I have a picture of you
March to June 2009
The night in our new place, there was still some panic bubbling inside. Tension filled the air which seemed was so thick; you could slice it with a knife.
Mandy and Kevin prior to our escape had painted, decorated, making our new home cozy and comfy. I cried when I arrived to find our sanctuary light, airy and home.
The kids and dog were pretty animated and excited as the night wore on. My phone was constantly chirping. To my relief, Mandy told me just to turn it off. It felt like a lead weight on my hip. So, I thankfully turned it off. Mandy had alerted our parents that we were safe and sound.
I felt so good! I was still crying but the tears were of joy and a bit of sadness. About 8:00 there was a knock on the downstairs door. Everyone froze. I could hear Kevin and Mandy yelling at someone. I knew who it is. Mandy announced she was calling the police.
She ran upstairs to meet me, with phone in hand, dialing to alert the police. I told the kids to stay in the house, away from the windows and not to wiggle.
I could hear Kevin chatting with Rob, telling him to leave; the police were on the way. About 5 minutes later 3 squad cars pulled up, they quickly approached Rob cautiously. I heard one of the officers ask Kevin to get back inside.
A few minutes later, I was informed I needed to come down to show my I.D. and to tell bring the officers up to speed.
I was told that Rob wanted to speak to me and tell the kids good night. He advised me that they were not leaving the area and they will escort him out of city limits.
I paused still feeling unsure, but said that would be fine. They had the kids come down first, one by one they all said good night. It didn't take long, Matt and Jess were not crazy about the idea and they dashed out and back up.
As soon as Alex was walking back then I was directed outside. The officer let us know it would be 5 minutes and he would have to go. Rob had tear-filled eyes; he said “I miss you, would you please come back soon. I am sorry for anything I've done! Mel, I thought we were good. I don’t understand.”
He promised he would change. To give it a night, think about it and let him know. An officer interjected it was time. Rob murmured he loved me as I walked away. I felt as though my heart would rip through my chest with worry.
The next weeks were foggy, plagued with voicemails that were well over 40 to 50 a day. Emails that were sent were equally numbering a heavy duty amount as well.
I had a strong feeling someone was watching me. These feelings were verified when messages that were left about where I was or who I was with, the times I was out as well.
I discussed the calls and gut feelings with my attorney. He advised me that Rob was asking to have a call from the kids at night to tell them he loved them.
I wasn't happy about it but I was informed that the court could frown upon me withholding visits and phone calls. While I just did not feel ready to have the kids visit and there were no orders to do so, I consented to the nightly calls to say good night.
The kids were not happy to hear the news about the new ritual. Matt wouldn't come to the phone and had taken to call his father as Robert. Despite my feelings, I pushed my feelings aside, approaching Matt to speak to Rob with respect.
Rob accused me of turning the kids against him.
Which wasn't surprising, but untrue, it wouldn't make a difference if I argued the fact and I limited my talk time as short as possible with him.
Any conversation would start out loving and turn back to a memorable reason of why I was not with him.
During one brief conversation Rob asked me if I could have my attorney draft a document excusing Matt of any jail time if he harms or kills me.
He said Matt is special and if he loses control he may harm me. His reasoning sounded illogical, weird and just plain wrong! I quickly ended the discussion, following up with my attorney.
My attorney shook his head and chalked this conversation up to the continued instability Rob showed both in and out of the courtroom.
Feeling ill at ease, Rob had made it clear that he was aware of my every move. I had made sure I was checking my surrounding. I felt puzzled.
I later learned he hired someone to stalk me and eventually to kill me in the spring of 2009. For $5,000, this person was to murder me, take pictures of my body, and bury me and to bring Robert the pictures after.
Luckily, those involved told other family members. They gave statements to the police department.
He has not been persecuted.
Not enough evidence.
I'm still stunned and upset by this.
I had been assaulted every time he saw me in the year of 2009. I had an Order of Protection after the last attack. Of which he has violated more times than I can count. Each time he has violated the Order. He doesn't get more than a slap on the wrist.
Up until the day we moved to our present location, he continued to stalk me. He would drive past our residence, work and continued to cyber stalk me as well.
