A little about me

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Brook, IN, United States
Abuse doesn't stop at the court room. Melinda has shared her battles in her life and through the court room as she navigates through the legal system Bringing encouragement, insight and empowerment to those that are in a abusive relationship. She is in the process of creating a new life, speaking engagements to "Break the Silence" of abuse, while putting a face to abuse. She is currently working on writing a book about her experiences as a Survivor.View short Bio here- https://www.patheos.com/blogs/ahappymedium/2013/02/notbrokenbutbrave/

Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm positive I am living again

Big red nose
Empty boxes of tissues
Eyes red with stained salt on your cheeks from crying

The first few days that I left for the THIRD and FINAL time was no easier then the first time.

I doubted my choice.
I reasoned with myself.
Told myself time apart was good.
Knowing in my heart I would have not lived to see the end of 2009 if I stayed with STBX.
That is a fact that close friends and family remind me of from time to time.

I am learning to live freely.
To love freely.
To make my own choices.
Learning to shake off old routines and making my own.
Learning to be me. The old me. The one that is a practical joker and can break out in song randomly in public or dance in the grocery aisle for no reason. The me that makes silly faces at my kids or with Terry.

I wish I can say that took overnight but it is nearly 3 years since I left him (2/25/09), the change is slow and I have no patience for myself. I am bothered by the effects of PTSD that have caused me to be panicky and paranoid that he is around the corner. Or will he send our son to do his evil bidding. Seriously! I have not a doubt that he would do that! He is a evil person that is cunning, methodical and can be the sweetest person you ever met. A person that met him (court professional) compared him to Ted Bundy. Another Psychologist told me off the record he was psychotic and I was in danger if I stayed with him.

I don't know why I didn't end up like Laci Peterson or Stacy Peterson or Nicole Smith for that matter any of those ladies you hear about splashed on the news. But I do thank the Lord that He has kept me this safe.

I am capable of great things and I though I do not know what is around the corner. But I am remaining positive it will be wonderful!

I don't question my leaving him. I don't ask why me. I no longer feel jaded that I will never have a normal relationship. I will not be a victim again!

Stay safe! Please see my other entries about Safety plans and Leaving your Abuser!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Domestic Relations bummer

I finally went in to put in that I changed our address. (I was able to get all the paperwork needed for the PO Box so I can fill out the required court change.) I wandered into the Domestic Relations room to let them know as well of the change. On my way out I bid a quick "Hello" to one of the boss's, of course this then proceeded for her to ask how things were. I mentioned the move and that I received text messages from R about reconciling. She asked about if we are visiting at the Children's Treehouse and how the visits were going. I told her that R hadn't scheduled any appointments.

And what about me seeing my son. I just shook my head and explained the court said it wasn't safe for us to visit due to M's apparent anger towards me. She went on to give me example's of others that had situations where marriages broke up due to an affair in the relationship.

This made me mad! I put away any kind of anger and reminded her as best I could that I left the SOB due to domestic violence. That I was tired and scared that I would have not lived through the following year if I stayed.

I was tired of getting hit, pushed, called names, being accused of cheating, being raped if I didn't want to have sex, having my hair pulled, watching my kids see me spanked or smacked, being pushed down the stairs and more. I was tired!

She didn't know what to say at first. She sat there stunned. She apologized, she assumed that M was upset that Terry broke up the marriage. I said that the marriage was broken long before Terry entered the picture.

M's anger and fighting in school started back in 4th and 5th grade. It had nothing to do with my leaving his Dad.We talked a bit more and then I headed out.

I got to the car and just cried. I was so upset by the comments she made. Upset that I was reminded once again by the crap he put me and the kids through. I felt ugly when I told her about these things. I felt stupid again too for putting up with it for so long. I was a mess for the rest of the day. I told Terry about the incident and it made him upset as well. She is the same lady that made Terry leave back in 2009 when Matt attacked him at the court house. If he would have been able to stay perhaps that wouldn't have happened.

I have gotten messages yesterday from M and then later his Dad, R. Rambling that I wouldn't let M see the girls for Christmas! HELLO! His Dad has supervised visits and I can not just let the girls go. I was so tee'd off on Christmas due to me telling the girls to wish Grandma A Merry Christmas, but Grandma pleaded with J to talk to her Dad. J said no, but then relented to make Grandma happy. R grew upset when A didn't want to talk to him. J asked her sister 2 more times and A mouthed no! Then ran into the bathroom and hid for about a half hour. She was scared.

GGGRRR!!! R ended the conversation with "I guess that's another strike against your Mother!"

I really don't like that man! I have had a upset stomach for days. Why do I let him get under my skin?
I do not believe he knows we moved yet. I know he will be on the war path once he finds out! BIG CHEESY GRIN!

And since he kept harassing me with text messages I blocked him and Matt. I was so upset from the messages. Terry said enough is enough. I didn't need to be beat down by them. I was relieved but not by any means in better spirits. SIGH! March 6th hurry up!

Monday, December 19, 2011

No guts! No glory!

There is little to be said about a man (or woman) that beats on another person.
I have a hard time digesting the case studies and the psycho mumbo jumbo that I find to support the fact that many abusers had a rough life growing up so they continue a cycle.

I believe in choices!

I believe right from wrong and knowing well enough once the person is old enough to distinguish between the two.

I believe that once the person acts on a impulse to harm another that it gets easier to repeat again down the road.

I believe that staying in this type of relationship with Mr. or Mrs. Psycho Gaslighter Abuser or whatever you want to call this person is not an easy choice to choose.

We each have to decide when enough is enough.

We each have to decide that road to destruction or the path to being a victim due to placing blinders up is our choice.

I had a choice to leave the SOB many times.

I choose to stay due to his intimidation.

I choose to stay because I would have no money or job, no place to go.

I believed every lie he told me to keep me with him. I choose to believe every lie that I wouldn't make it without him.

I choose to believe that our relationship was "Normal".

I choose to believe his apologizes and he would never do it again.

I made my choice by saying Yes to everything he told me. To making excuses for his behavior and his actions to family and friends.

I choose my private hell.

I choose to stay.

I choose to believe I could make him change or help him to change.

I choose to believe that he loved me and all the lies he told me that tore my spirit down to shreds to make himself feel better or come out on top.

I allowed him to take pieces of me because of the hard on he got from hurting me.

I take part of the responsibility for the way things turned out. But...

There comes a time when enough is enough. You get tired of the name calling, the punches, or bloody lips or just the nervousness of not knowing if it will be a good day or bad day when he/she comes through that door.

Leaving.

Honey! It isn't easy! No sugar coating it! Prince charming in many cases isn't around the corner to swoop in and save the day. If there is a man around the corner, more then likely he is wearing tin foil. Beware of a wolf in sheep clothing! Jumping out of a relationship soon after the taking the leap of faith isn't a wise choice!

Heading the nearest bar or dance club isn't the answer either.


YOU HAVE TO HEAL!

This takes time! Now I am talking many months to YEARS!

Remember during this time of separation he/she will tell you everything you want to hear (even if it the 5th time you left!). They promise to change for real this time! Promise to take meds or kick the drug/alcohol habit! They promise to never do whatever they did to you (kids) again.

You will hear begging.


You will hear pleading.

You may get flowers.

Offers to buy you things or dinner/lunch.


