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Hi all.<br><br><b>background</b><br>
Stbx and I have been together for 5 years, married for almost 3. We have 2 yr old b/g twins. He has always been verbally/economically/emotionally abusive but it has only been about 2 months since I have put a label on it. Prior to children, the episodes were only every few months. After the dc, it started happening more frequently. I wrote it off as him just being an uav, blaming my sleep depravation, stress of parenting young twins and his untreated depression. He would accuse me of favoring dd since she was a pound bigger and bf well. He would accuse me of not loving ds as much b/c he had issues bf and was smaller. Of course, I would get accused of favoring the other person if they were both crying and I made a choice to help one first.<br><br>
He quit his job at the end of February but is getting unemployment. The company was doing layoffs anyway, and he asked to be one of those laid off. He has no intention of getting a job and has been home pretty much 24/7. (except when he leaves to pursue his hobbies/interests) Since then, the abuse has escalated. There is a very brief, if any, honeymoon time. Every decision I make, minor or major, is held under a microscope, examined and I am belittled for everything. He calls me names. He says I misinterpret everything. He yells at me in front of the children. He has threatened to slap the sh** out of me, he has swerved the car with all of us in it and punched the steering wheel, he has thrown things in my general direction. I am blamed for dc having meltdowns. My hobbies and friends are made fun of. He refuses to participate in family activities. He makes frivolous purchases but I am given a lecture for spending $100 at the grocery store. I have been a sahm since I was pregnant. He says that I have done nothing to contribute to the house, I am not a good mother, don't do enough for/with the children. Etc. etc.<br><br><br>
Twice now he has turned this onto ds. Once, ds was having a meltdown in public. After we got to the car he yelled that ds was a pu*** b**** just like his mother. Mama bear came out and roared. Of course, no apologies or owning up to his fault. He turned that one back on me too. My fault for making ds too soft etc.<br><br><b>action</b><br>
First I went to the domestic violence center to speak to an advocate. She referred me to a lawyer and the family violence counseling center. I spoke w/ a legal aid and was not satisfied with her answers and did not retain counsel. I have had two individual counseling sessions and one group session. We're skipping this week and resuming next week.<br><br>
We were supposed to go on a family vacation to Alabama. B/c of the oil catastrophe, he went ahead (we were to meet friends there) and we stayed home. He will return sometime Sunday evening/night. I know that he will not return early as he is riding with some other people.<br><br>
I have begun packing my things. We are going to my parents house. My goal for this weekend is to get things moved into storage and my parents and hire a lawyer. I would like to get the divorce process started.<br><br><b>concerns</b><br>
1. I am worried about dc's time with their dad, especially ds. Stbx is an advocate of spanking and cio. Ds still wakes at night and needs his mama. Thinking of him crying all night or being degraded for whatever normal toddler behavior kills me. For example, ds has shown some interest in wearing underwear. Yesterday was his first day wearing them. He pooped in them. Stbx gave him a long lecture with a raised voice about how wrong it was to do that. Basically he has unrealistic expectations of a two year old. Always telling them they should know better.<br><br>
2. I am worried about him coming home, finding us gone and coming over to my parents. He has two guns and I will be taking them both with me. (one is in my name) We may go to a shelter Sunday evening for a few days but I am worried about this being hard on dc. They are very comfortable w/ my parents and their house.<br><br>
3. I am worried about shady characters that may come into contact with dc at their dad's. I know that is projecting far into the future, but stbx and I have a different outlook on how to protect our children.<br><br>
Thanks for listening. I look forward to the return of myself. I miss me. I am terrified of this whole process but I just can't live another 10 minutes with him.
 

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Good for you to have a plan! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I hope this is very smooth for you and that you can get the help and resources that you need <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Hi and welcome. You sound like you're thinking really clearly and you have a good solid plan laid out. I'm so glad that you're able to see through his abuse and recognize it for what it is.<br>
Leaving abuse like that feels a little bit like jumping off a cliff. It's great if you have the time to make plans and arrangements, but the moment comes when you just have to close your eyes and take a running leap of faith towards freedom. It can be terrifying, but life is so much better on the other side.<br>
You're a good mother for protecting your children. Good luck, be safe and keep us posted.
 