It was not unheard of for him to go to places I used to frequent to inquire if anyone had seen or heard from me, to this day.
I live my life looking behind my shoulder.
Not to be funny, but I sleep with a nightlight on, as a fun thing to do Rob would often hide in the dark to attack me. Even back then with nightlights on, I could see a silhouette of him watching me as I slept or standing off the side in a room waiting like a cat ready to pounce on its prey.
Sharing this information if you are in an abusive situation please do not let it dissuade you from filing reports or notifying law enforcement about your situation. Leaving a paper trail gives a history of events for legal purposes if needed for future use.
“The worst thing my abuser did was to turn my son against me…”
Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I found it necessary to leave my sister’s home. I needed to find a place for us to live.
Unfortunately, I had to turn to Rob to keep the kids until I found a home. Of course, he opened up his home, saying he would configure the house so we could live together, yet living in complete separate sections of the house. We would share the common quarters of the kitchen and laundry.
I did advise him this was unnecessary and not a wise choice considering the circumstances.
At the same time I was unable to find a suitable place temporarily. I temporarily stayed with a friend.
I told my attorney the sudden change and he believed this was the best idea, unless something came up to rock the boat.
It would be a bit over a month before I was able to find a place for us. I had several disappointing and sad rejections at apartments due to me just finding work about a month before.
Child support payments were sporadic. The income Rob, a foreman for a union roofing/waterproofing company, was pulling down prior to our separating was well over $50,000.00 or more due to his “arrangement” he had with his boss.
He had been receiving cash for work regularly and during winter times. Magically during the separation, his pay dwindled down to nothing, I had hoped with the support payments this would help me to cover many of the needs to get through.
At this point in the divorce, even though things were strained, volatile and worrisome, Rob and I managed to discuss the arrangements to drop off the kids the following week. He inquired if I still had the kids’ bikes at Mandy’s house and if so could he pick them up?
I alerted my sister about this situation and let Rob know that was fine. I would be at work, what harm could he do?
Mandy called very concerned, during Rob’s visit, Jess notified her that Rob was taking some of the boxes and my clothing from the apartment!
She asked what she should do. I had told her to let it be. I should have told her to call the police, but I didn't wish to further upset her.
Many of the things I had purchased with my own money had been taken, I later learned he had a big garage sale and sold or burned my items.
He denied taking anything at all. I let it go. These were just things. It still was frustrating don’t get me wrong, I had to let go.
A few days after this incident I received a call from Rob; alerting me he paid for Renters Insurance, just in case, my house was burglarized, or maybe a fire came through. I thought it was weird, I mentioned the event a week prior, and he blew off the comment.
I told him no thank you but I appreciated it. I let him know that I would get that on my own, as the management from the apartment had gave some suggestions about whom to ask and about how much it would run. Rob continued to insist that he could not cancel it and that was that. I told Terry about the strange call, both of us agreed there was something unsettling about it. The next day I cancelled the policy.
About two weeks later Rob called angry that he received a check in the mail, along with a cancellation letter. He told me that I maybe sorry that for cancelling.
Terry and I had were a couple during this time. Terry stayed with me during the drop off to make sure I was okay. Everything went well. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved!
The kids piled climbed up the stairs and I was just so happy to have everyone back. I showed everyone where they would be sleeping. It was a 2 bedroom apartment. I managed to set up the room so the kids would share a room and I would have a room to myself for privacy.
No sooner then things settled down, Terry and the girls were discussing who would get the top bunk of the bed, when Matt walked in holding an opened beer bottle.
I was surprised. Terry told Matt to take the bottle back in the kitchen. Matt ignored the request, I proceeded to grab the bottle from him telling him this was not going to happen. He was too young. No alcohol!
Matt stood with us and didn't make a move or sound. The girls were pretty animated and excited about being back with me.
Matt once again had dashed out, appearing with another bottle of beer. I grabbed to bottle and poured it down the drain in the kitchen. Asking Matt what he thought he was doing. His demeanor was different. He insisted on keeping a pair of driving gloves on, despite the outdoor temperatures reaching over 100 degrees.
Terry felt the tension and despite my protests he suggested he take off to let the kids and I just have a time to reunite. He believed that maybe there was some issue with him being with us.