If a number or days or weeks go by you may hear things like:


Who are you seeing?
Were you *ucking someone all this time?
Or I know you are seeing someone else!
It's your fault we didn't work out! If you only didn't make me mad or fly off the handle we wouldn't have problems!
You didn't make the appointments for the counseling!
You didn't take my drugs or alcohol away. You must not love me!
If you really loved me you wouldn't leave me.
I suffered from abuse from you all these years don't lie to people and say it was me! (popular one used by these abusers!)


It quickly yo-yo's back until your reserve is down and you long to keep the relationship together so you cave!


Well, he/she wants to just talk. What's the harm in that?


The harm is they really don't want to be alone. They have molded you and vested time making you into the punching bag they neurotically love to beat down with words or fists. Whether in a lucid or drug induced state when this happens. It is wrong!


They have you where they want you!


Be strong! It is hard! Your nose has taken on a Karl Malden look. (I personally don't cry as pretty as Demi Moore did in Ghost). I went through countless boxes of tissue even though I was thrilled and relieved to be gone there was a mourning period.

Leaving is a hard thing.
It takes guts to stand up and leave. It takes guts to know when enough is enough! There is glory and when you finally have had the balls to leave you will have glory, peace and your sanity back. It takes time but it will happen!


Learn to love you again! I've said this countless times. Find you again! The "You" that loved life. The "You" that had aspirations of good things. The "You" that had friends or found joy in doing whatever tickled you. Take time to rediscover "You".

Be safe my friend! If you don't have a safety plan please do so! Check out previous entries about Safety plans or Safety. Let other close friends and family know what is going on in your life. Don't keep it a secret any longer!

Monday, December 12, 2011

So you left him now what?

Your eyes are red, nose looks like Rudolph, salt stains seem to be perminately tattooed to your cheeks, so now what?

Stop checking your email and phone for messages from him.

Think about your future. It seems bleak right now.

You may be in a situation where you have no job, no place to go and no money. If you have kids you have an additional worry.

IF you planned your escape then I am hoping you had a "Go Bag" together so you aren't left without things you really need or important papers. Hopefully you have a small stash of cash on hand. If not make sure you find contact information for the nearest Women's shelter. They can provide you with information to help you on your new journey!

This is a new start for you! You can make it! Brush off those thoughts of doing yourself harm or getting revenge on him. It's pointless!

Put your Big Girl panties on and realize you can make it!

Make a list of everything you can think of that you have together. From the toaster to the ice trays!
Make a list of where you want to be in 6 months, a year or 2 years!

Do things you always wanted to do! Take up a new hobby! Spend time with your kids or pets. Learn to love yourself all over again.

Small steps but you can do it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

We moved!

We did it! I wish I could share where we are but the only thing I can say is that we are still in Indiana and within 100 miles of Crazy Man. I feel relieved! It happened so fast!

I hope to notify the court of a new PO Box soon. I need proof of residency first. Figures! But I got to tell you it is so nice not to have to look over my shoulder!

Oh I don't want to get cocky! The week before we were all out my son texted me that he wanted to know if Dad knew where were moving to... YIKES! Never another comment though.

So that's it! Hope to stay safe! Wishing everyone finds the strength to leave and to learn to love themselves again.

BIG HUGS!
Mel

Leaving Mr. or Ms. Abuser



So you have decided to do it or for whatever reason you are out!

YEA YOU!

If you had time to plan your big leap great!

If you didn't and are out of the house and wonder how to get your things from the bum think about this.

Your alive! THINGS can be REPLACED! Staying in a toxic relationship because you have property that you are fixing up together or selling or because you will be damned if you leave first is stupid!

Get your head out of your butt!

There is no price tag on your life or the lives of your child or pets.

I ended up selling or throwing out the things I did manage to get back from Rob because of the memories attached. The things that he broke or sold instead of giving them back to me after time I realized I really didn't need them.

Check out my Checklist for leaving your abuser entry if you have time to plan.

There is never a good time to leave a relationship. But there is never a bad time to leave a toxic abusive relationship!

Stay safe!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful but falling apart

Happy Thanksgiving! Oh there is so much to say but I can't right now.

I can't help but feel as though I am falling apart at the seams. Even years later I can not handle any kind of confrontation without feeling as though I am a failure, stupid or an idiot. Small critisms cave my spirit in so much that I have been a bundle of tears and confusion lately. So much so I  even had a small thought in my head just to end it all for me. This is not the first time I have entertained these thoughts over the years, knowing well enough that my beliefs of it being a sin are so strong. Yet, I have felt so defeated and tired of it all.

I pause and look at my kids. That brings me back to reality.

If I did something foolish they would go back to Crazy Man. Of course the baby would stay with Terry, but the girls...

Then I think about how selfish I'm being. Poor me! Poor me! Buck up Girl, you have come this far!

I had many people in the past and present mention they were envious of me or jealous.

I scratch my head and wonder why?

My past life in my roller coaster of a marriage was marked with havoc and secrets. A false smile plastered on my face when Crazy Man was around. Pretending to love the man whom over the years I had secretly despised. Hating to go home. Not knowing what would be around the corner when I got home or while I was sleeping would he choke me or smother me with his pillow.

Our private life was a mess.

The life presently has been much better by leaps and bounds yet there is still quite a bit of drama ranging from death threats, continued stalking and harassment via text, emails or on an occassion a phone call.

I feel defeated in so many ways. I had a fantasy that once I left him all would well. We wouldn't see him again.

Fantasy can be nice, but the reality of the matter is he will continue to be a thorn in my side for a long time. His continued obession with me coming back to him is even crazier then my fantasy of never seeing him again.

The nightmares, panic attacks, bouts of crying are all things that still haunt me. A past I can't seem to shake and that it's claws dug pretty deep with no intentions of departing from my memories anytime soon.

I have issues with my older daughter. She is so much like her dad that it's scary. I've discussed this with the new GAL and hope to glean more tactics on nipping that in the bud!


I can't understand why anyone would be jealous or envious of my life or me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Update on the circus of my divorce

I received a letter in the mail.

The GAL on the case is going on vacation and will not be back until after Thanksgiving, so STBX's attorney wrote a letter regarding this and that he will ask for a continuance.

Well! I haven't went to the Dentist. I am still covered by his health insurance until we are finalized. I know the first thing many I have encountered when they hear that is to get everything under the sun tucked, nipped and nicked.

I have done one thing I wanted to do for the longest time... I went under the knife for bladder surgery. After then 3 kids, my bladder was so very weak I wet myself when I sneezed, laughed and coughed.Pitiful! So I got the surgery! LOVE my sling! Everything else I did was just routine checkups.

I so want to be free of him.
Calling me his wife or my loving husband

After almost 3 years get a life

Monday, October 31, 2011

I hate the feeling of fear

I am getting better.

I see the effects of the past abuse with the girls. The behavior and how they perceive the world around them is so different between the two of them and just makes me feel mad as well as happy with the choice I made to leave the madness.

I have a confession. I have been feeling so nervous and worried. Oh, I know what is unusual about that? Or what else is new?

I pee'd my pants during a bad dream that I couldn't wake up from. It was about STBX and so real that I pee'd my pants in my dream and in real life. I woke up in a panic, my heart racing, sweaty and embarassed that I had to wake up Terry to announce my accident.

When does it end? When can I look at some random item and not STILL break into tears or stepback in victim mode? Breaking free of the years of programming to find myself. To be someone the girls can look back to and not remember a quivering mess of snot or panic when "he" is around or called?