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Welcome to SA, I am sorry you have need to be here, and I hope you are able to find healing from being here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
If you are worried about your stbx becoming violent if he comes home to find you gone, I would get a restraining order right now while he is gone. See if you can also get an order of protection or whatever is in your state for your DC. He has put them in danger by operating a vehicle in an irresponsible way. And I would seriously consider staying in a shelter for a few nights, until you are better able to gauge his reaction. I stayed in a DV shelter a little over a year ago with a 1yo. Your DC may like it, there will be other children, possibly of similar ages and new toys that they aren't familiar with. Children are so resilient and it is possible that your concerns and discomfort will be greater than theirs. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
As far as your concerns with his time with your DC, all you can do is document any inappropriate/negligent behavior he shows towards them and continue to do so. For the time being you can also look into if your state has something called a "status quo" order, where basically it states that the current custody arrangements will be in effect until the divorce and final custody arrangements are settled.<br><br>
If you get the RO while he is gone, you could probably have him served shortly after his return because he wouldn't be expecting it, and right away you would have a legal basis for keeping him at a distance. It sounds like he will be really upset, but you can also have him restricted from being within a certain distance of your parents place as well I believe. The DV shelter should have a Legal Advocate that can help you fill stuff like this out. She can't give legal advice, but she can assist/guide you in filling it out.<br><br>
I am sorry you are going through this. It is hard and scary. But you are doing the right thing. I've been out of my abusive relationship since Jan09 and my life is so much better now. It took a lot of hard work and at times there were some really sucky parts... but I kept pushing through and have gotten to a much better place.<br><br>
Oh, you can also go to your local DHS/DSHS office and apply for foodstamps and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families aka welfare). And while there consider filing for the DV grant. You may qualify for up to $1500 towards deposit, rent, storage/moving expenses. It's not a cash in hand thing, and it requires a bit more running back and forth between places, but it was a big help for me.<br><br>
Stay strong and focused. Come back here as you can because there are lots of strong knowledgeable women here who usually have great suggestions and are always supportive. I'll keep you in my thoughts this week.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I have some similiar fears in regards to visitation with the little ones. The women here have some great advice/support.<br><br>
Document all episodes and pray. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Somehow it will all work out.
 

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i'm amazed by your careful planning and organized thoughts. i will be praying for your safety. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the support.<br><br>
My thoughts aren't so clear. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> I am panicked and have decided not to leave behind his back. He has problems with "negative surprises" and I really feel like leaving w/o his knowledge at this time would send him over the edge.<br><br>
My sister and I packed most of my things up last night. I will get all of the sentimental and non-replacable things out of the house before he comes home. I am planning on moving the guns as well. Not that I think he would shoot me, but I expect it to be an emotionally charged time. I have made appts w/ two different divorce attys and plan on telling stbx when he gets home that I want a divorce. I plan on using Gavin de Becker's strategies for stalkers and not opening a door for discussion. . . in my mind it goes something like, "I will be filing for divorce this week. I can stay here w/ the children and you can leave or you can stay here and we will leave." He says blah blah and I repeat. I have had my fleeing the house bag packed for several weeks so if this goes south I intend to call 911 and leave the premises.<br><br>
Honestly, I have never been more confused (and scared, depressed, anxious) in my whole life. I realize that my confusion comes from the abuse. I know I'm a strong, intelligent, capable woman but I feel weak and unable to make a decision. I'm thankful that my family is patient with me and has educated themselves on the topic.
 

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It is a scary confusing time. You know him and your situation best. If you think that it will be safe to leave in that manner, then at least call the DV shelter and see if you can get someone to work with you on creating a safety plan for the event. What would you do if he effectively held you hostage, isolated you from your phone, made threats or worse? It is good that you and your family have informed yourselves about this and that they are supportive of you. Would you maybe consider having your DC over at your parents house when you do tell him? If you expect it to be an emotionally charged time, it might be in their best interests to not be there if there could be yelling and stuff. If he agree's to act as an adult maybe your parents could bring them over so he could see them before you or him leave the house, whichever way that goes. You aren't trying to prevent him from seeing them, you are trying to protect them from a volatile environment. And that would be one less thing you would have to worry about in that moment. You would know your children are safe and if you have to exit quickly for your own safety, it would be much easier if you only have to worry about yourself.<br><br>
One reason many women are suggested to leave first and then tell their abusers is because one of the most dangerous times in an abuse victims life is when they are trying to leave. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I'm not trying to scare you unnecessarily, but I just want you to be well informed and be ready for (or think about) things you might not otherwise have considered.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you Theia.<br><br>
Good idea to call the dv ctr and get help forming this plan. Also good idea to have dc elsewhere.<br><br>
I know that the leaving can be the most dangerous time. I just started wondering if doing it behind his back would elevate that risk. I think he has borderline personality disorder, is def depressed and started worrying that the shock of coming home to a practically bare house would send him into a rage. Whereas, a calm me giving him options (or at least the appearance of that) would lessen the possibility of violence.<br><br>
Like I said, I'm just so confused. I am deadset on one decision now, then spend hours second guessing myself and reach another conclusion. I wish someone was here to hold my hand through all of this.<br><br>
I left my first abuser and I don't remember months of agonizing over the decision. It was just decision then action. We didn't have kids together though and were immediately separated by 1000 miles.<br><br>
I also wonder if I should just keep silent and hire counsel and arrange to go to a shelter when he is served. But there it is again. I make a decision and then find another alternative or a loophole in my plan. I just need to make a plan and stick to it.
 