He promised he would call us later and said good-bye. I announced to the kids that we could grab some movies from the library and order a pizza.
Jess and Matt decided to fight about Matt’s driving gloves. Jess wanted to wear them and he was telling her no. This went on for a bit, I finally confiscated the gloves and hid them in my closet in the bedroom.
Matt was irritated upset that I took the gloves, something else was off. As the girls bounded down to the van Matt hung back stating that he forgot something. I told him to grab it and come down so we could get moving.
Matt seemed to be taking too long to come down. I needed to check on him and lock the front door.
As I walked in Matt came out of my room abruptly, announcing, “I want to go back to Dad’s now!”
I was surprised, unsure how to proceed, I slowly heard myself tell him to get in the car.
He yelled, “I want my gloves and take me to Dad’s now!”
I told him I would get his gloves, to go sit in the van. He didn't move but was clearly agitated. I walked away towards my bedroom and smelled something burning, as the same time I was startled by my phone ringing and a crash coming from the living room. I was torn where to go as I saw a smoke coming from my bedroom which did take precedence.
My closet contained a small fire that was just starting to grow! I had rolls of gift wrap that Matt has started on fire. I hurried and stomped the pile out quickly, dashing to find out what crashed, I had forgotten I was on the phone! My attorney had called at the precise time to hear the emergency arise. I heard him yelling for me.
I came on breathing heavy and feeling a surge of adrenaline. I alerted him of the situation and that I was finding old secretary knocked over with glass from collectibles on the rug, with Matt nowhere in sight!
I quickly explained that I needed to find Matt and he asked me to call him back right away, advising to call the fire department if necessary about the fire.
Racing out of the house, I found the girls very excited stating they saw Matt running out of the building. We drove in the direction they saw him. He was actually running west of the apartment. I pulled off the side telling him I would take him to Rob’s house and to get in. He hesitated but climbed in, he had a back pack on, which I pulled over to see what he had in it.
There were 3 huge carving knives in the back pack, his gloves and that was it.
I demanded to know where and why he had the knives, he quickly stated he was going to kill me in my sleep.
I sat stunned.
My heart felt ripped out. I didn't know what to say. I could feel hot tears spilling down my cheeks, hearing myself say, “Fine, I will take you to your Dad’s.”
I asked him why he started the fire and he said because I wasn't taking him to his Dad’s.
The mile or so trip to Rob’s seemed very long. I caught Rob outside working on his truck. Matt jumped out of the van before I put it in park. Rob walked up and asked me what was going on. He seemed surprised. I felt otherwise, but informed him that Matt had started the fire and planned to kill me.
He said, “Mel, I will talk to him about it.” He was so calm!
“You know he is upset about the divorce.” He said snidely.
I exclaimed, “I bet you know all about this!” and began driving quickly out before he had time to respond.
I saw him go into the house. I made sure he wasn't following me home.
The girls were quiet, just taking in everything. I dialed the attorney to advise him about what happened. He was as shocked as I was and asked if I was going to file a police report.
I couldn't bring myself to do so! I was still in shock about the whole situation.
Jessica admitted that Rob had been pulling Matt aside to talk to him from time to time. Rob would whisper to Matt, Jess would sneak in closer to try and hear the exchange, most times she would go unseen but from time to time he would catch her and scream at her for eavesdropping.
She would ask him why he was talking poorly about me and he would explain that she was being nosey or he didn't hear correctly. She told him that she wasn't stupid and heard what he said. This only angered him further, but thankfully, he did not lay a hand on her during this time.
Parental Alienation is a term I would use to label the relationship between my son and me. The definition is for one parent to put distance or bring a wedge between the other.
Example: Sharing too much information about Mom or Dad’s relationship, or court hearing information or fabricating information to turn the child against the other parent.
I would say all and all, the worst thing Rob had ever done was to sever the tie between my son and I. I had brought this up during our final hearing in court. He just shook his head and chuckled.
Despite the whole sordid situation, he is still my son and I do miss him. I don’t know if we will ever be able to have a safe relationship together. I pray we will someday.
“It’s not uncommon for abuse of some form whether mild too extreme to be caused by someone undiagnosed with a mental illness.”
