes, he did you dirty but you show him how to play the game by using your wits and the legal system to your advantage. Most of all, seek and you shall find, I stake my life on this. Seek Him with all the fiber of your being and pray with all the conviction you can muster. I pray that my God gives you the strength to get through this. See, all things happen for a reason. We are being tempered like the finest gold and it takes the highest temperatures to do this. You've walked through hell, just as I did but you've come out of it all, singed but intact. Once you begin to take back your control, you will be a better person for it. Believe it or not!
What is Battered Women's Syndrome?
Domestic Violence in the Courtroom; Understanding the Problem
Battered Women's Defence
Psychology of Battered Women's Syndrome
Battered Women & Their Children
How Do I Enforce Visitation; In Contempt
Interference With Visitation