6 weeks out of abusive marriage - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 03-10-2007, 04:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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stbx and I are separated - but I'm having a really hard time being the only parent here. I'm also having to go to work because child support will not be enough, nearly enough to live on and I have 5 kids (older than probalby whatever my sig says - I've not been here for a long time). Fast food though - I've been a SAHM so long that I couldn't get an office job.

My stbx has been physically abusive to me and verbally - we've been together 9.5 years and married for almost 8. He's not taking any responsibility at all for any of it - even hitting me hard enough to break my nose and knock me out last year - but I don't have ANY police records or anything -never called anyone.

it's a very complex situation here though as I'm in Western Canada and my family is in the eastern USA - so I don't really have support and have been SO isolated for so long in this relationship that I don't really have local close friends/support group - working on it. Moving nearer my family - I don't think is an option because I have no evidence of anything to prove anything and from what I hear - taking kids OUT of the country in a custody situation is really bad - don't want to risk losing my kids. He's not going for custody though - but wants to be somewhat involved - just he gets the fun stuff - take them out to play at the park or to a movie or whatever with a relative of his (his family is here and think until he's more stable - someone should be with him and the kids). but I get all the day to day parenting, all the housework and so on.

Right now stbx's dad who is retired is watching my twins during the day and my older three after school - but that's kind of awkward as well because stbx is living WITH his dad and step-mom now...

I've been so sick too - with the stress - I just got diagnosed today with bleeding stomach ulcers...

any btdt advice and does it get easier - because he is still telling me this is my fault and rather than going to anger managment and stuff himself he is saying that I need to chase him and prove myself attractive to him/I've failed totally and so on - really hard on the self esteem with this stuff, hangs up on me when I call him about stuff with the kids. (though is his on meds now for bi-polar since we separated).

I do have a lawyer and were planning on filing for separation and divorce - have to be separated 12 months for a divorce - but it is just SO hard being the only parent, trying to work on my feet all day (this was my first week) and then coming home to do all the kids stuff, interact with them and all the cleaning up, housework, school lunches. I'm so tired and so physically sick right now that even being with him is starting to look good - so I guess I need to know this gets better.

single mama to 5 (12.5, 11, 10, and 8 year old twins)

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#2 of 14 Old 03-10-2007, 09:03 AM
 
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Hugs!! Sounds like you have TONS on your table, and so much stress! Are you getting any chances for yourself, either counseling, maybe a knitting group or something that will give you a chance to relax?

The custody thing is scary and frustrating, but is there any chance he'd allow you to move back to the US? If he gives you permission, then that would work...I know being near family is sooo important, even more so with 5 kids I'm sure.

What about working part time? Can you go for alimony? With five kids and you having homeschooled, I would imagine he'd have a significant obligation to support you all.

In terms of the abuse, I'm so sorry you've been through so much. I know how it is to not have reported things and then later you can't prove it. Do you have any hospital records? Sometimes that can be enough to prove...because I'm sure the hospital knew what was going on, even if they didn't ask or act on it (darned society and privacy!!) Ask your lawyer about it...

And most of all to you! It does get better, soon the sense of freedom becomes so wonderful and you will feel that your burdens are less with him gone. But it may take a while to get all those daily details straightened out, and when you are your children's support system then it's hard to get the help you need. Good luck, and please stick around and keep us updated!!

--A formerly single mama who still sticks around here...
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#3 of 14 Old 03-10-2007, 09:32 AM
 
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Oh, mama. . . my heart goes out to you.

All I can really tell you is that it DOES get better. It absolutely does.

For me, the most extreme desperation and hardships that I've endured as a single mother have been far superior and preferable over being in an abusive trap. Just keep your integrity in sight at all times. You know - the part of you that was in a tug of war with your husband when he was around and hurting you. Now it is yours and your childrens' to flourish. And he sees it surfacing, too. That is what he's fighting when he makes those threats and comments. Don't buy it, mama. Stay true to your integrity. Your OWN story is the only one you need to believe.
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#4 of 14 Old 03-10-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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No! Don't say that being with him is starting to look good! I know you're exhausted...and I don't have five children so I can't begin to tell you how you should feel....but ANYTHING is better than his abuse. Being dead tired from work, from everything....so hard...but honorable. Something to be proud of. But: being with an abusive person hurts every part of you.