Hallucinations and visitations
Hearing voices, weird illegible red writing on the walls and ceiling or catching a glimpse from a dark shadowy or angels were not uncommon from Rob. There were times where “bugs” were touching him before or while he was sleeping, tearing off the bedding frantically looking for creepy crawly things. He would wake up screaming or terrified about arms or legs coming out of the walls of our home.
He was tormented by either mental health issues or from things from the unseen world. I had my own spiritual gifts, I assumed these were from the dark side and negative energies were drawn to him. After I left him, I joked the spirits enticed him by saying, “Come to the dark side, we have cookies.”
I do by no means make a joke about anyone suffering from mental illness. There comes a time when if I did not find some laughter in a situation, then I would just cry. Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of sadness and losing hope for any resolutions in seeking refuge or safety, from in my eyes, a madman.
After finding the courage to leave, I found us wrapped up once again into voice mails, text messages and face to face situations where Rob would bring up visitations from 8 foot tall Angels.
These often appeared in various ethnic forms and dress. Many just appearing out of thin air in a locked home in the early morning or late at night or on a job site that he was working showing up at the top floor of a skyscraper.
He advised these beings told him that I would someday come back to him and we would be man and wife once again. He was also informed anyone that would listen to his fantastic visitations and that Terry was the devil. He also rambled on that I was pregnant with the devils spawn. Rob created rumors that Terry had an agenda bent on harming and keeping our family apart.
Rob would contact me upset that he was informed by these visitors that I hired people to move items and things in his home when he was not there and believed I had summoned these beings to harass both him and Matt.
I shared every bit of information of these visitations and allegations with my attorney, GAL, and Counselors. There were inquiries by every party involved to have a true “Psychiatric assessment”, but it never processed into more than words as advice between all legal parties assigned. My concern was for that of my son’s well-being.
For the most part, Matt had begun to hate me May of 2009 to present. Any attempts by me to reestablish any type of contact has been met with interference, the high probability that responses I have received back from Matt may not be from him at all or maybe under the direct supervision of his father to make a negative response.
I hope and pray someday we could have a “normal” relationship. I hate to sound like a broken record, despite the scary situation with the fire and death threat. As strange as it may seem, he is still my son.
“It’s hard to look for the light when your lost in darkness.”-Unknown
Mom, I want to die!
One morning before school, Jess was crying in her room. I asked what was up. Was she not feeling well?
She had been plagued with some sort of stomach ailment that I later contributed to stress of the situation due to the circumstances we were in.
Hesitant to say anything, she announced that she wanted to die. The divorce was all her fault! I was quiet, feeling my heart raise tightly in my throat. I choked back tears, unsure if she was goofing around to get out of school.
We were having bullying issues, these were later resolved after talking to the teacher and principal down the road.
Jess was inconsolable, even Terry couldn't reason with her. Feeling worried she may follow through with taking her life, I reluctantly called Rob. Our attorneys had advised us to discuss any issues that were of emergency or that either of us deemed important concerning the children.
I called him about admitting her into the local hospital for observation. Rob was agreeable and said to bring her over, he would take care of it, and the health insurance is under Rob’s control to much extent.
We piled in the van, for the Alex and Matt to catch the bus so they could attend their old schools. Jess was upset about the situation, she clammed up when I got to the house.
I remained in the van, speaking to Rob with the window partially down about the situation, the kids rushed into the house, as the weather was a cold, miserable, rainy day.
Rob asked if he could come in the van, I said no, but to please let me know how it went with Jess. I would go see her later. I couldn’t take any time off work I attempted to explain to Rob, as the office manager was not happy continued drama that followed me to work. Missing quite a few days of work due to court was further straining the situation.
Rob asked if I could talk to him inside the house at least. I declined again, saying good-bye. The window was opened just enough that he grabbed my purse out of the van, and he ran into the house, slamming the door.
I was frustrated, pounding on the door and yelling for him to open the door! I needed to get to work and he needed to get Jess ready for the hospital.
He was screaming at me through the door that I was a terrible person. I must not care for my kids to leave them with him. Especially since he was supposedly a bad person!
I calmed down enough to tell him to please open the door, I would talk to him about the situation. It was very serious and I wanted to get her help.
