I am in a scary situation. My partner (of 10-ish years) has always been somewhat emotionally abusive, but things have escalated lately. He gets very angry, calls me a b---h, says f--k y-- in an angry way even in front of our child, and is generally very negative and always puts me down via constant criticism and is always disappointed in my (admittedly very bad) housekeeping skills etc. I work at a shop nights and he works in the daytime, so stays with the child at night. Weekends are our only time together. He also has a fairly regular pot-smoking habit and few friends.
I myself am very imperfect...I am sloppy, forgetful, careless of my personal appearance, have taken to drinking 1 glass of wine per night, and worst of all have been seeing a therapist who has diagnosed me with a severe anxiety disorder taking the form of OCD. I am worried about a couple of things in particular (not relationship-related) that are very upsetting for me though objectively not a life-or-death problem. My partner, with whom I stupidly shared my "diagnosis", now finds it possible to tell me that I have a sick mind, am crazy, am not capable of being a good parent, etc because of tthe results of the therapy (that is, the fact that the therapist found something wrong with me). Lately he's been saying over and over that he is going to leave me, to dump me, that I am going to be all alone.
My concern is that I will lose my 2-year-old child, since I have an established mental disorder. I am honestly cursing myself for going to the therapist, although she has been helpful to me. I also want to point out that my partner has very good qualities and is generally very good withe the child. He is not a monster and I'm afraid this note shows him in a bad light. I am also far from wonderful, so it's not a one-sided thing. I am not going to leave him, but all signs point to him leaving me...all alone, as he says--I'm terrified that this means without my baby.
What do you think about the custody thing. Will I lose my child for sure, since I have this mental illness problem?
please help, sorry for grammar English is my 2nd language (am permanent resident and want my child to grow up in the US)
ps. we are married only by an unofficial ceremony, no papers etc.
I am sorry that you are going through this. I had a similar situation recently, but with violence, and since I am officially married I am now sharing custody with him post-seperation. I think it was better to be with him than to leave my child alone with him, but your husband sounds different.
I would start to document the verbal abuse, even video him, so you can prove it. Otherwise, he will try and make you look crazy, and say you are making it up. Take pictures of him smoking pot, too, if you can.
Also, keep track of all the things you do to take care of your child. No one cares if your house is clean, but that your child is clean, well-fed, that you go to the doctor, dentist, etc. with her, does matter.
Since you are not married, your legal situation is probably better than mine; I am having to still run my all my decisions through I guy I left because he was controlling, belittling and abusing me, in the end every day he was home. And who never cared a hoot what I did with the kid before as long as I watched him while he had his personal time.
Hang in there!
Your diagnosis isn't going to have much of an impact on custody. But you working nights will. If I were you, I would get daytime job.
As for recording conversation with your partner, you need to find out if you are in a one-party state (meaning only one of you need to consent to the recording) or a two party state (meaning both of you have to consent to the recording). Because if you are in a two party state, you won't be able to use what you recorded. Even in a one party state, your ability to use it may be questionable.
You may benefit from consulting with an attorney.
Please talk to an attorney who does family law, to get actual facts - not threats from your boyfriend. It will give you a much better sense of control, rather than living in fear!
And do strongly consider leaving this abusive person. (Of course I don't mean to leave your child with him!) Maybe he has some decent qualities; even the worst criminal can have a couple - but someone who speaks to the mother of their child that way (especially in front of the child!!!) is not a nice person. They're just not. Someone who manipulates you with knowledge of your anxiety disorder is not someone who loves you. Go to a lawyer because this man is not your friend. You don't want your child to hear that garbage.
You can download an app to your smartphone and start recording him. Then find out if the recordings are useable in your state. Also start a log of dates and times and what he said, as that may be admissable instead.
Anxiety disorder and OCD are treatable, ask your therapist to work on cognitive behavioral therapy with you for these issues. There are nutritional treatments as well that can help- tons of fish oil for essential fatty acids (3 times the dose on the bottle at least) and magnesium, you want magnesium citrate, 200mg am and 400 pm, there is a brand called Natural Calm that is great. Also 4,000 IU vitamin D3 to help absorb the magnesium. Sometimes extra calcium at night helps, but you want it in an equal dose to the magnesium, not more.
I think that you need to leave him. Are you in the US legally? Look for help from the domestic violence assn.near you (counseling and etc) and get started at Legal Aid if you are poor...it takes awhile.
A few thought and suggestions:
1. Call a domestic violence hotline immediately. Tell them you want to leave your abusive relationship but you're scared. They will help you from there. They should be able to help you make you a plan to leave and give you legal advice, or at least tell you where to get it.
2. Might your therapist be willing/able to link your mental health issues with the abuse? If so, it would be really really wise to ask her to write you a letter statiing that. She might also have some experience with women who have been through something similar.
3. The courts have a hard time linking violence against women with bad parenting, although more and more recent research is showing that children exposed to domestic violence against their mothers has the same effect as if the children were being abused themselves. And by violence I don't just mean physical, but it could be only verbal or only emotional or sexual or a combination. It's all violence. So document every incident when possible. If you can get any friends or family who see you to also document that would be ideal. Take note especially when your child is present. If you suspect any anxiety or physical problems with your child (diarrhea,etc) take the child to your family dr and tell them you're worried it's because of the stress at home from your h.
I'll be thinking of you. xo
I have a very well documented mental illness and I worried about that affecting my custodial rights as a single parent after my husband died. His family is awful and rich. I consulted with an attorney, my best friend's husband, and he told me not to worry about it but to straighten my life out (which I have done). No worries, Mama. Do what's best for you and your little one. No one deserves abuse.
There are three things I learned about life. It goes on. -Longfellow
RIP DH DJ Delicious but mucho gracias for our children and all I have learned