If he's going to hang up on you when you call him about the kids, then don't call him. That just another way he'll try to abuse you...disrespecting you by hanging up (my ex liked to do that too).

It sounds like you're just starting the legal part of things, so maybe you haven't been able to explore your options yet. Some lawyers are okay, but others you have to pull teeth...your lawyer may not be mentioning all of your options. Child support may not be enough...but what about maintenance (alimony)? What about anything you may have owned together...a house, car, anything? that typically you're entitled to half of? (also half of his 401k, if he has one).

What about getting government assistance till you get on your feet? And maybe they can give you daycare info, if you feel weird about your kids being over at ex's father's house? Is there a Women's resource center anywhere near you? They could tell you about available programs, so that life won't be any harder than it has to be.

Lastly -who cares if he tells you it's all your fault. Don't believe anyone who would hit you! That shows that there's no limit to how low he can go...no concience there. You don't need to convince him that it's not your fault. It truly doesn't matter what he thinks, and like I posted to another Mom....he won't ever give you any acknowledgement anyway! (see Avani's posts...I think she too has five children and she just escaped a very bad relationship, with her ex saying the same sort of crap). Don't even talk to him about it, about ANYTHING except the kids.

I truly do think things will get much better for you! You're only just on your own, so you haven't adjusted yet. You're still healing from living with a monster for so long. You haven't straightened out the post-divorce financial situation, which may ease your way a bit. You'll stop thinking about what ex has to say...the day will come when you realize you haven't even thought about him for a while. It will come. Till then, keep plugging along and explore your options! You have more than you realize!
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#5 of 14 Old 03-10-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CherylE View Post
any btdt advice and does it get easier - because he is still telling me this is my fault and rather than going to anger managment and stuff himself he is saying that I need to chase him and prove myself attractive to him/I've failed totally and so on - really hard on the self esteem with this stuff, hangs up on me when I call him about stuff with the kids. (though is his on meds now for bi-polar since we separated).
Of course its your fault. How could smashing your nose be his responsiblity in any way?!?!?:

Then he would have to take responsiblity for himself, and its much easier to have you do it for him.

Hugs mama - stay strong. He will probably try to pull all sorts of nasty crap as you begin to slip out of his control. It will eventually get better - a)as you get stronger and b) as he begins to realise that you're not coming back.

Can you afford any counselling? In your situation, there must be some resources that might be free. I highly recommend it.

Quote:
I do have a lawyer and were planning on filing for separation and divorce - have to be separated 12 months for a divorce - but it is just SO hard being the only parent, trying to work on my feet all day (this was my first week) and then coming home to do all the kids stuff, interact with them and all the cleaning up, housework, school lunches. I'm so tired and so physically sick right now that even being with him is starting to look good - so I guess I need to know this gets better.
Here is the link for child support rates. http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/sup/grl/pdftab.htm

Here is the spousal support formula (without children is on page 55, and with children is on page 79)

http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/dept/pub...idelines_e.pdf

Is there anyway you can document any of the physical abuse? (friends that saw you with bruises, can you get an x-ray etc.?) If you can, you can file immediately. Apparently proving this can be difficult, but its a card you can use if you need to.

http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/family-justi...ep_div/how.htm

It is hard being the only parent. I highly recommend the "why I love being a single parent" sticky at the top of this forum. It got me through the early dark days - gave me something to look forward to. I have to say (I've been separated for 9 mo.) it really does get easier. You wouldn't believe how much emotional energy you conserve not having to look after another high-needs adult!