I could hear him yell at the kids to get their asses back upstairs. I heard the click of the door unlocking and the door swung open. Rob pushed past me, throwing my purse outside, laughing. I stayed in the doorway, refusing to budge or move a muscle. Uncertain what his next move was.
He screamed at me, that I was a “Dumb ass! You ruined the family!” All of this was my fault. The kid’s behavior was my fault because I failed as a Mother and a Wife!
“Rob can we discuss the situation with Jess?” I asked.
His face softened, “Mel, come in. I’m sorry. I’m just upset about Jessica. Come inside, let’s go sit and talk.”
I felt uncomfortable and told him I really need to get to work
That I could not afford to lose my job. I can probably go in for a half day if I discuss the situation with the office manager.
Behind Rob I could see 2 faces peer out around the corner of the basement. Matt and Jess whispered to one another loud enough to hear them. He yelled for them to close the door and get upstairs.
Jess said she didn't want to leave me alone. I reassured her everything would be okay, that we needed to discuss something and I would see her later!
Rob turned on his heels, heading to the basement door, scaring Jess to quickly close the basement door.
All this time I am standing at the basement door. Not wanting to move a muscle. I held my keys in in my hand with several keys between my fingers as a weapon.
Rob rushed me, slamming me into the door hard enough the door shook.
My teeth clanked hard enough to hurt my jaw, my head hitting the back of the window on the door enough for me to see stars. He grabbed my keys and threw them out the door. He attempted to push me outside.
We wrestled at the doorway, I was determined not to leave. I had worn heels on purpose this morning in case. Feeling a rush of adrenaline, the opportunity to protect myself arrived. I jabbed my heel into his foot and at the same time quickly punching him in the face, and scratching his arm as attempted to grab neck and my wrist.
I startled him enough to stop. He shook his head in stunned disbelief.
“You bitch! You fucking hit me! I have people that will take care of you!”
He lunged coming towards me again. I announced if he laid a hand on me again I would kill him. I surprised myself to say those words and I rushed out of the house.
I grabbed my purse and the keys from the middle of the driveway. I half expected to see him coming to get me! I quickly jumped in the van and don’t recall the drive back to the apartment.
I came in, not saying a word to Terry. He sensed something was wrong, asking if I was okay.
I crumbled in his outstretched arms, the tears I held back during the exchange springing from my eyes.
I explained the exchange to him and within minutes Terry called work letting the manager know he was taking me to the courthouse to file paperwork for a restraining order and a report about the incident.
I was quiet, feeling that I was hit by a linebacker.
My body hurt.
I was worried about the kids. What if he did something to them?
We arrived and I my statement was taken and pictures of my bruises were taken. They asked if I wished for an ambulance. Looking back I probably should have but at this point the adrenaline was leaving me. I felt cold and I was shaking.
We hurried back to the apartment, where Terry tucked me in, and I fell into a deep welcoming sleep. Feeling the stress of the morning leave me.
I grabbed Alex from school, still waiting for a call from Rob about what was going on with Jess.
My thoughts were interrupted by my phone ringing. A nurse from the hospital alerted me that she needed me to come into the hospital as soon as possible! A situation arose when Jessica had informed the nurse evaluating her that her father had hit her.
The nurse questioned Rob separately about the allegation and he flew off the handle! He started screaming at the nurse and security officer that was called just in case. He stormed out a minutes later.
I confessed to her that Rob and I were separated because of abuse. She asked if I could come in and speak with the nurse and later a family services case worker about the allegations.
I was able to grab Alex and dropped her off with Terry at the apartment. I had called him to let him know what the nurse had informed me.
I felt proud of Jess! She told!
I arrived there with the nurse bringing me up to speed about the incident. I had to finish the check in process as Rob cursed at the nurse and informed her that Jess was no longer his daughter and her mother would finish up.
I was able to finish up the process and was able to see Jess. During her stay she opened up further, I learned that for a number of months Rob had been telling her if I went through the divorce it would be her fault for breaking up the marriage and she should just kill herself.
My attorney worked quickly to have visits were temporarily stopped. The court ruling for counseling and a Guardian ad litem to represent the kids.