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You know your situation best, but do be careful about breaking up with him on your own. There are two bad outcomes that can happen -- 1, he can get violent or even homicidal (not to sound alarmist, but verbally abusive men can snap when they sense they are losing their power over you), or 2, which is less scary but often more common, he can plead, promise to change, threaten suicide, beg for one more chance, say he'll go to therapy, blah blah blah, and it can be really really difficult for you, after being conditioned by years of abuse, to not break down in the face of that.<br>
Having another person there, or having the conversation over the phone, can both protect you and help you stay strong.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>esaesa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15378900"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, I have never been more confused (and scared, depressed, anxious) in my whole life. I realize that my confusion comes from the abuse. I know I'm a strong, intelligent, capable woman but I feel weak and unable to make a decision. I'm thankful that my family is patient with me and has educated themselves on the topic.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I know. I could have written that exact phrase myself four years ago. It's a really confusing time. Abuse really truly leaves you brainwashed, in the literal sense of the word. It takes enormous mental energy and support to deprogram yourself. I'm so glad that your family is supporting you through this time.<br>
There's a really interesting article on the link between Stockholm Syndrome and abuse -- <a href="http://www.mental-health-matters.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=167" target="_blank">http://www.mental-health-matters.com...article&id=167</a>
 

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Hey, we cross-posted, but I know what you mean about triggering a borderline with abandonment issues. My abusive ex was severely borderline and yeah, it was a mess.<br>
One idea -- didn't you say he was with friends now? What if you break up with him over the phone while he's out of state. He'd be with people who could talk him down, and you'd be safe.<br>
We're all here virtually holding your hand while you brainstorm your plan. Most of us have been through the process of leaving an abuser, and some of the women here are right in the middle of it just like you.
 

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another option, if you don't want the shock of him walking into an empty house, would be to leave while he is gone and tell him over the phone, before he gets home.<br><br>
i don't think it's a problem that you keep coming up with alternatives and loopholes. it's good to look at all possibilities, and consider the many different potential outcomes of those choices. that way, when you take action, you'll know you've considered everything and made the best decision you could with all information on the table.<br><br>
totally talk to the shelter! that's a great idea.
 

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I like the idea of telling him while he is gone and with friends who could talk him down. You do run the risk of him convincing them to return early though, so another thing to think about. But if his friends are somewhat level headed, it might be a good thing for him to be with them. If his friends are rowdy and immature types, then maybe not. I'm sorry none of us can be right there to hold your hand, and give you a hug and encouragement. But we will help you the best we can from afar. Keep doing what you are doing, the right thing will come to you.
 

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Welcome to this healing and supportive place. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I left almost four weeks ago now - it'll be four weeks on Monday. At first it's like being in detox, but as the days pass, you see things more and more clearly... XXXXX
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> You are so brave.
 

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Thinking of you. It took me years, and years, and years to even think about leaving. You are very strong. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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How are you? Thinking of you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat">
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi!<br>
We're out and at my parents. I left him a voice mail Sunday am, "hi, dc and I have moved out. I'm filing for divorce this week." He called me that afternoon and went on about how I was breaking up the family, he needed one more chance etc. He asked about his dog BUT DID NOT ONCE ASK HOW THE KIDS WERE DOING! Yesterday he texts me that he'll go along w/ whatever I want to do then calls me last night to tell me I'm a coward for leaving while he was gone. . . also hateful, sneaky. . . blah blah blah. Oh, and during this conversation he also wants to know where I put some of his things. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"> He threatened to call the police on me if I didn't allow him to see dc. Treading gently w/ that topic but insisting that we get a temp custody agreement worked out before he takes them. (Also he is driving my car w/ expired tags and has no car seats - might need to take a bit of initive instead of expecting me to do all the work for you to see your children) We've talked a bit today and he is sounding more reasonable and saying that I made the right move. Still don't trust him though. Hopefully, this attitude sticks while we're in the divorce process.<br><br>
When I was in the process of moving I cycled between devastating sadness and extreme anger. Today I feel aprehensive about splitting custody, nervous about getting a job and being on my own but also have a sense of calm. I've got to watch my parents who are nice to each other, me and dc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> That's been a reminder that what was going on with stbx was not normal or acceptable.<br><br>
Looking forward to group counseling and meeting with atty tomorrow and individual counseling Thursday.
 

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holy crap, that's fantastic! good for you. yippee!<br><br>
you don't have to listen to him on the phone, though. maybe insist on texting or email, both so that you aren't getting yelled at and also so you have a record of all communications (not that you're going to tell him that). it would probably be less stressful.<br><br>
good luck with your counseling & lawyer meeting tomorrow!
 
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