Since the Protective Order has been lifted the neighbor says she see's "him" around more often. I got a call from "him" on Saturday while I was out with girls. I know it was him. No one spoke on the other line they just listened. The call came from his Mom's house and he is working on the basement. (Yes, he has been "working" on it for more then several months). He is a terrible procrastinator and in usual fashion he is taking his time. Hell's bell's if anyone ticks him off during this time because he will walk off, leaving it undone. Example is his older sister's basement in which he almost completed after too many months and then something set him off and he left them high and dry, not returning to finish.

GOSH! I'm super happy we are not living there anymore! BIG CHEESY SMILE!

I received the paperwork for the Supervised visit info and intake forms. The cost is $45.00 per hour! It can be on a sliding scale if need be and since magically his income went down over $20,000.00 in less then a year. I am sure he will be able to work out something. The visits are set up for 5 hours. The next court date is quickly approaching, no word from the GAL and of course no visitation set up yet. So I'm guessing yet another set back in the seemingly never ending divorce.

I'm so frustrated and want to throw the covers over my head, staying in bed and not leaving the house. Getting going seems to take me awhile, I'm more forgetful then ever, oh, it's little things! Forgetting things for groceries, sadly I forgot to wish my Dad Happy Birthday months ago! I forget conversations that happened 10 mins after I have had them! Age? I'm not sure but frustrated. Feeling terribly whiny and unable to just function. My exercise is on the back burner. No job prospects. Hoping to find something I can do out of the house. Maybe clean houses? Something I can do and take Mini Man with me or something I can take him with that has childcare not far away or expensive.

My Student loan is mocking me, growing in interest monthly and no nibbles. I went to an interview at a Chiropractor's office and felt really good about it. I can do the job! I swear it had my name on it! But apparently so did over 15 or 20 other people. SIGH! Hoping the Doula services would come into play soon. I have a ache and itch in my heart, knowing that something is around the corner, that I am meant to do something helpful. Even this blog has been a great thing for me, to know that other's know they are not alone in the fight to keep surviving, not only in day to day but in legal land as well.

I'm not perfect
I'm learning new things daily
I stumble often
I question myself way too much and fail to keep leaning on the Lord
I question Him (God) about my path
I don't open up enough to my loved ones
I hate confrontation
I hate fighting
I hate swearing (A nasty habit that I try not to use. I end up saying "Oh Sugar!" or "Son of a Building Block" it's all the same, still swearing! LOL!)
I am human
Many times I force a smile when I don't really want to smile at all
I try to treat others as I like to be treated
The girls and I do not have a perfect relationship (J and the rest of us frequently butt heads. She is need of definate counseling and I can't put it off anymore. She is also 13 and knows it all! I was never 13 and can't know anything of being that age and she is 13 going on 30)

I can see why many victims and survivors turn to drugs and alcohol! I don't drink often and usually split a bottle of wine with Terry during our dinner meal. More then 3 glasses and I'm giggling like crazy! I don't do more then 4 or 5 otherwise I get a "hot" feeling and I don't like that. So I have never gotten throw up drunk. YUCK! I have gotten a headache after but nothing more. OOOPPPSSS! Sorry rambling!

I was asked the question "Are you happy?" (Terry)
I have didn't know how to answer that! In the past the question was turned into:
"I hope your happy now!"
"See what you did! I hope your happy!"
"Whatever do what makes you happy"
"Does making me hit you or yell at you make you happy?"

All filled with rage. Not sincere. Not genuinely interested if I'm happy or creating happiness.
I didn't know how to really answer that at first. Took me awhile to process. I am happier. I struggle daily but yes, I am happy!

Thanks for listening!

God bless!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

When will the madness end?

I'm mulitasking, sitting on my favorite chair, sipping on coffee, watching FOX News (Not the IL news channel), blogging about things that seem surreal that happen in my life. Reminded of memories of a life from almost 3 years ago where I lived stepping on eggshells daily. Never knowing if the day would take a turn for the worse or be a calm one. Even with a calm day you wait for the other shoe to drop and dread something that sets off my Gaslighter (NARC, Psychopath, Abuser, whatever you want to call him they are all appropiate.)

Sunday, I planned on heading to church, I have been lax in going lately and really felt we needed to go. Starting the day as usual above, oh I may get crazy and exercise (last week I took it off working out as my parts still are hurting from the Turkey Run adventure a few weeks back. Sorry rambling...)

STBX begins to text me, they start off nice (Surprise surprise!) Asking how I am doing, do I want to meet for coffee (Oh, yes I really want to put myself in front of the bear!) I did say No, of course that set off a firestorm of messages that I am his and since his GF left him it's my fault and unless she comes back to him I he will come get me! Also to get "Him" out so he can come over. (Him is Terry)

Oh, and he has to drop off his GF first, HUH?

He goes on and on... He hasn't changed. I wonder if the Anger Management classes went well. That is sarcasm. Sounds like the same behavior pattern from before.

Then a string of messages from our Son, which I doubt this, more like Psycho's other personality. I was still worried about many threats in the messages, so, I got A. up, J. was staying at her friends house, I texted Terry to say we were going to my Mom's and called my Sister, Mandy, to tell what was up, she said just go to Mom's (Great minds think alike). 

Terry asked what was going on. I told him R., was at it again. He called me not even 15 seconds later alarmed and knowing that my brain goes to panic mode immediately when I deal with Crazy Man. I was running around like a chicken without a head.

Terry asked if I phone the police and I whined, "No, what does it matter, they aren't going to do anything." He replied, Honey, Honey, calm down. Now what's going on? You know you need to document everytime this *%$#! pulls this kind of *#&%! He is not supposed to be texting or talking to you, per the court. Everything is through his attorney! So, call the police, as to be escorted to your car to be safe and see if you can file a police report.

He was reminding me to calm down, by this time I think he was more worked up then I! See, he is still away for work and can't just be home in a few minutes. I could picture him on the other end of the phone pacing like a Lion! I could hear the worry in his voice, which wasn't calming me down by now. I squashed the panic attack down, as now is not the time to have to deal with that! All the while I am getting dings on my phone about another text message. There ended up being 12 text messages, nasty and mean. One stating M., is going to beat Terry up until he can't walk or see, if he ever see's him. One that says I abused him and another that said, I was the one sleeping around with others and that's how we got diseased. Terry and I talked for a few more minutes and then I did as we discussed.

The police came in no time, I talked to a close person and told her the situation so she can keep an eye on our place if she was around the area. The police showed up while I was speaking to her. He took my statement, and watched as the kids and I piled in the car. On the way I left a message with Crazy Man's attorney, and I later emailed the GAL some alarming emails sent to my Sister, Mandy, later that day. Oh, yes the crazy messages were from time to time throughout the day. Cruel, mean and crazy ramblings. Enough for me not to sleep too well. I am still jumpy!

I stayed away from home almost all day yestreday, my friend called me to tell me she noticed an unmarked squad car sitting in the parking lot for quite sometime, which makes me wonder if they are going to finally take his threats seriously! So when does this end? With me missing or found a hot mess somewhere? Oh I will not go down without a fight this time. But I don't wish it to take that turn. I just want it over. I would love the judge to say, "OK, your divorced!" Then maybe Crazy Man will get the picture. I have no doubt he will be a thorn in my side for a long time. I am counting the years that I have to continue to deal with him! 6 if I'm lucky, longer if they go to college.