I felt relieved and we all felt exhausted from these events. I wished for the magistrate to finalize the divorce. I was scared and felt sickened about the past weeks. I prayed for the safety of the kids and to end any further issues.
“Stay safe! Make sure you let someone know where you are going at ALL times!”
In hopes of settling our case or at least coming to agreeable terms, the court ordered Mediation to assist. There is a small fee that is due for the process. I was informed when I went to schedule my appointment that Rob did not pay, in order to move forward it would need to be taken care of. So I shelled out money for both, hope was dancing in my head that the divorce would finally be final before the end of that year.
At the time it seemed like a faraway pipe dream.
A few weeks later I was sitting front of two women asking questions about our Son, Matt. She had gave her opinion that it was understandable that Matt is very upset, seeing that I brought in another man into our marriage.
“WHOA! WAIT!” I stammered, slapping my heads on the table, feeling quite shocked that she thought that was the reason we split.
I was able to regain my composure and my mouth off the ground in order to redeem myself. Not that I needed to! I explained that Terry came into the picture "AFTER" I split, I didn't cheat on my husband or my marriage. She stared at me blankly and didn't apologize but adding, “What was so bad about my marriage?”
I was stunned, hadn't anyone discussed our case prior? Didn't anyone look at the notes?
“The man hired someone to kill me!” I almost shouted that but realized I said it louder than I expected.
“How do you know this?” She asked without batting an eye.
She began to grill me about details. I gave her what I could and offered for her to call the police department handling the matter.
She then asked, “What were some of the experiences you and your children went through?”
I said, “Where do you want me to start? Well, he choked the 2 older kids. Called them terrible names, threatened to harm them on a regular basis, told Jess if I left him it would be her fault.
I had been raped, been thrown down the stairs, had things hurled at me, been pulled around by my hair, was made me to take cold showers.” Now that got her.
“Why cold showers?” She asked.
I was still reeling with intense emotions, hot tears began to well up in my eyes as I can actually relive many of these things in a split second.
“Why?” I explained I had no clue why he did what he did but shared my theory that cold water didn't leave a mark. It gave him pleasure to see me in some sort of pain or discomfort.
I picture him holding me down in the shower, or threatening me or to harm the kids if I didn't stay in the water. Just so he could feel better.
“Why did you stay in the water?” She asked.
I recapped the previous comments, letting her know I was scared of him and what he would do to the kids or me. And that I was no good to the kids dead. I shared that I have had nothing but bad dreams here and there since. I told her about the times at his sister's pool during the summer when he would hold me under water, pretending to just dunk me.
I think he did it for pleasure or because someone ticked him off and then became that person to get even with. I stood in front of him when he had those wild eyes that chilled me to the bone.
I told her I could not be in a room with him alone during the mediation. I planned on having someone come with me. I will not be alone with her, another woman and that's it. I mentioned that every time he has had a chance to put his hands on me, he has, and that he promised me that someday there would be an accident, the kids would end up dead during an overnight visit.
CO2 poisoning, no one would know.
This is why I have concerns about visits unsupervised with him. I was offered some prayers and told we would be notified of findings. As the case progressed this statement would be brought to the attention of the Magistrate as evidence in a situation that happened sooner than I would have thought.
“There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.”-George S. Patton
Court room attack
Legally, the situation was a sticky, continued mess for many years. Early on, I would have a family member join me for a meeting to for a calendar to set up a visitation schedule for the year going forward. Terry went with me to these proceedings for support, as well as to serve as my security guard.
Never wanting to be completely alone, in for safety purposes I made no secret that he would attend with me.
Rob had made it plain and clear that his intent was to harm me physically, mentally and emotionally. His attacks were random and filled with malice. In November of 2009, the attack took a different turn.
I had received an email from Rob letting me know that our Son Matt, would be attending the meeting as well, and if Terry was there, this would cause trouble!
I alerted my attorney, who then alerted the Mediators office. It was a tense morning as I got ready, feeling as usual that I was preparing for a battle. Unsure of what this day would bring, but hoping it would be peaceful and uneventful.
