A bit of self pity this morning. Still looking for my big-girl panties. I can’t seem to find them …One step forward, two back …
The last time I wrote on my blog, I believe I was talking about my last court appearance where my ex was acquitted for the charges of Uttering Threats to Cause Death or Bodily Harm. That was the day before my birthday. Needless to say, I had a very crappy few days there. I felt completely deflated, unheard, unseen. I was immersed in an overall feeling of insignificance and failure. But I sucked it up, collected myself, talked to my counsellor, and got ready for back to school.
This week I started college! Back to school, after many, many, years. I am taking a two- year Social Service Worker program at Selkirk College, here in the Kootenays. All three boys are back in school and daycare. They really seem to be enjoying it. New teachers, new friends, and new experiences. They truly seem happy and content. I had my first day this past Tuesday, and I felt completely empowered by the end of it. I was excited. I felt back on track and focused.
Well, last night, after making it through my first week, the kids’ first week, I checked my email. I saw it…My heart sank, my throat closed, my sympathetic nervous system kicked in. Hello PTSD. I started to shake. An email from my lawyers office. A 43 page affidavit from my ex’s lawyer. I read it, or tried to, skimming through it, telling myself to just close the email, read it later, don’t deal with it now. But it’s like a bad car accident. I can’t stop looking. I have decided now not read it thoroughly until Monday, after class.
He is asking for access to the kids: daily one-hour and half-hour phone contact, twice a week Skyping, and visitation that would consist of his oldest child missing 2 days of school per month. Also, he claims he has been overpaying child support so I now owe him a certain amount of money. I have no income, and I did not qualify for a student loan. He has also asked that his support be lowered since his income was less this year (which is fine, as I know how this works).
Now, if you have read my other writings, you will know the story behind his losing contact with the children in the first place. You may be thinking that what he is asking for doesn’t really seem that unreasonable …other than the daily phone conversations. What four or six-year-old wants to talk on the phone for that long, and daily? Skype? I am not giving someone who has threatened me and harassed me for years, eyes into my home. It’s not going to happen.
We live four hours away from their father, over two mountain passes, which, in the winter can be extremely treacherous. Two winters ago, while driving to take the children for visitation, we were in a bad accident. We were hit by a truck trying to pass us impatiently on a very bad section of road, and he turned our vehicle into a pin-ball on a pinball table, spinning, sliding and being hit several other times, writing off my huge SUV. We were somewhat ok, but did have injuries, as well as being traumatized. It was frightening. But he is asking that we drive, at night, after school, on a Thursday to meet in the middle of the mountains to exchange the children and then again, drive and meet on the following Monday night to return the children. I have school; the boys have school. How do I make this work? And how do I find the courage to meet this person, in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, after he has threatened my life and assaulted me on more than one occasion.
I am so scared that another judge is going to completely destroy everything I have been working so hard for. It has been about ten months since he has had access to the children, and it has been a very productive time. The boys, for the first time, actually seem happy. They are having less behavioural issues, yet there are still some problems we continue to work on. This is to be expected after experiencing trauma and PTSD. Emotional harm is extremely hard to deal with. One terrible thing the boys face is the fact that the counselor they are waiting to see has said that if the boys continue to be exposed to their fathers’ abuse, they will receive treatment.
Has all my hard work and fighting been for nothing? How do I continue with my education if I am having to pay thousands for a lawyer to protect my children and myself from this man? I feel so hopeless right now. I don’t think I will get dressed today. I am going to cuddle my boys and watch movies, maybe bake some cookies …and pray. I am not religious, but there’s nothing left I can do.
If you have not read my previous story about our history please click on these links and read: