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Hi, I'm new here :)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm a long time mothering mom, but started a new login name so people on here won't recognize me.


I have two young kids, and up until about 8 weeks ago, I thought I was in a healthy and loving relationship.  Sure, we had some issues, but I thought they were well within the realm of normal.


My world came crashing down when two police officers showed up at my door and told me my husband had been arrested for placing hidden cameras in a dressing room at a local store.  They had a warrant to collect all of our electronics, computers and cameras.  They searched our house and found that there were hidden cameras in our bedroom too. 


I've left with my kids to stay with family in a different state.  As things have started to unfold with the case, I've learned that my husband was video taping us together and selling the images on the internet.  My sister finally got the courage to tell me that my husband molested her when she was 15.  She never told anyone before then.


I retained a lawyer, got an emergency sole custody order and a restraining order, and filed for divorce.  My head is spinning, but I'm standing my ground. 


baby just woke up...gotta go, but I'll be back later! 

post #2 of 15

I'm so sorry for the circumstances that brought you here but welcome to the tribe =)

post #3 of 15

I am just so sorry to hear you have to deal with so much insanity. Truly crazy. Your poor sister, too. Wow. It sounds like you staying sane and I hope you are taking care of yourself. 


Sending you big huge hugs. That is so much to deal with. xo

post #4 of 15

Im so sorry. :(  How are your kids doing? Are you getting some counseling for you too?

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone!  I'm extremely lucky to have a huge support system and a very loving extended family.  My kids and I are doing well, and all three of us are in weekly counseling.  Although, my kid's counselor says she doesn't think she needs to see my kids anymore because she says they are doing great!  She wants to have one more session with my older child in a few weeks, then she thinks we'll be good to go, and can just come back and see her if any problems start to arise.


Since coming to stay with my family, my stbx was formaly diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.  He had a very abusive childhood, and I knew he struggled with depression and anxiety, but I had no idea he was as sick as he is.  He's filed a motion to reform the custody order and is asking for joint custody and placement of the kids.  You would not believe some of the accusations he made against me as a mother and a human being in general.  Extremely hurtful.  Anyway, the hearing is this coming Tuesday, and while my lawyer says he really thinks we have nothing to worry about, I can't help but be worried.  My kid's safety is at stake...what mother wouldn't be worried sick?


My question to you mamas, is how do you deal with self doubt?  I know I have done the right thing by leaving and bringing my kids to a safe and happy place, but I've made so many huge life changing decisions in such a short time, it's hard to not doubt myself.  I was also a stay at home mom before all of this happened.  I'm forced now to re-enter the work force, and I have huge self doubt about that.  Who would want to hire me?  What sort of work can I do?  Are any of these feelings familiar to you ladies?

post #6 of 15
I am shocked at the complete betrayal you are having to wade through. I suspect your attorney is right, that there's nothing to worry about. If he is charged with crimes--especially anything sexually related--I'd think it would be difficult to get anything more than supervised visitation at first (when he gets out of jail; I assume he will serve time?). Strange, considering how you certainly didn't think of him as a danger until now. People with BPD are incredibly good at deflecting blame, projecting fault, and playing the victim. This is what he's doing to you--trying to make it your fault. I know that probably doesn't make you feel much better, but I hope you can see through his tactics.

Sorry I have no advice about your questions. I do hope for the best for you and your children.
post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by Tollie View Post

My question to you mamas, is how do you deal with self doubt?  I know I have done the right thing by leaving and bringing my kids to a safe and happy place, but I've made so many huge life changing decisions in such a short time, it's hard to not doubt myself.  I was also a stay at home mom before all of this happened.  I'm forced now to re-enter the work force, and I have huge self doubt about that.  Who would want to hire me?  What sort of work can I do?  Are any of these feelings familiar to you ladies?

Dealing with the self-doubt is definitely an ongoing process. In your situation it may be easier because you have completely removed yourself from the situation so you don't have to be bombarded with crap from your ex. Self-doubt is part of what is keeping me from moving forward with the life that I want for myself, amongst other things that aren't so easy to express.

If I were you I would say stop doubting yourself. You did what you HAD to do. Stop looking at it like you had options. What would the alternative have been? Stay? Support your H? The level of betrayal is unbelievable. You did the only thing you could do and for that, all self-doubt should be wiped away. I'm guessing what is keeping you from being 100% sure of your decisions is that you know this other side to your H who would not do the things he has done. Be very clear, he is not the man you thought he was. And if given the opportunity to know who he really is you would have never been with him. Don't doubt yourself. Stay strong in your desire and ability to keep you and your family safe and away from any more harm. I'm so glad you have family to support you. My heart breaks for you and your sister. I'm sorry.
post #8 of 15

I'm so sorry to hear about your world being so rocked like this.  It's so hard during the transition and initial shock stage (I think we can all attest to that) and it takes time to process it all.  There will be moments of self doubt and anxiety interpersed with moments of clarity.  And at the end of it all you will look back and feel stronger than you ever have before.  At least that's how it seems to be going with me, and with other mamas who have been through it.  I find that little tangible accomplishments help get through those days of self doubt (e.g. cleaning the house, planting seedlings, mowing the lawn).  But by far the most important thing is to surround yourself with people who validate you and avoid those who don't.  Often it takes a cataclysmic event such as this to shake us up....and it ends up being a gift in the end.  Also, you may have been subject to crazymaking and gaslighting for years and you may find that the longer you have no contact, the more your self doubt starts to lessen, simply because you're no longer with a man who doubted you (and you may have never even been aware that was happening).