When we arrived, Matt was there! He was quiet. I did get to say a few words to him and managed to grab a hug. The Mediator kept Rob and I in separate rooms for safety. Sadly to say, when Terry was attempted to join me, but he was ushered out because he was not family. He was seen at this early stage in our divorce as a splinter in Rob’s side.
Despite my protests and concern, Terry was forced to leave the office and to find a spot near the doors to sit and wait. During this time I was nervous and felt very anxious about the situation. We were not even 5 minutes into our meeting, when a security officer came rushing in to the office, asking for permission for me to leave.
We were informed that Matt was in police custody for assaulting Terry!
The situation unfolded as Terry was enjoying a cup of coffee and reading a book, with Matt approaching him.
“Terry?” Matthew asked, holding out his hand as if to shake Terry’s hand.
“Matthew?” Terry smiled, extending out his hand to reciprocate.
In the blink of an eye, Matt grabbed Terry’s hand instead of shaking and Matt took the opportunity to sucker punch and kick Terry.
Terry held on quickly and tightly, announcing in a loud voice for security to assist.
There were several guards that did witness the attack, which lasted about a few minutes.
Matt was detained and being held for questioning. Terry looked shocked but okay, with a red mark on his cheek and his shin a bit sore.
We quickly rapped up our meeting and we ushered out to leave after Terry had given his statement.
I was sober and angry at the turn of events, feeling as though I was even further away from having any kind of relationship with Matt and feeling as though our lives would continue to be in danger.
Terry never pressed charges, figuring if there would be any repairing the relationship down the road between us, it would be best to let it go.
All the while these events reminded me of the past questions about the document releasing Matt of any criminal charges and the rental insurance incident.
“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”- Isiah 41:13 KJV
Visitations gone wrong!
We couldn't do ordinary visits, though in the beginning the court ordered us to do so. The visits were ending with exchanges that were very scary. I was given Parenting Time Guidelines to fill out for the next court date. HUH?! I cannot trust this man to harm the kids. I cannot trust him not to harm me in a visitation exchange process and now I have to work on Week, Weekend and Holiday scheduling?
The man has hired someone to kill me, stalked me (still looking for me in old places I frequented) and is still obsessed with getting back together.
My son is possibly to be taken away to a mental (behavioral) facility and the one that really needs a Psych evaluation or to be admitted to a mental facility should be Rob.
That poor kid is going to dislike me more than he does now and it's not in my hands to make a choice one way or another! My sister has offered to take him but it sounds like the court won't allow for that. I do understand that he needs help but while he is with his dad he won't be able to progress but on the other hand I don't want him in a facility. I don't know how to fix this!
Normally, when a relationship breaks up, there is crying, some begging and after a time you move on. To deal with someone that is Psychopathic, a NARC, Gaslighter or whatever you want me to call him, is beyond my realm of expertise. I only know that I'm free, happy and loved. I want to keep this feeling. Please keep all of us in your prayers.
On more than one occasion my abuser would try to grab the keys from my car or a personal item or he would hit the windows with such force I thought he would break my window. After a brief period of time, the court did find to have the visits held at my ex’s Mother’s home.
Unfortunately there was an incident where my daughter, Jessica called the police after an altercation between my ex and his Mom. There was shouting between them that upset the kids. The court found to have the visits held at a safe location, called The Treehouse.
This facility is for Supervised Visitation is provided in a family-friendly environment with separate visitation rooms equipped with video-audio monitoring system, allowing for visits to be monitored for the safety of the children and those adults.
We had had a handful of visits between the kids and my ex. They lasted about 3 hours per visit. Here they can chat and play games all under the watchful eyes of security and staff. During what was to be last visit, unbeknownst to us when we dropped them off.
I was called about 10 minutes after dropping off the kids. I was directed to come to back immediately as an ambulance was called as were the police. There was an exchange between our middle daughter and my ex. I was not privy to the entire situation, but had to assist with calming down Jessica. She was in full panic attack mode!
An ambulance was called as well.
She was later diagnosed with Anxiety attacks and also PTSD. We went home after a visit to the ER and I was able to gather a few bits of information about the visit. Both girls were still pretty shook up.
I read the short narrative about the Treehouse events from the previous weekend, that it hit me like a cold splash of water.