Maybe... Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Pray that we remain safe and for an end to our seemingly never ending divorce. I'm so desparate for closure to the divorce. I do not wish for any harm to anyone. I wish for him to realize I'm not coming back to him ever.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why did you make him mad?!

What did you do to make him lose control?
What did you do to make him mad?
What did you say?
You know that makes him mad why did you do that?

See the trend?

You never mad him mad! You are not to blame! You did nothing to poke the bear. You have to believe this! Make this your belief or mantra, say it over and over in your mind if you are going through a tough time.

Honestly, personally I didn't want to tick him off when things became nasty. I went above and beyond to try to get things to go as smoothly as possible. Pleasing my Gaslighter was number one on my list in order to make home life tolerable. Even if it meant putting my children on hold, in his mind HE came first. As long as the kids weren't bleeding they were fine. His needs became above and beyond my time with God. "That's what Sunday is for!" he would complain, of course when Sunday came around he made the excuse that God would understand I was to spend time with him. Oh and then it was my fault for making us late to church later in the day.

Oh, sure I enjoyed getting yelled at. Sure, I just enjoyed things getting thrown at me. Sure, I enjoyed being told I was just useless for anything. My favorites, sarcasm, were the "Why do you like making me lose control?" talks. I must like being hit or abused. I must enjoy the punishment. I must get off by getting hit. I must get a thrill from being kicked or punched. SURE!


Why do you make me mad? Can't we just have a nice (Fill in the blank) once?!


Yes, right, I couldn't get enough of the psycho in my face, choking me or slapping me. I enjoyed the Indian rubs until I cried because he rubbed my skin raw while he just laughed and told me I deserve this because I made him mad. 
HE CHOOSE to do these things to me!
HE CHOOSE before he made it in the door that he was going to make the night or day miserable.
HE CHOOSE his behavior not me! 
And HE had the choice to be responsible for his behavior! He had such a thrill from berating me and the kids. He had a sense of power and control from making us cower and hide from him. Of course he would turn it around and say I turned the kids against him. I must have said something to do that! Or the whole world/family/friends are against him! What must have told them something!
What did I blog about or say to them on the phone? I must have said some kind of code words to make them question his behavior or they acted suspcious when he was around, what did I do?Leaving this man was the best thing I ever did! I should have documented the abuse! I wish I did! I know now I did nothing to provoke him or to "Make him mad". I know now that there was very little I could have done to prevent any of the events besides getting out sooner or telling police, family or friends sooner.
You didn't poke the bear! We are victims and survivors deserving real love! Real love is not abuse of any sort. Real love is not rape, beat, being mentally or emotionally abused. Real love doesn't hurt... Abusers do not know what love is! They know they crave it. They know they say the words but they don't mean it. They don't want to be alone and will say or do anything to keep you where you are! 

Time and time again shows abusers do not change! Change only happens when you take a leap of faith, believe and DON'T LOOK BACK!

Met with his atty today!

I was worried that it was a trap and STBX would be there. The meeting went well, he had four things to go over with me:
1) Custody
2) Child Support
3) Parenting Time
4) Property division

So, apparently, STBX wants to keep custody as is.

Child support is to stay as it is, though he mentioned the court may add $290 a week to my income, even though I am still out of work. HUH?! I figure "he" must be wigging out he pays too much. I did say that I WISH I had a 40 hour a week job that pays that much a week! I do have a student loan and stuck with those stinky taxes from the business recently! Oh, the atty did not even know we had businesses together...

Parenting time is still up for discussion. In order to have Parenting time the Order of Protection would need to be dropped! YIKES! I know he plans to ask for that to be dismissed. I told him the girls are terrified of STBX. He said Parenting time at Children's Treehouse one hour is supervised and safe. Any funny business and visits will be off. So if the Order is dropped not only do I have to worry about the girls safety but the rest of us too!

Property division, apparently I am entitled to his Pension and Savings through the Union. The Savings through the Union was a surprise to the Atty! STBX did not disclose this to him! He said he was going to ask the Union about that!

I mentioned the threats of violence and that STBX does not forget, he holds grudges and will get even or kill the girls. I mentioned the Murder for Hire, I mentioned the times that the police were called to visitation, I mentioned that his parents were in bad health, because he asked if that was a place we could continue to hold visits! HA! Apparently his client is not forecoming about things, SURPRISE!

He asked if there was anything else and I told him that I was going to ask for a formal psych eval. He shook his head and said this was a waste of time, and will prolong the divorce! I could do what I want but that's not what they want and he will argue that.

He was unaware we have a GAL on the case! I was informed on Monday. I plan on calling her in a few to let her know we have court. He did ask about others on the case and I did tell him that STBX threatened and scared the counselor and GAL away. No response but posture change.

Anyway he wants to get it closed, over and done with. Heck with details of the girls safety apparently!

Off topic~ I had a health scare, TMI! My results from my pap came out and I needed to phone the Dr's to get them. Great! I knew that couldn't be good! So I am already wound pretty tight! I called and finally got the results. I am HPV positive but nothing active! Yea! I probably got the virus around the time I got HSV2. Wonderful! But all my other labs for STD's came out negative! YEAH ME! I retest yearly and should be OK. WHEW! I had all these nasty thoughts run through my head... You know, you think the worst. I prayed and prayed. Thank goodness God isn't done with me yet!

Now to work on my Bible study, I missed last week in town because I was so tired and not feeling well. Yes, SuperMom is not invincible! BIG CHEESY GRIN! I may break out my glue gun or some flowers for something imaginative. Glitter always makes me happy! Sorry to ramble!

Monday is court, I wrote down a bunch of points I hope to talk about. Wish me luck! I am still nervous! Thinking positive thoughts! Until next the soap opera episode after Monday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Children's Bill of Rights