While your lawyer might feel there is nothing to worry about (and hopefully the judge is a reasonable one too), it's still good to learn all you can about what to expect when divorcing a blamer/personality-disordered individual.  He will fabricate every story he can under the sun to deflect blame onto you, and it's good to be mentally prepared for it, so it doesn't catch you off guard in the courtroom.  He may not have a conscience (sociopath) and you may find yourself wondering how someone who seemed so nice could be so unfeeling or cruel.  From all I've read on the matter, it seems that a calm, yet assertive approach works best.  And once they have been caught in a lie, then their credibility flies out the window.


If you can keep reminding yourself that he is mentally ill and it is about HIM, not you...then the accusations will be less likely to sting.  You know your truth.  Stick to it, be gentle with yourself and the truth will come out in the courtroom.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Wow, thank you so much for the heart felt responses.  I really appreciate it.


Tomorrow morning is the hearing, and there's no way I can sleep anytime soon.  I feel like I should be there, but my lawyer said that it really wasn't necessary.  I have to go back in a few weeks to view all of the videos stbx made of us, and make a statement for the police.  Really not looking forward to that, but I am looking forward to seeing all my friends for a day, so I'm trying to focus on that.


Yes, the betrayal is very overwhelming.  I feel like my husband has died, and this evil monster has taken over his body.  I know now that the evil monster was always there right under the surface fighting for air.  The monster won.


I know this is a huge gift finding this all out now.  We were together for 11 years.  Thank God he only got one decade of my life and not more.  My children are so little.  I hope they'll never remember any of this.  I ache though for the enevitable hole that will grow inside of them though.  That hole that can only be filled by their father.  Right now, he can only have supervised visits, and he has to travel here and arrange and pay for everything.  Needless to say, there haven't been any visits yet.  I don't know if that will all change tomorrow.


I've talked with the prosecutor and she said she would be surprsed if he got more than probation.  That was a huge blow.  Supposedly, making your wife into a porn star without her consent isn't that big of a deal in our home state.  What he did to my sister is past the statute of limitations too.  It was only 5 years ago!  The prosecutor said that had she been under 14 and was raped, then they would have something to work with.  I'm trying to not get ahead of myself though.  There are still more computer files that they're trying to access.  Nothing has been formally charged yet.  Nothing has come anywhere near going to trial.  This is going to take a very long time. 


Sorry for the stram of conciousness post.  I'm going to try to get some sleep.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

So I just heard back from my lawyer about the hearing.  The custody order stands.  I still have sole custody and placement.  I'm really relieved about that.  Visitation was altered though.  Instead of supervised visits in a neutral territory with a professional facilitator, the visits can now be done at the home I'm staying in, with family supervising.  I'm not happy with that at all.  What upsets me the most is that it was my own lawyer who offered that compromise up to court.  When I talked to my lawyer today, he even asked me if I felt supervised visits were necessary at all!  I was floored by that.  Is this guy even on my side?  How could he think it would be safe for my kids to be alone with their dad after what has happened?  There is still so much that we don't know.  The case is still under investigation.  I'm seriously wondering if I should get a new lawyer.  Am I over-reacting here?

post #11 of 15

Get another lawyer. You're not overreacting. I switched lawyers and it was a really good move. YOu need someone who understands the dynamics of this. That arrangement is absolutely so not ok at all. He should never ever be in your house. I'm so sorry! You could always meet with a couple of other lawyers to feel them out. Is there anyone who can give you sound recommendations for lawyers? Your local DV shelter may have a list of good lawyers who understand unhealthy people and relationships. I first went with the first lawyer who would take me on. When I decided to switch, I contacted four potential new lawyers, conversed with all four, and met with two in person. When I met with them, I had a 5 page document I had written with timeline, main concerns, legal action/orders to date, etc. Both said that document was extremely helpful. Once you find a new lawyer you don't even have to tell your old lawyer... the new lawyer should just request your file from him (at least that's how it's done here). 


Good luck. stay strong. You are doing an amazing job!

post #12 of 15

Ditto the advice to get a new lawyer.  He has no right to make concessions that you do not agree with.  He should not be suggesting unsupervised visits.  If he doesn't consult you now on major issues affecting you and your children, then I expect it to not get better.  Sorry hug2.gif

post #13 of 15
In case you needed it, here's another vote to get a new lawyer. Yours is not working for you. I'm sorry that's just one more thing that is now on your plate. Like you need more problems.
post #14 of 15

WOW, you really have been through the mill! I am so sorry you have been put through all of this. I really can't imagine.


Another vote for new attorney. Mine always tells me unless there is a really good reason for me not to go, I should attend every court date possible so that I stay informed, and i might see things that he misses, so I can point things out to him (my lawyer). We work as a team in the court room.   


I am actually surprised that no restraining order has been applied for. Food for thought? I sure as hell wouldn't want him in my home!!!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

I clarrified everything with my lawyer and he went right back to court and filed a motion to put the visitation back with a professional supervisor and in a neutral location.  Of course, stbx filed a motion against that right away, so we'll see what happens.


I'm going to talk with my lawyer again and try to communicate all of my concerns.  Hopefully we can get back on the same page again.  If not, he's fired.  He's actually very competent, prompt and agressive, so I'd like to give him a second chance.  We'll see.


There's a standing restraining order that was filed at the same time as the divorce, but I don't know if that was over-ruled or what.  I still haven't gotten any documentation about what happened in court on the Tuesday hearing.  I was told it can take up to 10 days for the court to write up the documents though. 


I just need some clear boundaries and expectations for visitation.  I also want to make them as safe and least traumatic for my kids.  Hopefully I can establish that soon.

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