Good luck mama.
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#6 of 14 Old 03-10-2007, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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unfortunately - anything that left bruises wasn't documented and the last physical incident before we separated didn't leave bruises and I didn't call the police even at that point.

I had given up on homeschooling last year - this were so stressful - so my kids are in school now. My lawyer says that I have an entitlement to spousal support but becuase my stbx didn't make that much money - we were behind every month together and he has a huge amount of debt - that he has no corresponding ability to pay spousal support and the lawyer said stbx will ahve a hard time with child support - though that is not my problem and the governmetn can go after him if he doesn't pay for it. The lawyer said we are going to go for him assuming the over $30K of debt in exchange for waiving my right to spousal support. So at least stbx put all that debt in his name - but it's not final on paper at all - I don't know if he can get a lawyer and have that changed later.

I have the van 1990 dodge caravan in my name - lot of milage though and not terribly reliable - but transportation for now - he is the one who has to get a vehicle. He's awful with money - diagnosed bi-polar and on meds only since we separated - but every time I see him he has more new stuff....which I think is all on credit cards.

I'm in a housing co-op - so rental - we didn't own a house, no savings, no assets and only the one very old van. What I will get from him for child support on his income will cover only basic rent/utilities. His dad is retired and watchign the kids for me so I can work - trying to do full-time, but I had to call in sick on Friday and that was only my first week. When we have been separated 3 months - which will be the end of April - then I can get my child tax benefit adjusted to my income and that would help. Plus I'm goign to be getting housing subsidy here - which will also help.

I asked about government assistance when we separated and because my youngets are 3 - I would have to prove I was looking for work every week anyway. I did apply for childcare subsidy - the worker thought they would even pay my father in law - since he does not live with us - but have not heard back. He comes here - not taking them to his house. He's been supportive -but trying to be supportive of both of us -FIL seems to think that if sbtx gets on the right meds, gets counselling, anger management etc that we can work it out but that for sure we should be separated. FIL and stbx's mom are divorced and over similar behaviour type stuff from stbx's mom - she's definatley got mental issues. FIL even said to me - that he went through this with stbx's mom for 23 years before they split up.

I'm not in an area with a lot of childcare options and have 2 in school all day, 1 in school 1/2 day K, and then 2 preschoolers - so that's a lot if I had to find a daycare within walking distance (already know there isn't) that could do that. I don't want to depend on that van lasting. Once more are in school
maybe it will be easier to find childcare or maybe I will get enough child tax benefit that I don't have to work so much.

I'm glad to hear it gets better - this is just SO hard and I've been so isolated from people for so long - just me and the kids at home and seeing stbx mostly for the last few years.

single mama to 5 (12.5, 11, 10, and 8 year old twins)

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#7 of 14 Old 03-10-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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So sorry you are dealing with this crap. As the pp's say it will get better!! I can't believe you have managed so well, working and all the kids work. Partime would be good for you so you are not so pushed. I also had the beatings, the broken noses etc, whilst living in that situation my self esteem was punched out of me, anything was better than that. I am still a single-mom, there is no way I will live with a guy again or give up my freedom, I'm really poor and work damn hard for little money but it's way better than being treated like trash. I've also had no family help as they dumped me as a baby so it's been a big struggle at times. Hang on in there mama and try get better working hours so you can have some time to yourself, it will work out. Please don't go back, you deserve better. They don't change imo.
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#8 of 14 Old 03-10-2007, 09:49 PM
 
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Fast food though - I've been a SAHM so long that I couldn't get an office job.
oh please mama you have a brain use it go for the office job, I mean if you are smart enough and can learn quickly don't aim low!

Quote:
it's a very complex situation here though as I'm in Western Canada
call a battered wives hotline you can remain annonm. but they can tell you what supports, money, programmes, job training is out there (There's a tonne, you could go back to school but this mama took 10 years to pay off that canada student loan...ugh) HRDC has a bunch of programmes that pay a little like 600-1500 a month for everything from computer training to help start your own business.