I signed up for emails from childcentereddivorce.com. I have gained a good amount of knowledge about the divorce and separation process with regard to kids. Of course some of it is hard for us to use in our case due to the complexity and mechanics of our divorce. It isn't your average run the mill divorce! However this is still a great website to browse!
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Children's Bill of Rights
This list was composed by attorney Rob V. Robertson. It's quite comprehensive and worth reading through. If it touches a chord with you in an area in which you might want to re-think your parenting decisions, then this will be a valuable read that can positively impact your life. It's also a useful tool to spark conversation with your co-parent on the day-to-day challenges you face in parenting after divorce.
Marriage is a contract between adults, and when it ends, the matter is between the adults also. Yet no parental action has a greater impact on children. Children love their parents and want to be with them. Even in times of great stress, parents have a responsibility to conduct their legal affairs in a manner that will protect their children from adult conflicts.
At a minimum, children are entitled to the following Bill of Rights:
1. Neither parent shall deny the child reasonable use of the telephone to place and receive calls with the other parent and relatives.
2. Neither parent shall speak or write derogatory remarks about the other parent to the child, or engage in abusive, coarse or foul language, which can be overheard by the child whether or not the language involves the other parent.
3. Neither parent shall permit the children to overhear arguments, negotiations or other substantive discussions about legal or business dealings between the parents.
4. Neither parent shall physically or psychologically attempt to pressure, attempt to influence, pressure or influence the children concerning the personal opinion or position of the child concerning legal proceedings between the parents.
5. Each parent will permit the child to display photographs of the other parent or both parents in the child's room.
6. Neither parent shall communicate moral judgments about the other parent to the child concerning the other parent's choice of values, lifestyle, choice of friends, successes or failures in life (career, financial, relational) or residential choice.
7. The parents will acknowledge to the child that the child has two homes although the child may spend more time at one home than the other.
8. The parents shall cooperate to the greatest extent practicable in sharing time with the child.
9. Each parent will permit the child to retain, and allow easy access to, correspondence, greeting cards, and other written materials received from the other parent.
10. Each parent will respect the physical integrity of items possessed by the child which depict the other parent or remind the child of the other parent.
11. Neither parent will trivialize, or deny the existence of the other parent to the child.
12. Neither parent will interrogate the child about the other parent nor will either parent discourage comments by the child about the other parent.
13. Neither parent will intercept, "lose", derail, "forget" or otherwise interfere with communications to the child from the other parent.
14. Neither parent will refuse to acknowledge that the child can have or should have good experiences with the other parent.
15. Neither parent will directly or indirectly attack or criticize to the child the extended family of the other parent, the other parent's career, the living and travel arrangements of the other parent, or lawful activities of the other parent or associates of the other parent.
16. Neither parent will use the child as a "middleman" by using the child to communicate with the other parent on inappropriate topics.
17. Neither parent will undermine the other parent in the eyes of the child by engaging in the "circumstantial syndrome" which is done by manipulating, changing, or rearranging facts.
18. Neither parent will create for, or exaggerate to, the child differences between the parents.
19. Neither parent will say and do things with an eye to gaining the child as an "ally" against the other parent.
20. Neither parent will encourage or instruct the child to be disobedient to the other parent, stepparents, or relatives.
21. Neither parent will reward the child to act negatively toward the other parent.
22. Neither parent will try to make the child believe he or she loves the child more than the other parent, by, for example, saying that he or she loves the child more than the other parent or over-informing the child on adult topics or overindulging the child.
23. Neither parent will discuss child support issues with the child.
24. Neither parent will engage in judgmental, opinionated or negative commentary, physical inspections or interrogations once the child arrives from his/her other home.
25. Neither parent will "rewrite" or "re-script" facts which the child originally knows to be different.
26. Neither parent will punish the child physically or threaten such punishment in order to influence the child to adopt the parent's negative program, if any, against the other parent.
27. Neither parent will permit the child to be transported by a person who is intoxicated due to consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs.
28. Neither parent will smoke tobacco materials inside structures or vehicles occupied at the time by the child.
29. Each parent will permit the child to carry gifts, toys, clothing, and other items belonging to the child with him or her to the residence of the other parent or relatives or permit the child to take gifts, toys, clothing, and other items belonging to the child back to the residence of the other parent, as the case may be, to facilitate the child having with him or her objects, important to the child. The gifts, toys, clothing and other items belonging to the child referred to here mean items which are reasonable transportable and does not include pets (which the parents agree are impractical to move about).

*     *     *

Rosalind Sedacca is founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love! To access her her free resources visit: www.childcentereddivorce.com.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Journey of Grace: This should be a happy time.  Our meeting on Tuesd...

A long time friend of mine created a blog recently and I wanted to share her journey with you! I admire her strength and courage to keep her relationship together. I pray for the answer she is seeking to help her find the path and happiness! Please keep her and her family in your thoughts as she struggles to figure out should she stay or should she go...

Journey of Grace: This should be a happy time. Our meeting on Tuesd...: This should be a happy time. Our meeting on Tuesday did not end up in separation. My husband has made the appropriate changes and is getti...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The many faces of abuse

Painting a picture of abuse is as colorful as the a box of crayons. Sadly enough every minute there is a person that is a victim of abuse in some form or way.

Many people are in the dark as to who Domestic/Family/Emotional/Verbal/Sexual  violence or even bullying victims look like.




We are normal, not some Hollyweird picture of someone perhaps on drugs, homeless or drunk. Though some of us end up in those circumstance due to the stress or no where to go.

We are babies, children, Mom's, Grandma's, Aunt's, Uncle's (Don't forget boys and men suffering too!), Grandpa's, or cousin. What about pets? There are sad stories about animals being mistreated as well in the news!

In the women's shelter the wide variety of economic and ethinic backgrounds are across the spectrum of humanity. There were victims and survivors that were abused by daughters, sons, much older children, husband's, boyfriends, and girlfriends.

You may never really know who is a victim or survivor unless they break the silence and come forth to also break the cycle.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sticks and stones

How often do recall either hearing those words or saying those words to others? Growing up I heard them and said them. Now as a Mother I still say them. Now believing them is entirely another thing.

As I say the words out loud, they sound empowering! But in reality, words do hurt. They hurt worse then a punch in some cases. I've had the wind knocked out of me by both fists and by words. For some reason as bad as it was words hurt more.

I've made other blogs about such here. At a recent Women's Bible study I am reminded about the power of our words daily. J. said this subject has reared it's ugly head again.She has had repeated run-in's with a group of girls that for some reason have decided to target her. During gym if she runs by them, they run away from her calling her "Nasty!""EW! She almost touched me! She's disgusting!" The poor girl has been through enough in her life. Despite the hormonal mouthy teen at home, she is good kid, while she is at school she is a different person. She is meek, quiet, and keeps to a few friends. She doesn't stand up for herself. She keeps it in. Of course I'm not supposed to say anything to the teachers because they will just keep it up or make fun of her more.

Last year the same girls were told to steer clear of her. For everyone to just leave one another alone. They made fun of her clothes, her hair and her body. They were to stop calling her a racist, of which this label carried over a bit this year. She hates having to see these girls. Despite bullying guidelines they keep on being mean or rude. And not just to her, there are some other children that are physically challenged that also get the brunt of verbal assaults.

I have to wonder if this type of behavior is allowed at their homes. It's so hard to see my children go through more abuse. It's frustrating and easy to say blow it off. Or get some back bone, life isn't fair and deal with it. It's hard not to go to the school and just give these children a tongue lashing myself or to confront the parents to ask if they believe this behavior is allowable. GGGRRRRFACE!

I teach my children to treat others as they are treated. I tell them they are beautiful, they are good kids, they are funny or they are capable of anything they set they're minds to! I tell them to smile it confuses people, to smile or say Hi to everyone. To love they're enemies. Oh that is a hard one! I also remind them that words are everything, and to think before they speak! Of course I have to remind myself of these things too!

How do words effect you? Smile at someone today! Just some random person. A few weeks back I paid for a woman behind me at a drive-thru, it wasn't much an extra $1.00 but you know what that woman was super excited! She waved and gave me the biggest smile! I felt good and I didn't do it for glory. I did it just because and not because I can just afford to do so but for the heck of it.

I bake the girls things or get them small things out of the blue and it's just because. If they were having a bad day, they're mood quickly changes! Giving a hug or a smooch randomly makes me feel good how about you?

No child or person deserves to be called names.
No child or person deserves to be treated lower then what they are~ a beautiful human being!




Monday, September 19, 2011

Writing to judge

I have been debating about this one. I guess I am unsure how to proceed. I am not an attorney. STBX's attorney seemed to get more table time when we had our last hearing. I don't feel as though they take the situation seriously! I can not get feedback or calls from the Griffith Police department regarding the Murder for Hire case, not even to say it's been closed. He has scared the Court appointed counselor, so much that she will not come to court for us. I guess many legal and court appointed officials would rather live with the guilt of not helping if we are killed.

I wrote down some key points to hit during the next hearing and pray for strength! I read back what I wrote during my blogging or from memories and I can not help but feel a sense of relief, sadness and frustration at the lack of support that our dear legal land gives to those in this situation.