As a Mother and Wife I tried to use whatever judgment to keep my family together. I'm not proud of many of my decisions I made. I put my children at risk both before we left and after we left. I feel as though I failed in some ways to protect the little ones' I was blessed to have.
I know I cannot beat my spirit up about this and through the years some of the intense feelings have simmered. Reading and hearing about the events that unfolded reminds me of the reasons I left that man. It reminds me that there is still things I can show my kids (girls and someday my son).
I had to consider how to do the Therapeutic Counseling with a man that is stalking us, hired someone to kill me, and is unstable mentally. How does one shield themselves from a mad man? By the same token I am thankful we have not had to give our physical address out. I pray that continues! And I do appreciate all the help and understanding my attorney has given. For that I am eternally grateful!
I'd like to think I'm doing all the right things. I have been following all the rules set before me by the court. I have played nice. I have not been a thorn in anyone's side.
How do I continue to keep my kids safe?
How do I save my son from his Dad and himself?
How do I make sure Terry and Kalven stay safe?
How do I break free from someone that wants to keep it alive?
It was very hard to let these visitations follow through, while at the same time making sure we are all safe. Visitations prior to the Children’s Treehouse were on occasional heated, with fighting between the children or on a separate visit the police were called to break up an incident between my abuser and his parents.
The following is a brief transcript from that visit:
Visit ended early by Jessica as she and Dad argue. Jessica has a panic attack after leaving visit. Dad complains throughout visit about Mother and their family issues.
Dad "no one in this county is ready for Melinda". Jessica leaves in ambulance as she to experiencing a panic attack and hyper-ventilating.
This was given to me a month later:
Jessica & Dad argue
Jessica "You told me for 2 years- that if the divorce happened it would be all my fault. You put me in that hospital".
Dad "That's a lie".
Jessica "No it's not. You sent us both. Me & Matthew. He needed to be there".
Dad "No he didn't. I didn't want you there".
Jessica "You need to be there. You need a psych eval".
Dad "I don't know what your game is- what your mothers game is".
Jessica "My life would be great if you weren't in it".
Dad "You're repeating exactly what your mother says".
Jessica "No. She would tell me to be respectful".
Dad "You don't hurt me".
Jessica "So now you're a counselor & a psycho".
Dad "I did nothing to you".
Jessica "You choked me. That's bullshit".
Dad "I didn't choke you. I slapped you".
Dad "You went crazy and started attacking Matthew".
Jessica "All you did what sit on the couch & watch TV all day".
Jessica "You whipped Matthew with your belt so many times. Mom tried to protect him".
Dad "All I see is your mother. So it's ok for you to disrespect me".
Jessica "I'd rather be like her than you".
Dad "Mom is hurting you by keeping the negativity going".
Dad "I always tell Matthew to not talk badly about"
Jessica "Why do you or Matt keep texting Mom in the middle of the night?"
Jessica "You ruined the first 10 years of my life".
Dad "Your Mom keeps your away from me. You can argue all you want.
It doesn't hurt me".
Jessica "I hate you with a deep passion. I want to stab you right now- but I won't because I will not stoop to your level. I wish you would leave me alone. I hate you! I don't want to see you!"
Dad "I'm fighting for custody of you".
Jessica "I hate you. I thought you changed- but you didn't. Stop this visitation shit. I hate you. Get out of my life".
Alex "Guys your kinda talking loud".
Dad "You shush!"
Jessica "NO!" and slams her hands on the table
Jessica throws her cards at dads face.
CTH security enters visit
Dad laughs when Jessica leaves
Dad "Alex I didn't hurt you. You're my baby".
Alex cries- Alex asks to leave
*Mom called to pick up girls 11:23 am
Later after things had calmed down, I had asked my mother-in-law to make a statement to my attorney as well as police. During a conversation on the phone I had pleaded with her to think of the safety of all the children and perhaps if my abuser is exposed for his violent and erratic behavior then maybe my oldest would be able to be placed with a family member or foster home. This could be a way for him to escape from being under his father’s thumb and have a chance to have a new start without fear.
Sadly, she advised me that my abuser had threatened her not to say anything to anyone or he would burn her home down with her and his father in it! She said that she couldn’t go against her son and feared that he would follow through with his threats.