Quote:
any btdt advice and does it get easier - because he is still telling me this is my fault
can you get counselling on your own or pick up some books on how to deal with toxic people I know what you mean when its demeaning enough to be hit, but to have to appologize that you made him hit you... its torture.

It gets better. This is round two for me so I kinda know what is on the other side. Its hard, its scary, you have to be creative, resourceful and more energy but you don't have the same 'drag' of a toxic man on your life so to speak

8 might be enough
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#9 of 14 Old 03-10-2007, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I looked for a month for an office job - tried temp agencies as well and without employer references -I couldn't get placed. 3 temp agences, and working with a case worker at the employement center and applying for jobs on my own. The case worker at the employment centre is who suggested the Tim Hortons in the end. Plus my availabilty is not good and I needed something I could get to without a vehicle. I don't want to get stuck there - but this is within walking distance.

I don't think I could handle school right now - but can look into other training programs and stuff maybe down the road. I'm barely coping as it is right now. I did just talk to the manager at the Tim Hortons about reducing hours and that shouldn't be a problem - as long as I get something coming in for now. If i am just part time - then I can keep looking for something else as well.

I do hope this gets better - need to try the battered woman's program again - I had e-mailed and left a message a month ago and never heard back. I'm so exhausted trying to deal with everything.

single mama to 5 (12.5, 11, 10, and 8 year old twins)

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#10 of 14 Old 03-11-2007, 10:21 AM
 
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just offering hugs & support. we were in our march 2004 ddc together.

Spark and her four firecrackers.
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#11 of 14 Old 03-11-2007, 11:08 AM
 
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just offering hugs & support. we were in our march 2004 ddc together.
So was I. I remember everything you went through with the twins.

It sounds like you've gotten some great resources here. Things will get better. Hang in there mama.

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#12 of 14 Old 03-11-2007, 11:34 AM
 
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hey mama have you thought about going back to school?

i too have come out of an abusive marriage (of 7 years, with him for 11) and had trouble finding a job as well. luckily i have worked for starbucks for almost a year now. they allowed me to transfer here and i get health and life insurance if i work at least 20/hours a week. i get childcare assistance and my sister (who is an ap/waldorf mama!) watched my dd's.
i decided to go back to school and my childcare assistance will pay for that too. between child support, student grants, loans, wic and my part time job we should be able to make it. it will be tight-but it will be worth it.
i always wanted to finish my degree but stbx would always get in my way-his career always came first..i always had to drop out for one reason or another:
now I am going to finish up and then head to grad school. i see no reason why I should settle for "less" than I am capable.
look into resources mama...schools loves single moms and there are alot of resources for you out there if you look hard enough...

RN, Tree-huggin, chicken-raisin'chicken3.gif, mountain climbing, yoga attempting namaste.gif Mama to Miss Areading.gif (10) and Miss K joy.gif(8). Newly re-married wife to DHpartners.gif We're pregnant!!belly.gifExpecting our new little addition this November!
 

 

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#13 of 14 Old 03-11-2007, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Spark and Mamaroni - I do remember you both! I've not bene on here in a long time.

babibelli - going back to school or a course to train for something else is possible, but probably more long term - don't think right at this moment that I could cope with it. Same with my degree - I kept having to drop out of school - but it's been so long on that - that this last time was kind of my last shot before earlier credits were no good and I had to start over (asked so many people about that - there are kind of strict rules here about how long before a class counts and transferring between insititutions). STBX's career and multi-level marketing business came first. But really even if I have to start over and do somthing else - I really do not want to give up on mysefl. (I have my business administration diploma and was trying to go for the degree). Rigiht now kind of just survival and I'm pretty sick too - I think all this stress has trashed my immune system - so I've got to get physically healthy again.

really appreciate the support from everyone who has posted to me.

single mama to 5 (12.5, 11, 10, and 8 year old twins)

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#14 of 14 Old 03-12-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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I hope you are well. Maybe one way to cope is to schedule something fun to look forward to into your plans. It is well worth it to get out of an abusive relationship
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