I almost feel sick to my stomach again and I'm nervous. I admit anytime the weather is bad I get nervous. Why?
STBX is a construction worker and he does not usually work if the weather is bad or nasty. I continually look over my shoulder even when it's sunny but when it's bad I look more.
I live paranoid and fearful.
I heard from his Mom the other day, she wanted to know about what happened at the court hearing, he won't call her back. She went on the tell me about how he is still not really working on her basement. (Funny, she told me she was done with him back in August!) She complained about how he stopped by here or there and only did a few things, then he left after maybe an hour. She went on to add that she was sorry she missed A's birthday the weekend before and could she talk to her. My thought was she just wanted to find out what she needed and talking about missing A's birthday was a ploy to get information.
Not my problem anymore! Isn't that wonderful! And I don't care! He is not my worry! I don't have to worry about stepping on eggshells!


The kids and I went to Turkey Run last weekend.We had a blast! I hadn't been there since I was the girls ages. J commented that "Dad wouldn't have let us do this or that. And he would have complained about how you are diving Mom." Ah! The infamous complaining about my driving!

I wrote about that in a previous post. I am so loving driving around now! It is so freeing to just get up and go! Terry is a lot like me with that regard. No plans, no agenda, no time constraints just go. No yelling at me about my driving too fast, too slow, not braking soon enough, braking too soon, not making it through before the light changes to red and yelling at me or hitting me when I miss the green.

I don't miss having my head bounced off the window or getting pushed out of the car while he is driving. I don't miss hearing about what a terrible driver I am. Sorry went off on a tangent! It really is a relief and such a great feeling of independence right now! If I didn't have to worry about STBX acting on his threats~ which I totally believe he is capable of! He never forgets! Even years later he has gotten even with people that he feels have wronged him.
Day to day and one step at a time. Keep us in your prayers!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Protective Orders

OK! So what have I learned since this mess started?

When you apply for a domestic violence restraining order in family court, you are opening a family court case. When the judge grants you a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order), the judge will simultaneously set a court date for the abuser to come to court and respond.

At that time that the abuser will be given every opportunity to contest any of your accusations and to put forth any accusations he may wish to make against you.

Before you apply for a restraining order, be aware that this is the process you are opening. Think about whether this is going to turn out well for you or not. If there is an open criminal case against the abuser in which you are the victim, including if he is on probation, consider getting a criminal protective order instead of, or in addition to, a family court domestic violence restraining order. 

Work on your restraining order statement before you write it into the record! The statement you write in your application for a restraining order is an official, sworn, declaration to the court. This declaration is a permanent part of the court record and it's available on the public record. It can also be brought into any future court proceedings, either to support you or to be used against you.

The statement you write should be well thought out. It should be your best summary of your case against the abuser. Take your time do not dash off something fast without a second thought! Many victims fail to think about the importance of the statements they make when filing this! Many times critical points get left out that are very difficult to insert into the case later.
If the restraining order declaration is weak, there are all kinds of ways the abuser can use this weak statement against her. This does not mean you have to cover everything in your restraining order statement. Like everything else you present to the court use less lengthy statements rather then a long drawn out one.That way the judge is more likely to read it thoroughly. 

In your declaration, use phrases like, "Among other things, Tom did x, y, and z." "On Jan 6th, and on other occasions..." "Tom said x......and other such threats." "My injuries were a broken finger and a black eye, among other injuries." In other words, always indicate that there is more that you have left out.

 Keep your restraining order text focused on violence or threats of violence. When you request a restraining order, you are asking the judge to restrict another person's freedom. The law does not give the judge the authority to restrict someone's freedom because that person lies, sleeps with other women, is mean to the kids, stays out all night,  cheats, swears, drinks, squanders money, or acts like a ass.

Even though the lies and the swearing may be very much a part of the abuse, they are not a basis for the judge to grant a restraining order.
Here are the important elements you should include in your restraining order text:

Start with a summary paragraph of why you need a restraining order. For example...."I am requesting a restraining order because I am trying to separate from my husband and I'm very afraid of him. For the last year his violence against me has escalated and a week ago he tried to strangle me. He has threatened to kill me on more than one occasion. He says, 'If you ever try to leave me, I'll hunt you down and kill you.' He has been arrested for domestic violence on x date, but was not convicted." (Always include the abuser's criminal history, including any violent history even if you were not the victim.)

Write a paragraph summary of the abuser's criminal record, especially as it pertains to his violence, threats of violence, illegal weapons, recklessness, and vandalism. Give specific case numbers and dates if possible. If there is a particular police report that spells out the abuser's violence or threats of violence, attach that report to your statement.

Write a paragraph about the most recent incident against you and a paragraph about the worst incident against you.

Be sure to mention if the abuser has used, brandished, or owns weapons.

Give complete quotes of threats to harm, kill, or kidnap. Include incidents of forced sex.

Forced sex is violence. Always give dates as close to the actual time as possible.

Don't forget to include the full extent of any injuries you sustained in these incidents.

Write a paragraph summarizing the overall history of abuse; how long it's been going on, your efforts to stop it, his broken promises, etc.

Write a paragraph about your custody wishes, your level of fear regarding the children and the abuser's violence, threats of violence, unsafe behaviors in regards to the children.

Write a paragraph about your level of fear of the abuser. Be specific about what you are afraid might happen to you or your children, and why you think he is capable of these acts.

 Keep in mind, this is just a working guideline. Be sure and adjust this outline to your own needs and circumstances.

Immediately report each and every violation of the restraining order. This is so important to women's safety. But many women don't do it, often because they feel very embarrassed to report minor violations, or because they're worried the police will belittle them.

But look at this for a minute from the abuser's point of few. He gets served with the order by the Sheriff or by the court. He's told the terms of the order. There's no doubt he understands exactly what the order says and means.

Then he picks up the phone and gives you a call to ask about the kids. Or he sends you a sweet card with a note that he misses you. What he's doing is defiantly testing the limits to see how far he can go. If he's allowed to get away with this, he'll almost certainly take it to the next step, and the next, and the next. It's also an indication that the abuser has no respect for the law or for your wishes, no matter how formally you may express them.

And that poses a great danger to you. So it's crucial that you put a stop to it immediately, no matter how innocent the act may seem if viewed under normal circumstances.

Call the police right away. And if the officer reacts as if you're wasting his time, insist that the officer take the report, and then report him, too. It's true that many officers belittle what they consider to be minor violations of restraining orders.

It's also true that many women have been killed after police have failed to take restraining orders seriously. This has happened so often, that many states have now passed laws that require police to make an arrest whenever a domestic violence restraining order is violated, no matter how minor that violation may appear in the mind of the officer.

So pick up the phone, dial 911, and report each and every violation of your restraining order to the police. And even if the officer takes notes on what you say, tell the officer that you want to write out a statement that will go into the report.
Stick to your guns! Protective Order rules vary from state to state, consult a lawyer or perhaps legal aid to discuss what exactly this order will entail. Whether he/she is allowed to stay away from "x" amount of feet or if it is a "No contact order", meaning not even text or email from your abuser!
Stay safe!









Thursday, September 15, 2011

Court today...

Since he has a new atty the PO and our Final pre-trial hearing is set for Oct 3rd. AGH! We didn't get anything done, except to bring his atty up to speed on what was going on. The judge stated our case seen as an Urban legend!
I wish I was able to speak. I had bitten my tongue on several occassions because I was unsure whether the judge would let me talk or not. He raised his voice in the beginning to a tone that alerted me, as a child that had been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

He paid me a compliment about being cooperative during the whole process toward the court and with atty's and I do as the court has asked. BIG CHEESY GRIN! His atty was told that he needs to keep his client client in check. I did call STBX's atty earlier this week to introduce myself and to provide my contact information if he needed it. He mentioned that in court and told the judge that he thought it was a pleasant thing to do. He did not feel he should take my call until he weeded through our file and after we had court.

We were not able to say anything pertaining the PO but the atty did say he is going to ask the court to dismiss and STBX wants custody of our girls! He did also mention that they can not find a GAL to take our case and even if we paid for one he does not believe there would be a remedy or that it would not lead to thousands of dollars in bills.

I AM TERRIFIED! I'm super worn out right now, but wanted to put something down to update. Thanks for the prayers and keep praying if you would be so kind.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tomorrow is Protective Order hearing!

I'm scared about tomorrow! J had a meltdown at school today because of the thought having to see STBX again if the judge drops the case or orders supervised visits. I have to tell you I'm worried! I know he has the Atty for tomorrow but I have not gotten any paper work about him appearing for the divorce hearing.

My stomach is in knots! When will this end? When will I get to the point when I can not get all twitterpatted when I know I'm going to see him or when I randomly see him on the street.

I had gotten a call from the Domestic Relations office and they said we "Have to pay" for a GAL. We don't qualify, now excuse me if I'm not a bit confused. Last year there was nothing said about paying and now all of a sudden there is a problem. I can not afford an atty and if I could I would be paying for an atty for the divorce.

Say a prayer for us!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Survival or Personal Go Kit!

I blogged this my other blog- www.lordblessmeplz.blogspot.com, I had gotten this from my favorite guy and I was thinking this is fitting to use for anyone thinking about leaving the abusive situation they are in. You may give some thought to also checking out my Safety Plan post and think about a "Go bag" just in case as well.
Around our house we have been in survival mode. Scary to say, but nowadays this is something you should think about. Our economy is so shaky right now do you have a plan if something hits the fan? Could you live without your cell phone?
What if the ATM's or banks close?
Do you have enough canned food that you can survive on?
Can you make a fire on your own?
Can you survive a natural or man made castrophe?

Ok, I'm not talking zombies! Though the CDC has a good hand on surviving this type of attack, I have a fear of zombies. But seriously, if something natural happens or if our economy continues to spiral, we should be prepared.

It's not hard to do! I will cover this over the next few weeks here or there. So to begin...


YOUR PERSONAL GO KIT / SURVIVAL KIT


Let’s talk about National Preparedness Month. What essential items are you going to need if a major storm or some other event devastates your area? Below are listed some suggested items you should have on hand and is not meant to be all inclusive. Your personal situation will also drive what you will need to keep you going until the situation stabilizes. 


  • Food for at least 2 days such as energy bars, canned meats, jerky, candy etc. The type of stuff that you like.
  • Water - put at least a 12 pack in the trunk or your car.
  • Flashlight & spare batteries - there may be extended power outages.
  • Blankets
  • Gasoline - Keep it filled.
  • Money – power and telephone outages can cause ATM’s and card readers to stop working. Get some money now (possibly $ 200 or $300). Be prepared for several days of a cash only economy.
  • Battery powered radio with weather band and spare batteries.
  • Your medicines - if you are close to the end of a Rx get them refilled, get the over the counter products that you use; aspirin, etc.
  • A change of clothes, extra socks, sturdy shoes.
  • Keep your cell-phones charged.
  • Have essential telephone numbers for your family, doctor, co-workers.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Be your OWN advocate!

I have learned much from this crazy Jerry Springerish saga called my life. It has changed me so much as a person.

I am stronger

I don't have to answer to anyone at the end of the day (though I still feel I have to explain myself for various things and there is no need to)

Life at home is so much more relaxed

I enjoy coming home

I enjoy Terry when he is home (Even when he is grumpy, it is a far cry from STBX!)

I learned to have fun in life

I am my own person

I can do anything I set my mind to

I can stay up late if I want to

I can eat until I am stuffed

I don't have to be a maid or slave

I am learning to just be me!

I have also learned that there is no one out in Legal Land that will be your advocate. This means I have to be my own. Terry is my cheerleader, heaven knows I feel so disheartened and down that there seems to be no help in sight through the court and police.

"I" have to make the calls
"I" have to set up appointments
"I"have to make sure dates are scheduled
"I" have to make sure the court has my court records- Oh yes they have been misplaced before which set the court date postponed again.

There is going to be a end to this craziness! I have to believe that! I also know I have to keep pushing some officials to do something about the threats against the girls and murder for hire.

STBX has hired an attorney. I'm nervous. I am unsure what his move will be. He did ask for a continuance for the Sept 15th Order of Protection court hearing. I googled his name and came up empty. All I know is that he does adoptions, divorces, and custody. The girls do not want to see him at all and how can I protect them without incurring the wrath of Legal land? I had gotten appearances for both girls Orders and even the one that M has against Terry. I know STBX wants to keep Terry out of the picture.

I've made a call to the Domestic Relations Bureau in Crown Point, hoping to find someone to be the GAL on our case. I was told off the record many know about our case and don't want the trouble. So, my children dead if he gets them is ok?!

I have not gotten anywhere with my police case. No return calls from the Griffith Police Dept at all. I am not sure if I even have a case open (Murder for Hire). I'm upset and sick to my stomach again. I was up all night due to nightmares. Oh I wonder when those will ever stop.


Friday, September 2, 2011

The effects of Family Violence with children




From the cradle our children are trusting, relying on us as parents to keep them safe from harm. To be given this privilege for this tiny human is just mind blowing to me! I feel shame and do take a lot of responsiblity for not leaving my partner sooner. They had to endure and see so much hurt, anger and grief. I consider us lucky that we did not have the heartbreak of facing sexual abuse. Though any type of abuse is heartwretching.

I can relate to this article even now. The after effects of being in that type of relationship 24/7 are even more extreme. Kids feeling the blame for the ending of the relationship, especially if the other has told them so. Feelings conflicted because they wanted out as much as Mom or Dad but now that it's a reality they feel angry or hurt. Been there myself as a 14 year old, fighting tooth and nail with my Mom but knowing going back to what she left was ridiculous and I was totally unsure why I felt that way!

Getting help or out of the relationship as quickly as you can is highly suggestible. Though you personally maybe going something terrible, think of your children witnessing it. Think of how much this effects them! Especially if the Honeymoon fades and things settle back to "normal". You are not alone with your partner in this ride. You have kids that are watching everything or hearing everything. They have a tendency to know when things are off even if they were not there to see the episode.

Please leave! If you can't do it please get help or leave for the children. And if you are the abuser please get help for your children and fo you!

Off my soap box!

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From- http://www.acadv.org/children.html

Domestic violence affects every member of the family, including the children. Family violence creates a home environment where children live in constant fear.
Children who witness family violence are affected in ways similar to children who are physically abused.. They are often unable to establish nurturing bonds with either parent Children are at greater risk for abuse and neglect if they live in a violent home.
Statistics show that over 3 million children witness violence in their home each year. Those who see and hear violence in the home suffer physically and emotionally.
"Families under stress produce children under stress. If a spouse is being abused and there are children in the home, the children are affected by the abuse." (Ackerman and Pickering, 1989) Dynamics of domestic violence are unhealthy for children:
  • control of family by one dominant member.
  • abuse of a parent.
  • isolation.
  • protecting the "family secret".
Children react to their environment in different ways, and reactions can vary depending on the child's gender and age.
Children exposed to family violence are more likely to develop social, emotional, psychological and or behavioral problems than those who are not. Recent research indicates that children who witness domestic violence show more anxiety, low self esteem, depression, anger and temperament problems than children who do not witness violence in the home. The trauma they experience can show up in emotional, behavioral, social and physical disturbances that effect their development and can continue into adulthood. Some potential effects:

Emotional



  • Grief for family and personal losses.
  • Shame, guilt, and self blame.
  • Confusion about conflicting feelings toward parents.
  • Fear of abandonment, or expressing emotions, the unknown or personal injury.
  • Anger.
  • Depression and feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.
  • Embarrassment.
Behavioral
  • Acting out or withdrawing.
  • Aggressive or passive.
  • Refusing to go to school.
  • Care taking; acting as a parent substitute.
  • Lying to avoid confrontation.
  • Rigid defenses.
  • Excessive attention seeking.
  • Bedwetting and nightmares.
  • Out of control behavior.
  • Reduced intellectual competency.
  • Manipulation, dependency, mood swings.
Social
  • Isolation from friends and relatives.
  • Stormy relationships.
  • Difficulty in trusting, especially adults.
  • Poor anger management and problem solving skills.
  • Excessive social involvement to avoid home.
  • Passivity with peers or bullying.
  • Engaged in exploitative relationships as perpetrator or victim.
Physical
  • Somatic complaints, headaches and stomachaches.
  • Nervous, anxious, short attention span.
  • Tired and lethargic.
  • Frequently ill.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Regression in development.
  • High risk play.
  • Self abuse

For Parents
Giving Children Love and Care


Nurturing children from abusive homes can bring healing to their lives. In giving needed love and care to children, it is important for a parent to reflect these essentials:
Trust and Respect
Acknowledge children's right to have their own feelings, friends, activities and opinions. Promote independence, allow for privacy and respect their feelings for the other parent. Believe in them.
Provide Emotional Security
Talk and act so children feel safe and comfortable expressing themselves. Be gentle. Be dependable.
Provide Physical Security
Provide healthy food, safe shelter and appropriate clothing. Teach personal hygiene and nutrition. Monitor safety. Maintain a family routine. Attend to wounds.
Provide Discipline
Be consistent; ensure that rules are appropriate to age and development of the child. Be clear about limits and expectations. Use discipline to give instruction, not to punish.
Give Time
Participate in your children's lives, in their activities, school, sports, special events, celebrations and friends. Include your children in your activities. Reveal who you are to your children.
Encourage and Support
Be affirming. Encourage children to follow their interests. Let children disagree with you. Recognize improvement. Teach new skills. Let them make mistakes.
Give Affection
Express verbal and physical affection. Be affectionate when your children are physically or emotionally hurt.
Care for Yourself
Give yourself personal time. Keep yourself healthy. Maintain friendships. Accept love.

Safety Is for Children, Too
A Child's Own Safety Plan Go here for a page where children can enter important personal information that they can print out and refer to in a crisis.
Child Victim/Witness of Domestic Violence Age-specific indicators
Infants
  • Basic need for attachment is disrupted.
  • Routines around feeding/sleeping are disturbed.
  • Injuries while "caught in the crossfire".
  • Irritability or inconsolable crying.
  • Frequent illness.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Developmental delays.
  • Lack of responsiveness.
Preschool



  • Somatic or psychosomatic complaints.
  • Regression.
  • Irritability.
  • Fearful of being alone.
  • Extreme separation anxiety.
  • Developmental delays.
  • Sympathetic toward mother.
Elmentary Age
  • Vacillate between being eager to please and being hostile.
  • Verbal about home life.
  • Developmental delays.
  • Externalized behavior problems.
  • Inadequate social skill development.
  • Gender role modeling creates conflict/confusion.
Preadolescence
  • Behavior problems become more serious.
  • Increased internalized behavior difficulties: depression, isolation, withdrawal.
  • Emotional difficulties: shame, fear, confusion, rage.
  • Poor social skills.
  • Developmental delays.
  • Protection of mother, sees her as "weak".
  • Guarded/secretive about family.
Adolescence
  • Internalized and externalized behavior problems can become extreme and dangerous: drug/alcohol, truancy, gangs, sexual acting out, pregnancy, runaway, suicidal.
  • Dating relationships may reflect violence learned or witnessed in the home.
From Boulder (CO) County Safehouse
Working with Children Trust is a major factor when working with children exposed to domestic violence. Children need a safe place with an adult they can trust to begin healing.
When first working with a child, it is helpful to ask what makes her/him feel comfortable and uncomfortable with adults.

  • Listen to children and provide them with space and respect.
  • Let children know you care about them, that there are adults interested in their opinions, thoughts and ideas.
  • Use books on the subject to help open children up.
  • Use art, music, drama, and play to help children express themselves.
  • Refer children to professional counselors, as needed.
  • Connect children to organizations in the community that work with youth, as appropriate.
  • Help children develop age-appropriate and realistic safety plans.
  • Tell them often that someone cares
From the Illinois Coalition Aginst Domestic Violence newsletter, spring 2000
Statistics
  • Each year an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence against their mothers or female caretakers by family members. (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family: Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family,1996)
  • Studies show that child abuse occurs in 30 to 60 percent of family violence cases that involve families with children. (J.L. Edleson, "The overlap between child maltreatment and woman battering." Violence Against Women, February, 1999.)
  • A survey of 6,000 American families found that 50 percent of men who assault their wives, also abuse their children. (Pagelow, "The Forgotten Victims: Children of Domestic Violence," 1989)
  • Research shows that 80 to 90 percent of children living in homes where there is domestic violence are aware of the violence. (Pagelow, "Effects of Domestic Violence on Children," Mediation Quarterly, 1990)
  • A number one predictor of child abuse is woman abuse. (Stark and Flitcraft, "Women at Risk: A Feminist Perspective on Child Abuse," International Journal of Health Services, 1988)
  • The more severe the abuse of the mother, the worse the child abuse. (Bowker, Arbitell, and McFerron, "On the Relationship Between Wife Beating and Child Abuse," Perspectives on Wife Abuse, 1988)
  • Some 80 percent of child fatilities within the family are attributable to fathers or father surrogates. (Bergman, Larsen and Mueller, "Changing Spectrum of Serious Child Abuse," Pediatrics, 1986)
  • In families where the mother is assaulted by the father, daughters are at risk of sexual abuse 6.51 times greater than girls in non-abusive families (Bowker, Arbitell and McFerron, 1988)
  • A child's exposure to the father abusing the mother is the strongest risk fact for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family: Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family,1996)
  • Male children who witness the abuse of mothers by fathers are more likely to become men who batter in adulthood than those male children from homes free of violence (Rosenbaum and O'Leary, "Children: The Unintended Victims of Marital Violence," American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1981)
  • Older children are frequently assaulted when they intervene to defend or protect their mothers. (Hilberman and Munson, "Sixty Battered Women," Victimology: An International Journal, 1977-78)
  • In a 36-month study of 146 children, ages 11-17 who came from homes where there was domestic violence, all sons over the age of 14 attempted to protect their mothers from attacks. Some 62 percent were injured in the process. (Roy, 1988)